OHAI reality, give me a day or two huh? - Tactical Ninja
Jan. 31st, 2013
10:58 am - OHAI reality, give me a day or two huh?
Oh boy am I glad I took a buffer day between festivalspace and reality. Especially when my introduction back to my normal life was a visit to the dental hygienist. On the upside, that was the most gentle tooth scraping I've ever had. Normally it's like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan, but today there was almost no blood and even the lecture about my tongue stud was shorter than usual. Nice.
And it turns out the Sevens is this weekend. For those not from here, the Sevens is a seven-a-side rugby tournament that is almost completely ignored in favour of playing dressups among the spectators and having a giant party for two days. It's a Thing in Wellington. I feel a bit jaded about it because the costumes tend to be somewhat predictable and having spent far too long in rave/festival culture, I find them somewhat unimaginative and gender-normative for the most part. However, I also think the Sevens gives everyday people permission to play that they otherwise wouldn't feel they have, and in that respect I like the sheer enthusiasm that people go into it with.
But I'll be over here, shearing sheep and avoiding the general drunkenness as much as I can.
You can't, right? Well, you can and it's fun but you never catch it. And that's kind of how I feel about describing my experience of Rainbow Serpent. I took no photographs, and while I could give a blow-by-blow account of the event, that'd be uninteresting for most people and barely even scrape the surface for me. There are parts of my inner experience that I can't even articulate, and parts that I'll be processing for a while yet. And most likely, parts that I'll never catch.
However, there were also parts like these ones:
A sculpture designed to resemble two lilium side by side with petals overlapping. The petals were made from tubular steel framing, and covered over with cargo netting so you could climb up them and lounge like leopards in the cradles formed by the petals' curves. This may be the source of most of my inexplicable bruises.
Random George, who turned up while we were packing up and offered us a cone. We politely declined but he stayed and had one with us anyway. He claimed to have taken 12 tabs of acid the previous evening (not all at once) and seemed remarkably lucid for someone who is that much of a caner. He also called me 'bro' a lot. I'm going to say it was the acid and not my post-festival state that brought this on.
Queueing for an hour and a half for a shower, then taking the cold one just to jump the last 15 minutes of waiting. Shower queue friends form a special and close bond - let us call it the Miasmic Bond. Also, someone selling coffee, ice cream and bacon could have made a killing.
Running around in a ridiculous tutu and completely backless unitard with my scar fully exposed, and nobody batting an eyelid.
Stalls? OMG. It's been a long time since I went to a festival where you could buy stuff. Mostly it was clothes and lots of them were cool. I even bought two things, although I found it very strange to be clothes shopping in such an environment, complete with salespeople doing that "That colour is lovely on you!" gush thing. Also, it's a great leveller for clothing. If I'm struggling to dress myself in something while completely sober, in broad daylight, in a proper changing room, there's no way I'm getting into it bent, at night, in a tent. Which is one of the reasons I only bought two things. rivet says "It should look fabulous and feel like pyjamas." Pretty good rule of thumb I reckon.
Sitting with a camp-mate who has a PhD in astrophysics, listening to him mathematically 'prove' the likelihood of our civilisation ending due to climate change in the next century or so, and despair that even compelling arguments don't seem to make people get off their arses and do something about it. All the arguments say the same thing, get your shit together people. It continually blows me away how I keep running into extremely smart people dressed in silly costumes at festivals. I think a lot of society thinks that festivals are gathering places for gullible New Age stoners, and they are definitely there, but it seems you can't swing a glow hoop without hitting a PhD as well.
Dancing. Lots of dancing. Dancing with Dr Wheel, especially. It's been a while, and hasn't lost any of its magic. It seems Australia quite likes to be stomped on.
Back to back sets by Opiuo* and Spoonbill (links appreciated here if you turn up, Will). Squelchy organic interesting progressive psybreaks, complete with remixed rendition of "What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor."
Southerly winds that made furry blankets necessary, prevented the daytime temperature from going over 30 degrees, and meant we didn't have to keep rinsing Happy off with a spray bottle to keep his non-temperature-regulated English arse alive.
Mastering the Aussie salute - a particular kind of handwave in front of your face that dislodges flies from the corners of your eyes and mouth. One pass doesn't do it so you end up doing this graceful triple-pass which probably has a name in ballet.
That's enough of that then.
* Who is apparently playing in Wellington at Homegrown on the 2nd of March well gosh.
Also, Australia is epically big, epically old and epically geologically stable. This means that lots of it is flat, and the 'mountains' are worn down to smooth stumps, not like the new pointy ones we have here. It gives a sense of timelessness. Not in the OMG DEEP TIME way that Africa did, the bit I saw was less rocky and more dusty than that so it had less of a Bones Of The Earth thing going on, but yep. It's old and you can feel it.
By the way, pombagira, I have a rock for you. Because reasons.
That was the first time I've been out of a city in Australia. Thank you to my travelling companions for not gagging me after the 20th time I named what breed of sheep was in the paddock we were passing.