DISCLAIMER: From time to time, we here at Lost in Sound like to remind everyone just how far ahead of the special curve we are. Whether assembling the most hetty-est of super hetty playlists, interviewing your favorite electronic producers, donating synthesizers to local soup kitchens or even teaching magic tricks to a duck-billed platypus sanctuary, sharing highly questionable wisdom as well as creating a lively discourse for the community is clearly our forte. In an effort to better monetize our endeavors while further testing the limits of what’s inexplicably conceivable, we’ve decided that, you know, we might as well continue raising the bar on our humanitarian efforts while we’re at it.
Lost in Sound has been selected by a public interest group, which will remain anonymous for now, to help lead a series of behavioral analysis studies in the hope of thoroughly detailing the current state of Transformational festival culture as it directly impacts the plight of humanity in the Information Age. For those of you out there with a 3rd grade reading level, Sesame Street is on in the other room. For those of you still with us, we have essentially been chosen to curate a social experiment. Not to worry, as we’re being compensated quite handsomely. As I write this, I’m being rubbed down with absolutely delightful, imported cocoa butter by a homeless person I hired to be my chauffeur/assistant for the week. He’s being paid in exposure and Chicken McNuggets™, of course. Ooooo, stop it, that really tickles!
After careful consultation, while sitting around a fancy invisible roundtable, we agreed that the most effective means to carry out this provocative, social experiment would be to choose an unknown test subject from a limited pool of potential candidates. He/she would then be dropped off in the middle of a randomly selected Transformational festival setting to document his/her behavior in this foreign, utopian-like environment. And you may ask, “What if he/she gets lost and can’t find his/her way back home?” I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear a word you were just saying due to the sound of juicy cocoa butter gliding across my silky-moist hot body. Oh wow, that orifice right there especially!
In order to receive the most optimal and unbiased data, it is imperative that subject has had no prior contact whatsoever with festival culture, nor has any possible clue of the existence of such events. Criteria for said subject included that he/she possesses impeccable social conditioning, slightly below average cognitive reasoning, slightly slightly above average communication skills and an obsessive-compulsive fashion sense to boot, all while taking up residence in a pre-fab man-child cave. Potential subjects were also required to pass a rigorous jungle gym course at a local elementary school or nearest Imagistation with a redeemable 2-for-1 coupon.
Our worldwide search for this raw, earmarked prototype eventually led us to a land of familial copulation, man-made earthquakes and egregiously watered-down alcoholic beverages – Oklahoma. A state appearing to have an over-sized index finger cryptically pointing visitors Westward for a perfectly sane reason. Being one of the few who chose to remain inside this unique “territory,” it serves as no surprise that our selected test subject – who is a twenty to thirty-something, one-time push broom mustache enthusiast, Caucasian heterosexual male – is quite an exquisite specimen indeed. Possessing a rather lengthy checklist of personal “nuances,” we will cautiously share information determined to be most pertinent and let you, the audience, form your own conclusions with the rest. The test subject is a jovial, rather whimsical fellow who claims to have a weekly column in a magazine publication dedicated to teenage lifestyle & entertainment, although this may never be officially confirmed. Between an affinity for Fruit Roll-up’s and coloring books along with the bizarre notion he is somehow in direct contact with the partial fecal matter of American hip-hop sweetheart Kanye West, subject appears to be in a prolonged state of arrested development infused with Berry-flavored hallucinations of perverse grandeur. You just can’t invent this kind of shit.
To comprehensively study the effects of sustained exposure to a festival ecosystem, the test subject has been provided with devices such as a journal, audio recorder, camera and a fluffy pen for collecting field data. In order to ensure that subject remains completely oblivious to the proceedings of this extensive research program, he was informed to be on special assignment as an “investigative journalist” for Lost in Sound. However, taking this designation quite a few steps further, test subject now has the fanciful delusion that not only is he a breed of detective/ journalist hybrid, but only seems to respond to a variation of titles involving “private truth sleuther “ (we dare you to say that 173 times in a row). Ultimately, for the sake of not jeopardizing the entire operation, we won’t dispute his bold claims. Lost in Sound warns that if you ever come in contact with subject representing himself as said “private truth sleuther,” we advise playing along by politely nodding and making no sudden movements or secret handshakes. You’ve been warned. Here’s a special cookie. It’s really fucking good. No, but seriously, you should try it.
