Mere Outline Guerrilla Playfare

Of course, many things have been important to me in my now long history as a public action creator. Two of those things stand out as, perhaps, the most special: Guerrilla Actions & Audience Participation. These 2 things take things out of the arena of entertainment, where surprises are expected, & into 'real life', where surprises are still surprising.

Admittedly, the Guerrilla Playfare, so-called to contrast it to Guerrilla Warfare, is usually the more difficult of the 2. My belief in the mental flexibility of humans being reduced to almost ZERO in this time of the QUARANTYRRANY contributes to it's being hard for me to not foresee the dumbest & most hostile behavior in reaction to things that don't fit their comfortable expectations. Fortunately, sometimes Guerrilla Playfare manages to bypass the fears & narrow-mindedness of those caught unaware. This is, perhaps, when Guerrilla Playfare most accomplishes what I'm hoping for from it.

Choosing which actions to include was often difficult. A political action presented in a public place outside of a protest context gets included while the same action presented in a protest context gets excluded. Guerrilla appearances in a public context in which there was no audience or no audience who were a focal point get excluded too.

These distinctions came close to putting too fine a point on things but I had to have criteria for selection. In at least one instance, that of the "Urban Myth", I include it here even though it was an action in a performance festival context because a primary component of it was a guerrilla action that was obfuscated by 'smoke and mirrors'. I include the Polish Hill May Day Parades and my speeches associated with them because they were unpermitted.

The reader will probably notice that I had alot more energy for such things when I was in my mid-20s than I do now in my mid-60s.

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE note, May 8, 2020 (Vision)

[When I put together this page I forgot that I'd already created a "Guerrilla Actions" page that, in some ways is better than what I made here but which I'd neglected to update and which was made when I was unable to do things that I can do now. I've now renamed the link in my main index to take the browser here & I'm going to try to combine the best of both. Some of the things I listed in the original I decided against listing here. I'll abide by the new criteria. Here's the original introduction:

Guerrilla Actions

"Guerrilla Actions", what some people might call "Guerrilla Theater", have been important to me for a very long time. It's always been central to my cultural philosophy that it's important to provide what I call "Mystery Catalysts": activites for which there's no immediate obvious explanation that may stimulate the imagination of the perceiver & help them escape from the stereotyping blinders that frame entirely too many experiences for entirely too many people.

Then again, perceivers may just fall back on whatever their laziest sterotype is, things like: 'Oh, he must be crazy', or 'Is this art?' or 'This person should be arrested', etc.. My hope is to break through the cracks in the stereotyping & to reach the potential open-mindedness.

Below is a list culled from my "A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, neoism, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, CircumSubstantial Playing, etc.." website where I list & describe & share photos of what some people would call 'performances' of mine ( http://idioideo.pleintekst.nl/MereOutlineIndex.html ).

Back in the early days when friends of mine & I were doing such things we tended to call them "actions" instead of "performances" because there was a type of interventionist spirit to them that had more to do with it than just presenting theater. We were trying to change consensus 'reality' in unexpected contexts.

Not every example presented below will be as obvious as some. What everything has in common is that it was done 'without permission' of the people who claim to 'own the rights' to what's done in the spaces involved. Some actions were more daring than others, some aren't listed here. You figure it out.

[Originally I had intended to list all of the guerrilla actions on one page for easy perusal but the limiations of my 19 year old software preclude this. As such, there're links organized by decades instead. Close enough.]

 

Guerrilla Actions - 1970s

Guerrilla Actions - 1980s]

 

 

015. B.O.M.B. crashing of improvisation class

- Corner Theater, Baltimore, us@

- March, 1979

- The Baltimore Oblivion Marching Band (B.O.M.B.) - variously called a roving band of defiant youths (in "newspaperese") by myself & No Name Interaction/Reaction Group by Sumu Pretzler (a.k.a. Doug Retzler) & co-founded by us with Richard Ellsberry & others - was a loosely knit group with variable membership that got together, mainly on weekends, to crash various events - usually with the intention of stirring up some action & catalyzing greater interaction between all those involved. This usually involved eccentric dress, toy instruments, & aggressive "socializing" (or "anti-socializing") with strangers.

- B.O.M.B.'s premier crashing was at an improvisation class where our crashing was meant to be a critique of how silly we thought the class was. We snaked thru the students & teacher(s) alike trying to get them to spontaneously react to our unexpected presence & then left before they had too much of a chance to integrate us into their perception of the class.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

016. B.O.M.B. & Paper Dolls

- Lancaster Institute of Fine Arts benefit, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, us@

- March, 1979

- This was the last section of B.O.M.B.'s premier. We "partied" at the benefit while I got volunteers to dance while wearing the same giant paper dolls used in the Balto Media Edition Fashion Show.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

017. Making a Display of Myself #1: Slanted Pencil Moustache

- Penn Station Photo Booth, Baltimore, us@

- spring, 1979

- The 1st part of a 3 part action in which I subtly altered my face & had a black & white picture taken of it in the photo booth which I then put on display in the place allotted for such on the outside of the booth. The poor fidelity of the photos made the slanted moustache appear possibly real despite its well-nigh impossible "shaveability".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

018. Making a Display of Myself #2: Dots on Face/"Bullet Holes"

- Penn Station Photo Booth, Baltimore, us@

- spring, 1979

- Following the same procedure described in the preceding entry, but with the face alteration being the addition of dots, these photos eventually returned to me in a convoluted way 2 years later! A friend of a friend was telling me that he'd found & stolen a display photo on a photo booth of a guy who looked like he had bullet holes in his face! Of course, the photos that he'd stolen & saved were of me & the circle was completed & the mystery solved.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

019. Making a Display of Myself #3: Crunchy Peanut Butter on Face/"Skin Disease"

- Penn Station Photo Booth, Baltimore, us@

- spring, 1979

- Once again, following the same procedure as in the preceding 2 entries, I smeared crunchy peanut butter on my face in the photo booth during rush hour at the train station. Given that the sides of the booth were open to prevent any "hanky-panky" in there, my action was totally visible to the commuters. A couple of weeks later, a friend of mine (Cindy Heidel) told me at a party about going to the photo booth & seeing a picture of a guy with "a horrible skin disease" which she then stole. It wasn't until later that she realized it was me.

- I'm still waiting, decades later, for the slanted pencil moustache photo to return to me.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

020. Visit to Lacquerland

- a construction site in Maryland, us@

- late March, 1979

- In fall of 1978, I started working as a hard-wood floor finisher. This job involved stooping over a bucket of lacquer & brushing the lacquer on the floors as a part of the finishing process. Inhalation of the fumes caused intoxication. Co-workers Brian Wolle (a.k.a. "Brain" &/or "Herr Brain Storm Drain") & Doug Retzler (a.k.a. "Sumu Pretzler") & I exploited this high & tried to have fun at work by improvising vocally while lacquering. These improvs centered around creating a mythology about the living conditions in "Lacquerland" - our name for the state of mind & body gotten into from the fumes. Our audience, when there was one, were our fellow construction workers - who were apparently entertained but who made jokes about our being "crazy". There were a fair amount of these sessions but, for the purposes of this history, I've restricted myself to only listing the 3 that we audio recorded.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

021. B.O.M.B. at 3 Mile Island

- Pennsylvania, us@

- April 3, 1979

- In violation of curfew, we went to the 3 Mile Island Visitor's Center during the peak of its nuclear crisis. Doug Retzler/Sumu Pretzler wore a mylar suit & pretended to be a nuclear scientist who had "everything under control" while his "protective garb" got increasingly tattered. A photo of Sumu was much printed in various papers with captions made up to "fit it" by the "newspapers" with little regard for trying to find out what the photo actually depicted. Supposedly, an article was eventually written for a reporters' magazine about the resultant ridiculous disparities.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

024. B.O.M.B. at Johns Hopkins Spring Fair

- Johns Hopkins University Campus, Baltimore, us@

- spring, 1979

- The most memorable portions of this action are Charlie Brohawn & I wearing each other's clothes as a continuation of our "twins" routine & our running thru the crowd tying them together with string. The "documenter" of all this filmed almost all of his footage of the tits & asses of dancing girls rather than of us.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

025. B.O.M.B. at TNT Parade

- Charles Street, Baltimore, us@

- spring or summer, 1979

- This was primarily distinguished by Sumu Pretzler/Doug Retzler convincing a parading bunch of boy scouts to lie down in the streets for him so that he could draw their body outlines in chalk while they "played dead".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

026. Another Visit to Lacquerland

- another construction site in Maryland, us@

- date uncertain, possibly mid 1979

- Another mythology-spewing plunge into derangement by myself & fellow denizen of Industrial High Society Herr Brain (see #17).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

027. SUPPORT MULTI-DIRECTIONAL MIKE'S RUNNING FROM PUBLIC OFFICE

- the "Artists Support the Mayor's Ball", the Maryland Institute College of Art, Station Building, Baltimore, us@

- summer or fall, 1979

- As a publicity event, this event was organized to give the appearance that artists supported the Mayor in his running for re-election (or some such). I was hand-delivered an invitation to this by person(s) unknown. The main event was inside but outside on the parking lot a punk band ("Da Moronics") was being paid to play. I entered the building carrying a "picket sign" emblazoned with the words that form the title for this action. The sign was meant to request that those present help me escape from the machinations of politicians & government. Everyone present inside seemed to be very rich. I didn't recognize any of them as artists. There were tv crews & reporters everywhere. I was almost immediately confronted by a security guard & told to leave. As I was being ushered out, an apparently rich woman that I passed sneered something like "OH! Get that awful thing out of here!" (meaning me).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

028. CRAB FEAST #1

- Corpus Christi Church, Baltimore, us@

- November 21, 1979, 2 - 8PM

- Tables were set up in the basement of the church where people ordinarily played basketball. The tables were "set" with xerox "place mats" with pictures of tuning forks & crab mallets as the "utensils" & a transistor radio was set in the middle & tuned to a "top 40" station & left on as the "Crab Feast". I returned periodically, providing no explanation, to photograph whatever was happening in the room as response to it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

029. CRAB FEAST #2

- Security Square Shopping Mall, Baltimore suburbs, us@

- December 22, 1979

- Under the instigation of Gayle Hanson, crabs with baby doll parts tied to them were taken to the shopping mall on the last saturday before Christmas in hat boxes & released by Gayle & me on the floor of the mall near "Santa's" stand. A mesmerized crowd quickly formed while Gayle "explained". One of "Santa's helpers" came along to try to put a stop to this bizarre behaviour by sweeping up the crabs which made it even more bizarre for me. We were eventually kicked out of the mall by security people & we returned what crabs were left alive to the harbor where they swam sluggishly off.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

030. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, 1979/1980

- cris cheek (clarinet), Chris Mason (bass clarinet), Gayle Hanson (clarinet?), Patty Karl? (clarinet?), & I (alto sax) improvised while wandering the streets & alleys. We were joined by a guy named John(?) playing recorder who heard us passing by.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

031. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, early 1980

- With an unknown line-up that consisted of at least Chris Mason & myself, more wandering improvising on wind instruments. Again we were joined by John(?), this time on alto sax, when we unwittingly passed behind his apartment.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

032. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, early 1980

- Again with an unknown line-up beyond Chris Mason, myself, & Doug Retzler pulling a wagon with some sort of large cardboard horn, meandering improvising thru the streets. A black guy told me I played like John Coltrane which I found strange but flattering considering that I could barely play the thing - especially in the cold weather.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

043. No No Class Umbrella Lesson

- Experimental High School -> the streets, Baltimore, us@

- fall, 1981

- Asked to co-teach a class at the Experimental High School, I named the class the No No Class & centered it around the teaching of guerrilla activities. At the 1st class I told the students that no matter how well they'd do in the class I planned to give them all "D"s (the lowest passing grade) since grades were aspects of a different political system than what the class represented. Some students dropped out immediately. They were then shown 2 vaudeos of quasi-documentation of 2 "guerrilla theater" type actions. At the end of the 1st class, they were asked to bring umbrellas to the next class.

- The 2nd class consisted of my having the students walk down the sidewalks, tightly clustered together, with umbrellas over their heads - despite its not being rainy or sunny. The purpose of this was to force other pedestrians to have to navigate under the moving variable height ceiling that the clumped umbrellas created. As the finalé, we blocked the entrance of a supermarket until a guard chased us away.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

044. Seatbelt Violation Public Works Promotion

- Public Works Festival, Toronto, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Eugenie Vincent & I were tied to the roof of a rented car to attract attention to us while we drove around the city with signs advertising the festival we were to participate in & "HOMEX" - the magazine that 1 of the drivers, Ricki Kilreagan (the other driver being Sin-Dee Heidel), was editor of. After 20 minutes or so, we were stopped by a cop, who was eventually joined by 2 others. The cops tried to figure out what they could charge us with & eventually decided on "seatbelt violation" - much to the general amusement.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

046. Neoist Parking Meter Action

- APT 4, Montréal, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Wearing sandwich boards that said in English & French: "Neoist Parking Meter Action - Pay Me to Go Away" & wearing a parking meter hood over my face, I stood at empty parking places & waited for cars to park there. Then I followed the drivers when they left their cars with an impassive face & my hand out-stretched mechanically. The drivers all avoided me by walking somewhere where I wasn't - after which I left a Neoist Parking Ticket under their windshield wiper. Finally disgusted by what I thought was a mediocre response to my imaginative begging, I started to walk back to the LOW theatre. En route, 2 guys stopped me & asked me what I was doing. When I explained, they thought it was so funny that they pretended to get out of a car & gave me money.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

047. Mont Royal Cathedral Painting

- APT 4, Montréal, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Wearing my Tim Ore clothes, I set up an easel with a canvas on it in a park across from the Mont Royal Cathedral. Going thru painterly gestures such as extending my thumb to "check perspective", I proceeded to paint a very crude depiction of a house that wasn't intended to look like the cathedral. Keeping a straight face, I knew that people would look over my shoulder & look at the painting & think that I was some sort of "poor crazy man" & give me wide berth after seeing my "crazy" picture. It amused me that a simple child's painting of a house with a smoking chimney (or some such) when placed in this context could become a catalyst for fear. Eventually, 2 people had the nerve to ask me if I was attempting to paint the cathedral. I laughed & explained what I was doing - after which they were relieved & explained that, sure enough, they'd been afraid to talk to me because they thought I was crazy. Things aren't always what they seem, eh?

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

048. LOW show

- APT 4, LOW Theatre, Montréal, CacaNada

- October 15?, 1981

- Wanting to only perform street actions during this festival but wanting to make money off of them by charging entry to the LOW theatre (a basement apartment with a bay window in the front) I decided to charge admittance to the theatre & then perform my actions outside so that the audience would be watching thru the bay window what they could have watched for free from outside. With a tv outside facing in (or inside facing out with the reflection visible inside?) showing video of the previous 2 street actions, I stood outside trying to sell "Neoist Passports" (large, elaborately folded & rubber stamped "blackprints" made from passports of Istvan Kantor's that he'd had altered by various friends & aquaintances in his travels) which I was trying to sell for some ridiculously LOW price - something like $3.00. Probably few people, if anyone, paid to enter the theatre. No-one would buy a passport off this "deranged-looking" character. As usual, I didn't make any money - but I'm sure that whatever free meal I got that day courtesy of Gordon W. Zealot & Monty Cantsin was delicious!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

054. KILL NORMALITY B4 IT KILLS U!

- 2nd Church & Foundation of the SubGenius Convention, Chicago, us@

- September 4, 1982

- Displaying myself around town looking bizarre, as usual, & wearing sandwich boards that read KILL NORMALITY B4 IT KILLS U! on the front & DON'T KILL ME! I'M A SUBGENIUS! on the back.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

056. INAUGURATION OF THE B.T.O.U.C.

- Bal Tim Ore Underground Club, Baltimore, us@

- December 31 (New Year's Eve), 1982

- With the help of friends, I moved the 4' X 4' X 7' replica of a transistor radio called AS RADIO (previously mentioned in connection with the 2 last Crab Feast flops) into an abandoned set of rooms in the approximately 3 mile long train tunnel between (what had been) the Mount Royal Station & the Camden Station.

