Jackson West’s Obsessive Compulsion

links for 2006-03-30

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 30, 2006

Idlewild Trailer

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 30, 2006

Oh man, Idlewild looks like a lot of fun!  I'd almost wondered where OutKast had disappeared to…

links for 2006-03-29

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 29, 2006

Garfield Chicken ‘n Waffle Gang

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 29, 2006


Garfield Chicken 'n Waffle Gang

Originally uploaded by Jackson West.

Oakland was the place to be on Saturday, with Dustin and Naomi in from New York City and the Yamato Bros., Tatsu and Yamod, hosting in the East Bay. I hand't seen Tatsu in 13 years, and didn't even recognizeYamod (or spell his name right — sorry, dude!). Awesome to know Naomi and Dustin are doing fine by themselves in NYC.

Funny, but I remember when we all left high school that folks from Garfield had a tendency to stick together for a long time. Even funnier that for all our fancy academic achievements, we're all media junky pop culture professionals to a degree. I blame post-industrial capitalism. But in a good way, for once.

links for 2006-03-25

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 25, 2006

Check Out The New Look

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 25, 2006

While I’m still waiting for a little more control over the template here, I have to admit that the one-click theme change feature is pretty sexy. The new look is Dusk 1.1 by Becca Wei, and I like the quiet colors and the flexibility in laying out the sidebar.

links for 2006-03-23

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 23, 2006

links for 2006-03-22

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 22, 2006

My South by Southwest

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 21, 2006

Just so you don’t get confused and think I’m cool, this is about South by Southwest Interactive, not the music festival.

Oh, sure, I posted about Austin already (not to mention my trip to the shooting range), and wrote intro and wrapup posts at GigaOm, and have a post up on Fleshbot. But the whole reason I started blogging in the first place was to have somewhere to write about whatever the fuck I wanted to write about. And swear. A lot. So these are my extra-professional notes and errata from six terrific days in Austin.

Last year’s coverage for SFist (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) was a little more along these lines, but I was specifically trying to capture the feeling of being a newbie from the Bay Area at the conference, since so much of what goes on there comes from and goes back to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It’s no secret that Austin is a kind of home-away-from-home where local freaks, artists and entrepreneurs escaping the local real estate market choose to move. But this was my second year, and damned if my original experience didn’t teach me to take it a little easier. You can go to panels all day, or go to parties all night — trying to do both will kill you. Last year I lost my voice for a week. This year I had enough left in me for karaoke until the wee hours on the last night.

First off, let me say that for a second year in a row the most interesting panels were consistently in the smallest room. From “Standards Deviation” (AKA “Fuck Standards) to “Sex in Games” to “Blogging While Black: One Year Later,” they were the panels that made me laugh and think the most. BwB, especially, since it was by far my favorite panel last year. One thing that brings me back to SXSWi is the fact that Hugh Forrest doesn’t shy away in the least from potentially controversial programming.

To whit: Last year, Lynne D. Johnson, an A-list hip-hop writer, moderated. One blogger commited the faux pas of referring to her as “well spoken” in the post. If you don’t know, there’s a long tradition of high profile African-Americans being referred to as “articulate,” “eloquent,” or “well-spoken,” implying that this isn’t the norm. But this year, even after a critical discussion about her role in the affair, the blogger herself stood up to explain what even (I’m sure) the panelists understood — that the praise was actually unconditional, and that any implicit criticism was directed at other panels, which can often be underprepared or populated by folks who’s tech virtues outweigh their public speaking skills. Lynne herself led the round of applause after that, the kind of moment that honestly does make all this shit worthwhile.

What also makes it worthwhile is the relationships one can form. Take that panel, for example. George Kelly, from the East Bay, I knew from our chats on IM before last year — but I don’t think I met him until Austin. Same went for Jason Toney, who was a fellow -ist editor last year, and a fellow -ist editor-at-large this year. Tiffany Brown dropped by town last summer, when I was still contracting at Yahoo, and MJ gave us her car for a tour of the valley, the peninsula and The City. This year I got to chat with Tony Pierce during a late-night party at the Red Bull house. So it’s not like you have to stay some sort of admirer from afar, and since everyone’s a bunch of nerds, you’re never more than two degrees of blog away from the folks that you admire and read daily anyway.

Another blogger I’d wanted to meet was Gina Trapani, and I managed to double my fun by meeting Joel Johnson at the LifeHacker party as well. I ran into incredibly nice guy Peter Rojas in the press room and invited him to the party (playing the naif), but I guess there’s some bad blood there. New Yorkers. Call me a communist (please), but I just don’t see the point in being nasty to ‘the competition’ when everyone is struggling. And don’t think that the blogosphere isn’t still struggling against the mainstream media, especially in terms of appropriation (“The new blog from the Wall Street Journal!”), censorship (2257, election spending ‘reform,’ journalistic privelege laws — hell, copyright and the DMCA) and, well, ad money.

Of course there was enough free booze to bloat the liver of anyone, but I was on a strict diet in the sense that I had to balance non-SXSW work with both panels an parties. My strategy this year was to only stay out after panels every other night, going to bed early Friday for Saturday morning work and Sunday for Monday morning. I should have gone to bed early on Tuesday night, too, but when you get a chance to sing California Dreamin’ at a Korean strip mall in north Austin on a tuesday night at 2am, you don’t go turning that shit down. Min Jung Kim is still the best guide to SXSW that I know.

Still, that left me with Thursday night to see my host and old friend Topaz play with his hometown band; Saturday night, the first that everyone was in town; and Monday night, the last that everyone was in town. Sure, I didn’t make it to any morning sessions, but I didn’t go to any sessions that sucked, and I’m willing to make that trade.

So thanks again to Topaz and Brie for putting me up (and having Phil over for a surprise), all my Bay Area heads for being the smartest-ass motherfuckers I know, all the cats from around the country who I just met or only see once a year, and Austin, Texas for keeping it weird. Come hell or high water, I’ll see y’all next year.

Babe Magnet

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 20, 2006

So I was having a little dim sum picnic in Washington Square Park with a friend yesterday afternoon.  We saw a guy putting up something around two trees in the middle of the park.  My first guess was a hammock, but after a while it turned out to be a tightrope.  The dude fooled around on it a bit, and then began to show a cute girl how to walk on it.

Well now, it was pretty apparent that this was a nice angle.  Of course she had to have her hands all over him to balance, and, oops!  I fell!  Thanks for catching me!  Okay, sure, a great ruse on a date.  But then it got interesting.

See, over the course of the next hour, not one, not two, but three attractive women hanging out in the park just had to try it out.  First, an eccentrically dressed woman who’d been smoking a joint with her friends.  Then a lithe young thing in her spandex exercise outfit walked over with her friend.  Finally, a callipygean lass in jeans took a spin.

In between, he would do feats of tightrope derring-do while the women watched on smiling.  I swear, I’ve never seen the like — puppies don’t work that well to draw attention from strangers of the opposite sex.

So there you have it — learn to walk a tightrope (though not neccessarily well), buy yourself some nylon webbing and a come-along, and find some trees in a nice, sunny park.  Okay, the guy was by no means unattractive or out of shape, but still.  He had more shots at getting numbers over an hour than most people can hope for in a week of cruising bars.

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