People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, New York Times technology reporter Jenna Wortham tells us more about how people somehow still don’t know that it’s not OK to just reach out and touch someone else’s hair without asking.
Why do w girls keep tryna touch my topknot? Don't touch my topknot! #DTMT
Before Flickr, before Tumblr, before Instagram or Chatroulette or sideboob slideshows on corporate media websites, there was TonyPierce.com. From his East Hollywood bachelor pad at the dawn of the century, Tony combined his own L.A. snapshots with pilfered celebrity photographs, found objects, PG-13 pictures submitted by the camgirls, and freeform essays on his favorite subjects: his bus ride to work, Howard Stern, the Chicago Cubs, 19-year-old girls in their underwear, Charles Bukowski, the Los Angeles Times. Tony went pro as editor of LAist.com and then blog editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he created and edited iconic blogs such as L.A. Now and Hero Complex. We talked [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
It's awesome to be back in Austin, again. And while this certainly isn't my first appearance on a popular #SxSW panel, things do feel different this time.
When I was first invited to Austin to speak at South+Southwest, I didn't even have an iPhone. And that's not to question my role as an Early Adopter, it is just to point out that the iPhone had yet to go on the market. It was quite a long time ago! (But not so long ago that I've noticeably aged in either my interests or appearance.) Why, we didn't even have Yelp! back then. As a common joke among SxSW insiders goes, "I've [...]
The panel discussion was defiantly titled “Flying The Indie Flag” and the mood was clearly intended to be triumphant. “Indie labels are having a banner year,” crowed the panel’s organizers at last week’s South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and are “being successful by doing it their way, in a world where major labels no longer control the music business landscape.” Yet the faces on the actual indie label panelists looked anything but victorious.
Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman—still earning sizable royalties for his initial signing of Nirvana over two decades ago—scowled his way through a series of accolades delivered for him. And Mac McCaughan, frontman [...]
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.
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, [...]
Awl pals Tim Sutton and Seth Bomse have been known to make surprisingly watchable short films starring a not-so-good-looking aging person puttering around his apartment. So imagine what they might do with attractive teenagers diving into a glassy Appalachian lake, or hiking through a lush summer forest, or riding bikes in the desert at sunset. People who attend this year's South-by-Southwest Film Festival won't even have to imagine it, as Sutton's first full-length feature film, Pavilion, has been chosen as one the festival's "Emerging Visions" selections, and will have its world premiere in Austin between March 9th and 17th. Seth edited the film, which has [...]
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.”