Monday, December 01, 2008
Packed meeting to hear glorious leader expose petit-bourgeois intelligentsia posted by Richard Seymour
Well, I don't know, I suppose slightly more people were gathered into Pollard room in the Institute of Historical Research than usual this evening. I mean, it might have even been in the double figures. And thank you to those who attended. The good news for this lucky sodality was that I had typed up a reasonably coherent speech, distilling down some of the contents of my book that would easily come in under 45 minutes. It would be like a spoken word version of the blog. The bad news was that my printer is on the blink, my PDA no longer works, and I had no means of conveying the bastard speech to the meeting. No problem, I can wing it. Oh, sorry, the other piece of bad news is that I was hungover in a bad way. Still, I've got the book. I can read my own written work and make it look sexy and alluring with some fast editing. Oh, but wait, I forgot - I can't do fast-editing. And also, when I opened my cherry cola to get some desperately needed caffeine into my veins, the bottle gushed and frothed over and spilled inside my bag and all over my jeans. So now on top of being sticky, hungover and without a prepared talk, I realise the publishers have come along to view my performance. Now, on top of this, the topic is the 'pro-war Left since 1989', and that means talking about the intricate details of Yugoslavia in a semi-coherent way while trying to include all relevant matter in a concise fashion. Trying to sum up Yugoslavia in a quarter of an hour is like trying to summarise the complete works of Shakespeare on the back of a postage stamp. Nonetheless, despite all that, and several scrotum-tightening moments in which I floundered hopelessly, it all sort of worked out. The Q&A was far better than the bit where I talked for 45 minutes, and I even had a couple of dissidents (naturally, they were taken out and shot behind the chemical sheds). And on my estimate, about half the people there bought a copy of Liberal Defense. If that pattern holds globally, it means at least 3 billion people will buy my book. And that means the other 3 billion will have some serious fucking explaining to do.