Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kon con


Con photos are on flickr, and I'll get back to writing fashion tomorrow!


So much to tell! I probably spent more intense panel time this year than in any year previous, partly because I imported a friend to con with me. We went to a wide range of panels, hung out and stared at people a whole lot, and gave the con night-life a complete miss. In years past I'd do the opposite, but being a 100% fan for a change was nice.

At some point, I went to a Second Life panel. The notable part of it was this: the German woman who ran the panel speculated that Second Life is most used by fringe groups. "Normal" people who joined Second Life didn't find a reason to stay; in months after a huge publicity hype, there was negative growth because not only was the grid unstable (but people weren't finding a point to it. "So you log on, wander around ugly, empty urban sprawl, and then cheat on your spouse with a furry?"

The woman running the panel said that the best use of SL is as a creative new frontier. I quite agree -- I also think that SL is a safe simulation of RL that allows people to live out their dream careers. I wouldn't have the chops to write about fashion IRL (who gets nice items delivered to their doorsteps outside of Anna Wintour?), but I can in SL.

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Later on, speaking of beauty, I went to the Miss Klingon America pageant. The head judge (who also judges normal beauty pageants) said: "We celebrate beauty -- but we also celebrate strength, surliness, and true Klingon character." The premise is that women dressed as Klingons take part in the usual beauty/talent type competitions, but must do so in as Klingon a way as possible. The winner is generally a beautiful furrow-headed alien who can snarl and wield a bat'leth while reciting poetry. It was quite an event -- the actor for the Star Trek: Next Generation Klingon Warf was there to judge, and at a certain point in the competition went up and smooched one of the contestants. I suspect she'll win...

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At one point I paused in the bathroom and noticed a mother nursing her baby in the small bathroom lounge area. We had a small chat about what it's like to be a mom at a convention.

"I've slept with people in this bathroom," the mother said nostalgically.

"Did you ... conceive your child here?" I asked in complete surprise.

"Oh no, that was ages ago," she said, laughing.

Mothers at conventions are uncommon but not super-rare. It's possible to find other little children for your child to play with. On the other hand, nobody's watching their clothing or language for the sake of your child.

Alba and I went to a panel that starred the voice actor (VA) of Space Ghost, a show on Cartoon Network. We lasted for about twenty minutes before the VA told a dirty joke -- it went over Alba's head, but I decided that three was a little too young for that level of humor. We fled...partly because at three, Alba's a natural mimic, and I didn't want her repeating that.

The most important part about bringing your child to a con (or anywhere) is flexibility about what panels you attend or what you do in general, and knowing your child's limits.

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I'll write about the panel on pornography a bit later on!
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