What follows is a notedump, perhaps designed more to overwhelm than to summarize, or to reflect the density of ideas, enthusiasms, and connections that the BABEL meeting tried to drown us all in. Despite the entire time feeling out of time, an Edenic mirage that we were both well within and yet was always just out of reach, I’ve tried to reconstruct a chronological account of what I did and what I heard people say (and my apologies if I’m misrepresented what anyone said).
If my notes are to be believed, I am not a jetsetter, and I do not normally dash from bed to the plane to the event, but after a night of modest sleep there I was, Toronto Island airport, and a prop plane ride and there I was, Logan airport, where a free subway ride took me to Northeastern University, to a student center, to a table with registration forms and trick dice, whenupon I started a day that I had already started five hours ago in order to go to the airport and which would not end for three days. Or, I would have started it, but there was some confusion about when the first panel was supposed to start, which was a confusion symbolic of our shambolic temporality, because really almost everything else went off without a temporal hitch.
My bespoke nametag—for we all had different, hand-picked icons on our nametags—had an image of Freddie Mercury triumphant on it, and it was great and frankly better than everyone else’s.