Unfortunately, I’m an authority on Columbia, Missouri.
Just two hours away from the mathematical center of the United States by motorcar, the hundred-something thousand people of this midropolis find themselves clustered around the center of most intellectual spectrums, huddled together for company. The ideological one, in particular, is absolutely smelly with foot-to-foot-shuffling liberals, and they’ve had their palms facing a very particular fire for over a decade, now.
It’s called True/False, and it must be the least famous most prestigious film festival in the world. In a local radio interview, co-creator David Wilson (who stopped by my house for dinner once, I think) claimed that 50,000 people showed up last year, but I can’t imagine where they all slept.
Perhaps on air mattresses in the back of their Subaru wagons. No, I have no use for cheap jokes anymore. (The Murano CrossCabriolet is the official vehicle of this godforsaken place, anyway.)
Let’s just say that the population is halving-again around me as I write you. It’s not unreasonable to bet on an even more substantial turnout this year, given Tump’s fundamentally anti-Columbian vocabulary, and well… the title of True/False.
The latest joke I’ve been tossing around is that this publication’s primary coverage to date has actually been of my own emotional development. If this is “true” from your perspective, I’m not particularly bothered. Reflection may not be New, but I think — and hope — it can be helpful in mitigating contradictions, discrepancies and other species of obstacle in your own life.
I fell asleep for the entirety of the last True/False screening I attended.
It was a film about the story of a young woman’s flight from an abusive household. Or at least… something like that. I’d skipped sleeping the night before and found myself struggling to keep my eyes open just minutes after the lights had dimmed.
And I didn’t return to consciousness until they brightened again as the applause faded in and the occupant of the seat immediately to my left stood up, alone, and made her way to the stage. I’d slept through every frame of the documentary of which she was the subject, right next to her.
Guilt is one of those motivators that possess truly gargantuan, universal power over human beings. I decided that the culture and I were toxic for each other, and haven’t been back, since. (I think that was 2015.)
It’s day #1 of screenings, and I haven’t slept, but I have every intention of introducing myself to my immediate fellow audience to confirm their lack of involvement in the production of the film, should I begin to lose gumption again.
Amongst the Real Magazine Boys, there is a culture of silence regarding day-to-day operations, personal career stories, and industry meta, in general, because their experiences with absurdly low wages and salaries learns them a mean greed of their words (and information, in general,) as they accumulate over time. It may be gluttony, but it is simply a law of nature in the exposure-bound servitude of the ad model.
Extratone’s advertising chastity means that we are free to develop our own system of self-appraisal, and if our innocuous little website really is covering my late maturation, it is also covering itself, so it’s worth noting that we have been given a media pass to this year’s event, as much as I wanted to play it cool.
Technically, it’s the first press credential of this — my nine-month-old Online son, and I am very proud. It’s a big deal; True/False attendance can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and we get to send one body for nothing at all. To be honest, contacting the press office did not occur to me until a week ago, so I certainly didn’t expect anything more than policy documents, but I received An Email just hours after my request.
I’ve already overlapped too much with this month’s (upcoming) Editor’s Letter, I’m sure, so I’ll do my best to minimize transparency this weekend as much as I can.
True/False’s particular nature does not lend toward any sort of live coverage or urgent correspondence, and neither do we. But we are counterculture, so I’m going to brew up a liveblog dedicated to conversations overheard while queuing, and may continue this sort of unrevised “blogging” nonsense as my attendance progresses, depending on how bored I am.
The asses of Ben Stokes and Leo Marx have the pick of the lot over my own, which should be exciting news, given their unique perspectives on film and culture, respectively. I’ve been trying to convince Tim to wear his pink suit to the thing — especially the “VR Arcade.” Do me a favor and bother his Twitter about it.
When neither are available though, I will be making every possible use of this privilege, even though my net worth is currently nill, so I may actually end up needed to keep a fucking loaf of bread in my car.