Drawing Blood at SXSW

On the Austin sidewalk stood hordes of the righteous authors and bloggers, some consulting their Blackberries for the latest emails, the better to deliver their enmity and fulminations against mavericks and independent litbloggers. While I had no real proof, I knew that they were all conspiring against me.

Yes, I was there. I was there when those bastards passed me over for Best American Weblog, Best Tagline of a Weblog, Best Podcast of a Weblog, Best Self-Referential Post, Best Blog Written by a Balding Thirtysomething, and Best Use of the Word “Fuck” in a Blog. I was angry. More enraged than Annie Proulx. Ready to draw blood. Because that’s what the Bloggies were all about. Sabotage.

I showed up to the ceremony, trying to buy votes by throwing random $20 bills around. Unfortunately, a few day laborers who were in the processing of parking Jason Kottke’s Rolls Royce managed to abscond with my entire billfold. And my blog had to actually stand on its own merits. I defied the dress code by actually tucking in my shirt and wearing a dependable sportscoat. I suspect this might have worked against me. Because all the winners wore T-shirts.

The people connected with Return of the Reluctant, which only consisted of me and my hubris (if you want to tally two), hoped that, having not been nominated for a single Bloggie, the geeks gathered for SXSW would somehow see the light. Maybe they’d see my blog as a sort of Web 1.5 which they might award to a graceless guy who didn’t really know what Ajax could do. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Bloggies next year and just come here. Like any sturdy Stalinist system, you’ll get nothing but unilateral boosterism, the only true gauge of quality.) We should have known conservative bloggers would have different ideas about how you could win hits and influence readers. While we had never been linked by Boing Boing and likely never would, it was only too clear how out-of-touch Cory Doctorow, who led the 6,000 Bloggie voters, was. When was the last time that man had seen an optometrist anyway? There was something highly suspect about a man who had quit his job to become a “full-time writer.” And rumor has it that Heather Champ and Derek Powazek inunudated the Bloggie voters with free CDs of LINUX with the words “Boing Boing: The Only Lifetime Achievement Choice” written in prominent gold letters. Drinks had been purchased and imbibed. There had even been a few unreported sexual favors. Next year, I suppose we can look to the awards for yet another nomination given to that Ernie guy over at Little, Yellow, Different.

For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, “Lay Lady Lady” or perhaps most of Blonde on Blonde. After all, I’m the one drinking here. And I’m entitled to enjoy a little Dylan while I cry over my misunderstood genius.


  1. Awww. Your fans still love you Ed. Is there a smaller awards ceremony akin to the Independent Spirit Awards that you might revel in?

  2. Dude, they were DVDs, and they had a full install of Mac OSX 10.7 Puddytat on them (don’t tell my good friend, Steve). If you see me around the ‘hood, say hi. I’ve got extras.

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