Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Joy & The Goddamned Palm Tree

After the blissful assault launched by Harrison and (Rock)Star, all we could do was smile. Watching the  Bozos unfold made me feel like I was watching fireworks. Mouth agape, smiling, anticipating. It looked incredible but it felt even better. What a stupid and amazing site! I loved every second of it. It was pure happiness. It may have meant nothing to anyone else, but to me, and I know to Matt, it was a huge sense of joy.

The moments leading up to the reveal were frantic and spastic. I felt a bit uncomfortable because all the antics were being filmed (more on that at a later date). So there I was, yelling, hiding behind the column in the office, pacing back and forth, more yelling, screaming about the visible Bozo (on their side), wanting to hide more, hoping I didn't end up looking like Bea Arthur on film, etc...it was all exciting and ludicrous. 

After the big reveal, one thing really bothered me. The odd choice by H&S to include a huge (6'?) palm tree threw me at first. I didn't get it. Or like it. I thought it was a cheap and desperate move. At that point, they might as well have just put "Happy Birthday" or "Forty & Fabulous" balloons in the windows. This was the Bozo Project! Not the Any-Bullshit-Inflatable-Toy-or-Decoration-You-Can-Find-Project. But then something was pointed out to me that stopped me in my tracks. Deb Noonan (writer of the NY Magazine article and who was with us the morning of the attack) said that it was directly facing our own (real) palm tree. It was true. VideoHelper does have this giant palm tree looming in the corner and facing out the window. Facing...you-know-who. And they'd just upped the level of attack. Now it was truly personal! Now they were attacking our flora! I was outraged!

But I was too busy spazzing out and smiling that I didn't have time to make the connection. I couldn't draw any conclusions, because all I could do was laugh. And that's a pretty nice experience - happy bliss. Unfortunately, life isn't like that 24/7  (or even 2/7 most days), which is why I think The Bozo Project has struck a chord with people. It's just happy and ridiculous. It's sole purpose is to communicate joy. What's wrong with that? We've noticed some comments on blogs, etc...that are simply miserable and hate the whole thing. For those of you with no soul or remote shred of a sense of humor, to you, our Bozos say "Blow me."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shock and Awe from Harrison & Star

this morning was witness to a staggering surge of bozos (13 in all!) on the side of Harrison & Star. needless to say, we're still recovering from the assault. words fail to capture the sheer spectacle of three floors of windows, each ocupied by a single bozo. amazing.

we arrived early to see no new activity across the street. indeed, we were still skeptical that our bozo rivals were either over-ambitious in their retaliation plans, or simply carrying on with an ever-dissolving bluff. even bozo #1 looked as though he was ready to give in, with his "it's coming.." sign barely hanging on to his brightly colored chest.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

photo: Deborah Snoonian

but then (but then!) we noticed something: the blinds were drawn in each of the windows of the floor above bozo #1, whereas they had previously always stayed open. they were clearly planning something, but what? but here was where H&S made their only mistake in this maneuver: the feet of a bozo were clearly visible from under one set of miniblinds!

photo: Deborah Snoonian

was it a mistake? or was it intentional? was that brave bozo sent out before the rest of the troops to create a diversion and draw our attention away from the force amassing in the shadows? perhaps we'll never know. regardless, we were not prepared for what was about to be unveiled.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

photo: Deborah Snoonian

incredible. the sight is even more impressive than what we pictured when we first conceived the project. all we could do in response was wave a white flag. not out of surrender, but rather out of recognition of a remarkable execution. we can now see Harrison & Star not as wartime rivals, but rather as allies for a common cause.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

the adrenaline is still too high right now to accurately assess today's events, let alone discuss the next stage of the bozo project. please stay tuned for reactions/thoughts/etc. after the emotions recede.

all we can say is, well done, Harrison & Star, or as betsy referred to them, Harrison & Rockstar.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Time for Action

lots of activity today in the project. first of all, I have to say, we’ve been rather disappointed by our partners across the street. for several days now the original bozo has been talking some pretty substantial talk, while continuing to walk very little walk. after we launched bozo #3 (our second), #1 displayed a “stay tuned…” sign (very original), and tuned we stayed – for nothing. then the sign was replaced with “it’s coming,” again, with no additional activity after two days of promises. we’re beginning to think that they terribly underestimated what exactly they got themselves into.

also, they have been foolish (brash? arrogant? daring?) enough to let themselves be seen maneuvering their bozo, changing his sign, or taking pictures of our assaults. there was even a brief period today when their window stood vacant! i repeat: bozo #1 left his post in broad daylight!

meanwhile, we’ve spend days on end hiding in office plants, diving behind frosted glass barriers, camouflaging ourselves in copier toner and shredded company letterhead, waiting only until the right moments to move undetected at each step. i don’t know what kind of bush league, mickey mouse, amateur operation they’re running over there, but they had better get their act together if they want to hang with us.

