Saturday, March 14, 2009

Live Blogging SXSW 2009 In Exasperating Detail, Part 2. [Let's Suffer Through It Together.] [Hugs!]

The trade show begins today. I have a lengthy visit at the booth for Lost Zombies, billed as "a social network whose goal is to document the zombie apocalypse..." I am not making this up. I'm told by one of the creators that the most contentious argument on their forum is whether zombies--when chasing potential victims--move slowly or quickly. Please excuse me while my eyes glaze over from brain damage.

There is a large booth representing the Australian film industry which seems to attract a sizable crowd throughout the day. I thought of suggesting to them that they should offer a free trip to their homeland to the first person who admits to having sat through Australia, but relented when I realized the international incident which would ensue would surely conflict with my lunch break.

During my visit to the booth of, I make the mistake of telling this up-and-coming website that I am the President and CEO of, after which they suggest I use their sister site,

A popular trade show giveaway this year seems to be items which ease the workload of drinking beer: I spotted a business card and a lighter, both of which double as bottle openers. Stress balls were, as always, the most sought-after gifts but I'm convinced vendors only give this away so when customers clamor for them, they can overuse the easy joke, "Our balls are huge!"

Each year, every SXSW trade show sees an influx of intelligence-deficient attendees who seem to have been dropped off in front of the Austin Convention Center by the local mental ward. One gentleman spent nearly 10 minutes at our booth speaking softly about the weather and how long he's lived in his home state, never once attempting to link his chosen profression as a musician with the goals of our organization. Another man, standing all of 5ft 5inches, bound over to our booth to exclaim, "I've been coming to SXSW since I was little!" [Pause. Wait for it.] "Now I'm visiting again and I'm still little!" Buh dum dum. This well-rehearsed joke was actually worth a chuckle when uttered at our table; less so when we heard him repeat it again word for word at the next booth over. And again at the booth next to that one.

Throughout the day, SXSW conducts live interviews with bloggers which are then broadcast via streaming audio & video on its website. Call me biased, but interviewing someone who obsessively documents the minutiae of their day is a bit like singing a song about people who write songs. The subject is so meta, it's eventually going to implode on itself.


General Boy said...

I have no complaints.

Mark Taylor said...

Good god, it's just like being there. Why do you make me suffer?