aethel: (buddy breathing [by zoetrope])
I used to go to all the panels at cons and take detailed notes and then go home and write them up ASAP. Then I decided that I was missing the entire point of cons and stopped doing that. I did actually jot down a few things at Bitchin Party this year, but I'm not sure what to make of them. For example: keerawa talking about writing John's healing cock as angsty -- "Who do I heal with my cock?!" That might have been in the inverted tropes panel.

Anyway, in April I attended my second Pacificon aka Bitchin Party aka "Pacific Writers' Conference" (the "official" printable name as given to the hotel). For the second time, Seattle was warm(er) and sunny, in direct contrast to Massachusetts; my flight home was delayed due to a snowstorm in Boston, so I hung out in the airport with akamine_chan and argentumlupine, later joined by lucifuge5 and mizface(?). romantical/Laura was the saint who made multiple trips to the airport to drop us off. So at this con I talked to lots of Bandom fans and other people I hadn't talked to before, but may or may not have been at the previous Pacificon. I also saw people I remembered from previous cons. But this was the last Pacificon, so I'll probably never see most of them again. So that's depressing.

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aethel: (buddy breathing [by zoetrope])
uh, so, I started writing a con report and then didn't finish, so I never posted it. here's what I wrote:

SO. In late March, a little slash convention in Boston called Muskrat Jamboree happened. It was fantastic; it was my best MJ yet; it was the last MJ. A few days after the convention was over, ZAYN LEFT ONE DIRECTION. So I lost all will to finish writing my con report. It was probably divine retribution for not understanding what the big deal was when My Chemical Romance broke up during the dance at MJ 2013. (In my defense, MCR was a 2000s fandom in my mind, and I didn't realize it was still as active an RPF fandom as it was. But yeah, I didn't understand how music RPF worked. Now I do.) BEFORE the convention, just as a warmup it turned out, Zayn took a break from the tour and then during the con Louis announced, by the way, he had broken up with his long-time girlfriend two weeks ago (we're thinking, to take the heat off Zayn?). So there was some nervousness in the 1D contingent at MJ and some cries of "MJ is cursed!!" but I for one was trying to remain optimistic and enjoy the con.

Also I spent more time hanging out with Teen Wolf fans, and they had their own fandom problems to worry about--bleep0bleep was telling us how there was someone in Italy (Milan?) trolling tumblr users with abusive asks claiming to support a different ship (whichever ship) in order to stir up a ship war between popular ships and rare ships so massive that the fandom would eat itself. Apparently during the con weekend, the troll succeeded, but since I'm not in the fandom anymore, I haven't heard whether it blew over or not. I think I would have heard if the fandom ate itself (but let me know!).

For once, I allowed myself to stay at the hotel instead of commuting to the con. I had three fantastic roommates, only one of which I knew already: ifreet, bleep0bleep, and elaineofshalott. After three nights in a hotel room and three days talking excitedly with other excited fangirls, I felt like a space alien. Though until ZAYN LEFT ONE DIRECTION, I felt strangely refreshed and upbeat.

Bits and pieces of the con I remember:

We had a 1D flash panel so well attended I still don't understand why we didn't get a regular panel:
-shared how we got into the fandom; the best was the person who overheard her wife talking about 1D at their wedding.
-everyone except me said who their "fave" was (I think it was understood Harry is my favorite); we had representatives for every 1D member, and I think one person who claimed to love them all equally (or maybe she was just into OT5?)
-everyone had convincing reasons for liking each and every 1D member, and I felt like I had erred in not paying enough attention to non-Harry people.
-one person commented on how some fans claimed to only like their fave and NOT the other members of the band, and also how strange this was and how unpleasant/unsatisfying their fandom experience must be. [I had noticed this on the 1D anonmeme on LJ, but I was really hoping these were trolls and not people who genuinely loved one member and hated the rest. since the whole point of the fandom in my opinion is that they're a litter of codependent puppies, I really don't understand this attitude. no one else at the panel seemed to, either.]
-someone misremembering the title of emotional knapsack as "invisible backpack"
-several people had hair dyed amazing colors I don't think I could get away with at work :(
-psycholinguistic(?) described going to a 1D concert and screaming every time Niall "did a thing", to the point where the man seated in front of her covered his ears in anticipation every time Niall did a thing.
-all the ships are the realest
-each ship has a unique dynamic, and is the realest
-larry tinhats suck tho
-a former Larry shipper remarked on how in early 2012 Larry being real was more plausible because we didn't know about Eleanor; the point where Louis/Eleanor was officially announced (when was this, by the way?) was when Larry shipping went off the rails. This was interesting for me because not only was Larry tinhatting an established thing when I entered the fandom, but it was also the first thing I ever heard about the fandom long before I got sucked in. Maybe I would have gotten sucked in sooner if I hadn't known what lay in wait.