so today, we decided that we have no choice. if they refuse to act, then we must. we had to force their hand, to call their bluff, to show them that they fucked with the wrong people.

after a week or so of waiting in the wings, anxiously anticipating the original bozo’s oft-promised, though as of yet never-delivered, responses, bozos #4 and #5 were finally deployed (with stealth! with style!). i can only imaging what their reaction was to the sight of 4 (4!) bozos proudly staring at them from across the street, defying them to step up their game and take action or to step down and leave the bozo project to the professionals. let it be known, north side: we WILL cover this block in bozos, whether or not you have anything to do with it.

here are betsy’s thoughts on today:
this morning was a blur for me. a mix of adrenaline and stealth. i found myself crawling on the office floor, yelling at matt to "cover me! i'm gong in", installing the new bozos with both bozo project matts (matt r & matt f) hiding in the office palm tree, and performing taxidermy on a bozo.

the north side bozos had the gaul to actually take pictures of our bozos IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. what crust! what nerve! we witnessed the entire thing. amateur move. the bozo project requires stealth! we tossed around the thought that maybe they were taking pics to start their own blog? could it be? interesting move, north side...

either way, any moves within the bozo project need to be made subtly. and i think we're excelling in that capacity.

all in all, it’s been an eventful/emotional day. between the startling reality check of bozo #2’s death and the frantic covert-opts of today’s mission, we’ve been on quite the emotional rollercoaster. we’re having a hard time predicting what their next move will be, but agree that it will be difficult for them to continue to sit idly after today’s attack.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Funeral & Resurrection of a Friend

After days of full-tilt denial regarding Bozo #2's declining health, Matt and I finally came to the harrowing decision to literally pull the plus on Bozo #2. This decision didn't come lightly as we had grown so attached to our new pal. He was, after all, responsible for the entire Bozo Project. But his time was up. He served his project well and like eery great revolutionary, he made his mark on this world and left change and heavy hearts behind. We had spent several days agonizing over the impending death, asking each other rhetorical questions like "His leaks aren't that bad, right?" and "He still looks good. Nope. No change from yesterday...right?" But each time we looked at our newly-acquired Bozo #3 in his proud, erect state, and then back at Bozo #2, we had to accept the cruel fate that life dealt us. Bozo #3 was now set to assume the role of dominant silverback of our Bozo group and Bozo #2, soon to be remembered only in our hearts. Although we can't take responsibility for Bozo #2's death (it's not healthy to blame ourselves), perhaps we should have been more careful in choosing his initial place in the window? We had put him directly in the office graveyard. That mess of a shelf where co-worker Maura's gorgeous bonsai tree died within seconds and no one ever bothered to throw out its rotting corpse.
As for Matt and I, clearly we weren't quite ready to give up on Bozo #2. While preparing to bury him, we decided to taxidermy him instead. HE WILL NOW LIVE FOREVER. He may no longer be boppable, or able to stand on his own accord, but stuffed with shredded paper, a crumpled NY Post and some bubble wrap, our warrior (and YOURS) will live on and on. And on. And on...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome, Bozo #6

Submitted by Brad in Las Vegas. Please welcome Bozo #6. Working under harsh, oppressive cruelty, Brad (not his real name) is unable to display a full Bozo Bop Bag in his office window. However, this brave warrior is defying his superiors and is risking life and limb to participate in The Bozo Project. After careful consideration, although not an official Bozo Bop Bag, we accept his submission and recognize his Bozo photo as The Bozo Project's Bozo #6.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hello from the East Village, NYC

This little fellow and his friends arrived by way of rocker Palmyra Delran of The Friggs & the Palmyra Delran Band. They look like a nice crew, right? This Bozo looks very happy to have such supportive friends. He's an excellent addition to the Bozo Project.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We Are Staying Tuned...

It’s on. Shit. Is. On. Bozo #1 is sporting a “Stay Tuned” sign today. A sign? Or a GAUNTLET? What do our north side neighbors have planned? Are they ready to debut another Bozo? Because we’re twice as ready. We’re ready for whatever they’ve got. I have Bozo #s 4 & 5 sitting on my floor and they are anxious. ANXIOUS to be born. I can’t let them out of the box yet though. Even though I hear them stirring and weeping, they need to incubate another day.

