How to move away from the turgid and despicable tolerance of mental sluggishness and egotistic long-windedness that characterises the workshop? The fatal blow to the agenda occasioned by alloting only a couple of minutes for each attendee to share their name and affiliation must be dodged; the intake of breath and ceiling-bound gaze that signals the beginning of a professional history too important to be abridged must be stillborn; the puzzled frown that proceeds a comment, really, not a question must be stripped from the brow that carries it.
There is no “before we begin”. We have already begun.
We offer a manifesto for a revolution, an uprising to sweep intellectual torpor from those gatherings that hold influence, a revolt to bring to power those with blood in their veins and fire in their synapses:
- Nobody in attendance over 30, or lacking possession of the hunger that comes before seniority and respect have taken hold.
- On entering, all in attendance to state honestly that they have read what they were expected to read: those that cannot to wear a token indicating so, in order that their fellows might judge what they say accordingly.
- No more venues that speak of success and privilege, that flatter those that attend they exist in an echelon apart from the common mass. Places that energise and dare the senses should be our only residence: the edges of clifftops; the roofs of speeding trains; the engine room of a crippled submarine; a palace of ice that will melt within an hour.
- Every one attending to look within themselves when they find nothing ready to say: if nothing appears, or if they think more about the other participants than the task at hand, or if they discover themselves saving insight for more amenable company, they should bow quietly and leave.
Talking this way will be glorious! Talking this way will be fast, correct and free of ego! Talking like this will be electrodynamic!