This space, & another, newer, set of rooms in a new extention of the old tunnel, were further decorated with elaborate graffiti (mostly made with stencils) made by myself, Dave Bakker, Randy Hoffman, & Laure Drogoul (&, possibly, others). An 8 track cartridge player & an amplifier & some speakers were installed in the AS RADIO & connected to the power in the tunnel & the Club was ready to open! Having stuck a marker up thru a manhole cover at the top of a shaft leading from the club, we located what was to become the "V.I.P." entrance on a conveniently unused lane on Howard Street. On New Year's Eve, Randy, Dave, & I (as Tim Ore) placed highway cones around the manhole & used a meathook (which bent) to lift the heavy, concrete coated, manhole cover. Dave & Randy were dressed as construction workers with hard-hats & shirts that had ID tags on them that read "Balto Co". Friends were invited down into the hole & down into the club & beer was provided. 2 truck drivers who stopped to ask for directions were invited down the manhole. They were dubious at 1st until they saw the spandex wrapped Sin-Dee Heidel emerge at which point they decided to descend. Eventually a reporter & a photographer came & did their do. When they left, they called train authorities to ask them what they thought of this & 2 of them stopped by at street level to visit. When they arrived, Randy & Dave, still manning the manhole, kept a straight face & asked them if "they'd like to see the boss". They did & I popped to the surface looking very "un-boss-like". I chattered away merrily & explanatorily for awhile & promised to close the "V.I.P." entrance when we left & the railroad officials were sensible enough to leave us in peace.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

057. Parade de Propagande

- the Sixth International Apartment Festival, the streets to Phillips

Square, Montréal, CacaNada

- Lundi, 21 Février, 1983

- Boris Wanowitch drove his car with the steam irons painted on it thru Montréal. Mounted on top was a P.A. system connected to a tape player & a microphone on the inside. Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor played a tape of some of his dramatic electro-pop music with sirens & such-like Apopolyptic sound effects & provided a voice-over of neoist slogans provided mainly by him & myself such as "We Are Not Subject to the Lies of Science" & "Neoism Now & Then!". We were stopped by the police & given a ticket within 20 minutes for some sort of noise violation. When we reached Phillips Square, we continued with our broadcasting & got out of the car to display the usual neoist eye-grabbers: flaming steam irons, the gold flag of near neologisms (not really called that at the time), etc & to promote the festival. Other participants included Alan Lord & Kiki Bonbon. The police eventually stopped this too.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

059. acceptance of CERTIFICATE OF MERIT & a red rose

- Best of Baltimore Ceremony, Pier 6, Baltimore, us@

- Thursday, August 11, 1983, 6:30PM

- Having been nominated as 1 of "BalTimOre's Best" by Dave Bakker, I was awarded, while wearing my Tim Ore clothes, at a mayoral ceremony. The mayor remembered me for years after this & presumably wondered what exactly I'd received the nomination for.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

061. Poop & Pee Dog Copyright Violation Ceremony

- 14BX Sub-Par/Con (The 3rd Church & Foundation of the SubGenius Convention), a Baltimore Train Tunnel, us@

- September 18, 1983, very early morning

- A wire was stretched across the train tunnel thru an eye hook & 2 partially truncated & mummified dog corpses that I'd found there that had apparently been run over by trains were hung from the wire on either side of the tracks. A metal sheet with instructions for using Black & Decker power tools with a No Copyright symbol spray-painted on it was suspended between the dogs. The dogs were painted white with the words "Poop" painted on 1 of them & "Pee" painted on the other & glowing cyalume light sticks were placed between their rear legs. The walls of the tunnel were spray-painted with non-intersecting (except for, perhaps, the occasional accident) squiggly lines which I associated somehow with native Australian dreamtime culture. A strobe light flashed, someone made the dogs dance by tugging on the wire, & Ron Cummings manipulated & played tapes that he'd made of him beating on the dead dogs. I was naked except for my shoes & socks & I had white squiggly lines painted on me. I danced & gyrated wildly & beat the dogs & the thunder sheet with a club. The dogs were on fire & exuded what one might call a "foul" smell. I had been entrusted with the sacred head of Arnold Palmer by a representative of the Bloody Head Launcher's Society which I had set on fire & which I was also beating about the tunnel. The title of this ceremony was a reference to "Pee-Dog" comix by Jay Condum & Gary Panter & "Poop-Dog" comix (which was a friendly rip-off of "Pee-Dog") by the Reverends Ivan Stang & Sterno Keckhaver. Eventually a large quantity of police came (from the railroad cops, the city police, & the nearby federal reserve bank guards) because 1 of the attendees reported having witnessed something "horrible & immoral" & I was arrested. When the "news" found out about this (it was done partially as a publicity stunt anyway) they "reported" that I was a "Cult Leader" who was "praying to the dogs" etc. Very little attempt was made to actually find out who I really was or what I actually was doing & when I was interviewed what I actually had to say was considered too weird to quote. I was quoted both in the newspapers & on tv as saying things that I hadn't said by people who hadn't even been present at the time when I'd supposedly said them. The cop who'd arrested me bought a photo of this ceremony from me. Another cop who'd allegedly been on the "force" for 26 years was quoted as saying in the newspapers "I'd rather run up against a man with a gun than a situation like that!" The beat goes on..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

068. Figment of the Collective Imagination

- Madrid, Spain

- May 1984

- Erecting a banner reading "Eso Es Una Quimera Colectivo" (intended to mean "We Are A Figment of The Collective Imagination") a group of 6 or more of us (including Ricki Kilreagan & Gail Litfin) made alotof noise while kids romped around us wearing cylindrical boxes around their feet & lower legs that we'd originally brought as drums. This was late at night in a public square with a central statue & was brought to a halt when an old woman from a near-by apartment building came out & chastised us for disturbing the old & infirm.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

070. Neoist Guide Dog

- the Neoist Network's 8th Apartment Festival, London, UK

- late May, 1984

- My lover/travelling companion of the time, Gail Litfin, was diabetic. She'd had laser surgery on her left eye which had left that eye blind. Her right eye had hemorrhaged so that all she could see was the red blur of the pool of blood there. She was legally blind. Since I was leading her around, we joked about me being her "seeing-eye dog". We bought a dog mask from a store specializing in animal masks (where Gail almost got caught shoplifting) & added a leash to my outfit for "completeness". The Festival's organizer, Monty Cantsin/Pete Horobin, shot a film of Gail leaving our fest HQ with me on all fours as her "guide dog" (as they say in England), boarding a bus (where guide dogs ride for free, of course, & the driver didn't question the unusualness of this particular dog), & shopping in a mall (where we were kicked out of 1 store).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

071. Les Promenades Hysteriques

- Paris, France

- late May?, 1984

- I was periodically visiting my friends Reinhardt U. Sevol & Via Vidorae in Paris. Reinhardt was an avid anti-neoist at the time & wasn't planning to participate in the London Apartment Festival so we decided to form another group to perpetrate actions. Those present at this founding were Eugenie Vincent, Via, Reinhardt, Gail Litfin, & myself. The name of the group, Ton Tocock Schisme, was a mesostic made from the names of previous groups that we'd been involved with. Reinhardt made a flier announcing "La Fondation d'une Clinique d'une Realite Cyniquement Inversive". Later, Reinhardt, Via, & I made a film of the only series of actions made in the name of this group that I know of. My main part in it was wearing chef's coveralls that R.U.S. had swiped from his hotel kitchen job which had the title & credit for the film on it while laying on my back on the longest pedestrian conveyor belt in the Paris subway. Reinhardt filmed while people navigated their way past my obstacle.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

072. Halloween Demonstration Against Reagan

- near the White House, Washington DC, us@

- October 31 (Halloween Day), 1984, 10:30AM - 1PM

- In an action conceived of & co-ordinated by Doug Retzler, people wore cardboard "Halloween" masks with Reagan faces on them with null signs over them & distributed anti-Reagan literature to convince voters to vote for anyone but him. The gist of the message was "If You're Not Scared, You Ought To Be." I was photographed by the secret service while wearing mine. If only Reagan could have been arrested as a result in a case of mistaken identity, eh?

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

090. to 106. First Meeting Re-Enactments

- San Francisco, San Antonio, & Baltimore, us@

- every Monday (except June 2) from May 26 'til September 22?, 1986

- Martha Peterson & I met when I showed my film (made as Monty Cantsin in collaboration with Monty Cantsin & Monty Cantsin - with soundtrack by Monty Cantsin, etc..) "Transparent SMILE - Monty Cantsin Performing with White Colours" (broken into 2 parts on YouTube: https://youtu.be/EGc-rohmq4k & https://www.youtu.be/p84MiQDrsnc ) at a bar called the "Sixteenth Note" in San Francisco. We "fell in love" (a.k.a. had sex under the influence of Ecstacy) & I asked her to go to BalTimOre with me. On our weekly-versaries, we "re-enacted" meeting each other for the 1st time by reliving it in various new ways. This story is told in substantial detail in the "I Guess SMARM isn't Short for School Marm After All?" chapter in the revised 2nd edition of my book How to Write a Resumé - Volume II: Making a Good First Impression. As such, I'll keep the description short here. Martha & I would, usually, go to a public place pretending not to know each other & go through a pre-planned mating ritual - the silly extravagance of which was sometimes intended to bemuse unsuspecting onlookers. Sometimes we had confederates. One of these was filmed in super-8 by Patty Blaster in San Antonio. This was probably the 2nd re-enactment & to quote the YouTube notes: "The cynical good humor & alcoholic self-parody is clear.": http://youtu.be/Ne1_-f6RaQg My current favorite might be the one where I went to a bar /restaurant where I had friends working & where the bar-tender, John Fonda, was a friend of mine. Martha came in later & told the bar-tender that she'd just arrived from San Francisco. When he asked her why she'd move to B-More from there, she said that she'd seen a film show by a guy named "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE" & that she'd liked it so much that she decided to move to the city where he lived. John got very excited & told her that I was sitting in the restaurant. She, very shyly approached me at my table where I was sitting with friends & introduced herself. When "it came out" that "she'd just arrived in Baltimore & had no place to stay" I "magnanimously" offered to "let her stay at my hotel for free". My friends were shocked at my using such a ridiculous lie as to say that I owned a hotel in such a transparent ploy to fuck Martha but they didn't say anything. After a little more of this straight-faced silliness, she & I left together. This provided material for gossip for months until I finally told my friends that they'd been set up. The laziest "re-enactment" I can recall was one where Martha simply came into my bedroom while I was there & we tried to figure out how we could've managed to not previously meet each other when we'd been sharing the same bedroom! We managed to continue this practice 15 to 17 times until we were no longer interested in each other enough to bother.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

107. pirate tv premier of "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" vaudeo

- Luskin's, Towson, Maryland, us@

- Saturday, December 27, 1986, 3PM

- With the essential collaboration of Lizard Media Systems & using a channel 3 broadcaster, we tried a test-run broadcast from Lizard's mobile home. It was a sunny day & my vaudeo showed bright & clear on the wall of tvs in the Luskin's (a sortof cheap home entertainment center store). For the actual event, a fairly large group of people was organized to meet at Lizard's R.V. They were asked to go in small groups into the Luskin's & to gradually tune all the tvs to channel 3 while we broadcast the guerrilla premier of the vaudeo quasi-document of the "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour". Unfortunately, the broadcast wasn't working at 1st & none of the people tuning the tvs to 3 thought to come back to tell us that the tvs were only receiving "snow". This had alerted the salesman that something weird was going on & they were following the strange "customers" & retuning the tvs to football. Finally we got the transmission corrected & the pirate tv game continued. All of the participants did a good job of playing it straight & the Luskin's personnel never really did have any clear idea why they suddenly had so many customers wanting to tune the tvs to a channel that "doesn't get anything" but was getting something anyway!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

110. street action with the booed usic busking unit

- Covent Gardens & Leicester Square, London, UK

- Saturday, May 28, 1988

- The "Portable booed usic Busking Unit / Nuclear Brain Physics Surgery School Lab / Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece / Blatnerphone Hallucinomat", usually just called the busking unit, was a suitcase full of battery powered tape-player/radios, mixers, a tv, an amplifier, a PXL camcorder, & mouths that moved depending upon the volume output from the amplifier (etc, etc..). It was designed to enable me to present street actions with complex "concrete mixing". The tv-PXL connection enabled me to present the Philosopher's Mouthpieces (see the previous entry) - henceforth abbreviated P.U.M.M.s. The tape-player/radios & mixers enabled me to both mix prepared recordings & other "live" inputs. When set up, people could watch the tv (just barely - it was pretty small) & hear the sound coming from 4 speakers which could pan from left to right & from back to front &, of course, vice versa. This was the 1st street action "performed" with it. I was almost immediately moved along by the bobbies at Covent Gardens so I moved to Leicester Square where I was unmolested. Assistance in this was from Laura Trussell, who shot some footage with the PXL, & from Scott Larson - who threw money onto our collection cloth to try to catalyze the onlookers to do the same (to no avail). At least 1 tourist with an expensive video camcorder shot footage of us - I'd love to see it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

111. booed usic busking

- Busking Competition, Dowanhill Park, Partick Fair, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Sunday, June 5, 1988

- Busking is a term for street performing mainly used in Europe - where such practices are more likely to be legal than they are in the US. Of course, most street performers play acoustic instruments. I've heard of 1 kid in NYC who plays an inverted bucket as a drum - using his foot to lower & raise the bucket to change the tone. He would be a great example of the impoverished simple means variety. With my busking unit I represented a wealthier extreme - but still, hopefully, sharing the innovative qualities of the impoverished 1. In Europe, it's fairly common practice for art students to do "old master" (& other) chalk drawings on sidewalks with a cup or a hat or a (clean?) handkerchief out for people to throw money into. Show that you can copy the "masters" & we'll help pay your way. In Dundee there was a busker who played muzak on his mid-range cost electronic keyboard. He seemed to get a fair amount of coins. So I entered the busking competition - not to try to win but to just expand the usually narrow parameters of such things. Kids loved me. As I wrote to a friend, I felt like the pied piper of Glasgow. The judges, on the other hand, were not so enthused. That was fine with me though because the woman who won (studio time?) probably didn't have much money & had a kid to support so I was glad to see her helped out.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

115. INAUGURATION OF THE G.S.B.B.T.O.U.C.

- Glasgow Suburban Branch - Bal Tim Ore Undergound Club, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Wednesday, June 29, 1988

- Glasgow is 2nd only to London as the railroad capitol of the UK. It had had (& still has?) various competing railroads & had some abandoned lines as a result. Laura Trussell & various new friends of ours & I explored Glasgow trying to find a suitable underground location to found a "club". We finally picked an abandoned subway station underneath a botanical garden. Decorating the club with two 5 foot long papier maché "boats" from the Transmission basement & various other things, we inaugurated the club with about 17 people. We provided free booze, badges (buttons) made by Mark Pawson that identified the club somehow but were printed black-on-black in honor of the subterranean darkness, & set up the busking unit & let them play with it. The station had large air vents that vented in the botanical gardens park but they were surrounded by bushes & most people probably didn't even know they were there. So when the busking unit was playing, people walking by in the park would hear strange sounds coming from the bushes. Eventually, someone must've alerted the cops to these sounds because they forced their way thru the bushes & shone flashlights down into the pit to try to see what was going on. Threatening to flush us out with dogs if we didn't come out, we finally left. Fortunately, by then, the party had already basically climaxed. There were no arrests.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

116. Tent's Muir

- Tentsmuir Park, Scotland, UK

- July 11, 1988

- a movie version is on my onesownthoughts YoUTube channel here: http://youtu.be/oBBjSe3REHA

- Laura A. Trueseal, Pete Horobin, & I lugged about 120 pounds or more of equipment for several miles at my not-very-enthusiastically received suggestion so that I could play with the booed usic busking unit (see previous entries for explanation) in front of seals in their natural habitat. I'd wanted to wear a seal mask while doing so to "attempt to blend in" (more to observe their reaction) but Dundee's modest costume shop only had Donald Duck representing the aquatic world so I reluctantly rented the duck mask. In order to reach where the seals were, we had to ford a narrow point of an arm of the North Sea to reach a sand bar & walk further out on it. When we arrived, most of the seals slithered into the water to watch from greater safety. Their heads bobbed up & down - continuously looking in our direction. Only a couple of younger seals stayed ashore. 1 older 1 stayed briefly but finally left somewhat sluggishly. I stripped & put on the Donald Duck mask & set up the busking unit to play it. The seals were too far away to have much of an experience of that, especially considering that it wasn't very loud in contrast to the sea & the wind, so I nervously decided to get in the rather cold water to give them a closer look at me at least. Knowing nothing about seals, & not being able to see very well with the mask on, I was afraid the seals might try to bite me thinking I was threatening their children. Back ashore again, I was squatting by the water-line when 1 of the younger seals approached from a few feet away curiously coming directly toward me. Still awkward as an inter-species diplomat (despite that being my partial purpose for being there) I started to stand to back away. This body language was apparently interpreted as an act of hostility & the seal hunched its back & hissed at me. So for those likely to "follow in my footsteps", don't hunch your back at a seal if you want to "break the ice".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

120. Murraygate Busking

- Murraygate Shopping Mall, Dundee, Scotland, UK

- Saturday, August 13, 1988

- A movie version can be witnessed on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/Wk-J_nDrVSo

- Busking is legal in Scotland. Therefore, buskers are a regular feature of shopping areas in Dundee. On the day that we decided to busk at Murraygate, there was a guy playing acoustic guitar & playing such things as Simon & Garfunkel songs. The only other busker there that day was doing representational chalk drawing on the sidewalk. No-one seemed to pay much attention to them but they would throw them coins. We set up the booed usic busking unit in front of a John Menzies store. I was wearing my zipper clothes & had an infinity symbol shaped hair-do (it looked more like ring worm ouroborous). Vex (Mike Kane) played his guitar amplified thru the busking unit. L.A.W. (Laura Ann Walker) made more original & personalized chalk drawings than the usual fare. Laura A. Trueseal & I alternated between shooting PXL footage & "concrete mixing" with the busking unit. The mixers allowed us to move both our sounds & Vex's guitar playing thru the 4 speakers. We put a white shirt on the ground that had "Yes, This Is Busking!" written on it & I made an attempt to get people to give us money. We attracted a fairly large crowd of curious & baffled people, unlike the other buskers, who actually stayed & watched. However, again unlike the other buskers, only a few people would give us money. Eventually, the John Menzies employees complained to the police about the noise & about the crowd blocking their store without coming in & the police chased us away. We made approximately 2 pounds. Pete Horobin shot a vaudeo quasi-document of all this.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

