The Rest Area Just Outside Perdition

Rest Area Ahead
“Fun Activity Break”

I’m getting closer, but I continue to drag my feet as I head toward the BIYF Binge proper. In fact, just let me pull over here and tell you how things are going on the preparations front.

I’ve received my Amazon shipment (though one item is still in transit) which means I’m essentially down to two ( ! ) missing items needed to complete the BIYF Viewing playlist. Rollerballer has generously ( ? ) offered to hook me up with these, though we’re still figuring out the logistics. I believe step one in that process is headed to Spokane as we speak. The recent additions have allowed me to update the playlist through BIYF X (2007) and gives it a current total continuous playtime of 3.2 days.

There’s couple more pieces to assembling that playlist which should provide excuses to delay a bit longer, though. The most obvious of these is that I keep thinking of things that didn’t make it on to the “entertainment” list that probably should have. You know, for posterity’s sake.

Still more exciting than that episode of Columbo.

For example, do you remember the year Rollerballer brought us all the “Shatner Shills” DVD and we watched Leonard Nimoy talk to a glowing rock?  Well, it happened. Trust me. And it’s now on the list. The more of these sorts of things I can remember, the longer I can delay actually starting the marathon. An incentive to improve my memory if ever I heard one. As always, if you think of anything that’s missing from the list just let me know in the comments below.

I also need to figure out the format I’m going to use to cover our live show/exhibits category of viewing that the linear nature of time prevents me from actually revisiting:

  • James Page Brewery Tour
  • Star Wars: The Magic of Myth Exhibit
  • Hardcover Theater: A Princess of Mars
  • Hamluke
  • The Transdimensional Couriers Union
  • Star Trek: The Exhibition

I’m pretty sure I can waste a bit of time waffling around about that. I have ideas. Yes, ideas. Let me think on that a bit more…

Finally, there are a couple things from our viewing over the years that I’m not sure still exist. But they might! And that gives me hope I can waste a little more time rounding them up. Both are not really the type of things I will be formally reviewing, but I’d like to re-examine them if possible to refresh my memory in order to write up something that might help refresh yours. I’ve already gathered up several things that fall into this category but for these last couple items I will need a little help. Or at least confirmation that nothing exists to gather and that I’ll have to rely on memories and/or rumors to fill blogspace.

This is great.
A T-shirt commemorating the 2006 Tim Anderson Experience (Plus Meat Raffle). Click on the image above for more from The Bricker and his old T-shirts.

Back in 2006, The Tim Anderson Experience (Plus Meat Raffle) occurred and at the subsequent BIYF we re-watched some highlights of the evening’s video presentation for those that were unable to attend the actual event. Does this still exist in some way that is accessible by me? On The YouTubes or something similar? My powers of Internet Searchery have failed to turn up anything. If not, that’s obviously fine. But if so, it would be a welcome addition to the marathon to break up some of the tougher-to-watch segments.

The other piece I have a question about harkens back to BIYF X in 2007. As a part of the celebrations that year we had a Top Ten BIYF Moments presentation. While I’m pretty sure that there are no video or audio resources for this (if I’m wrong, correct me), I wondered if any sort of documentation survives. Pieces of paper? Text files? Cave drawings? Anything. Again, there’s no problem if there isn’t anything. I’m just trying to be thorough. And trying to dig up things that aren’t painful to watch/contemplate to insert into the marathon. And delay starting the marathon. Always delay.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’m approaching the BIYF Binge starting line. I’ve almost got all of my ducks in a row. Unless I can find more ducks. Help me out in the comments if you can.

The Road to Hell

It really is the Devil!
“We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight.” – H. P. Lovecraft

As with any good adventure, planning and preparation are paramount. I’ve begun by gathering my supplies and charting my course. What’s particularly sad/wonderful about this specific trip is that once a small care package arrives from Amazon I will only be lacking two viewing items. Copies of the rest were already in my possession or had recently been obtained via The Internet. I suspect that’s more sad than wonderful, but doubtless the Germans have a word that means both at the same time. Or they should. Let’s call it erbärmlicheherrliche.

iTunes from Hell
If Amazon truly cared about me they wouldn’t be sending me my most recent order. Here’s a mock-up of what’s playing on iTunes in Hell.

I’ll share my playlist with you once it’s complete. At the moment it only encompasses the material from 1998 to partway through 2004, where the first (soon to be filled) gap in my viewing collection occurs. The time for uninterrupted play is already over two full days.

That is a stat I would probably be better off not knowing.

