Trump Derangement Syndrome: Tech’s SXSW festival takes on Trump

hugh forrest sxsw

Hugh Forrest from SXSW: Wants to “ramp it up” against Trump

For those who are unfamiliar with the SXSW festival:

South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.”

In other words, a celebration for like-minded liberals. It’s bound to be a hoot this year with the massive discussions related to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

From USA Today: Russian hackers. Allegations of federal wiretapping. Online leaks of purported CIA documents. There will be no lack of controversial issues to dissect at this year’s SXSW Conference & Festivals, which begins Friday and runs through Mar. 19. And more so than in past years, this year’s massive gathering of tech, film and music enthusiasts – usually equated with tech innovation and startups – will have a stronger-than-ever focus on politics.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and CNN’s Van Jones are scheduled to speak. Panel discussions, reflecting the recent election of President Donald Trump, range from “Startup Investing during the Trump Years” to “The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media” and “Head Fakes and Pivots: Trump Punks Silicon Valley.”

“SXSW is the place for great thinkers and innovators,” said Erin Schrode, 25, activist and social entrepreneur who will lead a discussion on millennials and activism. “At this moment in history, how can SXSW not dive into politics?”

This week, the gathering, now in its 31st year, got another controversial issue to debate: The WikiLeaks release of thousands of documents purportedly detailing how the Central Intelligence Agency hacks into smartphones and Internet-connected televisions.

There will still be healthy servings of startups strategy, robotics and self-driving cars. But, six weeks into the Trump administration – and all the controversies that have swirled around it – SXSW this year will delve deeper than ever into how Washington could impact the tech and media worlds – a departure seemingly embraced by speakers and attendees.

SXSW has long had a political element to it. In 1993, then-Texas Gov. Ann Richards was the sole keynote speaker, and Al Gore, Rand Paul and Chelsea Clinton have all given talks. Last year, then-President Obama spoke at the event, drawing thousands of attendees.

But when Trump won the November election, Hugh Forrest, SXSW’s chief programming officer, knew he needed to ramp up the political programming, he said. He called his staff into a meeting to brainstorm how best to reflect the divisions and debate consuming the country. They came up with a programming track titled “Tech Under Trump” and began filling it with sessions and guest speakers.

“There is definitely a degree of politics or political focus that may not have been there in previous years,” Forrest said. “We hope people walk away with a little better understanding of issues and the players driving the issues.”

Amanda Quraishi, an Austin-based digital consultant and interfaith activist, said she had an early idea for a SXSW panel discussion. But as the number of hate crimes across the country mounted following Trump’s election, she and her fellow panelists switched their focus. On Tuesday, they’ll give a panel discussion titled “From Trump to Trolls: How Muslim Media Fights Back.”

“Right now, politics is on everybody’s minds all the time,” Quraishi said. “America has had an awakening of what it means to live in a democracy and that it requires a lot of ongoing engagement with the process.”

She applauded SXSW organizers for reflecting the mood of the country in their programming. “They manage to be very nimble from year to year and come up with programming that’s very pertinent right now,” Quraishi said.

SXSW briefly became part of the political story earlier this month when a New York musician scheduled to perform at SXSW objected to language in his contract that warned that U.S. immigration agents may be contacted if an international artist violated the performance agreement.

The musician, Felix Walworth, tweeted his concern, which got nearly 4,000 retweets, and drew parallels to the increased immigration raids sweeping the country under Trump’s executive orders. SXSW officials called it a misunderstanding, stressing that no artist in its 30-year history had ever been reported to federal immigration agents. The contract provision was later rescinded.

Politics won’t just play out in panel discussions and speeches. Documentary filmmaker Jason Pollock said he considered other film festivals to premiere his film, Stranger Fruit, which explores the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. He chose SXSW because he hopes the multitude of tech influencers and music execs there will spread the film’s message wider and farther than Cannes or Sundance ever could, he said.

The film premieres at SXSW on Saturday, followed by a panel discussion on Monday with Pollock and Brown’s parents. “We’re going to be able to create a real movement around Michael Brown because of the people who attend that festival,” Pollock said. “At other film festivals, you get film critics, distributors and industry folks. At SXSW, it’s the world.”

Schrode, the millennial activist, said she was initially surprised when SXSW contacted her in December and invited her to give a talk on political activism. But then she realized what a natural pairing SXSW and politics make, she said.

“It’s undeniable that Trump and the Trump administration are having an existentially larger impact than anyone ever thought on all our industries,” said Schrode, who ran for Congress last year in California’s District 2. “Certainly, for SXSW to ignore that would be unnatural and irresponsible. After I wrapped my head around that, I thought, ‘Absolutely!’”


