oh for the love of

10/24/11

Tessa and some of our friends went to a ladies-only function this morning with the amazing Kirsten Gillibrand, and while it was by all accounts a rousing success, apparently things fell apart – LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO – during the Q & A session. Inevitably, a couple of women got up to the microphone with no intention to ask questions, but merely to blather ad nauseum while the rest of the room died a million deaths.

I have no doubt bitched about this before, but THESE KIND OF PEOPLE RUIN PUBLIC EVENTS. I’ve seen it happen every time even a slightly famous person allows questions from an audience that ought to know better. Invariably, some motherfucker with an agenda hijacks the auditorium and begins to spew his/her unique brand of half-baked bullshit – holding hundreds of people hostage, wasting the time of a public figure who has none, and guaranteeing no actual questions get asked.

It got so bad at the UCLA series (especially during the Mary Oliver reading, when a guy had to be booed out of the building) that they wisely spared Neil Gaiman the misery, only allowing questions to be submitted in writing, and then vetted mercilessly.

This is what it has come to, you lard-throated blowhards: you have ruined spontaneous public discourse. We can no longer ask questions of our cultural leaders because someone didn’t pay enough attention to YOU during kindergarten, and you need to Hold Forth on your beloved belly button.

Let me tell you what “Q & A” stands for; it stands for YOU FUCKING SHUT UP AND LET SOMEONE ASK AN ACTUAL QUESTION AND LET THE SPEAKER ANSWER, RATHER THAN AFFLICT ME WITH WAVE AFTER WAVE OF STUPID FEELING.

Still having trouble with this one? I have provided an easy-to-use Clip-N-Save™ list of The Top 10 Things Nobody Wants to Hear From You, just in case you feel the urge to start pontificating. I’ll go in reverse order of intensity:

10. Why you’re not racist

9. Shit you did in college

8. Nagging health issues

7. Your trip to the Far East

6. Your Spiritualism, Explained

5. Cat stories

4. Anything after the fourth minute of your soliloquy

3. Last night’s dream, in detail

2. Something cute your kid said incorrectly

1. Holding forth during a Q & A session

I hope that clears everything up!

HeyDadLolcat.jpg

12 thoughts on “oh for the love of

  1. Ellani

    Unfortunately, this phenomenon rears its ugly head in academia too. Add to the list:
    1a) Stick to the point and stay on subject. (ask a fraking question about the topic at hand and do not spew about your own area of research ad nauseum).

    Reply
  2. Greg T.

    Off topic, but noticed that the Recent Entries summaries (on the Main page left bar) currently say:
    oh for the love of
    think differentlyish
    do not touch that dial
    and have a coupla brews
    I think I might turn it into a t-shirt ;)

    Reply
  3. caveman

    This reminds me of the time I was with a black friend back at UNC and we ate ‘shrooms, which gave me a horrible stomach ache (tummy still not right after all these years). I tried to help the pain with acupuncture when I was in Singapore (you HAVE to go to Singapore) and I even tried Christian Science therapies but nothing worked. Ironically my cat, more like my brother – but I don’t want to bore you with how awesome and human Jinxsie is, jumped up on my stomach as if it were the winged Pegasus from my dream last night (more on that later). Staring into my eyes I could have sworn Jinxsie said “do you have a baby in that belly” which is HILARIOUS because that is exactly what my precious 2 yr old nephew had just said to me the other day after the town hall meeting.

    Reply
  4. Caroline

    I was at a ladies-only event over the weekend and I would say 70% of the women there had kids. But there is always one woman who has to show everyone pictures of her kid. Her kid must be more interesting and smarter than everyone else’s. No one else did this. She does it every time. Yawn.

    Reply
  5. the other Lee

    Couldn’t agree more. A similar cringe worthy phenomenon is the radio show caller who does the same thing. I love listening to the Diane Rehm show, but as soon as they go to the phones I have to turn it because there is always someone with verbal diarrhea calls in and can’t form a succinct or coherent thought or question.

    Reply
  6. Alyson

    Oh man, this happened OVER and OVER again at the Nat’l Book Festival in DC a few weeks ago. Esmerelda Santiago’s Q & A got hijacked by a woman who wanted to talk about how her mother is also writing an historical fiction novel. She got shut down once, and then stood up another time! Gregory Maguire also dealt with this at the end of his, when someone needed to talk about how affected she was by Elphaba. There wasn’t even a question!

    Reply
  7. Bob

    (11) “Let me make this short…”
    Never in the history of discourse has this lead-in been followed by a short statement. Nasty and brutish, maybe, but never short.

    Reply

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