Ads for the ritzy Sonoma Valley Author’s Festival have been popping up on every media platform. This looks like quite a production. The New York Times best-sellers A list will be at that party.
After reading a comment from a local Sonoma resident, Jette Franks, I went to the website to check the claim that the minimum package is $750 and that there was no public evening event. All true. When I opened the author’s page, the first face to come up on the web page is David Brooks, America’s leading conservative and public apologist for Republican misrule. I recoiled in dread at seeing progressive public enemy #1 as the top featured author. No thank you!
I am amazed that the event sponsors think that authors like David Brooks and Niall Ferguson are just the kind of warmed-over faux Tory intellectuals that the literati of wine country in Northern California are clamoring for. The sponsors obviously don’t operate anywhere near my Left Coast circles. We regard these intellectual enablers of the catastrophic rise of the modern Right as more culpable than the actual Republican base, who may lack the education to know any better.
This is one of those tony plutocratic gatherings that use price point as a handy instrument for class segregation. Fine, that’s their right to choose their own company. Less excusable is the fact that they are doing a Sonoma Valley book event and not even using the one local bookstore, Readers Books. This is the kind of cultural appropriation that we get subjected to here in the Valley by monied interests who just want to use us as a scenic backdrop for their entrepreneurial commercial ventures. Should have been held in Napa.
The fact that they don’t even have one public night scheduled for one of the marquee authors is proof that the sponsors for this gala don’t want to rub elbows with ‘the poors’ unless they are serving them a drink.
— Ben Boyce, Sonoma Valley