As a new faction takes shape Vicky Pea wonders what could await them and gets her hands on some of The 400’s legacy.
The last week has seen excitement and speculation about what is now being called Burn The Shard Part 1 continue to build. Details however remain unsurprisingly sparse.
Here’s what we know so far.
The event will take place between 7pm and midnight on 23rd November 2017 in London, north of the river.
The actual Shard itself is South of the river Thames, so we can rule out any activities that would require a close proximity to the building. It’s not unreasonable to think that wherever we end up, it could be within our sights though. It’s bloody 310 metres tall after all. I sure like the idea of seeing it stand out across the river as we get up to most nefarious activities. Shining and looming above all else.
Burn The Shard Part 1 will feature 99 volunteers, which will be selected in a lottery type fashion. 49 pairs of tickets to be issued to those that enter into the hat and one golden ticket. Naturally I entered immediately but it remains to be seen who will be plucked into service, or even when we may know.
The 99 chosen ones will have to bring a copy of 2023. One that they’ve preferably read as The 99 may be quizzed about the novel by the Dead Perch Menace with the threat that failure to answer any questions correctly will result in penalties. Will this DPM be the original beret wearing faux hard nuts from the Dark Ages or do new roles await us?
Lastly we’re told that on completion of all tasks The JAMs will rubber stamp the 99 copies of 2023. The mention of tasks does seem to imply we’ll be back to receiving jobs or roles once more, if we’re lucky enough to attend. And that’s about it. Except for the fact that it previously, for a brief time, read “The 99 Volunteers will be expected to break the law. Once the law has been broken The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu will stamp all the 99 copies of 2023“. Yay.
Of course, as in the lead up to the Dark Ages, 2023 pyramid imagery – not too dissimilar to the Shard – has been uncovered across the web. Photos, designs, sculptures, sketches, references, twitter accounts, blogs. If the Dark Ages taught us anything it is that much of this will mean nothing at all (remember that whole knitting thing?). Red herrings, intentional or coincidental, all add to the excitement and obsession surrounding this recent run of mischief and is often all we have to entertain ourselves between tid-bits.
However instead of waiting with bated breath, fingers hovering over train bookings hoping for a confirmation, we’ve actually been merrily distracted by a magnificent week of creativity and community resulting from the efforts of many of The 400.
— Vicky Pea (@vxpeax) November 14, 2017
Andy Gell, member of The 400 and the irresponsible fool who is essentially to blame for my Badger Kull tattoo, released Whatever, a play based on the events of Welcome To The Dark Ages that aims to imagine up a fictional behind the scenes look at events through a cast of funny and engaging characters whilst touching on synchronicities, discordianism, mortality, art and more topics that are guaranteed to appeal to its target audience. To think my journey started by picking up books some months ago and has since led through events and activities that have now produced books of their own!
The collaborative creative output of many other members of The 400 has also been complied and released as a beautifully designed zine Between The Click And The Bang, the name coming from the memorable speech by Callender and Callender during the Rites of Mumufication. I had intended to contribute myself to the zine however at the time couldn’t come up with anything new or of great substance, plus everyone’s heard enough from me, so a page and a platform for a new perspective feels like a better use. It’s all far more creative than anything I could have possibly produced.
Stamped in true JAMS fashion with its very own specially designed logo it feels exactly like what you’d hope and expect the Dark Ages to have produced. It’s not a copy, or unoriginal in any sense, it’s just distinctly inspired, which is somewhat the point after all.
And yet another product of the Dark Ages. Fantastic collaborative effort, chock fulla wonder. pic.twitter.com/BdV58cf841
— Vicky Pea (@vxpeax) November 15, 2017
The zine is perfectly formed, the design very much encapsulated the look and feel of previous events and materials. Inside the content varies from poetry, short prose, illustrations, cartoons and more totalling 37 pages of Welcome To The Dark Ages reactionary creativity.
So much is the support of The 400 and the extended group that the first edition sold out straight away and so second edition is up for sale now. Act quickly as “after that, no more, ever”. That goes for the digital files too – which is why I shall refrain from providing specific details on the contents. Buy it.
There’re are plenty of other projects in still in the pipeline too. Page owners recorded themselves reading their pages to be assembled as one. How I Died, a book of ‘deaths’, is being complied from the contributions of volunteers. Through the heroic efforts of the Facebook group and specifically Lisa Louise the names of all the page holders were eventually recorded and supplied for the paperback run of 2023. There’s a group looking to work with Oliver Senton on a 400 remix single of sorts. The wonderful Welcome To The Dark Ages website remains active and regularly updated with guest content.
I doth my cap to all of the ideas, big or small, quick or lengthy, easy or tough, completed or forgotten, that have invaded the ideaspace since the end of August. To think that some are now starting to come to fruition is joyous. They serve to prove that WTTDA did leave a lasting impression, maybe not with everyone, but with enough of us. In a way the event has given us a ready made fan base. Anything any of us puts out into the world will likely benefit from a small section of support and enthusiasm from our fellow volunteers and that is a wonderful thing. I imagine it removes some of the fear of release. Everyone is so encouraging and generous, hopefully the output continues long into the future, getting bigger, braver and more heroic every time.
While I have you I’d also like to point you towards a campaign The Florrie are currently running. As part of Jimmy Cauty’s ADP Riot Tour of America next year The Florrie want to send some Liverpool based young people along to act as representatives, providing them with valuable life skills as well as an incredible experience. If you can help, please donate to their campaign here. Thanks!
You can keep up to date with Vicky’s Journey Into The JAMS on Twitter @vxpeax
Empowering young people to be part of the ADP World Tour is an amazing and life changing experience for them. Please support if you can. Read more here: https://t.co/4S698Y4D1R pic.twitter.com/iMaj4e9eKn
— Planet Slop (@PlanetSlop) November 13, 2017