Degenerate Press

Welcome to Degenerate Press' feature article. If this isn't enough you can always subscribe to Electric Degeneration, our semi-weekly and semi-weakly ezine, or surf the Electric Degeneration archive.

If you can't find what you're looking for by surfing, use this handy search feature:

Final Fantasm
March 2005

Disclaimer and Previous Fantasm Reviews Thursday - Fantasm Fannies Thursday - Prom Friday - Afunkalypse Saturday
I woke up entirely too early on Saturday morning and headed down the hall to the con suite where I found the room packed with people playing with coloring books, watching cartoons and a few dressed up like children. Turns out it was the "Littles Brunch", something between cute and creepy.

SW and I got breakfast and swung by DP HQ to feed the cat and pick up a few things. When we got back to the hotel SW decided to enjoy one of her favorite activities for the evening – hotel pay-per-view and knitting. I enjoyed one of my favorite activities – dressing up and running amok in search of adventure.

In the main ballroom the slave auction was in full swing. I'd missed the Ms. Fantasm and Mr. Fantasm shows, the hypnosis show and a bunch of other stuff I wanted to see but when you're organizing and hosting a party you gotta make sacrifices - time, money and effort, namely.

Freaks. Get yer leather-clad freaks. Do I hear ten dollars?

Because of the previous night’s fire marshal madness, people weren't throwing room parties that evening, and the curtain that had cordoned off the the meeting rooms from the rest of the lobby had been removed (fire hazard).

Con staff offered the use of the hotel ballroom and meeting rooms to folks wanting to throw parties. I was glad my party had happened the night before. I wouldn’t have wanted to try to fill one of those big meeting rooms, or share the ballroom with the other parties and performances.


One meeting hall held the Infirmary party. You checked in with a nurse at the door who asked you the usual questions – allergic to any medications, has your insurance changed, etc., then recommended a station for you inside. If you needed a drink, for example, you followed the blue tape on the floor to the “pharmacy” where they had an extensive bar set up. Or you could opt for “physical therapy” where they had a masseuse, or the sanitarium where a padded floor awaited you and strange 70’s softcore porn was projected on the wall, something to do with hippies and doctors and a homicidal transvestite nurse. It was very high concept, but the music was the usual machine racket and turned down too low to dance to.

Across the hall con celeb Farshad went the opposite route. He just turned the lights out and set up a boom box. No booze, no theme, no costumes, but at least the music was loud enough and the darkness encouraged a few wandering hands.

Next door, some photographer or artist had a DJ pumping out similar music, but added art on the walls. I can’t remember if there were drinks or not, since I didn’t want to pollute the Maker’s Mark I’d gotten from the Infirmary. Heck, I can’t even remember the host’s name. Sorry!
In the ballroom two parties competed with each other, and with performances on the stage. On one hand it meant the parties didn’t get control of their environment and weren’t able to push their theme. On the other, it made for a big single party with lots of different stuff going on without having to trek from room to room and wait half an hour for the elevator.
One group threw an “old school frat party”, done up in togas and doing body shots off the guests. They held a banana eating contest, a wet t-shirt contest, and a wet boxer shorts contest. I was expecting each of these to be a disaster, as I’m not attracted to the vast majority of humans, but each had their moments, either humorous or titillating.

The wet t-shirt winner.

The wet boxer winner.

In the other corner a group had a cannibalism party where all the food looked, particularly in the dim light, like random bits of gore and body parts. Some was even served out of a coffin with a couple of mutilated bodies in it. Cute, but in the festive surroundings it didn’t have the dark, scary ambiance I felt they were going for.

The performances on stage varied. There was a blacklight dance show that was pretty cool, done by the same folks that had put on the killer fire dancing show the previous year.

But it couldn’t hold my attention for long. There were a couple of bands but they didn’t hold my interest either and somehow I missed the Sleazoid show this year. I was probably wandering through the private party or something about that time.

