South by Southwest is this generation’s Altamont, except, instead of being confined to one ill-advised Rolling Stones concert in 1969, South by Southwest happens once a year, in February.
Sometimes South-by, as it’s called, doesn’t amount to anything other than all of the worst people on social media flooding your timeline with reports on whether or not they’re able to get cell phone reception, as if I need to know that, and selfies taken with the people who flood your email inbox with biographical info on bum rappers and/or, god forbid, “Narduwar,” but, increasingly more often, it’s becoming known for gnarly, nonsensical acts of violence.
In 2014, for example, a bum rapper, on the run from 5-0, ran over a group of kids standing in the street (where one stands), waiting to get into a club. Four people were killed, and another 20 people were injured. I consulted the Google just now, and apparently, while the rapper was found guilty of capital murder, he was “only” sentenced to life without parole. Texas must be getting soft. It used to be they’d execute anyone, including retarded people and people who hadn’t committed a crime.
The following year, my play cousin Killer Mike was nearly assassinated when a crazy homeless guy got onstage and attacked him while he was performing with Run the Jewels. The homeless guy somehow managed to avoid being arrested by explaining to the police that Run the Jewels stole his lyrics and therefore owed him money. I wonder if he was that guy “Chocolate,” who claimed to have written “Ice Ice Baby,” leading Suge Knight to dangle Vanilla Ice from a hotel balcony. He’s from Texas, right?
After a quiet past couple of years, South-by 2018 was arguably the best South-by to date, for me personally. It was downright explosive, and not just figuratively speaking. In Austin this year, during the festival, several people were blown up by packages left on porches, on the side of the road and on a conveyor belt at a FedEx facility, before the bomber—who was white—blew himself up in his car after being tracked down by 5-0.
The first couple of victims were a gainfully employed black guy and a black teenager who knew how to play upright bass, leading many, myself included, to conclude that the bomber may have been targeting employed or otherwise successful black people. Also, the first couple of victims were somehow connected in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way, though it wasn’t clear to me that this wasn’t just a matter of most black people in Austin being related.
At any rate, it made me wonder why the bomber would target black people who were “about something.” Similarly, why would Dylann Storm Roof shoot up a church full of old black ladies, if he was upset about the disgusting things black guys are doing with white women? Literally, that’s the last place a black man who routinely defiles white women would be. (The first place would be on the set of the “Blacked” film series.)
The third victim was an older hispanic lady who lived a few doors down from someone who’s connected to the first two victims. The speculation at the time was that the kid may have set the bomb on the wrong porch, which, if that’s true, would help explain why he was unemployed: they don’t allow that shit at UPS. But one thing the media failed to consider, on purpose, is that the victim may have stolen the package from a black family’s porch.
I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m just saying. We gotta consider all possibilities.
Speaking of unfortunate racial stereotypes, the next two victims were a couple of white guys who tried to open a box they found on the side of a road. They saw the box sitting there, minding its own business, during a series of package explosions, and decided they’d rather investigate. Maybe they figured they weren’t at risk of getting blown up, because the bomber seemed to be targeting prominent black people. White privilege failed to come through in the clutch.
Tariq Nasheed, arguably the most credible black leader other than Farrakhan, pointed out that once white people started getting blown up it was only a matter of time before they caught the bomber, and I suspect that he was right about that, as he is about most things. There was one more bomb that went off on a conveyor belt in a FedEx facility, and then 5-0 supposedly got his license plate number from a surveillance video.
Because he blew himself up as 5-0 approached and hence had probably been reduced to a puddle of blood, brain matter and bone fragments, there was no way the police could take him, on the way to jail, to the drive-thru at a Burger King, where he could have it his way. Nevertheless, the New York Times ran an article in which he was called a “godly nerd,” which, what does that even mean? Did he own one of those button down anime shirts for every day of the week?
It was later announced that the bomber recorded a 25-minute-long video of himself presumably explaining why he was blowing up prominent black people but that it wouldn’t be released to the public. Obviously they’re keeping it under wraps as part of an ongoing, coordinated effort to protect white supremacy, but I’m actually kinda glad they aren’t releasing the video, because I heard they now have the technology to make fake videos. It’s all over certain parts of Reddit.
Take it easy on yourself,