So Left Forum has started up, here in my fair city. I haven't ever been to one. No doubt I should go and blog about it.
I'm glad it wasn't this year, though. Oh sure, there are probably lots of good speakers and panels to be heard through the weekend. But it didn't get off to a good start: the buffoon shown above, Cornel West, opened it up with a speech so far below his usual low standard that I really had to try several times before I could steel myself to watch it on Youtube. It was obscurely embarrassing; made one squirm.
I was trying to figure out why (apart from West's usual shallow platitudinousness, I mean). Best I could come up with: it was like watching a tasteless and untalented parody of, say, Jesse Jackson, performed by a white guy in burnt cork, false beard, and fright wig. (The beard in particular looked as if it might have been left over from a high-school production of The Merchant of Venice, or perhaps a Midwestern Christmas pageant.)
Barbara Ehrenreich, a writer whose books I have enjoyed, followed West with an equally disappointing speech -- though, to be sure, she didn't make herself ridiculous, as West always seems to do. Barbara spent most of her time making fun of Glen Beck and the Teabaggers.
Both speeches were greeted by the assembled comrades with wild enthusiasm. SIgh.
Maybe next year. Or maybe not.