Tuesday, October 31


So I'm at another academic conference, except this one is also sort of a talent show and film festival. The presenters include a bunch of my friends and acquaintances from highschool and college, along with a bunch of actors, musicians, and minor celebrities. We're in a big auditorium in the middle of some kind of shopping mall complex. At one point, the members of Tool are discussing a paper they co-authored, followed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in a kind of hybrid Good Will Hunting / View Askew mode. Matt Damon has slides. Then my friend John is presenting on a panel with George Lucas, and George is being a complete bastard, making all these you only wish you were as much of a scholar as me sorts of comments. Finally I have had enough, and in the middle of things I stand up and tell him off. God dammit, George, I say, no one wants to hear it. Your last three movies sucked, and we all know it, and this auteur pose of yours is just insulting. Shut the hell up. There is this shocked silence, and then the crowd goes kind of nuts. Much to my surprise, George Lucas hangs his head in shame. It's the end of the day anyway, so the conference pretty much breaks up at this point. John shows me the diagrams for the research model he was trying to explain, something involving robots, deception, and the imputation of malicious intent. It's full of the kind of mathematical symbols that you really need something like TeX to render gracefully, except that interspersed with this there are a bunch of little multicolored figures that resemble sprites from a Japanese NES RPG or maybe an early id Software sidescroller like Commander Keen. I stare at it for a while in frustrated incomprehension. Eventually someone points out that it's time to start drinking, and everyone is headed for various parties. I've promised to meet this girl in a warehouse attached to the mall to do shots of something or another, but when I head that direction, I find that the warehouse is swarming with off-duty cops and there are (cop?) bouncers at the door. When I explain where I'm headed, they wave me through and say Don't worry about it man, we're just here to catch our friend's band.

p1k3 / 2006 / 10 / 31