The main attraction, of course, wasn't grazing journalists and writhing bodies, but a panel discussion about the American Idea and performances by Josh Ritter and Patti Smith. The panel was led by P.J. O'Rourke, who managed to poke some fun at the party and keep his sense of humor about him. Commenting on America were: Arianna Huffington -- forced to speak in Haiku to prevent her from rambling on too long; Mark Bowden; Azar Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran"; former Massachusetts Governor William Weld; Moby; and Christopher Buckley. Considering the number of participants and the weight of the American Idea, the discussion was short (and drowned out at times by journalists who'd much rather hear themselves talk about other journalists than listen to a lecture about America).
Ritter did a short set of emo-folk stuff and Smith, proving she has all the intellectual rigor of a college freshman, rambled on at length about Ghandi, William Blake and people power. I'll assume she's never read Ghandi's thoughts about how the Jews should have handled Hitler and that when she says "people power," she doesn't mean all those people who watch Fox News.
UPDATE: Guess I wasn't the only one a little weirded out by it all.