Last weekend, I had the pleasure and the honor of participating in The #DJBreitbart Project, awonderfully creative tribute to Andrew Breitbart.
Anyone who followed Andrew on Twitter or knew him personally was well aware of one thing aboutthe happy warrior: he loved his retro and 70s/80s Brit Synth-Pop music. It was an undeniable andendearing trait of Andrew’s persona.
Every so often, we were treated to Andrew Breitbart, the DJ. He’d take a break from taunting hisadversaries on Twitter or retweeting hate tweets to share some of his favorite music tracks with tweeps,hash-tagging them #DJBreitbart.
And so it was a fitting tribute last Sunday when, for 24 hours straight, 24 Twitter DJs – bloggers, activists,employees and friends of Andrew – took to Twitter to blast out links to tunes, each tweet accompanied bycommentary about the song or about Andrew himself. Each hour ushered in a new DJ, and a freshset of tweets with a new perspective on the man who wanted to make capitalism and liberty its own brandof punk rock cool.
The online event was the brainchild of fellow Breitbart contributor, Evan Pokroy. It was an effortthat developed organically on Twitter. I asked Evan what inspired him to come up with the idea for
I had seen everybody in my timeline talking about fighting the fight and retweeting the hatetweets and all the disgusting things that were being said [about Andrew].
I remember most of my personal interactions with Andrew were about music and how he justloved to stop for a while and tweet about it. So, I thought what would be the most fitting way toremember him, without all the hate and anger that the politics engendered in people, would be togo back to the music. So, it kind of evolved from that.
And that’s what scores of Twitter followers did. We went back to the music. So much so that
Followers of the event commented that it gave them a deeper view into the real Andrew Breitbart, theperson who was a friend and loved-one to so many. Even people who disagreed with Andrew on prettymuch everything said the event and its music made them see him in a different light. And you got thatsense from some of the DJs’ tweets.
Pokroy told me that the reaction to the event has been “pretty amazing.” Many have tweeted thatit should be an annual event. When I asked him about that possibility, he took the opportunity to expresshis gratitude for the people who jumped in to help put it together.
As I was getting it together I thought an annual thing would be great. Lots of people havebeen very positive; the reaction has been pretty amazing. I don’t know if it will be the sameformat as this year; it was a lot of work getting together, and I had a lot of last minute help from awonderful group of volunteers.”
I think that was one of the things that surprised me the most. A couple days before, I put out acall to see if anyone wanted to help with the website and I got such a wonderful response. Theyended up doing a much better job than I could have.
I have to thank all the folks who participated. It was wonderfully fun and I got to meetsome great folks who helped: @prupaine, @hlawver, @ballstalum96, @mrsimplesense,@juleslalaland, @texicalirose and @sdigda.
Lastly, when I asked Pokroy what inspired him about Andrew, I think he summed things up wonderfully.
His total lack of fear. Most of us go through life worried about what people will say, how they’llreact. He always struck me as someone so comfortable with himself that he had nothing to beafraid of. From anyone. He didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. He knew who he was andwhat he was doing. The rest was just icing. I wish I could do that.
Perhaps Andrew’s time on this earth was meant to teach us that we CAN all do that.
A complete set of each of the DJ’s playlists and tweets can be found at The #DJBreitbart Project website.