New Years Party Grade: B+
The fundamental tenant of revolutionary funology is that if you want to change the world you have to create the better party. This is not a political party like the Greens. This is a powerful socio-cultural force in the form of celebration, festival or ritual. And as with any quasi-science, the way we deepen our understanding is by running (barely) controlled experiments. The Twin Oaks New Years Eve party is one of these experiments.
As i wrote earlier, unlike most years, this years party came together at the last minute. And after holding myself out for a long time, i rushed in at the end with serious hardware (Flying Lounge, Ball Pit) and invitations to interesting and curious people.
The party was small (perhaps a hundred total people over the night, perhaps half members). The mood was more emphatic and conversational, than euphoric and wild. Because of mellow mood early fears that the flying lounge might be a death trap did not materialize. I am convinced that this is as much because there was less drunkenness as it was the low party attendance reduced the number of people in the ball pit, which was immediately below the flying lounge – and thus the lounge could be used as a relatively quiet hang out space.
My favorite part was Willow who was the last kid awake at the party. He and i were dancing with glow-in-the-dark hula hoops at 3:30 AM. He was running around undeterred by a lack of peers, having a blast. Turns out some of this stuff is genetic (or plasmids).
Funologically, a B grade goes to events which have new spaces, innovative ideas, novel performances or new social constructs. This party certainly could pull down a B. With the flying lounge, the flying shark, Zane’s epic costume and some pretty amazing decorations of giant mushrooms and Alice style cards [This effort was honchoed by Diana]. Some people did tarot card and rune readings for the first time.
You can only get an A grade if you change peoples lives. There were a handful of changes. There were a few first kisses, there were more than a few first kisses of people of the same gender. A couple of my local friends were a bit shocked by the same sex making out that was happening. There was a smattering of life changing romances sparked.
But overall i can really only give the event a B+. It was a fine party, certainly better than most mainstream events i have attended. And it was not an epic party and while it certainly changes some peoples lives significantly, it did not reach the threshold needed for them to be writing sonnets about it at the Akashic Records.
[Update on Funological grading]
In the tofu hut this morning Sabrina asked me “What would have made the [New Years Eve] party an A- instead of a B+?” Among the steam and noise i did not really have the capacity to answer. But the question ran thru my mind in the cacophonous meditation which is tofu trays. This is what i came up with:
After a B+ party a female participant says: “Wow, that was great i kissed a woman for the first time ever.”
After an A- party a female participant says “i made out with Aubby and i think i am bi-sexual”
After a B+ party: “That was amazing when is your next party i want to bring my best friend.”
After an A- party: “i want to help you organize the next party”
After a B+ party: “That might have been the best party i have been too.”
After an A- party: “I’ve decided to drop out of graduate school and move to the commune.” [Which has happened]
After a B+ party: “have you seen my bra?”
After an A- party: “i have decided i don’t want to wear bras anymore”
After a B+ party: “These decorations were amazing”
After an A- party: “You have inspired me to create my own party.”
After a B+ party: “You guys throw a wonderful party”
After an A- party “I have changed my thinking about this place, what you are doing here really is important.”