Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Life In Fandom: The Increasing Irrelevance of SF Conventions

Brian Niemeier and Jon del Arroz wrote recently on the deplatforming of author, astrophysicist and Reason Magazine editor Gregory Benford from LosCon. Go read those two posts; both are quite informative.

I saw the writing on the wall with my local scene two years ago (see the Convergence 2016, Day Four post), and resolved then to not attend any convention unless I was specifically invited and the con paid my way. The insanity has only worsened, as I expected, as the madness afflicting the local Secret Masters of Fandom only makes them double-down on the fraud that is Social Justice. I have no desire to be among a population increasingly resembling the targets of the Inquisition, so I took my leave. I don't miss it at all, and I have no plans to return.

As an aside, the SJW clique running the biggest local SF con finally screwed the pooch and blew their relationship with the hotel that long hosted the con; this forced a move for 2019 into the downtown area of Minneapolis, which I expect will go over as well as the last time this con's management fucked up in this manner, but SJWs being incompetent ideologues I also expect that they will not learn anything from the failure and just do the usual: double-down on the derpstorm, consequences be damned.

Nevermind the political end of things. As I pointed out two years ago, the functions that these aging cons performed have been superceded by the Internet in every way, and people reveal their preferences with their feet and wallets. The scene as a whole is collapsing, with the corporate sellout cons currently benefiting but I don't think that will endure much longer either. We're due for a massive crash across the board, and the con scene will be a welcome victim of that collapse; so long as the Internet persists, the con scene is irrelevant and will remains so.

Yes, deplatforming like this is not good, but ultimately it's a temporary sting and not a serious wound. Everything Benford could accomplish with a convention appearance is better done online, as the emerging podcast and livestream scene coupled with online stores and the other components of a solid digital presence shows to great success. That's why I'm not so concerned about the local SMOFs shutting me out. I have far more important, more relevent, concerns to worry about.

There is one thing Brian said that I concur with entirely: While LosCons treatment of Benford was reprehensible, it's yet another milestone on literary sci-fi cons' terminal descent into irrelevance. The once mighty World Con has reduced itself to a sick joke. The lesser cons are rapidly following suit. (Emphasis mine)

Walk away from the SF cons, folks. If the revelation that they're a hub of child predation didn't do it, seeing their irrelevance should.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are banned. Pick a name, and "Unknown" (et. al.) doesn't count.