Overheard at the start of the talk: "Hey, you know who that is? That's Chuck D." The response: "Who's that?" Oh boy. And the response to that clueless query was an almost unforgivable admission that the smart guy who at least had heard of Public Enemy barely knew who Chuck D was himself: "He invented rap."
You know who did know who Chuck D is? The speaker who followed him (starting, of course, with a tough-act-to-follow joke): Albert Wenger from Union Square Ventures.
The assembled masses could not seem to keep themselves from chattering through both of these speakers (but, as we established, they barely knew who Chuck D was anyway). This seemed to be a constant of Internet Week events: assemblages who all seem to think they have much more important things to say than the speakers they are there to see. It's the "Oh well, there's an open bar" mentality.
Wenger looks like every white guy you've ever seen in a commercial for khakis. He speaks quietly and matter-of-factly, but oh did he have something to say. As the crowd just talked over his introduction where he recounted his daughter's incredulity at the mere thought that Daddy grew up with no Internet, Wenger started to explain a cartoon about the recession he quite liked. Still more chattering.
He described the cartoon -- sure you've all seen it: Two suits are standing on a peak while a wave approaches way in the distance. The wave moves closer and closer and gets bigger and bigger, until finally it washes over the two men. Cut to one turning to the other and saying: "I didn't see that coming."
Wenger, in his understated way, paused and looked directly at the music industry digerati and wannabes and said: "That is what is happening to you."
The chatter stopped dead -- If just for a moment.