September 17, 2003

The Illuminated Donkey Festival

*** September 19 - 20 - 21 2003 ***

Jersey City, New Jersey

Welcome. The third annual Illuminated Donkey Festival, a three-day celebration of arts and ideas, this year makes its (hopefully permanent) new home in Jersey City following last year's much-remarked-upon unpleasantness with the creditors in Manhattan. Those treasured guests returning to us from the first two Festivals can rest assured that IDF3 will offer even more in the way of cultural enrichment and intellectual nourishment, with the added bonus that you will most likely not again be repeatedly asked by us to feign violent nausea while rushing out the fire exits en masse. (One lingering consequence of last year's difficulties, however, is that several of the venues will be barring their fire exits; we ask that you please wear non-flammable garments and bring plenty of bottled water.)

But enough about the past; let us talk about the glorious now! This year's Festival program offers an exciting and eclectic series of readings, panel discussions, guided tours, unguided tours, kidnappings, performances, surgical procedures, panicked stampedes, and light housework — truly something for everyone and nothing for nobody.

And we are especially pleased to announce that Illuminated Donkey Editor-in-Chief Ken Goldstein will be returning to the Festival following his one-year hiatus. Last year, many of you registered your disappointment at his repeated, often unannounced absences, and we can assure you all that following a lengthy discussion regarding contractual obligations and the realities of the current editorial field job market, Mr. Goldstein has rededicated himself to the goal of making this event a success.

And now…on with the show!

Friday Night Roundtables

"The American Empire in the Age of Media Bias and Eurpoean Relations. Oh yeah, and Ashcroft." 8:00 P.M. Grove Street Meeting Hall.
Panelists: Eric Alterman, Ann Coulter, Christopher Hitchens, William Kristol, Paul Krugman, Lewis Lapham, Bill O'Reilly, Andrew Sullivan, and whoever else we can round up; Moderator: A Hungry Wolverine.

Some of the most outspoken and relentlessly insistent voices in the world of punditry attempt to score debating points against their toughest interrogator — a hungry wolverine — while the audience watches in safety via closed-circuit television. (By the way, if you see any of the panelists, please don't mention the wolverine. We'd like it to be a surprise.)

"Reformatting the Server Whatsits to Clear the Flibber-Flabber" 9:00 P.M. Brunswick Towers Conference Center. Panelists: Michael Whybark and Paul Frankenstein.

Longtime Illuminated Donkey contributors and associates Michael Whybark and Paul Frankenstein discuss the latest Internet technology and why it always seems to be crashing. Attendees are guaranteed that at least one-third of all words used will be intelligible to the general public.

"No…YOU'RE the Best!" 9:00 P.M. Loew's Theater, Journal Square. Panelists: A bunch of bigshot muckety-muck writers; Moderator: A writer of a slightly lesser muckety-muck status.

Join us in this beautifully restored historic site to watch a bunch of richie-rich writers fall all over themselves talking about how great they think everybody else there is and how they don't deserve to be in such esteemed company. Those in attendance are asked not to look directly at the panelists, lest you disturb the mood.

"Thirst, Alcohol, and the Single American Woman: A Sequential Panel Discussion" 11:55 P.M. Journal Square Pub. Panelists: To Be Determined; Moderator: Ken Goldstein.

The drinking habits and practices of the American single woman have long fascinated American single male researchers (the subject's interest for non-American, non-single, and non-male researchers may be discussed in a future panel). Over the course of this unique evening moderator Ken Goldstein will enlighten the audience with his attempts to purchase alcoholic beverages for a series of panelists. Mr. Goldstein will then offer a series of follow-up questions and/or beverages, or move on to a new panelist. While the event may conclude at any point, prior experience suggests that Mr. Goldstein will be in attendance until closing time.

Saturday for the Young and Young at Heart

"Peanut Butter Jelly Time: a charming and memorable performance for kids 12 and under" 11:00 A.M. Grove Public Library Showcase Room.

After graduating from the world-renowned Sheboygan Conservatory in 1953, the legendary performer Pixilated Banana thrilled audiences worldwide for decades with his pioneering dance recitals and one-banana shows. It wasn't until he moved to the Lower East Side in 1978 and met up with Smiling Donkey (himself famed for his independent film "El Burro de la Diablo"), that he became a household name. During this rare appearance, the pair will teach children the wonderful "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" song and dance, after which noted contract law expert Valerie Woolley will teach children the negotiating skills need to extract expensive gifts and amusement park trips from parents in exchange for not performing the song/dance at home.

"Cirque Du Baudet" 1:00 P.M. Pavonia Palladium.

Direct from a three-month Las Vegas engagement in the El Cortez Casino's Midnight Lounge, this world-renowned acrobatic company makes a rare visit to the East Coast. Children will delight at the hilarious and thrilling antics of the clowns and acrobats, while middle-aged men will stare with slack-jawed wonder during the contortionists' routines. Truly something for everybody.

"Skee-Ball: Rising Above by Rolling True" 2:00 P.M. JFK Boulevard Skee-Ball Palace.

All-time Skee-Ball great and Hudson County native Jock Casey captivates children with an hour of lessons, tricks, and words of inspiration. [Parents and guardians in attendance should note that the terms of Mr. Casey's community service sentence do not require him to pose for photos or speak to any non-court-appointed personnel over the age of 14.]

Sunday About Town Events

Once again the Illuminated Donkey Festival offers an exciting array of unique excursions throughout the New York metropolitan area. Be sure to bring your imagination…and a good pair of shoes!

"It Happened Here! Walking Tour" Did you know that Jersey City was the site of one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles, the birthplace of legendary English monarch Richard II, or the home of the fields where Wilbur and Orville Wright made their earliest test flights? Well, frankly, neither did we, and now that we're typing it all out it does seem a little shady, but we went out drinking last night and got to chatting with some guy named Steve, and apparently we paid him a few hundred bucks to conduct this walking tour. If the tour isn't going well, have Steve tell you the one about the hunchback of Notre Dame's brother; it's a real pisser. [10:00 A.M. to Noon. $10. Meet at Pavonia/Newport PATH station]

"Vanishing New York" Noted adult entertainment connoisseur Jeremiah "The Claw" LaRue will conduct a walking tour of some of Manhattan's most beloved "blue" businesses and historic sites, past and present. Stops will include LaRue's "rare gems" amongst the Times Square emporniums, Midtown's sole remaining bulk hand lotion outlet, the former home of the film studio believed to be where the terms "money shot" and "sticky scubadiver" were coined, and an empty third-floor apartment on West 62nd Street with an excellent view of the aerobics class in the gym across the street. [12 noon to 2 P.M. $30. Meet on the 3rd floor of Port Authority Bus Terminal. Please bring a subway Metrocard and some hand sanitizer.]

"The Sporting Life" Dude, Jets are at New England, and if they don't win this week they might as well just pack it in. Damn, why the hell did Pennington have to get hurt?! [12:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Ken's place. We have plenty of beer left over from last night, but we could use some chips…or a sub! A sub would be great!]

"Jersey City Splendor" Built by flugelhorn and Sousaphone magnate Chester Jehosophat Dobosh in 1896, the Dobosh Mansion is considered Hudson County's most spectacular private residence. Though the mansion has never been opened to the general public, the current owners' regular church attendance combined with their butler's recent cold streak at the track has created this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how the other half lives! [10 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Meet by the back door; bring a $20 for the butler.]

These events are sure to sell out quickly, so order your tickets today!
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