Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unctuous questions at author readings

It’s not quite right that I’m punching this in the face, because while I love book signings and author readings more than anything, I adore loathing the bespectacled sycophants who amble up to the mic or wave their hands wildly during the Q&A portion of the evening so that the celebrity author has no choice but to hear what they have to say…and say…and say. 

See, before the question comes the preamble.

I was just at a magical evening with the sexy, brilliant Junot Diaz and I wanted to rip his or my clothes off. But first, I wanted to rip these interlocutors a new one.

“I love your new book and am struck by how much you revisit the themes of love and loss in your work. For instance, your short story XX features the character XX, who once again experiences love, loss, and even cheating. On page 53, for example, he says…”

Translation: I am SO smart. My thorough homework and obnoxious eyeglass frames prove this. And, oh yeah, I worship Terry Gross.

“As a longtime educator in the public school system who teaches your books in my class, I couldn’t help but wonder…”

Translation: I'm credible. I'm a teacher. Admire me.

“My mother lives in the Netherlands and reads every word you’ve written. Then she shares it with her friends. Then she books a flight to Boston and stalks you as you walk to class at MIT. Did I say that out loud? Anyway…”

Translation: I am your biggest fan. Well, okay, my mom is but I like you too, so I get extra credit.

Let me translate something else: You are a suck up. The 499 other people in the audience don’t need or want to hear you spam yourself all over the author. Send Junot a note, sign your panties, or wait in line and ask him to inscribe your hardcover or your breasts.  Whatever the case, cut to the chase and ask your fucking question and stop holding us hostage with your simpering need for validation.

All this said, I can't wait to hear any questions you have during my Punch Parties this fall!

(photo: jacket2.org)


That One English Teacher said...

People like this?: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/68722052

Yeah, they're the worst. I'd punch them in the face too.

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