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Zap February 15th, 2006 Zoooom
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Pillow Fight Club

Goal = beat the stuffing out of each other!

Rules
1. Tell everyone about Pillow Fight Club.
2. Tell everyone about Pillow Fight Club.
3. If you have not fought, you must fight.

Also: Don't hit anyone with a camera unless they want it. And for fucksakes, bring a FEATHER pillow!!! What is up with all the polyester stuffed pillows, people??? ok, that was really the only downside to the whole shenanigans....

I arrived at 5:15 to set up my camera. There was no one around.Within 20 minutes there were several small clutches of people in various places around Justin Herman Plaza. I asked a couple where their pillow was. The woman said she had a knee injury and wouldn't be participating. I said i had the same problem, but had brought my sacrificial pillow. Feathered, of course.

I set up my camera looking at the Clock Tower across the Embarcadero from Justin Herman Plaza. The row of palm trees down that street would be illuminated as the twilight swelled into night. The beautiful Bay Bridge swept away towards Oakland beyond... In the Plaza, people began to emerge. Trash bags regurgitated hidden pillows. People stamped their feet in the growing chill. There was a breeze that would ruffle feathers skyward and to the south.

By 5:40, there were easily a hundred people nonchalantly gathering in clusters. Five minutes later the mass had doubled, then tripled.

By 5:50 two lines were being drawn across the plaza. I heard no organization of these lines. They just happened. At five minutes til the hour, the two lines were swinging their pillows slowly, menacingly at each other. Red Rover Red Rover . . .

As the clock's minute hand swung to the 6:00 high position the two lines whooped a battle cry and simultaneously erupted in a charge towards each other, pillows brandished. When the clock actually CHIMED afer the fight ensued, there was the briefest hesitation of having jumped the gun, but did it matter? There was mass consensus. The melee raged on for 30 full minutes!

At one point one of the nearby palm trees was all but obliterated by white fluffy airborne feathers!

I saw a Santa taking a great deal of (deserved, I'm quite sure!) abuse from the midst of the pillows. More and more of my friends emerged and i was delighted to see familiar faces. I am still quite amazed at how many people i *didn't* know. I just somehow thought it was more of a contained group of people - but as the news had been listed on Boing! Boing! and on Scott Beale's Squidlist, it had spread it's electric tentacles into many people's agendas.

it was glorious!

I loved the guy who ran around with a lavendar-scented pillow tagging people softly as he said "Duck! Duck! GOOSE!" And the guy who bombarded the TV anchorwoman as she went on-camera. Towards the end, there was another triumphant mass battle cry while empty sacks were flung to the heavens. Someone trhough a heart-shaped buckyball pillow at my feet. I tossed it but no one saw. My friend ran and reclaimed it and threw it into the center of the crowd. One guy reached up and caught it in mid-air. I'd like to think someone will stand up and catch my heart like that someday. And mean it...

An SF Chronicle staff writer, Patrick, asked Amy Howard, who took my sacrificial pillow into battle for me, her thoughts. Then he jotted down mine. I was trying to get him to look up Pillow Fight Club in Wikipedia. As well as the word "meme" I felt unsure of my answer, but i suppose spontaneous interviews get what we have to offer off the top of our heads, without the benefit of the ubiquitous internet backup.

The SF Cacophony Society posted the news as: We Are Everywhere
It was the same Deadhead term i had used in my interview, which didn't make it to print. I was trying to describe "who we were" to Patrick, who seemed bemused by my list of subculture groups: We are Monkeys, Clowns, Santas, Cacophony, RanchHands ... etc.

I said "We Are Everywhere. We are Pillow Fight Club"
That is how i thought it should be represented - the Pillow Fight Club - NOT the BRC reference

But i do know alot of these people through some Burningman connection. I am not at all dissing that connection mind you, although i know some people flinch from it, and it becomes more and more mainstream with constant cross reference.

i am trying to understand....How DO we know each other? Would we know each other without Burningman?

i like to think so, but honestly, i don't know ... i kinda doubt it.

My pix: http://www.bitchwick.com/amacker/pillow

followup at 8:17PM:
Yey! i made it Neil's blog although the link fails... this is what he said (Archived for Feb 15th 2006)

And I see that my friend Amacker Bullwinkle is in trouble again -- http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/15/BAGCJH8EI11.DTL. Go Amacker. Yay pillowfights.

posted by Neil at 7:01 PM

: fluffy
Tunez !: Pillow Fight by The 6ths (Stephin Merrit)
Zap February 15th, 2006 Zoooom