Non-Governmental Imagination

San Francisco seems like Hollywood
November 19, 2006, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Web 2.0

Bullshit Crotch
Originally uploaded by The Rappaz Horror Picture Show.

Last night I went to the Laughing Squid 11th anniversary, and after being there a full 20 minutes, I came away with some realizations that have been brewing for a while. For me, San Francisco and the web 2.0 scene feels very Hollywoodish:

*  People act excited to see you, and then you have to remind them what you’re name is.

*  Self-promotion is as subtle as a baseball bat to your balls.

*  Lots of parties aren’t really pure fun, but more of a mix of fun and work, conjuring up images of high school with people ostensibly having a good time while actually trying to demonstrate how cool/smart they are.

*  “We should really get together some time” has differing levels of immediacy depending on your Technorati rank or employer.

*  The line between work and play is fuzzy, so both always infect the other.

*  It’s cool to talk about social change, but that usually doesn’t mean more than buying fair trade coffee at Ritual Roasters or including a link to some tech-related cause.

*  Like the idle rich, there is interest in raising money at parties for important causes, but actually getting one’s hands dirty through volunteering is meekly avoided.

*  One’s presence is valued at events becuase they are judged by number of attendees.

*  The person you’re talking to is prepared to abruptly leave your convesation (or do that thing guys do when a hot girl walks by in the other direction with the head turn and the lost train of thought, I actually did that yesterday afternoon) whenever Someone Important walks by.

    These are generalizations, I can think of plenty of folks who don’t meet these criteria, blah blah blah. But for a world that talks a good deal about democratization, there is a lot of bullshit to be sniffed through.

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    2 Comments so far
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    It sounds to me as if you are writing about conversations that you had with some of the people at the party, rather than the party itself, which was an amazing collection of art, performance and technology.

    People will be people no matter where you go, but tagging a post with both “Laughing Squid” and “bullshit” is really unfair to the people who worked really hard to put this party together.

    BTW – Amanda Congdon was not at the party. I know because I was working the door.

    Comment by Lori

    I have nothing against those who worked hard to put the party on, as I recognize it was a lot cooler than any party I could ever organize. My comments are not about the party itself, but the vibe that I noticed at this and other events. The Laughing Squid tie-in is pretty arbritary, and I only tagged it as such to see if others who went had the same impression. The thing I love most about the blogosphere is being able to tap into the ideas/impressions of other people, and I dont think I was out of place to share mine in an easily searchable form.

    I did not think Amanda was there, and I did not see Scoble either. My sentiments merely reflect a vibe I picked up at other events that I could not really elucidate until this party, for whatever reason.

    So you are right, I was writing about conversations I had at the party, not the party itself.

    Comment by ngimagination

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