Tonight — my final night at the ETech conference — I attended the hyooge expensive big party Disney hosted for ETech attendees and speakers. Four hours of top-notch food, a big room, two bars… the works. Weird, swank. I went in with dear friend Scott Beale, and was delighted to see about an hour into the party the arrival of character “His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Nikita Chrosov” (Monochrom‘s representative, tomorrow morning’s ETech speaker), dressed in a full Russian officer’s uniform, accompanied by a live cameraman. He proceeded to liven up the party, meeting guests in character to a “t”, endeavoring to meet and network with Disney executives, hoping to learn the strange customs of Disney and our country — he told me he wanted to meet a Disney rep and discuss what he called the effect of the “sugar coated bullet” of Disney on his people.
Image by sweet vissago.
His interactions were laugh out loud hilarious! It was Borat-style outrageousness (without the grossness, offense, and a character he’s played since way before Sasha Baron Cohen brought us Borat). We — me and a peanut gallery of hacker boys watched His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Nikita Chrosov — complete with ETech badge — work the room, spoofing some pretty big ego-tastic bloggers and well-known web personalities by simply interacting in character. Some “web stars” clearly couldn’t roll with the prank (I’ll let you guess who), but others hilariously ran with it on camera (notably Ben Metcalfe and company). At one point, His Excellency scooped up a handful of wasabi from the on-demand Disney sushi bar and exclaimed “Oh! Pudding!” and swallowed it whole (he told me later at an afterparty, he right then nearly puked on the nearby Dockers and shoes of the aghast-yet-laughing partygoers and surrounding web marketing Barbies).
Meanwhile, people with cameras followed his progress around the room. Until a Disney PR bettie got her toes stepped on by a photographer — ironically an official photog for ETech — and demanded that His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf (Nikita Chrosov and camera) had no right to be shooting there, neither did the official photog, and they were escorted — kicked out. The PR lady’s quote I was told by someone nearby was, “Get out of my party.”
Monochrom kicked out of the Disney party. I mean, His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Nikita Chrosov. Upon my retelling mere minutes after Johannes was escorted out, pt exclaimed, “WHAT!? He wins *this* round.” He had a total mad scientist I’ll get him look in his eyes…
The personal follow up is that right after, a nice man in an EFF t-shirt asked to take a photo with me (it’s a normal thing now, wow). I — of course — said yes (no Jobs am I), and I joked with him that it was funny he *asked* since my friend just got kicked out of the party for filming in there. Then I realized that my EFF pal was, in fact, a Disney employee — who had fully enjoyed the man in the uniform’s good fun antics. And right then, another very nice Disney exec came up and excitedly met me, and then they started talking about it… and I excused myself, to be told later that ‘the Disney guy was so happy he finally got to meet you and then bummed to find out you were upset your friend was kicked out…’
Good job, Monochrom. You have pranked Herr Maus! Soon on the interwebs you’ll see the video of His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Nikita Chrosov afterward shouting in a crazed Russian accent storming his way out of the party saying he’d “never been treated with such indignity” and then sobbing into a bottle of Vodka in the hallway of the San Diego Marriott. Good times :)
Image by sweet vissago.
The talk tomorrow at 11:50 am is: “His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf honors the “Emergence of Tomorrow” @ O’Reilly Etech 2008″. This is the ETech description; this is the Monochrom description. I’m happy to be going home, but sad to miss the aftermath from tonight, and the talk…
* Additional irony: His Excellency is actually a *true* Disney fan.
Updates: Scott Beale blogs Nikita Chrusov of Soviet Unterzogersdorf Visits ETech 2008 and has terrific photos of the final ETech presentation, complete with the Soviet ETech decor; Monochom blogs about the “diplomatic incident” in Violet Blue: “The Disney, ETech and Monchrom scandal”; and I see in the comments that His Excellency Nikita Chrusov of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf will be part of The Lance Van De Kamp Show at the Plutopia bash during SXSW. Uh-oh… All this and I’ll be livestreaming my experiences with a new gadget… Eeee!