121. street action with the booed usic busking unit

- during the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival (or whatever it's called), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

- Saturday, August 20, 1988

- Setting up with the busking unit on a field of stones 40 feet or so across from a woman selling extremely generic water-color landscapes as a part of some sort of outdoor crafts fair. Playing the busking unit with dense gusto, I attracted a crowd who turned their backs on her water-colors. Georg Ladanyi shot a super-8 film of this (I'd like to see it some day Georg!). However, perhaps being intimidated by my zipper clothes, my shaved head with brain tattoo, the stone field I was in the middle of, & the conceptually perverse aggressiveness of my sound output, people kept a "safe" distance of at least 20 feet or more from me. Before long, the woman trying to sell her landscape paintings came over & screamed at me to stop because I was distracting her customers! I just screamed back & continued until I was bored with it all.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

131. park presentation of the booed usic busking unit

- Without Borders @n@rchist G@thering, San Francisco, us@

- July, 1989

- Another outdoor "concert" with the busking unit. Peter Pan, dressed as a "chaos scout" (a boy scout with a "chaos" flag), plugged in his digital delays to it. 1 kid came up to us & asked if he could rap with us. We tried miking him with a contact mike but it didn't work too well.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

149. End of the World Party

- Washington Monument, Baltimore, us@

- January 18, 1991

- A local paper had run an article about how the US government was planning to launch a satellite so explosive that if it were to blow up in the biosphere most humans & other such big biological things would be killed. Jake T. Unclean organized this quasi-nihilistic quasi-millenarian ranting session. With John Eaton & Erica Freudenberger we used a megaphone to ask everyone around us what they would do if they really thought they were going to die tommorow. Despite our prompting, we were the only ones who expressed any ideas along these lines. 1 black skinhead did harass me for "knowing" that I "looked slick".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

150. Protestors Against Gods in the Gulf

- Washington Monument, Baltimore, us@

- February?, 1991

- John Eaton, co-editor of the magazine "Reality Sandwich" & I basically thought of this 1. As response to the Gulf War we made 4 large picket signs. The 1st read: "Honk Once if You Love Jesus!" (a common christian bumper-sticker), the 2nd: "Honk Twice if You Love Allah!" (you've heard of him haven't you?), the 3rd: "Honk 3 Times if You Love Jehovah!" (is it all beginning to blur together?), the 4th: "Honk As Much As You Like If You Just Want Them All To Leave You Alone!" (this pretty much summed up our position). Most people passing by in cars only had time to read the 1st 1 or 2 if they read from left to right & thought we were religious fanatics. Jake T. Unclean & Erica Freudenberger added their usual zest & zeal.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

204. Picktogrameting

- The sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 30th, 1996, 1:30 to 3:30PM

- I made a 32 X 40 inch picket sign with graphics on both sides & no words. On 1 side I painted in red highly bit-mapped images of, "reading" from left to right & top to bottom, a pair of scissors ($) [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font] "chasing" an airplane (() overtop a mathematical symbol of 3 horizontal lines with a diagonal slash thru them (=) [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font] next to a check mark in a rectangular box () [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font]. The pixilation of these symbols rendered them almost incomprehensible as any of the above. This was partially "remedied" by drawing over them with black marker. On the other side was a drawing using black marker again of the international pictograms for telegrams & bathtubs. The image for telegrams shows a lightning bolt across a card. This was placed so that the bolt is headed into the tub. These symbols were largely chosen as "nonsense" although the lightning/tub-with-water juxtaposition was calculated to be provocative/evocative. Since this picket was made with the intention of using it in "guerrilla" actions, I researched the Pennsylvania laws regarding picketing, etc, to try to learn about what I could be arrested for. The only remotely relevant law I found was:

from: Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated

Statute 5507. Obstructing highways and other public passages

(a) Obstructing. - A person, who, having no legal privilege to do so, intentionally or recklessly obstructs any highway, railroad track or public utility right-of-way, sidewalk, navigable waters, other public passage, whether alone or with others, commits a summary offense, or, in case he persists after warning by a law officer, a misdemeanor of the third degree. No person shall be deemed guilty of an offense under this subsection solely because of a gathering of persons to hear him speak or otherwise communicate, or solely because of being a member of such a gathering.

(b) Refusal to move on. -

(1) A person in a gathering commits a summary offense if he refuses to obey a reasonable official request or order to move:

(i) to prevent obstruction of a highway or other public passage; or

(ii) to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire or other hazard.

(2) An order to move, addressed to a person whose speech or other lawful behavior attracts an obstructing audience, shall not be deemed reasonable if the obstruction can be readily remedied by police control of the size or location of the gathering.

(c) Definition. - As used in this section the word "obstructs" means renders impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard.

Underlining [not visible here] mine. - anonymous

1 of the things that I found interesting about this was the use of the word "reasonable". It's funny to me, e.g., that if "obstructs" is defined as "without unreasonable hazard" it's considered "reasonable" to arrest someone for it. As usual, I wonder about how valid I would find any arbiter of "reasonable" to be in a courtroom situation. This law text was then printed out in "Zapf Dingbats 1" font.

50 copies of this were printed in black on red card-stock. The street action consisted of my "picketing" with the sign & giving people the hand-out as an "explanation" when they were extroverted &/or friendly enough to approach me. The basic intent was to use the "loaded" context of the picket sign to try to catalyze people into reading a "heavy" meaning into what might otherwise ordinarily be hardly even noticed as "just a picture" or as "nonsense". I got into at least 30 fairly interesting interactions with people during this. 1 guy interpreted the telegrams/bathtubs sign as meaning "de-oppression" (or some such). He claimed to've once been on death row & said that it made him think of that & electrocution. 1 young girl thought it meant that "people should stop drownding their children". An adult with her explained that there had been alot about that on the news lately. 1 person speculated that the scissors "chasing" the airplane might be trying to "clip its wings." When people asked me what it meant I gave various responses. Sometimes I said "The beginning is near!" as a variation on the old "The end is near!" cliché. Sometimes I told people it meant "nothing" & that "I just like to walk around with this & see how people react." Sometimes I asked people to interpret it for me. Sometimes when I gave out the hand-out as a "souvenir" I explained that if they typed it into their computers in "Zapf Dingbats" font & then converted it into a text font they'd "get a punchline". 1 person even seemed remotely likely to try it. 4 friends of mine (Fabio & Donna & Alisa & Greg) followed me at a discrete distance & photographed me. 1 drunk guy noticed that he was being photoed & aggressively confronted them wanting to know why he was being photographed & whether "he'd passed the test."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

213. Proclamation to the Messes

- A Fountain in an Amusement Park, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Wednesday, July 2nd, 1997, afternoon

- After 5 days of attempting to get tickets at the JFK airport in NYC that involved sleeping for 2 nights at the airport & finally flying from New York to Frankfurt & from there to Budapest, my girlfriend etta cetera & I finally arrived at a Kantor home in a state of supreme exhaustion. I started 'celebrating' almost immediately by drinking beer. Shortly thereafter, a group of us went to an amusement park where we were scheduled to give a promotional presentation for the upcoming neoist festivals for a tv crew - probably the people from Phoenix TV (the experimental station that was to quasi-document the proceedings of the next week) but I'm not sure. I was so out-of-it & it was so hectic that it's unclear to me who was even there. I think the participants were Amen!, Gordon W., Tadeusz Varon Less, myself, & Bruce MacLean. At any rate, we climbed onto a dry, multi-levelled fiberglass fountain & began posing & proclaiming with great enthusiasm. I was wearing my "Player-Belt" (aka my "Girdle") - a belt with 2 tape-players attached connected to 2 battery-powered speakers (also attached) & I was playing my tape entitled "Usical Material: BBC S/F/X Cacophony Elongated" - a highly computer edited mix of BBC Humor & Fantasy sound effects. Amen! propagadized, I shouted, Tadeusz (& Bruce?) posed, & Gordon W. quoted "You Think You Really Know Me?" from el-twisto-supremo Gary Wilson.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

218. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Migazzi tér / Migazzi Square, Vác, Hungary

- Friday, July 4th, 1997, 4:15PM

- I made a recording of me playing a large variety of fairly portable instruments: whistles, bells, trumpet, trombone, thunder-sheet, wood-blocks, temple-blocks, chain, large balloon, small xylophone, crow call, etc.. Each of the instruments was played somewhat minimally. Another recording was made of instructions about how to mime playing these instruments in sync with the playback of the 1st tape. Using my Player-Belt (see #212), I played the tape of the instrument sounds on 1 tape-player & amplified it through the 2 speakers. On the other tape-player, I played the instructions & followed them while listening to them via headphones. The result was that I mimed the playing of instruments whose sounds were audible. Given that the sound-produced apparatus was strapped around my waist & given that my actions were attention-grabbing, it wasn't always obvious where the sound originated from. Unfortunately, the 2 tape-players were never quite in sync for any of the presentations of this so my miming was sometimes ahead of the sounds & sometimes behind. Simultaneous with this, Gordon W. was pasting a "Monty Cantsin" sign onto a nearby equestrian statue. Gordon & etta cetera & I later wandered around Vác pasting up the signs wherever we felt like identifying Monty Cantsin.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

232. Player-Belt Girdle Monster

- Neoista?! Puccs - Black Black Galéria & environs, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Monday, July 7th, 1997, 6PM

- Black Black Galéria is the gallery of Opál Színház (Opal Theater). It's in a complex of basements which was entered by stooping through a sidewalk-level window & walking down a sloping board laying on a sand pile. Large piles of sand were faintly visible off to the left when entering. At the bottom of the piles were 2 rooms. Off to the right off of the 1st room was the closed off entrance to living quarters. Off to the left of the 2nd room, 1 could walk through another awkward entrance down into another room where Amen! had an exhibit. At the end of this room was a cage that blocked entrance to a room beyond. This cage is reputed to've been lived in for 1 month by 1 of the main people of Opál Színház. I stayed mainly in the dim light on the sand piles off to the left when 1 entered - playing tapes with my Player Belt (see entries 212 & 217, etc..). Eventually, etta cetera, Brian Damage, Ghera & I ventured forth into the gypsy neighborhood - with the Player Belt playing my tapes all the while. Back in front of Black Black, the neighborhood people had gathered out of curiousity. My tape started playing loud steady explosive sounds & I began to walk stiffly with my feet hitting the pavement in sync with the sounds holding my arms out like the stereotypical zombie/monster. etta probably took something from me (like my flaming steam iron necklace) & I started pursuing her through the thick of the crowd. Children started laughing & pretending to be terrified & running frantically to get out of my way.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

234. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis -> "Blood & Gold", etc..

- Neoista?! Puccs - Ady-Szobor / Ady Statue, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Wednesday, July 9th, 1997, 6PM

- See entry #217. It had been planned for Neoists to assemble at the Ady Statue so that Amen! & others could sing the Monty Cantsin song "Blood & Gold" that's based on an Ady poem. etta cetera, Jada D'Aversa, & I had arrived earlier than anyone else, so I presented this "Mimesis" thing again. We attracted a small crowd who seemed to enjoy it (or, at least, enjoy being perplexed by it). As the other Neoists arrived, Amen! gave a speech in Hungarian (probably to promote the Neoista?! Puccs Tilos Rádio Party) & we broke out the flaming steam irons. BruSeX, Brian Damage, Amen!, Gordon W., & I sang the Neoist Anthem "Catastronics". Amen! was boosted onto the Ady Statue's base where he sung "Blood & Gold" & more flaming steam irons abounded. Gordon W. pricked his finger & put blood on a forint (Hungarian money) that has Ady's picture on it (the 500 forint note?). This was borrowed from me. I was reimbursed after Amen! bought the note from Gordon for 1,000 forint.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

247. Air Drop #1: Code Name: Uniform Foxtrot Oscar

- overtop Baltimore, us@

- Saturday, September 28th, 1997, 3:30 to 4:30PM

- I (tANGO, aLPHA cHARLIE {Practicing Promotextual & Air Dresser}) plotted this action with pilot Delta Bravo. We decided to drop approximately 1,000 paper airplanes from a small plane over Baltimore - coincidentally simultaneous with the 2nd annual book fair being held in the Mount Vernon area there. Delta & I agreed to have a text printed on the planes that would vaguely give it the appearance of an advertisement & to use green paper to be suggestive of money. The basic text was:

"Free Ticket Out Of Baltimore

LIMITED OFFER!

Redeemable Anywhere Within City Limits

Le Groupe Absence"

 

This text was accompanied by drawings of a 'UFO' designed to go through an animated sequence with a punchline (of sorts)if & when the paper airplane's unfolded. I spent about 16 hours preparing for this by folding the airplanes. I was significantly assisted by many people - the most active of whom was Alpha Charlie who probably helped fold for about 6 hours or more. The paper plane type chosen was the one I remembered from my youth as the one most capable of flying acrobatically: a rectangle with 2 diagonal corners & 2 flaps. Delta Bravo & I sat in the front seats of the plane while Juliet Papa sat in the back vaudeoing. I opened the window next to my seat - very nervous about the 100+ m.p.h. winds grabbing at it while I did so. The planes were mainly dropped over Wyman Park (because a group of friends were waiting there as observers in an "X" shape) & over Mount Vernon because of the Book Fair. In the interest of a massive dumping, I held the window open over the fair while Juliet Papa dumped a garbage bag with about 350 to 400 of the planes out in rapid succession. The park observers said the planes could be seen reflecting the sun in a fabulous array of loop-de-loops. A ground search later yielded about 10 of the planes in the targetted areas. How many actually reached the ground (rather than tree & building tops) is hard to estimate. How many people saw them descend is as much a mystery to us as we assume the planes' purpose would be to anyone who did see or find them. It was my hope, as with many of my actions, that this would stimulate flights of the imagination & act counter to closed-minded-ness by providing a mystery for which there'd be no obvious solution. Alas, as 1 friend has pointed out to me, the typical human mental process seems to be to simply shove unsolved mysteries into the easiest available mental compartment, regardless of how ultimately unworkable it is, & to forget about them. Even a cult-of-the-mysterious-paper-airplanes would be preferable to that. "Le Groupe Absence" might be described as a 'patanational corporate mirage that I was once invited to be alien diplomat (or some such) for. This was my 1st action in its name.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

258. Urban Myth of the Force That Prevents Building on the Railway Lands

- Railway Lands Central & West, Toronto, CacaNada

- Saturday, August 22, 1998, 9:30PM to 1:30AM

- There's a fairly large area of 'prime real estate' near the Toronto Harbor between Spadina (to the East) & Bathurst (to the West) & Front St (to the North) & the Gardiner Expressway (to the South) that's currently (as of August '98) a fenced-in grassland occupied by 10 or so 'hobos', a slew of insects, some foxes, & some deer, etc.. This area is right next to the Sky Dome (Toronto's sports & concert arena) & the CN Tower (a very tall tourist attraction) & is slated for 'development' by Hong Kong based Terry Hui. Hui is quoted in a business magazine as saying "Our Motivation is just to create some wealth for everyone." This, by building condos (or what have you) to replace the grasslands. Oh Really? Somehow I don't imagine that the people already living in this area are going to get any wealthier by being forced off the land. I always wonder about this type of 'visionary' economic thinking. There is NO WAY that I can think of to "create some wealth for everyone". There is simply a limited amount of wealth to be distributed & in ANY capitalist economic scheme this wealth is taken from the poor & snapped up by the rich. On the other hand, an equalization of the wealth by having the rich GIVE BACK what they've stolen from the poor IS POSSIBLE. This, however, would not be creating "some wealth for everyone". A notice posted at the edge of the grasslands read as follows:

 

CITY OF TORONTO NOTICE

AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CITY BY GRAND ADEX DEVELOPMENTS FOR AN OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND REZONING TO PERMIT A MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, AND OPEN SPACE USES AT A DENSITY OF 629,655 m2 IN TOTAL GROSS FLOOR AREA AND INCLUDES PROPERTIES IN THE AREAS KNOWN AS THE RAILWAY LANDS CENTRAL AND RAILWAY LANDS WEST.

IF MORE INFORMATION IS REQUIRED CALL: THE CITY OF TORONTO URBAN DEVELOPMENT SERVICE AT 392-7333

I rewrote this sign to read:

CITY OF TORONTO NOTICE

AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CITY BY A CAUCUS OF THE NO-NO CLASS FOR AN OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND UNZONING TO ADVOCATE AN EXPANSION OF THESE GRASSLANDS TO INCREASE THEIR CURRENT DENSITY OF GROSS FLOOR AREA FROM ITS 629,655 m2 SO THAT IT MAY OVERGROW THE CN TOWER, THE SKY DOME AND THE RAILWAY LANDS WASTE IN ORDER TO CREATE A RULING CLASS FREE ZONE.

IF LESS INFORMATION IS REQUIRED CALL: THE CITY OF TORONTO URBAN ENVELOPMENT SERVICE AT 760-3466

 

& pasted (with the assistance of etta cetera & Jubal Brown) the revised sign over the original one. The new phone # was the info line for the "Po-Po: Into the Wasteland" series that this action was part of.

