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Sunday, 25 January - link

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At one point on Saturday, Harvey turned to me and observed, "You're spending all this time framing and hanging pictures, instead of cleaning your house."

And it was true. I'd spent hours and hours picking and framing and hanging posters, scrolls, print-outs, to fill the walls. I was planning to have a party to celebrate Harvey and my possibly pending green belt, and I still hadn't bought any limes, moved any couches, or dusted any toilets. But that's what will make this party go, I believed, some stimulation.

I was too sick and snot-laden to adequately discharge my Aikido, so it would have to be a media-literate party to celebrate being. Somewhat low key for my energy level. I made background preparation of Wobbly's Playlist and The Idiot Radio Station recently purchased from Illegal Art, and YoungAliveInLove. And I made some decorations, with hanging help from Mike:

Two photographs by Charlene hang in the art studio. I met her taking pictures at Dealership shows; I saw this photo on her site and enjoyed the motion; the other photo is a gift for Harvey since it reminds me very much of the aesthetic of his recent game Deus Ex: Invisible War.

An anti-war poster from Honduras hangs left of a mirror/altar, filled with statuettes: the women of Capcom, tiny Zeus and a black Madonna.

Exerpts from Screenshots by John Haddock, printed out, framed and titled; stuck up on a wall over patches of missing paint and wallpaper.
A series of drawings from an isometric perspective, in the style of a computer game. The subject of each drawing is the image, or images, that created a popular cultural event.
Haddock's illustrations are striking, unsettling - begging political questions about video games, media, history and politics. I put them up for my party, and now I'll survey them each time I travel towards the toilet here!

And the party went, Saturday night at 9pm, Oakland creekside, though I'm not sure what the stimulation added. As always, the occasion comes down to the people. And these were good people. What do they say about putting together a wedding outfit? Something borrowed, something blue. I believe my evolving party ethic involves inviting some strangers, in addition to the people you know quite well.

accrc homiesI invited three groups of relative strangers to this shindig - Ithiel and any of his friends, and Matt Peterson who emailed me after reading my letter to the Oakland mayor - neither of whom made it. And a posse from a computer recycling place. I went in to drop off a pile of old Macintoshes and broken cassette players in a giant warehouse in Berkeley; I ended up spending an hour chatting with an activist and forward-thinker. I invited James of the Alameda County Computer Resource Center to my party; he asked, "can I bring minions?" I figured if they were anywhere near as amplified fast thinking and globally minded, with just a smidgen of his conscience, I would be glad to have them. Chris, James and Jennifer - pictured here to the right, a far more uplifting party presence than their picture might foretell.

accrc homiesWhat is a stranger anyhow? Worst case, a stranger is someone who steals or willfully destroys things inside your home, perhaps intimidates your guests - a stranger being someone doesn't share your sense of boundaries and propriety. But that's not the case with most people. In this case, most people who showed up to this party were strangers to each other. But if I can manage to have parties more regularly, they might start to drift out of their social groups and into new social arrangements. I love to see that happen. Even if I don't get a chance to take enough pictures. Pictured to the left, Chris holds a smile through Colin's confounded stare at Grand Theft Auto III.

Not pictured, elegant Jane and her dapper Jesse, sitting on the couch with punk-flapper Mai.chris harvey austin Lovely moblogger-sadly-with-no-signal Mie and able Dav (Dav, able because he coaxed action from my powerless Shinobi standup), and their friend Jessica. Jason a fabulous hugger and Jolene who gave Harvey and I eggs and pancakes in the morning before she showed up with Tecate at night. Shinobi standup), and their friend Jessica.steve beamsColin's Russian roommate Dimitri in a two foot top hat - part of becoming a US citizen, he says, assuming the headwear of previous Republican presidents. Chris took a taxi from the South Bay to join our festivities, shown eying the camera at right with Harvey and Austin. Also-sick PeterMe, a mainstay of East Bay observations. Erik, an explorer, and his friend Jodi, another storyteller I'm told. Michael I have known since I was four but I hadn't seen in ten years, and his friend a nice chap who works with chemicals. Jovial Don might have talked about ConnectedTV with media maven Steve, shown at left beaming with himself and two Treo 600s. Always entertaining Austin and friend Marka. Briefly Dave. Mike who prodded and provoked Marc to share a great many fabulous stories and visions for better social network software as the night waned. It was all over by 1.30am and I hauled my cough-racked frame into bed, happy, stimulated.

Posted on 25 January 2004 : 09:54 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.