Have Your Say: 3rd Annual Xmas Bash!!

A Very Fabiola XmasWell, it’s the middle of June, which means everyone’s thoughts are turned to the holiday season. Or maybe I’m just insane.

Either way, I’ve been working on some ideas for this coming year’s Xmas Bash!!, which is bound to be a good thing, as it means I won’t go nuts trying to slap something together in the hours before the stream is supposed to go live.

With this much time to plan, I figured I’d open it up to viewer feedback.

For those of you who haven’t attended either of the past events, the Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!! is a live-streamed charity event. The main feature is a surprise assortment of horrible (horrible…) Xmas specials that I’ve unearthed for the sole purpose of making you hate television. There are host segments, music, and other goodies throughout. Last year I added some vintage toy commercials to the mix, and opened up donations to The Trevor Project as well. Oh, and, through it all, there’s a chatroom, which I think it’s safe to say ends up being more entertaining than all of the specials combined.

This year, I’d like to make it even better. I have a few ideas of my own (which won’t be spoiler’d in this post), but I want to hear from you, the folks who will actually be attending. And, hopefully, some of the folks who haven’t attended.

In a comment below, let me know the following:

  1. Any features of the stream (either year) that you really liked or disliked.
  2. How you feel about the length of the stream. Should it be longer? Shorter?
  3. I’m thinking of hosting the stream the weekend before Xmas this year (Dec 18-20, somewhere in there). Thoughts?
  4. How you would feel about an “encore showing.” It’d allow more people to attend, but it’d also split the viewership. Does that diminish its status as an Event?
  5. Last year we had a few outside contributors, performing music, magic tricks, and more. Is this a tradition you’d like me to keep up?
  6. And pretty much any other thoughts for improvements.

If you’d prefer, for any reason, that your response not be public, drop me an email at reed.philipj at gmail dot com.

Your feedback is strongly appreciated, and thanks again for making these past two years such an awesome success. Judging by the specials I’ve dug up for this year, I think we’ve all got great, great, terrible things to look forward to together.

I’ll see you there!

Merry Christmas, friends!

Merry Christmas, friends

I hope everyone out there is having a great Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then I hope you’re having a great Thursday.

Last night’s stream was great…I’m going to post some wrap-up thoughts on it within the next few days most likely, but I want to thank everyone who joined the chat, everyone who viewed the stream embedded here (which seemed to be a surprisingly high number…I’ll discuss that later, though), and, especially, everybody who gave to The Trevor Project.

Having it on Christmas Eve prevented a lot of folks from making it out, though. My bad, and admittedly poor planning. However, the fundraising page will be open until Sunday, the 28th, so here’s a little extra:

If you donate any amount at all before Sunday, I’ll send you a download link for the entire Xmas stream. All five hours of Christmas specials, music, magic, and more.

Just donate and then contact me at this address and I’ll shoot you the link. No minimum or maximum donation limits, and whatever you give, it’s for a good cause.

If you donate anonymously, be sure to attach the receipt (or take a screenshot of the thank-you page) so that I know who you are.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks for helping to make this a great year, and thanks for being the best audience I’ve ever had.

Go Now! The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!! Live Stream

We are live! At 8 Eastern, anyway. I’m posting this a bit early to give folks the chance to tune in, settle down, and log in to streamup if they wish. The stream, as you see, is embedded here, and if that’s all you want to see…GOOD FOR YOU. But if you’d like to join the chat, click here and sign up for an account! (It’s quick and free…sorry, no way around that!)

Let’s party!!

Please Donate to The Trevor Project: https://www.classy.org/xmasbash
Join the chat: https://streamup.com/xmasbash

We will be going for FIVE FULL HOURS. That’s 1am Eastern!

Throughout the night you will see…
Seven terrible Christmas specials spanning decades of terrible Christmas specials
Vintage toy commercials interspersed throughout
Holiday oddities that exist…for some reason
Two original songs by Andy Starkey
One original song by Adam Lore
A debut episode of PortsCenter
A debut episode of No Date Gamers
A debut episode of The Big Bible Blastoff
Holiday magic by Wes Iseli
…and a hell of a lot more.

We worked very hard and lost a lot of sleep to bring you the show, so I hope you enjoy, and I hope you find it in your heart to donate to The Trevor Project, and help LGBTQ youth who suffer from depression and other mental health issues. It’s a great cause. For as little or as much as you’d like to give, you’ll be doing a great thing.

