"We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." --Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
After two long months apart (due to an August vacation) the nerds of Nerd Nite assembled in large numbers on Wednesday at Pachamama's to nerd out about the Dust Bowl.
Luke Wohlford began the evening with a trek through Kansas populism, charting the rise of the Kansas People's Party in the 1890's through the Teddy Roosevelt era (with his famous speech at Osawatomie, Kansas) and into the "dirty thirties." Our favorite figure from this period has got to be Kansas politician "Sockless Jerry Simpson" and we've already begun writing a Hollywood biopic about him.
Beth Beavers then delivered what turned out to be the single most inadvertently naughty Nerd Nite presentation in history. Did you realize that farm terminology sounds exactly like sexual innuendo?? Here's a list of Chip's favorite phrases from Beth's presentation on Dust Bowl farming equipment and practices:
"harder and slicker"
"This is a gang plow because we have multiple bottoms."
"It'll explode if there's too much pressure" (Chip almost yelled "That's what she said!" at this point).
"Keep tilling it and you'll get the moisture to stay in" (At this point, Chip had to excuse himself to keep from yelling "Oh my God, that's what she said!").
Here's a photo of Beth Beavers looking adorable via Larryville Artists (click for their recap as well).
And the evening ended with Kate Meyer, who taught us the giggle-inducing term "Haboob" (an Arabic term for dust storms) and analyzed Dust Bowl-related literature (such as Grapes of Wrath, of course) and art and photography by Joe Jones and Arthur Rothstein and many more.
Work from Jones and Rothstein, respectively:
Nerd Nite returns on Oct. 9 with a highly-anticipated (by us!) presentation on the plays of Sam Shepard from Rob Schulte, as well as mystery presentations from Wonder Fair's Meredith and @punnilingus (who swears he's NOT talking about Faulkner this time around: we don't believe it).