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« As seen on teevee | Main | Bubbling »

Oct 18, 2007


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Made me throw up in my mouth a little, Jerry. But thank God the mooks have come to save us.

Hope Jay Ovittore and Ben Hwang can attend the inaugural Converge music festival.

Let's hope there's time for a mandatory screening of Andy's seminal student film.

See youse guys there!


Yeah, that's a pretty big mistake Rowe made. Sean and Andy deserve their props, but Jay and Ben didn't deserve the dis.


Jeri's article was good writing and props to Andy and Sean without question. The statement that "music didn't take off" (loosely quoted) is plain inaccurate. CS's first year had huge music attendance at multiple venues one night and a big concert the next night. Even though Jay and Ben *did* work themselves silly, the point is: the music festival was huge. We have the receipts to prove it.

Last year was a one-day ConvergeSouth conference and music was never meant to be a huge part of the event. Sean and Andy probably didn't know that (and couldn't have corrected Jeri's misperception) but that doesn't excuse not asking (like Ben, or Jay, or me).

Overall, it was a fine piece of writing and gave deserved props to the brothers cowboy. Inaccurate reporting kinds of cranks my driveshaft (I should never do car metaphors) and let's set the record straight, please.

(and yes, should anyone ask, I'm just a little protective of the folks who work so hard on this conference)


Jerry Rowe and "fine piece of writing" do not belong in the same sentence.

At least this column had some information in it, not just a sad story that lets you know when the saddest part is coming by beginning a paragraph with "You see",
as in, "You see, Tiny Tim was crippled."

Ed Cone

Sean and Andy deserve their props.

Ben and Jay do, too.

Web video seemed like sci-fi to a lot of folks just a couple of years back, I think ConvergeSouth is doing pretty well at keeping up. Can't wait to see where it all goes from here.

Back when Jeri was writing news he covered a very sensitive story about which I had some personal knowledge and did an outstanding job of getting both fact and nuance into the paper. I was impressed as a journalist, and as someone who knew the story. I'd like to see his column spend less time on the heart-strings and more on harder-edged stuff.

The CA

I hope someone will report on the content of the films that the Coon's will be presenting. Iraq and post-Katrina New Orleans...looks like a good opportunity for...


looks like a good opportunity for...

Implying your agenda on a Film Festival? Puh-leez.

Here's how it works: you put out a call for film. You publicize it on MySpace and other likely places for creative people. Film-makers send their efforts in for review. If you're Cannes or Sundance, you probably reject a whole bunch. If it's your first film festival, you probably don't. This is high on the self-selection side; if you want to participate, you send in a film.

(Sounds vaguely similar to your post decrying who the N&R selected as community columnists, omitting the fact that it was by application and not by invitation.)

The CA

So non partisan Sue, anyone who sends in a film about anything will get it shown at CS, or is there a group that selects the films that are shown? How is the call put out for a film? How does that call read?

Ed Cone

The film festival has a website, it's linked off the CS website, and I've mentioned it numerous times here.

I thought conservatives were opposed to the culture of victimization. Take some initiative, man.


"How is the call put out for a film?"

It might be put out in a manner very similar to this.



That was fantastic. Who put the video together...Great work!


The CA

Back to the main question- who decides what gets played?

Ed, I'm not going to fall for that trap. I'll admit I'm playing the victim card as soon as you admit that there is a liberal media, etc. Otherwise, drawing attention to actual or potential bias in ostensibly neutral events is hardly playing the victim card- it's getting to the truth.

If I'm wrong about Sean and Andy, someone just let me know. But I know their politics, and the selection of a film about Iraq and one about New Orleans seems a bit suspicious. I hope someone who is there will tell me what the gist of those films are, and if my suspicions are correct, I hope those of you who are on my case now about this will have the honesty and courage to say "you were right".


