The idea for the panel, said co-owner Margie Scott Tucker, came from a statement made by Alan Kaufman, novelist, memoirist, influential in the Spoken Word movement and editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Literature: "When I hear the term Kindle, I think not of imaginations fired but of crematoria lit." Kaufman moderated the panel, called the "Great Internet Book Burning Panel." (No books e or otherwise were actually burned despite the catchy title.)
Other panelist included beat generation icon Herbert Gold, San Francisco Noir author Peter Plate, Ethan Watters, author of several books including Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family? and Cleis Press's Brenda Knight, a participant in the Google case.
Kaufman began by reading an essay soon to be published in Barney Rossett's Evergreen Review, which is now an online-only publication, he noted. "The book is fast becoming the despised Jew of our culture. Der Jude is now der Book," he read. "High-tech propagandists tell us that the book is a tree-murdering, space-devouring, inferior form of technology; that society would simply be better off altogether if we euthanized it even as we begin to carry around, like good little Aryans, whole libraries in our pockets, downloaded on the Uber-Kindle."
Even speaking as someone whose Kindle gathers dust and who views shopping at Amazon.com as an unpleasant act of last resort, get the fuck over yourself.