Oratory Pleasure
Hot Damn Node Slam

In the past six months, I've met almost a hundred noders. For every one of them there's something of a contrast between the way they speak and the way they write, despite any comforting similarities. This is especially true for the people I knew in real life before they became noders--this site opened up their minds to me in a way that no amount of hanging out and talking ever could.

What I propose is this: I want to combine your two voices. I want to hear you read your work ALOUD.

I'm thinking Friday, July 5, early afternoon, outdoors, on the grass. It'd be nice if we could be in a circle, in clumps, and not have to resort to the traditional one-in-front-of-many classroom atmosphere. Want to get involved? This is how it's going to work.


/msg me and tell me you want in. I will add your name to this node. No one will be forced to participate. Although there are many of you who I will pester relentlessly, because I really want to hear you do this.


Go through your own stuff and pick FIVE nodes, no more, no less, which you wouldn't mind reading aloud, and /msg me with the hardlinked titles. I will then add those to this node, under your name. I'm letting you pick the five because I don't want anyone hearing anything you're not comfortable with. We all know how we sometimes let the silence of this site pass for privacy. You have until 00:00:00 server time, June 26, 2002.


Now this is the fun part. You do not get to choose which of the five gets read. WE do. Voting is open to everyone on the site, not just those fortunate enough to be able to attend Hot Damn 2. You have until 00:00:00 server time, July 3, 2002 to pick one of the five for everyone and /msg me with your selection. (For convenience, you can refer to the number 1 through 5 rather than typing the whole node title.) I should have the results posted a few hours after that. Obviously, you should wait to vote until the 26th, when all the options are up.

Q: What type of nodes should I pick?

A: ANYTHING. Poetry, prose, factuals, daylogs, even reviews of other texts are fine, as long as YOU wrote it. No public domain stuff or other people's lyrics. I mean, come on.

Q: What if we want to hear something by a specific author, but they didn't nominate it?

A: /msg the author, tell them you're a fan of the piece, and try to change their mind. You have until the deadline. Do not /msg me about this difficulty. I will say tough noogies.

Q: I use pipelinks to give my work added depth. How will this be accounted for verbally?

A: I am not going to sit there flashing an index card for every word of hypertext. You're just going to have to pick pieces that are strong enough at the two-dimensional surface level. Sorry.

Q: Should we pick pieces with high reps?

A: NO. Whether a node has been voted up or down should not and will not influence this in any way, except for this: If you think a quality node of yours has been neglected, maybe you wanna offer it up.

With that as a blunt segue, I give you my five nominations. I am not so cruel as to do anything to you kind people I would not do to myself. Am I scared of reading this stuff in front of you guys, who I consider amazing? HELLS YES. However, I hope you'll be scared too and that way if the fear doesn't cancel out at least it means we share something.

21 slammin' noders!

  1. the last (and best) day of high school *
  2. CHINA CLIPPER CALLING ALAMEDA: Opera, Britney, and a really big snake
  3. September 12, 2001
  4. Dream Log: December 30, 2001 #
  5. Bon Voyage Monsieur DJ


  1. the mama and the dancing girl, unfurling
  2. punk as shit like a motherfucker
  3. my stuff is everything and baby can't touch my stuff
  4. I pray to God I can find the other sock *
  5. The Vagina Monologues


  1. the casino om *
  2. Bleecker Street #
  3. Shane MacGowan
  4. Great Wall of China

--Lucy-S (was not present during either session)

  1. A Preference For Silence
  2. Permian Basin Blues
  3. How to Bless a Seismograph
  4. ocean
  5. Darwin's Children


  1. How to begin poetry
  2. The Infamous Bell Tower Prank of 1996
  3. Tourist Children's Souls Taste Better
  4. Jurph Should Not be allowed to play with fireworks *
  5. Grapefruit Moonshine Beer Explosion

--jasonm (was not present during either session)

  1. sometimes, all you can do is be a friend
  2. Bumper Stickers about Kids who Beat Up Honor Students
  3. why I stopped eating plums
  4. Don't lie. Ever.
  5. Night Shivers


