A Dream Fulfilled: FarkCon 2011

Launched by Drew Curtis in 1999, Fark.com is a community website where people submit news articles with funny or clever (or sometimes not so funny or clever) headlines. Fark administrators then greenlight the funniest ones, that is, the headlines are showcased on Fark’s main page or one of the multiple tabs, such as Geek, Sports, Showbiz, or Politics.

People with Fark accounts can then go into these threads and comment–sometimes poking fun at the thread submitters (or Subby, in Fark parlance) for any grammatical or factual errors or for not being very clever, but mostly discussing the news articles and their newsworthiness. The tagline “It’s not news, it’s Fark” gives an idea of the types of articles Farkers (people with Fark accounts) post.

All Farkers have profiles that they can fill out (or not). Some people opt to flesh out their profiles more than others, and many opt to include contact information, including e-mail addresses and links to Facebook or Twitter accounts. As a result, many Farkers end up networking with one another and forging friendships. And there are Farkers from around the world, including the United States, Canada, England, Japan, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Australia, and New Zealand, to name just a few.

On occasion, Farkers organize Fark Parties at bars if there are enough of them in, or relatively near, one area who might attend. It gives Farkers the opportunity to interact with one another in 3-D land and match up names with handles.

One Farker, Nasser Kashani, quickly forged a reputation for throwing huge parties in Chicago (although he hailed from Indiana). He would handle all the planning and organization and show Farkers an excellent time. The final Fark party he threw, also in Chicago, was one of the largest in Fark’s history. Farkers from across the United States and Canada attended the weekend-long event.

Kashani was not feeling well during the party, but ever the gregarious and jovial host, he betrayed no signs of trouble. He fell ill shortly afterward, and four months after making Fark history, he passed away at the age of 29, leaving his Fark friends profoundly shocked and saddened. Following the success of the 2010 Chicago Fark Party, Kashani had envisioned an even larger event, a Fark convention of sorts, staged in Las Vegas, that would take place over the course of a few days, complete with organized mini-events and talks by guest speakers.

After he passed away, founder Drew Curtis and company decided to honor Kashani’s memory by organizing a FarkCon in Las Vegas, spanning a few days, starting March 31, with events scheduled throughout the weekend. Some Farkers have arrived as early as yesterday morning and all in attendance can look forward to the following calendar of events:

3/31

nighttime: Strip Pub Crawl

4/1

2:00 PM: Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament at Treasure Island.

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Kashani’s parents will address the group, followed by drinks at the Treasure Island bar.

4/2

Morning: hangover recovery, unstructured.

Early afternoon: Fark’s Vegas Scavenger Hunt (NSFW).

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Kashani’s mother to offer brief words, talk by Drew Curtis, talk by Joe Peacock on the Fark website redesign and his Art of Akira project, talk by Admin Tony Deconinck (tentative), performance by Paul and Storm, Q&A session with Bill Corbett (MST3K, Rifftrax), dinner.

4/3:

Check-out for some, brunch with remaining Farkers.

April 1 would have been Kashani’s 30th birthday. Kashani’s parents, who were awestruck by the number of Farkers who attended Kashani’s memorial service and offered their support and condolences, are happy to be a part of the first FarkCon and have continued to keep in touch with many from the Fark community.

Fark hopes to make the convention an annual event. Non-productive will be interviewing some of the convention’s organizers and attendees following the festivities to get their impressions and an idea of what to expect next year.

Viv Gomez
About Viv Gomez 32 Articles
Vivian Gomez is a freelance writer for Journatic and a contributing writer for several online publications, including eHow, Examiner.com, Answerbag, and PetPlace.com. She loves the marriage of good writing and beautiful, fantastic art, and that's mostly why she writes here.