WED., MARCH 8, 2006
You might want to layer up, it’s about to get cool. That’s right, the glamour train of SXSW 2006 arrives this Friday as thousands of unrepentant hipsters from all over the world descend on Austin to revel in our “realness.” Sure, the pressure of having to be real all the time is a bit intimidating. Every once in a while you want to just relax and be fake; slip into the comfortable persona of someone you’re not, but during SXSW your realness has to be on 24/7, so look sharp. Wait a minute … scratch that. You may want to go with something a little grubbier – not some sort of pretentious, faux-skanky alt-rocker look, but a genuinely wack, just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-going-to-get-coffee-and-breakfast-tacos look. Don’t put too much effort into it, but try something frumpy like Old Navy jammy bottoms (ideally with a wildlife theme and an improvised ventilation hole in the gluteal region) fuzzy socks from Target, a pair of bright purple Crocs and a beer-stained T-shirt that says “Kiss Me I’m Irish.” Feel free to improvise, but what you’re aiming for is the kind of postcard-back-to-Monaco “realness” that causes trendy types to convulse in envy; the kind of “realness” that has them scrambling for their Blackberries so they can text-message their PAs about the local fauna. Also, remember to smile and say “thanks,” and hold the door open. Force yourself to be a decent human being. That way, Austin will seem so “real” it’s almost “unreal” … sort of like a reality themepark. If by Saturday, you’re overdosing on reality, you can heal yourself at the Austin Convention Center by attending the 6:45pm SXSW screening of Darkon, a documentary about a full-contact medieval fantasy war-gaming group that has been escaping reality in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area since 1985. Eight dollars gets you in unless the badge-holders overrun the place, which is a real possibility, so bring a sense of irony.