Who Are You? And What Did You Ban Me From?

Okay, the contorted insanity of mingling politics and fandom has just hit a new high… or low… or sideways whatever.

Surely, it was a logical step, from banning people who wanted to attend your conventions, and whose politics you didn’t approve of, to keep black lists, so that people whose politics you didn’t approve of couldn’t even purchase a membership.  That’s all well and good — well, no, not really — but the insanity in fandom said “Hold my beer and watch this.”

Apparently the new hotness is to announce you banned or disinvited people who never even heard of you.

From the linked article:

It was reported that the founder of a so-called popular New Jersey comic book convention, Cliff Galbraith, banned actor Kevin Sorbo because he’s friends with Sean Hannity. Galbraith said, ‘I turned down Kevin Sorbo for East Coast Comicon. He’s pals with Sean Hannity. I just can’t do it.’


Yeah.  It’s like that.  These are Heinlein’s crazy years, we just live in them.


  1. Saw this on his facebook page– seriously, the guy was shocked, shocked, to realize that Sorbo is on the Right?

    What next, he’ll be startled the guy is– gasp!– A CHRISTIAN?!?!
    Then again, he probably missed the half-dozen movies, episodes, specials, etc….

    1. My interest in the topic was/is low enough that I didn’t know.

      But yeah, that degree of political exclusion makes perfect sense for a sci fi con. One man cons are all the rage. I’m at one right now.

      1. I’m at a one man con with a guy who worked on Voyager and Roughnecks and n one of Richard Hatch’s show pitches

    2. It’s funny when people find out their idols are not what they seem. I still have people be totally shocked when I tell them Alice Cooper is a mild natured born again Christian and Sundy school teacher. One of my stations carries his radio show. I have not had the pleasure of talking to him directly but his people have been nice to work with. His radio voice which am assuming how he speaks off the air is very calm, polite and well spoken. He avoids talking politics but from what I have read is generally conservative.

    3. It’s funny when people find out their idols are not what they seem. I still have people be totally shocked when I tell them Alice Cooper is a mild natured born again Christian and Sundy school teacher. One of my stations carries his radio show. I have not had the pleasure of talking to him directly but his people have been nice to work with. His radio voice which am assuming how he speaks off the air is very calm, polite and well spoken. He avoids talking politics but from what I have read is generally conservative.

      1. I was utterly delighted when I found this out about Alice Cooper. Also where he said in an interview that, hey, if you wanna rebel in the world of rock’n’roll, being a devout Christian is the way to go. Everyone else does the sex and drugs already. (Which tells me Cooper also has a good sense of humor.)

        1. “Weird Al” Yankovic is like that. I’ve met him twice, and he’s surprisingly soft-spoken and low-key when he’s not performing. The loud, wacky clown turns out to be just a persona he invented.

          1. I read up on him before going to his Mandatory Fun concert, and a bunch of things jumped out at me and made me think “This guy’s an introvert.” Which is not what I expected from his onstage persona.

            1. It’s one of those performing things – as I’m certain that people like Bernadotte will tell you. Who you are on-stage, or on-mike is not how you really are. It’s a creation, sometimes rather like who you are in reality, but juiced-up, intensified. And for some performers, it’s a whole ‘nother persona. You’re ‘on!’ and you are everything that the audience wants to watch, to know and engage with. Because that’s what you are there to do – engage and entertain. In the early days if my original mil-blog, some of the other bloggers and I chewed this over, via email and comments. Generally, we agreed that our ‘blog’ personality was (for us) just a little concentrated and intensified version of our ‘real-life’ persona.

              I think — if you are sensible and in the entertainment business — you HAVE to do it this way: the performing “YOU” and the real “you”. You can’t be “on” all the time. That way lies madness. You have to relax… But’s a horrible energy sink to be ‘on’ – an almost vampiric drain on your energy, or so I found it. Perhaps pros like Alice Cooper and Al Yankovic find it easier to maintain – which is why they are pros.

              When I do a book event, I only amp up myself a very little – trying to be more engaged, more fascinating, more energetic. Still a drain, though.

              1. The distinction between extroverts and introverts is in which way the energy flows. Being on stage amps me up—I can be exhausted, sick, or pregnant, but put me in a performance and I’ll be more energized at the end than I was at the beginning. An introvert will go through the same performance and crash afterwards—they still love doing it, but it discharges their batteries.

                As for personas, I never had to put one on for more than the length of a show. (I got to make everyone in the audience hate me with one line once, and that was fun.) I’m a geek and a people geek, so I don’t have to feign enthusiasm for talking to people for the most part. I’d probably have a harder time hand-selling my stuff, though, because that’s where my enthusiasm tends to collide with the cultural modesty we have. (You think Americans don’t have enforced modesty about their own stuff? Think about how people react if you say “I’m intelligent” or “My creation is amazing!” The cultural norm is to over exaggerate other people’s things and under-sell your own.)

                1. Yes – it amps you up in some way. I don’t know how many times I started out a radio show, feeling as sick as a dog – and yet somehow felt a thousand times better afterwards. I have been told that it’s common – that actors, professional and amateur alike – called it “Doctor Footlights.”

                  Attention from a large crowd must be a drug even more powerful than amphetamine.

            2. I kind of figured he was, just because he seems to still be sane– but that’s based off of knowing my mom, who taught us to make “masks” to help deal with people.

