I’m having a fun night 👀 🍷

I’ll post about the recent filing (dumpster fire) later. Tomorrow is family night to binge Dark Crystal, so tomorrow night or Monday.

I’m glad those of you who found me and had the courtesy to go outside of con to discuss all of this! It’s fun!
This coffee table chat I just had one big takeaway that I think is important everybody who knows me (or is interested to get to know me): I don’t wake up looking forward to mudslinging and putting my privacy at risk. I do this bc I can chip in to reclaim our spaces
Looking at this con I’m at rn, I’m reminded why this all matters and why I’ve always loved con-going. To a point, lots of these cons are family friendly and we have to be mindful of everybody who’s here for an experience with community.
We attend these cons to reconnect with friends. We lack public spaces in the US, especially in places like where I live. This is an opportunity we take and we put up with a lot of limitations anyways just to socialize.
We hold panels to see sides of guests that make them human. We go to concerts that are specially catered to our fandoms. We spend time to party to live out our youth while we got the time to do it. It may not be much, but it’s a culture we make ourselves every day
When we deal with these controversies, how we act online and what we put up with or fight back against does have policy implications for these spaces. That’s why I give a shit about all of this. I want our community to be safe and enjoyable w/o violating each other’s boundaries.
Lots of anime fans and “gamers” treasure escapism to an unhealthy degree. Well, cons are a healthy escape because it’s a vacation where you actually engage with communities, network, and the culture we make in real time. That’s the best way I can put it
My new friends who I had this talk with were asking why I didn’t hold a panel for this. Well, I’ve been paneling for 10 years. I need change. If I am going to panel, I need to know that what I do helps all of what I’m talking about.
I’m sure what I’ve done in the past decade has helped people understand all of this in their own way. But, despite me just attending casually, I notice that most cons are changing as our communities grow. Often times for the better, often times for the worst
That “worst” is what I want to highlight. The mention about “spaces” is important here. What a lot of cons do now is just turn their spaces into glorified strip malls and focus too much on commodifying every last activity available
I don’t blame anyone for this. Some cons have to do this to survive. It’s more systemic of an issue than that. But what we see is a cycling of activities that are either provided by a con or by people
That’s how it’s always worked. With controversies in the mix, I actually see political cliques form now. This is actually really hard to notice bc it’s more subtle, but this is where we’re at now in 2019. As if regular con drama was overwhelming, whew!
I realize we can’t turn back the clock 5 or 10 years where this wasn’t a factor. So we have to handle it how we must and can. Thankfully we mostly keep it outside of actual con space for the most part, but this is slowly starting to change
Despite this creeping issue, we still have to continue to confront the age old issues. I believe we can tackle multiple things at once and that some issues will become less of an issue if others are mitigated well
That’s why I stay up to date, speak out, deal with bullshit, and continue to inform as many people as I can about these issues in our communities. We still have a lot of work to do and we have fighters. So there’s hope
Now to answer a burning question among regulars who have known me for 1 year, 3, 5, even 10: will I continue to host panels like Waifu 4 Laifu? Well, it depends where I go! I’d love to go out of state more and test out other spaces to see what’s different
Will I keep my panels in-state and continue to entertain and inform like I’ve always done? Well, we’ll see. It’s not a “no”, but it’s a “when I feel like it”. That’s the only way I can avoid burnout for the long term. Places like Saboten and Taiyou are good places I know and love
But a con like PFF? I’m done. It has taken a turn for the worse like I had mentioned earlier. It feels like a space designated for wealthier demographics and less concern for the niche fandoms like anime where they keep putting KPOP and Rick & Morty in the same programming area
I needed to attend Sabo this year not as media, not as a panelist, not as a guest or anything. I needed to attend casually to get this clarity. I can’t get coffee table talks with fans and new friends at a shopping mall-esque con where D&D is the only saving grace for relaxing
I want to talk to Sabo and Taiyou staff about everything in this thread. I am taking lots of inspiration from a talk like this where even with little resources, we can do a lot.
Maybe, I’d like to take this entire thread and make a panel around it and try to preach this idea that the more community involvement we get, the better these spaces will be. Logistics I’ll figure out later, but I gotta try. This is the kind of panel I want to do too
I hope everyone here at Saboten has a great night and rest of the weekend. You work hard everyday and deserve this time off!
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