If you can show there was some conservative film that was nixed because of its politics, I'd say you were right. The two films you mention could indeed be from a "liberal" viewpoint and it wouldn't show bias on the part of the organizers, because as Sue said, this is probably high on the self-selection side of things. For all you know, they accepted 100% of the films submitted, or maybe there were no conservatively leaning films sent in. Looking at those two films in isolation without any reference to the pool of submitted work and the selection process itself tells you absolutely nothing.


Ed is right.

Whine: There aren't enough conservatives attending a free web conference open to all for free.

Whine: There aren't enough conservative session leaders at a web conference where anybody could lead a session of their choosing.

Whine: The N&R didn't ask me to be a community commentator even though I didn't apply.

Whine: A local film festival doesn't include the kinds of films I'd like to see even though I didn't submit one.

Sounds like some people would rather snipe and gripe than actually jump in.

Ed Cone

You don't have to admit anything, Sam. Your words -- repeated many times, on any number of topics -- speak for themselves. You are a victim. You have been wronged. It's not fair. Noted.


"You don't have to admit anything, Sam. Your words -- repeated many times, on any number of topics -- speak for themselves. You are a victim. You have been wronged. It's not fair. Noted."

Blah blah, woof woof.

Joe Killian

You can't win (or appear in the daily paper, or have a film selected, or lead a Converge session) if you don't play.

When I was an editor on my college weekly I actually sat down with two of our campus' most prominent conservatives when they were complaining we had too few conservative columnists.

"Have you or any conservatives you know applied?" I asked.

"No," they said.

"Why not?"

"Because you're a liberal paper," they said.

"Well...why don't you try applying?"

They did. They were both hired. They both wrote a number of columns. One of them ended up doing a column opposite mine in the N&R. Then a conservative friend of theirs did a column in the paper after they were gone. The most exposure conservatives had ever gotten in campus media while I was there. None of their columns were ever edited or nixed for political reasons. Everything they wanted.

Because they got in the game.

Bring 50 conservatives to Converge next year. You'll no longer feel lonely and some of the people there who don't spend much time with conservatives may be exposed to some new viewpoints. Raise your hand to lead a session or put together a workshop. It's all free.


Sam's not upset that conservatives are underrepresented, he's concerned that pussies are underrepresented.

Please don't tell him to find 50 pussies like him and bring them to every event in town.

The CA

Rather than accusing someone of whining, why not just answer the question of how the films were selected, and what there content is. If I'm wrong, I will admit it, but if I am right, will you?

I doubt it, Ed. Sounds a lot like you're saying "quit whining about the reality I (meaning you, Ed along with others) refuse to acknowledge exists.

Accusing me of whining doesn't change the facts, but it does allow you to divert attention from the substance of my comments or the issue at hand.

Roch, I admitted I was wrong about the N&R column selections. The rest of your mythical whines did not come from me, although I have questioned the selection process before which is all I have really done here (funny, I still haven't got an answer on that process).

Finally, Roch, I didn't submit any films because I am not a film maker. But I don't believe that the two films in question were made by Sean or Andy, either. So I'm not sure your suggestion is really a valid comparison.

If these two films do turn out to be anti-Bush pieces, will any of you admit it or will I just be whining again?

I would hope that CS wouldn't be a partisan affair, but excuse the hell out of me for questioning whether that is truly so. This kind of reaction by the people in charge (all progressives) is quite telling about whether the affair is intended to be non political or whether we are getting lip service from people who are trying to maintain a facade of fairness.

I look forward to reading some of the reviews of the event- and of the films, when it is over.

If I am in town next year during CS, I will put in to be a panelist. That selection process should be interesting.

The CA

Yes, I'm the pussy who won't identify myself, TW. Who's the real pussy? After all, you probably vote Democrat as well...


"If these two films do turn out to be anti-Bush pieces, will any of you admit it or will I just be whining again?"