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!!

Live Stream Wednesday; but why?

Noiseless Chatter Xmas Party, 2013

As a reminder, tune in right here on Wednesday, December 24, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. That’s Christmas Eve, and I’ll be hosting the Second Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash. Just visit this page and join us.

I’m still working on getting everything set up. It’s a lot of work, so I wanted to take a moment to explain why I’m doing this, and why I appreciate everyone who participates.

Many of you were probably not around this time last year. I’ve gained a lot of momentum with this site in the past 12 months, and I couldn’t be happier about that. If that’s the case for you, what you missed was a night of terrible Christmas specials streamed live, with a chat room, and some host segments recorded by me.

There wasn’t much to it. Everything I streamed came right from my Hulu account. Difficulties took the form of everything from echoing sound to the entire stream being taken down before its proper conclusion. And the host segments were off the cuff and probably boring as all fuck.

So why am I doing it again?

Because something crazy happened last year: people actually showed up.

See, I didn’t invest much time or effort in the stream (at least not in comparison to this year’s) because I had no clue if anyone would bother tuning in. Worst case scenario is that I and a few friends would watch some shitty TV together, so it’s not like there was much at stake, but as the night went on and the number of viewers hit the hundreds and stayed there…I was genuinely amazed.

The chat room became the unexpected highlight of the stream. Not only were people there…funny people were there. They kept the momentum going while I struggled to get my technical issues sorted out. They provided funnier commentary on the host segments than anything I was doing in the host segments. (My particular favorite observation came early, the suggestion that I looked and sounded like I was running an NPR pledge drive. It became my favorite running joke of the night…if only because it relieved me of the responsibility of creating minutes-long stretches of painful anticomedy.)

In short, it was a bigger success than I expected. Another stream the following year was a foregone conclusion.

But then…well…we had this year.

And this year, I think it’s safe to say, fucking sucked.

I’m not kidding. This has been a terrible year on a global scale. Whether it’s innocent people getting their personal information and / or private photographs leaked, artists being openly threatened by their audiences with murder and rape, beloved funnymen killing themselves and having years of alleged sexual assault uncovered, shootings by the week, fatal reminders that racism is not only still a very serious issue but is somehow getting worse…

Those are just the, for lack of a better term, highlights. Part of the reason I haven’t been as active in writing for this site over the course of the past year is…well, Jesus Christ, just read that last paragraph again. What kind of world is this?

I don’t mean to sound as though I’m depressed. It’s more correct to say I’m baffled. Concerned. Uncertain.

My year — and I feel almost guilty for admitting this — has been pretty great by contrast. I found an excellent job, was a very busy and productive writer, pitched a few book ideas, collected and published two volumes of The Lost Worlds of Power, got my own place (again!), and entered into a relationship with a beautiful, brainy, supportive woman that I care about deeply. Again, those are the highlights. And because I’m an endlessly neurotic mess, my first thought when realizing how good I’ve had it is that so many others are having it much worse.

And I have evidence of this. After Robin Williams took his own life, I opened the floor to others who suffered from depression. The response was heartbreaking.

Here were people I didn’t know, opening up not only to a stranger (me) but to everybody who would ever see what they wrote. They were taking their deepest, most painful feelings and sharing them, openly.

I know that isn’t an easy thing to do. I was touched. I run some dumbass website that reviews ALF for Christ’s sake. Maybe now and then I say something worth reading. Maybe not. But if the small number of visitors / readers / passers-by had so much to share along those lines, it’s staggering to imagine how much people are going through (silently, internally) on a larger scale.

Offline, as a result, I tossed around the idea of a Mental Health Scholarship. I ran through the logistics with some friends and professionals. What I wanted to do was put some money aside (my savings), and offer it to somebody so that they could afford to pay for a therapist, or medication, that they otherwise couldn’t.

It meant a lot to me. I wanted to do this more than anything, and I spent months trying to make it work. Ultimately, however, there were too many obstacles. The one that bothered me most was that people would have to apply for this, and then while I might have been helping someone, there would have a lot of other someones who wouldn’t receive the scholarship. This would have been one more thing they needed that they weren’t getting, and I’d have felt terribly responsible for that.

Then there was the fact that someone could falsely apply for and receive the scholarship, then get the money and spend it on video games or candy or god knows what. Those were the two most troublesome concerns to me, but they were by no means the only ones.

