Convention

Archon’s Shame

LibertyCon 26

Mad scientists… Uncle Timmy is in there somewhere!

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am relatively new to the world of ‘fandom’ and still a little unsure of the whole phenomenon that is a ‘con.’ Yesterday, I added a whole new level of concern about my continuing to attend conventions.

Last year I attended a convention with my first book just recently released, and the exciting idea that I could come back to the con the following year as an author guest was on my mind. I had no idea how to accomplish this, and everyone I mentioned it to had the same advice. “Talk to Uncle Timmy.”

So I did. Now, for me to walk up to a stranger, alone, and introduce myself to them is difficult enough to be actually physically painful. I’m fine on the internet. In person? Not so much. Tim Bolgeo was the very soul of kindness and let me stammer at him until I had made some sense, then spent a good fifteen minutes talking to me about ways to approach conventions and promote myself. I doubt he will remember this, as I suspect he is like that with everyone. Approachable, warm, gentle…

I only wish I could say that I could trust a certain convention to behave that way toward it’s guests. Unfortunately, Archon is now on my list of conventions to never approach as a professional, or even as a guest. I would be fearful to attend, lest they did to me what they are attempting to do to Tim Bolgeo.

Based solely on the malicious gossip and lies of an ANONYMOUS internet sock-puppet, they have withdrawn a longstanding invitation to him to be the Fan Guest of Honor. By doing so, they have shown themselves to be foolish beyond words and without honor. Who is to say they will not now or in the future treat other guests as shamefully for as little reason? They have judged based solely on unsubstantiated and fabricated information, and I am certain they will do it again.

If you were considering this con, I urge you to withdraw your support from people who would behave so badly toward a man well-known for his kindness towards others. Please let them know that what they have done has consequences. Their various contact emails can be found here. Otherwise, who can feel safe? If unnamed enemies can tear us down on the internet without repercussions, we all can become the victims of attacks like this.

We can call shame on the cowardice of those who would prefer to stand behind a nameless internet troll, and we should. To do otherwise would be to allow the troll to win. Join me in shining light on the troll, because like in fairy tales, perhaps we may turn it to stone with the exposure of what it is, and those who enable it likewise.

You can, if you would rather read more inspiring words about the man who is being maligned unfairly, look to Jason Cordova’s blog for a very nice perspective.

And another searchlight has been switched on, as Larry Correia weighs in on this. This light has like a million footcandles behind it…

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15 thoughts on “Archon’s Shame

  1. We need to stand up for people who do right, and expose the wrong-doers. ‘Anonymous’ can be one ugly mask.

    On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 6:18 AM, Cedar Writes

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  2. FYI: Conventions, especially literary cons, are often run by small groups of local fans. There are those that are commercial in nature, but those are usually media cons, and are a different animal entirely.

    The point of it is, that cons will always have the problems that any organization that is run by a small group of people will have. See Ref SFWA, etc. I’m not talking necessarily about specific political leanings, but all benevolent or quasibenevolent oligarchies have this tendency to be taken up by one frenzy or another.

    Each con-ish organism either succumbs to the disease or it doesn’t. Those that perpetuate this sort of nonsense will find it hard to attract enough fans of any stripe to make ends meet. If there is no money, there is no con.
    You choose to patronize the healthy organisms, and let the others fail. It’s the capitalistic variant on the Darwin Awards.

    Naturally, things are different if there are outside financial interests propping up the works, but… some of those have a dose of reality and will moderate the influence. But it depends on the individual. It’s not a special feature of cons, but a special feature of humans doing things. So don’t judge cons as a whole.

    Husband thinks that this will Change Fandom Forever [tm]. It will change something, I guess… maybe your attitude will proliferate, and folks will give up on cons entirely. That would be sad. Understandable I guess, even if misguided.

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    • And the thing is, I don’t know which cons are good, and which are ones to avoid, like this one. I have one con I will continue to attend, it’s more like a family reunion than anything else. But I will be cautious about others.

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  3. This was a horrible decision by Archon. Even if a certain honoree should end up being a heinous person, rescinding the invitation has set up the precedent that anyone can be removed if someone finds fault with them and is loud enough in their protestations. This is going to come back to bite people in the ass, hard.

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      • Well said Cedar and the less than 24 hrs. As you know I work for Liberty but have been a personal friend to Timmy for 30 + years so yeah I am a bit one sided on this. But Thank you for your words as Timmy is that kind soul : )

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  4. I have known Tim Bolgeo for 35+ years. He and I have had many disagreements over the years about many subjects. But, while I have had my differences with Tim, I could never, in a million years consider him a racist.

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  5. Dragon*Con was my first con, attended last year, and I will be going back this year. From what I understand, as a large media con, they really don’t have this problem. Will be attending Liberty Con in less than a month, and from what I have heard they are also very welcoming. Will try to look Uncle Timmy up at Liberty if he is there. Unfortunately, this society, not just fandom, has turned into a polarized mess. I have many friends who are only friends because we share one passion, be it football, Pathfinder, scifi, etc. People seem to have forgotten that you don’t have to agree on everything to get along. On the other hand, there have always been people who want to bring harm to others, and the internet has just made the process much easier.

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  6. Pingback: In Defense of Timmy and Calling Out Fascists and Cowards at Archon | Laughing Wolf

  7. Well said, Cedar.

    I find what Archon did to be intellectually dishonest as well as extremely craven. I don’t respect the convention’s committee _whatsoever_ for doing this.

    BTW, Stephanie Osborn also has a very good take on this, if you haven’t seen it . . . http://stephanie-osborn.blogspot.com/2014/05/archon-does-itself-disservice-by.html

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, the only good thing about all this is that it’s told me where I _don’t_ want to go, the next time I’m up to attending a convention. (Yes, Archon, I’m looking squarely at you.)

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