In one week the hordes of pale people, dressed in black on black on black, will arrive in the three square miles of downtown that embrace SXSW. Our usual coffee houses will be overrun by people with Minnesota, New York and Southern Californian accents. Lots of people will smoke cigarettes...in a show of youthful rebellion. Some people will wear their pants so low you'll be able to see their vertical smiles. Some people will wear skinny jeans that probably need to be applied, medically, at the beginning of each day. All of them will walk around downtown Austin in a most meaningful trance, convinced that everything is here and now.
The locals will rent them their houses for astronomical amounts of money and then grab tents and sleeping bags and a week's worth of Trader Joe's wine and head to Ft. Davis State Park or Big Bend State Park to wait out the Tsunami of hipsterism; and count their winnings. The unfortunate locals who stay will be glued to their apps, looking for alternate routes around the implied coolness.
If you are lucky enough to live in West Austin you can hunker down in your own neighborhood with quarts of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia and wait it out. If you are young you can go downtown and wander around with the riffraff, looking for free venues, free samples and free swag. Test drive an all electric Chevy Cruise, play with virtual reality googles, listen to bands who are begging for meals at Denny's. And generally make life miserable for the hourly workers who can't change their schedules, attend conferences or circumvent transportation delays.
If you own a downtown business you've long since learned how to rent it out to dumbass startups for hedge fund type fees. If you are a local musical artist you're working on figuring out how to get to your venues on time while Uber jacks your rates. If you are struggling photographer you might have already sold your soul (and cut the legs out from under your chosen profession) by signing up to be a "volunteer" photographer for the vastly wealthy company that owns SXSW. You work like a dog, give them all the images and all the rights, in exchange for entry into a few paltry events that you would never --- during the normal year --- have even consider attending, just so you can say you were there and you were a photographer. No matter that you became management's bitch of the moment.
Ah. SXSW. The chamber of commerce loves it. The rest of the city hates it. Not like Austin wouldn't be wonderful without it. We survived in a state of high coolness for decades before someone inflicted all this crap on us. No one ever had to detour because of the Armadillo World Headquarters....
But I don't care. It starts the same time as my kid's Spring Break. He'll be home and we'll have fun. His generation already knows SXSW for what it really is; A chance to fleece the people who wish they were cool enough to live here year round. Maybe this year he and I will form a father/son grifter team and go sell them all elevator passes for the JW Marriott and the Convention Center. Could be fun...
One of the original Craftsy Photo Classes and
still one of the best!
I met Lance a couple of weeks ago in Denver
and found him to be really fun and knowledgeable
this class reflects what he teaches in hands-on
workshops in Ireland and Iceland, as well as
cool places around the U.S.
How to make what we shoot into a cohesive
train of visual thought.