This document consists of:
1. Invitations to Gothic Funk Party #9
2. An account of the Party.

1. Invitations to Gothic Funk Party #9: Guy Fawkes Day.

Gothic Funk Party #9 was announced in three invitations.

The party was first suggested in the context of a discussion we were having on the listhost about funding in early October. Here is an excerpt: I was just sitting down to plan the next gothic funk party, on or abouts the fith of november, themed for:


I was gonna blow up a small model of parliment (perhaps the US capital building insted) have a burning man, light fireworks, eat baked potatoes and burnt sugar tofee, just like they do in merrry old England.
The second invitation was sent by Colin McFaul:

SUBJECT: GF #9(?) Chicago -- Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes = GF. Gothic Funk = GF. Coincidence? We'd like to think not. Please join the Gothic Funk Conspiracy in celebrating Guy Fawkes Day. The celebration will commence at 9:00 PM on November 4, 2006 (it will be the 5th in England, at any rate) at Moomers (address below).

At Moomers, we will enjoy traditional potatoes and burnt toffee, recite and listen to nursery rhymes, stage a reading of TS Eliot's "The Hollow Men" and other literary works featuring Guy Fawkes, and (if we have time) have a viewing of V for Vendetta.

At midnight, location to be determined, we will light a bonfire, burn Guy Fawkes in effigy, and blow up a model of Parliment.

Further Information:

Things we need/people can bring:
-Potatoes, for baking. You can also bake them beforehand.
-Food to share. Preferably Guy Fawkes themed.
-A copy of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on CD. I found a copy online, but it would be nice to have someone bring a CD just in case we need a copy not tied to a computer.
-Booze. We have a limited amount of alcohol that we can donate. But if you want something special, you should bring it.
-Supplies for making and decorating a mask. This can include paints, markers.

Suggestions for where we might make a lot of noise and light off fireworks witout getting arrested? Feel free to let us know.
The final invitation was a postcard that Nora sent to the listhost, originally hosted here:

This was probably one of the most extensively discussed and planned parties online, and many emails went back and forth about it. Nora and Colin helped by supplying background information on the traditions of Guy Fawkes Day.

2. An account of the party.

by Amber:

This weekend was the latest, greatest GF party--a celebration of Guy Fawkes day! Nora's creative genius was instrumental. After taking our fill of ale, many assorted and authentic dishes (several cooked with molasses instead of sugar!), and the usual pleasantries, we waddled out of doors for festivities of the appropriate sort. That is, we hauled a life-sized figure of Guy Fawkes down the street in a shopping cart, impaled him on a stake, and burned him in effigy (in a backyard, after the police pre-empted our attempt in the park). I donated a pair of pants to the cause and am decidedly satisfied that they were well spent. That treasonous mo'fo blazed!

But what's a political holiday without a little reflection on its potential relevance to the present day? Though, admittedly, few of us had really conspired to what amounted to a decidedly more tasteless (but equally, awesomely pyrotechnic!) display, and at least one party even balked anxiously and repeatedly...For want of a decent model of the British Parliament to blow up, we went with the next best thing for sale at the Japanese dollar store: a model of the Twin Towers.


Our architect-in-residence assembled it, and his second-in-command shaved down a cone-shaped firecracker to fit inside. Its wick was left protruding from a window, such that when it was lit, the towers shone from within as they emitted some serious rockets' red glare and...well, you know. That first glow almost lent the gesture a kinder, more memorial texture...until the balsa wood actually caught fire, and the image turned positively macabre for its familiarity.

In no way, of course, did the little scenario corroborate M. Baudrillard's rather tawdry thesis. On the contrary, as some of us have already discussed elsewhere, such moments are positively healthy. And, as I said, it wasn't something we'd really planned out, anyway. We even wrote "Parliament" across the top of one of the towers and fashioned a little of the extra wood into rooftop crenellations to try to negotiate with the image as best we could. The end result, I think, was satisfying on too many levels to warrant quibbling.

All due props to Nora and Colin for excellent direction and, er, execution! I hope our next proves just as good!