Thursday, September 17, 2009

 




Two weeks ago on September 4th, it was National Penis Day in New Zealand. The New Zealand AIDS Foundation began the event in big cities on both islands. Guys and a few ladies sympathetic to the cause (Penisettes?) gathered in public squares , striped and celebrated, climaxing (ahem) in a big sit down or stand up formation in the shape of a giant penis and testicles. A lot of fun was had by all and a great deal of attention was paid to the Foundation's goals in care and education.

Amazingly, the fabric of Kiwi society does not seem to have been rent into shreds, major societal institutions like marriage and the family remain in shockingly good condition, children haven't been rushed into emergency rooms or psychotherapy, and life goes on among a people notable for their optimism and good humor. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?


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We're leaving for the coast of Maine later this morning, visiting friends of Fritz's in Damariscotta and Bath. I doubt I'll have any internet access for the duration but the laptop goes with me anyway just in case.

We had a very optimistic Board of Directors meeting for the opera company last night in Boston. Since we don't own any space, or have a standing chorus or orchestra under contract that require ongoing payment, we're in very good condition to outlast the economic crisis. We do "guerrilla" productions; we put together a cast with a pianist or a small ensemble of instruments with a conductor, hire a director to do either an existing work or a new commission, identify a performance space suitable to the work, and I put the physical production together. We move in, do our technical and dress rehearsals, perform, then strike everything, load out and it's all over until the next time with no continuing expenses.

We've laid low for a year or so, gotten a couple of small but valuable grants so that there's some money in the bank. We're now planning to do a combination performance/fund raiser late next January or early February at a high end B&B in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood that runs a series of musical evenings not unlike the famous salons of the 19th century--except that you have to pay to get in. We'll do an auction and a pitch for donations and if all goes well, we'll probably be going into production with something this time next year.


I'll be back Saturday evening.

Comments:
This kind of exposure wont happen here. Anyway, so many days to remember. Looking at public.. they all have all the smiles, perhaps a good DAY to remember.
 
They do look amazingly happy and light hearted! Something to be said for that. Enjoy the trip.
 
National Penis Day sounds like great fun! (Those photos, though, are from a few years ago. Which doens't make them any less of a pleasure to look at!)
 
Don't they have this sort of day in Japan as well?
come to think of it, I think a lot of cultures had such days once upon a time?
 
The people with clothes on are fairly bundled up, and the naked guys look chilly, especially in the middle photo. I salute them for enduring discomfort to present their important message, and would be happy to help any of them warm up afterward.
 
Why have I never heard of National Penis Day? And more importantly, why have I never attended? Thanks for posting this, Will!
 
Ah ... a progressive society !
 
How very interesting. I can totally imagine people getting arrested here in Britain for attempting that.

Good for them.. the cause is certainly a good one.

Thanks for dropping by my blog.
 
As an employee of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, I can assure you that we have not been involved with any National Penis Day this year. We did get behind a campaign like this in about 2004 but the event died off quickly. Our current campaign is called Get it On! and you can visit the website at www.getiton.co.nz it includes a real video of how to put on a condom.
 
Thank you, Nathan for the clarification--the friend who sent me the info thought it was an ongoing event. What a great event, however, no matter how long it lasted!
 
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