So while you eat your special cookie, herein lies a detailed experiential account based on the observations, interactions, ramblings, babble, falafel and general confusion stemming from our test subject’s virginal amalgamation and coalescence within the burgeoning world of Transformational festival culture. Although it has taken us much longer than originally anticipated – between having to corral the test subject, attempt to subdue his hyper-stimulated sensory overload, collect substantial volumes of field data and complete a strenuous scientific peer review process – we are finally prepared to share the initial findings of this unusually unorthodox method of social experimentation. With that being said, and without further delay, we assume absolutely no responsibility for the “contents” of this journal and do not support nor deny the ideas, beliefs, preconceptions, misconceptions or potentially questionable representations put forth by this, our “Blissful Idiot.” The following is based on actual events.
Yes, this is real.
Matthew A. Cremer reporting = 0 )
Ok, ok, ok…so where were we? Geez Louise, do I have to explain everything to you guys? I mean, surely you’ve already gotten together and compared notes, painstakingly poring over every little nook ‘n’ cranny of my diary entry truth report with one giant fine tooth truth comb while pouring hot candle wax all over each other’s naked bodies. Oh golly gee willickers – the filth! It’s hard enough just being the private truth sleuther secret liaison guy responsible for hand-delivering this chilling pile of blooper reel fun zone sauce from outer space as it is. But somebody’s gotta do it, right? Just remember – don’t you dare go off spewing this shitball stew of madness to anyone now! Gotta keep things on the down-low before somebody gets anally probed or whatever’s clever. One way or a golly heck ‘nother, promise me you’ll at least hose each other off after reading this hot oozey of a filthy doozey. It’s just so goddamn filthy. In fact, I’m gonna have to slip into a couple extra layers of spandex detective shielding with all the wacky shiznit about to be twice as dizzy up in this hizzy.
So on that note, where were we? Oh yeah, so last time around I’d partially penetrated my way into this otherworldly pleasure dome called the “Gratifly Music and Arts Festival” – whatever that means. By way of a trailer ride and a talking Marshmallow operating a golf cart nonetheless. I’d found myself in the middle of this frightening fortress of twisted truth dimensions that was gonna take some real hard-hitting private sleuther moves to get down to the bottom of. Oh geez, there’s way too friggin’ many moving parts to even attempt to lay out in front of you guys. It’s ok, I know what I’m doing. In fact, it looks like I’m gonna have to quote myself to get all of you riff-raff back up to silly warp speed. And then if you’re real lucky, I’m going to slap you in the face. With a bag of sprinkles of course!
“So apparently at these Trans-Siberian Orchestra happenings, they’re some kind of “brave, new world” playground where everyone touches each other A LOT, listens to computer beep-boop musics from the future, talks to aliens and even shares funny ideas on how to change themselves and the whole freakin’ world while they’re at it.”
Oh wow, that sure was a whole heckuva lotta TMI to take in at once. Think I just got some goosebumps right then. What about you? Fuck yeah, you did. You want even more? Yeeeah, I can see that smirk comin’ all over your face. Alright then, I’m ready to jump into private truth sleuthing action and figure out just what in the golly heck is goin’ on around here. No promises! So yeah, I’m takin’ the training wheel quotes off this beast and unleashing it all over your filthy soul. No goin’ back now! Let’s do this thang…
…So sometime before noon the next morning, I was roused from my deep slumber by wild banshees somewhere out in the festival grounds who must’ve been performing a ceremony or sacrificing an animal or whatever’s clever. No matter what those silly banshees were up to, it was pretty obvious the festival was already in full-on, balls-deep festivity mode. The chants, choruses and overall jubilation of its proceedings were penetrating. Lying in my tent still wearing my jammies, I came to the conclusion these people were ready to get after it – whatever “it” was. After watching an hour’s worth of cartoons and deciding what outfit to wear, I figured I’d go ahead and rock out a plastic Wal-mart bag as a makeshift scarf in the meantime. You know, maybe poke a few holes in it. Talk about being resourceful! Indubitably, the time had come to spring into private dick truth detective action! The time had arrived to gloriously emerge!
