Hi kids! Long time no see 🙂 Sorry I have abandoned you all, but I was starting a new job and without internet and traveling around Minnesota trying to raise money for nonprofits. But I’m BACK! And with coming back, I have found a huge pile of unread blogs waiting around online. And of course with that huge pile of blogs came a huge pile of sad. There have been some crappy things happening in skeptical land while I’ve been busy with my own little corner of things.
So I thought that I would provide you with some happiness to help you get through your day. It is not skeptical, or feminist, or atheist, or sciencey. It doesn’t really have a point. It just is to be. It’s fun and goofy and joyful and random, and I hope that those are all things that we can strive to be as a movement (since we do tend to be nerds and those are the best hallmarks of nerddom).
A few weeks ago I participated in GISHWHES. What is GISHWHES you might ask? Oh my dear friend, I have tales to tell you. GISHWHES is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It is run by Misha Collins (of Supernatural fame), and consists of teams of 15 individuals (who may or may not know each other, from various countries and states) attempting to complete a list of ridiculous, joyful, and crazy tasks over the course of a week, filming or photographing themselves in the process. This year’s list included such wonderful tasks as taking 100 pictures of people hugging each other, getting Jared Padelecki to compliment Misha on twitter, donating blood while wearing a funny hat with a friend, finding an alternative use for churros, and making bear and dragon outfits out of kale.
There is pretty much nothing logical tying the tasks together, and the process of completing them is one that brings your team together, makes you want to kill each other a bit, definitely makes you want to punch Misha Collins in the face, and makes you giggle like nobody’s business. By the end of the week I was tired, wanted to spend three weeks in solitary confinement, and yet I had had more fun that week than I had for months previous.
As an introvert, many pieces of this were hard for me. Relying on others (which you absolutely have to do. There is no possible way to complete the GISHWHES tasklist alone), accepting other people’s work styles and ideas, trusting others, and going outside of my normal circle to ask people things was HARD. However as much as it pushed me outside of my comfort zone it was also kind of wonderful. You bond with your teammates, you learn things about new people, and you learn that you’re willing to do a lot for others (especially when you’re getting points for it!).
GISHWHES represents to me the kind of community and mindset that we all should strive for. It’s goofy. It does not take itself seriously. It revels in the abnormal, in the selfless, in the idea of doing something silly or out of the ordinary for the sake of finding something beautiful, different, thrilling, or inspiring. Even strangers will often take part in a bemused kind of way. It illustrates that despite all of the shitty things we do to each other, if you ask real nice most people are willing to be kind to you. And it’s also a kind of surrealist commentary on how we should treat each other and the things others do: without judgment, with sheer acceptance, and with a good dose of humor.
Perhaps we here at Skepchick should create our own silly scavenger hunt to remind ourselves of the wonderful community members we do have around us. I know we all could use a reminder of the beautiful things in life. When we are surrounded by rape allegations and harassment and anger, running around and shooting each other with squirt guns full of chocolate is sometimes the only response. In that spirit, I give you a few of the delightful things I spent my last week doing, just to brighten your day.
Here is a bigger version of the featured pic, Death By Chocolate:
And here we have the moment when two people discover each other and know they’re meant to be friends:
Teddy bear hostage situation:
And finally the greatest office trap in the world: