The SXSW Slog Begins

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sxsw.jpgAfter listening to our flight attendant—a former auctioneer from Dallas—rattle off emergency escape instructions in double time and then tell jokes about her co-workers for the entire flight (one was a former Miss Dallas, the other Southwest’s steward of the year), I arrived in Austin, Texas, in high spirits.

I’m here to cover SXSW, Austin’s ginormous film-music-interactive festival that draws (last I heard) about 10,000 folks from around the country (and abroad) to the Texas capitol.

Before I start really digging into things here in Austin, a few quick observations:

1. Bars serve beer until 2 a.m. in Austin. Not 1:30, not 1:45, but 2 a.m.
2. The two people sitting on either side of me on my flight into Austin talked about the Eliot Spitzer scandal a lot. No one I’ve met so far at SXSW seems to care.
3. I’ve seen 3 Ron Paul bumper stickers so far.
4. Lou Reed is a very funny man (more on that later).
5. I’m surrounded by a lot of other white dudes in their 20s and 30s wearing plaid shirts, jeans, and Vans; and it’s kind of bugging me out. Yikes.

—Gary Moskowitz

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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