terry castle meets the hildebeest

Cast01_3807_01Terry Castle at the London Review of Books:

Eventually, an organiser bustles into the tent from the big house to give us the lowdown. Her most excellent HRC, we learn, is hobnobbing in the Garden Room with local luminaries and special guests, but will soon begin readying herself for us. When the time comes, we will be asked to form a crocodile leading into said Garden Room, where each of us will be introduced to Herself and have our pictures taken with Her. (O sweetest of moral and political unguents!) After that, we will assemble again in the tent and have the pleasure of hearing our new friend Hilldebeest deliver a rousing speech. In the meantime, we are invited to network with other fine Clinton dudes and babes and enjoy the gourmet canapés!

Alas – given that we’ve skipped our evening meal and now feel distinctly peckish – these delights turn out to be of two kinds only: green frondy things made of kale and quinoa (a strange new Californian food otherwise known as cardboard) and greasy devilled eggs with brownish spots. A cadre of white-jacketed Palo Alto High School students have been delegated to tote these dire nibbles around on trays, which they do, with growing surliness and teenage angst. As night advances and temperatures continue to fall – soon an hour will have gone by – the young people are obviously trying to keep warm by motoring round the tent at high speed and foisting their dainties on us every twenty seconds or so. Should you demur, say, at your 19th devilled egg, they give you a pouty, recriminatory look: we’re doing our bit – why aren’t youdoing yours?

more here.