Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Avalanche Racing

While driving to work this morning (25 minute delay at the normally-uncongested Dumbarton Bridge because a toll lane was closed, darnit), I had lots of time to think about why the (to over-simplify) "media" fan contingent is so down on events like Westercon, Worldcon, etc. and classes them as exclusively "literary" when I'm of the opinion that they are "general" or "mixed" events. ("Exclusively literary" is something I reserve for World Fantasy Con and Potlatch-like specialty events.) A sports analogy comes to mind. Of course, if you're completely indifferent to sports, this analogy won't work at all.

In recent years, the Olympics, particularly the Winter Olympics, have started including more "extreme" sports such as freestyle skiing. There are also the X-Games that are completely dedicated to those sports. I expect there are people who are big fans of X-Games-style extreme sports who are completely disdainful of Olympics and "traditional" sports, and think they're stuck-up and elitist for continuing to actually even hold those events at all -- why should we bother holding old-fashioned boring things like downhill skiing when we have Real Sports like snowmobile jumping and avalanche racing. (I think I made up the last one.)

We may even be getting to the point -- or if not, we will be there soon -- where there is an entire generation of sports fans who don't even know there was a time when their "extreme" sports were a fringe activity or nonexistent, and will insist that the focus should be exclusively on what they consider the Real Sports, while those old-fashioned things should take a hike. And both they and fans of the "traditional" sports will look at each other in mutual incomprehension because they aren't really speaking each others' language, even though they might be using the same words.

The analogy of "media" fans to "extreme sports" fans sounds workable to me, but maybe that's just the carbon monoxide fumes from the traffic backup talking.

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