- By Daniel W. Drezner
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.
Your humble blogger has occasionally been asked to give speeches and/or presentations at other campuses. Most of the time this comes with an economy-class air ticket and a very modest honorarium. After reading Sarah Palin’s standard speaking contract*, however, I realize I have been far too modest in my demands. So, from now on, any university that wants to bring me out needs to meet the following criteria:
1) The host is responsible for providing a first-class airline ticket between Boston and the event city. The host is further responsible for ensuring that Courtney Love is seated next to me so I can have her thrown off the plane. If neither a first-class airline ticket nor Ms. Love is available, Wonder Woman’s invisible jet will suffice — but only if Wonder Woman herself is piloting the craft.
2) The host is also responsible for travel within the event city. The host will provide a jetpack, a Batmobile, or that Aston-Martin DB5 with the ejector seat for local travel. No giant ants — so not cool.
3) The host will make sure that the following items are available backstage at his speaking engagement:
1 six-pack of Diet Coke
1 jar of Ba-Tampte Half-Sour Pickles
6 boxes of frozen Thin Mints
1 light saber
1 complete edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. None of those condensed/abridged versions, either — it’s the whole smash or nothing.
4) Twenty minutes before the speaker’s talk, the host will ensure a student walks out to the podium, wearing an incredible sexy ballroom gown, and reads Book One of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. Note: the gender of the student doesn’t matter, but that ballroom gown had better be damn sexy.
5) The host shall ensure that the following is located on the speakers’ podium:
1 bottle of water
1 bag of Funyuns
1 t-shirt launcher — those things really do look like they’re a lot of fun.
6) The host shall ensure a moderator asks all of the questions from the audience. The host shall further ensure that the moderator only asks these questions after inhaling lots of helium.
7) At the end of the talk, the host shall ensure that this music is played as the speaker leaves the building.
8) Under no circumstances is Jay Leno to precede or follow the speaker.
Readers are encouraged to list their own demands to be a speaker in the comments.
*Which, while perhaps at odds with her populism, don’t seem all that strange given the surging demand for her services at the moment.