As I try to regroup, though, I thought I'd direct you to this Seattle Weekly feature on the conference, in which Ann Powers and Eric Weisbard are asked to identify music made by conference participants from the last three years. It's funny. They talk about the adoption of their daughter Rebecca. And they have good things to say about the ridiculous behavior of the participants at the musicians' panel two years ago, when peer pressure led Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney to forego reading the paper she'd prepared.
Incidentally, speaking of the ridiculous, there was no sign of Jennifer Maerz, who so rudely slammed that first conference -- before it had even take place! -- in The Stranger as a way of putting her anti-intellectual stamp on her new position. She's very nice in person, but I have a low tolerance for slamming in general and an even lower tolerance for "populist" slams on intellectual approaches to popular culture. The United States already has all the mindless sex and violence it needs. But what do intellectuals do? They engage in that peculiarly American form of self-loathing in which they indict other intellectuals for not keeping it real. I know that there's pleasure in masochism -- as Carlos Gallego might say, "Ask Jesus" -- but the spectacle of writers and scholars pleasuring themselves at the expense of American intellectual life is obscene.
Whoops, got a little hot and bothered there. Where was I? EMP, right.
I wish I could have made it to the conference "after party" Saturday night and said goodbye to Ann and Eric in proper fashion. But when you're staying in Redmond without a car, you have to go with the flow.
I hat lots of fun with Chris and Brian, though. Did I mention how happy I was that Chris made it to my presentation? That was pretty awesome.
And thanks to both he and Dan for giving me a super place to stay, a super internet connection, and super transportation to and from both the airport and the conference.
Enjoy the Raging Sage, guys!