The summer party season is muted this year, but as usual a drought of days is broken by three PR bashes at once. Two are traditional affairs thrown by big agencies — no sin that — but one is an enticingly labelled as a manifesto from "a NEW revolutionary social construct, the Autonomous PR Collective, for the furtherance of a redistribution of privately held vittles and sustenance to the oppressed members of the journalist class." Well, with a call to arms like that what else is a red-blooded anarcho-syndicalist hack to do?
The Collective — a rag-tag grouping of radicals drawn from the gutter class where the agencies don't even have any initials in their names — are holding their first soviet upstairs in a Soho pub Marx would be proud. Unavoidably detained by the shackles of diabolic capitalist oppression (OK, so I was behind on the deadlines), I turn up rather late and just miss meeting Comrade Guy Kewney. This is a shame, both because I was looking forward to congratulating him on forthcoming grandfatherhood and because he has reacted to this by dressing in ever more astonishing ways.
I was quicky updated. This evening's outfit was sandals, religion-revealing shorts and "some sort of colourful vest" that would give a migraine to a harlequin. The question is raised as to whether this is the sort of sartorial excess befitting a man of his immense stature and authority: a quick vote among the masses confirms that he should be encouraged in his ways, the better to confound the bourgeoisie.
Other colourful characters are gossiped about behind their backs. We decide that we're all missing Borland creator Philippe Kahn, who seems to have made enough money flogging companies not to need to dally with the IT world any more, and discuss the (honourably few) US executives who had decided to cancel trips to London this week. Kahn's claims to have invented the cameraphone in a top-secret cancelled project with Motorola had provoked a few raised eyebrows, but there's now evidence on the Web from the year 2000, thanks to the fine information gathering skills of certain Russians. Revolutionary!
And so the evening progresses. Some particularly fervent party members decide to spread the revolt into the streets and thence into the very bowels of Soho late-night drinking dens, and state security demands that details of subsequent altercations with authority be withheld although the commissariat have authorised me to reveal that the trouser damage is probably not permanent.