Besides it being a great opportunity for bloggers to do stuff they usually don’t do (like go outdoors and talk to people), this year’s South by Southwest ( SXSW ) interactive conference and festival in Austin, TX is also a social-technological experiment of sorts. A company called BBH Labs has stirred up some controversy with its “Homeless Hotspots” strategy, which utilizes about a dozen folks with no permanent housing wearing t-shirts that state their name, the slogan “I am a 4G Hotspot” and access code info to activate devices on that person for an internet connection. (Word is this service is pay-what-you-want, but it’s suggested users donate at least $2 for 15 minutes.) And while giving jobs to the homeless is a noble enough enterprise, humanizing those less fortunate than some of us ain’t such a bad idea either. One of our favorite rappers (and tweeters) El-P , who is set to perform at various shows at SXSW , couldn’t help but log on to El Twitter (@therealelp) and share some outraged thoughts about this development – i.e. bloggers down in Austin in a white tee, lookin’ for (human) wi-fi.
READ EL-P GOIN’ OFF ABOUT “HOMELESS WI-FI HOTSPOTS” AFTER THE JUMP…
1. Homeless person wi-fi hotspots might just be the absolute culmination/representation of gentrification and class disconnect ever.
2. Honestly why not just bring back “bum fights” at this point? or rig homeless people so that people can charge their ipads on them?
3. 4 words: mobil human picnic tables. homeless people get on their hands and knees and put a table cloth on their backs for you! anywhere!
4. Why not have homeless people stand in fields for you to piss on? “hold my ipad, im gonna go take a piss on that homeless guy!” “hurry up!”
5. “Excuse me, sir, can you hold your hands above your head please? i only have 3 bars of wi-fi and im trying to update my tumbler. THANKS.”
6. Of course im sure “living wi fi antenna” is exactly the type of resume bullet point that will put a homeless man back in to the work force.
7. That thing where your wifi hotspot wont stop telling you about vietnam or crying. #homelesswifi
8. That thing where your wifi hotspot asks you for a cigarette. #homelesswifi
9. That thing where your wifi hotspot has a beautiful voice+gets a job on radio only to fall back in to drugs and alcoholism. #homelesswifi
10. That thing where your wifi hotspot walks away just before the end of the season finale of “downtown abby”. #homelesswifi
11. That thing where the government bounds and gags your wifi hotspot because some kid downloaded “wolverine origins”. #homelesswifi
12. That thing where your wifi hotspot is still wearing a hospital gown and id bracelet. #homelesswifi
13. That thing where your wifi hotspot tries to give you your matches back and you’re like “nah i’m good”. #homelesswifi