Categories: "Soft Culture"

The unofficial SxSW music show

I'm currently in Austin, Texas attending SxSW interactive. I am not attending the music festival that follows next week, BUT... today I had a very cool cab driver who told me all about it. (He's playing in a band himself!)

There are like 250,000 people attending. And the festival is only on the evenings from 8pm to laaate. Plus, it's only for indie bands.

So what happens with a quarter million people all day long?

Well... the majors would throw parties in giant warehouses and would fly in some of their major artists... Basically the unofficial festival ends up bigger than the official SxSW music. Pretty wild eh?

But it gets better: now some bands think it's even cooler to play unofficial, because it makes it "indier" than the official.

Anyways, kudos to the Austin cab drivers. On average they are the coolest I've ridden with! :P

Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group

So, as planned, last time I went to Vegas I actually went to see one of those Vegas shows. I was actually thinking about seeing two: Blue Man Group and Mystère. I only made it to Blue Man Group but that's cool, because I was really intrigued by that one ;)

From France all I knew about BMG was their appearance in the Intel commercials some time ago. I had never really found out what they were really about. Then I've seen some ads for their show every time I went to Vegas and I think in Chicago too...

So I just had to check them out... :P

I did expect something crazy. And it actually exceeded my expectations!

I enjoyed the visual effects they performed live on stage and the loud stomping and music that comes with it. But after a while, the show extends to the whole theater and the audience is part of the show. That's pretty wild and I'd definitely recommend that blue rave over any green carpet blackjack experience! ;)

Now rest assured: as long as you don't sit in the first 2 front rows, you won't get wet or stained or anything.

Sicko - about France

Sicko - about France

Yesterday I saw Michael Moore's Sicko movie.

First off, let me say that it's absolutely terrifying when you see the stories of all those people literally ripped off by their health insurance company! Boy I was worried about that stuff before (when considering to move to the US), now I consider it as the #1 pitfall if I ever actually want to relocate over there.

Anyway, as always with Michael Moore, the reality is twisted to make it more... tasty? For example when he comes to France and shows how a "middle class family" lives... he doesn't actually show a middle class family.

He asks them how much they make and they say 8000 € a month. Well... the average salary in France is around $1500 a month. Now a family where both parent work will make an average on 3000 €/month. More than 2.5 times less than what Moore depicts as a "middle class" home.

On the other hand, the rest of the story about how the government takes care of our health is basically accurate... with a lot of details overly simplified...

Again, he states we pay a lot of taxes (I won't deny :P) but doesn't mention that those taxes aren't actually enough to cover for the costs. The healthcare system here is growing a humongous debt year after year. For some reason, it doesn't seem to implode though...

So how much can you actually trust the guy on accuracy?

Now I wish someone from the US would deny it all and tell me that if you cut your fingers off, you'll get them fixed, no matter what. And that if you get cancer, you'll get treatment without having to put a mortgage on your house... if you have one. That kind of crap would never happen in France. (I mean, it hasn't happened yet...)

The good thing: it helps me see the good side of France :> ('coz I could bitch about France for hours...)

Foolish humans

"Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth."
-Vernor Vinge

Note: I like it even better without a coma after "humans" :>

Defending the word "suck"

Seth Stevenson tells you more than you ever wanted to know about the word "suck" in Slate (via Anil Dash).

"We could argue all day about whether sucks is an obscenity or not. [...] What's far more interesting to me is the word's utility.

Sucks is the most concise, emphatic way we have to say something is no good. As a one-syllable intransitive verb, it offers superb economy."

Read it though and you'll admit that it would suck not to have the word suck available in daily conversations. ;)

Now, I can't help but remember Adam Curry citing his daughter pushing it to the next level:

"It sucks so bad (that) it swallows!"

Ouch! :>