[personal profile] seabird78
I went to a comic book/pop culture convention called C2E2 yesterday.

One of my main objectives for doing this was to attend a panel featuring a few actors from the movie The Crow. It's one of my all-time favorites, and I thought it would be cool to hear them look back at the movie, 20 years after the fact. The panelists were Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd, and Michael Massee, who played the role of Fun Boy, and who also had the great misfortune of being the one involved in Brandon Lee's accidental shooting.

Massee's presence was a little concerning for me, because I know convention culture all too well from my years of participation, and I know there are A LOT of fucking awkward people (men and women both) who attend these things, people with poor filters and a strong sense of entitlement. The combo seemed like it could possibly lead to some really insensitive questions during the Q&A portion of the session.

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one anticipating the worst. The moderator, who was an awesome guy, got on the mic before the actors were brought in, mostly to hype the crowd for their arrival, but also to go over some ground rules. One of those being, "Don't ask a dickhead question." And for those not familiar, he provided context, explaining that Massee was NOT responsible for what had happened, and shouldn't be subjected to stuff like, "What's it feel like to kill someone?"

I was glad this was addressed, that everyone remained respectful. Once things started, it ended up being a really fun discussion (Tony Todd, by the way, is HILARIOUS!). But I was also really saddened by the fact that the moderator needed to lecture the room on this kind of thing in the first place. It speaks to one of the things I despise about most geek culture, the fact that it's known for being chock full of people lacking common courtesy and common sense.

It makes me embarrassed to identify with this world you know? Which is troubling, because at the same time fandom is something that defines a big part of who I am.

So it's like, where do I fit in, you know?

Date: 2014-04-28 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuzzilla.livejournal.com
Eh, anything open to the public is gonna have a couple assholes in the mix. This blog riffs on the sociology of convention culture a lot:

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/03/finding-love-con-guide/

Date: 2014-04-28 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seabird78.livejournal.com
I liked it! And it is pretty accurate.

Date: 2014-04-28 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] acdntlpoet.livejournal.com
Here's my perspective based on my own experiences:

This type of behaviour is one of the main issues that prevents me from being involved in any fandom. It wasn't a conscious choice for me, but now that I've been thinking about it, it is indeed more in the forefront of my mind. I tend to remove myself from these kinds of crowds and instead either remain on the fringe or simply go elsewhere, engaging only in ways with which I am comfortable and around people who strive to improve. This can leave me with a sense of detachment from community, so I tend to build my own community to which I feel connected and a part of something larger than me.

I will say, in most of my passions, I rarely feel a sense of fitting in with the larger communities and groups. And I'm okay with that. I find that my connectedness to community is satiated by smaller groups of like minds. I've come to enjoy and thrive on being an outlier in communities where I can still be deeply involved yet in a way that is different from others, hoping to lead by example and show how doing it differently can be more fun and rewarding than following the pack.

I'm sure I miss a lot of interesting, cool, fun things because I avoid particular groups/fandoms/events/conferences, etc., but I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. In fact, I'm a much happier person now that I've cut most of the drama and politics out by avoiding situations where they are present. Playing on the fringe allows me that luxury a bit more easily than otherwise, but even when I'm not in the fringe, I am still able to avoid or deflect most of the b.s. by doing the right thing and leading by example. From my experience it seems that helps, though it is a slow way to cause change.

How can this translate to help you? Perhaps it is a way to see how "fitting in" perhaps isn't the issue at all. Fandom is a huge part of your identity as you have defined it, but does that mean you need to fit in to a particular part of the community? I say it doesn't. Perhaps, the answer for you is to look around at the community you have built for yourself and realize you already fit in to what you have created, and that you don't want to fit in to that larger idea for exactly the reasons you specified above.

I'll end with this final example: Coming from the SCA (where many people are involved in many different ways) I've had a long held view that there isn't just one way to play which resulted in this advice I was once given and now give to others: "Play your own game". What happens when you do that? Like minded people will gravitate to you and a community will form.... in my case that means 15 years later I have an amazingly large group of people in a community I am PROUD to be involved with. I wear it as a badge of honour (both metaphorically and literally as I have our logo tattooed on my leg). And in fact that community has built a level of respect around us as a solid core group that people want to be associated with, not the fringe outliers we may have once been early on. Of course it is also the path that lead me to a second full-time job owning my own business and working my backside off trying to make it successful, so be careful for what you ask ;)

Date: 2014-04-28 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seabird78.livejournal.com
"Perhaps, the answer for you is to look around at the community you have built for yourself and realize you already fit in to what you have created, and that you don't want to fit in to that larger idea for exactly the reasons you specified above."

You have put things into such clear perspective with the above!

Thank you!

Date: 2014-04-28 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] acdntlpoet.livejournal.com
Happy that you found value there :) Always nice when my experiences can translate to help others in some small way.

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