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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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