The "Wasteland" events are illegal actions organized by Jubal Brown & AMEN! in which mostly 'abandoned' urban spaces are used for an evening. The previous 4 had been in buildings. Thanks to the EXTREMELY GENEROUS GIFT of Cinecycle operator Martin Heath of a filmstrip camera & a multitude of lenses, etta & I then proceeded to make a filmstrip having the appearance of a history of the area entitled "A History of the Toronto Railway Lands Central & West - Part 3". For this we photographed pictures & such-like in the special collections section of the Toronto Reference Library & the Metro Urban Affairs Library (thanks to the very helpful librarians) + the grasslands & our new sign, etc.. After a shot of the Hui quote mentioned above we had a shot of an ad that read "Now Anyone Can Get A Cellphone" with grafitti under it reading "Even the Homeless?". On the night of the event, I was sitting by the new sign ushering people to under the Spadina bridge where things were to start when police pulled up - ostensibly because of a complaint of people on the railroad tracks. They said they didn't want to break up our party but that they wanted to make sure no-one crossed the tracks. They went under the bridge, where perhaps 80 to 100 people were assembled, & snooped around - eventually finding some explosives of Steven Rife (the fire performer for the evening). After forcing him into a demonstration of what he was going to do, the police (astonishingly enough) left without further interference. This may've been because they were under instructions to not have confrontations with the anarchists in town for the Active Resistance gathering (a similar event to which from 10 years previous had been somewhat violent) which this event was somewhat related to. After they left, I presented the filmstrip - introducing it as a found historical strip for which I didn't have the soundtrack. Throughout the strip, the graphics used in my Pictogrameting action (see 203) were interspersed without explanation next to & on top of the historical illustrations. When asked what they meant, I said I didn't know. As the strip progressed, I gradually made it more obvious that this was no ordinary history by reading the bogus NOTICE aloud & by pointing out the Hui quote & the grafitti. When the filmstrip ended, people thought that my presentation was over & they were led thru the grasslands to the main area where events were to happen. In the meantime, I rushed to put on my player belt (see 212 etc) & to grab the Pictogramet Sign & to put on some taped together plants to use as camouflage. Then I scurried around the perimeter of the people - sometimes showing the sign & sometimes getting close enough for people to hear the tapes. While this was happening, etta cetera mixed with the crowd spreading the rumor that there was an Urban Myth that a force existed in the field that prevented building there. The basic idea was to establish the pictograms as an historical presence thru the filmstrip & to then have the pictograms come alive in the actual space as a peripheral phenomena that never came close enough to be clearly perceived & to tie it all together with the Urban Myth.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

260. Air Drop #2: Code Name: Alpha Alpha Alpha

- Overtop Carnegie-Mellon University & environs, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, September 4th, 1998, 1:30 to 2:30PM

- This was (as the above title indicates) the 2nd in a series. For more info relevant to this 1 (like a rough description of the type of paper plane used) see entry 246. One of the main differences between this & its predecessor is that it was done mainly in the name of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts & not Le Groupe Absence. The day started with a phone call at 8AM from the pilot, Delta Bravo, saying that the weather in Baltimore was too misty for him to take off as early as he'd planned. We

waited an hour to find out how the weather would change. Delta called back & said that it was clearing & that he'd leave around 10:30 & that we should meet him at the Allegheny Airport near Pittsburgh between 12 & 12:30. I called the ground cameraperson, Mike Juliet, to tell him that we'd be starting 2 hours later than I'd originally told him but I only got his answering machine.

12:15 & Juliet Lima, Sierra Lima Foxtrot November, & I (tANGO, aLPHA cHARLIE) arrived at the airport. Delta had just arrived. I was wearing sky camouflage with the front covered with a hundred or so square buttons with images of sky & clouds on them. Sierra was wearing a flight suit. We had a video camera, 2 35mm still cameras, a tape recorder, & a half-frame 35mm camera (for shooting filmstrips).

We shot various footage of each other & the plane & loaded the 950 paper planes (etc) in (unobtrusively packed in a shoulder bag & a small box so that they wouldn't attract too much attention from airport personnel). Delta ran thru his various technical checks & we boarded the plane & got ready for take-off.

Then the camcorder ceased to work. I later realized that a connection in the camcorder power had ceased to work & that the tape had then jammed. I tried changing batteries to no avail. Since we were about to take off, I gave up on the camcorder & decided to concentrate on the filmstrip camera while Sierra shot slides & Juliet shot stills. As the plane lifted off the ground, the filmstrip camera jammed! This had been working perfectly 'til then & I still have no idea why the film wouldn't advance & the camera wouldn't take any more pictures. There were still about 20 pictures left on the roll (out of 48 available).

In the noisy airplane, Delta had asked us to maintain silence while he communicated with the radio tower. I tried to communicate thru gestures to Sierra that I wanted her to rewind her slide film & take it out of her camera so that I could put it in the filmstrip camera & keep on shooting with that. She misunderstood, rewound the film too far so that it no longer had a tongue sticking out for rethreading, & handed me her camera instead. THEN she understood & began frantically trying to pry open the film cannister without exposing the film inside so that the tongue could be gotten out & the film could be loaded in my camera. The film got mangled & that was more or less the end of that roll. Down to ONE still camera &, hopefully, the ground camcorder! At least we got some good audio recording off the plane's sound system.

In the meantime, the plane was circling around the targetted drop area: the campus of Carnegie-Mellon University - picked because it's near an easily identifiable landmark (the Cathedral of Learning), because it has much open space for the planes to land on, & because there would be alotof people milling around outside. Juliet & I had put a "Missed Connections" in the City Paper (a weekly paper in many cities in the US) that read as follows:

"Missed Connections" or "Mis-Connecteds" or "I Saw Yous" (etc) are usually used by people who met someone briefly or just saw them somewhere without meeting them & who want to meet them again. A typical example might be something like "I saw you at Station Square. You had a red sports car & we kept looking at each other. Your friend Jennie introduced us but then you had to go. Can we meet again?"

Juliet & I had given a reading the week before (under the names of Party Teen on Couch #2 etta cetera - see entry 257) where we'd read Mis-Connecteds that our gang (the Kneehighs) had placed in various papers around the US (mainly Baltimore & Pittsburgh). This was partially to SEED the audience's mind in the hope that they'd read the next week's Mis-Connecteds & see the "UFOS ON CMU" one.

ANYWAY, we dropped the 950 paper airplanes over the campus - not sure whether we were actually hitting the target or not. The planes were of a type that flies loop-de-loops - chosen so that they'd stay in the air a fairly long time to increase the chances of people seeing them. We could see them flying all over the place. They looked great! We could see that many of them had landed on a golf course in Schenley Park next to CMU.

We returned to the airport, Delta flew back to B-More, & the rest of us headed back to P-Burgh to drop the film off to be developed & to head to the CMU campus to find out how many of the planes, if any, had made it there. We got there & were happy to find THAT THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!! The drop had actually been ON-TARGET! This's not an easy thing to do when you're flying in excess of 100mph & have other wind factors to take into consideration. We walked around & asked groups of students near where we saw planes if they'd seen the planes come down. None of them had. When we told them that we'd just flown over & that we'd dropped a thousand paper planes onto the campus, they expressed no curiousity AT ALL! They mostly stared dully or hostilely at me & made no move to even look at the pointed-out nearby planes. We didn't find any witnesses to tape-record an interview with & Mike Juliet was nowhere around to be found.

We went to the golf course next & there were paper planes everywhere. I went up to a few golfers who were surrounded by the papers & asked them if they'd seen them come down. They hadn't seen them & hadn't even noticed them all around them!? One guy did pick one up to read it & carried it off with him. We finally found a group of old men sitting around in the shade by the golf course building & one of them had seen the planes come down. They had a couple of the planes there with them. I asked the witness if he minded that I record an interview with him & he said he didn't want to be recorded because he was wanted by the police. I didn't believe this (or that my recording him would matter) but I respected his request & didn't record him. We talked substantially about the project. I explained the AAA somewhat to him - reading the slogans off the plane & talking about some of them somewhat.

The main AAA text on the plane was somewhat like this:

 

FREE ADMISSION TO RAVE IN SPACE!*

The Asssociation of

Autonomous Astronauts has launched

an information War against

the present-day state, corporate

and military monopoly of space travel.

 

What we need today is

an independent, community-based

space exploration program,

one that is not restricted by military,

scientific or corporate interests.

 

Only those that attempt the impossible will achieve the absurd.

The AAA moves in several directions at once.

Death to goverment space agencies everywhere.

All power to the Association of Autonomous Astronauts!

Space Travel - By Any Means Necessary

Dreamtime Is Upon Us!

Here Comes Everybody!

Space is the place.

The Christian millenium is right around the corner... may their world end with it!

Space travel is necessary - evolution implies it

Sex in space is necessary - evolution demands it

The Association of Autonomous Astronauts

is making the future happen.

The AAA asks, 'What is the point of going into space

only to replicate life on planet earth?'

Everything you ever wanted on planet earth, and never

received, will be yours in outer space.

 

http://www.t0.or.at/aaa

http:/www.deepdisc.com/aaa

http://www.uncarved.demon.co.uk

*must provide own transportation

The planes also had 5 rubber-stamps + an individual frame of super-8 film from my MIKE FILM project on each of them. The MIKE FILM was accompanied by my Baltimore P. O. Box address. One of the stampings read: Home Skiing is like Yard Sailing - an obscure reference to a fake attempt to start a silly fad thru the TV Hospital (see entries 183 - 189) & another tie-in to the "Missed Connection".

The old man that we talked with said that he thought that most people wouldn't be able to understand what it was all about & that if they'd even look at the planes they'd just throw them away in confusion. He seemed to understand the slogan "Only those that attempt the impossible will achieve the absurd" the most easily. He wanted to know if we were a "cult". I told him no.

Juliet & I had to leave to go to work. We stopped back at our house 1st & found that Mike Juliet had dropped off his camcorder footage. He had left his house at 7:30AM & hadn't gotten my message that the flight was starting late. As such, he'd waited at CMU between 10:45 & 1:30 & then gone inside to try to call me. When he came out the planes were everywhere. He'd missed the drop. He shot footage of people completely ignoring the planes laying around. Amazing.

Despite the footage fuck-ups & the lack of interest in the targetted audience, I'm happy that we managed to actually hit the target & to pull it off in general. To me, most people are hopeless robopaths - too busy following orders, being normal & being stupid to ever notice or care about anything unusual in their environment. This was an attempted seeding. It largely fell on (metaphorically) rocky ground: in the midst of hopelessly (?) dull people. College students: REACTIONARY MUDDLE AMERICA. Nonetheless, with a drop this large who knows who it may've reached. 4 website addresses were included. MAYBE SOMEBODY will check out the websites as a result. MAYBE SOMEBODY will have their mind tweaked a little. I'm sure the old men at the golf course did.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

273. Pittsburgh Pirates' Walkie-Talkie, etc..

- Burning Man, Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, us@

- Friday, September 3 - Sunday, September 5, 1999

- Rita Rodentia (a.k.a. etta cetera - see most of the recent entries - starting at 212 with etta cetera mention) & I participated in Burning Man with variations on a number of basic elements. We were there partially as representatives of a fledgling Pittsburgh-based pirate radio station group called the Pittsburgh Pirates - facetiously named after the city's baseball team. We set up a radio transmitter to broadcast over 97.9FM. For short periods we broadcast a tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE "Triple-S Variety Show" CD; the Volunteers Collective's "A Year of Sundays" computer edit CD; Monty Cantsin?'s "Noise Bible" CD; &, most importantly, a CD made especially for this purpose called the "Burning Man Walkie-Talkie". This latter was divided up into 12 tracks:

01. "Whoop-Up @ the Funny Farm"

02. "Generic Tour & One-Sided Conversation"

03. "B/S/B/F/C/X"

04. "Generic Tour #1"

05. "Lafterlife"

06. "S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech"

07. "Navigating the Obstacle Course of Usic minus the Square Root of Negative 1

with tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE"

08. "Two-Sided Conversation"

09. "Opustulent"

10. "One-Sided Conversation"

11. "Volunteers Collective at the Anonymous Family Reunion"

& 12. "Generic Tour #2"

The odd-numbered tracks were usic meant to provide 'breathing room' between the spoken word even-numbered tracks which had been created with the "Burning Man Walkie-Talkie" in mind. etta & I walked around in various states of partial dress wearing various things such as the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. whale outfit (see entry 253) & a new S.P.C.S.M.E.F. outfit made from a stuffed shark toy. Sometimes I carried the Pictogramet (see entry 203).

Sometimes I wore my extremely tattered Leper-Skin Suit. Sometimes I wore a beach novelty hat with "Damn Seagulls" written on it & fake bird-shit (ironic, considering the birdless sky & waterless environment of the desert we were in) & sometimes a "thinking cap" with a picture of a brain on it & the word "think" multiply reproduced under its brim. Sometimes I wore my entire button collection - adorning myself with over 100 images & such texts as: "ground zero club", "is science fair?", "Pee-Dog by the Shit Generation", "SMILE", "No Added Color", "Terrorist", "Fatuous Team of Cultural Players", "Association of Autonomous Astronauts", "12 Apples ÷ 4 People = 3 Apples-People", "Vermin Supreme is Your Mayor", "Danger! Infectious Habititis", etc, etc.. Often, we were mostly naked.

We wore our player-belts (see entry 212, etc..) & tuned their radios to our station. While it played we went to various places to broadcast our material - favoring the Port-A-Pot lines since people were usually bored there. We'd sidle up to the waiting people & parade back & forth broadcasting. The texts were divided into several types: Generic Tour, One-Sided Conversation, S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see entry 253), & Two-Sided Conversation. The basic idea of the Generic Tour was that it be more or less applicable to any environment. Below's a sample:

"So, back to the tour. You'll notice that this area has color. Sometimes it's more subtle than others. One of the many remarkable things about this particular area is the way in which everything is moving even though to superficial appearances most of it may seem to be still. This phenomenon has been studied for many thousands of years - if not longer. Not surprisingly, no satisfactory conclusions have been reached yet but the stimulation derived from the research is seemingly unending. That's one of the many, many reasons why this area has been chosen for our tour. Please keep that in mind as we progress further."

The One-Sided Conversation was meant to be banter that could be projected to passers-by as if to start a conversation:

"Do you have a sister named Rose who is a drifter that rides through towns on tumbleweeds smoking grass and playing the butt-flute?

Hey! Did you hear how they captured that woman from the S.L.A. something like 23 years after her involvement when she was leading a very normal life and a member of her community...I guess putting her in prison would be the best way to reform her.........ain't that some shit yo."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

285. 3rd Secret Meeting of the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival in the Year 000

- Karen Eliot's studio & nearby environs, Adelaide, Australia

- Thursday, March 23, 2000, double 6 0'clock

- There had been e-mail discussions for about 15 months between people in several countries about having an Adelaide-based Neoist Apartment Festival. etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I flew to Australia originally motivated by the intention of participating in this hypothetical festival - even though we 'knew' from correspondence that it had no substantial basis. The following description, & all other entries relevant to this festival, are excerpted from:

 

A Report on the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival

in Adelaide, South Australia

from Monday, March 20th, 000 'til Saturday, March 25th, 000

(With additional action on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 4 & 5, 000)

written by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[etta cetera & I arrived in Adelaide on Sunday, March 19th & were met at the airport by festival conspirators Karen Eliot & Jen. I never saw Jen again in connection with any neoist activities. A vegetarian barbecue had been proposed for later that day as a festival planning session but that seemed unlikely to happen so the main event of the day was a visit to the former Adelaide Gaol where the Tap 000 Theatre was scheduled to perform (amongst others) & where I was scheduled to UNCERTIZE & to screen a video version of "Bob Cobbing".

Few, or no, VAUDIENCE members arrived, my sampler wouldn't work, the Tap 000 performance was cancelled, The Band That Couldn't Plough Straight played, & etta & I were severely jet-lagged, but I managed to stay awake long enough to screen "Bob Cobbing" anyway to a not-completely rapt small group.

Throughout this 1st day, it had become obvious that there was little or no interest in the long-awaited 1st Australian Neoist Festival that etta & I had been planning to attend for over a year & that we'd travelled over halfway around the world for (having taken the long way via Malaysia). All of Karen's attempts to organize planning sessions had been fairly ill-attended & fruitless. All of Karen's phonecalls to clubs & such-like places to try to set up UNCERTS, SO-CALLED WHATEVERS, & such-like had been unreturned. Given these circumstances, I proposed that we dub the festival the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL IN THE YEAR 000 worth travelling over halfway 'round the world for. After all, who wants to travel that far just for your ordinary, everyday Neoist Apartment Festival when you can go to the 1st NON-EXISTENT one instead?

It was decided that the Non-Existent Festival would consist of SECRET MEETINGS partially publicized thru messages passed via SECRET HANDSHAKES.]

