The Political Life of Richard Pryor

Politics Without a Key

by Alistair Rey

This article originally appeared in Analiza București in 2015. It was ostensibly written with funding provided by the Romanian Ministry of Culture in 2013. The Romanian government denies ever commissioning the work. Now out of print, we are making it available here.

Conference Room C of the Detroit Marriott looks as though a tornado has torn through it. A long banquet table anchored on either side by two half-drained punch bowls sits in the corner, its surface littered with paper plates, upturned wine bottles and discarded plastic cups. The tablecloth, pristine white earlier that morning, is now dotted with crumbs and maroon punch stains. Patches of the vermillion colored carpet are discernible through the refuse of over-sized placards, posters and leaflets haphazardly strewn across the floor. The janitorial staff mills about in resigned agitation, waiting for the remaining guests to vacate the premises. The scene is reminiscent of a dwindling party, that last hour when the crowd has thinned leaving only a few late night stragglers with no particular place to be. Something has obviously happened here. Continue reading “The Political Life of Richard Pryor”