What is a party anyway and Why do I keep having them? These questions are surprisingly sticky, fraught with dangerous revelations and dark discoveries. With not a little trepidation I turn my attention to look, to document, to understand. Though there be dragons here, certainly treasures too.
For What, I’ll start with a broad sweep of the brush. Party : a gathering of people whose only agenda is to be, together. Note that punctuation. Since this definition suits both mystic and fascist it’s really no definition at all. The trick is to forget about meaning and just feel it’s flow and rhythm, beat style. Parties are subtle and wonderful phenomena, too slippery for pointy fingers. To name it is to miss it, methinks.
As we turn to Why, remember – no matter how filthy pedants might scribble and peck, a thousand answers to Why doesn’t tell us anything about What. The Whys are worthy of review, so here’s a few.
Why I keep having parties
Introducing Dan Kelly
I left Michigan in 2003 to level up from mere traitor to full on terrorist. After a year wandering in the wilderness, I perched in Brooklyn, New York until the summer of 2010. After busting Hello World 30 miles north of Chicago during Expedition 2 of the Search for Sustainable Civilizations, I decided to pull a prodigal and return to Michigan full time. Mostly I wanted my trees, sunny dunes and snowy frozen lake back. Who could’ve guessed that while I was elsewhere, the north woods would sprout a thick and mossy mat of arts, (specifically dance + movies), to rival what I’d been soaking up out east? And even more painters!
Inexorable awakening had swept the scene. Kids who were just 13 in 2003 are now legal to drink and debauch. The hoary exploits of Dan Kelly are half remembered myths, fables to keep naughty children in check, dreams of a bygone age. I am a stranger to the tribe.
May I introduce myself? Party’s are one method of milieu re-entry, a way to take the stage and give the gift of my heretical healing. Say ‘hey’ to a more hep and perhaps humbler Dan Kelly, one of the hero’s thousand faces. I’m back and ready to boogie shoes with u.
Reason to Clean
Having the house clean and organized feels wonderful, but I don’t always give that gift to myself. Since I’m obsessed with wrapping legacy movie projects, domestic messes get deferred until visitors show up. Messes range from routine maintenance (like dishes, laundry) to ineffective resources (enigmatic pantry, disheveled library).
Major infrastructure issues (busted furnace, foundation failure) always take priority over mere messes. The house has several infrastructure vulnerability stop gaps in process, (bare wallboard, untrimmed skylights) so an immaculate environment is not possible, the best I can do is an uncluttered, cozy and hygienic space. If guests get the impression that I am not a total slob, that’s a win.
When parties loom, I can usually handle all the routine maintenance and at least one inefficiency. The pantry was the Rabbit Party’s achievement (February 5, 2011), there was an extensive library purge for the Lunar Eclipse and Winter Solstice gathering (December 20, 2010) and for the American Document Afterglow (August 28, 2010) I built lofts. Maybe I’ll handle the killer robot that lurks in the garage next.
We are cruising into some seriously strange times. With luck the American empire will drift off in a delicious plume of feathery dust, as opposed to crashing down in a cascade of tumbling concrete and jagged rebar. In any case, the coherency of the tribe will see us through. By playing together we become aware of the robust inventory of capabilities, experience and knowledge available in our local community. We flash on the possibilities offered by creative recombination of our diverse powers and gifts. We understand who is a facilitator and who needs a pinch of catalyst.
Parties are driven by the innovators, the adventurers, the dreamers of dreams and the makers, the manifestors. There’s a couple or three sweet utopias sparkling among the razor black shards of apocalypse, and parties point a path through. Amidst the multiplicitous futurez, party people stride towards bright survival. We practice sticking together and improvising on the edge of experience.
Parties as Production
The Trickster Pictures blog is subtitled, “the party people who love to movie.” Both parties and movie productions require organization, preparation, an awesome cast/crew and superb locations. The main players’ competency, personal charisma and panache support everyone involved/attending. The gathered gestalt must be able to flow and flex with improvisational aplomb. Throwing parties is useful not only as a exercise of logistical fortes, but as a practice of the subtle social dynamics essential to excellence in movie making.
Parties as Art
The juicy stuff. Dancing and live music can happen in both parties and works of theater. Party people might even be performers – either professionally or by inclination. Unlike theater, a party doesn’t distinguish between performers and audience. Everyone shows off, pulls a boner, gets a surprise, is enchanted, falls in love, pratfalls. Probably the most intriguing and generally appealing of my personal Whys, certainly deserving of it’s very own post.
“Did you have fun?” “It was the partyest!”
“No he’s not an artist, he’s a partyst.