You ignored my point that even if they are indeed anti-Bush pieces that proves nothing without knowing info about the films submitted and the films rejected. What if there were no "pro-Bush" films submitted? Are you suggesting that they should have rejected these films because of that?

The CA

Anthony, I cannot answer that without someone first answering my initial question about the selection process. That would let us know what films were submitted and how they were selected.

Nobody wants to answer that question. Instead, it is easier to accuse me of whining for daring to ask the question or being somewhat suspicious considering Sean & Andy were in charge of that process. This isn't attack on either of them, but we all know where they stand and I think it is fair to question whether that affected the process at all.

So by doing so, Ed & Roch want to accuse me of whining, Sue won't give an answer, and this TW character wants to start calling people names. I appreciate you addressing this from a logical standpoint, though. That is more than what anyone else has done.

Do you think I might get an answer?


It could be that no one involved in the conversation knows the answer. Andy would probably be the one to ask.

I think the problems here is that there are many people who have worked very hard on this, and they really do see it as being good for the community, but there seems to be a certain group of people whose first instinct is to criticize the entire process without regard to whether they are informed on the subject.

If you were really concerned about bias, maybe a better way to go about it would have been to first inquire and actually find out about the selection process and films submitted *before* insinuating that the organizers are biased. Just a suggestion, but I think its one that would have been more productive and less likely to lead to arguments and defensiveness.

The CA

Judging by the response to me raising the question before making any judgments (which IS exactly what I have done- I have made no judgments at all, nor have I said that a film critical of Bush would be ipso facto a bad film) it appears they believe it is a good thing for a certain segment of the community (I assume you are referring to the blogging community). Anytime the rest of us dare question one of them, we get all this "whining, victim" crap instead of an answer.

We know where we stand, no use sugar coating it.

Ed Cone

I have no idea what the selection process is, nor do I know the content of the films.

I do know that the rules and requests for submissions have been publicized for some time, and that anyone who wanted to know about the festival, or participate in it, has had ample opportunity to do so.

It's the laziness of complaints made without bothering to check out facts or join in an open process that qualifies the comments as whining.

The CA

You are making up stuff. There hasn't been a complaint made on this topic, Ed. Final comment on this topic here .


That's it. They're intellectual lazy. They call it bias when in a lot of cases it's lack of preparation for the thread.

I was in Costco about an hour ago and saw a guy I hadn't seen since CS last year. I'm looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow. I wish I hadn't had to work today.

They're intellectually lazy because they don't approach things with an open mind. Sad, really.

Oh, they is Sam and Bubba.


On topic, If I'm not mistaken one venue booked an act on top of last year's CS Music Festival and the other venue folded - each unfortunate incidents beyond Ben and Jay's control.

BTW, I was a horse's ass about CS as early as last year. But I went and had a great time. Change will not kill you.

Jeffrey Sykes


Andy talks about Alive in Baghdad


These internets are something else.

Jeffrey Sykes

One can even view one of their entries here.


"They're intellectually lazy because they don't approach things with an open mind."

Yeah, sure.

We've seen plenty of evidence of "open minds" here, haven't we?

And this all comes from their favorite little suck up pseudo-conservative/toady/clown, Fec the Magnificent.

We've seen the mental and emotional discipline you're capable of.

Keep on posting.....this sounds like it's gonna be fun.


They don't like me very much.

But they like me more than Guarino likes you.


You're wasting my time.

Is there anything else of no particular value you need to say?

Ed Cone

Andy Coon, a filmmaker based in Greensboro, said he would create a film festival as part of ConvergeSouth, a volunteer-organized conference about new media and stuff regular folks can do on the web.

The film festival is his baby. I trust that he's putting on a good show. I haven't seen anything in the publicity/submission material that suggests that certain viewpoints are welcome or unwelcome.

If Andy's personal politics inform the content in a way that compromises the quality of the content, that's a problem.

That said, artists may have political viewpoints. If the submissions trend one way or another, so be it. It's no more the job of the festival to insist on some sort of subjective balance in content than it is to seek out material with one viewpoint or another.

If you want to influence the content of the event, participate in it. I don't know that an overtly political session is what the organizers are looking for -- sessions tend to be more about how to do stuff -- but volunteer conferences tend to need volunteers.


Alive In Baghdad is a farce.

sean coon

i'm not going to speak for andy, but if sam is getting pissy about this type of "political" statement by my brother:

"I don't want us to become zombies," Andy said the other day, sitting across from his brother. "I … I'm at a loss of words. Help me out, bro." "You're doing fine,'' Sean responded.

"Well, I'm not against the status quo," Andy continued, his face reddening as his voice rose. "I just want people to challenge what they hear. I don't give a (expletive) about Paris Hilton or Britney's crotch. What about all those people dying across the sea?"

then sam hasn't changed much in the four months since i've dropped off the grid here.

andy practically begged for entries over the past few months. he had *zero* budget for this festival, yet was able to convince current.tv and a host of local sponsors to back the event. if you don't like the process of a first year film festival doing whatever it takes to find submissions and then somehow get enough creme out of a thin crop to fill 3 hours, then go back to your fucking cave and keep cranking out your whining narratives.

neither of us give a shit.

as for music last night, jay was there supporting local musicians... where were the rest of you?


"where were the rest of you?"

We partied at Hoggard's then went to bed in time to be able to get up for the second day of Converge. You?

I spoke to Andy today about his selection criteria. He said he looked for goood technical quality and decent stories. He also said he'd drop by this thread and explain the submission/selection process. If he excluded films because of point-of-view, I expect he'll tell us and let the chips fall where they may. If he didn't apply a political filter to his selection process, that should be the end of it.


Working... which is why I missed out on both the BBQ, music, and tonight's dinners and film.

Sean and Andy get kudos for what they pulled off this year, despite the inaccuracies of the article (of which I've heard Jeri apologized for). No problems there, it'll give me more reason to harass him next time I see him. lol.

As far as the process for showing the short films, I could be mistaken, but I think that if it fit a certain time frame, it would be shown. I'm not certain as far as how many submissions there were and thus would be constrained by time. I wasn't a part of the process. But I have however been paying attention to Andy moving this forward from week 1 when he launched and he has never given me any inkling of doubt that he wouldn't be fair regardless of the "politics" of a film if it was done well.

If people are really in doubt for this, then if Andy is willing, I'll help or better yet, someone from the right that is interested in film should "volunteer" to help out with the filtering process.

I'm actually surprised that people like the complain about things, but when it comes to stepping forward to represent your own, the numbers dwindle. It's a participatory conference. You want something to be presented.... help present it by stepping up.


"neither of us give a shit"

Welcome to the club.


Sean --
The music last night was fantastic. Thanks for getting it together.

sean coon

thanks, eric. we still haven't met! if you see my big ass noggin' around town, be sure to introduce yourself. i'll be at center city park tomorrow at 4pm for the free concert if you're going.

i spoke to andy today too, roch, and i wouldn't hold your breath. nor would i make anything out of that... but then again i'm not enough of a loser to care about the selection process for a first time short film festival -- no matter what it was.

ben, no need to give us any credit; i didn't see you there last night or tonight. or sue. sorry roch, i really didn't care if you showed up or not.

as for jeri, he said nothing inaccurate. the two things he said that might have caused this controversy were:

Well, ConvergeSouth has offered some stimulating sessions. And some great barbecue. But the music? Well, it didn't really take off. And the film? Didn't happen


Sean created ConvergeSouth's inaugural music festival, set for Friday night, with a three-band lineup that showcases the city's music talent.

He hopes to turn it into a monthly gig that unveils other local original music and educates and empowers musicians — and fans — to film their favorite acts and upload their work onto the Web. The gig's name: The Verge.

