NIMBY, Shipyard, & American Steel, Oakland: Container? We don’t even know her

May 28, 2007 Oakland wasteland So yesterday, Memorial Day, we’re riding around with Snook and the boys in the Deuce, which is a giant decommissioned military vehicle meant for carrying around tons of weapons and marines. But Snook uses the Deuce to camp out and barbecue in the Desert and hand out beers to dirtbags in. We’re going through Oakland, from the N.I.M.B.Y. warehouse to the Shipyard to see the destruction of industrial wastelandia, specifically the Shipyard itself. Random pedestrians and fellow petroleum vampires know the Deuce is cool. They’re waving hello despite all their best efforts to look cool and over it. Apparently, at the Shipyard, there were a couple containers welded together on the top layer, above two other free-standing containers on the bottom, and the top layer needed to come down in order for Jim Mason and company to comply and play nice with the City of Berkeley. So instead of cutting the welded containers apart with a plasma cutter or something (which is reasonable, in all our experience welding which we learned how to do this weekend with Che at American Steel for Dann das Mann and Karen das Womann’s big heavy artmetal project for the dirt rave in the desert this year) … they were going to do some double-forklift synchronized-swimming thing where they lifted up the top containers and took the bottom ones out and put the top ones on the cement. Except from what we heard, there were no vehicles to drag the bottom ones out after the top ones got lifted, because the only 2 forklifts at the Shipyard — one which is run by a generator bungee-corded to the back of the chair — would be busy doing the top-thing one. But when we get there in the Deuce, N.I.M.B.Y.-vs.-Shipyard container-rumble style, where our plan is to get in their sight line and drink beers and tell them you’re doing it wrong, we’re managers today, and is there anything we can say to help … there’s no stunt. Not yet. Not for a while, anyway. Steve Valdez is manhandling the forklift and moving pallet racks without taking them apart. Kimric and his dad are there in a managerial capacity as well, and dozens of people are moving heavy things around. So we pull weeds with some chicks on the “Lipstick Job” — which is the fence outside which needs to be painted so it looks like we’re not dirtbags. At which point we feel compelled to quote fellow Cacophonist Chuck Palahniuk about polishing the brass on the Titanic. Pulling weeds with the world falling apart inside the unpainted fence. Don’t know if the big dumb heavy forklift dance ever happened, because after a while, we said sayonara and went back to N.I.M.B.Y. and listened to butt-rock and looked at the steam engines and watched some dude drive a Cushman with flamethrowers around. Snook made meat on the grill. The grill, not the Dead Hooker Cooker — he’s selling that. He doesn’t need TWO Deuces, he decided. If the Dead Hooker Cooker had an apartment on the back of it like the Deuce does, we’d be in to buy it. But it’s just got a grill in a coffin and a big-ass Dr. Strangelove rideable bomb on it. Anyway, so we’re sitting at N.I.M.B.Y. reminiscing about the Thunderdome party, and we realize why it’s taken us so long to get our heads around the Maker Faire last weekend: It’s possibly one of the biggest notches in our collective scene’s lipstick case so far. We’re above-board now. Last year we heard the Maker Faire was about 1/4 the size of this year’s, and this year it was the straight-up Superfriends of Bay Area freak-art and science-ology scenes. Everyone’s coming out of the woodwork, making connections, and blending together. And doing political activism, even. We’d say within a couple years, those of us who don’t die of alcohol poisoning or get crushed by a container on a janky forklift are going to take this show on the road. Won’t be long til someone’s going to be flown to New York to get interviewed and talk about our dadaist brand of industrial artmetal on VH-1 or something. Mark our words. Yep. (Sound of beer opening)