I ended up hanging out with a few pirates most of the evening. Beau and Sara have consistently been on my best dressed list and they’re both cute as hell (that's Sara's fine ass in the wet boxer contest above.) We took turns following each other from party to party, eventually giving up and settling in the hall for people watching along with another pirate or two whose names escape me (sorry! This is why I usually take notes and hand out business cards. But this year I just wasn’t prepared thanks to the party and the hormonal fuzz spring has wrapped around my brain.)
At some point I noticed the information booth in the hall was unmanned. Degenerate DN and I had taken over a table at Drag*On one year and made the Misinformation Booth and charged a quarter to misinform anyone. So I grabbed the pirates and we boarded the table. Under the table I found a bullhorn and beads and all sorts of official stuff so we had a fun few minutes of hassling people, trading beads for boobs, and misdirecting anyone foolish enough to ask for information even after I told them it was the MISinformation booth. (One of the musicians performing later in the evening asked for directions and we gave him actual information instead of screwing him. I wouldn’t have felt right steering him wrong and he seemed to be in a hurry.) But soon an official infobabe heard of our takeover and came and repelled us.
Sara told me she’d been invited to a certain private party. I knew the hosts so we decided to head up there, splitting up en route to stop by our rooms to pick up a few things. I arrived at the party first and knocked. No answer. I knocked again. No answer. I could hear a quiet party taking place behind the door but still no answer. I got a little more insistent with my knock. A door down the hall opened and a guy poked his head out. He spotted me and came down the hall.
”Can I help you?”
“Nope. There’s a private party in here but I can’t get anyone to answer the door.”
About that time the hostess poked her head out of the same door down the hall and called my name. I skipped down the hall and found they had opened up all the doors between four or five rooms to make one long series of suites and rooms. I walked into the first one where the bed was covered in naked people in various states of sexual contact. The next room had more naked people on the bed and a chair. The next room was more of the same. The last room was one of the larger suites were naked people were strewn about as if it were some sort of perverse gallery full of nothing but naked Greek statues piled haphazardly. Fortunately for me, this particular collection was the sort I don’t mind seeing naked. I got a seat and chatted with one of the few folks still wearing clothes, a familiar face from previous conventions who I’d never met.
Eventually my short attention span got the better of me, and I wanted to find out what had happened to the pirates, so I wandered on. It turns out Sara and Beau had shown up and had also had a tough time getting anyone to come to the door as well. Eventually the doorman opened the door but the person who’d invited them wasn’t there and with that particular party the doorman wasn’t letting anyone in who didn’t have a sponsor inside. I don’t blame him. More than four people in a room is a fire hazard, after all. Nudity is probably a fire hazard too, not to mention most of the folks in the rooms were rolling. So they weren't taking any chances.
But the snub pissed off Sara and they weren’t interested in returning, even with me trying to provide escort. We continued party-hopping until there wasn’t much else going on and Sara relented. We returned to the private party only to have the doorman snub them again despite my efforts. I snuck through the rooms until I reached the last one and slipped out into the hall, hoping to sneak the pirates in through the back door, only to find they’d already gotten on the elevator. I hopped on another elevator and hit the lobby but they were nowhere to be found.

I peeked in the “play party,” a room set up as an S&M dungeon for fetishistic fun but they didn’t allow my own particular fetishes – drinking, heckling, dancing and other forms of debauchery, so I wandered on. I heard there were other private parties going on but when I asked someone what time it was and they said, “3:30” I realized it was about time to call it a night.

I made one last cruise around the hotel. Down in the ballroom things were degenerating rapidly. Freaks of all sorts were doing freaky things of all sorts. Demons and angels, leather and lace, the sort of stuff that makes the Christian Right think the end is nigh. They're probably right, but it's more due to their closed-minded ways and the war-mongering greed-head they put into office than the fault of the type of freaks they fear.
Several of the parties had run out of booze and/or momentum and my aging constitution was rapidly waning so I hit the sack sometime around 4.

We didn’t hang around on Sunday even to make goodbyes or hit the dealer’s room. We were hungry and tired and it was sad that it was the final Fantasm so I didn’t even ask SW if we could lurk a bit.

The post-con Monday is always surreal. It’s a lot like returning from Europe. Nothing feels right. Everything seems foreign, though it’s all familiar. Work seems like so much more work. And the mundane existence of day to day life seems so much more mundane. But that’s what makes the convention so spectacular. If it happened every weekend, or even every month, it wouldn’t be special at all.

"Oh, hold on; there's plenty of pain here - but it don't kill. There's plenty of suffering here, but it don't last. You see, happiness ain't a THING IN ITSELF - it's only a CONTRAST with something that ain't pleasant. That's all it is. There ain't a thing you can mention that is happiness in its own self - it's only so by contrast with the other thing. And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh. Well, there's plenty of pain and suffering in heaven - consequently there's plenty of contrasts, and just no end of happiness."
Mark Twain, from Extract From Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven

If you thought Fantasm was fantastic, or you're sorry you missed it, don't fret. The staff is splitting up and forming several cons:

And I think Oz is planning another con, but I can't seem to find the mention of it just this second. Heck, there's a ton of photos of my own I haven't posted and I'm still looking for photos of myself so this review ain't really quite done yet. Stay tuned.

Disclaimer and Previous Fantasm Reviews Thursday - Fantasm Fannies Thursday - Prom Friday - Afunkalypse Saturday

Contact Degenerate Press

Take me to Degenerate Press' home page!
There's no place like home... no place like home...

All content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2005, All Rights Reserved