1. the first quote is absolutely true. music didn't take off last year (i wasn't around for the first year, so i can't speak to that). practically the entire budget last year was blown on buying equipment for either a venue or an act (can't remember the details) and the promotion of the acts at the anvil didn't make much noise. that's exactly why i tossed my hat in the ring to work with ben & jay this year... to which i got *zero* response from my emails; jay was busy becoming my next representative (and told me so), but i heard nothing from ben until late in the process when he introduced a friend's band.

2. the second quote is on me. while there might have been something going on with music the first year (i heard a lot of money was spent on flying in an act) and last year actually occured, the explicit focus this year was on independent, local music and creative artist collaboration and participation (if you didn't go, ask someone else about it). i pimped the hell out of last night's program along those lines. so if jeri used that language, that was the context.

are everyone's panties freed up yet?

Ben Holder



Sam asked, "Back to the main question- who decides what gets played?"

I've been a little busy and hadn't been reading this thread for the past couple of days so I'm responding to Sam's question now (Sunday 10/21).

In CS's first film festival, decision-making was Andy Coon's venue. He didn't have a committee or a team; he took the entire Film Festival on and created it -- and saw it through to the end. He did magnificent publicity, got great entries and was the primary selection committee. As the Festival grows and we convince Andy that he should do this again, I'm sure he'll also grow a team. (It's how 'grassroots' works.)

He and I talked about the "rejected" films (I thought it was pretty cool that we had enough entries to actually reject one!). I asked if he sent out notices to the "rejected" with reasons and told me yes, he sent rejection notices to a small few (see below) but it's not appropriate to give reasons in detail (tis the nature of the genre). He's the producer, he has experience, he is the person who took it on as a project and hauled chairs to make the venue work, he is a pro, it's his decision to make.

I did ask *why* films were rejected (in general), which is a question anyone has the right to ask. These are the reasons I remember that Andy itemized:

(1) the quality of the film was abysmal and you couldn't see anything (i.e. really poor quality)
(2) no sound or garbled sound (i.e. poor quality)
(3) film length was too long (rules were specific)

And that was about it for rejection. (cap letter and bold alert) NO FILM WAS INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FOR POINT OF VIEW, POLITICAL IDEOLOGY or SOCIAL STATEMENT. It was a question of meeting the rules for inclusion that had been posted for several months on the ConvergeSouth site [taken offline after the deadline for entry].

In addition, contrary to Ben Holder's whining, he never sent in a film for inclusion so his films were never rejected. Frankly, that excuse is getting old (he's not the only person who's complained about not being invited to a self-nominating event; c'mon, can we please *finally* understand what 'grassroots' means?).

I'm clueless right now about how the Film Festival went. I'm sure several people are not yet awake so I don't have feedback and I'm eager to get some.


darkmoon wrote: Sean and Andy get kudos for what they pulled off this year, despite the inaccuracies of the article (of which I've heard Jeri apologized for).

Huge kudos to Sean and Andy for the work they did - each building something (a monthly independent music festival and a film festival) almost singlehandedly that is good for Greensboro, for ConvergeSouth and for people who love music and film. Jeri Rowe called me (on Thursday? the days are fading into one at this point) to reach out (his words) regarding my "calling him out" on the article. As I reiterated to Jeri, I thought it was fine writing and one sentence should have been clarified in the article. He agreed.

Jeri and I are still friends; a sentence in an article can't break that. We can disagree and not hate each other, which is what Joe Guarino told me at ConvergeSouth and my head almost fell off while I nodded (Joe and I disagree and we like each other; living proof that we can agree to disagree.)

A little more of that and a little less of the alternative seems such a simple fix for what's been ailing us. As physicians and football players know, many fractures can heal into bones that are stronger than the originals.


thanks, eric. we still haven't met! if you see my big ass noggin' around town, be sure to introduce yourself.
Sean -- I should have introduced myself on Friday evening, but I was enjoying the music so much, I just didn't think about socializing!

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