As this private dick of a truth sleuther came upon the main field, yours truly took a big ole gander across quite a congregation of sweaty peoples holding filthy hands and immersing themselves in strange activities every-which-where direction. There were all kinds of curious looking structures which must’ve been built to house fun time activities throughout this weekend carnival getaway: large canopies, tipi’s, geodesic domes, a temple, a bird nest, a special edition McDonald’s and even a large strip mall that ran on Tom Cruise’s space-age pubic hair. Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure those last two were just mirages. Maybe they were holograms? What gives? One way or another, I could tell all of the planning, blueprints, high-fiving, awkward celebratory hugs and salty butt-sweat behind erecting this village were being rewarded. It was like a “Field of Dreams” or something. But instead of that silly, stupid game of peckerwood baseball, it was filled to the brim with classes on Kundalini yoga and Gender alchemy and Mayan cosmology and Sacred Origami and Activated Foods and even Taming the Reptilian brain. (Now, why on Earth would you want to do a thing like that?!) It’s like, “Whoaaa, slow down there for just a second…What are you trying to do, like make a super kooky ‘consciously spiritual, holistically healed, self-authenticated’ human being person out of me or some stuffs??? I think the outside modern world has clearly done a bang-up job in that department already. Geeez Louise guy!” Although I was already a bastion of perfection, purity and downright everything delightful, I figured it never hurt to take things up a silly notch. You know, maybe acquire some super powers while I’m out here. Right? In fact, it made me babble out loud to myself at the top of my lungs while standing in the middle of a goofy meditation circle. “Hey everybody, I want to be a part of this silly fun zone jamboree! What does it take to get in on this playtime action?” After thoroughly destroying everyone’s filthy concentration, I got my butt over to the information booth. Apparently this was where everyone offered up ideas on how to change the world or you know – whatever’s clever. Behind the desk there was this odd fellow with an oversized neon squirt gun wearing a bathrobe made of feathers. That wacky son of a bitch kept giggling a whole lot as he squirted people whenever they walked by. Boy, does everyone act like this around here? Upon observing the behavior, I felt the urge to take out my trusty digital audio recorder for journalism documentation purposes. I pulled my scarf over my face so he couldn’t see or hear me. I’d be a scarf phantom, alright. “Note to self: The information guy is a real kooky bastard. Keep a close eye on that one.” Immune to my sleuthing techniques, he then squirted me while I was still in the midst of my covert scarf operation. Even though it golly heck took a couple minutes to find my way out of that juicy bag, his mischievous ways could not overcome my primal lust to uncover the inside scoop. “Hey squirter guy, what does it take to get in on this hot workshop action anyways? Is there some kind of an online tutorial series or bathhouse initiation ritual I have to complete first? Or what about a DNA pool? Can I just join that instead?” I mean, surely you have to be super duper special or maybe even pay dues into an exclusive Fonzi scheme or something. (One way or another, I had my money on bathhouse initiation ritual. It just sounded really fun and stuffs. And steamy too!)
“Nope. Anyone can join.”
<He continued squirting people as they walked by>
“You mean anyone can be a part of this?!?!”
“Yep…anyone and everyone.”
“What about everyone and anyone?”
“What about those two gay albino squirrels having sex over there?”
“Oh yeah, especially those two.”
“What about the entire silly-ass Westboro Baptist Church?
“What if we Skype in a psychopath serial killer from Alcatraz right this very second?”
“We do that all the time!”
<Squirt, Squirt, Squirt>
“What about Kanye West? Can he join too?”
(He paused for a hot doozey of a half a nanosecond. Must’ve been a real toughie.)
“Nope, I’m afffffffffraid not on the Kanye.”
Hmmm…he really got me on that one. Information booth sons of bitches! This would take a real filthy private dick sleuthing kind of move.
