Since I technically started the BIYF Binge yesterday and the first post from that will happen within the next couple days, this will be the last “Pre-Binge” post and it will be brief.
The master playlist is nearly complete. I’ve mocked up and inserted the one missing item in this screenshot and added signposts for the 6 “live action” events and the 2 “Zardoz has no reference material for this event” events (“The Tim Anderson Experience” Video [Excerpts] and the “Top Ten BIYF Moments” presentation). The list would take 6.9 days to run non-stop, end-to-end.
So, if you look to the right of this post you’ll see that I’ve set a start date for the BIYF Binge. That date is next Monday.
Memorial Day 2016. An appropriate, BIYF-y date.
Following a flurry of posts two weeks ago, I’ve gone to silent running as the nuts-and-bolts reality of the Binge has begun to sink in. I’ve been busy behind the scenes trying to lay the groundwork for (at least initial) success with this project whose scope is actually quite daunting when you start doing the math. I hope I can rely on your patience, understanding and support along the way. It’s a little terrifying and not just because of what I’ll have to watch.
I hope to re-watch as many items as possible from the last 19 BIYF Festivals within a one year span and write something about each of them in a timely fashion. That works out to at least one post every 2-3 days. And I hope to write at least marginally entertaining posts. And brevity is not always something at which I excel. Nor are complete sentences.
Plus, that “at least marginally entertaining” part means I’ll need to spend some time gathering/preparing visual materials to enhance my prose and some more time doing homework to get my facts straight. Or mostly straight. For every post. Daunting. Terrifying.
And ultimately low-stakes in the grand scheme of things, I know. Still, it’s something I’d like to do for us in this landmark year leading up to BIYF XX. Hopefully it will be something you enjoy. Hopefully it will be something I live through.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what will be a suitable model I can use for these posts. In a perfect world I’d like to post a legitimate, stands-on-its-own, readable-by-the-non-BIYF-masses review for each each item. There’s a couple problems with that idea.
First, there’s no way I will be able to sustain that over the timeframe I have and still work a job and live a life. It’s just not a reasonable goal at the pace of a post every 2 or 3 days. That way lies madness, homelessness, starvation, and divorce.
Second, there’s already a ton of reviews of almost everything we’ve watched out there on The Internet just waiting to be found and consumed. While I’d like to think I could produce the ultimate review of the items in our catalog, a lot of the stuff that already exists is really pretty good. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just link to it instead?
Which brings me to my revised, grounded-in-reality goal. Since this whole endeavor is honestly just a nostalgia-based exercise, all I really hope to do is remind you that each of these things on our list exists and that we watched (or in some cases did) them. I’ll try to do this in an entertaining fashion. I’ll provide some facts, some images, some links, some commentary, and whenever possible I’ll attempt to integrate some part of our BIYF history into the narrative. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I think this is at least within the realm of the possible.
I hope the “BIYF history” that makes its way into these posts is a shared one, just as the events that produced it have been. I’ll give you my two-cents-worth here, but my best-case-scenario is that you’ll also share your thoughts and memories in the comments. That way, when I work on v2.0 after the Binge (the “permanent” version) it won’t just be a record of my thoughts, but ours.
Thanks in advance for any help you’re able to offer/memories you’re able to add and let me know if you need any help with blog logins or technical issues. I’ve almost accepted my fate and the BIYF Binge will begin shortly.
Quite easy, especially since I’m planning on limited consumption during the viewing. Hmm… maybe my “One Beer Per Session” should always be a large bottle…
Plus, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on selecting beer over the years. At least at selecting it for me.
Not so much. Also, outside the scope of this experiment.
Man, I haven’t really spent any substantial time with hard alcohol since college and back then it was not a relationship founded on quality. Which means I’ve had to do a little research because my “In Case of Dire Emergency Where One Beer Will Not Be Enough” plan involves mixing a drink using my as-yet-unopened Outer Space vodka. A single drink, to supplement the single beer per session if needed. It sounds so inadequate when I say it aloud.
If the price is any indication (and I’m going to pretend it is, even if it isn’t), the Outer Space vodka should at least be a decent base to work from for a mixed drink. But what mixed drinks should I mix? Fortunately, The Internet is always willing to help:
The Drunken Moogle looks like it will provide me with a good starting point when needed. I can search by an ingredient (such as vodka) and there’s a decent selection of genre-inspired drinks to choose from.
Based on a very brief search, I don’t think I’ll lack for other resources if this one eventually fails me. So many choices.
I’m hoping I won’t have to resort mixing drinks too frequently anyway. I have to ration my supply and save it up for those really challenging slogs later in the marathon. After all, there’s only the one bottle of Outer Space vodka in the house and once it’s gone, it’s gone. It will not be refilled/replaced during the marathon. I’m thinking of it as an emergency health/mana potion.
If you have any favorite vodka drinks that you think should be in my arsenal for this undertaking, please let me know in the comments section. And hurry! I’m running out of delaying tactics and may actually have to start watching things soon!
Well, I was asking for help in delaying the start of the BIYF Binge and The Internet obliged. It was most likely a bot (and not a hot, yet scruffy-looking, Romulan/Vulcan-cosplay-esque “hacker”) that latched onto a vulnerability in an old, unused, and unupdated WordPress installation and uploaded a bunch of crap to the server. It may have been something else entirely, but either way it was invasive enough that I think nuking everything from orbit was the safest and easiest course of action. Really, it’s the only way to be sure. Plus, delay delay delay!
