Gettin' Buggy With It? Yes: Gettin' Very Buggy With It

The Entomological Society of America's annual shindig: Now in Austin!

Gettin' Buggy With It? Yes: Gettin' Very Buggy With It
by ILLUSTRATION BY BARRETT KLEIN

First, though, we're gonna tell you about The Dionysium – because it's gone buggy, too.

The Dionysium's that monthly hullaballoo of wine-fueled entertainment and intellectual stimulation purveyed (for years now) by LB Deyo and Buzz Moran and their brainy cohort at the Alamo Drafthouse. And this month's Dionysium is all about bugs – insects, arachnids, and the like – as presented by local artists, writers, and bug-industry movers & shakers, as curated by the Austin Chronicle's Wayne Alan Brenner.

[NOTE: That's me: Brenner: The seasoned old journo whose words you're currently reading.]

And this whole deal isn't mere happenstance, no: We've known for more'n a year that the Entomological Society of America's annual conference was going to be held in Austin for the first time ever, and so we planned accordingly, rigging our schedules so the Dionysium would herald the coming of the ESA with a special insect-celebrating program at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.

And so it will, on Wednesday – with a presentation by Little Herds' Robert Nathan Allen, an erotic reading by Bedpost Confessions' Rosie Q. Weaver, a visual-art display by paper-cut genius Ashley Gierke, and a vigorous debate on the potential value of entomophagy. Bonus: A cartoon curated by Lance Myers and live music by maestro Graham Reynolds. Ah, the Dionysium!

So that's a thing.

But then, on the weekend, holy shit: The 61st annual gathering of hundreds of scientists, academics, and other professionals in the field of entomology. The best and the brightest in the country, and more than a few of them with an inordinate fondness for beetles – not to mention the thousands and thousands of insects and their ilk beyond Coleoptera.

Of course, it's not just a scholarly gabfest taking over various parts of downtown ATX. No, there's also a vast floor of informative displays and presentations in the Austin Convention Center, a juried exhibition of insect art ("Eclosion") from your friends at Art.Science.Gallery in Big Medium's Canopy space; an Insect Rodeo at the Bullock State History Museum; the 30th annual Linnaean Games (a high-stakes quizzy sort of event that makes your local pub's "trivia night" seem downright Neanderthalic in comparison), and all manner of educational and entertaining buggy goodness.

[Remember: By the time that first amphibious ancestor of ours crawled out of the prehistoric swamps and onto dry land, those O.G.s we call insects had been around for, like, ages. Now's a good time to pay some respect to the oldschool denizens of this planet. To pay some respect and, we suggest, party down – from the Dionysium on Wednesday, Nov. 6th, to the final day of the ESA conference on Wednesday, Nov. 13th.]

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