spiegelman vs krugman

I got back from hearing the Krugman speech this evening and had to immediately get to work practicing the speech that I need to deliver for work this Friday. Believe me when I tell you, it will not be anywhere near as inspirational and people certainly wont be packed to the rafters, as they were for Krugman. There were probably 400 people there to see Krugman this evening, stuffed into a room that legally sat half that number. People were even outside, leaning in through the windows. They were in the hallway, watching on closed-circuit television. They filled the aisle. They were sitting on the floor around the podium at Krugmans feet… In Ann Arbor, Paul Krugman is a rock star.

I want to tell you all about it, but I cant now I do, however, have my first installment on Spiegelman. I call this chapter, Art Spiegelman will be smoking. I wrote it while waiting for Krugman.

First thing, as you made your way into the auditorium, there was a hand-drawn sign on yellow poster board. It said, Art Spiegelman will be Smoking. Linette and I debated the meaning of this as we stood in line and wondered why the folks sponsoring the event felt it necessary to share that. Maybe my OCD is responsible, but I thought that perhaps they wanted to warn people not to come in if they were going to be worried about the possibility of fire. That was the first thing in my mind, a Great White-like inferno and the smell of charred flesh. Linette was of the opinion that it probably had to do with people and their irrational fear of second-hand smoke, even in a room of some three hundred people (600 lungs) in which there was only one person smoking. I meant to take a picture of the sign, but I didnt For what its worth, he really was smoking on stage. He smoked during the whole thing… At worst, he probably took a day off my life. It was worth it.

Concerning the smoking.

Spiegelman said that Mayor Bloomburg had recently made a statement about smokers being a bigger threat to New York than al Queda. Spiegelman then said that, in case anyone asked, he wasnt giving a lecture, but performing a one-man play about a cantankerous New York cartoonist who happened to smoke. Apparently thats all you have to do to get around the law in New York.

I have to go sleepy sleepy now.

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