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Grove 24

Poster for Bear Nuked 2024

Bear Nuked was the theme for the 2024 Grove Gathering.

Bear Nuked 2024 report submitted by attendees of the Grove Gathering 2024: Bear Nuked. Note that it is common to use Discordian, Pagan, Jesusian, Pastafarian, SubGenius, Grover, or other alternate names for the Gatherings. Some attendees had more than one known alias, but used still another for this event.

The eighth Gathering at the Grove was held from June 7 - 9, 2024, at Eight Eels Ranch (try to find that name on a map). The theme was "Bear Nuked." Attendees included at least one member of early Discordians, original Ĕk-sĕn-trĭks Cluborguild, original Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild, original Discordian Cyberspace Masquerade, and the Church of the SubGenius revival/original X-Day saucer seekers.

A total of 90 people attended at least part of the event. Admittance was by invitation only. That's not including bears named Teddy. Or radioactive ants.

Thursday[]

Masha and the Bear Belly

Bears and friends go nuclear

This pre-event day was a time for Eight Eels Ranch Hands (whoever showed up to help) to set up the main pavillion and porta potties. And pull prickly weeds. And put down powerful nuclear bears. (Setter uppers learned nuclear bears do do their duty in the woods. So do popes.) The main path from the road to the event site had already been cleared, and fortunately wasn't as muddy as it had been before.

And after the set up, many of the setter-uppers got "bear nuked." (No members of The Upright Members of The Upstanding Proper Society (TUMTUPS) were present to object.)

Friday[]

The kiss

Kissing was allowed with a permit (Cloved Lemon)

G'joob

Bishop Bangkok aka Governor G'joob aka Mounty Zebra was remembered

Bear Nuked had more open admission than previous gatherings, but cautions were still taken. Weapons and cell phones had to either be turned in during the event or remain in a vehicle. (Except for the "Zookeepers," Biker Bear and Glow Gun, who carried phones in case of emergency.) For privacy, cell phones could not be used on site to avoid unauthorized photography. Attire rules were strictly non-sexist and non-ageist. The event in general followed the principle, "If if harms none, do as thou wilt."

The troll booth (admission booth) was run by Luna Nukie with help from official attendance keeper Shamlicht Al. Recommended donation was $24.24. Payment was not required, and some who could afford more paid to support those who could not. Essentials (water, sunscreen, etc.) were sold at cost. There was also some home-bottled water using recycled containers available for free. Teddy bears were sold for profit. Nuclear weapons were not for sale and were not allowed on site. Although Little Boy and Fat Man were allowed.

There were lifeguards to keep an eye on the swimmers. But nobody was in charge of the Cloved Lemon Kissing Game which was played throughout.

As happened previously, Hyperboar and Gypsie Skripto led the opening ceremonies. Boss Man was in charge of everything. Except for the fire pit handled by Fire Bear and Nuclear Kindle.

And the nuclear weapons (handled by security). And the bears (on their own).

This event also had a serious side. The ashes of the late Bishop Bangkok, former Shamlicht Kids Club leader, were scattered on site. Bangkok was know to, and honored by, several of the people there.

Songs were performed by attendees and the band Bearozap. The band had members who looked a whole lot like the members of last year's band Critters of Passion. (And the band under still another name reportedly recently released their first album. But that's a rumor, so don't spread it.)

Songs included "Nuclear War" and "The Bare Necessities".

Saturday[]

Discordian cyberspace masquerade

Poster for the original Discordian Cyberspace Masquerade of 2008

Saturday's events included the artful Dress Up Teddy led by Gypsie Skripto, and the playful Teddy Bear tag led by Tibi Blue Bear and Sunsit.

There was also In Their Bearginning. This featured people who were original or early members of important groups. These were:

  • Gypsie Skripto (early Discordian)
  • Alien, Moondancer, and Prudence (founding members of the Ĕk-sĕn-trĭks Cluborguild)
  • Sherman Pinkerton and Porphyrogenitus (members of the Church of the SubGenius from the early years of the SubGenius Foundation who also attended the first X-Day)
  • Sheered Völva (founding member of the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild)
  • Anonymous Lifeform (participant in the original Discordian Cyberspace Masquerade)

Then there was Grin and Bear It: Nuke Leer War lead by Gypsie Skripto, along with the three-persons-per-team Scavenger Hunt to find Goldilocks led by Eris la Douche and Earth Bear.

Bearozap performed songs from their recently released first album (which used a different name for the band.)

Sunday[]

Brunswick shrine-friendly hills bowl

Can't we all just get along and be friendly?

Nuke Dead Trees

Nuke dead bare trees! (Dead tree that was removed before the event)

A service was led by the Discordian Sheered Völva and the SubGenius Sherman Pinkerton. They talked about the insults, implications, and infighting that are all too common in modern day Discordian and SubGenius circles. The catch phrase was, "Can't we all just get along?" Then they and nuclear family members exchanged bear hugs and paw kisses.

As today was Head-Tail/Tail-Head Day (in some time zones), many attendees made decisions by flipping a coin. And some did things upside down. Or left side up.

As today was Hat Day (in some other time zones), music included "You Can Leave Your Hat On." And, in contradiction, there was "Safety Dance" which was originally performed by Men Without Hats. (On a side note, as a child Sheered Völva had been on location when the video was filmed for the latter song,)

Awards were given with a ceremony led by Lady Tail. Awards were:

  • Farthest Outest (those who traveled the furthest): Sheered Völva, Ms. Monkey Candy, Puffletoes Twinkleton, Wunderkätzchen, Cobbraven, Erisian Kitten
  • Weird Dancing Award: Epuort Ecnad Naidrocsid (backwards dancers, sometimes upside down)
  • Bearly Remember Those Daze Award: Those listed in "Their Bearginning"
  • Boo-Boo Prize: Fire Bear (for something too embarrassing to list here. Or em-bare-assing)
  • Best Bear Artist: Doctor Banana Breaker
  • Best Bear Canvas: Hall Footer
  • Theme for 2025: "Minnie Rock Grove" suggested by Alien and Biker Bear

The event ended with a nuclear bear explosion. (Some who have no imagination might call it watching a painting of a bear on a shooting bottle rocket.)

Theme[]

Bear nuked by Doug Minkler

25th anniversary (almost) of Bear Nuked

The theme has an obviously Discordian connotation. Switch the letters of the first word to form another word that sounds like "bear." And turn the "u" in "Nuked" upside down then put a horizontal line through it. That connects to the three bar* chested nu***** mothers at the 2023 gathering,

The name was also inspired by:

  1. The 5th anniversary of the founding of the Shamlicht Kids Club Nest Roving Bear
  2. The 25th anniversary of the television program Mr. Bear's Cellar and the (almost) 25th anniversary of "Bear Nuked" by Traci Hukill
  3. The 50th anniversary of the Disney film The Bears and I
  4. The 75th anniversary of the first Soviet nuclear bomb--which killed bears. And this soon led to the invention of the Tupolev Tu-95 (Russian: Туполев Ту-95) which NATO identified as the "Nuclear Bear"
  5. The 100th anniversary of the first appearance of the famed cartoon bear Winnie-the-Pooh
  6. The 125th anniversary of the birth of Chief Dan George (who was in The Bears and I, and who also played "Old Bear")
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