Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Concept: Writeup of Gothic Funk Party #15: EYE OF ARGON

This document consists of:
1. Invitation to Gothic Funk Party #15
2. Addendum to the Invitation
3. Account of the Party
4. Photos of the party

1. The invitation to Gothic Funk Party #7:


Invitation written by Connor.

SUBJECT: Gothic Funk Party #15: EYE OF ARGON
BODY: Flier attached.
Text version follows:

The Gothic Funk Nation Presents...
Gothic Funk Party #15


Friday, December 5th
Eight o'clock in the evening.

Limited space; RSVP necessary.

No cover.
Beer $1.
Snacks $1.

Calling all bards and barbarians for a special reading of one of the worst stories ever written.

ThE wEAthEr BEAtEN trAil
wOuNd AhEAd iNto thE duSt
rAckEd cliMES of thE BArEN lANd
which doMiNAtES lArgE portiONS
of the NOrgoliAN EMpirE.

2. Addendum to the Invitation

3. Account of the Party

Instability is endemic to the Gothic Funk Nation! For the last half-year both of our reading series have been picking up steam, and the lineup for the first issue of our journal is very promising. And yet, the parties, which are this Nation's raison d'etre, have been sorely missing. The last official party was during Labor Day weekend. At the same time several brilliant ideas for parties had been floated: Reinhardt proposed a reading of the EYE OF ARGON, Sam proposed a stempunk interpretation of Hackers, and Barb proposed a movie viewing of Henson's Storyteller series. All of these would make for intimate, small-scale parties and we should do all of them. But Reinhardt and I decided that we could bring his plan to fruitition in about a week and so Reinhardt assembled the stories and I sent out the invite.

On the night of the party about nine people showed up: myself, Sam, Sky, Emma, her friend Christine, Amber, Reinhardt, and Wes. It was a testosterone heavy night, generally speaking. We kicked off the festivities with a round of snarfing on the back porch. The way I was taught to snarf (though there were several variations on this that night), one shakes a can of cheap beer and punctures the side with a ball-point pen while opening the lid and chugging. The suction functions much like a beer bong, albeit a lot messier. We did this on the back porch (in single-digit degrees) to avoid spilling all over the place, and we generally succeeded.

The main event was the short story The Eye of Argon published in 1970 in OSFAN, the journal of the Ozark Science Fiction Society. And, oh, it is awful. Witness the selection below:

"From where do you come barbarian, and by what are you called?" Gasped the complying wench, as Grignr smothered her lips with the blazing touch of his flaming mouth.
The engrossed titan ignored the queries of the inquisitive female, pulling her towards him and crushing her sagging nipples to his yearning chest. Without struggle she gave in, winding her soft arms around the harshly bronzedhide of Grignr corded shoulder blades, as his calloused hands caressed her firm protruding busts.

It would require too much space to do full justice to the accidental atrocity of this piece, but the game went as follows. We sat in a circle and read, the goal being to complete a page without laughing. We weren't allowed to slow to gain composure, and we had to pronounce all typos and errors (of which there were many). The story took three hours to read and, as with staged-readings of Hamlet, it was our determination in large part that saw us through. Still, it was a great night, a great event, and this was a new combination of people I would like to see again.

After the reading was finished, Sam treated us to a lecture he had prepared on weapons of mass destruction, from the MOAB and the Little Boy bombs to the Soviet Tsar bomb. We followed up with weird YouTubes and Gnarkill. It was a weird momeny of gender stereotypes winning out, as the boys clustered around the computer for about an hour, while the girls all dropped off on the futon.

The party ended at about one, and the bards and barbarians headed off into the swirling snow off that harroweing night and their grinding lungs were so cold to them until they stopped.

4. Photos of the Party.
All photos by Connor Coyne.

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