Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 10 August 2009

Fifteen minutes of Warhol time

A post for Zu Schwer (neƩ Rouchswalwe) which has roots in one of her posts.

Each nationality in the press party contributed to the sayonara evening which ended the Citizen Watch visit to Japan. I said, “The guy from The Financial Times insisted I should speak for Britain. Not, as I had hoped, because I am the best British journalist here, but because (long pregnant pause) I am the oldest… and Japan venerates the aged.”

I was 53. I went on to sympathise with Japan about its diminishing population. “For what else could explain the plastic rather than organic policemen that dot the roads we have travelled on?” It took time for the audience to realise I was referring to an anti-speeding system then in vogue, where every tenth plastic policeman became a real one equipped with a radar gun. But when light broke through the laughter was encouraging.

I delivered my formal felicitations in phonetic Japanese, to the consternation of the amazingly expert woman translator who, up til then, had been freewheeling with English into Japanese.

It all sounds feeble now. But I faced people eager to hear what I would say next. I was able to pause creatively, to milk the laughter and the use of the translator. It was the high spot of my brief (and previously inauspicious) public speaking career. Since then it has been a steep and humiliating decline and I have retreated into the Nabokov Defence (the basis of a sonnet I posted): “I think like a genius, I write like a man with talent, but I speak like a child”.