Also, now I can slowly bring back old things and call them NEW again.
And I can post them behind the “member” login off the front page of BIYF.com as I bring them back to screen out search engines and nosy, but lazy, uninvited visitors. If you don’t remember the casual, not-highly-secure screener login to BIYF.com just let me know.
And I can consolidate everything down into a single hosting plan to save a few strips of gold-pressed latinum ever year. It’s been scattered over two plans for many years now for no good reason beyond me not wanting to rewire everything at the site. This is no longer an issue holding me back…
But that’s the future, we’re still in the now! And right now I’m still waiting for a couple last video items (on their way from Rollerballer) and I’m still hoping against hope to find out if any reference materials still exist from the 2006 “The Tim Anderson Experience” video or the 2007 “Top Ten BIYF Moments” presentation. Any news about those last two will be welcome, even if it’s “Nope, all materials pertaining to these two BIYF Viewing Moments have been destroyed to prevent them falling into the wrong hands. Hands such as yours…”
Hopefully I’ll have everything I need and know everything I need to know before Memorial Day Weekend, my tentative start date for the BIYF Binge. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
As mentioned repeatedly in several different venues, all logins for the new blog have been created and sent out. As before, please feel free to change your passwords to your liking. Also, please remember that I’ll have to manually approve your first comment and then you should be able to post comments at will after that.
I’ve been tweaking the layout of the new blog and will likely continue do so. If you’re reading this you’ve probably noticed, but in case you haven’t (or you’re viewing this on a smaller screen) here’s an image that highlights a few of the tweaks currently in place:
It’s good to be back up and running and I’m actually looking forward to doing more stuff here. Honest and for true. I’m amazed I’ve managed to eek out as many posts “about” the BIYF Binge as I have without actually being forced to start the BIYF Binge. Here’s hoping I can keep my streak going and stall for a bit longer!
Thanks again for your patience through this and I look forward to hearing your thoughts here. Once I give you some actual content instead of marking time, of course…
Or if you happen to have any information about the 2006 “The Tim Anderson Experience” video or the 2007 “Top Ten BIYF Moments” presentation…
Addendum (5/11/16): I just noticed the bit pictured to the right doesn’t show up for me when I’m logged in (as I was for the screenshot above). Since it’s not pictured there, I’ll point it out here.
Normally, this is found in the upper part of the left column (above the BIYF Viewing History) and it provides a way to sign up and be notified by email when new stuff is posted here. This may or may not be of interest to you. I’m curious what it looks like for you guys when you’re logged in, but not so curious that I can be bothered to log in as one of you and look. I just wanted you to know it exists.
Well, I’ve nearly made it to the Abyss and I’m prepared for a lot of screaming once I take the plunge. Fortunately, there’s still a bit of delaying to be had. Some of it isn’t even of my doing! But most of it is.
I’ve connected with Rollerballer and I think we’ve got a plan worked out to get me the items I need from him. There’ll be a short delay on this, but I believe I’ll have them before long. I’ve poked the bear (or guy-in-a-bear-suit?) a coupletimes regarding the two viewing items that I’m not sure still exist in any form. No responses yet, but I’ll keep poking until I find out more or it wakes up and mauls me. Either is acceptable. My money is on “I’m waiting for information about this topic” being the best delaying tactic available to my arsenal. Don’t let me down!
Even the American minimum wage workforce has pitched in to help delay things for me. The last item I was waiting to receive from Amazon (well, technically an Amazon partner business) was a used copy of the non-special edition version of “Free Enterprise.” Yep, not only am I going to watch “Free Enterprise” twice, I’m going to watch both versions just as we did at BIYF. This may seem silly but remember, “Free Enterprise” is a very watchable film unlike so many other things on the viewing list… The package arrived on Friday and I opened it to discover this:
In case it isn’t obvious, that is not “Free Enterprise.” I honestly don’t know what it is. It is so low budget, “indie,” direct-to-VHS, and off-the-radar that no one has even bothered to put a plot description into IMDB for it. There is a description on the back of the very “I made this artwork myself using Microsoft Paint!” packaging, however:
A brief scan of the film (not actually watching it) suggests that invoking things like “Alice in Wonderland,” Howard Hawks, psychedelic, and David Lynch in the description may be overselling things a bit. Quite a bit.
To their credit, the vendor immediately refunded my entire purchase and included this delightful endorsement of the product I had mistakenly received:
“Regarding the item(s) in question, please dispose of it as you see fit – there is no need to return it.”
Overall no-harm-no-foul, but in the end I still need a copy of the basic, no-frills edition of “Free Enterprise.” It has been re-ordered from a different used-video supplier and should arrive in a few days.
The only other news from this week is that I tried out my note-taking sheet by reviewing 1989’s “Millennium” starring Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd. While I don’t think I’ll actually bother writing up a review for this (there’ll be plenty of that sort of thing headed my way), I am fairly confident I would have enough material from my notes to do so. I’ll probably try it out one more time (“Pathfinder” 2007, starring Karl Urban, Clancy Brown, and Moon Bloodgood perhaps?) before I finally get things started.
If you have any thoughts on any of this, have any materials/know anything about the Tim Anderson Experience video or BIYF Top Ten List, would really like us to watch “Rebellious” at an upcoming BIYF Festival, or think I’m being lazy and should write a review for “Millennium” and/or “Pathfinder,” just let me know in the comments below. I’ll keep knocking out a post a week here until the BIYF Binge actually begins and everything goes to hell.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 BIYF.com 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.