Normally, a pity party is thought to be a solitary act of sulking and self-loathing. Someone throwing a pity party is embodying the dark clouds, and often the phrase is used by onlookers as means of distancing themselves from the fun sponge.
But Malden’s Greg Cook is looking to reshape what it means to suffer the pains of daily struggles in a unified environment. On Thursday evening, Union Square in Somerville will play host to block party dedicated to addressing all the sorrows and feeling all of the feelings as a means of getting it all out.
“There’s a message in our society that discourages people from openly feeling sad,” party organizer Greg Cook said. “Sometimes, things go so far as to penalize people for expressing angst or sorrow. We need a way to have a healing laugh at our sorrows as a community.”
With the help of the Somerville Arts Council, this party combines the need for absurdity combined with honest expression in order to exercise the agonies and irritants that drag people down.
“Mainly the Pity Party is aiming to be funny-sad,” Cook said. “But it’s also a chance to express our genuine sadness about troubles in our lives and the world. This Pity Party will be a funny exorcism of all that’s been getting us down.”
Mopey clowns, depressive poetry, gloomy live tunes and ice cream, the staple of the sorrow diet, will be out for all to enjoy or suffer through.
Last year, Cook started his “Saddest Parade in the World” campaign in Beverly and Gloucester in reaction to a slew of bummer scenarios ranging from family struggles to larger scale depressants, like war and economic hardships.
“I hit a rough spot and I knew I was not alone,” Cook said. “I tell people, I’ll be sad if they miss the party. But I’ll be sad if they show up too.”
The City of Somerville Health Department will also provide information and resources about depression.
The party starts at 6 p.m..