Poor, poor pitiful me. I, Jon Friedman, am not one of the American beautiful people right now. It seems, instead, that I am actually a leader in the have-not community of pundits.
You see, all that matters is that I did not attend this year's annual South by Southwest extravaganza in Austin, Texas, making me one of the uncoolest people on the planet. And if you failed to go there, either, then you can join me among the woeful ranks of the ignominious, the wannabes who have our noses pressed firmly against the glass, squarely on the outside looking in.
Nonsense, of course.
Please understand, I have nothing against the whole scene at SXSW, as it is commonly known. The fiesta of Internet, music, and movie industry hotshots is a party on the par of the Davos and Sundance gatherings, and it resembles a political convention for the exciting spirit of the people who go there.
There are lots of meet-ups, networking opportunities, and fantastic parties. Surely, as a working journalist, I could have made some valuable contacts, observed the 21st century's rising pop culture stars — and, best of all, escaped cold New York City for the warm climes of Texas. (It rained a lot this week up in NYC, by the way.)
But I do have a major problem with the people who think they're among the societal elite simply because they did attend the big party in Austin. They annoy me in their haughty attitude.
They somehow think they're special because they happened to be in Austin, in a sea of self-congratulatory handshaking and backslapping. They apparently think they are the haves and we are the have-nots. It's not at all true, of course. They are elitists, pure and simple.
I know of what I speak, you know. I went to SXSW two years ago. Oh, I enjoyed getting acquainted with Austin, a city that lived up to the hype. The natives were charming and solicitous. They couldn't have treated this tenderfoot from Manhattan more nicely.
And I still proudly wear the SXSW T-shirts that I bought there that week in 2011.
I like the town. I appreciate the festival. I just can't stand the people who think that they're special, simply because they attended South by Southwest.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution. Click here to order a copy. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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