Homeless Routers at SXSW

homeless hotspot

homeless hotspot

SXSW is in full swing and already a national controversy, nay, a broohaha (note to self:  start a brew pub called BREWHAHA) was ignited when Bartle Bogle Hegarty had the ingenious idea to pay homeless people $20 to become human hotspots.   Our question is:  What’s the big deal?

Here at AAG, we have a long history of exploiting the homeless for comedic effect.  In fact, one of our very first posts Best.ACL.Coverage.Ever, was found taped to the prosethetic leg of a dying hobo (wandering homeless who carry bandana poles).  We reserve the right to mock anyone who does not regularly read our blog.  We’re cowards like that.   Of course now that homeless people have continuous wi-fi access, we expect it’s only a matter of time before they peek over someone’s shoulder and read this blog, so we will rethink our bias on this topic.   We can still mock the criminally insane.

The fact remains, turning homeless people into routers is like throwing a man with no arms or mouth into a titty pool.  It seems like a bad idea, but look at it from the victim’s perspective.  He’s getting to roll around in a titty pool.  I’m sure there are worse ways to spend your time than rolling around in a heap-0-mammaries doing the…ahem…breast stroke.

The same could be said for the homeless, as Craig Blaha (Blaha should help us open Brewhaha) writes about in his blog Austin Homeless Hotspots .   Craig acknowledges the outrage as eloquently expressed by Jon Mitchell on his blogsite ReadWriteWeb, but suggests that the despite the symbolic slam and the linguistic faux pax (dehumanizing the homeless by having them wear T shirts saying “I am a 4G hotspot”), the intent of  Front Steps Shelter, who arranged this unique employment opportunity is benign and the homeless are benefiting not only from the employment, but the national exposure.  Craig also gets a little defensive of our fair city by pointing out that we love our homeless here in Austin, as witnessed by our outpouring of love after the death of Leslie, Austin’s favorite cross-dressing sort-of-transvestite, homeless, three time mayoral candidate.  But don’t let that fool you.  We have our share of assholes that live here too.

Craig’s suggestion is: “If Homeless Hotspots really pisses you off, protest by donating directly to Front Steps Shelter, the National Coalition for the Homeless, or your local homeless organization. Put your money where your mouth is…”

A noble thought. While you’re reaching for your checkbook, check out the Daily Show’s coverage of SXSW Human Hotspot controversy.

Authors Note:  If you find any part of this post offensive, we apologize.  Comedy can be a bitch (no offense to bitches), and we wax insensitive for a laugh.  We support and respect the homeless, Front Steps Shelter, the criminally insane, the armless and the mouthless (is this even possible?).  If you have any further complaint about the content, please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.  Otherwise visit our contact page and email us directly.


  1. “Bartle Bogle Hegarty” – really?

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