Several actual writers/editors passed on the opportunity to go to São Paulo to speak at a seminar on Cultural Journalism, so the opportunity, which feels like a Nickelodeon/Reality TV–styled sweepstakes prize, has fallen, with relatively scant advance notice, to me. I leave in a few hours. I arrive tomorrow. I will spare you any further groveling about how I don’t deserve to go on this trip, how I am an intellectual imposter, a child actor holding a camcorder in a park, etc, and just say that I’m excited and am going to try not to make an ass of myself. I think I will be helped by the fact that my “talk” will be translated for the audience into Portuguese (e.g. “oh, he must just seem brain-damaged b/c of the untranslatable idioms he insists on using”). The talk is about the “new new journalism,” and I am on a panel, which the organizers keep calling a “debate” in their emails, with a Peruvian editor/writer. I am hoping “debate” is just an awkward translation. It is unclear at this point what will happen to me when I’m there apart from the panel, which should only take an hour and a half out of the 4 or so days I’m there. I predict the main activities will be inserting untranslatable idiomatic metaphors about the New Journalism into a notebook and sending PDFs to Westcan Printing Group in Winnipeg, Canada. Hopefully this can happen from the patio of a sunlit sex-cafe, or maybe a folding metal chair next to a precarious lunch truck.
I don’t have a digital camera. I am purposefully bringing too few clothes and books. Email me your street address. This sort of heinous aggrandizing quotidian unreadable self-chronicle is just the sort of thing blogs were created for.