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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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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