A quick word about Gore

No, not as in Al, but as in "Tex, " as in Gore-Tex. Here's the deal--complete with asides and everything....

Last night i went to play a gig for a cement convention. Yes, a cement convention. When i was younger--as in...oh....18-26, 27--i used to fret about the idea of becoming one of those old musicians, dressed in spandex, with big ole poofy hair, playing 80's rock and roll in a hotel bar. I did not want to be that guy.

Well, i was spared. I didn't become that guy. Instead, i lost all my hair, i wear overalls or khakis and a blue oxford cloth shirt and i play bluegrass and 70's rock and roll in hotel bars (or, at cement conventions). And i don't care. I mean, i used to figure it was a little bit of a loser gig to do stuff like what i do now, but that's one of the advantages of getting older, isn't it? I don't have to give a shit what young people, including the younger version of me, thought was uncool.

Additionally, I'm not sure it's even uncool to get paid a thousand dollars for 4 nights "work." Play a few songs, shoot the breeze with the people milling around, play a few more songs, eat some good cheese off a cheese platter, etc. (Now, on the other hand, what is uncool is that guy with the shiny hair, next door at this same cement convention, doin' a single and using prerecorded tracks and a microphone headset. (No, just kidding, Dave. You're really pretty good).

Anyway, i don't do a whole lot of stuff like this cement convention. I chanced into it because of a friend. Oh....and here's another thing: who can i lobby to get the spelling of the word "friend" changed? I don't agree with how we spell it now. It looks like "fiend," only spelled with an "r" and i just don't think that's right. Although "freind" isn't as aesthetically pleasing with the round part up front like that, I think it works better than "Friend."


So the cement convention is a fluke gig, but i'd do more of them. The money's really good, and so's the cheese. Have you guys ever been to a convention like this? Like where you are a...well, where you're a person that uses a lot of cement, and then a bunch of people that provide you with things that help you use cement have a convention and then woo you with cheese and strong beverages? It's a strange world, this kind of convention. I was scheduled to play from 7:30 'til 10:30, and i didn't even have to start until like 9:30 because no one else was there. Most of the crowd, it turns out, had been stolen by one of the other vendors trying to sell their cement stuff to the cement people. The crowd that was supposed to be there had been loaded onto buses and all of them taken out to dinner here in Charleston.

It's evidently a dog-eat-dog world at cement conventions like this, what with each vendor trying to out-do all the other vendors with better drinks and more cheese. I'd say that the crowd-stealer guys won, but someone explained to me that that's cheating--you're not supposed to take anyone "off-site."

Alright. I'm getting to the point of the post. Which is funny because i started all this with the title "a quick word," but, hell, i knew i was gonna ramble. Anyway, so you understand that this is a cement convention now (at a "convention center"), with different vendors trying to woo cement industry executives into their particular suite through the use of alcohol and other things. In the case of my employer at this thing, which happened to be Gore (of Gore-Tex fame) , they used live musicians, drinks and poker tables. And now for the quick word about Gore:

While we were setting stuff up, the Gore rep was explaining what it was we were playing for (much like i have just now done for you) and one of my band mates said, jokingly, "well, man, why don't you just have some hot chicks in here?"

Well, you know what that Gore rep said? Without being condescending, or mean, or holier-than-thou, or even fake sounding and all the while acknowledging what my friend said as a joke, that guy said this:

Gore isn't that type of company. That isn't part of our ethic. We don't want to be the kind of company that treats women like objects. Besides, as a feminist, i just don't think that would be the right thing to do. We don't need the business that badly.

Wow! You go Gore!


Blogless Reader said...

Or maybe the exec knew his audience included husband of noted feminist author? "All too easy."

Anonymous said...

great story. glad gore-tex is pro-feminist. If they only didn't have teflon "in the mix" and weren't contributing chemicals to our water, air and blood, we'd be all good.


Biffle said...


You may be thinking more of Dupont.

also, as alison's dad would say: "everything is a chemical." (for instance, your blood is a chemical)

Anonymous said...

No, not thinking of Dupont. (Your answer was a tad bit patronizing, BTW. Give me some credit for knowing my stuff, Biffle.)

Gore-tex is teflon See "Essentially Gore-tex is a Teflon-treated synthetic polymer — a plastic." at "What is Gore-tex?" http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Teflon/Gore-tex4jun05.htm

To be more precise--It's Teflon--a carcenogenic chemical (sp?), lethal to birds, which causes flu-like symptoms in humans and can cause severe respiratory problems in infants and the elderly. Different "chemical" than blood (at least healthy blood). Not that I've bleed on any birds lately, but I'd hazard a guess that none would keel over from the experience.

Saying "everything is chemical" is like saying "everything is made of atoms". It's saying something while really saying nothing. Some chemicals, especially plastics, especially plastics that are noxious for people, animals, birds...whether in production, use, or disposal, are worse than others.

(Not that I don't rather hypocritically own a product made out of gore-tex and teflon, but I bought them before I realized what they were. Depressing, really.)


Biffle said...

is everybody in the world on the rag?

Anonymous said...

WALTER! I was trying to engage you in conversation. Trying to be thoughtful (if a bit flippant), not trying to be insulting. Thought you would appreciate it and respond in a more thoughtful manner. Did you really have to respond that way? That was SOOOO sexist and reductive. I'm disappointed. How old are you??

(Never mind that the male in my household is laughing hysterically. He's so wrong. And so sleeping on the couch.)