Saturday, May 21, 2011

WHC 2011 Postmortem - The Dead Horse Post

The problem with these is the further away I get from the event the harder it is to remember everything. This is probably due in no small part to the fact that most of my activity at the con was spent hanging out with people at parties or smoking and I find conversations to be very difficult to remember. I attended exactly one panel and one reading. This was not for lack of interest in the people involved, but more due to the fact that the late-night partying combined with my natural tendency to be nocturnal (and my job sure doesn't help that), I usually rolled out of bed in the early afternoon or late morning, then went down to the dealer room to hang out for a bit, then we had to get a late lunch/early dinner so my wife could take her pills as well as remind me that I needed to eat something, then by the time we got back it was usually 1800-1900 and time enough to hang out in the dealer room a bit more, roam around some, and then hit parties, or the bar, or the smoking areas outside the hotel or in the inner courtyard.

Since I'm getting sick of these I think instead of trying to catalog each day and everyone I met I will just instead try to meet my other goal, which was to provide a resource for people looking for "real" con tips as opposed to the usual crap ones.

I wish I'd gone to more readings, but I will admit I think panels are kind of a waste of time, which is one of those Things You're Not Supposed to Say. Sorry, panels suck. They're archaic and I don't even think the people on them enjoy doing them. Now, before you can point it out I'll admit that I say this as a guy who will no doubt be appearing on panels at cons near you in the future. So after thinking about it I decided that panels serve a couple of purposes:

1. Shared pain leads to bonding. A great way to show support for your favorite writer is to go to a panel they're on. You think the topic is boring? You just have to sit there listening to it. Imagine having to come up with something to say about it that didn't make you look like an idiot! Now you're bored, annoyed, and under pressure! At times like this it must be great to look out in the audience and see some of your loyal fanboys, nervously clutching the things they may or may not have the balls to approach you to get you to sign. So while it may not make instant drinking buddies out of the parties involved, that common experience is a small way get a little closer.

2. Some people do actually learn something. It's easy to forget that not everyone is at the same level you are. So while I might make fun of the earnest kids eagerly scribbling notes in the audience, there is a first time for everyone to learn some of these things. I'd recommend you move past this stage quickly, though.

3. It's something to do before the parties start. That doesn't involve "filk". I think we can all agree that a panel discussion, about ANYTHING, is at least better than "filk" "music". I'd rather be forced to discuss for an hour or more the lyrics to "We Built This City (On Rock and Roll)", their deeper meanings, political and cultural implications, and support for postcolonial queer theory, than sit around while some guy with a guitar sings a folk song about hobbits. The whole damn thing shouldn't exist. Why do you think Leonard Nimoy recorded "Bilbo Baggins"? He caught wind of the whole filk thing and tried to shut it down. He failed, but he's still a hero for trying.

So I guess I could've gone to more panels. But not too many. Really I think you should keep the panels to a minimum if you want to sell books.That's my whole thing on panels, anyway.

Anyway, I keep wanting to work on this but I get bored. And I figure if I'm bored with it, then you are to, so I'm just going to drop it for now and maybe return to it later, when it's more relevant - like when I go to Hypericon next month.

So for now I'll just say hi to all the people I haven't mentioned yet who I met or who bought my book or both and just say thanks. There are too many of you for me to list and if I forgot some of you it would look bad. I'm sorry if you were waiting to see yourself in my memoir when we got to the weekend, but at this point it just felt lame to me to keep blogging about it. So it is only the fact that my blogs are many hundreds of words and not that you have any kind of awesomeness deficit that has kept me from blogging about you.

And anyway, I will probably come back to stories from WHC at appropriate times. So many stories.

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