• The Make It Big Issue
    The Make It Big Issue
    Dorito machine small

    Dorito Stage photo by Ben London, via The Stranger.

    South by South Whatevs

    The people who make cool for a living are surprisingly insightful

    They write all the magazines and blogs I read every day, and thanks to these professional hipsters, my trip to south-by was entirely vicarious. I probably read about 4000 tweets about the music festival in Austin, TX that happened last week. From a distance, SXSW this year seemed like fiasco after tragedy after a whole lot of inappropriate product-placement opportunities ... but the people who are sent to these things to ‘produce content’ provided a surprisingly nuanced perspective, if you read between the lines.

    Subjects include: being unsettled by how irritating we are as a generation, waiting in lines as a way of life, old-world sexism still being kind of a thing, a drunk driver killing people, and the strange ennui of being a secret society of cool twenty-somethings that run the entire entertainment industry. Here are some of the highlights:

    March 11

    Who do you follow for a look behind-the-scenes? Appearing on my custom Twitter list for something like SXSW requires passing a simple test. A tight and cynical cold open:

    March 12

    When it comes to food, there are probably more artisinal whatevers per capita than anywhere else in the country. That’s why I thought BRENMAR was on point here, at least as far as I’m concerned:

    The triviality of American youth is like the rising sea-level. Eventually, most of us will be underwater because none of us are about to move inland:

    Looking forward to the “Hey Girl // Dick Card” Ryan Gosling meme that will (hopefully) follow this tweet by Sasha Hecht:

    Even if you’re counting cards, the house has the advantage.

    March 13

    Tyler the Creator got arrested for inciting a riot. Why? Who knows. Fuck the police.

    You’d think that someone would eventually realize that it’s probably a bad idea to pepper spray an entire generation. Have you been pepper sprayed? Yeah, me too. What the fuck?

    March 14

    For real though, it seems like the Rashad Owens incident (rightly) hung over the entire week, bringing the banality of the spectacle to the fore, as attention-hungry brands, the worst aspects of youth culture, and the institution of ‘cool’ all work in concert to make life so difficult to celebrate.

    Yes, this is thankless work, but someone has to do it.

    March 15

    I’m pretty sure this is the hipster equivalent of nailing ninety-five theses to a door:

    Something something penance and absolution and financial transactions or whatever.

    March 16

    Hungry? Maybe try one of Austin’s amazing food trucks? BRENMAR?


    If you don’t have to talk yourself out of shoplifting a pack of Hi-Chews every time you see them, you probably haven’t had them.

    Yes, I believe it is. The correct reply is: “Um, what was your name again?”

    OK SXSW, you’re hungover ... go home.

    Honestly, I don’t know what I would do if cool people didn’t tweet. A sincere thanks to the people who actually do this stuff for a living. Maybe next year I’ll get to complain about being at SXSW. #crossmyfingers

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