Skitch and the Bastard Part II

12 05 2010

We met Andy Bastard, yes Bastard, completely by chance one late night during our stay in Austin.

A slightly inebriated friend gracefully stumbled to an ATM machine that just so happened to be situated right outside the tattoo parlor at which the Bastard worked. Covered in tattoos and piercings from head to toe, the Bastard emerged from the parlor as our friend struggled to withdraw some cash.

“Well, hello pretty lady,” the Bastard spoke as he lit his first, of many, cigarettes.

A snarky response from my friend, an hour and a tattoo later, we bid farewell to the Bastard thinking it was our last moment with the man.

Two hours later, after returning to 6th street from our hotel, we made the trek down the lively street. All of a sudden, we spotted the Bastard in another tattoo parlor, made our way in and said hello. Immediately after I asked him where we should spend our time that night, he stood up, told his boss he was leaving and took us down the street to a bar that somewhat resembled the inside of haunted house.

It should be noted that the movie Where the Wild Things Are was playing on the TVs.

We sat down, the man took a shot of whiskey and one of the most interesting conversations I have ever had began.

Andy Bastard is a professional body piercer who splits time between a few different tattoo parlors on 6th street in Austin, Texas. He loves his lady, his cigarettes, his boy, booze and rock and roll, and if you mess with any one of those things, the Bastard will not be happy.

By day he is a proud piercer of flesh and at night he is the lead rocker of THE BEXAR COUNTY BASTARDS, a rock and roll band that will melt your face.

Bastard is living his dream, and he loves it. He knows what it’s like to live in a van. He knows what it’s like to battle his demons. He also knows what it’s like to change his stars and go from nothing to something.

He’s not a famous rock and roll celebrity living in a mansion, and that’s the way he wants it.  “That’s pretentious,” the bastard exclaimed multiple times.

He likes the little things and he values his passions more than a pay check.

The bartender made the “last call” announcement, the Bastard took his last shot and we bid farewell.

Shortly before last call, Skitch, a friend of the Bastard and a tattoo artist with a face tattoo that made him look like a lizard, walked in to the bar and invited us back to the parlor to shoot the breeze with everyone.

Running in to Andy Bastard and the lessons learned were two things I could not have predicted.  He was a very kind person that didn’t have to be.  He chain smokes, curses like a sailor, is graphic about his exploits, but also geniunely cares about the people he meets, if they’re not pretentious that is.

Every person has a story, and now that I have met the Bastard, I do my best to stop and hear them.


Don’t Hate. Collaborate.

13 01 2010

I’m no social media purist. I have never claimed to be.  But I have used social media quite a bit and had success in the areas I’ve used it to supplement my efforts.  With that being said, that success doesn’t make me any better than anyone else who chooses to interact in any social media- it just makes me one of the millions of people who are engaging online.

 There is no hierarchical structure in social media where a certain amount of followers, subscribers, etc. gets you a certain status or rank.  Although some users may be more influential than others, everyone is on the same playing field, and that’s the beauty of social media.

Lately I have seen some social media snobbery that has irked me enough to write this very post.

The other night someone posted that they just don’t get people who don’t use social media, and that it’s far too important to ignore.  Yes, I agree that it is very important, especially in the area of work I have chosen to pursue. But, my SM use doesn’t make me any better than those who choose not to use it as much as I, nor does it detract from the person who doesn’t use it at all.

Just like SM is not a perfect fit for every campaign or PR problem/opportunity, it’s not a perfect fit for every person either.

With all of this in mind, there are a few points (that some are getting confused) for everyone to be aware of:

  1. Social Media is not PR, it’s just one of the many tools the practitioner has at his or her disposal.
  2. Twitter is NOT social media, it is A social media
  3. When you tweet, blog, etc. you are A PART of a community, not just a leader

Social media is the everymans media, it’s not elitist.  So collaborate with others and engage, don’t worry about those who don’t and learn from those who do.

Let’s think about SMobs another way. If you’re at a party, would you rather hang out with the cool guy who is telling you new things about a subject you’re very interested in, or Debbie Downer in the corner who is complaining about everyone else at the party and making fun of those who weren’t even invited?  I think the choice is obvious.

Bottom line: don’t hate, collaborate!