In the Secret Handshake Message for the 3rd Secret Meeting we had encouraged potential attendees to: "Come celebrate further the Triumph of the Anti-Neoists!" The hand-outs each had a BLACK RECTANGLE OVER THE EYE rubber-stamping & a BLIND AUTHORITY MANIPULATION CORPORATION rubber-stamping on them. SO, on Thursday, March 23rd, Rick, Karen, & I entered the Church of Scientology building to ascend to the 3rd floor where Karen's studio was (unrelated to the Church) after giving up on anyone else's potential arrival. etta was mad at me & was staying away - after having dropped off the plaster strips supplies that we intended to use to make the composite bust mold of the UNKNOWN NEOIST with. The bottom of Rick's face was used for molding & he was rendered incapable of speaking as a result. While we waited for his plaster strips to dry, I read excerpts from L. Ron Hubbard's idiotic book "ART". The most difficult part for Rick was refraining from laughing &, therefore, damaging the mold. After Rick, my right ear & the top of my head (covered by a shower-cap with a plastic frog toy in it) were used for molding. While I waited for the plaster to dry, I was VAUDEOED by Karen leaving the Church of Scientology building mysteriously swathed. This attracted the attention of the Scientologists who nervously asked us what we were doing. Karen was next. S/He had his/her eyes plastered over & was then led out to the busy corner of Waymouth & King William Street to be Vaudeoed blindly handing out the slick, glossy, full-color "Quit your job!" pamphlet that had been prepared by her/him in preparation for this festival. Rick & etta (who had eventually come along) instructed Karen as to which way to turn in order to thrust the pamphlets toward the passersby (who were usually loath to take them). Karen held a clock indicating that it was 6:00 & a confused & slightly drunk man stared at it & asked etta what time it was. She, naturally, replied "6:00" & he told her that she couldn't tell time & that it was obviously something closer to 4:00. Then he asked ME what time it was & I said "6:00" too - further annoying him. Returning again to the studio, etta's left ear & the back of her neck were molded as the final composite bust part. As usual Secret Handshake Messages were exchanged: "Anti-Neoist Rally - Down with the "Quit your job" leafletters!". These were rubber stamped with: "Work Will Make You Free Trade".

- a movie of the entire festival can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/1stNonExistentInternationalNeoistApartmentFestivalInTheYear000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

286. 4th Secret Meeting of the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival in the Year 000 - Anti-Neoist Rally

- Streets of Adelaide, Australia

- Friday, March 24, 2000, 1PM

- There had been e-mail discussions for about 15 months between people in several countries about having an Adelaide-based Neoist Apartment Festival. etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I flew to Australia originally motivated by the intention of participating in this hypothetical festival - even though we 'knew' from correspondence that it had no substantial basis. The following description, & all other entries relevant to this festival, are excerpted from:

 

A Report on the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival

in Adelaide, South Australia

from Monday, March 20th, 000 'til Saturday, March 25th, 000

(With additional action on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 4 & 5, 000)

written by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[etta cetera & I arrived in Adelaide on Sunday, March 19th & were met at the airport by festival conspirators Karen Eliot & Jen. I never saw Jen again in connection with any neoist activities. A vegetarian barbecue had been proposed for later that day as a festival planning session but that seemed unlikely to happen so the main event of the day was a visit to the former Adelaide Gaol where the Tap 000 Theatre was scheduled to perform (amongst others) & where I was scheduled to UNCERTIZE & to screen a video version of "Bob Cobbing".

Few, or no, VAUDIENCE members arrived, my sampler wouldn't work, the Tap 000 performance was cancelled, The Band That Couldn't Plough Straight played, & etta & I were severely jet-lagged, but I managed to stay awake long enough to screen "Bob Cobbing" anyway to a not-completely rapt small group.

Throughout this 1st day, it had become obvious that there was little or no interest in the long-awaited 1st Australian Neoist Festival that etta & I had been planning to attend for over a year & that we'd travelled over halfway around the world for (having taken the long way via Malaysia). All of Karen's attempts to organize planning sessions had been fairly ill-attended & fruitless. All of Karen's phonecalls to clubs & such-like places to try to set up UNCERTS, SO-CALLED WHATEVERS, & such-like had been unreturned. Given these circumstances, I proposed that we dub the festival the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL IN THE YEAR 000 worth travelling over halfway 'round the world for. After all, who wants to travel that far just for your ordinary, everyday Neoist Apartment Festival when you can go to the 1st NON-EXISTENT one instead?

It was decided that the Non-Existent Festival would consist of SECRET MEETINGS partially publicized thru messages passed via SECRET HANDSHAKES.]

As usual Secret Handshake Messages were exchanged: "Anti-Neoist Rally - Down with the "Quit your job" leafletters!". These were rubber stamped with: "Work Will Make You Free Trade". The instruction had been to "Meet at the north side of the fountain in Victoria Square @ 1:00PM Friday March 23rd" Readers were further informed that "It's Always 1 O'Clock in Anti-Neoism." Somewhat to my surprise, there were 2 new Anti-Neoists awaiting: John & Ebony - in addition to Rick & Bird-E (who'd proposed this Anti-Neoist Rally & who'd established his personality as an anti-neoist more than anyone else in Adelaide so far) &, of course, etta & myself: as the Anti-Neoists - with Karen as that dagnabbed Neoist attempting to hand out leaflets. Bird-E had a banner that read "Contemporary Culture is Fantastic" & etta & I brought cardboard signs that read "Karen Eliot is a Front Covering Monty Cantsin's Back" (when I'd chant from this I'd usually add: "& Luther Blissett's Behind It All!"), "Neoists are Worse than Multi-National Corporations", "Stop Neoists from Pissing in Your Gene Pool", etc.. Walking on the King William St sidewalk, we passed thru dense groups of pedestrians while Karen attempted to give out the "Quit your job"s. The Anti-Neoists harangued everyone around with things like "Don't take the pamphlet! Neoism is evil!" & if people asked what Neoism was, I said things like "Neoism's against everything you stand for!" - keeping everything vaguely tautological to try to maintain a purist propagandistic emotionally charged but otherwise empty stance. The result of this reverse psychology was that many more people than usual took the pamphlets & I even saw people sitting around reading them to each other in apparent wonder. Whenever anyone wouldn't take them, I loudly lauded them for being an Anti-Neoist. The idea of "It's Always 1 O'Clock in Anti-Neoism" was developed into the idea of working straight thru without a lunchbreak & workers were encouraged to do so & to WORK HARDER. Chants contrary to the usual 'leftist' ones were created - like: "More Cars, Less Bikes", "Bring Back the Vietnam War", &, etta's personal favorite, "Everything's OK!". Ardent attempts to convert people to Anti-Neoism were made. One man approached etta with a "Quit.." pamphlet & said something like: "People shouldn't quit their jobs! They should get jobs & join society!" - to which she replied: "That's what we think too! It's that Neoist over there who's against us!". John kept rhetorically asking: "Would you like fries with that?". Finally, we reached the steps of Adelaide's Parliament where the Anti-Neoists mounted their/our signs & continued to harrass Karen. When s/he ran out of pamphlets s/he continued to hand out with the "Unknown Neoist for Lord Mayor" posters that etta & I had made & which had been sporadically posted & given away in the preceeding days. A policeman came & recognized Rick from a previous demonstration. They had a friendly chat & I approached the officer & thanked him for coming & told him that we needed more of his kind on the Anti-Neoist side & begged him to bring more police along with him the next time. He received this all in good humor & left saying that if we had any trouble with any other police that we should come to him & he'd smooth it out. The Secret Handshake Message for the day had the following:

"Down With the Down-Under Neoists!

Tired of Neoists PISSING IN YOUR GENE POOL?

Crash Their 5th Secret Meeting

of Their Stupid 1st Non-Existent

International Neoist Apartment festival in the Year Zero Zero Zero

@ Victoria Square @ 1:00PM Saturday March 25th

& Show Them What's What!".

What wasn't mentioned in the above was that this was the starting point of Adelaide's 1st "Reclaim the Streets" (although at least 1 similar event had previously occurred) which was also being coorganized by Karen Eliot.

For a brief quasi-documentary of this Anti-Neoist Rally" on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QX7963kyl2k.

- a movie of the entire festival can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/1stNonExistentInternationalNeoistApartmentFestivalInTheYear000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

288. Unknown Neoist Bust Installation Ceremony

- at the south wall surrounding Government House, Adelaide, Australia

- Wednesday, April 5, 2000

- There had been e-mail discussions for about 15 months between people in several countries about having an Adelaide-based Neoist Apartment Festival. etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I flew to Australia originally motivated by the intention of participating in this hypothetical festival - even though we 'knew' from correspondence that it had no substantial basis. The following description, & all other entries relevant to this festival, are excerpted from:

 

A Report on the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival

in Adelaide, South Australia

from Monday, March 20th, 000 'til Saturday, March 25th, 000

(With additional action on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 4 & 5, 000)

written by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[etta cetera & I arrived in Adelaide on Sunday, March 19th & were met at the airport by festival conspirators Karen Eliot & Jen. I never saw Jen again in connection with any neoist activities. A vegetarian barbecue had been proposed for later that day as a festival planning session but that seemed unlikely to happen so the main event of the day was a visit to the former Adelaide Gaol where the Tap 000 Theatre was scheduled to perform (amongst others) & where I was scheduled to UNCERTIZE & to screen a video version of "Bob Cobbing".

Few, or no, VAUDIENCE members arrived, my sampler wouldn't work, the Tap 000 performance was cancelled, The Band That Couldn't Plough Straight played, & etta & I were severely jet-lagged, but I managed to stay awake long enough to screen "Bob Cobbing" anyway to a not-completely rapt small group.

Throughout this 1st day, it had become obvious that there was little or no interest in the long-awaited 1st Australian Neoist Festival that etta & I had been planning to attend for over a year & that we'd travelled over halfway around the world for (having taken the long way via Malaysia). All of Karen's attempts to organize planning sessions had been fairly ill-attended & fruitless. All of Karen's phonecalls to clubs & such-like places to try to set up UNCERTS, SO-CALLED WHATEVERS, & such-like had been unreturned. Given these circumstances, I proposed that we dub the festival the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL IN THE YEAR 000 worth travelling over halfway 'round the world for. After all, who wants to travel that far just for your ordinary, everyday Neoist Apartment Festival when you can go to the 1st NON-EXISTENT one instead?

It was decided that the Non-Existent Festival would consist of SECRET MEETINGS partially publicized thru messages passed via SECRET HANDSHAKES.]

We returned to Adelaide on Saturday, April Fool's Day. On Tuesday, April 4th, we assembled the Unknown Neoist Bust Mold sections & began to pour the hydrostone & plaster cast. This continued on Wednesday, April 5th, & Karen, Robyn, etta, & I took the bust to its intended new home along the North Terrace road by the Government House walls & dug a hole in the ground near the busy sidewalk/bus-stop where we planted it atop its post. A laminated text panel underneath 'explained' it thusly:

THE UNKNOWN NEOIST

The Unknown Neoist is a transparency sharing a garden plot with the Unknown Solderer. Free to cum & go in the Dreaming, they A&B Roll both Normal & Original as it suits their leisure. We are gathered here today to set our rightful place at the table of the elements.

- a composite gone-bust authorized by the honorable so-&-so

I played sound effects with the player belt, we flamed steam irons & read the text aloud. People stopped & watched us & read the text & asked us questions. When we were done, we drove around the block & vaudeoed the strip of busts culminating in our own. As we passed a guy reading the panel, I shouted out: "Neoism's a town with a population of 12 with a bar in it!" (my new favorite definition of Neoism - inspired by having visited the town of William Creek between Lake Eyre & Coober Pedy in the outback). The man turned around & looked at us thoroughly perplexed & we drove off.

- a movie of the entire festival can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/1stNonExistentInternationalNeoistApartmentFestivalInTheYear000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

299. On 3RRR with John Safran

- 3RRR Radio Station, Melbourne, Australia

- Wednesday, May 31, 2000, 8:50-8:55AM

- John Safran has made at least 2 pilot tv shows that demonstrate a remarkable genius for "poetic terrorism" against stupidity & dishonesty: "John Safran, Master Chef" & "John Safran, Media Tycoon". In the former, eg, in the midst of a normal appearing cooking show where he demonstrates a recipe, he cuts to a slaughterhouse scene where we're shown how to kill & butcher the cow & then cuts back to his kitchen set without breaking out of normal tv personality. In the latter, eg, he targets the host of the so-called investigative journalism of Ray Martin, the host of Australian tv's "Current Affairs", & allows Ray & his wife to show their true nature when the tables are turned on them. As Ray's wife says, fortunately on camera, "We've got friends in high places!". Yep, & the scum rises to the top. Well, as things would typically have it, Safran's tv career seems to've been canned because of its honesty & direct-action type humor, but he does do an early morning talk radio show on Triple-R from 6 'til 9. When etta & I tuned it in on this morning, he was cohosting it with 2 other people. We don't know if that's the typical situation or not.

Having a great admiration for Safran's actions & media wit, etta (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I wanted to meet him & work him into our movie in progress, "Don't Walk Backwards", & we didn't want it to be a banal encounter. So, a plan was worked out, & I phoned the station & John answered. An abbreviated version of our exchange is as follows: I said: "I'm tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & I'm a mad scientist, d composer, sound thinker, thought collector, as been & I'm travelling with my friend Ghanesh & we're making a movie & we'd like to come in & have Ghanesh ask you 2 important questions on air." JS: "Are you a serial killer? I mean, if you are, I'll still let you in but I just thought I'd ask 1st." Me: "No, I'm not a serial killer but I am a psychopathfinder." Safran asked his co-hosts if it was ok & it was suggested that we arrive right before the program's end & away we went. When we arrived, we were buzzed into the station & we wandered until we found the studio since no-one was around to guide us at 1st.

etta was wearing the full Ganesa gear of killer whale suit & bright-pink Ganesa head & garland. I was wearing my player-belt & carrying the camcorder & 3 black-&-white stills from "Don't Walk Backwards" that I'd taken to scattering around shots as a formal device to create a greater interconnectivity between scenes. We walked into the studio, I threw the photos down in front of John & turned on some sound effects on the player-belt. As I recall, a laughing woman was one of them. Ganesa went to a microphone & asked John on air 2 questions that run thru the Ganesa interviews in the movie: "How do you undermine reality maintenance traps?" (see 39) & "How do you rearrange the power structure of the universe?". These questions were also asked, at different times, of people at the Goolongook Forest Blockade, Peter Simpson (a biomedical researcher partially responsible for a cure for the flu), & the science-fiction writer Damien Broderick. JS responded by saying that he didn't have any answers.

His male cohost said to me aside that this sort of thing happens to them every day to which I replied "That's why we're doing it - to reinforce your sense of reality." Of course, such things DON'T happen to them every day & Ganesa & I were a bit disappointed that they didn't have more wits about them. As we left, I exclaimed, as in our radio appearance on "Anarchist World This Week" (see entry 293), "You'll never see us alive again!" to which John replied something like "Ok." While we tried to figure out how to get out of the station (the door that we'd entered thru was now locked), we heard the female cohost say something about "still recovering from that bad acid trip with the pink elephant." Ah, yes, when in doubt, contextualize an unusual experience as a drug thing & get a few pathetic NYUKs out of your burn-out audience. Oh well, WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY JOHN SAFRAN!

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/WKRioI7A2U

- audio from this is track 5 on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/Radio2000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

325. In Memory of Jerry Hunt (w/ a nod to Charles Tomlinson Griffes' "The White Peacock") #1

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 9, 2002, 3:02-3:34PM

- The Warhol films that I project in the theater of the Warhol museum are rarely watched for long by anyone. Most people seem to find them very boring. The film I was showing this day was the silent "Blow Job" - a shot of a guy's face while he's supposedly getting his cock sucked by a changing crew of gay artists. His expression doesn't change much, he mainly tilts his head back every once in a while as a presumed indication of excitement. After his presumed orgasm, he lights a cigarette near the end of the film. On this & the following day, an upright piano had been left in the theater near the screen - a leftover from some recent music events. When I started the film, there was no audience so I decided to play a piano "accompaniment" to it for my own amusement. I played in a somewhat 'flowery' 19th century romantic style, using flourishes, various scales, & drama, etc.. An audience member entered & I explained what I was doing & asked him if he minded. He didn't reply & only stayed for a few minutes - as is typical. After 12 minutes or so of this I got bored & stopped playing & returned to the projection booth. A couple of minutes later, 5 people entered & I decided to play for them with no explanation. As I passed by them en route to the piano, I heard the usual expression of boredom. One of the girls was saying something like "whatever!" & they seemed as if they might get up & leave. The theater was dark except for the screen & the exit signs & I sat at the piano & tried to play in as captivatingly romantic a style as I could (being not a great pianist by any means!) - & doing a passable job (I thought). I played for about 17 minutes & ended with a dramatic chordal crescendo just as the character in the movie lit his cigarette. I then left. The audience stayed throughout my playing & others may have come & gone. After I stopped playing, the audience almost immediately got up & left even though the film hadn't ended yet. This was a guerrilla uncert in that I'm sure that it wouldn't've been approved of by museum hierarchy & I, of course, had no intention of asking for 'permission'. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that my playing was what kept the 5 people there interested.

I decided to retroactively entitle this as I have in honor of the story that composer/performer Jerry Hunt would sometimes play pieces from his experimental classical repertoire, such as music by Stockhausen, when playing piano at a strip club. The story goes that he had to be protected by a chicken-wire cage to prevent projectiles from the audience from hitting him. The nod to Griffes' piece also ties into the combination of the gay sex (of "Blow Job") & what I call "Low Classical Usic" insofar as Griffes was an early 20th century gay composer who was live-in lovers with a cop & whose "The White Peacock" title was, I'm told, some sort of gay cruising reference.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

326. In Memory of Jerry Hunt (w/ a nod to Charles Tomlinson Griffes' "The White Peacock") #2

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, November 10, 2002, 12:30-12:34PM

- See the preceeding entry. There were 2 audience members at the beginning of this. I asked them whether they'd rather witness the film silent or if they'd like me to play the piano. They chose the piano playing. I tried to vary my playing from the day before's by creating patterns more directly related to the film & in other ways. I played a theme of sorts every time the guy getting the "Blow Job" tilted his head back, I played grumbling low notes when his head was in shadow, & trilling high pairs of major seconds when the white separated the 100 foot rolls, etc.. In keeping with typical drama-building technique, I played glissandi as the climax was nearing. As with entry 324, I stopped playing after the post-orgasmic cigarette was lit. The initial 2 people stayed for about 25 minutes. Other people came & went.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

374. Systems & Processes 3: workshop & guerrilla action

- CMU CFA, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, November 4, 2009

- I explained various percussion instruments to the class & demonstrated them - such as the thunder sheet, slap-stick, a-go-go, vibra-slap, triangle, Zydeco tie, tuning fork, rattles, tambourine, Chinese gong, ratchet, dog's squeeze toy in shape of human foot, dinner bells, bulb horns, cow bell, cymbals, bracelet bells, corrugated tubes, slide whistle, alarm whistle, siren whistle, kazoo, crow call, train whistle, boom whackers, small glockenspiel, colander, duck call, & flex-a-tone.

