April 8th, 2013

Conrunner Kevin

John Picacio Nails It

I was delighted to read John Picacio's essay about how Worldcons work today. John has got it exactly. And the way Worldcons work — exasperating as it can be, particularly to people who can't fathom why anyone would set up such an "inefficient" structure — makes every Worldcon a miracle of creation. But, as he says, anyone can do it if they can devote the resources to it. Not everyone can or wants to do so. That's not a slam on them. But as a community that is primarily based on the people doing the work also making the rules, it works better than you might think.

Alas, many people enjoy victimhood. They embrace being "outsiders." Look at the Christianists who insist that they're a persecuted, victimized minority. Look at people playing more-victimized-than-thou. I've been known to fall into that trap myself.

Look, Worldcons are an expensive hobby. I'm a white, middle-class, well-educated American, with a good-paying job. That means the hobby is accessible to me in a way that it wouldn't be to many others. But there are many hobbies that aren't accessible to everyone. Ever priced season tickets to a professional baseball team? (I could probably afford season tickets to the San Jose Giants, but not their parent club to the north. However, I can't (or more accurately, won't) afford the time.) The fact that some things are too expensive for you or me to afford doesn't invalidate their existence. I can't afford a seat in that restaurant overlooking the course at the Monaco Grand Prix, either, but that doesn't mean I have a valid case for demanding that the race either be canceled or they give it to me for free.

OTOH, as a white, middle-class, well-educated American male, maybe I'm just so privileged that my opinions are meaningless. Sorry if that sounds like whingeing. Give me credit for at least being aware that I know I've got it good and that it might color my attitudes.