Power and Con Crud

I appear to have recovered from the sinus infection I had before MarsCon only to walk right into a full-blown bout with the influenza. This is an especially impressive achievement considering that I had the flu shot back in November. Go Me. So now I’m into the negatives again with my sick days at work – thank goodness that they’re pretty flexible – and sitting in bed taking Tamiflu twice a day and remembering what food and drink were like when my sense of taste was functional. Whine whine carp carp bleh.

It’s kinda funny to watch some people acting like Obama has already completely ruined his presidency based on a few choices that I admit I don’t agree with either. It’s even funnier, in a completely pathetic kind of way, to watch “Rapture Ready” Christians glancing impatiently at the sky while wondering why Jesus hasn’t come to rid them of this Antichrist. Y’know, he’s just a man, albeit an intelligent, articulate one with some ideas that, if they work out the way he says, could leave this country in markedly better shape when he leaves power. Which he will do, in no more than eight years tops, because that’s what the laws of the country say. But he’s still just a dude. He’s got four more years minimum to try to impress as many of us as he can, and we really ought to give a fair fraction of that to him before we declare him a failure.

(P.S. He’s also not the dictator of America. Whether the country is any better in four years has as much if not more to do with what its collected citizens do, than with any orders he gives. The most he can do is inspire, positively or negatively. It’s hypocritical to throw our responsibilities as citizens on the President’s shoulders and then be angry him if we don’t like the way things go.)

Okay, enough politics. Sort of. I had an excellent time at MarsCon, it offered me everything I could want from a weekend fan con and I indulged to the practical limit. I’m already in line for next year’s, and I think I may even have contributed to the next chosen theme. I’ve heard a little bit of whining in places, though for the most part I’ve put it down to folks with entitlement issues.

But I’ve also heard quiet murmurs of staff drama. These may be overblown, and already handled, in which case I’m a happy fan. However, as I look at some of the difficulties my favorite cons have hit over the years, I’m seeing a certain cycle. Since it always seems to hit sometime between the con’s tenth and fifteenth year, I’m calling it Con Puberty; after years of success, suddenly the con is hit with massive crises of staffing, programming, funding, and or general personality – an identity crisis, if you will. Sometimes they survive, sometimes they don’t – often the event will fragment and reassemble as a new con with echoes of its predecessor. But either way, unlike normal puberty, in another 10-15 years, it’ll hit again.

RoVaCon survived it once, and was killed the second time; it looks as though Technicon is going to follow the same path. Rising Star rose from the ashes of RoVaCon, then years later survived its own puberty by evolving into a different con with the same name. Sci-Con evolved into a completely different event with a new identity; and now, as I count back, MarsCon has been around under that name for, what – ten-fifteen years?

MarsCon’s a great con. To get all circularly Frankensteinian with my metaphors, if the con’s indeed having any issues, I’m hoping it’s not Con Puberty, but simply a minor, quickly remedied staff infection.

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  • stori_lundi says:

    MarsCon has been around for at least 20 years. I’ve been going for 15 of those years and Dave’s been going longer than me.

  • madwriter says:

    I’d already decided to do this anyway before Barb sounded the doom alarm about T-Con to me the other day, but this year I plan to arrange things so that I can at least spend all of Saturday at T-Con, instead of leaving in the late afternoon or early evening.

  • Mikhail says:

    Really? I could have sworn it started around ’93-’95, but I guess that could be wrong. Well, then that screws up my little theory a bit, at least as far as the common timing goes.

  • What’s going on with Technicon anyway? I don’t think I’ve seen any chatter on vttsfc-l, and there’s usually at least some spillover there.

  • rattrap says:

    As the Rat in Charge, yeah, Technicon is having some issues, due to a combination of burnout and drama, but I can promise the following:

    1. Barring Biblical catastrophe, there will be a T-Con;
    2. It will be lower-key than previous ones;
    3. This is, simply put, because we don’t have the people to put on a “classic” T-Con;
    4. Barring a miracle, this will likely be the last T-Con;
    5. That’s why the official title is “Jerry’s Banzai Charge”- it’s happening because I was too hard-headed to just let it die in place without a proper going-away party;
    6. Well, that, and because I want one final chance to say goodbye to friends I’ll probably never get to see again without a con in Blacksburg;
    7. And because I wanted to go to one last T-Con Dance.
  • madwriter says:

    What I’ve heard…and I don’t think this falls under the category of rumor-mongering, exactly, so much as entropy…amounts to a lot of the old guard stepping down and no one new stepping up to take their places. (Unless I misunderstood?)

  • madwriter says:

    Right now I don’t want to think about the number of friends I only see at T-Con anymore.

  • stori_lundi says:

    According to the flyer, this year was MarsCon 19 so it started in 1990.

  • Interesting.
    And not really all that surprising I guess, if the old guard now are the same people who were the old guard when I got there in 1995.

  • Mikhail says:

    Like any good scientist, I’m pleased for my theory to be proven wrong, especially since I didn’t like the implications anyway 🙂

  • krysturtle says:

    If I can remember I’d like to go next year. I’ve been saying that for two or three years now but I always forget when it is.

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