Assisting me were joy toujours playing violin, percussion, cordless drill, & cameras + Josh Beyer playing cello, percussion, & camcorder + Hyla Willis playing erhu, percussion, & cameras. A highlight of this event was probably when Hyla demonstrated the erhu & allowed some students to play it.

I explained the desirability of the use of multiple cameras & encouraged footage sharing so that we cd all work w/ a collective pool of footage. As it turned out, I did get footage from multiple cameras but no-one else seemed interested in working w/ these multiple sources.

Attendance to the class was poor & only a few of the students seem to've thought of new Systems since the last class. One of the students proposed a System based on the rules of "Fight Club". I explained that the idea for the Systems was meant to be based around how one THINKS about what one's doing rather than specific physical instructions. One of these few students proposed an "Imitation" System, another proposed a "Not Really" System, another "Pretend to be Someone". Another student who hadn't attended the last class admitted that she had "no idea what we're doing". [Uh.. I reckon that's why attending class might be a good idea, eh?!]

I attempted to clarify the difference between a Thought Experiment & specific physical instructions to the class by explaining Avicenna's "Floating Man" & explaining HiTEC's adaption of that as "Avicenna's Floating Systems Manager". Hyla, Josh, & joy then went on to try to explain their own takes on the matter.

From there we tried "Not Really" (not really called that) in which the Systems Managers were to perform a vocal sound as response to someone's miming cue. "Imitation" followed, "Pretending to be Someone" was rejected by the student who proposed it, then "Survival of the Fittest" was proposed: A person plays a rhythm & becomes the fittest when either they're the only person left playing their rhythm or when only their rhythm, played by others too, is being played. This was criticized on the basis of various criteria such as: the simplest medium-tempo pulse will probably win. Josh played pizzacato cello during this one.

We then tried "Robotic" which was the student System that I thought most successfully was a Thought Experiment.

"Robotic"

Systems Managers start from the perimeter of the space. Managers conceive of a robotic routine to perform & then follow it mindlessly. This usually involves moving away from the perimeter but doesn't necessarily have to.

I found this to be particularly successful exercise! One student sat cross-legged on the floor & banged an inverted stool seat on the floor, another walked around holding onto objects such as seats, table & tripod legs, etc.. One walked & stopped & rattled a tambourine periodically, another rearranged object placement thru rotation, the professor made weather announcements. I made a multiple camera quasi-document which I then posted online:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkZjJ1ePIos

Partially since the author of "Object Exchange" wasn't there, the professor proposed that we modify it. I found this amusing & 'poetic justice'.

"Object Exchange"

Systems Managers carry an object wch they handle in a way conventionally appropriate to that object. Managers then exchange objects w/ one another. Managers then use the new object in the same way that they used the original object. Each new object gets handled in the way that wd've been appropriate for the preceding object. EG: If a Manager starts w/ a squeeze toy & then trades that for woodblocks then the the Manager continues squeezing the woodblocks. THEN, if the Manager exchanges the woodblocks for a whistle, the Manager hits the whistle - as wd've been appropriate for the woodblocks, etc.. Sometimes the handling technique used will be coincidentally appropriate to the new object. EG: If in the above example a cymbal wd've been rc'vd instead of a whistle then hitting the cymbal wd've been coincidentally appropriate b/c woodblocks & cymbals are played using similar techniques. It's recommended that objects used for this be objects that can take some 'abuse' - IE: DO NOT USE YR EXPENSIVE INSTRUMENTS FOR THIS. If, by accident, an expensive &/or delicate object is used, PLEASE BE SENSITIVE & CONSIDERATE & HANDLE THE OBJECT CAREFULLY.

In the documentary that I made just about this class, there's an explanatory title that says: "tENT exchanges the camcorder w/ Josh for Josh's rattle. Josh then manipulates the camera by shaking it as if it were a rattle." This amply illustrates the type of process that resulted from this System.

Using a preplanning order of Systems ("Robotic", "Blinking", "Expansive Gesture", "Object Exchange"), we went to the CMU Student Center for a guerrilla application of the Systems Management that the class had developed so far. This center is an open area with multiple couches where students typically sit & converse & use their laptops or whatever. As Hyla pointed out, this was an opportunity for the students in the class to take transgressive baby steps.

joy started by rubbing plants with his hand. Hyla walked carryting her erhu case & other baggage & touched her forehead to objects by bending to meet them. The same student who'd banged the stool on the floor in class now sat on the floor with her shoes on her hands & alternated hitting the floor with them. Another slunk around the columns & walls with his back to them. The students were discouraged from maming sounds until the end so their eccentric behaviors wouldn't be immediately obvious. However, sounds, mostly using my percussion instruments, were dominating by "Expansive Gesture". During this latter, I tried to set off s chain of yawns by yawning at fellow Systems Managers.

What either the participants or the unsuspecting student (v)audience made of this is largely a mystery to me. Somewhat to the "Systems & Processes" class participants' surprise, a group of girls not in the class started practicing what appeared to be a cheerleading routine. This was a marvelous coincidence. Given that I think that guerrilla actions are far more important experiential learnings than classroom confinements, I was happier with this. One student reported that someone came up to her during "Expansive Gesture" (probably) & made a 'Hey' sign to her so she took that as a cue to, in turn, do that to others. 2 students also shared their footage with me.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

375. Systems & Processes 4: workshop & guerrilla action

- CMU CFA, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, November 9, 2009

- This was the last of my "Systems & Processes" classes & the one where I felt things came together best. Assisting me once again was my good friend & fellow HiTEC member Hyla Willis (percussion, camcorder). Additionally, my other good friend & fellow HiTEC member Unfinished Symphonies (recorders, camcorder). Most or all 15 of the students attended this class - as opposed to only 6 of the 15 at the last class. The class more or less started off with one of the students proposing a System that I thought was one of the strongest ones:

"Numbers"

Systems Managers each pick a number from 1 to 9 & stick w/ that # for the duration of the realization of the piece. Managers call out their number at will. Each Manager then adds or subtracts in their head the 2 most recent numbers called out. If the resultant number is their prechosen number then they can move that number of steps in a straight line. Managers can choose to have addition be different from subtraction in terms of wch direction the resultant straight line can go. EG: Manager Z calls out "7",

Manager Y then calls out "4", all Managers then calculate that 7 + 4 = 11 & that 7 - 4 = 3. Since 11 is above the upper limit # of 9 it can't be any Manager's number &, therefore, noone can move as a result of addition. However, since 3 is w/in the "1 to 9" limit, it can be a Manager number. Let's say that four Managers have chosen "3" & that 1 of them has chosen to move right if their number is a result of subtraction. That Manager then moves right 3 steps. Let's further say that the remaining three Managers w/ the number "3" have decided to move either backwards or left if their number is reached thru subtraction. Then let's say that two of these three then take 3 steps backwards & the other takes 3 steps left. As w/ most Systems, if a Manager's predetermined personal System (ie: the number chosen & the particular response to the conditions of its production - ie: addition or subtraction) chooses to be unworkable (eg: immediately leads them to facing an obstacle that they can't get around) then that's what the Systems Manager is stuck w/! IE: There's no changing one's personal criteria 'mid-stream'.

While this wasn't, strictly speaking, a Thought Experiment, it did require a substantial amount of thinking prefiguring action. Of course, I also liked it because it involved basic math. We realized this one, discussed & clarified it, & tried it again.

We reviewed "Robotic", "Blinking", & "Object Exchange" & then realized the latter.

In keeping with my emphasis on multiple collaborative camera use there were at least 3 cameras quasi-documenting this. "Robotic", "Blinking", & "Expansive Gesture" followed (see the descriptions of the previous "Systems & Processess" classes).

We then moved to the CMU Student Center for another guerrilla realization of these Systems as we had in the last class. This time starting with "Numbers" in a more open area where there weren't couches.

In my quasi-documentary of this, I inserted the following crawl title during this section:

"For me, Managing this type of System stimulates interesting statistical &/or probability musings. Note that no-one has picked 1 or 9. Does this imply that their personal systems involve addition equalling forward motion & subtraction equalling backward motion? If so, then 1 cd only be reached by subtraction &, therefore, only yield backward motion - & 9 cd only be reached by addition &, therefore, only yield forward motion. Hence both numbers are less flexible than the rest. HOWEVER, since no-one picked them, 2 & 8 end up in the same situation. If everyone played it maximally safe & chose 5 then no-one wd be able to move b/c 5 cdn't be reached by either subtraction OR addition since all Systems Managers wd only be saying 5!"

"Blinking", "Object Exchange", "Robotic", & "Expansive Gesture" followed. We then decided to go thru the same process again at the tennis courts. On an adjacent court a tennis game was in progress. This was probably the point at which the students opened up the most - glad to be outside. There was more laughter & relaxed silliness within the otherwise somewhat rigorous framework. A trumpeter could be heard practicing in the distance.

We returned to the classroom for a summing-up discussion. One of the students who hadn't attended all of the classes asked: "What did we just do?" to which I laughed & replied something along the lines of "Basically it refers back to structured improvisation [..] as a Complex Adaptive System - &, for me, the purpose of things like this is to increase my ability to make real-time decisions & to increase my memory & to increase my spontaneity & increase my alertness, etc, etc - increase any kind of quality that has to do with my environment around me."

Unfinished Symphonies pointed out the value of breaking from one's routines as stimulation to step outside one's own limited habits as a creative activity. I asked the class if they'd at least had some fun to which there was a little bit of disappointingly half-hearted nodding. One of the students who had actually fallen asleep in class at one point (not necessarily from boredom - anemia & other problems occurred to me as explanations) revealed that she'd had what was for me the ideal reaction: namely inspiration & alertness as a result of the procedures. Another student, who I'd found to be particularly resistent at times, revealed that to him it was like experiencing child's games with adult experience.

I'd promised the students that I'd make a documentary about these 4 classes & get it to them ASAP. As such, I spent the next 3 (unpaid) weeks making a packaged DVD & a packaged CD & I hand-delivered these to the professor at the end of November a few hours before he was to reconvene with the class. I later learned that he didn't give these to some of the students until a few months later after the semester was over. I still don't know whether all the students got theirs. I found this to be an unfortunate ending to my very hard work.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

385. May Day Parade

- the streets of Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, us@

- May 1, 2011 - afternoon

- Well.. Such an event barely constitutes a 'performance' but I include it anyway because I love participating in parades & want to mention it somewhere. On May 1, 2001, a sizeable group of mostly young anarchists organized an unpermitted parade thru downtown Pittsburgh that was heavily suppressed by the police who, as is so often the case, were the real 'rioters' of the situation. Then, on May Day of 2010, another parade was organized in Polish Hill by a variety of mostly young people (not necessarily anarchists) in a neighborhood where many of us live & there were no police present & the parade was joyful & peaceful. Same went for this year. There was a well-rehearsed marching band, belly dancers, a bicycle-powered 'float', someone in a coffee-pot costume who actually dispensed coffee, & many other costumed celebrants & the like. I was wearing my turkey-feather outfit & was giving away balloons provided by my neighbor Mark.

- August, 2011 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

393. May Day Parade speech

- the intersection of Finland & Melwood, Spit'n'Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 5, 2012 - early afternoon

- Starting in 2010, an annual May Day Parade has happened for the last 3 years. The parade is more festive than political - with an emphasis on costumes, a marching band, & a few group efforts that link together people into 'float-like' constructions. This year, I was asked to give a very short speech about the history of May Day to try to put things into political perspective. I was wearing my S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) outfit that consists of a large Shamu (an orca whale captive at Sea World that died in 1971) stuffed doll that I'd gutted & altered so that I can wear it as if it's eating me & shitting me out head-first. Using a megaphone I proclaimed:

In the anarchist magazine, "Street Rat-Bag" issue 5 from November 2001, I wrote a RATicle entitled "Recommended Reading" where I reviewed Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Regarding May Day, I wrote:

"And let's not forget the 8 hour day: something so taken for granted by now that many people forget that it didn't exactly come easy now did it? "A movement for the eight-hour day began among working people after the [Civil] war, helped by the formation of the first national federation of unions, the National Labor Union. A three-month strike of 100,000 workers in New York won the eight-hour day" & "By the spring of 1886, the movement for an eight-hour day had grown. On May 1, the American Federation of Labor, now five years old, called for nationwide strikes wherever the eight-hour day was refused." The bosses didn't exactly cooperate but the workers won eventually anyway, eh? There, now, that wasn't so bad was it? You bosses can still rob us blind!"

Earlier that year, I participated in a cheerful May Day parade through Pittsburgh's Financial District. It was suppressed by the police. Ten people were arrested, including Spit'n'Polish Hill's very own JOY, & charged with the usual trumped-up bullshit. As I recall, there may've even been snipers placed on nearby rooftops. Ridiculous? Indeed.

Nine years later, the 1st of these Spit'n'Polish Hill May Day Parades took place without any violence or apparent substantial irritation on anyone's part. There were no police present. Same thing the next year. A good time appeared to be had by all. This year, there was another May Day march through downtown Pittsburgh. Police presence was minimal, no one was arrested. &, now, we're in the midst of another perfectly pleasant celebration of worker's gains & the pleasures of spring!

Recently I told someone that the 1970s Church Committee investigation of such abuses as COINTELPRO had uncovered that the FBI had targeted May Day events for special suppression. I thought I'd probably read that in Zinn's book. When I went to look up the relevant passage for quoting today, I couldn't find it there so I looked in quite a few other books AND online & couldn't find what I was searching for ANYWHERE.

The question is: ARE WE IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE OR SOMETHING?! Because a society where a peaceful May Day Parade goes unmolested is NOT the society I grew up in! Maybe RESISTANCE IS FERTILE AFTER ALL! Keep it up!!

Or, rather, that's mostly what I proclaimed. Unfortunately, since 9 people had been arrested & 22 others given citations the night before at a related event, the unmolested part wasn't quite as true as it had been when I wrote the speech. As such, I had to make some last-minute changes.

Shortly thereafter, I also wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper who had, predictably, printed the almost entirely, if not completely entirely, untrue police version of the story. Equally predictably, my letter went unpublished. Here it is:

Read Between the Lines

On May 6, 2012, an article entitled "Party leads to charges against 31" appeared in the Post-Gazette regarding arrests made on the night on May 4th. Below are some thoughts responding to that article regarding this situation.

"Police trying to disperse what they described as a disorderly party"

What is an "orderly party"? A party where people aren't having fun? A party where people stand still and don't talk?

"near the Bloomfield Bridge charged 31 people beginning late Friday night with crimes ranging from summary disorderly conduct to rioting and aggravated assault."

Read between the lines. A party becomes a "riot" when 20 police cars suddenly appear and very aggressive policemen with dogs, guns, tasers, mace, clubs, and threat of kidnapping ('arrest') is introduced. The police deliberately cause fear, panic, and chaos and then blame it on their victims.

"Nine people were arrested and 22 others were released and will receive their summons by mail. Police said one of those arrested, Jason Oddo, 26, of Irwin, pepper sprayed an officer and was charged with aggravated assault."

"Police said", yes, unfortunately, police ALWAYS make such claims in order to justify it when they use excessive force. And the people who know this best are the prosecutors and the police themselves. Talk to retired prosecutors who couldn't stand the constant lying. Any honest policemen will be at least willing to admit this to him or her self - even if they'll never have the courage to admit it publicly.

Let's take a more realistic, HUMAN, perspective. The officer is chasing the accused while macing him from behind. The officer trips and maces himself. This is very embarrassing and he feels like a fool. SO HE BLAMES IT ON THE ACCUSED. A courageous officer would admit his own mistake instead of then threatening his VICTIM with jail time for a felony charge. Believe it or not, officers, people would respect you more IF YOU STOPPED lying.

"According to criminal complaints filed Saturday, officers from across the city began responding about 11:30 p.m. to complaints about a crowd numbering between 60 and 100 people at Sciullo Field."

Ok, here's the back-story: someone defaced the Officer Sciullo memorial plaque in Sciullo Field a day or more before this party happened. The partiers didn't know this. If they had, they probably wouldn't have partied at that park. The police, understandably very touchy over the vandalism to the tribute to their murdered comrade, go to the park thinking these might be the same people and approach them in full-on attack mode. They want REVENGE - but their assumption that the partiers have something to do with the vandalism is unsupportable. The police, therefore, create an unnecessarily bad situation that wouldn't have happened without them.

"Arriving officers said attendees refused orders to disperse, yelled profanities at officers and became aggressive."