One of my friends and supporters — Emily Suess, whom I’ve never met, but whom I value deeply, and whom I am richer for knowing — gave me the cleanest piece of advice I had during that whole time: don’t worry about it. You’re not a charity. Find an actual charity that does what you’d like to do, and give the money to them.

Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to help you see how simple a solution really is.

And I did exactly that. I knew I wanted to benefit a mental health charity — for personal reasons — and The Trevor Project was exactly what I was looking for.

Or, no. It wasn’t. It was a lot better, because it’s not a one-off scholarship program; it’s ongoing help, assistance, and counseling for LGBTQ youths that suffer from depression and other mental health issues. Within a few days I was on the phone with one of their outreach coordinators, and we spoke about how we could make this work (officially) as part of this year’s Xmas stream. They’d handle all the logistics of actually collecting and handling the donations, and they were grateful for the offer. (I was twice as grateful, I’m sure, in return.)

I still intend to donate that money. (I won’t mention the amount, because it’s embarrassingly paltry.) Only by attaching this to the stream, I’m increasing the amount of that donation, hopefully significantly. I’m taking some small piece of good that I could have done, and turning it into something larger, to benefit more people, to make a bigger impact. And I’m allowing others to join in that gesture of kindness, to help make this world — this dangerous, frightening, cruel world — more liveable for those who might otherwise find themselves unhappily at the end.

The spirit of the stream, I hope, will remain the same. Yes, it’s attached to a charity, and yes, I encourage you to donate if you can afford to do so. Beyond that?

It’s still a collection of terrible Christmas specials. It’s still a drunk and rowdy chatroom. It’s still hosted by a guy who’s much funnier in print than he is in person.

But last year, the holiday miracle was that we got together at all. And it was something I valued (and continue to value) very much.

This year we can pull off a much larger miracle, and help a lot of people who won’t be having as merry a Christmas, by doing the exact same thing.

That is why I’m handling the second stream the way that I am. I feel obligated to make that known, and I hope you join in the fun.

Donations can be made anonymously, and anyone who chooses not to donate is exactly as welcome as anyone who does. It’s not why the stream is happening; the stream itself was more or less a given after how much fun we had last year. But as long as the stream is happening, we might as well turn it into something really beautiful.

Long story short: Thank you.


Santa Shush
Well hello! Season’s greetings from me, the guy who isn’t dead, I promise!

It’s Christmastime, which, as always, is a busy time for me. I didn’t expect it to take a toll on the site here, but a quick glance at my folder of half-finished drafts (including the season two bonus stuff for ALF) makes it pretty clear to me that it has.

I don’t intend to stop posting until the end of the year, but updates are coming slowly. Work’s been busy, I’ve got a few other creative irons in the fire that I can’t say much about yet, and…y’know…all that DAMNED CHRISTMAS STUFF TO DO. There’s one thing in particular that I really want to get written and posted because it was requested on my Facebook page by a few people.

(Speaking of which, are you following the Noiseless Chatter Facebook page? If you don’t…do!)

But the one thing I’ve been working on most is…drumroll please…

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Stream!

Yeah, a four-hour programming block isn’t as easy as it sounds to pull together. Last year (for those of you who weren’t there) I basically streamed the entire thing from what Hulu had available, which conveniently narrowed down the selection for me, but which also posed some technical (and legal!) difficulties.

I hope to have those addressed this year. At the very least, be sure to keep an eye on this page. The link to the live stream will be posted here at 8pm Eastern time on December 24. If for any reason the stream goes down, come back here…there will be a backup. And that will hopefully solve that.

As I put the pieces together for this stream (I’m doing that right now, actually, typing while a few things render) I honestly believe this will be the best batch of specials in the history of mankind. In fact, culling them down to a mere four hours means I’ll have a lot of stuff left over for next year.

As far as the stream itself goes, I don’t know if I’ll be appearing in person. But I do know that there will be at least a few surprises for you in store, by way of original material. What will it be? Stay tuned…you’ll know in ten days!

The stream will kick off with “ALF’s Special Christmas,” and believe me, it only gets crazier from there. That’s the only special I’ve seen so far…I look forward to experiencing them all for the first time along with you. But the snatches I’ve seen have me very excited.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the event. It’s not mandatory, but it’ll give you a little reminder that it’s time to watch some really shitty television with the funniest people on the internet.

Any questions or concerns, let me know. And be sure to mark your calendars. It’ll be a great night for a great cause.