If you so much as mention the term "secret societies," nerds will materialize as if out of thin air, wanting to know more. Last night's "Cults, Clubs, and Secret Signals" installment of Nerd Nite drew what appeared to be the biggest crowd yet to Pachamama's ballroom.
After the "origin" story (the essential repetition of which makes Nerd Nite itself a bit of a club), the evening began, appropriately enough, with a "secret" speaker, Wonder Fair's Meredith, who illuminated us about the Bavarian Illuminati and promoted her gallery's current secret society/scavenger hunt project "The Secret Order of the Black Diamond." Meredith quickly proved that many nerds aren't well-suited to secret societies, since half the audience raised their hands when she asked if they belonged to a secret society. This was all followed by a classic, Oprah-style, "look under your seat" moment in which we received, well, not a new car, but a mysterious black card printed with nearly indecipherable black images serving as clues to...whatever the fuck this Black Diamond business is all about (we still have no idea whatsoever).
First up for the official presentations was Audrey Coleman's look at the anti-cult movement of the 70's. As Senior Archivist at LFK's Dole Institute, Audrey was able to provide an insider's look at how the government kept tabs on such groups as those pesky Moonies as well as what one memo referred to as a "baker's dozen of destructive cults." It all seemed like so much hysteria until we arrived at...Jonestown.
Sadly, Bob Dole was not able to make an appearance at Nerd Nite, but Audrey shared this sexy pic of Bob stroking his cannon . Were cannons often used in the battle against cults?
Next up was the eagerly awaited Courtneybelle, an original member of PBR Book Club, occasional LC-columnist, and all-around Lawrence treasure. Her presentation took us deep inside "numbers stations": shortwave radio broadcasts (usually of number sequences) that are assumed to be coded messages from intelligence agencies. We listened to some of the more well-known examples (such as "the Lincolnshire poacher" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," which is more than just a Wilco album, scenesters!) and laughed along with Courtney's clever visual clues (a picture of a mogwai accompanying a list of "numbers station" rules: get it??).
Here's Courtney preparing to get nerdy. This photo is from Karen at Larryville Artists: go here for a full gallery of great shots from last night's proceedings along with a brief recap of the presentations.
And the evening closed with arguably the funniest presentation in Lawrence Nerd Nite history--and certainly the most vulgar--as Chad ‘PoFo’ O’Bryhim spilled the secrets of the Lawrence branch of the Hash House Harrier's, "the world's largest non-competitive running club," an international organization seemingly dedicated to heavy drinking, outrageous rituals, secret language, and, oh yes, running (through "shiggy" territory as opposed to typical running paths). PoFo opened with the acknowledgement that, since secret societies aren't really known for producing reliable source work, his citations would primarily be drawn from people with names like "California Creamin'" and "Twatzilla."
Highlights of the presentation:
--did you see that "subliminal" message from Wonder Fair's Secret Order of the Black Diamond embedded in the power-point??
--two other members of the Lawrence Hash House Harriers took the stage to "play a scene" that illustrated some of the club's lingo: for instance, "blowjobs" refer to "trails that don't really go anywhere"; an FRB is a "front-running bastard"; BN is code for "beer near"; etc).
--The presentation ended with sing-along drinking song consisting of repetition such as "cunt, cunt, country."
For a secret society, LFK's Hash House Harriers aren't that hard to find. They even have a FB page right here. They run every Thursday and you can join them tonight starting at 6:30 at Crimson and Brews.
And here's one more photo from Larryville Artists. We're not sure anyone has ever been more excited to be interviewed by KPR than our pal Punnilingus (he's the bearded one)
After a year of searching, Chip may have finally found a subject near and dear to his heart that will also make for a great Nerd Nite presentation: Canadian horror-porn ("Canuxploitation"). One of his favorites, Sexcula, is just out for the first time ever on DVD from Impulse films. Just look at the tagline: "She'll suck more than your blood."
Here's an excerpt from Harry Knowles' gibberish review from AICN (read the full piece here). Is anyone worse with commas than Knowles?
"Yeah, this is porn. It starts off, kind of incredibly hot. That beautiful painted gorilla, in the movie is a guy in a very bad monkey suit, not really ape or even gorilla. There’s an erotic scene with him and a girl that gets… REAL FUCKING WEIRD."
That excerpt is pretty much exactly how Chip's presentation will sound. But will Nerd Nite allow for clips of this material? We'll find out.
Tonight, Akron/Family will try to unite the hippies and the hipsters at the Jackpot. For our money,
Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT remains their masterpiece.
On Friday, you are REQUIRED to attend this show (also at Jackpot):
And tonight and Saturday over at Alamo KC, all you Bronies can catch the documentary "Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony" at the Kansas City FilmFest (held this year at the Alamo Drafthouse). Chip is pretty excited. Also, this would be another possible Nerd Nite presentation topic. Visit the KC Film Fest site here .
And here's the trailer: