Sunday, November 01, 2009

Great Festival with One Disappointment

The Texas Book Festival was even better this year than last, but that might be because I was so much better organized this time around. I haven't had time to digest all I saw and heard but I can say that it was a wonderful experience to hear so many authors speak - authors who were only names on a book jacket before the festival are now real people with distinct personalities, and that will make me a better reader of their work.

I will say that one of my favorite writers let me down in a big way. I knew, of course, that she was very much a liberal because I've read most of her books. I always take something positive away from reading this woman and her new book, as she explained it to her audience, sounds as intriguing as any of her earlier works. She's quite the humorist (and feminist) and makes men the butt of many of her jokes and stories so, as you would imagine, her audience was about 80% female and largely of the age group coming of age in the '60s and '70s.

I try to avoid politics here - but when she made the statement that anyone protesting the President's policies regarding health care or anything else is objecting simply out of racism - no other reason - I had to pack up my things and leave the audience (so quietly that I doubt that anyone even noticed). I'm paraphrasing what she said but I have the exact quote on my recording of her presentation (along with me muttering "bullshit" a couple of times).

This is a writer who is best known as a BS-sniffer, a reputation she takes great pride in claiming. Apparently, her BS-sniffer does not work on words that come out of her own mouth. I can't believe she believes such a simplistic explanation of the Tea Party protesters and, even more shockingly, I can't believe that she doesn't recognize how ignorant this makes her sound.

Having one of your favorite nonfiction writers call you a racist is not a great way to end such a pleasant weekend. But I'll live - and eventually I'll read her new book.


  1. Is the woman who thinks that the only reason one would disagree with the president is because one is a racist also the woman who thinks that the person who would insist that the cleaning lady get on her hands and knees to clean the kitchen floor is a sexist and not just someone who wants a clean floor?

  2. That's great. :-)

    You know, I came so close to doing a "Joe Wilson" and hollering out "You Lie" that I decided to get the heck out of there. The women sitting behind me could see my irritation and were laughing about it...gotta love all that tolerance that liberals direct at you...

  3. I had to laugh at your "muttering 'bullshit.'" That's what happened at a townhall meeting I attended a few months ago when a rather strident state legislator was telling us that we didn't KNOW what they had BEEN THROUGH to write the budget and the CHALLENGES they FACED in RAISING OUR TAXES. The guy next to me whispered "Bullshit" and tiptoed out of the room, which was so typically Midwestern polite that I had to laugh.

  4. I'm sorry about the name-calling you had to endure; I would probably have left also. I was a bit disappointed in one of the speakers I heard, too, and it had to do with the same subject ---health care. His mistake, as I saw it, was not so egregious, just what I thought was a lack of depth in analysis on the part of a very intelligent man.

    Still, it was Austin, and the crowd was overwhelmingly liberal. And I had a great time anyway.

  5. I wonder if conservative types are just too polite for their own good sometimes, Factotum. If it had been a presentation by Glenn Beck, I suspect that it would have been a noisy, not polite, room. I just wish I hadn't learned more about the lady writer than I really wanted to know. It will be somewhat harder to read her in the future and keep an open mind about her.

  6. Sherry, sorry I missed meeting you in Austin. Maybe next year?

    You're right about the Austin crowd. I felt like an illegal alien at a meeting of the Texas Minutemen.