Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Allrightythen! The Aardvark is online. Welcome to the Plumbline. Here is a mission statement: to hold our 21st Century culture up to the Standard, Canon, or Plumbline of TRUTH (and have fun doing it.) But, as that two-bit pseudo-intellectual Pontius Pilate asked, "What is Truth?".We shall explore that, as well.
Of course, this does not preclude the inevitable rants, the wallowings in vanity that fuel blogging universally: that hubris which assumes that anything I have to say is worthy of others' time and attention. Herein lies the key to Blogging: When I want your opinion, I'll give it!

I am a screenprinter by trade, a garment embellisher. One of our company's areas of expertise is 4-color process science fiction convention shirts. Con-sequently, I go to a LOT of SF cons. My wife and I have been attending them since Philcon 80. A horrible realisation has dawned, though. Sci Fi cons have gone downhill, catastrophically pelting down the slippery slope of mediocrity. They have become mass-media fora, where members trade their favorite parts of TV shows and movies:
"Remember when he..."
"Yeah, it was AWESOME when she said..."
"I thought it really blew when the creature..."
"I really HATE the theme song to..."
All the same movies, shows, quotes, costumes and backstories, served endlessly, smorgasbord-style.

(Unless you count the latest Star Wars epic, and the re-releases of classics as movie tie-ins.)

SF cons started as gathering places for authors and fans to meet and revel in the Bohemian nature of their mutual love for the fantastic, the maybe, and the ought-to. They were generally put on by professionals: lawyers, doctors, teachers, people with a measure of organisational and business acumen. The cons used to be run in a businesslike fashion, by men and women of maturity.
Now, "Welcome to the WORLLLLD of Tomorrow!". The Cons have gotten older, but the con-goers have gotten progressively younger. This is good for the membership numbers, bad for leadership. One southeastern con of which I am quite fond has had a wholesale jumping of ship by the >ahem< more experienced board members. They were too busy and too tired from Real Life to expend any more energy working at running a Not-For-Profit. The board is now peopled by a bunch of callow yout's, comparatively speaking. Running Sci Fi Conventions has moved from the Business Model to the D&D Tournament Model. "Who's bringin' the pizza?"
Here's the Truth part. The Olders need to show the Youngers how to do it. The Youngers need to be open to what the Olders can teach 'em. Here endeth the lesson. I've gotta go shake my cane at some kids on my lawn.

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