(Originally published on Huffington Post, September 23rd, 2010.)
Recently the Bay Area was abuzz about something that happened at 49er football training camp. Vernon Davis apparently got in Michael Crabtree's face, allegedly about his apathetic performance in preseason games. They got het up on the practice field, yelling and swearing, and then the fracas continued in the locker room.
To us, it was a micro-story: a big who-cares. Yet the media couldn't get enough of it. They're not to blame, they're just giving us what we crave. The human race is addicted to the adrenaline of watching our most daring athletes living life on the edge: race drivers careening around a track at dizzying speeds, football players sacking quarterbacks, baseball players sliding into home spikes first. And authors doing public readings.
That's right, authors are sports stars in their own way. And we think it's high time literary events were also considered a spectator sport. It takes courage akin to donning a hockey mask for an author to face a large audience (hopefully -- or at least one or two), crack a book spine and deliver words, midwife-like, to eager ears and hearts: words that were written probably a year before in a musty office or kitchen table, while the author ignored things like eating, paying bills and personal hygiene, all in the quest for this golden moment.
(Read the rest here.)