On Saturday morning I was really grumpy and exhausted. I could not sleep all night, both because of insomnia and because of constant noise — the notion that some camps at Fipside are “loud” and some are “quiet” is a joke, because the noise from loud camps carries all the way over to the quiet camps. It’s like having a pool with a no-pee section.
While there were many camps at Flipside that had free food or drinks, it turned out some of it wasn’t completely free, since you had to “pay” some other way. Case in point: on Saturday morning I came across a camp that was giving out breakfast tacos. There was a long line. I stood in it. And while people were standing in line, somebody in that camp blasted them with a horrific, screechy, heavy metal rendition of US national anthem. The horrible noise continued for 5-10 minutes. I could not believe the camp hosts found a reason to ruin a beautiful, peaceful morning by subjecting their guests’ eardrums to destruction. It was almost like the hosts spat in the face of those they were (voluntarily) serving. You suckers want free food? We’ll make you suffer for that! Maybe I was too cranky from sleep deprivation, but at that moment I thought, the free-for-all atmosphere is useless if it brings out idiots in people. A small but significant portion of humanity really needs censoring to keep life palatable for the rest of us.
On Saturday morning I left to go home and spend the rest of the day with my family, intending to go back the same evening. In reality, I spent the night at home and only managed to drag myself back on Sunday. But drag myself back I did, because I always feel that if I want to form a correct opinion about something, I need to experience it until the end. That’s why I finish all the books I start, even if they don’t interest me. Other people call it “being a sucker for punishment”.
That said, I was most impressed with anti-littering enforcement. I have not seen many (if any) other situations where people had so clearly internalized that littering is not cool, and where peer pressure was sufficient to keep most people from littering. It’s especially impressive given that there were no trashcans anywhere in Flipside, and people were supposed to store all their trash at their camp and take it home with them!
Now if only people had the same attitude to noise pollution…
A moment of irony: as I was loading things into my car Saturday morning, three greeters drove past in their golf cart and one of them shouted: “Remember, you are having fun! It’s fu-u-un!” I thought, if it really is, why does she need to remind people of that?
Here is more art and costumes from Flipside.
Sculpture “Marriage is (not) doing dishes together” — one of the more striking art pieces seen at Flipside.
This costume truly represented a triumph of human spirit over nature, if you keep in mind that it rained the whole weekend of Flipside, and the mud was ankle-deep in some places. And still this person’s white lacy underskirt (it’s lacy, though my little toy camera didn’t capture its details) stayed miraculously, blindingly white… at least for as long as I observed it. As it swished mere inches above the mud, it looked like defiance incarnated.
This was also one of the most elegant costumes at Flipside — somewhat of a rarity at an event where… how should I say it… taste and elegance were not the prevailing esthetic criteria.
Winnie on a bicycle, and a guy from the Ish camp in a winged chariot. They were riding around with her pulling his winged chariot. Those poles attached to his back were very tall and had flags at the top.
This pyramid, rising high above the treetops, could be seen from practically anywhere at Flipside. I think it’s the same pyramid that’s seen up close in this picture.
The Banned Camp — sitting out there in plain view!
This Barbie doll was being passed around as part of some kind of game I’m not sure I understood. You were supposed to take pictures of her and email them to an address listed on those tags attached to her arm. I just wasn’t sure what was the point of that. Harvesting people’s email addresses, maybe? Otherwise, what would the recipient do with a million pictures of her Barbie doll?
A person cracks a whip at an impromptu whip-cracking “workshop”. I was told that the cracking sound of a whip is created by the velocity of the whip’s tip crossing the sound barrier.
P and an unknown person crack whips
Whip-cracking teacher (right) teaches M
Winnie (left) with her winged chariot (in the second picture) and a guy from Ish camp
Jumbo camp shower in our camp. I haven’t used myself, but based on the instructions it seems pretty neat. The instructions are:
— Fill camp shower
— Place bag on flat, firm surface with the clear side exposed to the direct sun
— In approximately three hours, you should be able to take a healing (?) hot shower (see temperature scale below)
M in the tent, making a costume for the burn
Blue and purple costume (not M)
A mutant vehicle and its owner. The vehicle appears to have been swallowed by a transparent mesh fish.
A black, green and red costume that defies guessing
On Sunday night, right before the burn, my friend P talked me into putting together a “costume” from various pieces found at the Burning Glam tent, where they had various items of clothing lying around, free for the taking. In keeping with the prevailing esthetics here, it was neither tasteful, nor flattering, nor, strictly speaking, much of a costume. It was fun, at first, to walk around in 6-inch platform boots (for the first time in my life), but after a few trips through ankle-deep mud, their soles came off. Nothing like a sudden feeling that the sole of your shoe is bending over backward and is about to send you face forward into the mud. Luckily, I didn’t lose my balance and made it back to the camp somehow, and changed back into regular shoes. Still, the boots lasted enough for P to take some pictures of me in that costume. And they were free anyway, so hey!
Here, I’m sitting next to the sculpture “Marriage is (not) doing dishes together”, which was one of my favorite artworks exhibited at Flipside.
A woman firefighter in front of a firebus, prepared for the burn.