That Thing in Austin

Wolf Gang, Wolf Gang: SxSW as Spring Break

I arrived in Austin with a thirst to critically assess SxSW. As the week progressed, I believe I began to lose my mind. My sense of self-awareness was buried beneath the revelry and hedonism of the happening.

On Thursday, I set out without a goal. I blindly looked for friends or live music. I roamed on into the night without any success. The next day I made a schedule that I actually adhered to. The younger version of myself is going to kick me for saying this, but “organization is the key to success.”


A Temporary and Equitable Technocracy: SxSW's Hunter-Gatherers

SXSW Interactive is the convergence of utopian techno-futurism and base primitivism. Men hold screens in front of their faces as they ride down escalators. These devices work the best that they ever have. Instead of Tweeting into a void, they’re communicating with people on the other side of the convention center. People use their location-based applications to tell friends which bars they’re at. Women that meet in passing can follow each others Tweets and reunite an hour later, better-informed. These technologies are working exactly the way their developers say they should. Human beings connect to one another.

But Austin during SXSW is not a good test-case for “real world [...]


The Red Carpet at The Woodie Awards Is Black

The crowds have swelled on Sixth Street. This city is full. I am barely alive. Being slightly buzzed on caffeine and beer have become routine. The so-called utopia has caught up with me.

I am out of my mind standing on a red carpet next to journalists from college outlets. I am really thirsty. I’ve never been on a red carpet and this carpet is black. I am not familiar with any of the artists. Who are these people? A publicist tells me the name of a band she wants me to talk to. I Google them. Wikipedia doesn’t even know who they are. I don’t have any [...]


In Austin, Tweeting is Currency

I flew to Austin by way of the most conservative flight route in all of western North America: Orange County to Salt Lake City. The in-flight magazine exalted the merits of Utah. An article about Munich referred to the city’s “complicated past," a really terrific euphemism. While waiting for a gate in Austin for thirty minutes. I checked my phone. In two hours, I’d gotten 25 e-mails from publicists wanting me to see their films. They’re form letters that all look the same: Bold and centered 18-point font announcing the name of the movie. Two sentences in italicized 16-point font briefly explaining the film. A six paragraph press release, [...]


The Drunkening: Sponsored Parties with Alcohol Sponsors

At a desk in the press suite, I told everyone that I was going to observe the transition of technology nerds into punk rock party animals. A film critic said he was happy to be leaving because he hates “all those hipster douchebags.” Another critic said there should be a booth for loosening tight pants. I felt uncomfortable, as I was wearing a pair of Pacific Sunwear “Skinniest” jeans.

I am also wearing a button-front light blue striped shirt and very tight jeans. I chose to wear sandals this morning, because I couldn’t find my shoes. I am wearing the exact outfit that I wore out last night.