“What about Kanye West Sharts?”
“Oh yeah, absolutely! We love those guys!”
Wheeeeew, really had me goin’ there for a second! Almost thought this was a super duper private nightclub or something. Before I could gather myself, he squirted me in the face yet again (that silly fuck) and then giggled a whole bunch, flapping his wings off into the woods. Welp, I guess his shift must’ve been over! Anywho, I guess the moral of the story was that any Tom, Dick or Harry or Sally or Jesse Raphael could step foot inside the cozy bosom of these wacky workshops and actually be an “integral” part of it or some stuffs. As it turned out, apparently the information booth was just a mirage too. What’s the deal with all the mirages anyways? What is this, some kind of freaking oasis?
As I continued to meander through this labyrinth of bizarre enterprises, I was soon discovering music was ultimately just a point of entry at a fart knocker island like this. Not the silly “be-all-end-all.” Sure, there was plenty of tasty electronic artisanship from outer space to go around. And people could easily just come here to compete in sleep deprivation contests and play prehistoric board games and even get their jimmies off too. But I would venture to say – and maybe I’m going off on a real dirty investigative limb here – this festival wasn’t designed with those as sole purposes. Ohhhh no-no! This indeed was a “brave, new world” designed for every goofy mofo walking around within its futuristic confines to question everything they ever knew to be true. Oh boy, if only the real world knew about this stuffs! (You better shushie that mouth right now.) Because – maybe they were on to something here. Maybe this strange fun zone place possessed a cosmic roadmap of sorts with coordinates dedicated to everything communal living, healing, sustainability and self-exploration pointing back and forth all over the damn place to one another. If only they could turn this resort into a casino/theme park power combo! Whether they ever got the ball rollin’ on that stroke of genius or not, in the meantime I could at least somewhat fathom thinking about partially attempting to actively explore and attempt to participate in the art, workshops and general absurdity it could offer. You know, come to think of it, the very thought of such a super duper filthy idea didn’t give me any goosebumps or make my asshole pucker right up. So I guess it can’t be too heinously filthy after all. I mean, might as freakin’ well, right? Maybe I should actually attempt to get some culture in me. Maybe drink some ion water and get a proper saging at some point. Or maybe even go down to the creek and splash water with the mermaids everyone keeps talkin’ about! I also heard there’d be Civil War re-enactors DJ-ing iPods sets on a boat-stage of all places. True fucking story. Although I was quickly learning about the bountiful heaping of different workshops to be had at good ole Big Boy Pants Gratifly, decisions had to be made on which filthy ones to attend. I mean, there must’ve been like nearly ten thousand of the dang thing-majiggers! It’s like, “Are you trying to totally over-stimulate me while evolving humanity at the same time? Make up your frikkin’ mind here!” One way or another, it was getting me all giddy and indecisive. And I told myself I wasn’t going to get over-stimulated!
Penetrating even further on my truth mission, I tried going over to the Tarot Card reader’s tent to gain some fake insight. But sure enough the reader person guy had gone to lunch or whatever, having put up one of those “Back in 15 minutes” signs. Except some wise guy had replaced the “15” with a “∞” symbol. Then a second wise guy, attempting to out-wise-guy the first wise guy, came along and drew a penis above it. You know, a penis as in a “dick.” I’d say it was rather disproportionate though. Whoever the artist was, this clearly was their maiden voyage into the world of infinity “dick” draw-rings. I highly doubt this sketch artist has anything hanging over in that Vision Lab gallery I keep hearing about. No promises!
Fortunately, as I was strolling along over by the vendors, I came across a super duper strange girl sitting beneath a shade tree. Looked like she had one of those hippie costumes on. Surely she can enlighten me! Getting a closer look, I noticed her attention was transfixed on a nutty, mystical-looking thing that she was holding up with her hand. It appeared to be a shiny rock dangling from a long, sparkly-ass necklace. Quite hypnotic indeed, she was just sitting there watching it move around like a cheap, miniature swing set. “What is this magical knickknack from another dimension you’re trying to tame here?” I curiously asked. “Ohhhh…you know…just a crystal penduuuuulllllum.” she replied, talking reeeeeeeal slooooooow with a special person aloooooooooof air about her. “You mean to tell me yooooou’ve never heeeeeeard of one? Wooooooooow,” she quipped. “Well heavens no I haven’t! That thing looks like a filthy death trap or something!” Ok, so maybe I was exaggerating just a smidge. But dang it, I was pretty darn wary of such a diabolical contraption. Besides, it would only be a matter of time before I tea-bagged myself in the face with the silly device and was forced to heave it into the golly heck woods. That’ll show it!
