October 11th, 2006

Cleancut Kevin

Two Bricks in the Wall

I am pleased that I counted as two of the 100 items in The Drink Tank issue 100. One was an LOC and another was a 100-word item (not including the title) about why I do the things I do in fandom. You'll need to go read the issue to find out more.

I've already sent an LOC for the next issue, on the topic of what's driving Worldcon membership costs and ideas for bringing it down to where fans who are complaining about the cost -- including people whose fannish credentials cannot be credibly questioned and who have been in fandom since before I was born in 1965 -- can afford to attend. Do any of these ideas have much of a chance of happening? I doubt it. Worldcon is in some respects as bad as Microsoft Office products -- bloated by feature creep, and at least twice as expensive as people who pay for it and use it think it should be for what it delivers. However, if you try to remove any one thing, the people who want that one thing start yelling at you.

If I had the resources to do it (that is, an independent income, so I didn't have to work for a living), I'd be very tempted to launch a bid that cut the Worldcon down to the size where the per-member price would probably be around $50 or. It would embody a bunch of the things that those trufen who say Worldcon must return to its roots, and nothing else. And the bid would lose, lose, lose, because another bid promising a "traditional Worldcon like we've come to expect" would get all of the votes. But at least I could point to it as an example of why the idea won't work under the current system. You might say that with a popularly-choosen convention, we get the Worldcon we deserve.

The last time I recall a bid running on a platform of "cut costs and return to our heritage," it was Niagara Falls in 1998, and they came dead last in a four-way race, I think. They were probably lucky to avoid the fate of the New York in '95 NASFiC bid, which finished fourth in a field of two.
Manga Kevin

Fandom's Idiots and Maniacs

Anyone familiar with George Carlin's comedy probably knows his observation that drivers out on the road fall into two classifications: Idiots (anyone driving slower than me) and Maniacs (anyone driving faster than me). The discussion I re-ignited has led me to formulate a version of it for fandom. Note that "older" and "younger" below mean "got into fandom before or after me," not necessarily chronological age.
Fans older than me are hidebound, conservative dinosaurs who can't see that things are changing and evolving. They want everything to stay exactly the way it was when they first got involved. They should get out of the way and let people with new ideas forge ahead.

Fans younger than me have no appreciation for history and doesn't understand how important that it is that we preserve things the way they were when I first got involved. They should slow down and and show proper appreciation for things that came before them.

I'm sure there are more elegant ways to word this, but I hope you get the idea.
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Kevin and Lisa

Off to Oregon

Leaving to catch my train to Oakland Airport in a few minutes, on the first leg of my trip to Oregon. More news later. But first, I have to figure out four pounds worth of stuff to take out of my checked bag and carry with me so my bag will weigh less than 50 pounds.
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Kevin and Lisa

Passing Through PDX

My flight from OAK left ten minutes early, and arrived more than ten minutes early, wonder of wonders. (Presumably every booked passenger turned up so they didn't have to wait for anyone.) I've checked my mail, taking advantage of the free wi-fi here at PDX, and to my relief, there was nothing demanding my attention.

I'm wearing my USA Rugby polo shirt today, and by coincidence, the person sitting next to me was at at the USA-Uruguay game last weekend, although he left at halftime and hadn't heard the final score. I'm sure glad the middle seat didn't fill. I'm not a small person, and while I didn't ask, he's looked like a prop to me -- big, beefy, and wide.

Lisa knows not to expect me at the light rail station until 6 PM, but if I'm going to catch that train, I must leave now.
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