cons and meets

minnow at minnow at
Fri Aug 13 05:24:26 EDT 2004

Jordan wondered:

>Wow, I have literally just finished Deep Secret when I check my e-mail and 
>saw this. So there are really people like that out there? Dress up and act like 
>that in public? Ah, I'd probably do that too if one ever came here (new 
>orleans) but I dont think they have em here.

The truly outlandish matter (centaurs and magids and such) I have not
encountered at any convention -- thank goodness! The rest is an
affectionate semi-portrait of some convention-goers, and I don't think
there's a single person in it who isn't at least a recognisable "type", 
even if some are slightly larger than life. 

What you have to remember is that an English convention isn't exactly
"in public". Generally the entire hotel in which it is happening has
been taken by the Convention and no "mundanes" will be staying there;
this means that people can let down their hair and not look over their
shoulders all the time to see whether they are being disapproved of.  If
someone wants to cross-dress he or she can, and nobody will comment
except possibly to mention where one can buy women's shoes in large
sizes, as it were; it would be very bad form indeed to express any
disapproval, and the person expressing it would be the one who was
looked at askance.  (This seems to me to be what ought to happen always
and everywhere, actually, but then I am obviously a con-goer at heart.)
If someone wants to wander about wearing nothing but two
strategically-placed bits of chamois-leather or dressed as someone in
the Rocky Horror Show, or telling everyone about the Face on Mars, or
giving long and detailed descriptions of some world they invented for a
game, or explaining their particular beliefs about christianity or
paganism, that's ok so long as they aren't being unpleasant to or about
any individual who happens to be present. If someone is bored by
whatever it may happen to be, there are plenty of other people to go and
talk to instead. It is socially acceptable, for the duration of the con,
to be as eccentric as one feels any need to be, and nobody is affronted
(or if they are they can go and be it somewhere else).  About the only
thing that's a bit frowned on is any religious or idealogical attempt to
force anyone else to do or not do something because of one's own beliefs
or feelings: the person who tries to stop a particular film being shown
because he disapproves of its content, for example, *will* get slung out
in the end if he doesn't shut up about it.

Or to put it another way, nothing in *Deep Secret* seems to have
impressed anyone I know who goes to British conventions as having struck
a wrong note and been utterly over the top.  The convention was
recognised as being "right".

There have been worldcons in New Orleans, but not I think recently.

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