I intend to keep notes during my viewing sessions. If they prove entertaining perhaps I will photograph them and add them to the write-ups. In preparation I am developing a note-taking template to help me focus and also to keep me from just writing “God no, why did I do this?” over and over and working on my best Jack Torrance impression.

An early "Review Notes" draft...
All BIYF Viewing and no note-taking distraction makes Bill something something…

Right now the template is still embryonic, but after I shake the bugs out on a trial run or two I’ll probably post it for you in case you want to play along at home during the BIYF Binge. To be clear, I expect no one to do this. I plan to take this bullet for you.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and use a little common sense, however. When I first considered committing to this marathon I had the thought that I might try to attempt it completely sober. That thought quickly passed, but I was left with the problem that I could not hide completely behind alcohol or I would:

  • Need to enter a 12-step program of some sort before long.
  • Quickly render myself incapable of putting together any sort of coherent review.
  • Become unable to remain awake, seeking refuge from the onslaught in the welcoming arms of Morpheus. Not the one from The Matrix.

As such I will be operating under a compromise approach. I will begin each session sober, but I will be allowed one beer if the circumstances prove too punishing. In the event of a dire emergency – I’m looking at you, Cinderella 2000 – I will be allowed one mixed drink (made from the as yet unopened “Outer Space” vodka displayed at BIYF 2016) in addition to the one beer to give me a booster shot of fortitude. The catch will be that once the bottle of hard alcohol is exhausted it will not be replaced and I will have to rely on my wits and one lonely beer per session to see me through the remainder of the marathon.

My friends...
A small safety net, but will it be enough to protect me from Space Madness™?

I’m still not sure when I’ll actually start. I’d like to make sure that I have everything I’m planning to watch before I begin so that I don’t have that as a ready-made excuse to jump ship when I run into something I’m missing. I also think I’ll test drive my note-taking sheet on a couple things that are Not-of-This-BIYF to see if it will produce anything usable which will take a little time. Finding a few good and/or appropriate vodka drink recipes pre-marathon would probably be a good idea as well. Not that I’ll need them…

Am I stalling? Maybe just a little.

Tentatively I’m thinking I’ll begin no later than Memorial Day Weekend. That seems appropriate, though if everything is ready I might start earlier. On the 18th anniversary of the first BIYF ever perhaps? (1998, not 1993)

Let me know if you have suggestions (other than “For the love of all that is holy don’t do this, man!”) or comments here where “Zardoz Speaks to You” and I’ll continue to keep you apprised of any progress that occurs. Also, let me know if you have any issues with the blog logins I’ve sent out. Remember, I need to approve your first comment manually (which might take me a little bit) and then you should be able to comment with impunity.

The countdown has (not quite) begun.

Stale Hell

As we begin the trek to next year’s BIYF Festival – our 20th BIYF – it’s once again time to take a look back at both the good and the bad that have brought us to this point. To take a moment to reflect and remark on the stepping stones that have paved the way for such a landmark celebration. Ten years ago, this took the form of a good old-fashioned tournament bracket. But over the last ten years the world has changed.

Smart phones, tablets, streaming services, digital video… all this and more has led to a consumer culture that devours content at a voracious pace. Chewing up and spitting out an entire television series run over a weekend, watching all the films in a series at one sitting…


Be Foolish?
Perhaps I’ve taken BIYF XIX’s exhortation to “Be Foolish” a little too seriously…

To count down to BIYF XX (BIYF 2017, BIYF 20) I will be re-watching and reflecting on the entire BIYF viewing catalog to date. Not truly binging (I haven’t completely taken leave of my senses, honest), but I intend to get through everything one more time before we get to next year’s festival. Obviously I can’t watch the live events a second time, but I don’t plan to overlook them as I retrace our viewing history. Every year of our journey has unleashed some fresh hell upon us and I plan to find out what stale hell tastes like.

I intend on documenting this odyssey here, at the newly implemented (post apocalypse) “Zardoz Speaks to You” blog. I invite you to join me on this journey at whatever level you are willing or able to do so. Re-watching along with me (yeah, right), commenting on the posts here to add your reflections to my own, or just reading the posts and indulging in a little nostalgia quietly by yourself. Any support will be welcome. I’ll probably need it.

Details will follow over the next few weeks. There’s some logistics to figure out and honestly I need some time to work up to actually doing this. It’s daunting on a number of levels. As a first step, I’ll soon be sending out subscriber logins for this blog so that you can comment here once the posts start flowing. I also plan to link new posts in the Facebook group once the BIYF Binge begins. Not to invite comments at Facebook, but to help let folks know when a new entry appears so you can comment here. If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it here on my home turf.

Stay tuned and may Zardoz have mercy on my soul…