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That was the weekend that was...

...and it was quite the weekend. Long-ass, admittedly incomplete post about Convergence follows:

Saturday went by in a blur after I did my two panels (Foreign Comics with Abby Lehrke and Superhero Domination of Comics with Daren Johnson) because it was all about the con suite, baby. Soup prep and sandwich lines and pizza lines and Leann Chin and water changes and garbage hauling plus all the other little things that go into providing noshes and fluids for all those folks that stream through the consuite. Convergence puts out more of a spread than we do, and soaks up more money/staff/volunteers than we do as a consequence, but people really appreciate it, especially the younger ones who are pleasantly surprised by the bounty of fresh fruit and veggies and cookies and...yeah, stop me before I babble on again. I had a blast doing it, of course, because the Goon Squad (Nick, Victor, and Crash) plus Ellie-sama, Omaha, Gut and danae did a really good job as sub-heads, and the regular volunteers like Gypsy and Will (Suit Guy) know their roles and really do a lot; they're practically sub-heads without portfolio. We also had a lot of help from folks who came down and badged for a couple of hours, helped fill up the trays and bowls when the chips were down (to say nothing of the pretzels) and even washed out crockpots and trays.

ISTR that I split my time about half and half between badging and Suite Thanging, which was about the right mix. I did get a little sore, but I usually didn't have to sit down more than a few minutes to feel better. My feet and legs didn't bother me much in spite of my managing to stab a fresh hole in the bottom of my right foot late Saturday night/Sunday morning after I got home...still not sure how I did that, but it hurt like hell at the time and bled a bit, and is still a little tender. Anyway, I was in the consuite from a little after 1500 on Saturday afternoon until a bit after 0100 Sunday, at which point I wandered off and looked in on a couple of room parties before winding up at the AD room party around 0200 beforetjstriker closed it down and I left at 0300.

A few hours of sleep later and I was back for the Fandom Subcultures panel with Anna Waltz and Lee Schneider. Anna and I have worked together on a fair number of panels at Diversicon and Minicon, but Lee Schneider I didn't know. He turned out to be an older fellow (I'm guessing late 50s, early 60s) who had some ideas about fandom basically all coming from one literary root, which Anna and I thought was nonsense, although we were more polite about it than that. The panel was surprisingly well-attended for the time it was scheduled and people took an active part in the discussion, which is always a good sign. Anna and I went off to breakfast afterward...well, I had breakfast and she had tea, since she'd already eaten. We had a good talk about Diversicon, family, and other fun stuff, and then I headed over to the dealer's room.

I saw some stuff I was mildly interested in at the Dreamhaven table, but most of the vendors seemed to be flogging jewelry, dolls, clothing or ironmongery, none of which I had much interest in. There were a couple of anime vendors, but only a couple of booksellers, which was somewhat disappointing since Convergence is supposedly an SF convention and (I think) ought to be ensuring that we're getting the fans who came in through the movie & TV fandoms familiarized with the classics that made SF what it is today. Anna said that we're in danger of losing some of our culture because a lot of the young fans aren't familiar with Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, del Rey and the other Golden Age authors, and I think she's right. After that I had a long talk with Scotty MacKlingon outside the Dealers' Room, while people mistook us for badgers. He's of the opinion (reinforced by experiences at the blogging panel and a remark in questionable taste by Lee at the Subcultures panel) that we ought to hold a local convention for Republican/conservative fans, since the predominant politics of the Convergence Powers That Be seems to be leftist and a lot of panelists tend to assume that their fellows are likewise politically liberal. (Obviously not in my case.) I told him it sounded like an interesting idea, and there might just be enough libertarians and conservative fans to make it work. We'll see what happens.

The conversation made me miss the post-mortem, but it was worth it. Went on back to the consuite afterward, did a little filling and garbage tossing followed by badging until there was no further need for it, at which point thaadd stuck me with the radio and escaped to the hot tub, which I really couldn't fault her for since she had worked damn hard (and would do so again on Monday). vwbuglover came by and talked for a while before wandering off to get a bottle of wine, from which journey she never returned. thaadd came back and we almost got into a game of Catan with Don, but it got late, so much so that I chose to crash in the now-vacant room 1804...and I'll finish this tomorrow, I think.


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
...OR you are more than welcome to offer your own ideas in regards to programming that fits your particular politics. ("who would [x] vote for?", etc.) But I personally know quite a few attendees who are, if not conservative, closer to that side than the other. I don't know about a whole convention (lord, this town needs another convention like ________ [fill in the blank]!), though.

