Last night, Switzerland's propensity for fear competitions was matched by San Francisco's desire to express some pent up RAGE, with more than twenty competition rounds involving contestants (mostly neuroscientists!) hating their bosses, project managers, and/or losing at video games.
As usual everyone had a blast letting it all out, and I don't think I've ever seen a crowd having so much fun being angry.
Will be interesting to see if future SF events are as weighted toward the IL-1 and IL-2 hypothalamus and midbrain periaqueductal gray regions..so to speak.
After a short but intense weekend round in Dumbo, and still fresh off of SXSW and CERN, my mind is a-swirl with questions about what the Arcade has been teaching us.
Why do the Swiss prefer Fear Competitions, and refuse, categorically, to engage in Lust Competitions? After three days the only Swiss who engaged in a lust competition had mistakenly thought I was offering them a "LOST" Competition...A misunderstanding I discovered when they failed to even fill the balloons an inch. This must be investigated further.
Why do so many men fear they will not be able to express any emotion? "I am completely detached from all my emotions" one man flatly stated. On the upside, he was wrong. And the rest of us are almost always are too. I was convinced I would not do well in the arcade initially myself, but I am OK at bliss competitions sometimes, it turns out.
Why do so many women choose their exes to lust over? Because it is both familiar AND a bit naughty? Ladies?
Why do so many Bliss Competition contestants choose the color green? And why do they always win? This is a strange and wonderful pattern no one would have expected!
Why are children almost completely unable to compete in rage competitions? They always want to play them, but they never fill their balloons. This is comforting of course, but makes me wonder at what precise moment a child discovers his / her rage?
Why does nearly everyone hate their boss? It is so disturbingly prevalent. I think as a society that values stability, productivity, and health, we gotta deal with this.
Why do so many men think of female genitalia during lust competitions, yet so few women think of male genitalia during the same? A disappointing data point to both genders I imagine.
Why could that one father not generate bliss for his children? Dude was trying so hard. It was hard to watch.
How come some people are so much faster at The Shikantaza Mouse Toss while other people can barely do it after 5 minutes trying?
Answers or comments if you have any!
BASEL by the NUMBERS:
ONE CONTESTANT realized she was no longer mad at her boyfriend as she failed to fill her rage balloon. (She walked out stunned, dialing her phone.)
TWO PEOPLE got very upset by the giant weather balloon suspended in the middle of the room containing the spent emotions of past contestants. ("What if it pops??" In this neighborhood!? Nahh dude! You can't just let that go! You gotta have a shaman TRANSMUTE it first!")
THREE GIRLS started imitating Spring Breakers during a Lust Competition...and the Fourth Guy's balloon started to expand.
In FOUR DAYS, ONE HUNDRED and SIXTEEN CONTESTS involving over FIVE HUNDRED CONTESTANTS had been recorded.
FIVE CONTESTANTS confessed to thinking about the GUY/GIRL next to them during lust competitions.
In Miami, SIX BIG BAGS of LOLLYPOPS cost $100.00
SEVEN CONTESTANTS thought about their HORRIBLE BOSS to win Rage Competitions.
EIGHT CONTESTANTS relived a live music experience in a Bliss Competition. (Five won)
NINE KIDS chose to think about animals in Bliss Competitions
TEN: The number of contests our amazing volunteer Ashley won. She destroyed everyone at every emotion. An EMOTIONAL ROCK STAR.