Tagged: Commonwealth Club of California

Chuck Palahniuk & Lidia Yuknavitch

One of the most interesting writers of the last couple of decades is speaking at the Castro Theater this Thursday. He’s presenting with another author, Lidia Yuknovitch as she unveils what looks to be a fascinating new novel: The Small Backs of Children They will be interviewed by the always entertaining and often insightful Broke Ass Stuart. Chuck Palahniuk is, in my estimation the closest thing Gen X thru the Millennial generation has to a Kerouac. Palahniuk speaks to thQuotation-Chuck-Palahniuk-love-insanity-Meetville-Quotes-16136e post Baby Boom kids – the kids raised by single moms after the demise of the American nuclear family, much as Kerouac spoke to the generation of young men coming back from the Great War wondering “well now that we rule all, what next – what does life mean?”  In Fight Club, the young men were compelled to find out what it was to be a man without having the benefit of any live-at-home role models – “If you could fight anyone, who would you choose?’ “I’d fight Kirk.” That was a sentiment any young guy raised by his mom could appreciate.

Palahniuk recently published the 1st installment of the sequel to Fight Club in graphic novel format along with artist Cameron Stewart. I found a copy while touring the Portland Area a while back. It’s ten years after the action in the novel and the nameless narrator (played by Ed Norton in the movie) is now a suburban office commuter on lots of prescription happy pills and he’s married Marla Singer (!!!) AND the have a young son. Oh, the nameless guy has a name now. Sebastian…..

My Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society co-author Carrie Galbraith and had the pleasure to speak with Chuck at an earlier Commonwealth Inforum presentation. We had a blast talking about Cacophony’s influence on Project Mayhem in Fight Club among other topics. I won’t be able to make it this Thursday, but you should. Oh, and if you get a chance to talk to Chuck, ask him where he got the name for the nameless FC guy!

I’m looking forward to reading Yuknavitch now. An endorsement by CP is not to be taken too lightly.

“Your life doesn’t happen in any kind of order. Events don’t have cause and effect relationships he way you wish they did. It’s all a series of fragments and repetitions and pattern formations. Language and water have this in common.”

― Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

Chaos, Cacophony and the Commonwealth Club of California

Chuck Palahniuk in conversation with John Law & Carrie Galbraith, co-authors of Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society moderated by journalist Brad Wieners, followed by a Q & A.

R. Hubbard, Rich Perry, Jerry James & John Law, Cacophony event, 1990

Robert Hubbard, Jerry James, Rich Perry, & John Law: typical Cacophony event, 1990.                                     photo courtesy Robert Hubbard

Chuck Palahniuk’s pivotal novel Fight Club was partially inspired by Cacophony, which served as a model for the novels dangerous prankster cabal Project Mayhem. Ask Chuck what the heck he was thinking!

Santa "Chuck" at Cacophony SantaCon (Santarchy, Kringle Klot, Santa Rampage, etc., ad nauseum) Portland 1996. photo by Bob Gelman

Santa “Chuck” at Cacophony SantaCon (Santarchy, Kringle Klot, Santa Rampage, etc., ad nauseum) Portland 1996. photo by Bob Gelman John Law has been causing trouble since his pre-teen years. If anyone’s curious, now could be the time to find out why he threw away a potential career as a welder in the mid-West or maybe a retail clerk in exchange for 35 years of Suicide Club and Cacophony Society involvement. photograph by Robert Gelman 1996

Watts Towers copy

Carrie Galbraith (Ethyl Ketone) and Phil Bewely on their event the 1st Cacophony Zone Trip 1988.Carrie Galbraith created a thing called Zone Trip. This is your chance to see what this Cacophony birthed concept had to do (everything) with the genesis of The Burning Man Festival.


(from top down) Brad Wieners, dunno, dunno, Mark Herbert, Kevin Mathieu, Dan Miller & John Law & a really cool Brooklyn Cat who’s name I cannot recall who climbed giant unused smoke stacks and planted trees atop them!                          Manhattan Bridge, 1996.                                                       photograph by A. Leo Nash

Heavy hitting and darn serious NYC journalist and editor Brad Wieners covered early period Cacophony (and BM) hi-jinx before he got serious! He knows the best tales and where the bodies are buried. Come and pick his brain….

The Commonwealth Club of California is hosting this event at the historic Castro Theater in SF.

Yes, the grown-ups are finally paying attention. Commonwealth couldn’t get George Shultz or Hillary Clinton again, so they invited us. We intend to make the best of it and get one of our books in each of their homes where their kids will find and use it.


Sisters Kitty Catalyst and Dana Van Iquity of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at an early Cacophony outing expressing themselves demurely to all with in earshot! photograph by Rusty Blazenhoff

Sisters Dana Van Iquity, Kitty Catalyst and Reyna Terror of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have graciously agreed to bless our event.

Stuart (Blank DeCoverly) Mangrum BLF (ret.) will read from his Cacophony 12 Step program to close the stage presentation.

A book signing is the finale with Law and Galbraith and Palahniuk signing copies of Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society.


Doc Anderson, Eric “Geekboy” Salmonson, Stuart Mangrum and Brody Culpepper at a Cacophony literary (drinking) event circa 1996

JL co-author Kevin Evans copy

John Law and Kevin Evans 1995

Co-author Kevin Evans will be in the house (possibly even signing books! And out front will be The famous Doggie Diner DogHeads.

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The Meat Parade 1997. Elizabeth, Vanessa and Abernathy provide the meat along with the Doggie Diner Dog Heads.


Emily Duffy with her Mondrian Mobile.             photograph by Harrod Blank


Kal Spellitich at the 1st annual Meat Parade, How Berkeley Can You Be Parade, October 1996. photo by Rusty Blazenhoff

Machine artist and Cacophonist Kal Spellitech will be in the house as will RoboGames and Cacophony 2.0 organizers Simone Davalos and David Calkins.

Brides of March 1 copy 3

The Brides of March. David Calkins in the lower left hand image. Photos by Jillian Northrup

The Bay Area Art Car community will be represented by Emily Duffy and friends.

Please join us at the Castro Theater this coming Monday evening the 23rd night of September. We can only guarantee that you will leave knowing stuff you probably cannot find out anywhere else! Whether you need this type of input or not and what you might do with it is entirely up to you.

The authors, presenters, attending artists, The Castro Theater and The Commonwealth Club accept no responsibility for your future actions.

cheers, JL, CG and the remaining members of the Cacophony Society.


Chuck Palahniuk and the SF Cacophony Society: Creating Culture from Mayhem

Image - Chuck Palahniuk and th

– See more at: http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2013-09-23/chuck-palahniuk-and-sf-cacophony-society-creating-culture-mayhem#sthash.JVvmexCQ.dpuf