  1. A song in fear
  2. Fritz
  3. Rules of Recreational Trespassing
  4. We knew there would be kissing, and breasts
  5. It's always a good idea to tell people you love them if you do *


  1. My first comet
  2. it's a sin this not being ready, this not being up to it #
  3. onion skins and garlic shells
  4. put your hand here
  5. the rain that came today


  1. Courting the Killer
  2. Followed shortly thereafter by "Sleeping With The Enemy" *
  3. A Lazy Night with the Big Bad Wolf
  4. Baseball Bats and Bloody Knuckles
  5. Dead people don't knock

--Segnbora-t (unfortunately could not attend)

  1. pedophilia
  2. having an S on a transcript rather than a B
  3. slave housing in the American South
  4. Peter the Great
  5. A Doll Like Me


  1. Turkish numbers and counting
  2. I was a chess piece
  3. Flawed evolutions of a middle school kid *
  4. Turkish Curses #
  5. Garbage (by junkets) #


  1. 32 Valentines
  2. I will show you fear in a handful of ducks
  3. Testing the Infinite Monkeys Theorem
  4. Dog look of curiosity #
  5. Righteous Cable Guy Vengeance *

--Strong Bow79 (unfortunately could not attend)

  1. The room is full of smoke and dialogue I know by heart
  2. The dream is always the same...
  3. The popsicle house
  4. January 30, 2002
  5. September 27, 2001


  1. some people break so easily
  2. Hello broken thing, may I sketch your smash pattern?
  3. The kinds of friends that books could never be *
  4. Tunnel in the Key of G
  5. a little bit of sweet, a little bit of poison

--karmaflux (unfortunately could not attend)

  1. Why we long to be American
  2. The Rudest Way Anyone Ever Hit on You
  3. the Perry scale of intellectual and ethical development
  4. seagull on a stick
  5. I'm Changing the Climate! Ask Me How


  1. April 15, 2002
  2. Yak Butter Tea
  3. Going To The Sun Road *
  4. Nuremberg Chronicle
  5. October 7, 2001


  1. Can i get a sketch?
  2. A Train
  3. I♥NY *
  4. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
  5. Governors Island


  1. How to use an escalator in a wheelchair
  2. Thanks Playboy!: A meeting of two noders *
  3. Disabled but able to rock
  4. Strange things homeless people (urban outdoorsmen) have said to me.
  5. Why Georgia


  1. 15 Shot, 8 Dead in Texas Shooting
  2. God's will v. God's plan
  3. Everything is a Family *
  4. Judge not, lest ye be judged
  5. Old Testament law doesn't apply to Christians


  1. scientific research is a felony *
  2. February 1, 2002
  3. Mumia Abu-Jamal
  4. Molecular Biology of HIV
  5. Mind's Eye Theatre


  1. lifeboat exercises
  2. body shot
  3. what happens if my mom finds e2 *
  4. This faceless idiot, the long-haired, peace lovin' hippie boy
  5. parallel parking

--Chihuahua Grub

  1. full release diet soda *


  1. time machine *


  1. Dear Willa (from Portland) #
  2. forgotten letter #


  1. The drummer always gets laid #


  1. Voices of Old People #

--Transitional Man

  1. wife acceptance factor #


  1. i hate yuppies poem 138 #
  2. bisexual adolescent eskimo #


  1. october 8, 2001 #
  2. the true ending to the empire strikes back # (read with Gamaliel)


  1. March 31, 2001 #


  1. Don't misunderstand this one, it was like palm against palm through a window #


  1. June 20, 2002 #


  1. Dream Log: November 13, 2001 #

UPDATE 6/26/02


No, I don't mean voting this node up or down. I don't care about that. I mean it's time for YOU to read all the nodes below and /msg me with which ones you want the authors to read.

Keep in mind the best choice for oration may not be your favorite of the five; in other words, these works will play very differently spoken to an audience. Take advantage of that.

And, let me repeat, voting is not limited to the authors or attendees of HD2. ALL noders are welcome to pick, so that the community is behind this as much as possible. You can EVEN vote for yourself. Dig my mad democracy skillz.

TO MAKE IT QUICKER you can just refer to the number. Fer instance:

/msg Walter Walter 1 witchiepoo 2 QXZ 4

...etc., etc.