Try thinking of it this way: you're having a good time with friends on a beautiful night when you're suddenly attacked by a gang of some very angry and heavily armed people. You get scared but you try to keep your calm. Perhaps profanities are yelled. But the main aggression and the main profanities come from the attackers who happen to be LEGALLY ENABLED TO KILL YOU. Would you be upset?!

"Police said Mr. Oddo interfered with officers and when told he was under arrest ran away."

Let's get real: the officers arrived and instigated chaos. No overall order of dispersal occurred. At least one of the arrestees was told to disperse by an individual officer on an individual basis. As he started to leave, a different officer told him to sit down. He told the 2nd officer that he'd been told to leave and that that was what he was doing. The 2nd officer then insisted that he sit down. He complied. He was then arrested by another officer for "failure to disperse".

"Police said that as they pursued Mr. Oddo along Canoe Way, he raised up his hand and sprayed one officer in the throat. The officer, who scraped his knee, was treated at the scene."

A scraped knee is not a serious injury & in this case it was the result of the officer's clumsiness. Using it as an excuse to press felony charges is inexcusable.

"She was charged with riot, institutional vandalism, escape, failure to disperse, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness."

If the city doesn't like "public drunkenness" I strongly suggest shutting down the stadiums and bars. But then think of all the lost tax and pay-off monies!! Ever hear of "tailgate parties"? The police harass and prosecute people on a selective basis. Poor people who party are "rioters", rich people, people who can afford to go to Steelers games, can do no wrong. It must be 'nice' for the rich but it sure ain't fair for the poor.

"address available"

The giving out of addresses is a way of shunning people. None of these people have been tried yet, let alone found guilty. THEY ARE NOT CRIMINALS! Every time someone writes an article like this they should put their own addresses there so that they, too, can be made available for any shunning consequences.

"As arraignments were under way Saturday evening, about 20 people lined the wall outside City Court to help defendants post bail and show support upon their release. The crew had posted $2,600 in bail for five of those arraigned and were scrambling to figure out how to raise $10,000 to bail out Mr. Oddo."

Given that most of these people are working class, the raising of this money was a very generous and caring act. Some gave their entire paychecks, some gave almost everything they had, some had to borrow the money. The people donating the money will have to suffer for this. All because of the insanity of this judicial system.

*****************************************************************************

People go to superhero movies to see the spectacle of 'little people' with extraordinary abilities win against seemingly undefeatable forces of oppression. In real life, these forces are often the very things that keep the seemingly 'respectable' criminals in power - providing injustice for those of us who see through the lies. We need more superheros.

- The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/loBDoK5Gyi0

- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

395. 2nd Annual Polish Hill May Day Parade Speech

- the streets of Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 4, 2013, mid-day

- This was the 4th annual Polish Hill May Day Parade & the 2nd of my speeches given by request of people connected to the parade. [I originally had this listed as the 3rd of my speeches but as far as I can tell now, in September, 2015, it was really the 2nd - thusly throwing off my numbering in the movies I made of the following 2 years] This year's speech was about all the jobs I've had & about the latest dirty tricks that my current employer was starting to use to avoid paying me health care under the Affordable Health Care Act that I wouldn't've been eligible for anyway:

"They say the 1st one's free..

"But, then, before you know it, you're addicted..

"& your life is reduced to a miserable cycle of hustle & reward, you've become a Pavlovian Dog, a WORKER.

"My own sad tale begins with mowing lawns & taking out the trash & baby-sitting.

"Then I moved onto the hard-stuff. By 18 I had a pick in hand & I was trying to dig out a basement from solid rock. The next thing I knew I was selling my body for research, I was naked in front of strangers at art schools. I was doing "head modeling" for $2 an hour - as if I could take my head off & do something else with my body.

"From there it was just a never-ending hell-ride from one low-paying job to another - desperately seeking the ways & means to keep myself alive.. housed.. clothed.. fed.. drunk.. but I kept my head high, I remained defiant, I made my personality stronger, I started demanding MORE REWARDS for the sale of my soul, I upped my wage-slave market value..

"I worked as a driver for the Dundalk Marine Terminal, as a dishwasher for the Naval Academy, as a canvasser for Maryland Action & Clean Water Action & the Sierra Club, as a hard-wood floor finisher, as an English & Math teacher for the functionally illiterate, as a library worker, as a Film Repairer, as a Guest Lecturer at universities, as a book buyer & cashier, as a Peep Show Mechanic, as a raspberry picker, as a Wiring Installer for a medical lab, as a book store owner, as an exhibit builder, as a printer, a typesetter, a video installation installer, as a Museum Exhibit Technician, as an Archivist, as a Hot Air Balloon ground crew member. I've worked & struggled & barely survived.

"I've worked for the Maryland Science Center, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Heinz History Center, the Smithsonian, the Frick Fine Arts Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Natural History Museum.

"&, NOW, I'm at the top of my game! I've finally reached the point where, in exchange for the use of my skills, all these mega-wealthy institutions can try to screw me out of health insurance under the new Affordable Health Care Act! I've got so many skills I could work all those $250,000 a year Museum Directors under the table! So, of course, now they want to cut my hours back (not to mention my pay) to less than 25 hours a week MAXIMUM so that I can feel those thrills of being a starving human skeleton like I was in my early twenties!

"THANK YOU, MUSEUM WORLD, FOR SETTING THE STANDARDS OF HUMAN CARING THAT WE ALL KNOW YOU REPRESENT! Lardy, it's great to be a worker!"

- The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/7GHfd1JVuMQ

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

400. Soap Box Opera episode 3

- midway through the annual Polish Hill May Day Parade on the streets of Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, us@

- Saturday, May 3, 2014

- This was the 5th annual Polish Hill May Day Parade & the 3rd speech I've given as a part of it. [I'd previously listed it as my 4th speeech but I realized as of Sept, 2015, that I didn't start the speeches until May Day 2012 so this is really the 3rd - as such, the movie online is misnumbered] This year I was wearing my black & white suit, black on one side & white on the other, & sandwich boards promoting "Info Desk PGH", a cultural industry workers labor organizing group that I founded. I gave the following speech:

"How many people remember my speech from last year like it was yesterday?  Try thinking of it as a Soap Box Opera that you tune into once a year.  Last year I listed my long & varied work history & complained that museums, who I've been working for for twenty years now, are cutting people's work hours to avoid paying Obamacare.  Since then, Info Desk has been founded.  I'm wearing Info Desk sandwich boards.  I'm not here as a spokesperson for Info Desk, we have no spokesperson.  Nonetheless, I'll refer to it from time to time.  

"Info Desk was founded to create a labor voice for cultural industry workers, for museum, library, & gallery workers.  Since then, an article has been written about us in the Pittsburgh City Paper (Thank You Bill O'Driscoll!) & we've drafted a "Declaration of Rights".  I have copies of this Declaration & I encourage you to sign it in support of us.  We're trying to collect 5,000 signatures to show the Cultural Industry that people support our goal of greater administrative responsiveness to the voice of the worker.  

"Now, I'm an exemplary lone wolf lunatic fringe individualist.  But I still believe in Mutual Aid!  In this spirit, I've joined Fight Back Pittsburgh, a chapter of the United Steelworkers Associate Member Program.  And I have to say: Fight Back is INSPIRING!  Through them, I've gotten to hear from many great people struggling for better conditions for workers - a tradition that Pittsburgh can be very, VERY proud of!  Through them, I've learned about the Fight for Fifteen movement, a movement for $15 an hour to be the minimum wage for fast food workers & others.  AND I SUPPORT IT!  I've worked for less than minimum wage - & I don't recommend it!  

"Here's the part where I tie in the May Day celebration of Spring with the May Day celebration of Labor: This winter has been BAD for me: financially desperate, desperately lonely - but, once again, I've survived it & warmer weather & smaller bills are bound to put me in a better mood.  And the changing seasons are always a reminder: 

"As a lone wolf accustomed to moving fast, attempts to cooperate with people different from me can be like herding cats.  I might be the hare & movements might be the tortoise but the tortoise just might win the race!  AND it's got a shell.  So, if you, like me, get impatient with change feeling too slow, BE ADAPTABLE, think of a new way to outfox the exploiters & DON'T BE SHEEPISH & DEFEATIST!  The world is your oyster!"

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

405. My 5th May Day Speech: Soap Box Opera Episode 4

bullhorn decorations: etta cetera; photo: Mark Knobil

- midway through the annual Polish Hill May Day Parade on the streets of Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, us@

- Saturday, May 2, 2015

[I'd originally thought I started giving these May Day speeches in 2011 at the 2nd of the annual Polish Hill May Day Parades but I realized as of September, 2015, that I actually didn't start until the 3rd of the parades in 2012 so this was actually just the 4th of my speeches - as such, the movies online for 2014 & 2015 are misnumbered]

- The text of my speech:

"In the early 1970s feminists made the case that housewives were underappreciated, undervalued & underpaid marginalized labor. The idea was that they did housework, child-rearing, & cooking for their family but were at the mercy of their husband's determination of what the value of their work was. They were taken for granted. If the marriage was healthy & the arrangement was consensual then maybe everything was fine. But if the marriage was unhealthy then the housewife was somewhat trapped by the marriage contract without much legal ability to redress her grievances.

"Things have changed since then insofar as gender roles aren't nearly as fixed as they were then & there're now far more married women making a living, far more men staying at home as "househusbands", & far more common options for not being stuck in either of those roles.

"HOWEVER, in many respects, we're all still stuck in just trying to survive in a world of marketplace forces that we didn't create & don't necessarily want much to do with. & that's where the work that I respect the most comes into play, a form of work that, like that of the housewife in 1970, is underappreciated, undervalued, & usually not paid at all by the monster known as "society-at-large".

"What's that work? It's the work that probably all of you here do on a regular, if not DAILY basis. It's the work that's exemplified by this absolutely wonderful annual May Day Parade, by the Variety Show, by the Marching Band, by the Softball Game, by the Kids Activities, by the Food & Drinks.

"In other words, it's the work we do for the sheer joy & love & thrills & inspiration & community-mindedness of it & NOT FOR MONEY. It's the things you actually LIKE TO DO, the things you FEEL ARE IMPORTANT. It's the prison activism, it's the resistance to people being reduced to little more than money-making machines, it's the embracing of creativity as a sign of life far more potent than a Lear jet or a diamond necklace.

"I wish we could suffer less, I wish the struggling were less desperate. There are many, many times when even having a few hundred dollars would make a huge positive difference in our lives - but if you don't have that few hundred dollars you probably at least have the ability to do something to brighten up your day & that of the ones around you. Don't lose it!!"

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/jImQyP8g_iQ

- August 19, 2015 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

412. Soap Box Opera episode 5

- the intersection of Finland & Melwood, Spit'n'Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, April 30, 2016 - early afternoon

photograph: Mark Knobil

- This was the 5th year in a row I've given a speech as part of the Annual Polish Hill May Day Parade. It's gotten to the point where I start to think about what next year's speech will be about almost immediately after I give one. As usual, the parade went from one end of our small neighborhood to another & ended at a park where free food & booze, a Maypole, & a baseball game were offered. My speech happens about halfway through the parade. Here's the text of the planned part of the speech. As usual, I deviated from it slightly spontaneously:

Hello everybody! This is the 5th year I've given a speech as part of the annual Polish Hill May Day Parade & I'm honored & delighted to have personally turned into a tradition! Do you ever wonder why I do it?

It started when etta cetera asked me to. I have the highest respect for etta as an activist so I was happy to say yes. May Day is a very important holiday for me. People have a tendency to become complacent & to take gains attained through decades of struggle for granted. The next thing we know, we're back to 60 hour or longer work weeks & all sorts of loopholes beneficial to ruthless capitalists & dictators & bad for the rest of us. SO, it's good to have May Day to remind us to not be complacent! Of course, May Day is also a great day to celebrate SPRING. Gotta love it.

But why do I do it otherwise? Am I a demagogue? Am I appealing to popular passions without caring about whether I'm for real or not? I hope not - & that's why I'm going to talk about POWER.

In 1979, an anonymous person slipped an invitation under my door to an "Artists Support the Mayor Ball". I attended carrying a sign that read: "SUPPORT MULTI-DIRECTIONAL MIKE'S RUNNING FROM PUBLIC OFFICE", the very sign I'm wearing today. I was thrown out.

In 1984, I voted for the 1st time in an effort to try to get rid of Reagan. I failed. In 2004, I voted for the 2nd time in an effort to get rid of Bush. I failed. In 2008, I voted for Obama in an effort to offer darker-skinned people a break. I failed.

I don't say that I failed because Obama wasn't elected. Obviously, he was. I say I failed because the U.S. is STILL perpetually at war, mostly or entirely with people who're ethnically distinguishable from the majority of Americans. I say I failed because police are still killing African-Americans with impunity.

In 1998, I had a conversation with a Russian expatriate woman in Iowa City who told me about her ideas for politically empowering artists & asked for my opinion. I told her that I was less interested in accruing more power than I am in increasing my ability to prevent other people from having power over me. Neither Masters nor Slaves. Of course, that could be said to be a form of power in itself, the power to be one's self.

The point is that I give these speeches not to be a politician, not to be a proselytizer, but as a person trying to articulate what May Day means to me as someone just trying to live my life without always being forced into systems of other people's design that're bad for me. & I hope that there are kindred spirits out there that I can be friends with. PEACE!

- a movie of this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/PD6IfIImVeY

- a movie of the parade is on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/MayDay2016

- May, 2016E.V. notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

420. "Soap Box Opera - episode 6"

- corner of Finland & Melwood, 8th Annual Polish Hill May Day Parade, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, April 29, 2017EV, afternoon

- For 6 years now I've given a short speech at a midway point in our annual Polish Hill May Day Parade. I love this parade & think it's a community event of great importance & generally plenty of fun too. This year, alas, the megaphone I was using ran out of power before I got to give the speech so we resorted to "The People's Megaphone" which meant that a group of volunteers repeated short sections of the speech as I recited it in small fragments. It was probably very hard to understand this way but it was very nice & cooperative for the people who assisted with this to do so. THANK YOU.

"Hi Everybody! Congratulations on creating an EIGHTH Annual Polish Hill May Day Parade!

How many people love the Public Library?

How many people love the Public Parks?

I love them too.. and, yet, the public libraries & many of the museums were created thanks to the vision of Andrew Carnegie, arguably a robber baron; and the creation of Frick Park was funded by the spoils of Henry Clay Frick, Carnegie's partner robber baron. As Howard Zinn tells it in his book entitled "The People's History of the United States":

"In early 1892, the Carnegie Steel plant at Homestead, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, was being managed by Henry Clay Frick while Carnegie was in Europe. Frick decided to reduce the workers' wages and break their union. He built a fence 3 miles long and 12 feet high around the steelworks and topped it with barbed wire, adding peepholes for rifles. When the workers did not accept the pay cut, Frick laid off the entire work force. The Pinkerton detective agency was hired to protect the strikebreakers."

NOW, what if WE, we the people of the May Day Parade, were to create our own institutions, what if this parade IS an institution? What if we were to create something as important as the libraries & parks but founded in a spirit that doesn't exploit workers? That doesn't pollute? What if we already have?

In 2001, some Pittsburgh anarchists founded things like "Book 'Em", a books-to-prisoners program, "Free Ride", a co-op to enable affordably working on and acquiring bicycles, and the "Big Idea", an anarchist Infoshop. All three are still going strong seventeen years later!

In 1971, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, a non-profit institution, began as a filmmaking-equipment access cooperative and as one of the oldest and largest media arts centers in the United States. Food Not Bombs was founded in 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and that caught on in Pittsburgh by no later than the 1990s.

In the 2000s, Babyland has united a significant group of creative and productive people and NOW there's the ambitious Blumcraft Building pulling together even more people! It's fantastic.

What if the institutions created by all this positive egalitarian energy were still going strong 100 years from now?! There are so many possibilities. Take, for example, this quote of good cheer from a book called "Vanishing Voices":

"The Kuna Indians of Panama, for instance, have recently set up the world's first internationally recognized forest park created and run by indigenous people."

I wish us all luck. Remember, Frick himself didn't build that 3 mile long fence, he hired people to do it. May we never fall prey to the character assassins and the goonies, may the power-hungry never turn egalitarian institutions into hierarchies. Happy May Day!"

- The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/A_8Vgf97WMg

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

426. "Soap Box Opera episode 7"

- a srop on the Spit'n'Polish Hill May Day Parade, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 5, 2018, 1:30PM

- Since 2010 there's been an annual May Day parade in the neighborhood I live in. It comes together in a somewhat chaotic way but still manages to be colorful & substantial & fun. Since 2012, I've been giving a speech as part of it. Each year I've tried to say something political & reinforcing of both the community & the individuals within the community. I usually think about what I'm going to say all year leading up to it. I, personally, don't enjoy political speeches very much. No matter how much I agree with the politics of the person speaking they always just come across as so much blah-blah to me. Not wanting to be just-another-political-speechmaker, I've leaned somewhat toward the performative in an effort to make the experience more interesting. This year, 2018, I decided to break out of the expected altogether & take advantage of the USB input in my megaphone.

Many months in advance, I wrote to many multilingual friends of mine all over the world & asked them for recordings of 10 seconds or less of something that they'd like to say to the May Day Paraders:

May Day 2018 multilingual speech proposal

Dear multilingual friends,

For the past 6 years I've given a short May Day speech at an unpermitted May Day Parade. This year, I want the speech to come from many voices in many languages. Since you speak a language other than English I'm asking for the following from you:

Please think of one sentance you'd like to say to a May Day Parade.