11 responses to “Trump Derangement Syndrome: Tech’s SXSW festival takes on Trump

  1. Self-important people stuffed in an echo chamber, should be quite the party. How can we stop Trump? I’ll let you know after my nap. Well, I’ll let you know after I’m done petting the fur off this therapy puppy. Well, we the bull dyke and chicks with dicks delagation will let you know after we’re done tapping down various body parts. Snowflakes and the ignorant tools that champion them are deserving of a an old school wedgie, one that draws both blood and stool.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yawn. The SXSW festival is just another echo chamber of the Left. Their anti-Trump whining is getting as predictable and tiresome as their rote cries of racism against any and all criticisms of Obama.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When Leftists co-opt people…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is what this is all about: Vladimir Lenin, Master of the Divide-and-Conquer Dept. of Racial Division, called for perpetual agitation of the mob. Never-ending agitating propaganda—agitprop, he called it.
    So we have Georgy Schwartz, AKA George Soros, with an endless supply of dollars, paying his rent-a-mobs money from Ferguson to Austin and all over the map. The rent-a-mobs will go on for as long as Trump is President: Members of these rent-a-mobs actually admit they need the money! Who can say no to $1,000 or more?
    And herein is the Nugget of Truth we have been waiting for: Politicians, like rabble-rousers, real estate agents, lawyers and everyone else (almost) DO NOT NECESSARILY BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY. This is because they are REPRESENTATIVES or AGENTS for hire. There is nothing necessarily evil about this: I hire my attorney to fight my moving violations, even if I know I am guilty. My traffic ticket attorney neither knows nor cares if I made that improper turn or did a Hollywood roll through that stop sign: He plays the system in order to have me declared not guilty. He wins most of the time because he games the system—a system which he knows that even the police who play it are corrupt, also!

    Radio talk show host Michael Savage once said, years ago, that “a man should have a certain amount of cynicism.” Yes, the representative part of the “game” belies a certain cynicism. But this is the real threat here: We are witnessing the INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS with Trump Derangement Syndrome. And if Hillary Clinton had won instead, the institutionalization of the mass mental illness would continue under different venues and different means. What this means is that, although many good people are out there, there are enough WICKED people out there who intend to make a difference and win the game. That is the clear and present danger.
    But it may be too late: Once a society openly embraces the separation of the sexual act from its true purpose, procreation, and embraces sexuality for recreation, IT IS DOOMED. The true horror of Soros’s rent-a-mobs is that they will repeat this error on the intellectual level: They practice demonstration for the sake of bullying and intimidation, of violence for the sake of violence. Their Leninist agitprop has succeeded in separating argumentation from its true purpose of intellectual growth, and have settled for INTELLECTUAL RETARDATION. THIS is the institutionalization of mental illness—and had society NOT separated sexuality from its true and highest purpose, this devolution WOULD NOT be happening.

    Donald Trump can save America all he wants: It seems to me that enough of American Society DOES NOT WANT to be saved. It ends in a moral apocalypse.


  5. This is a Front organization for political treason and social manipulation to incite the ovethrow of a duly elected President and represents domestic terrorism

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE – Trump Derangement Syndrome: Tech’s SXSW festival takes on Trump — Fellowship of the Minds | kommonsentsjane

  7. Lord, if they could just stick with the music and let that be an end in itself! That’s what we did in the Sixties; traditional music-fests rarely went over the top, but stayed with the lyrics and minor sideline shenanigans. But today EVERYTHING qualifies for mass arrests, rioting, destruction, and Oh? What ever happened to the music? Along the way someone forgot to keep playing, I guess.

    There’s a very fine line in one of Browning’s poems, ‘A Toccata of Galuppi’s’, its subject was life in decadent Renaissance Venice, full-blown over the top wealth & excess: “What was left of soul, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?” [line 42. Men and Women (1855)


  8. “Stranger Fruit” does NOT exonerate the “Gentle Giant” Brown at all. It merely adds sales of illegal drugs to his crimes. Liberal psychos have
    twisted details trying to make Brown a part of another “Trayvon myth” of innocent young black men/boys killed by a racist white.


  9. Today….
    I had a rather deep discussion about university’s and liberal. This was with two young men ages mid 20’s and just turned 30. Both of them told me that at one time….they held in esteem University’s….until…..

    They actually talked with some of the one’s who go to these places and are so over left wing lib/tards they couldn’t take it. Without any of my input they both told me this….

    They have this ‘ideology’ but positively no ‘realistic’ no realistic mind of true life what so ever. Nether of them could take talking with these people any length of time…..couldn’t stand them!

    Don’t give up hope for a few millennials as they are called now….the majority are not anything like these idiots who seem to speak for them in MSM. They can’t stand them as they struggle with real jobs and work harder than I have seen for almost any job now. They are not spoiled but struggling and have some very strong bonds surprisingly with family as well. They are funny, have a odd sense of humor to keep on going when deep down they are worried and have every right to be with what they are being given now….


  10. You will know them by this sense of absolute love of older people as well and very polite and yet almost seem like a over throw from even my own grandparents type view.

    I just added this to my comment above.

    They really do feel overwhelmed and seem to seek out being around older people with stories of older times. It seems to give them both comfort as well as hope even though they feel deeply doomed and over whelmed by the vast majority of the same comparable ages.

    If you find them or they you…please take them under your wing. I believe it is also why I am alive now….

    I have a real life story….which has to do with these younger ones, and am pretty sure others will be found as well to help these younger ones out in these last days as we know them.

    Thank you for reading.


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