I had exactly the same problems as you did...paying for what was essentially a book signing, the mess at the end, and the amateurishness of the Writers Bloc.
But, I had one additional issue and that was Harry Shearer. Yes, heís funny, can be insightful and I generally enjoy "Le Show," but Harry forgot two important things. He wasnít the star of the evening, it was Gore and every time Harry jumped in with a quip, it was a conversation killer and the momentum was lost. For an experienced broadcaster, Harry also neglected another important rule. Don't tug at your beard while youíre speaking since your hand covers the microphone and muffles your voice. I also suspect that Harry didnít end the conversation when he apparently was supposed to, for two reasons. The program started late and he didnít want to shortchange the audience which had paid $20 (who kept that money: ≠Writers Bloc? David Baron and the Temple?), and Harry never likes to be controlled (I worked with a long time ago and learned that lesson).
Thank you for being critical of an event that deserved criticism.