Emotional Games: February 14, 7 p.m. (from the Official Program Guide)

7 p.m., No Coast, 1500 W. 17th Street

Please note this exciting update: The Unlympics Organizing Committee is honored to announce that in addition to our already stella cast of presenters, joining tonight’s games will be Stephen F. Eisenman, Julien Ball, Mustafa Afrika, and Laurie Jo Reynolds. At 7:15 p.m., barring a prison problem, we will speak live to Stanley Howard, Jon Burge-tortured former death-row inmate commuted by George Ryan. Plus: Other special guests may appear throughout the evening!



Please note that all Awards Ceremonies are BYOB.


Solitary Isolation Game (Individual)

Picture living in a cage the size of your bathroom, with tiers of single cages above, below, and to either side. You remain in this cage nearly 24 hours a day, day in and day out, year in and year out. The use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons began in 1829, based on the Quaker philosophy that introspection would lead to reform. It soon became clear that people in isolation often suffer mental breakdown, so isolation was largely abandoned—except as a means of administrative control. More recently, isolation is combined with behavioral modification programs, including physical beatings, use of devices of torture, and psychological abuse. Sound like fun to you?


Duration Jump-Roping or Hula-Hooping (Individual or double-dutch)

1. The mode of contest shall be determined by the judge’s ability to locate either hula hoops or jump ropes in advance of the competition.

2. Duration shall be defined as “length of time contestant is able to maintain continuous jumping motion while mono-directionally crossing the rope barrier created by the object called the jump-rope,”or  “length of time contestant is able to maintain continuous hula motion in the hips while supporting the hoop via centrifugal force,” depending on the object provided by the judges for play.

3. Contestant may choose a preferred direction of rope or hoop motion (forward or backward; left or right), depending on said contestant’s coordination limitations and desire to look awesome and/or “hot dog.” Said jumping rope or hoop must make one full 360-degree vertical rotation around the human form and never become entangled by, twined with, knotted around, or in any way harassed by the human form, foot, shoe or shoe lace, nor falter in its continuous encircling of the body.

4. Contestants inclined to whip other contestants with rope or conk them on the heads with the hoop will be immediately disqualified from the Duration Jump-Roping or Hula-Hooping Competition and asked to leave quietly and respectfully with inside voices. No hissy fits.

5. Contestants will be timed as a group. Last one jumping rope or hula hooping wins. 


Synchronized Competition (Team)

What is a multinational sporting event without some kind of synchronized competition, primarily performed by adorable, winsome, and lithe young women in unending fantastical rows, endlessly repeating after each other the exact movements of the first, for our personal sporting edification and clear aesthetic appreciation? Probably kind of a bad one, so be sure to pay close attention to the rules of this event when the judges describe them.


Stop, Drop & Roll (Individual)

This competition will only occur in case of a fitting disaster, natural or otherwise.


Karaoke (Individual, duet)

1. Persons who entertain are allowed to compete as long as it is part-time income and that person does not belong to any professional organization connected with the entertainment industry that would cause the Unlympics Organizing Committee to pay such contestant a fee or any other benefit for taking part in any Unlympics event.

2. Any person may enter the contest that belongs to an Organized Labor Union connected with the entertainment industry, as long as that person is not disqualified by rule number 1.

3. Persons may compete alone or as a member of a duet. No persons may enter a duet that are, in effect, one single person wearing at one point a mustache and appearing at another point bare-lipped. Nor will duet status be granted one single person suffering from multiple personalities. These persons must enter the competition as individuals.

4. Contestants MAY NOT utilize live props. This will include back-up singers, dancers, or animals. Non-human props such as costumes and other accessories are permitted. Musical instruments may be used as props, but are not allowed to be performed upon as an accompaniment to the contestants’ performance. Such musical instruments must be hand carried. Larger instruments that utilize the aid of others to bring them on stage, or are difficult to handle will NOT be permitted. An example of this type of instrument is a piano, harp, etc. Any prop used by a contestant must be carried on stage or into the stage area by the contestant, and must be completed in one trip onto or into the stage area. The non-use of live props will include the passing of flowers or other items to anyone, touching hands of an audience member or any other similar act.

5. Contestants may sing the same song as other contestants.

6. Contestants, their family or associates are not allowed to have contact with a contest judge before or during any contest connected with the Unlympics. Contact includes verbal conversations, handshakes, and making out. It is suggested that judges don themselves with badges to prevent contestants from approaching judges, and that, if approached by a contestant, they run away, very fast. This rule applies only before and during the time contestants are performing. It is not reasonable to expect contestants, their family or associates from having contact with a judge directly after all contestants have performed. 


Judge Competition (Individual)

Following the completion of the events in the Winter 2009 Unlympics, all parties will offer criticism, praise, and feedback to those who have remained in power throught the duration of the games. A most exemplary judge will be awarded the gold medal a slightly less good judge will be awarded the silver, and so on for one more medal. In combination with The Spectator Sport, this game is intended ensure an even balance of power between athletes, judges, and spectators, all of whom weigh equally in the success of the Unlympic Movement. 

The Unlympic Organizing Committee asks you with this game to pause for a moment and consider what it might be like if the Chicago 2016 bid weighed all comers—low-income residents, government officials, migratory birds, developers, local cultural producers, athletes, and victims of police torture—as equals. Would we still proceed with the bid?



Tamms Year Ten and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty are the official sponsors of the Emotional Games. Tamms Year Ten was founded on the tenth anniversary of the transfer of prisoners to Tamms “supermax” prison in Southern Illinois. Designed to keep men in constant solitary confinement, Tamms was intended for short-term incarceration, but over one-third of the original prisoners have been held with no human contact or communal activity since 1998. Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists and concerned citizens who protest these misguided and inhumane policies and call for an end to psychological torture. The Campaign to End the Death Penalty works hand in hand with those who have experienced the horrors of death row in person—death row prisoners and family members—and works to ensure that their voices are at the forefront of our movement.

The Emotional Games will be held at Pilsen’s No Coast, a collective space dedicated to keeping the products and processes of creative practice accessible to whomever is interested in them in the spirit of fostering collaborative community.

Between 1972 to 1991, over 100 African American men were tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and detectives under his command. Called acts of torture by independent investigations and numerous courts, the detectives under Burge’s command electrically shocked men’s genitals, ears and lips with a cattle prod or an electric shock box, suffocated individuals with plastic bags, performed mock executions, and committed beatings with telephone books and rubber hoses to extract confessions. Not a single officer has ever been prosecuted for these acts, which violate criminal laws, the victims’ Constitutional rights, and international treaties banning the use of torture. At least 24 people continue to languish behind bars based on these unreliable confessions. On May 19, 2006, the United Nations Committee Against Torture concluded that the United States Government and the City of Chicago were in violation of the Convention Against Torture.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared that concern for human rights abuses in Russia disallowed the US from participating in the Moscow Games, and enacted a boycott against them. The Unlympics Organizing Committee requests a boycott of the Chicago 2016 Games on these same grounds.


Competitors and spectators will also be offered the opportunity to send “Torture Breaks My Heart” Valentines to prisoners and legislators.


One Response to “Emotional Games: February 14, 7 p.m. (from the Official Program Guide)”

  1. What’s Happening? » Blog Archive » Baftas 2009: Heath Ledger Profile - Telegraph.Co.Uk | Batman ‘the … Says:

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