Thursday, October 21st, 2004
Hello from St. Louis, where Sammy is conferring with muchos archaeologists at a downtown Marriott, literally across the street from Busch Stadium, the home of tonight’s final NLCS playoff game. The big ol’ arch is a block away. Me, I’m checking in to our Holiday Inn Express a mile away, where I find two traveling folks who didn’t quite get a strong enough wireless signal last night in their room–ah, yes, another Titanium Powerbook.
Ryan and Natalie are from San Francisco, and they’re traveling to the battleground states with a multimedia presentation–a four-screen DV extravaganza shot in and around the Republican convention. “Here, have a copy,” Ryan said, grabbing a DVD off of a spindle. And so I have a copy…nicely done…edited and burned on his Powerbook, clean, with a surround sound mix…a true manifestation of the democratization of the technology of television.
The Portapak pioneers who tried this kind of guerrilla television (I have a book from 1971 with that very name) back in the day had a noisy, low-res black and white picture as a reward for toting the not-so-portable equipment around. Now, it’s all so much easier, and yet the subject matter (Republicans in the wild, gathering in massive, uninspired cocktail-swilling clumps) remains familiarly unpleasant.
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Both places we’ve stayed on this trip have had wireless internet and a freely available PC in the lobby, and I’ve come to conclude there’s a vast number of travelers for whom an internet check is a crucial part of their morning ritual. Last night’s place seemed to skew older…the place today have lots of twentysomething wanderers. The documentarians, and a couple of guys traveling around promoting Sobe drinks…wandering america on two dollar a gallon gas.