Ask The Expert: Red Hat Road Tour 2002

Jeremy Hogan
Community Relations Manager

Jeremy Hogan is the Community Relations Manager at Red Hat and the fearless leader of Red Hat Road Tour 2002. We sat down for a few minutes while he was making final preparations for the trip to ask him a few questions about the tour. To read more, access the tour journal, and find out where the tour is stopping, go to:

Q:  Red Hat Road Tour 2002. Why?
A:  It's really about street marketing. About getting out there where it's happening. And diving in to help.

On a deeper, philosophical level, what made Rabbit, Run? Why does the caged bird sing? There comes a time in every man's life when an opportunity presents itself, to fulfill his sole purpose in life, or to have his one dream.

For me, to at last be a dirty hippie. If only for 18 days.

Q:  Tell us about your crew. How did you choose them?
A:  Just your basic Tom Sawyer maneuver. You stand there whitewashing the fence with a dopey grin on your face, and a crowd gathers. I told them about the long hours on the road, the bad coffee, slow internet, the awful smells. Somehow after all that there were a couple guys still interested. They actually think this is going to be fun!

What a bunch of maroons!

Wait... this is going to be published after we leave, right?

Anyway, then came a rigorous physical. You know the drill: strength, endurance, resistance to passing out under high Gs, oxygen/sleep deprivation. We all failed. It was not pretty. But there you are.

Q:  Which will cost more: What you paid them to come, or what you'll pay to keep them quiet afterward?
A:  I have an airtight mutual non-disclosure agreement that covers the "hush money" side of things, so I'd have to say the upfront costs. I had to give "Cookie" a pedicure for crying out loud. (shudder).

I think the trip will be it's own reward.

Q:  How do you think they'll react when they realize there are five of them and the RV only sleeps four?
A:  Wishful thinking there. That's "sleeps four if two double up"...


It's funny now, but when I'm sleeping in the aisle, with my face jammed into the low pile carpet, I'll probably regret the whole thing.

Q:  You've worked on film crews in Hollywood. Which do you think will best describe the tour: "Easy Rider", "Goodfellas", or "Apocalypse Now"?
A:  That really depends. I would say Easy Rider is out, b/c even though there's some bikers, there's no bikes.

I'd have to say "Apocolypse Now: Redux", the full length restored cut. Because it'll be really interesting, but will feel twice as long as it needs to be.

I'm flexible, I'd go for something along the lines of "Cannonball Run", or something as well. So long as it isn't "Deliverance."

Q:  What should UTB readers do if they're driving along the road and they see a 32-foot red RV with the Red Hat logo on it?
A:  They should hold up makeshift signs with words and phrases of encouragement. No mooning.
Q:  Eighteen days in an RV is almost like being stranded on a desert island, but with beef jerky. You know you want to--name the five albums you must bring along.
A:  My own list? Hmmm... just five? Can I stash some Ogg Vorbis files on my laptop? If I had to take five, I'd say, in no order of preference:
1) Gorrilaz
2) Untouchable Outcaste Beats Vol 1
3) Alligator Records 25th Anniversary Compilation
4) Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space -- Los Amigos Invisibles
5) Ninja Tune: Xen Cuts
Q:  Which destinations are you most looking forward to?
A:  Portland. Not just because it's the end, but because we're doing so much. There's a lot of activity in Portland, it'll be good to see it first hand.

DC is always worth a stop. Philly is cool. Cleveland... is there as well.

Seeing carhenge, meeting some real life geeks, rest stop snack foods. It's all good. If I get something more than a clock made from a cross-section of stump, this trip will be a success.

Q:  Has anybody warned you about driving through Colorado in November?
A:  Where? When?

I need to look at the schedule more often.

Q:  How will you know if the trip is truly a success?
A:  Other than the stump clock?
If Jonathan "Eats the Whole ThingTM", and gets a shirt or hat to prove it.
If we never have to manually siphon the chemical toilet.
If McDermott manages to take *one* shower in under an hour.
If there is no scurvy, frostbite, or cannibalism.
If I can get one of those flattened pennies from the Grand Canyon.
If we have any swag left by the time we hit Denver.
If we manage to make all of the stops on or near on time.
If every one gets back in one piece, and no one gets fired.
Q:  You've given plenty of UTB interviews yourself, and you're known for ending the interview by asking an existentialist question. So Jeremy, why are we here? And, as you say, feel free to quote "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," everyone else does.
A:  We're not here. On the largest scale of measure, our existence, physical and ethereal, with respect to duration and impact, grows so infinitesimally small as to not register. From a purely macro-macro-cosmic vantage point, we aren't here at all. There can't be a purpose of existence, to something that does not exist. As for the Adams quote: "Market Analysts will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes." I'd bet green money on that one myself.