Monday, September 11, 2006
I've developed an allergy to writers. The allergy is more acute when the writers are also women my age.On Friday night, I was one of a panel of mainly female writers from Generations X and Y, all of whom had been published in the Griffith REVIEW's current issue, The Next Big Thing, at a public discussion at Sydney's Gleebooks.It went OK, I guess. The audience appeared to be entertained but I was disappointed – no to mention bored to tears – by all except two of my fellow panelists. There was fuck all insight and no readiness to address, even in the most general way, the topic that was meant to be under discussion: i.e. what's next for those generations following the Baby Boomers? Everyone claimed to have strong opinions, but those who weren't reluctant to express them appeared unable to be coherent, let alone concise. There were disagreements, often heated and petty, but no reasoned argument. As for well-researched support for specific assertions, it was as if the verb 'substantiate' didn't exist.In the end, what should have been a stimulating experience felt like some dark, psychic suck. I never want to be around a group of writers ever again, no matter who they are.