Today in Tabs: South By South Worst

What could possibly go wrong?

Today in Tabs: South By South Worst
[Source photo: Flickr user Jason Persse]

South By Southwest, Austin, Texas’s largest annual Doritos ad, demonstrated that it hates itself as much as everyone else hates it by approving a Gamergate panel this year,1 apparently by staff fiat, circumventing the normal public voting process. Yesterday, however, to preserve what SXSW Interactive director Hugh Forrest called “the sanctity of the big tent,”2 the conference canceled both the Gamergate panel and a second, unrelated panel which included frequent targets of Gamergate harassment. Panelists were told that “violent threats” were to blame for the cancellations, although they were not told what the threats were or who was being threatened. The Gamergate panel seems to have expected this, and had plans in place to change venues and go ahead anyway, almost as if this were the whole point of its existence.3 The other cancelled panel was of course immediately recast as an “anti-Gamergate panel” by Jezebel and The Guardian among others, which is a little like calling a Syrian refugee camp an “anti-war gathering.” This morning, Buzzfeed announced it would withdraw from SXSW completely if the conference didn’t reinstate… both panels? Good try gang, we can tell your heart is very nearly in the right place on this. Rachel Sklar also announced her intention to withdraw from the conference, and I assume more will follow until SXSW restores both panels, upsetting everyone and returning themselves to their original impossible position. Meanwhile, Chris Kluwe’s panel which explicitly calls out “Gamergate-related idiocy” has attracted no controversy, because it was organized by a man.


I wish I could pivot to something fun here but incredibly the news today only gets worse, with the assault of a seated, silent high school student by a violent, armed racist thug which her school euphemistically called a “resource officer.” Trigger Warning: videos of the attack may cause extreme rage if you are a parent or even just a halfway-decent person. Bitch about smartphones all you want but the kids today are not afraid to use them in self-defense and speak out afterward, and they have admirably done so, here. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation, reported Buzzfeed. Unusually for police-involved incidents of violence this year, no one has been killed yet.

Ok Now We Can Pivot: Our era’s foremost chronicler of ambivalence, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, investigated a haunted road for Atlas Obscura and found herself a whole new New Jersey. Please read this and let it wash away the last two awful paragraphs a little bit.

Lena Dunham’s indie newsletter was revealed to be a Hearst Media promotional strategy. Let’s not use phrases like “aimed at women” to describe websites ostensibly for women? David Remnick’s magazine is “too complicated to just be called serious,” which is a totally classy Remnick-style euphemism for “subsidized by Vogue.” Instant Articles get shared more, according to a shocking report anticipated by no one. The Amtrak Quiet Car is still an issue of intense concern among DC residents and terrible people (“…but I repeat myself“). Comet discovered just wasting the booze that we desperately need to survive this week. That bacon cancer warning was mostly nonsense, of course. New animal/food combo fails to go viral.

Today in Dads: Dads judge and flee, not necessarily in that order.

Today’s Qawwali: Creep Qawwali (translated by Metafilter here)

Today’s Song: Grimes, “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream” (“Skreechy Bat?” Idk.)


~All I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my tabs~

Today in Tabs is going to go take a long hot bath. In a submarine at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Forever. Thanks to Fast Company and subscribe by email and I’ll see you never!

  1. I mean, you already know where this is headed right? Of course you do.  ↩

  2. Because the emptiest tent is the most sanctified tent. ↩

  3. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? ↩

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