I must say, so far, well done original Bozo. Well done…

Also, someone by the initials of LG emailed me today to say: “ I went on the Bozo site and got one look at the deflated wrinkly scoliosis-back Bozo peering sadly out the window and shut it down immediately! I am livid! I will need to take it all in when I calm down.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bozo #3's Arrival

after watching our first bozo (#2 in the project) slowly die over the weekend, we received a much-needed package today:

welcome bozo #3!

it's been such a sad sight. the bozo that, as far as we're concerned, started the project itself, reduced to a lump of vinyl and sand.

we quickly got bozo #3 ready for action (including a very stealthy bozo-swap maneuver), and restored #2 to his original glory. i must say, the sight of the two bozos standing proudly in the windows was quite inspiring. i can only imagine how it looked from across the street.

it is interesting, however, that bozo #3's arrival caused no reaction from #1's side. at one point, we noticed some activity in the window, but there has been no change in their bozo (still sporting his "beefcake" sign). we'll see if things change tomorrow - they have no idea what is in store for them. let the bozo assault begin.

inflating #3 #3 ready for his debut switching #2 & #3
#3 in action #2 & #3 dual-bozo assault

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bozo's Existential Crisis

an interesting thought occurred to us as we were waiting for our next wave of bozos to arrive. we were admiring the touching poignancy of the (dis)connection between the two original bozos. the longing between these brightly-colored inanimate objects was palpable. however, as surreal as the sight was, the most remarkable thing was how exclusive it was. here we have two 46" bozo the clown bop bags, locked hopelessly in each other's gaze, though separated forever by glass, brick, and 75 feet of manhattan air, but the only way to experience the situation is to stand immediately behind one of them. that means only someone in our office or in their office will feel the heart-wrenching power of the exchange (or, at the very least, understand what is really happening).

someone in an office on the north side of the street will see our bozo and think that there is little more behind it than a few co-workers' feeble attempt at brightening the soul-crushing monotony of their office environment, thus prolonging their miserable existence for at least a few more days. it's a bit more exciting than casual friday, but a step below burning the building to the ground.

conversely, perhaps the construction workers next door mistook bozo #1's "hey beefcake" sign as a thinly-veiled, though strangely delivered, indication of sexual interest. or, worse yet, a humiliating public attack on the heavier men in the group.

whatever the interpretation (this is, of course, assuming that anyone will notice at all), it will always be incomplete. it is impossible for an onlooker to grasp what's truly happening. only one bozo can exist at any given time to anyone not in either of our offices.

i was never much one for the "if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around..." debate, but it all makes sense now. one bozo's existence is only validated when contextualized by another. in other words, a bozo only begins to truly exist when connected to another one. this is bigger than the two of us; we need everyone's help to give meaning to these poor, lonely clowns.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Project Begins

i work on the 7th floor of an office building on the south side of an unremarkable block in the flatiron neighborhood of nyc. sometime last week i noticed a 46" tall bozo the clown punching bag - or as i've since come to know, it's called a "bozo bop bag - in the window of an office on the 8th floor of a building on the north side of the block.

i asked my co-workers if they'd seen it and matt told me it had been there for a while. maybe "a month or so." how could that be? how could i have never noticed this? it looked so insane and frankly, i was jealous. it seemed like something i would have done. so being as self-centered as i am, i took it as a personal affront.

i told matt that i was going to order one online and put it in our window.

we decided that we would start a blog and try to figure out how to get others on the block (and perhaps beyond, hint, hint) to display their bozos. we would create this pretentious piece of public art that would be so stupid it couldn't be considered pretentious. so matt takes some great pictures, gets the blog up and running (he's all like that and shit) and we're good-to-go.

on thursday 3/12, our bozo, now known as "bozo #2" was ready for his debut.

we put him in the window and remarked how ridiculous this was/is/will be. i wondered what our neighbors would think when/if they saw bozo #2. how long would it take them? would they love it? we both suspected they would appreciate it. we were right.

but something unexpected happened. once both bozos #1 & #2 were set up, the image was strangely poignant, striking and sad. when you looked at them, they appeared to be desperately longing for each other. two tragic lovers destined to never connect. and it wasn't just me. matt thought the same thing. suddenly we were the architects of gut wrenching disappointment and unrequited love.

but not for long.

within 2hrs or so, i noticed a message on bozo #1! CONTACT! we were freaking out. the bait had been taken. the only problem was, we couldn't read the message. it was a handmade sign that we struggled to figure out. after several rounds of possibilities brian (other co-worker) proclaimed "hey, beefcake." nice!

mission accomplished.

we were satisfied. our neighbors did their job. their civic duty. they answered the cal l.

and then bozo #1 got pissed. like seriously pissed. bozo #1 turned his back on bozo #2. literally. bozo #1 was now turned around and no longer faced the love of his life. clearly the neighbors were not happy with our failure to respond. but we already had something in the works. they just needed to sit tight. they need to trust us! these things can't be rushed.

plus, our bozo isn't ready for love right now. he's got some self esteem things going on. sadly, alex (other co-worker) discovered today when bozo #1 wasn't as erect as usual, that he has a verrrrry slow leak. and not only that, he's a USED BOZO. there's evidence to support that he's already been patched up. the tell tale blob of glue cannot be denied. our bozo arrived with a broken heart.

just before leaving the office tonight for the weekend we put a sign on bozo #1 that said "stay tuned..."

we have already ordered 4 more bozos online. we will put an additional bozo a day at a time in our windows next week. the army is coming. the revolution is coming.

stay tuned...