Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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It was with hesitant hands and sad eyes that we cleaned out the Littleton Art Community and Party Emporium studio on Friday. It was impossible to get the estimated 3 tons of steel moved, but we got the tools out and cleaned up enough space for the new tenants to move in. If you know of studio space for our resident metal sculptor contact us. It needs to have a concrete floor, allow plenty of noise and dust, and CHEAP.
We headed up to Spartanburg on Friday afternoon. In a town where the liquor store closes at 7 PM and the convenience store is inconveniently closed on Sunday you wouldn't expect to find hundreds of freaks and weirdoes partying until all hours. And you wouldn't, unless you were at the Quality Hotel for Fantasm '99! We picked up our badges, found our crash space, and headed to any event we could heckle, our favorite hobby (aside from many we can't name in a family publication) at sci-fi/fantasy/horror/fetish/webcam conventions. Some comedic magician earned our first round of humorous abuse - he wasn't bad, just wasn't so great that we couldn't make fun of him. He took it in stride and gave almost as good as he got and later said his wife took notes and added at least 10 minutes of new material to his routine. He was a good warm-up act for the small but friendly crowd.
The Gong Show was, well, sad. I don't think there were more than 2 people that could avoid getting gonged and, much like the original show, the best part was the gonging - kinda like ripping off an itching Band-Aid or something. But it made an excellent heckling opportunity.
The Miss Fantasm pageant followed. We were asked to judge the contest but apparently the MC didn't approve of our rating system (we abandoned the standard 1 - 10 system and opted for numbers like pi, square root of negative one, infinity...) and let the crowd vote for their fave. The luck winner in the Catholic school uniform got the crowd's applause by being on the receiving end of a good paddling by a nun.
The parties cranked up later on and surprised even me. I think Drag & Con has trained me to expect little in the way of parties. The last couple of times we attended the "world's biggest con" we'd found it to be the world's biggest bore. You'd think a gathering of tens of thousands of fans would generate at least ONE good party. Fantasm, a gathering of some few hundred, generated five good parties on Friday alone! What's right with this picture? The lack of neo-facist money-starved testosterone-filled security and staff! Instead the friendly, helpful staff did all they could to encourage and support any fun activity regardless of the lack of high profit margin. Another advantage was the lack of children underfoot - a welcome change from our formerly favorite cons like Atlanta Family aFfair.
Ranting aside, the parties were a blast. Free liquor, free food, loud music, costumes ranging from the absurd to the obscene, and folks crammed in to the point of bursting the room at the seams.
Saturday there were even more fans running amok, more events to heckle, more eye-popping costumes, and more hangovers. A nap and several doses of caffeine later we headed down for the Lust Line, a spoof of eMpTyV's Love Line, in which the audience asked questions about sex and conventions to a panel including your editor, two Fantasm staffers and one of their girlfriends. The questions were rarely serious, the answers even less so and the smiles got everyone in the mood for the slave auction that followed.
One by one volunteers were led up to the stage and auctioned off like scantily-clad cattle. The proceeds went to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, http://www.cbldf.org and fun was had by all. As usual, the reigning queen of fandom Dawn Marie went for the most, some $300 to use and abuse her for a couple of hours.
Somewhere in there, weve lost the schedule and the brain cells just cant put it back together again, was The Dating Game, complete with the original theme music. Three contestants answered questions ranging from If you had to have sex with one of the men at Fantasm, who would it be? to What is your favorite liquid? in an attempt to win the all expense paid trip to Wendys across the street, and a box of Rice A Roni, the San Francisco treat. The questions were weird, but like the Lust Line, the answers were weirder.
Eventually the event most had been waiting for began, the Cam Girls forum. The stars who made themselves set up a webcam and tried to broadcast the show live, only to be told by The Man that it might be illegal in that state and the hotel didnt exactly know what might happen so in the end they opted for videotaping to be broadcast at a later date. The hostess Chris from Gigglecam, http://www.gigglecam.com, talked about her and her husband living out there lives in full view of the world and some of the funny, scary, and bizarre experiences theyve had as a result. I talked with her a lot over the weekend and shes one of the nicest people Ive ever met and is sort of a den mother for the on-line voyeur/exhibitionist community. Dawn Marie represented the no nudity side of the community, http://www.dawnmarie.org, and you honestly would not believe what some lonely rich men will do just because theyve seen you on camera, even fully clothed and with an attitude! Free cameras, scanners, laptops... If theres anyone that wants to donate money so we can do a Degenerate Press cam please contact us immediately! We already have a hilarious concept in the works!
On the other end of the clothing spectrum was Cloei from Cloeis Playpen, http://www.cloeisplaypen.com. She put on a show that had everyones eyes and mouths wide open, but that she considered tame by comparison to what she does on-line.
Not only were all three women a dream to watch, they all did their own sites and could engage you in any topic of conversation you could manage - brains AND brawn!
Eventually they asked for a volunteer from the audience to participate on stage and your editor was volunteered. Suffice it to say, I hope they never do get that video on-line and Im glad I have no political ambitions of any kind.
Saturday night there were even more parties, more people in stranger and skimpier costumes, more liquor and food than anyone could consume, more dancing and degenerating than anyone could withstand and by 4:30 even I was happy to crash.
Id like to thank the staff of Fantasm, http://www.con-tour.com, for a weekend of utter degeneration, sights and sites that will stick in my head as long as I have it! Rumor has it they made enough money to do it again next year and they hope to move the festivities to the Greenville Hyatt, the hotel that used to be the location of Magnum Opus Con during its years as THE fucking end all beat all party of parties. Stay tuned, meanwhile log on to those sites and tell em some Fool sent you!
When were not getting shit from disgruntled bands we cant recommend, were getting spam. When we toss out the spam, the leftovers are little greasy gems like this:
>I took your advice, and went to the Truckadelic CD release party. Were you
there? I ended up hanging out with Syrup after the shows were over. Those
guys are out of control! I just wanted to say thanks.
>Godddammmnnnn, thanks for the tip on Sean at Northside; seriously, the kid is a genius, and sunday night brings out the others who just want to play; no cover; free jumbalaya, and excellent blues, what more could you want to start your week. very, very entertaining. other weirdness: A., the truckadelic thing was just fuckin' awesome; very good and lead in syrup was pretty damn good too;
A full report on the Truckadlic show is coming next episode. Thanks for the feedback!
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