DAY 4: Buffering Al Gore

Starting the day at a decent hour, I managed to pull off yesterday’s blog and make it to a non-profit meet up within the heart of Trade Show. I found myself self-conscious explaining that my organization is on hiatus; the Board didn’t work out.  People were hasty to move on to a better networking opportunity than my broken org. However, I also received some love for being with KBOO. Those Portlanders who were present all seemed to have a fondness or at least curiosity. The Trade Show itself shall be detailed in a future blog, when I have more opportunity to enjoy it. Also in the Trade Show at a rotating stage was some sketch and video work by Stag Comedy. Their ideas are certainly up to par with anything you might see on television, such as a Race For The Cure and all three winners think they’re actually running to win the cure. There was a hilarious exercise video with bizarre moves. I had to skip out a bit early and get in line for the big Al Gore appearance.

Palm Park became a default location for the massive audience spillover for the Sean Parker Presentation with Al Gore. Their discussion about web content and the political process was intuitive and insightful. Admittedly, I was disappointed to miss Al Gore in person and witness that conversation unfiltered. The line was backed up three city-blocks twenty minutes prior to doors opening for seating; I had no chance. We had to go to that tent and watch a streaming simulcast buffer and blip out sections of video. I had been watching that very buffering problem for days, and I watched the same tech guy helpless as the stream hiccupped constantly until half the crowd left in frustration, some of them starting drinking games: buffer, drink, buffer, drink. Eventually, I would leave too. Al Gore said things like, “Our democracy has been hacked,” and that the defeat of SOPA and PIPA are “great victories;” he discussed the problem of online campaigns that fail to reach past a superficial level of involvement with people. Sean Parker admitted that he is guilty of developing social media that is so often a dynamic means of “wasting peoples’ time”.  And now that Parker has become a mega-wealthy tech icon, he largely focuses his energy on projects with greater meaning and intentions, including Causes and Airtime.

After getting out of there, I attempted to catch a film. That didn’t work out, because it was full. So many events are full at SXSW. It becomes a frustration. So I went to the registrants lounge and redeemed my free drink and crashed a SAG party for the free food. This was after my other drinks at Palm Park. I tweeted, “Drunk. #sxsw”. Then I made it to The Super Serious Show for a rich comedy lineup – but just barely. Local comic, I only know as Cody, managed to get me in to the show when it was full up. Thanks, Cody. Jerrod Carmichael did bits about Beyonce’s empowerment message setting the bar a little too high for women that listen to Beyonce, and how Martin Luther King Jr. would be doing television ads if he were alive today. Jonah Ray talked about the evils of porn, how young women now assume that wanting to be strangled during sex is the norm. Gabe and Jenny of Big Terrific enacted a screenplay written by Jenny with lines like, “I love you so much its fucking retarded” and the poster image for the film is a penis coming the word “Hakuna Matata”. They are in many respects the New York hipster representatives of comedy. Billy On The Street showed a video of him giving people a dollar to answer basic celebrity questions such as “who’s better, Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts?” berating the woman who says Sandra Bullock. I left the show during Kumail Nanjani in the middle of some bit about “Meowinos”. I can’t remember what that was and I simply wrote the word “meowinos” in my magical journal of forgetfulness.

I would tell you all about my time after this, but it would be a bit too personal. So that is my bit for today. Thanks for reading.

Sean Ongley

By Sean Ongley

Co-Founder of THRU Media. A background in non-profit, music, and radio preceded my ambitions here. Now, I aspire to produce new media and publish independent journalism at this site and beyond.

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