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Tom Gordon

Tom Gordon's Blother

March 4, 2006

Geekier Than Thou
Useless furballs

(I hate my cats.)

So it appears John Varley cancelled I-CON 25 -- damn. Probably just as well, as his most unprecedented appearance there would've been the Mother of All Arguments convincing me to attend. Oh, I'll probably still go anyway -- if for no other reason than this'd be the first where I actually have something resembling 'money' to spend (on worthless plastic bric-a-brac, undoubtedly). And besides, rubbing elbows with the likes of Spider Robinson, Rowena Morrill and Charles Stross' nothing to shrug at, either. So we'll see.

One of the things that truly annoys me about cons, though (besides not getting credited whenever I win program cover-art competitions) is that there's no social 'crossover,' for lack of a better word. I've been to at least eight or nine of these things since 1987, and I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to strike up a friendly conversation with a complete stranger/fellow fandividual -- and gotten little more a cold stare and even colder shoulder for the trouble.

Cheeses cripes, one would think that at a rare gathering of science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts, there'd be SOME vague sense of 'outsider/outcast' comradery -- much more so than say, at the local mall in Podunk, USA. But of course, it's the same old story; even on alleged 'friendly ground,' safely removed from the pigskin-throwing jocks and water-cooler mundanes and avid "Everybody Loves Raymond" watchers, fen nevertheless still huddle together into obscure, narrow little cliques amidst a larger 'fringe' subculture. Unless you're an obsessive "Doctor Who" completist -- we don't want your kind here! Eh? You play D20 role-playing games, but not GURPS? Scram -- we don't want your kind here! Hey, those your drawings? Lemme take a look -- WHA? Where's the required oversized Bambi eyes and nonexistent nose? Get lost -- we don't want your kind here!

And so it goes. I don't know.. maybe it's just because people already come to these things in a socially pre-damaged state there, where years of mockery by soi-disant "normal folk" have formed a hard chitinous shell that no one -- save those elite few who ALSO love to write Harry Potter-themed fanfic, paint miniatures, etc -- can penetrate. (Or maybe I'm deluding myself, and they all really ARE Comic Book Guy-type priques.)

IAE, it's just sad. And come Sunday afternoon -- when the dealers have packed up and the displays torn down and the "normal folk" have taken back the campus from the invading armies of weirdos -- it becomes a regular source of aching, hopeless depression for me.

Because if there's ONE thing I've been sorely looking for all my life, it's a 'scene.'
Anonymous Lizard babbled...

I've done pretty well with meeting random friends at cons -- but, then again, schedules are tight and everyone has somewhere to be and they're all, as you note, doing their own things -- especially at megacons like iCon. Try smaller, more focused cons with less taut schedules. OTOH, the smaller cons tend to attract a fairly tight 'crowd' who show up year after year and are suspiscious towards newcomers, so there's that angle as well.

3/07/2006 9:59 AM  

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