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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On His Last Writer's Conference

At a writer's conference in Pittsburgh, the master of ceremony introduced our featured speaker as a "beloved TV personality." The "TV personality" was greeted by wildly enthusiastic applause. I'm thinking, who in the hell is this guy, and why would he allow himself to be identified as a "TV personality? And why was this creature of the boob-tube speaking to a room full of novelists? After the celebrity's vacuous speech, a canned promo for some upcoming TV show, half the writers in the room lined up for his autograph. That was my last writer's conference. What was the point?

Thornton P. Knowles


  1. What was the point? Well since you're dead and the identity of the "tv personality" will never be revealed, I guess we will never know.
    All we know is we are supposed to dislike this "tv personality" because he is a "tv personality."

  2. It's not a matter of like or dislike. What was a TV person doing at a writer's conference other than promoting a TV show. Surely that should not be the point of a writer's conference. It's also a comment on our celebrity culture.

  3. Being a TV personality and being a writer are not mutually exclusive. And Thornton P. Knowles wanted to know why the writer "allowed himself to be identified as a TV personality" which would mean Knowles acknowledged the man was more than that but was somehow debasing himself.
    Knowles describes the speech as "vacuous", so I interpreted that as dislike. But you are right, I guess someone can like another person in spite of his being "vacuous". Looks like the other audience members disagreed about the speaker being vacuous.