Posts tagged: pardon my blog!

Not At SXSW? You and billions of other people!

Last Thursday I was, as they say, “without portfolio” after the conclusion of a morning meetup and I happened to encounter Alex H. Williams.  As usual he was hatching a plot, but he was more enthusiastic than usual about this particular idea.  This thing was still gestating as it was being birthed, attitude fully-formed, into this cold, noisy world.  For my part, I had just told a whole group of somber but optimistic enterprise builders that I was “through with irony,” and here I was about to join the quintessential post-irony juggernaut of #notatsxsw.  I couldn’t refuse.  I was, in fact, already not at SXSW anyway.

Pronounced “not at South by Southwest,” #notatsxsw is a phenomenon facilitated by Twitter and brandished with the business-ends of social media’s many tentacles.  I immediately saw the appeal, especially since I had never been to SXSW, the high-profile, multi-day music, film and interactive festival that takes over Austin, TX every year, and which has more recently overtaken the collective mind of the Twitniscenti for whom it is a “be there, aloha” happening.  By the time I stumbled into the plot, Alex (who has been to SXSW in the past and would like to have attended this year) and his comrade and fellow SXSW ’09 non-attendee Nate DiNiro had already secured the notatsxsw dot com domain name and snagged the @notatsxsw Twitter handle, and they had scheduled the first #notatsxsw-specific event, the Portland Opening Feast.  All that remained was to help raise awareness and document “the first non-conference.”

We debated from the beginning:  What is it?  How to refer to it?  The spirit of compromise prevailed because, primarily, #notatsxsw is about the unity of the masses of people who, for whatever reason, were not making the pilgrimage to Austin this year.  Controversies could potentially undermine the whole thing — details such as whether the prepositional phrase “not at SXSW” is a noun like its more chic corollary “(at) SXSW,” or an adjective, comfortably interchanged with descriptive terms such as “sad,” “bitter,” “unemployed” or “couldn’t get the week off.”  These minor tweeting points became secondary to the need for a sense of community and an organizing principle for those of us who may or may not be feeling somewhat left out of the cacaphonous, hashtagged songs of the SXSW migration.

Ultimately #notatsxsw is a state of mind.  It may offer a return to one’s roots or simply the maintenance thereof.  “I like the carpet under my feet,” wrote Tot Taylor.  This writer, an acutely Cancerian homebody, putters similarly.  For those of us for whom a trip across town is a source of discomfort, wearing the #notatsxsw badge is plenty fashionable, notwithstanding that the prices are lower and the lines are not nearly as long.   And while there are plenty of gatherings, concerts and workshops #notatsxsw to attend, some of us even found time to clean the bathroom or clear some overgrowth in the woods.

Ignite Portland 5 (BLBH #18)

El unificationo de ill-peppered Bacon Landscape attending IP5 on February 19, deriving testament amid situation and freedom, it’s a bonus upon us.  Running on fumes, the fetid race snapside etiologies, gratitude torpedoes the wide red distance.  The highest of fives for the highest ip5-1of the Five to the fabulous and Orwellian (not the pejorative) Legion of Tech (“yes, it’s a techie event”) from Splice Finders, the team at Broken Hour d’Ouevres and all our handfuls of followers on Twitter, ExtraTicket, FreshFriend, HungerMeat, OverShoulder, Underarm Laptop and BeerLines.

Whatever did it matter to these long queues tonight? Portland is the strongest gestureau,  “we” love it here,  we “love” here and we’re used to sitting patiently waiting for the file transfer of our affection to proto call.  Dangling our participles out the bus window isn’t our scene but much was learned about fonts, the Universe and everything, and the sustainable memories collide with general ideas up there, down there, it’s sweet and beloved all the same, both ends of the Sterno burning ever brighter, they have to have your name, the ship is waiting to take you away.  Try it some time.  The next Ignite Portland (6) is already scheduled for July 16, 2009, again at the jewel on the jerrrymand, the illustrious Bagdad Theater.  It’s really comfortable after all and no work is involved, everything will be fine.

Ignite Portland 4 (BLBH #11)

Amber Hockley

Amber Case - Photo by Aaron Hockley (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic)

The accidental meeting of The Princess Bride and an industrial shredder at the warm and inclusive Bagdad Theater on November 13, 2008.  Broken cyborgian moments from the excursion to the alternate planet Portland, scouted and chaperoned by the handsome and modern Legion of Tech for lovers everywhere.

This is the canary in the cold cuts, the broken pix elation of the Baron’s de-tuned avatar, a soundflake like no other.  Throw your gang signals elsewhere, jockoes, how does one spells “re-tweet,” and remind me again what the name of that piece of skin between the nose and upper lip is called.  My digital watch is still in the box, in fact I don’t know where it is, and it’s hard enough trying to dance, much less to text, perchance to power dream.  If batteries were horses then beggars would podcast.

(This podcast is not currently available)

The Party’s Over

Welcome.

The party is indeed over.  I’m glad you could stop by.

The randomness with which these pages will be populated will be far outmatched by the wondrous synchronicity that will guide them, and me, and you.

Unless an irresistible compulsion serves to totally divert the focus, this blog will default to representing the pre-existing Luke Lefler.  But please contribute in any way you feel moved and I’ll attempt to do the same.

Once I’m comfortable with the layout of this cyber-rambler I will set about furnishing it with news, views and reviews.  I envision an upload link for audio files out of which I’ll make serious hay in future podcasts.   Expect to witness with great amusement my difficult but inexorable emergence into the ranks of bloggers, however faintly and for however long.  There’ll be prose and pictures sublime and insane.

Amounting to what?  We shall see.  We’ll probably find that there’s more on my mind than may have appeared, and that I’m busier than I might have demonstrated previously.  I may have an inordinate amount of faith, or not enough.  In any event, there may be yet another guest at the end of the party.

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