(Starwood is hosted by the Association for Consciousness Exploration, in Cleveland (http://www.rosencomet.com))
THIS page is only a SAMPLER of the photos. Starwood attendees, and SubGenii interested in just how MUCH different Brushwood becomes during a 1500 person event, might enjoy these COMPLETE STARWOOD PHOTO STASHES:
ZILLONS OF SMALL PICS FROM STANG-CAM:
1-Starwood Sights and Sites
2-Einstein's Secret Orchestra Concert
3-The Space Trance Devivals in the Pufferdome
4-Victoria Ganger & Revelry, and Ron Slabe's fireworks-laser show
5-Giant Puppet Parade
6-The Great Burning
From: Rev. Ivan Stang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Right on the heels of XXX-Day came Starwood, the huge neopagan fest also held at Brushwood. The swag I brought back to share with the SubGenii include excellent digital recordings of:
1. a live Einstein's Secret Orchestra concert, the best yet
2. another Stang solo rant to the pagans -- I was in TOP FORM if I do say so myself, since preaching to the unconverted is a SPECIAL CHALLENGE and actually MUCH more fun than preaching to the Dobbstown Choir. The first half is solid improv and the second half is a much-mutating version of my recent "suicide rant." (SEE OUR SCATALOG FOR A CD OF LAST YEAR'S STARWOOD RANT!)
3. another ESO/Stang "space trance devival" recorded in The Pufferdome, a huge inflatable canvas sphere with UNUSUAL ACCOUSTICS which A.C.E. rents for each Starwood. Except for the new "Multiple Jesii" material, this performance was (like the weekly ESO radio show) totally improvised from front to back. (SEE OUR SCATALOG FOR A CD OF THE 1999 PUFFERDOME SHOW!)
4. another live recording of Revelry, Sister Melodious Chopps' 3-gal folk singing group that includes Princess Wei -- with their new song "PAGAN FEST BARBIE."
The Pufferdome devival was visually enhanced by TWO VIDEO PROJECTORS placed OUTSIDE the dome by St. Joe Rothenberg, ACE co-sub-founder. One projector showed my old devival barrage psychedelia (a compressed ARISE, sort of) and the other showed night-vision live video of ESO and me. Projected onto the curving spherical canvas walls, it looked PRETTY SPIFFY from inside and out. (The Pufferdome only holds 40 people and there were 40 to 60 more who had to watch from outside.)
Also, I unveiled the new FULL METAL DOBBSHEADS by the a.b.s. arteest "WHYASKWHY" aka Blackout, and used one to project weird warping Dobbsheads on the Pufferdome ceiling using a high powered flashlight. CHEAP THRILLS INDEED!! Watch our CATALOG for more on these amazing
Dances With Rockets' TRANQUILITY BASE cult compound (Brushwood home of ESO) looked more cultish and cool than ever, with Chas' museum of black-light monsters and manniquins displayed to seductive effect. Early in the festival, Chas had been using police tape to help his camping nieghbors "fence off" their areas, when one of those "faerie wood" pagans came along and scolded Chas for "ruining their sense of community" by making this temporary fence. Chas proceeded to spend the rest of the festival SUCKING ALL THE REST OF THEIR SENSE OF COMMUNITY AWAY... simply by turning Tranquility Base into THE hang-out. All festival long, the ESO HQ was packed with pagan lesbians, pagan runaways, little pagan kids getting free violin lessons from Michele, and free violence lessons from Lonesome Cowboy Dave, and anyone else needing a break from the cloying, deadly-serious, Slack-killing ponderousness and bleak pretentiousness of some armchair pagans.
All in all, though, EVEN *I* had a GREAT time at this Starwood. ESO, Wei and I were completely finished with our work by Thursday night, so the whole rest of the festival, we KICKED BACK! I spent a couple of hours each day manning the Dobbsian Sales Booth, but mostly I just wandered around visiting old friends, enjoying the crafts and music, and ogling titties.
