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And So It’s Come to This

It’s Tuesday once again, and that means you’re all subjected to my rambling words of wisdom. But first! Clan Dave is doing fine (it’s fine, it’s all fine, no problems at all AT ALL). Mom Dave and Pop Dave are visiting, and have been occupying Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave. Also cleaning Castle Dave, which is doing wonders for Dave’s peace (and piece) of mind. I’ve even gotten to bugger off and loaf about write at the local caffeination establishments. I finished a short story, and about four chapters of a space opera project.

I really don’t know what to do with myself. It’s like almost all of my fondest dreams are coming true. I’m really clinging to the hope that both of the littles will be able to rock the morning pre-school gig come September. I’d get to write every day. I could set up a publishing schedule without laughing bitter tears. The world might end, or at least mine.

In other news, the World Science Fiction Convention appears to imploding at a record rate. It’s been having issues, pretty much all the way along. I imagine bringing it back from an year overseas is a special challenge, all in itself. That said, there was an early uproar over the con not reserving a large enough block of rooms, and that locals snapped them up before out-of-town congoers could get a chance to spend money atop money. Then, a local author was pre-banned, and his membership yanked.

More recently, an author was misgendered in the programming bio. I wonder why said author didn’t just send a note to the concom, maybe with a revised bio. Instead, the Internet Outrage Mob was whipped up. Then, a request that attendees wear semi-formal attire for the Huggo ceremony raised further screeching. Because looking nice at a broadcasted awards ceremony is a chore, and a trial Hercules himself would have failed at.

In the last few days, things have gotten even more confused. Award nominees have been left off programming, which seems a bit odd. Still, there was plenty of outrage to go around. And finally, a handful of weeks from opening ceremonies, the entire program has been scrapped to be redone in a more enlightened and inclusive manner.

Well, then.

Folks, I haven’t done it, myself, but I know some people who’ve run cons. In my rather humble opinion, this doesn’t seem to be the way to do that. I’m also ambivalent. I’ve had a number of friends hurt over what is a truly small fight, to include slander (yes, I’ve heard it) and libel (on a global scale) and deliberate attempts to sink careers. Which is survivable — if incredibly painful — if you’re DINC and your author gig is basically a hobby. It’s far worse if you’re supplementing so the kids can actually go to college, or even the sole bread-winner of the family. At that point, this behavior is beyond morally ambiguous.

Folks I know are predicting no more than a decade before the largely graying WorldCon in-crowd are unable to travel, and the institution just wastes away. I don’t want WorldCon to die. I really don’t, but it may need to undergo a medically induced coma and a painful rehabilitation, and we look to be more or less front-row spectators to the process.

It would be awfully nice to see the con itself get a new lease on life, with a young crowd (seriously, barring a handful of local families, I was one of the youngest attendees at my last WC) of enthusiastic con-goers digging into ideas with a new fervor, instead of rehashing the same worn-out notions in the same worn-out way. But I don’t think we’re there, yet.

29 Comments
  1. CACS #

    Folks, I haven’t done it, myself, but I know some people who’ve run cons. In my rather humble opinion, this doesn’t seem to be the way to do that. 

    No, it is not, not at all, not now, not ever.

    It does seem a great way to irritate, alienate, and loose possible future guests and attendees. 

    July 24, 2018
  2. TRX #

    > I don’t want WorldCon to die.

    Its undead corpse is still shambling along, more or less, but died decades ago.

    Its corporate supporters may prop it against the wall, prop its eyelids open, and arrange the spotlights to make it look alive for a few more years, but it’s still dead. And when the SJWLGBTEIEIO crab bucket goes quiet, it’ll be just another Wikipedia entry.

    July 24, 2018
    • Draven #

      naah. the torlings are going to keep propping up ‘their’ hugo award until they themselves die…

      July 25, 2018
  3. I’ve been to World Con a few times, our own (Seattle-area) NorWesCon twice, and even been to LibertyCon once, and I have to say the fans in these three don’t really look all that different from each other. The ones at WorldCon are probably a bit older and the ones at NorWesCon are definitely younger than the other two, but not by all that much.

    If you want to spend a week at an out-of-town convention, it helps a lot to be retired. The more out-of-town attendees at a con, the older it’s going to be on average. I think that’s really all there is to it.

    July 24, 2018
    • I see that this Bogi Takács goof who went after Greg Hullender over his Locus Board nom is this year the center of the WorldCon Shirtstorm.

      Too bad they chased out all those eeeeevile Sad Puppies, eh? Now the “Good People” are the targets of the demented idiots and SJW virtue signalers.

      My popcorn runeth over.

      So, if an author or a SMOF gets excommunicated from WorldCon because they didn’t read their decoder ring properly and made some Protected Species member mad…

      … does that make them a Sad Puppy? Bwhah!

      July 25, 2018
  4. It sounds like they’ve gotten the 30mm Gatling gun out of an A-10 and shot their feet all to pieces. I’ve never been to a con, and don’t ever expect to go to one, but this one looks to be an outstanding case of being a truly bad, Bad, BAD example. Couldna happen to nicer folks…I guess.

    July 24, 2018
  5. Ya know, I’m reminded of the snake pit scene in one of the Indiana Jones movies…

    July 24, 2018
  6. “…a request that attendees wear semi-formal attire for the Hugo ceremony raised further screeching.”

    Proving, once again, that the outrage monkeys will howl and fling poo at anything. Wild guess, the loudest screamers were never going to attend anyway. That’s how this usually works.

    But hey, it is an entirely 100% Sad Puppy free Hugo this year. Meaning all these wounds are self-inflicted. Looks good on them.

