“Whether or not commercial advantages result from expeditions into these unknown parts of our globe, it is true that the increase in human knowledge alone is sufficient to justify their exploration, for with every advance into the unknown, newer and wider fields for investigation will offer themselves in the future than were ever dreamed of in the past.”—polar explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, in The Little America Times, December 31, 1934
Gearing up for a New Year’s Eve celebrated under gray skies and gusty winds, Icestock 2007 kicked off at noon in the center of town, where a flatbed trailer had been turned into a stage and covered with an arch to shield musicians from the wind. The bands, most of which have been established within the last three months, ranged from hard rock to harmonica-only, and the crowd jumped around or hula-hooped while trying to stay warm.
Large orange shipping containers were also pulled into the dusty open space to offer cramped kitchens for chili cook-off participants. Winners of the Antarctic beard growing contest were announced, with Dan Simas taking the award for “best Donegal-beard,” a style which owes its heritage to Donegal County, Ireland, I suppose, where leprechauns once sported the neat, non-mustached look.
The carpenters set up a makeshift coffee shack called “Sawbucks,” which allowed me to drink coffee before work while watching my favorite band, Porn Spill, take the stage in shiny pants and curly wigs. Kevin Pettway, wacky-talented bassist, was among the crew led by Waste Management James, who offered an explanation for the band’s name.
Evidently, last summer’s waste techs collected a season’s worth of porn that had been thrown away at McMurdo and then shipped back to the U.S. for recycling in a special “porn-only” triwall. When the box was offloaded at its destination in California, it supposedly got dropped, and the contents spilled all over the dock—only to be reclaimed by cargo workers within a matter of minutes. Hence the name, Porn Spill. I tell the story…only because I think that it may be a band name worth remembering.
Happy New Year!