This month’s theme is THRILLS & CHILLS. Here’s how I described it in the email I sent to our staff to start them brainstorming ideas:
Think Wendy Bevan’s dreary/dreamy circus photography, Diane Arbus, vintage circus posters, Las Vegas, cheesy ’70s Vegas Elvis, John Waters, Salvador Dalí, the Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus, and Taylor Swift’s RED Tour, which is all glitzy Alice in Wonderland/toy box/ballerinas/old Hollywood/circus–themed.
Basically we want this to be a fun last-hurrah-of-summer month that’s just about CRAZY SHIT THAT HAPPENS MAN. I keep a list in one of my notebooks called WONDERS OF THE WORLD and it’s all of this kinda fascinating stuff: various cults, the Brown Mountain Lights, Robert Johnson’s crossroads, JT LeRoy, the twitching girls of upstate New York, the Mississippi cheerleaders who fainted in unison in the ’50s, etc. This is about that stuff but also REAL-LIFE SMALL-TOWN STORIES. Like I have an arch nemesis and I actually find our relationship so hilarious and I would totally write about how good it is to have a “joking” hateful relationship with someone as long as you’re both egotistical enough to not actually get offended, or something. DIY ARCH NEMESIS?
Other general thoughts: Anger! Fights with friends ’n’ family! Taking risks—ones that don’t involve like PHYSICAL ACTION but feel HUGE because they indicate change (like getting into a new style of dress or a band or something), all the My So-Called Life pilot/Perks of Being a Wallflower first “bad kid” experiences, friends that are “bad influences.” The feeling when you KNOW you’re about to do something bad (suspense! thrills!) but go ahead anyways—or don’t and regret it. Realizing that it’s OK to not be WILD AND CRAZY and to not force it by acting like you are on the show Skins or something. People clutching on to that kind of play-acting as an identity because they’re worried they’re not actually interesting people or they feel like they HAVE to be “interesting” when really, you just have to be nice!
Here are notes from Anaheed:
There’s a certain specific kind of pleasure in thrillers, those stories that you are kind of cringing through because you can’t bear to go on but YOU DO. Which is not to say everything this month should be anxiety-producing & stressful—I’m thinking about it as a fun month, since everyone’s about to go back to school and get all serious again. Lots of stories about crazy shit that happened, gross-out stories, amazing feats, etc. Getting into trouble! Thrilling adventures! A lot of exclamation points!
Enjoy! And if you’re in the Los Angeles area and are looking for some THRILLS AND CHILLS this weekend, we are hosting an event with Urban Outfitters at Space 15 Twenty this Sunday from 4 to 8 PM.
Besides our usual fun zine-making, dancing, and EATING, we’ll have extra-special happenings with extra-special guests. Do you like Parks and Recreation? Saturday Night Live? Feminist punk supergroups? Then please, do join us!
Because we had maximum-capacity issues last time and had to shut it down, this event will have a different admission policy. Click here to RSVP. The first 75 people to do so are guaranteed admission and must arrive by 4 PM. After that, we’ll have general admission, but we can’t go over capacity like last time, so you gotta be fast!
Hope to see you there, and that you like this THRILLING, CHILLING month.