UPDATE 7/14/02

* = nodes read during session 1, Friday afternoon, front lawn

# = nodes read during session 2, Saturday night, back stoop

First off, I want to apologize to Lucy-S and jasonm for slamming while they weren't around. I blame it on my lack of organization. I owe them.

Next, I need to give a big thank you to everyone who attended Hot Damn 2. You were all exceptionally well behaved and attentive as an audience. I want to say I was surprised, but really I wasn't, because I had seen it happen in Boston. What did surprise me was the size of the audience. I figured non-readers wouldn't be interested in the event, but boy, were they.

The best example of how successful this was is that lots of others who hadn't gone through the "official" channels wanted to join in, and some authors (even ones who got highly nervous, like me) read twice.

Toward the end of the second session, a few things were revealed that I personally wish had not been. I don't want to disparage any of the readers, because I consider them all my friends. But I ended up being very glad that I came up with the voting-for-nodes idea (which had by then been discarded). In a way, it made the difference between scanning the C!ed wus list and the New wus list. Not so much an assurance of quality as a guarantee of material that others would find interesting.

Several readers said they wished they had selected different material of theirs that better emphasized the oratory element. It's definitely tough to know what aspects of your written work will be unwittingly amplified and downplayed by speech. I figured the learning curve on this one would be a lot higher, but we all made out smashingly. Plenty of laughter and a few tears. And we were all able to switch gears from any mood to any other with no difficulties.

I had expected this to be something new, a sort of combination of noder and node to create a super-interactive E2 experience. It struck me immediately, though, that it was instead a reductive exercise. No hiding behind "Wanna beer?" or "Let's go to the movies" or "Gee you're cute". I was reminded of how we met in the first place. It was not the simple coinicidence of proximity. It was the fact that we all have shit to say, and are all respectful listeners. I got that spark again that I first got a year ago when I was combing through the site and said to myself, "Hey, these people are actually good." And best of all, teaching each other about who we were as noders helped us all connect as friends.

Now. As for The Future. Plenty of folks said they would like to see this happen again, and I'm all for that. I personally do not want to be the one to run it, though. This is not because I'm lazy or it was a negative experience. It's because I want to see how a different chef would cook this up. (Feel free to use any of my ideas or ignore them.) And also because I can't make it to absolutely every gathering, as much as I'd like.

Once again, thank you all. Special thanks to zot-fot-piq, who loved the idea so much he taped all of session 1 (minus Jurph), and thanked me about sixty times. You're welcome, all of you. You made it happen. You are the brave ones.


I keep telling myself I won't do these. But I keep needing to say things. So I'll just have to suck it up and betray myself.

I am going to be the angsty boy who disagrees. I am going to rain on your parade. I'm sorry. This is important.

Did I have a good time? Oh God, yes. Too good. 4 am Sunday morning. Too many goodbyes at once. I nearly broke down in the fucking parking lot. Hurry up, Josh, find the keys. I can't hold this sob in much longer. Far cry from the teen who couldn't cry for seven years.

Once the sunlight came around, a lot more people woke up than said they would, and everyone was grinning again. We knew this was the Bonus Round, the extra time. Can't afford not to enjoy it. And then, more quality hugs from the same folk. Get some milkshakes and hop on the interstate. Hey, listen to that! We still remember how to belly laugh! Rockin'.

But then an awful realization sunk in. I was driving all day away from people it took me a miracle to find. And my mind was filled with THIS IS FUCKED in letters so huge I couldn't even read. Eight hours of shotgun daylight, useless to me. Tomorrow I'll wake up in my lonely bedroom. Tomorrow I'll be at work. Tomorrow these faces and voices will have faded. Time for the pissed-off music.

What's the solution? Pitch our tents together to make the Cool Kids' Camp? I wish that would work. But even if anyone could make us fall out of love with our respective cities, I wouldn't do it. I don't want to have to worry about stupid mundane shit while you're around. I want to be able to devote all my attention to you. Full stress vacation, full mental stimulation.

So this is the math I do to stay sane. Only a few days out of the year do I get this glorious freedom. No, it's not 365. But it's a lot more than zero. And that equals I'm damned lucky.