              Sometimes, they don’t WANT to deal with “you,” it’s just a job that needs to be done– so you can fall into the “mask,” and it’s better for everyone. They’re happy, you’re not exhausted, it’s like using manners instead of reinventing social interaction every bleeping time.

          2. He is one of the world’s Genuinely Nice Guys, from what I’ve seen and read. And he’s got a 40-year career under his belt, so I am pretty certain anything nasty would have come to light before now. (There were whispers about Cosby going back to his stand-up days. They may not have been given credence, but they were there. There’s nothing on Al.)

            1. That was always one of the things that impressed me about Fred Thompson: He was divorced, spent 10+ years as single, and was by all accounts quite the ladies man in both DC and Hollywood, before remarrying. So when he ran for President in 08, the oppo research was all OVER any woman they could find for some dirt…. and couldn’t find even ONE.

              In fact, a group of them including his ex got tired of it and put out a public statement saying basically “Fred was a gentleman, none of us can say anything else, and would you vultures stop asking (before we hurt you).”

              1. Now that I didn’t catch– but now that I think about it, part of why I liked the guy enough to listen to what he said is that he reminded me of my dad.

                Dad likes women, and even gals who have terrible taste in men can tell he genuinely likes them, even if it’s utterly non-romantic.

                It’s like the womanizer vibe, but minus the “what can you do for ME” aspect.

          3. Seems to be largely “I am FREAKING TERRIFIED,” like he was when he did that…argh, famous show, they introduced a bunch of the music guys, he did “Another one Rides The Bus” and half of what he talks about for it is that he had an amazing musician using a freaking box and a kazoo as his instriments and that he was terrified…..

            Got hair like that? And are already kinda goofy looking? And are terrified? Maniac energy is about your best option!

    1. “I was only pretending to be retarded!” shouted the shlub nobody has ever heard of.

    2. Pretty sure there is nothing to walk back.

      This story is based on a supposed FB post, but East Coast Comicon has no FB page and Cliff has only posted one FB in the past several years.

      There is zero evidence that this statement was ever made. To put it simply, neither uses FB a lot, which makes it hard to beleive that Cliff really wrote that supposed statement.

      1. Looks like he DID say it on Facebook. From this article:

        “People are trying to be helpful. They have a friend who’s an agent or the met someone at a con and they’re passing contact info on to me. So in this case, someone asked me if I were interested in Sorbo. I said, ‘I’ll pass.’ Then I made a joke about it on my own personal Facebook page. I’m not a fan of Hannity, I’m not denying it. I’m in good company with the likes of John Cleese and Ted Koppel.” (emphasis mine)

        1. The question is whether that’s an accurate portrayal of what he was doing, or if that’s a walkback. Since the post is not public, it’s impossible to get any kind of a read on it.

  2. In other news, I have reluctantly decided to ban the entire Obama family from attending my birthday party next year. He’s pals with Bill Ayers. I just can’t do it.

      1. (Seriously. “Oh ho ho ho! I have banned a guy that would have been a major draw because he was on FOX! Nevermind I never would’ve invited him anyways, because BadThought, but oh gosh am I clever!)

      2. Wondering if it was a publicity stunt to get attention to an unheard of con and getting Kevin to come gratis to promote “healing”.

        And yes, I would consider that a step up from “it was a ban” and from “it was a joke”.

  3. Rahm Emmanuel banned President Trump from Chicago, which is close to delusional on Emmanuel’s part. Not precisely the same thing, as Trump has heard of Emmanuel, picture related. Emmanuel, of course, does not have the authority to ban Trump.

  4. I’ve liked Sorbo since I first saw him as Hercules. Then I found out my aunt knew him back when he was failing out of Moorhead State for spending all his time in the gym and she was across the river dropping out of NDSU.

  5. Looked up the Con. They’re about 30 min. drive from me. Never heard of them or even seen a billboard or local ad. I guess it’s a nasty publicity stunt and not a whole lot more.

    1. I understand she’s quite happily married and they have a couple of cute little daughters.

  6. ::compares con’s attendance and Sorbo’s rates:: Just as I thought. Little pissant con couldn’t afford Kev’s guarantee, let alone his travel and hotel expenses. That laughter you hear is from the Morris Agency office in Beverly Hills.

  7. It’s tempting to make a stink about this and ask if no Christians need attend. But this seems to be about publicity, a pathetic attempt to gain attention by linking a person few seem to have heard of and a minor comic event with a well-know celebrity. The best thing is to go “That’s special,” and ignore Mr. Galbraith and this New Jersey Comic Con.

  8. Itty bitty assed convention that is in a space smaller than a football field. Mind you that’s the field itself NOT the entire fucking stadium. started in 2011…it’s strictly for comics in the main. though looking at this years line up they have butch from the Addams Family and Sylvester McCoy from Dr Who. Basically it seems the founder is a pretentiouis jackass with delusions of adequacy.

  9. It’s obviously a Publicity stunt, ” I will ban someone moderately famous who would never come here anyway, and throw it out on the interwebs,”

    1. Kevin is a nice guy. if they’d actually asked him he might have come. but to “ban” or “disinvite” him when he was never asked in the first place is more than a bit pretentious and attention whoring. if the poor whining baby wanted attention that bad he could have bought time for a 100 bucks from a hooker on craiglist. god people annoy the shit out of me

  10. I hereby voluntarily ban myself from NJ comic con. I’m sure they’d ban me, if they knew who I was.

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