    In other award news, the stupid people (they know who they are) are talking trash about the Dragon Awards again. This looks to be an annual event now, the same tired arguments being dragged out and being puppeteered through their same choreography of name calling.

    Looking ten years down the line, what am I bet that the WorldCon weenies have packed it in for lack of interest, and Dragon is still going strong? I mean, lets face it. The shelf-life for strident Leftist propaganda is getting shorter by the month.

    July 24, 2018
    • Perhaps I am a monster or such, but I sit here, basking in the Schadenfreude that it’s all self-inflicted and the wannabe rescuer is Mary “Three Names”* who, shall we say, mis-characterized, the Sad Puppy efforts… so it seems to me that the rescue is like going for a flight with a pilot everyone calls ‘Crash’. And I sip my WhistlePig rye… and let history take its rhyming course as WorldCon and such do exactly as predicted: Control Flight… Into Terrain. And here I am, safely on the ground, well away from the flight path… or trajectory might be the better word.

      * Really: https://twitter.com/MaryRobinette/status/1021881008784900096

      July 25, 2018
      • I agree that they are on glide path for the side of Mt Lookitthat, but I must say the speed with which all this is proceeding is quite impressive. They really opened the throttles this time. I can hear the engineers screaming “Captain, she can’t take the pressure!”

        July 25, 2018
        • “Now that those people with their flags have gotten out of the way, we can go so much faster!”

          July 25, 2018
  7. Joe in PNG #

    My prediction is that Worldcon will eventually come down to two people, each voting to rescind the other’s membership.

    July 24, 2018
    • My further prediction is that this will happen next year. ~:D

      July 25, 2018
  8. I used to look forward to going to a Worldcon. Last year I took one look at the published booth prices and knew there was no way we could even hope to make a profit. Not when we lost money at a 50,000 person comic con with booths at that price (and that one only two days’ drive each way, not four). When a comic con promoter that we’ve had great success with announced a convention Worldcon weekend, we snapped up booths there.

    After this weekend’s blowup, I decided that I was just as happy that we’ll be at Michigan Comic Con over Worldcon weekend. It’s just one day’s drive each way, it’s in the same venue that hosts Youmacon, so we’re familiar with the place, and we’re apt to make a heck of a lot more money with a whole lot less Drama.

    If anyone else is going to Michigan Comic Con, please stop by the Starship Cat booth. I’m very excited about this new convention.

    July 24, 2018
  9. Sounds like a mell of a hess. I’m sorry in some ways, especially for the ordinary Con volunteers and vendors, but I’m also munching on popcorn and enjoying a bit of schadenfreude.

    July 24, 2018
    • That’s what I’m doing, personally. Well, not even so much. Chuckling at the screeching, then getting back to RL work, which has of late, been taking me away from the pleasure of you lovely folks’ company.

      July 24, 2018
      • “…been taking me away from the pleasure of you lovely folks’ company.”

        Nooooo! ~:D

        July 25, 2018
  10. BrionyB #

    I suspect a lot of the problems stem from the complainants forgetting what (or, more importantly, who) a con is supposed to be for. In their minds, the primary purpose is to give “marginalised” authors “their turn”, as opposed to actually putting on a fun and interesting event that people will pay to attend. The problem is that then it becomes author-focused instead of reader-focused (and you only have to look at any vanity press to see how well that works out for the authors…)

    Hence award nominees not being on panels in the original version of the programming – yes it seems odd at first glance, but if you want the public to part with their hard-earned cash and show up, it makes sense to have panels made up of well-known, popular authors, not a bunch of no-names with more diversity credentials than book sales. Of course, if the award nominees tend to be drawn from the latter group, that raises the question of why… and then we’re back to Sad Puppies all over again.

    July 25, 2018
    • Mary #

      Notice how they think the attendees will not know the nominees. . . .

      July 25, 2018
  11. Christopher M. Chupik #

    It’s funny, but also a bit sad, that something which may well have been an honest mistake was taken as a deliberate mortal insult that should be avenged in blood.

    July 25, 2018
    • Live by the Malicious Falsehood… well, can’t say I am very sympathetic.
      You bet yer assterisk, I ain’t. ♉

      July 25, 2018
    • When you live for bitter outrage, each tiny morsel must be held tightly. And when there is no outrage to be had, you make shit up.

      What I find funny is that WorldCon is so willing to let obviously disordered people with major mental health issues set the agenda for the con. What are the practical people who do all the work saying right now? Are any of them going to show up next year?

      July 25, 2018
      • I suspect there will be a few die-hard regular workers next year, who will be wondering “WHY?????” and deciding “No MORE.”

        I looked at the Mary tweets, and those looked like a lot of the irregular usual suspects chiming in.

        July 25, 2018
        • Yeah, the chorus in support of Mary Three Names is the First Keyboard Battalion of the Rainbow Social Justice Warrior Army. Not the nice ladies and spry old geezers who show up to the con and volunteer their time and very limited old-person energy.

          Oh well. We did warn them. Don’t pick up the snake we said, it’ll bite you we said. Did they listen? Noooo, not them.

          July 25, 2018
    • Mr. Chupik sir, I congratulate you on your most recent coinage: “cacophonous fornication.” And forsooth, the creature answered as if called.

      July 25, 2018
      • Christopher M. Chupik #

        I’ll bet I can get him to answer to worse names than that. 🙂

        July 26, 2018
        • I will not accept that wager. It is well known that when the camel flop finds himself deep in a hole at the bottom of a wagon rut, and he looks up at the bellies of snakes passing by far above, he digs.

          July 26, 2018
  12. Evenstar #

    I don’t think I’ve experienced such schadenfreude since November 9, 2016.

    July 25, 2018

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