But get this – apparently these pendulum thingies are like one of those magic 8 balls we used to play with as kiddies. You know, where you ask the thing a question and then it gives you a smartass answer. However, this one is made for hippie people. You hold it up between two fingers and then ask it an age-old question. If it swings side to side, then it’s telling you “No.” To and from your body, it’s saying, “Yes.” If it’s swinging around all over the damn place, then you’re pendulum hates you. Apparently this is an exact science. In theory though, it’s supposed to detect and then amplify subtle vibrations in your body, which stem from your subconscious. Whatever that means. When posing a question to said crystal, it is your subconscious, intuitive self that guides the pendulum which direction to swing. This sounds full-proof!
After great discussion on its origins, she revealed how the device came from something called Amazon.com. I had never heard of such a place before. Apparently it’s a continent. “So like, what’s your story maaaaaaaan?” she asked. “Well ya see, my dear flower child sorcerer, I gotta hankerin’ to get in on some hot workshop action. But for some stinkin’ reason not one single person has a schedule around here.” Practically ignoring every single word I said (such a silly), she just sat there in a kind of half-ass trance. “C’mon, what-do-ya-say we hold hands and run like the wind over to one right now? C’mon, you and me. Coooooooome on, know you really, really, really, really, really, really want to!” I exclaimed. “Yeaaaah, workshooooops. Are those like the New-Agey support group seminars?” she asked while still gazing at the hot swinging crystal action. “Yeah, sure basically,” was all I could come up with. (I mean heck, I dunnnnnno.) Obviously, she was way too wrapped up in this swinging rock business to even wanna go get super powers. Or even attempt to get the least bit informed about any kind of funny business stuffs. I suppose she can always ask the crystal though, right? Surely it has the answers to everything in the whoooooole wide world! Which really began to make me wonder. What on Earth could she possibly be wanting to uncover from the depths of her intuition? I bet she had raised quite the super duper inquiry indeed. Like maybe – “Will I find enlightenment this weekend?” Or maybe – “Will I have a breakthrough?” Or maybe even – “Will I poop at all this weekend?” None of the above. “I’m just tryin’ to figure out which keyboard player from Papadosio I want to bang this weekend.” Well I wasn’t expecting that one! Are you trying to make me blush here? I’m like, “Hmmmmmmmmmm…yeah, that’s a real toughie…wheeewwww!” I think it was safe to say she’d be there for a little while. Because she kept saying one name and then the other keyboarder guy’s name and there was no end in sight. After each golly heck question that pendulum just kept swinging erratically…back and forth…to and fro…and then baaaaaaack and forth…and then toooooo and froooooo again. Geez Louise, apparently even the crystal was indecisive about whom to have intercourse with! I mean, when you stop and think about things, it really was a hard decision to make. They sure do look a lot alike, ya know! And word on the street is that Papa Gino’s music does make people really happy inside. Their name really gives me the giggles too. = 0 ) Boy, it’s a good thing she had that pendulum there to help her out eventually…maybe…probably not. Because that’s a real doozey if I’ve ever come across one!
