Tuesday, March 11, 2008
SXSW 2008: A Personal Journey of Struggle and Suffering
Another attention-grabbing giveaway for trade show booths is stress balls, especially if the ball in question resembles the head of a Dilbert-like office drone. Attendees to the trade show were beside themselves, swooning over these flesh-colored squishies being offered for free at a rival's table area. It mattered little that these squeezable toys connected not a whit towards the company's brand or image--people were tripping over each other to aquire them by the dozens. Perhaps next year, I will top this competitor's efforts and stand aloft with my testicles hanging out of my pants, offering every attendee a chance to squeeze my flesh-colored squishies. It won't do much for their stress but it will sure help mine.
Almost without fail, trade shows always attract pasty-skinned, long-haired American guys of Scottish descent who cannot bring themselves to attend public functions in anything but a full-on traditional Scottish kilt. Sadly, this trade show was no exception. Next year, I will reach back to my one-quarter Apache Indian heritage and present myself in a full-on traditional native loincloth, smooth lean buttocks exposed for all to see. My people are a proud people, and we have a really hot ass.
One flick playing the film festival garnered its share of attention after the director (or was it the producer?) was frequently seen around town clad only in Tudor-style dress, fittingly draped so as to articulate the the theme of the movie. Will this top the promotional efforts of Zoo wherein several out-of-work actors were paid to walk around town fellating horses? Only time will tell...
Spotted while dining at one of Austin's enormous Whole Foods natural markets: a pasty-faced rocker dude sporting long unwashed hair along with Doc Martens and a black Nirvana shirt underneath a plaid flannel shirt. My guess is, he was being ironic. The heroin track marks on his arm, however, were probably very sincere.
Because my hotel was also hosting a rather large plumbing suppliers convention, the sculpted gel do's of the hip SXSW guests were frequently overshadowed by sights such as this: a matronly plumbing convention attendee towing a small bag into which were stitched little plastic windows. Inserted into the see-through frames were numerous pictures of her children and grandchildren. It doesn't stop there: each picture was surrounded by embroidered Biblical verse. The fact that she was involved with plumbing somehow makes her personal sense of style so much dirtier than she intended it to be.
Spotted at a grungey vegetarian restaurant near the university campus: a po-faced dreadlocked caucasian male hippy eating dinner with a righteous Feminist sister rocking her lesbian seagull New Wave hairdo. Perhaps I've been away for a while but did these two groups sign a peace treaty when I wasn't looking?
Sadly, I was unable to attend any music performances. This means I missed White Williams, These New Puritans and a host of many other current favorites on the pop scene. What I ended up seeing instead of live music: 1001 young women walking around Austin, all of them looking exactly like Kate Nash. Should you ever encounter a similar visage, please be aware that a bottle of Pepto Bismol only works on internal sickness.