As promised below (stupidly - why do I promise anything here? In order to doom it to never be done?) I will now attempt to persuade you that going to a literary festival is an excellent thing entirely and should be done by all and indeed sundry. It's not absolutely compulsory to be a nerd.


Firstly, writers' festivals are not entirely about writing. The one I've just come back from, the Sydney Writers' Festival, was about: crime, the brain, eventology (I know, right?), heroin, conspiracy, murder, morality, death, greed, revenge, obfuscation, corruption, identity, losing things, finding things, betraying people, quantum physics, Peter Costello, orgasms, and why David Williamson is a furious and irrelevant shouty man.


I loved Robyn Archer, who talked about dangerous or weird or interesting or new art deserving funding in a risk-averse society that tends towards (and this is where I provide my own example like a good arts student) reviews like this when confronted with a show that doesn't involve a creaky revolving set built to look like a house in Toorak and clearly meant as a metaphor for society's swirfggmmzzzzzzzzzzzzz sorry, what?


In short, Robyn Archer is one of those rare arts administrators who does not talk about the arts in a way that makes artists wonder what she's talking about (football? physics? apiary?). Instead, I sat there thinking "I've thought that exact thing but haven't yet been articulate enough to say it outside of my own brain". Refreshing. Not to mention funny. Not to mention she got her own standing ovation from a woman in the fourth row just for arriving to the session in the first place.


I also loved Norman Doidge's talk on neuroplasticity. I didn't know I had neural pathways, let alone elastic ones. Read his book. It will change your brain. In a good way.


Of course, the three of us (Stew, Rita, mygoodself) saw many more sessions and learned a giant heap of stuff. That's the best thing about finding out stuff. The more you know, the more the know you don't know.


Hence, nerd.


Dammit. I think I just unproved my own point. This is why I'm not a lawyer.