Just back from San Francisco for the wedding of Paul and Hilary I found a few ideas worthy of pulling me out of my blogging slump. The first is obviously the wedding. It all went down in the Presidio on a beautifully clear July day. The whole weekend was a unprecedented success for which the couple deserves much of the credit.
The second thing to really capture my attention is a far more public matter to which I can provide more information. On Sunday during some free time I wandered down to Dolores Park with Lauren and Peter. We found great people watching and were content to just pick a spot on the side of a hill and relax for an hour but as we entered the park a gathering on the far side caught our eye. At first glance we thought it was a fight or maybe some performance art. We could see one man on stilts but no juggling and so we decided to go have a look for ourselves.
We found that many of the people were dressed in cardboard armor adorned with superhero logos or medieval flavor. In the center of the circle were two children doing battle with swords which were actually the remains of a roll of wrapping paper. It was a tournament that we watched in it’s entirety. Then, when we thought we could get on with our frisbeeing and people watching, the whole thing was taken up a level. Adults with wristbands of different colors were allowed to get their own tubes and do some battle and eventually the sides formed at opposite ends of the field to do Braveheart-style battle. We were standing near the person who took this video. Notice the guy in battle garb (red plume) riding a play horse. He was on the team at the far end and flanked the charging team to appear right behind them, wonderful strategy.
Looking into this further I found that what we witnessed has happened before in Seattle and Sydney and is called the Cardboard Tube Fighting League. Interesting enough. What I was surprised to find out was that there is a formal declaration of war from the Government of Box Wars against the CTFL.
Declaring that a state of war exists between the Government of Box Wars and the government and the people of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League and making provision to prosecute the same.
Whereas the Government of Box Wars has formally declared war against the government and the people of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League:
Therefore, be it Resolved by the Representatives of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League, that the state of war between the Cardboard Tube Fighting League and the Government of Box Wars which has thus been thrust upon the Cardboard Tube Fighting League is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League to carry on war against the Government of Box Wars; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Cardboard Tube Fighting League.
This group also meets in Dolores Park but appears to be less formal with fewer rules. Box Wars sells itself as an art movement or an edgy-eco-sensitive motivation to recycle. Both make the point that people need to get out and have simple fun more often.
I did find some LARP in Atlanta called Nero, but it looks a little too scripted. Until my next trip to San Francisco I’ll be waiting for the CTFL or another classically quirky phenomenon to make its way to Atlanta and wishing I had the energy to make it happen here sooner rather than later.