This conversation, although fascinating as all get-out, was getting me nowhere fast though. Finally, I was just like, “The heck with it, I’ll just go over to the Temple. Surely there’s something interesting going on over there!” I mean, it’s a freakin’ Temple for cryin’ out loud. How can there not be something of major importance happening there at all times of the day? If you think about it for a second, every predicament surely has gotta resolve back to there. “I need spiritual assistance” – go to the Temple. “I have no food left” – go to the Temple. “Jesus hates me” – go to the Temple. “I can’t feel my legs” – Go to the Temple. “That guy over there is face humping an inflatable T. Rex dinosaur” – Go. To. The. Temple. “I’m locked in a port-a-pottie” – GO TO THE TEMPLE. You probably get the idea now. It’s like, when in doubt, just go to the gosh darn Temple already! Well, on that note, I walked my ass over to that silly Temple. I stopped off for a smoothie first though. Then I went to the Temple. The smoothie was totally the highlight of my walk over too. It was called “Tropi-Dosio.” Get it? Ohhhhhhh, the synchronicity!
As I finally made it over to the good ole Temple (it was on the complete opposite side of the field), there was already a workshop activity in progress. Although I kind of wanted to join in and act like I knew what was going on, my smoothie was just too delicious. All the tropical fruity-ness would surely prove to be a distraction. While waiting for the class to end, I noticed a really neat chalkboard lying against the entrance. Upon further examination, it had the Temple schedule written across it in English. Taken aback by its magical forces, it made me wonder who gets to be the “chalk guy.” Surely there’s some sort of rite of passage or screening process that takes place to get that kind of festival job. You can’t just let anybody write on the chalkboard, ya know. Otherwise, you might get stuck with another penis-infinity conundrum. Can’t be havin’ anymore of that now. But on a side note, I’d say the moral of the story might’ve been this: ya know, to me, this place was one big sweaty stream of collective whatever-the-hell-was-going-on-here, which was made of a bunch of smaller, weirdo streams of weirdness that represented all these wacko weirdo’s. Some streams are much, much weirder than others, but no matter what, there’s a nice, healthy serving of the weird to go around. And then you have the song “Islands in a Stream.” It’s a highly uplifting duet/bang-out session by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. But that’s a whole ‘nother story in itself. Oh boy, was it ever! So anyways, maybe I could fit into this collective cluster-jerk by tapping into my own stream of weirdness. My own state of “flow” (whatever that means). Besides buying a fancypants scarf, I reckoned I needed to find other ways to assimilate with these Transformer peoples right quick.
Regardless of how that turned out, I figured I’d just let the magical chalkboard help guide my workshop decision. Even though I had taken a fanciful journey through the fields of Avalon, I finally knew which special sauce class I would attend. All it took was this private dick sleuther penetrating through a whole slew of fun zone sauce stuffs: a kooky information booth encounter and then an infinity sign with a “dick” on it and then an indecisive sex pendulum and then a tropical smoothie (it really was so yummy though!) and, and then a magical chalkboard to finally bring me here. Wooooo – talk about a laundry list of adventure! Yes, I was ready to plunge into the sorcerous realm of workshop defilement. I mean, evolving can’t be all that hard now…can it? I bet the teacher hands out a syllabus at the beginning of the class. Maybe some super swell jolly ranchers to boot! Whether there was an assortment of delectable candies or not, the time had come to go for it! I was ready to put on another layer of detective latex. Maybe a designer thinking cap too. Ready to get covered in filthy wisdom juices helping deliver a fat golden love child of truth into the world. So the very first-ever sweaty workshop I got all inside of was…was…oh boy…I don’t think I should tell you just yet. Oh gosh you guys, how embarrassing. I think I might have a slight case of the willies, jimmies and Stan Van Gundy hot pocket sandwiches of bashfulness and dread. I know I totally just tickled your taint with a big ole truth feather and all, but this next development definitely has waaaay too many steamy moving parts to be steaming you down with all in one filthy gazebo sitting. Besides, I’ve got yet another hot doozey of a Kanye Shart exposé burning a hole in my detective spandex that I gotta get on top of in a jiff. Gee whiz, those Kanye Sharts, just what will they think of next? You know what – don’t answer that. Ok guys, I’m all sorts of turned around right now. Until we meet again…
BE SURE TO JOIN US FOR NEXT WEEK’S BLISSFUL IDIOT EPISODE: “THE SWEATY GEOMETRY WIZARD (MY FIRST EVER WORKSHOP)”
~ Special thanks to Lovemore Creations ~