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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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