I know I wouldn't go to a con with ANY political slant to it, as it seems that it would stifle debate from the other side.
Jul. 5th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I'd rather people just leave their politics at home for the weekend and just go have a good time. We're there to celebrate the various fandoms that unite us.
Jul. 5th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC)
Hear! Hear! We can be political as we want the other 360 days of the year. We don't need to do the dance of the elephant and the donkey at CONvergence.
Jul. 5th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
I agree. Why not do a "Republican fans" panel?

I did hear a lot of Bush-bashing from attendees at various panels I went to, but generally I didn't hear it coming out of the panelists themselves. The only time I got annoyed with politics at the con (other than being reminded that the gov. shutdown had basically cost me a job) was the guy on the Super Heros and Normals panel who kept talking about politicians being super heros, but that's because I don't believe in putting any elected official on a pedestal. It makes it too hard to see that everyone has pros and flaws when you do that.
(no subject) - michaellee - Jul. 5th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaellee - Jul. 5th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - willow_one - Jul. 6th, 2005 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaellee - Jul. 6th, 2005 04:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 6th, 2005 04:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - willow_one - Jul. 6th, 2005 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 6th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 5th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
I generally try to avoid politics at conventions, period, since that's not what I go to conventions for. I also think that most of the younger fans tend to be more libertarian than liberal or conservative and don't really want to get into the politics on their party weekend either. I'm just relaying what sqotty was saying, is all.
Jul. 5th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
Surprisingly, my livejournal logon still works...shocker.

I hadn't thought about how fandom is losing out on the classics, the writers who brought fandom into existence. Heinlein was my first introduction to real SF, having tested the waters with Doc Savage and Blish's adaptations of Trek. Maybe that would be a good panel for next year, especially with the impending Centennial Celebration of Heinlein: "Which classic SF books would you recommend and why?" It would certainly be an interesting discussion.


Jul. 5th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Convergence
That's certainly a very good idea. Please, make sure that you let us know and remind us when we start planning in the late fall.
Re: Convergence - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Convergence - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Convergence - michaellee - Jul. 5th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Convergence - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 5th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
As I mentioned on Sqotty's LJ I'm more in favor of a room party at this point for us crusty righties (joke)
Jul. 5th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
Do we get weapons?? :)
Jul. 5th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
The right to buy weapons is the right to be free...so no, not unless you bring your own. ^^
Jul. 5th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)
Eh, you didn't miss much by not making it to post-mortem. The two major subjects that came up were 1) hotel room issues 2) elevator issues. Basically, it was just one woman who got a king-sized bed when she wanted two double beds chewing out the concom and refusing to even accept an apology or other suggestions for how she could have handled it (ie, by biting the head off someone who said "why not request a roll-away?")

Although, they did seem to take my suggestion to mark which parties were smoking and which were drinking very well. Basically, I suggested it because I didn't like walking into a smoking room and essentially being instant hot-boxed with cigarette smell, and I also realized there were more kids there than I've ever seen before... and generally, people don't want to take their kids to alcohol parties.

Sorry I did not make it to fandom subcultures panel, but remember those two paper bags of "liquids?" I believe only one bag went home with us. Yeaaaaaaaah....

Someone defaced a bunch of Detour posters with "Take your DVD players home!", but I notice they didn't do the same to Cinema Rex or Cinema Apocalpyse posters. Ah, hypocrasy. It's fun!

Jul. 5th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
Well, let's face it, for better or for worse anime fans are the new Trekkies, with all the abuse from old and cranky fans that implies. Still, we're here, we're supplying a lot of the new meat in the volunteer force, and we like parties as much as the next fan. ^_^ Speaking of which I'm sure drunkenphlower will be glad to hear that the bags were put to good use.

Jul. 5th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
It's my belief that the internet and big box stores just make selling books at conventions less viable than they used to be -- you don't need to go to a convention to find that obscure (or even not-so-obscure) book anymore. I'm by no means an expert on dealers rooms, but that's my instinct on the matter. [I only occasionally by a book in a dealer's room.]

I think one of the reasons why we see so many jewelry and the like is because they're the type of things people want to physically see before they buy -- as opposed to a book, which is pretty much going to be the same wherever you get it...
Jul. 5th, 2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
True enough, but you might be appalled at how few fans are aware that we have specialty SF book stores in town that stock older books and out-of-print used books that the big boxes just don't carry. Also, I don't think a lot of fans are aware of abebooks.com and other used book outlets...but maybe I've been around anime fans too much lately. ~_^
(no subject) - michaellee - Jul. 5th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 5th, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaellee - Jul. 5th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wombat_socho - Jul. 6th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
Actually, I tend to buy a bunch more books at Con, because a) I go to book panels, take notes, and want instant gratification, and b) the people who bring their books to Cons tend to have really interesting stuff.

I was sad to not see John Jameson books there, though.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )



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