SubGenii who only visit Brushwood during X-Day Drills would be ASTOUNDED to see it during Starwood, which attracts around 1500 people. The campground turns into a veritable EWOK VILLAGE. I took a lot of pictures specifically so that ya'll can see what I mean. I would heartily recommend Starwood to SOME SubGenii. It's like $125 I think, but if you stay the week it's a cheap vacation in a lovely place... and most of the attendees are NOT actually the stereotyped whiny pagan fanboy NOR whiny stuffed shirt pagan "shaman" types, but weirdos of diverse interests looking for a GOOD TIME.
There's plenty of the "shamanic drum making" and "visualize your interior childscape" crap if you want it, but that's mostly tucked back in the woods in little hushed workshops. That crass class satirist Paul Krassner was one of the main speakers this year, and though drum superstar Olatunji had to cancel, there were nonstop GREAT BANDS of all flavors onstage. The real appeal of Starwood, however, is STARWOOD ITSELF, the weird community as a whole that assembles every year for one week, like a brain damaged sex crazed Brigadoon, at which everyone is Rebuilding Their Own Amsterdam moment by moment. This was the twentieth Starwood, and my tenth (also the tenth at Brushwood). I LOVE STARWOOD.
Eleven years ago, I never would have imagined that I'd be singing the praises of a "NEOPAGAN GATHERING. But, looking back... HERE'S A *SMALL* SAMPLING OF SOME OF THE SUBGENII THAT I FIRST HAPPENED TO MEET AT STARWOOD FESTIVAL:
Rev. J.C. "Jesus" Bevilacqua
Dr. K'taden Legume
Princess Wei "R." Doe
Frank, Darlene, and Theresa Barney (owners of brushwood)
Rev. Craig Mitchell
There is also a growing list of SubGenius/pagan COUPLES who originally met at Brushwood (either at X-Day Drills or at Starwood). Usually it's a SubGenius boy and a pagan girl, but sometimes it's the other way around. Jesus and Magdalen... Stang and Wei... Rev. Toth Wilder and Sister Magdalena Hagdalena... Pee Kity and Jewyl... and several best not mentioned.
Here is a *partial* list of people/groups that I met directly because of my association with A.C.E. (Association for Consciousness Exploration, in Cleveland, who produce Starwood (http://www.rosencomet.com)):
Lonesome Cowboy Dave, Chas Smith, ESO
WCSB-FM at Cleveland State
Dennis and Linda Murphy (Cult of the Living Bull)
Sister Melodious Chopps
The Euclid Tavern
Jeff Rosenbaum, Joe Rothenberg, Ron Slabe, ALL THE CHAMELEON CLUB MEMBERS
My travel agent, Joyce Levine
All this because Jeff Rosenbaum invited me to speak at Starwood X in 1990!
This Starwood featured the biggest bonfire yet (the wood pyramid being 25' high and 50' across), MORE gigantic puppets and stilt-walkers striding through the human crowds, and, most novel of all to the old-timers, GOURMET FOOD! One could devour special dishes like CRAB LEGS and MAINE LOBSTERS flown in and cooked on the spot.
"Waxing" seemed to be a new bonfire activity this year. One espies the occasional couple making love semi-covertly near the fire, late at night, but this was the first year that I saw youths drip hot wax on each others' bare chests for fun. I guess this would be what you'd call "getting to Second-and-a-half Base." Safe sex sure LOOKS dangerous sometimes.
The pagans who love "Bob" now outnumber the ones who mistakenly think they "get it" (and thus hate SubGenius). There's still the occasional spasm of "Bob"-hate from certain loveburgers, though.
Late Saturday night -- REAL late -- our friend Dr. Lee was walking down the otherwise almost deserted camp road, and was passing ESO's Tranquillity Base, which among other bric-a-brac had the giant plywood painting of "Bob" by Chris Yambar leaning up against a tree. As Dr. Lee walked by, A YOUNG BOY, all alone, ran up to the Dobbshead painting with a disgusted look on his face AND KICKED IT IN THE NOSE with great feeling and vehemence. Then the boy ran off into the darkness, looking satisfied.
A parent who hates "Bob"?
Or one that loves "Bob"?
Either way, whether that kid knows it or not, whether he WANTS it or not, HE'S GOT THE "BOB" SPIRIT!!
REPORT ON STARWOOD 99