Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Adventures in Academia - Albuquerque and Pop-Culture


The wife and I traveled to Albuquerque to the SWTX PCA/ACA Conference. (Is there a worse title for a conference? When people ask me the name of the event I usually panic and run out of the room, feigning illness. I'm not even sure if I know what all of the letters stand for.)

I was told that Albuquerque would be a fun place to visit, but without a car there wasn't much to do. I know there are neat petroglyphs and good hikes nearby, but there wasn't anything in walking distance that was much fun.

These guys were always standing outside of our hotel, saying "No, you're the man."

We were told visit "Old Town," so we walked there along historic Route 66 and found nothing but cheesy tourist shops. (I bought a nice coffee cup there- I like to have one from all the places I go - so I guess I can't complain.) This cannon was the coolest thing there and it didn't even work.

There is art laying around, everywhere. Some of it is very average, but as a whole Albuquerque turns out to be a place with a consistent artistic theme that you can see everywhere you look - from the buildings to the random rock paintings. That's neat.

My lovely wife led this panel in a discussion of folk music. They talked about everything - from Lead Belly to Mumford & Sons.

Yours truly (not pictured) gave a paper on Mystery Science Theater and ancient philosophy. Specifically, I discussed how the show mirrors the way those philosophers acted when they were put in prison (or found themselves in similar situations). The show can be seen as a polemic for people struggling through hard times. Being in the middle of an academic discussion about my favorite TV show was a blast.

A local advertising company had a unique way of advertising their business.

I don't know. Maybe they were trying to paint Bob Dylan and starting thinking about rabbits. Stuff like this is everywhere and gives the place atmosphere.

More random art.

This is a very tall carving on the side of a church, and it contains an oddly large number of Chi Rho symbols.

See?

If I return, I'll be sure to rent a car and make time to see the sights outside of town. I know they're worth it. At least the conference was fun. (And I learned how to spell Albuquerque.)

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