Last Thursday I headed down to The Waldorf Hotel, intrigued by these posters all around town:
I've been a fan of Douglas Coupland for quite a while now. Reading his descriptions of Vancouver certainly made me even more excited to move here, and in the back of my mind was always the hope I'd see him around town. I haven't yet, though I did go to a recording of a CBC radio interview with him a while back.
The website for The Waldorf seemed to suggest that this would be a sort of lecture presentation, but articles I read online that included interviews with Doug made it sound more like a social experiment where people hung around, chatted and watched youtube videos together.
Not wanting to miss it either way I headed down a good hour before the doors were set to open and waited in line with a curious crowd.
Photo c/o The Cheaper Show
This is what the room looked like before he came in. Unfortunately they asked everyone to stand so that last 50 people could get in (so I guess all that waiting was a bit of a waste...*grumble*).
What transpired for the next two hours I pretty thoroughly enjoyed and was certainly glad to be a part of.
A lot of people didn't like it - at one point someone yelled out "I came to hear you talk, not watch youtube videos". A lot of the people I was with turned out to be communications students, so they were similarly disappointed in the lack of substance I suppose.
It was a youtube party. Doug came out, played some of his favourite videos (some of which included Marshall McLuhan), got audience recommendations, rambled a bit about the future, technology, how great Vancouver is....honestly it was kind of exactly what I was expecting.
Part of my enjoyment may have come from the fact that I ended up being about 6 feet from him, so it definitely had a distinctly intimate, social feel for me.
I think he's planning on doing a few more - maybe they'll be more structured, maybe not. Either way, I would recommend anyone who is a fan of his, or just a fan of interesting evenings in general to check it out.