Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy News

[ For the uninitiated, NonProductive has a good post about Fark.com and this Vegas party. ]

Today is a day of sad reminders and big celebrations. The title of this post may seem odd at first, but read on.

Several months ago we here at the Tempo-Free Gridiron mourned the loss of Nasser Kashani, one of the cornerstones of TFG stomping ground Fark.com (where we routinely play punching bag to the masses). At the time of his passing he had been planning a party to top the massive Chicago party held last April. He had been making noise about holding this follow-up party in April 2011 -- a combination Fark-party-slash-personal-birthday-blowout -- but his illness had put those plans on hold. His death lead to some soul-searching by Drew, Fark's founder, and resulted in some noticeable changes (subscription only) as to how the site was run. It also prompted the Fark community to commit to a party to end all parties, and out of the grief of that moment wheels were set in motion.

Nearly eight months have passed, and today is a happy day. Today would have been Nasser's 30th birthday. In a celebration of his life and of the community as a whole, Farkers are gathering in Las Vegas to drink, gamble, and in general be the devious bastards he knew we could be given the chance.  Farkers have traveled from all over the US and Canada to play poker, bar crawl, and just meet and hang out in person. We often hear that we should celebrate someone's life instead of mourning their passing. That's not always easy, especially in the immediate aftermath of losing someone you've been close to, even if you've never met them in person. But Las Vegas, above all, is a place to celebrate the wonderful now-ness of life.

It's been said that Fark is canonizing a socially awkward goof with misplaced priorities. But even as this image of Nasser became increasingly inaccurate over the years, he had learned to accept and even embrace that role. In the end Farkers overwhelmingly loved him for who he was and miss him now that he's gone. Life is short, and Fark has lost too many good people recently.

At a recent public appearance, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was trying to explain to fellow team executives why people go to sporting events. You might not remember the big play the superstar made. You might not remember the final score, or even who won. But you will remember who was at the game with you.

Farkers may not remember what they did this weekend, but I can guarantee you they'll remember who was there and miss those who weren't able to make the trip.

To this day Nasser's memorial remains far and away the most-read post on this blog. One football season and over 10,000 pageviews later it is one-and-a-half times as popular as our weekly rankings, and nearly three times as popular as the introduction pages listed at the top of our "About Us" section. The phrase "Nasser Kashani" is the second-most common search phrase that brings people here.