We’re All Here Because We’re Not All There

On April 1st, Fern and I joined ranks with all those idiots who came before us, by taking part in San Francisco’s modern day Feast of Fools

The 35th annual St. Stupid’s Day Parade.

IMG_5570
Remember, if you meet St. Stupid in the road, break the mirror. This outfit ended up being stupidly not stupid. Next time I’ll remember to add several dashes of mismatched awkward.

The parade is put on by The First Church of the Last Laugh, of which you are already a member. If you are human, you have the ancestral DNA of stupidity floating around inside you. So come along, what are you waiting for? For what they say is stupidly true…we have nothing to fear but fear ourselves.

You know what else is stupid? A parade in SF that actually starts on time! Can you believe it? How STUPID! But we were given some stupid pointers and we caught up with our congregation just as they were throwing confetti into an air vent above underground muni.

960x595
(via)

We were just in time for the parade’s rest stop, and were able to take in some of our surroundings.

IMG_5585
The march took place in the business district of SF, right at lunchtime. As a crowd gathered around, parade goers began chanting Go back to work! Go back to work! In the morning I now chant to Fern Go back to sleep. Go back to sleep.

IMG_5586

IMG_5574

IMG_5592

IMG_5591

IMG_5576

IMG_5589

IMG_5599

IMG_5593

IMG_5598

IMG_5597

IMG_5580

The parade route visits several fine financial institutions, and ancient secret rituals are done at each one.

Like the sock exchange and the old Pacific Stock Exchange.

IMG_5608

IMG_5603
Socks up!

IMG_5615
That little sock you see in Fern’s hands is the one we brought to exchange. But after we tossed it, she began crying I want my kitty sock back! I want my kitty sock baaaaack!

We were standing right next to these two gals…

IMG_5614

And they hunted through the crowd until they finally found her sock! Thank you!

Then it was on to the sculpture of the Banker’s Heart, where we threw pennies. Bishop Joey (founder of the parade and SF Mime Troupe member) led us in a prayer, “To the international bankers, thank you for everything you are doing to us…”

IMG_5622

Speaking of leaders, Wavy Gravy was at the front of the procession at street level. The King of Holy Fools.

IMG_5618


He’s wonderful. I hope he’s still kicking when Fern is old enough to go to Camp Winnarainbow.

The truck Wavy was riding in was toting Fern’s three new best friends.

IMG_5629

Fern is now obsessed with the Doggie Diner mascots, and we’ve spent the last two days looking up pictures and reading up on their history. The Doggie Diner was a local fast food chain owned by Al Ross that operated from 1949 to 1986. The heads are beloved by residents who grew up in the Bay Area, and when the restaurants began to shut down or were demolished, fans rallied to save the daschund noggins. At one time they were owned by John Law, one of the three original Burning Man founders. I’m not sure what the deal with them is now, but I often see them around at Bay Area events.

They even have their very own documentary.

Here are some other photos from Sf Weekly and Hanna Quevedo.

8695159.87

8695151.87

8695153.87
Our one time illustrious mayor to be, Chicken John.

8695169.87

The parade wound down at Justin Herman Plaza, and the sculpture, this time running with water, much to Fern’s delight.

IMG_5642

IMG_5634

IMG_5635

Beyond being given freedom to celebrate my very own stupidity without having to apologize for it, I was also infused by the good company of fools around me. I saw a lot of folks that I haven’t seen in years, familiar faces that used to be at events I went to prior to 2004 or so. They were the folks I played with at Burning Man, the people I was always pleased to see at rallies. And the average age was 40 and up. I have wondered, frequently, what has changed in the subculture scene since then. After Monday, I was able to put my finger on it. My fellow fools were just that…peeps unafraid to poke fun at themselves. Performance artists who are clowns at heart, and who just aren’t too cool for school. I eventually stopped going to “subculture” events because everyone began to take themselves so seriously, becoming obsessed with glamor, hippy couture, and who-knows-who. I have missed the sacred irreverence, so Monday was re-unifying for me.

Perhaps the best of all, was to be taking place in a march that 1. Was FUN and 2. Was political without being filled with angst or righteous anger. Like the true role of The Fool, participants were able to say and demonstrate the truth directly and close up. A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. So if you’re going to greet President Obama tonight, maybe you can convince him to stop the Tar Sands if you dump a jar of molasses over yourself and run around sticking it to everyone.

But nah…that would just be STUPID.

(Pssst.)

8 thoughts on “We’re All Here Because We’re Not All There

  1. Camp Winnarainbow looks AWESOME! i’d love for my children to attend something like that. And as for the parade….hot damn your city knows how to party.

  2. Looks like fun! I was stupid in a different way and didn’t do anything to mark April fools day đŸ˜¦ I stupidly spent it stressing myself out getting my kids birthday party prepped! Devo did prank my sister by ‘accidently’ texting her about the stripper I have booked for her Hen (bachelorette) party! (not really)

  3. I feel an overwhelming need to come join in this celebration. I guess its my growing up at the Oregon Country Fair, but I love an eclectic celebration!

  4. oh my, this is fantastic.
    these photos have me chuckling away.

    i wonder why my town isn’t swinging enough to admit that it is, indeed, very stupid?

    i needed an education about wavy gravy.
    thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s