I haven't forgotten about this thing. See! I'm posting a new picture. This is just going to have to be piecemeal.
So, Col and I learned quite a bit on this miniature road trip. This included things about art, being people who would like to marry each other, maps, and of course, indie/diy culture at the Allied Media conference. We attended various workshops (myself: Making your own short radio piece, starting a youth media center, A/V improv, indie fundraising; Colleen: Indie marketing, Hip-hop and organizing, some video screenings and starting your own alternative publication.) Some were better than others, but we agreed that, even if the content of the workshops was limited, they definitely provided us with, to get chemical about things, "activation energy."
We both felt like we really didn't quite fit in to the scene there. There is an indie culture that is distinct but, as it is very definitely a reaction against the mainstream (and one, I might add, that is frequently swallowed up my the mainstream) it has its own conformist tendencies as well. The t-shirt pictured below, along with another classic that said "Defend Fallujah" and featured a shoulder mounted rocket launcher, are reflective of a trend amongst this crowd to be awfully confused about how one should engage in ethical discourse. "What the heck is justice or love?", and "How did you come to such a clear understanding of the way the world should be?" were questions that the two of us were asking inside our heads frequently. It is a confusing picture that is painted when streams of thoroughly modern Marxism and postmodern deconstruction come together and get expressed most succinctly in hip t-shirts.
Like I said, though, we did learn quite a bit. Col and I talked on the ride home about how important genuinely Christian, and genuinely independent, media could be. This means stuff that doesn't come through Zondervan, or Thomas Nelson, or any of the other big Christian publishers and content producers (never mind the big time, mainstream stuff.) Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate a lot of the things that they put out, but I think there is just a tremendous potential for totally independent, very cheap information sharing. This is not, of course, a new idea, and there is plenty of good stuff out there already. (Online sermons, theology blogs, etc) This can be dangerous, too (look at a lot of tracts, for instance.) But it does seem to me that there's plenty more room for healthy, Christian critiques of sexual mores, news media; the distribution of art, etc, that is more accessible to more people. (Baird has a great idea for a sort of Christian reading list PDF zine.) I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I feel convicted to start experimenting (with Colleen and my friends at FBC Amherst.)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was a great trip. I miss Colleen.
Some more pictures:
These served as conference passes.
Col and I in a very cheap and tasty Mexican restaurant. They had apple soda that was delicious.