Please record your saying that sentence in a language other than English.

Please make it 10 seconds or less long.

Please send me the recording to idioideo at gmail dot com along with the sentence written out & an English translation.

The idea is that I'm going to collect all the recordings onto one USB drive & then play them through my megaphone.

PLEASE DO SO BY APRIL 1, 2018!

I'll probably only be able to use ±12 of what I receive so please don't be too disappointed if yours doesn't get picked.

THANK YOU!

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

Soap Box Opera episode 1: https://youtu.be/loBDoK5Gyi0

Soap Box Opera episode 2: http://youtu.be/7GHfd1JVuMQ

Soap Box Opera episode 3: http://youtu.be/FUY9DwiE1Dk

Soap Box Opera episode 4: http://youtu.be/jImQyP8g_iQ

Soap Box Opera episode 5: https://youtu.be/PD6IfIImVeY

Soap Box Opera episode 6: https://youtu.be/A_8Vgf97WMg

 

This invitation was written in 14 languages (thanks to Google Translate): Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Nederlans, Russian, Belarusian, Chinese, Magyar, Italian, Esperanto, Japanese, & Indonesian (with English also always a part of the invitation) & sent to 18 specific friends & as a general announcement to hundreds more. I expected this to be very easy for all the highly politically active friends of mine. Alas, I only got replies from 3 friends. Several others promised participation but didn't deliver. I put the 3 short speeches on orange cards in both the original languages & in translation to English to hand out to people so they could understand what was going on.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/QDtcfwvUH58

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

437. ""Soap Box Opera episode 8" at the Polish Hill May Day Parade"

- the corner of Finland & Melwood, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 4, 2019

- The annual Polish Hill May Day Parade started in 2010. In 2012, I was aked to give a very short speech as part of it at what was turned into a Speaker's Corner near my house. I was probably asked because I'm fairly politically knowledgable about anarchist history & it was expected that I'd be able to say something articulate about May Day as a worker's struggle holiday, about it as a celebration of Spring - as well as to bring other less obvious lights on the subject.

It's also been a tradition to have a Variety Show the night before the Parade. Every year that I've given my speech, my "Soap Box Opera", I've asked other people involved with these events whether people still want me to talk. After all, it had never been my intention to monopolize this part of the parade. In 2017, I had loaned out my megaphone to someone under the condition that they turn it off as soon as they were finished with it or the batteries would die. They neglected to do that so the batteries were dead by the time for me to give my speech. Someone came to the rescue by repeating my text with the help of others as a "People's Megaphone". The thought was nice but it didn't work very well & not only was the cadence of the speech excessively lengthened, diminishing its dramatic delivery, but people still couldn't hear it very well. This year, when I once again inquired about whether I should give my speech, the same person who was responsible for my batteries being dead said that I needed help giving the speech because "people couldn't hear you" & suggested that I work with someone "who knew what to do". When I pointed out that the reason why people couldn't hear me was because the batteries were dead, the problematic person turned away & blushed but didn't acknowledge their responsibility. In the spirit of cooperation I agreed to work with the person "who knows what to do" ANYWAY. This person flaked & didn't come through wuth anything. As such, when the days approached, I decided to give my speech at the Variety Show in case it wasn't to be given at the Parade & I wrote an alternate speech for the Parade itself IF anyone seemed to care whether I gave my speech or not.

SO, I gave the speech on May 3rd, the night before the parade. Ordinarily, I wouldn't've wanted to give the speech again - especially not the very next day. Nonetheless, after a series of prompts, I decided to give a parade speech & to repeat the same one as from the night before rather than the alternate speech which I thought would be too critical & divisive.

May Day 2019 Speech - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

But what did that mean?! It could be interpreted as saying that the media is more powerful than the individual. But, no, really, I was just trying to surprise you & make you laugh. To me, being happy, especially without the aid of 'Happy Pills' & self-delusion & pre-fabricated conformist clichés, is IMPORTANT.

How many people would've interpreted this colorful grotesquerie as the arms of a megaphone giving me a nice big hug is ambiguous.

I call these speeches "Soap Box Operas". The reference is to speeches given in public on a slightly raised platform, such as a soap box, or this table. These are given at Speaker's Corners, most famously in Hyde Park, London, but also elsewhere in England, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, Thailand, & the United States. The tradition goes back to at least the 19th century.

for others, dirty, paranoid, perverse-lunatic missionaries whose madness is language... men like MacGuinness ("I am not a paranoiac. Everyone is looking at me")". But that's just context. What I really want to talk to you about today is the use of lying & half-truths in Covert Warfare. I'll start with COINTELPRO:

That's an anagram for Counter-Intelligence Program, a series of covert projects conducted by the FBI aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations from 1956 to 1971 when it was made illegal. It seems reasonable to me that it might continue to this day in a new form.

street gang known as the Blackstone Rangers, they sent an anonymous letter to Jeff Fort, the head of the Rangers, dissing the Panthers & claiming that there was a hit out on Fort. The relations between the Party & the Rangers deteriorated almost immediately. FBI mission accomplished.

The CIA's so-called "Freedom Fighter's Manual" for covert warfare against the Nicaraguan government suggested spreading rumors, breaking typewriters, damaging books, etc.. - but it's the "spreading rumors" that I'm eventually concerned with here.

other than myself. The students started mocking me & asking me what kind of anarchist I was: anarcho-syndicalist, etc. They thought it was ridiculous that there were so many varieties. But, to me, the variety was appealing. I like people who are subcultures of one. The most interesting people are the ones who have the strength to be themselves.

Nonetheless, by the 1980s, when anarchism was on the upsurge, anarchists became criticized for being so fractious, there was plenty of infighting. I was threatened with bodily harm by an anarchist group in Chicago who were trying to discourage a group I was associated with from attending the Haymarket Centennial. I went anyway.

In the long run,

for most people to resist. But, when someone says something negative to me about someone I know, I tend to think of how the maligned person has treated ME personally. If they've been decent to me then I'm more likely to wonder negatively about the ulterior motives of the gossip.

But back to last year when this megaphone took control: Did the media take over my message? This year, I'm hoping that I have more control over the media again - but, you never know,

The idea here was that the vaudience would only see the megaphone with arms from the front at 1st but that I'd then turn sideways so that they could see the hands of the megaphone stabbing me in the back with a retractable joke shop knife. Some people did comment on seeing that but it's barely visible in this close-up.

Shortly before I decided to give the speech, a neighbor of mine, Dan, mentioned that the day was the anniversary of the Kent State murders & asked me if I might add mention of it on. I told him that I probably wouldn't but then I did anyway:

shot 13 people, 4 of whom died, one of them was just a person who was walking by on campus, etc. This was part of an of an ongoing conflict between student radicals & the authority figures. SO, just remember that. FOUR people, 4 young people who were on campus got murdered that day by the National Guard.

By this point, I'm not sure how many, if any, of the people were listening. I was one of the few people present who was alive when the Kent State murders happened & it's possible that that might not've been of much significance to the younger people present.

A movie that combines the footage from the Variety Show & the May Day Parade is here: https://youtu.be/F6nTCUV0A4I . The above images are stills from this movie & may make the speechifyin' seem more exciting than it actually was.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

442. "You'll Never See A Billionaire Standing In A Food Line"

- a chain supermarket, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, May 4, 2020

- Starting in 2000, in Australia, I've participated in 12 May Day Parades in the last 20 years. The last 10 of them have been in my neighborhood on an annual basis. For most or all of these there's been a cabaret the night before. I've participated in a few of those. I've given a speech as part of the last 8 parades. May Day in general, & these parades in particular, have been important to me. I think they're valuable expressions of worker solidarity and I've been honored to express my thoughts every year. Alas, last year, in 2019, I felt like the parade was getting subtly off-track, that it was harder & harder for me to feel part of the general political vibe. To address this issue I made a feature-length movie about all my May Day experiences & about my discomfort with the 2019 May Day. The movie's called "AMD", an acronym I created with humorous intent which stands for "Administrator Meeting Disorder". This movie is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/IQgkC5OwPmw . After 2019, I decided that I probably wouldn't give any more May Day speeches, at least as part of the local parade, but that I'd still participate in the cabaret & the parade itself.

On March 19, 2020, the Governor of Pennsylvania, the state where Pittsburgh is, declared a quarantine the purpose of which was stated to be in prevention of an anticipated COVID-19 pandemic in the area. Only 'essential' businesses were to remain open, the 'non-essential' were to close for the duration of the pandemic. An example of an 'essential' business is Dunkin Donuts, an example of something 'non-essential' is the public library. In other words, big corporate businesses stayed open, including a business whose main function is to fill people up with sugar, while a free educational & entertainment service for the general public is closed. My own priorities find this completely despicable & suspect.

The level of dialog quickly deteriorated into a match between 'right-wing' resistance to the quarantine such as that by small business owners in areas where little or no occurences of COVID-19 occurred & the 'left-wing' who immediately uncritically embraced all justifications for the lockdown in order to avoid being tarred as 'right-wingers'. Any more subtle or analytical position was immediately squelched as treacherous to one side or the other. I was & still am disgusted since any opinions I tried to express have been attacked by GROUPTHINK regardless of whether the attacks have anything to do with what I'm actually saying.

Throughout it all, my preoccupation has been with socio-political elements that use the pandemic for justification. While I think that some aspects of the pandemic have been exaggerated by the mass media for its usual reason of SELLING SENSATIONALISM I've never denied that people have been getting sick & dying. Nonetheless, any criticism I put forth has been vehemnetly misinterpreted and viciously attacked by 'liberals' as if I'm insensitively denying that people are dying. This despicable practice is no different than what the current president does, in fact, it's in pretty much the same spirit - despite the 'liberals' positioning themselves as his opposite, in relation to what I call the PANDEMIC PANIC they're just as neo-nazi as he is on issues like immigration.

My extremely carefully considered & researched opinion is that this lockdown is a mind control experiment meant to test whether a seemingly legitimate cause can be used to justify unreasonable restrictions of civil liberty. Any analysis along these lines has been attacked with bullying & misrepresentation by people I no longer consider to be friends. None of these people have ever been as politically active as I am; none of them have written about political issues at length, as I have; none of them have made political movies, as I have. But NOW, they're suddenly condescending to tell me what to think. When browbeating me doesn't work, they say that I'm a Rump supporter even though they know I'm not. Such knowledge is neither here nor there, however, because to the bully what matters is to try to shame me back into their fold. Well their 'fold' is their ass-crack & I have no desire whatsoever to be there.

Somewhere along the line it was undemocratically decided that the May Day parade & other related activities wouldn't happen presumably so that the people involved would stay in compliance with the governor's orders. I was certainly never asked for my opinion. Heaven forbid that the revolution not get permission from the school principal.

SO, I decided to stage my own little rebellion all on my lonesome. The other people in the line could be a parade of sorts. Since it's my opinion that separating oneself from nature through sterilization & mask-wearing is more likely to weaken one's immune system than the oppositie, I've been particularly resistent to wearing the masks that've become required by law to be worn while entering businesses. Wanting to buy food at a place where a mask would be required for admission I decided that it would be funny to wear a mask of a certain famous billionaire with a moustache drawn on it evocative of another well-known dictator. While this billionaire is reputed to be against the lockdown I find him to be just as much a part of the problem as all the rest.

I waited in line, the requisite 6 feet between me & the other tired souls, & eventually entered the store, bought a few items, & left. At the cash register I said something to the effect of "You'll never see a billionaire standing in a food line so now's your chance" The workers accepted all this in good grace & at least 2 of them complimented me on the mask. Thanks to my own hidden camera & to a friend who acted as a clandestine cameraperson stationed in my parked car I got footage that I then used to make a short quasi-documentary with. Here're the online notes for that:

"You'll Never See A Billionaire Standing In A Food Line" notes - 4:55 - 1080p : I am a HERETIC. I think that the PANDEMIC PANIC is being used by opportunists to experiment with MIND CONTROL and to condition people to have their lives controlled 'for their own good'. This opinion is sometimes foolishly associated with 'Conservatives' by 'Liberals'. But, no, I'm not either, I'm a FREE THINKER, I'm CRIMINALLY SANE, I'm a THOUGHT CRIMINAL. The degree of pressure that's on the few of us who are trying to think outside the MONOLITHIC NARRATIVE is astounding. Since I exist mainly in a 'liberal' culture it's sickening to see this culture use bullying, misrepresentation, lying, brow-beating, and so on to try to force the few HERETICS and SKEPTICS into going along with the program(ming) instead of reaching our own conclusions. Because of this pressure, and it isn't 'peer pressure' because there's no way these people are even remotedly my 'peers', I think of 'Liberalism' as basically a new variation on Neo-Nazism: something I'm adamantly opposed to. No doubt, 'Liberals' will strenuously object to this observation of mine. As is usually the case, I see the ultra-wealthy and their institutions as being the culprits that this dumbing down of humanity into a passive superorganism will benefit. The masses are, indeed, as The Matrix depicted it, just an energy source for the Lords of the Flies. For the last 10 years I've participated in a May Day Parade, a parade celebrating worker's struggles and gains. For the last 8 years I've given a speech as part of this parade. Not so this year. The parade didn't happen. I deduce that it was decided against by people convinced that the QUARANTYRRANY is for the public good. This little action of mine, minor though it is, was my revolt, my tiny attempt to keep the struggle moving forward. - May 5, 2020 (Vision) notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- Tags: May Day, tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE, ProjectileObjects, billionaires, PANDEMIC PANIC, masks, food lines, criminal sanity, thought criminal, heretics, skeptics

The speech that I used as the explanatory narrative for the movie is as follows:

"You'll Never See A Billionaire Standing In A Food Line"

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- May 4, 2020 (Vision)

You'll never see a Billionaire standing in a food line and you're not seeing one now. Instead, you're seeing an anarchist with a mask on depicting a well-known billionaire adorned with a suggestive moustache. This gives the anarchist an excuse to use a media figurehead to get your attention for ideas that that figurehead would never express.

"There's no such thing as bad publicity" is sometimes attributed to 19th century American showman and circus owner P. T. Barnum but it might as well be the motto of a certain billionaire. My sense of the saying's application in this instance is that no matter how idiotic the quotes are that the billionaire generates it's still publicity that makes him seem familiar and the familiar, as with music, becomes consonant.

What if the purpose of this media bombardment, this constant presence, is to dumb down the general consciousness of the people of the world? The pro-Rump faction gets dumbed down by believing all the shit that the Rump emits while the anti-Rump faction gets dumbed down by ALSO believing that he means all the shit. The result is a highly polarized, divided and conquered society in which BOTH SIDES believe that 'if you're not with us, you're against us.'

But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who can pay attention to anyone's opinions and ideas and evaluate them on a basis that has nothing to do with what 'side' they supposedly generate from?

As a FREE THINKER I question the PANDEMIC PANIC. I see it as an opportunistic exploitation of the fear of death that's been hyper-exaggerated by mass media in order to distract the susceptible public into not noticing that a global reorganization of power is taking place.

According to my own life experience, which I value more highly than any doctor's opinion, it's unhealthy to not allow one's environment to immunize you through coexisting with it; it's unhealthy to be socially isolated; it's especially unhealthy to let other people run your life for you. Even if you MAKE MISTAKES, they're YOUR MISTAKES. I am NOT a worshipper at the Temple of the DOCTOR GODS nor at the temples of any other power-mad megalomaniacs who want to subjugate me - and claims of this subjugation being 'for my own good' are intuitively and intellectually experienced by me as the opposite. Any type of police state, even 'Medical Police State Lite', is not in my best interest.

Instead, I think that humanity is being psychologically conditioned to be a Pavlovian Dog, to essentially be ''living' in Virtual 'Reality'', to be so out of touch with unmediated real experience that only mediated non-experience is accepted as 'real' any more. As such, people whose attention is riveted to fear-mongering so-called 'news' and to the approved information sources that match their subcultural identities are more likely to believe prefabricated stories than they are the more immediate evidence of their own senses.

People not living in crowded cities, will still believe that they're as threatened by epidemic circumstances as people living in a city with a population density FIVE TIMES that of their own - even though that makes no sense.

With these, and many other critical and CRIMINALLY SANE THOUGHT CRIMES in mind, I prefer to not obey the laws that have been laid down 'for my own good'. Nonetheless, if I want to buy food from a store that requires a mask then a mask it is - but why wear just any old ordinary mask? Why not wear the mask of a well-known billionaire?

Because "You'll never see a Billionaire standing in a food line", after all, their servants do the food shopping and preparation for them. Let this remind you that no matter how much a figurehead pretends to be working class to manipulate a certain demographic into feeling like he's just another asshole in the family, he's NOT working class, he was born into extreme privilege and this P. T. Barnum act is based on the knowledge that 'a sucker is born every minute.' And the suckers are on BOTH sides of the great artificial divide.


I knew that as soon as I'd make this movie public at least one friend of mine would be outraged by it. He was & he had the kneejerk reaction that I'm denying that a pandemic exists. By this point, I was so sick of people misinterpreting my criticisms of the PANIC as denial of the PANDEMIC that I took my friend's outrage as a sign that he's hopelessly brainwashed & unfriended him, quite probably for good.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/I_r8F-oMtYE

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/youll-never-see-a-billionaire

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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