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Silent Bob Rant: Fandom, or Fwee what a bunch of loonies.
By Bob Hubbard

I’m surfin looking for some info on a con I missed and found a rather lengthy review. Or rather rant. Now, on the surface, this con is aimed at the younger audience, with the average age being about 16 it seems. Their rant focused on how the panels had nothing to do with their interests, how certain guests didn’t ‘belong’ there, how when they went out to eat (in full costume) folks were rude and stared at em.

Lets focus on a few points here.

Panels that had nothing to do with their interests, or while on the surface seemed to be, ended up focused on other things not of interest to them.

My response: I’m sorry if you went to an anime panel and expected to discuss the type of blade San used in Princess Mononoke, and instead it spent 85% of its time on Mecha. Oh, you went to the sci-fi con, and found an anime panel that focused its limited time on a few popular rather than obscure titles? Awww. Next year, why don’t you do your own panel on what you like? Why don’t you –speak up- rather than sit in the back, pout n try n look angsty.

Guests that don’t ‘belong’.
Be happy you have any guests. They wouldn’t be there if someone didn’t think they do. 80’s tv show guests at an anime con? Anime guests at a sci-fi con? Get over yourself. These guests are guests, and your not for a number of reasons. Go become an acknowledged expert, or break into media and maybe you’ll see things differently. Or! Get off your 16 yr old know it all high horse, get involved and see what its like from the other side of the con.

People staring at you while in costume.
Yes, people look at that which is not normal. It is a fact of life. I’m sorry, but I’ve been to hundreds of professional seminars, conventions and meetings. I’ve never run into someone with green skin, tentacles or wearing full plate mail. If being looked at makes you uncomfortable, then dress ‘conventionally’, and blend in with the masses. Walk into a meeting at IBM wearing a Hawaiian shirt and grass skirt, and you’ll get the same type of WTF is that looks. I’m sorry the waitress at Denny’s kept staring at you, but most of her guests aren’t speaking klingon or wearing a lobster tail on their heads. The little Japanese fukus are also not common in the US or Canada.

Fans who think the actors are ‘real’.
There’s an old saying , “I play one on TV”. Yes we know you have memorized all 200 episodes. Yes, we know you know the exact workings of a tricorder, and all updates over the last 200 years. I know, you’re in ‘starfleet academy’ and hope to one day have your own ‘ship’. The person on stage on the other hand, memorized the lines, did the taping, used the prop and immediately flushed it to make room for next week’s episode. Of course, they did this 10 years ago when you were still in diapers. So, maybe, just maybe, you should cut them some slack when they don’t remember if it was the phase converter or the trans-digital hyperdrive that saved their asses in episode 26, huh?

I have found in over 20 years of dealing with fans that most are well mannered, intelligent dreamers. Folks who are a pleasure to be with and mingle with. There are a few however that need a serious beating with a clue-by-four. This small group, with their narrow focus, self centered attitude and childlike mentality drain the life out of you. Lets be blunt here…. Most of these whiney children would never be able to put on a convention that would attract a self-sufficient number of guests, nor be able to pay the fees of those guests they wet themselves over.

To those who put on these cons, and put up with the crap, and stress, and grief, and sleepless weeks, you have my thanks. With out you, we would have no place to gather and make our ‘beep beep noises’. And to those who whine and complain, and otherwise think you are such a big thing, sod off. The world would probably be a better place if you all did the kool-aid thing, except I know you wont unless its ‘romulan ale’.

Peace, long life, and “Beep Beep!”

BBS Threads: TorontoTrek BBS | | Archive of TTBBS "Thread from Hell"


Bob Hubbard also known on various on-line forums as "Silent" Bob, and just "Kaith", is a long time sci-fi fan. Currently head of the I.K.V. Devisior, an independant science fiction, anime and fantasy fan club, he has held positions with numerous other groups. He has organized activities at Media Play and Barnes & Nobel, worked con security, participated in club challenges for charities, and participated in masquerades, art shows and model shows at several Toronto conventions.
You can reach Bob at his website,



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