Nick Grimshaw flash panel, THREE HOURS LONG:
-Nick's "my friend" technique (my friend = Harry)
-why quiche is such a big deal
-Zane Lowe loves him
-Everyone loves him, really
-some people described meeting or seeing Nick in person "in his natural habitat"; their descriptions of their own reactions to this experience are why I never want to meet celebrities, but we were all entertained.
-better looking in person, also very nice and good at putting people at ease?
-Nick has always been here, but we didn't recognize him--he made Gerard Way blush in an interview once
-we love Nick partly because we can relate--no interest in sports (no hockey fans present?)
-I left for another panel, then came back and listened to the discussion while putting glitter and crowns on photographs (very important)
-Nick is the greatest
-speculation that Nick gets it from his mother

Saturday after panels:
-delicious dinner at Asgaard with bleep0bleep, her fandom friend who didn't go to the con, and inkjunket
-spotted the con comm also dining there
-vid party in someone's room (three hours of vids, and a chat with a slightly younger person who loved Xena as an indiscriminate child and not as a person old enough to see that it was ridiculous. Every time I have a conversation with someone 5-10 years younger than me about media we both experienced, I am surprised in this way. Xena in particular I liked for its campy badness. Admittedly, I had no desire to watch it until after it went off the air because it looked so bad. But the fact that younger people didn't even notice that aspect blew my mind.)
-lamentations on twitter about MJ being cursed because Louis broke up with Eleanor
-slumber party in our hotel room until 2 am basically, chatting about this and that: ifreet described the weirdness of a Sherlockian "media" con, where most members were 70-year-old men
aethel: (allison)
Pacificon, aka Bitchin Party, was held Friday-Sunday. I flew in on Thursday so I could do some sight-seeing in Seattle before the con because I'd never been to the Pacific Northwest before. I walked around the waterfront, Pike Place Market, and the international district. I also went into the newish public library and the sky view observatory. I may have had an atypical experience--it was sunny every day I was there--but I must say I was impressed: clean city, nice people, not too crowded, a wall of astronomically tall mountains in the distance, and the most beautiful public library I have ever seen. I also had a mysterious allergic reaction/infection so horrifying that I went to the emergency room, where they assured me that I did not have blood poisoning and wouldn't need to have my arms amputated. Slightly less reassuring was the way they couldn't decide if it was tick bites or poison ivy. I now eagerly await my medical bills.

THE CON ITSELF: unfortunately, a bit of a blur already. So much enthusiasm, so many conversations with so many fangirls! On Friday I ran into Franzeska and her lurker friend Alice while waiting for the bus to the con, and we talked about the OTW loudly on the crowded bus until we reached the hotel. I sat for a bit reading One Direction fic in the lobby until [personal profile] regonym arrived, since we were rooming together in the hotel, but that was pretty much the only break from fannish socializing I had until I went to bed. As more and more people arrived, we basically took over the hotel lobby until the consuite finally opened up. Lots of podficcers and lots hockey fans. I did find rivers_bend and lokte to squee over One Direction with. (I also talked to Anoel about One Direction at some point during the con, but she was with the hockey crowd the first evening.) lokte mentioned how there used to be a similar multifandom con in the UK, but it ended. Scribe and fiercynn arrived and remembered me from Muskrat Jamboree. I recognized a few other people from MJ as well, but also found out that people I didn't recognize had also been there and I just didn't notice. Several people reminded me of friends from high school or college or just had an air of familiarity that I couldn't pin down. They hadn't all been to MJ, so I guess it was their fannishness I recognized.

Brynn McK gave us a welcome speech in the consuite and played a Dante's Cove con intro vid by sdwolfpup(?) that made me realize I needed to watch Dante's Cove just to confirm that it really existed. Then most of us sat down to watch the amazingly bad Sharknado. Much laughing and commentary about breaking the laws of physics ensued.

SATURDAY: At breakfast I ran into FishieMishie, who not only remembered me from OTW work, but also seemed to be happy to see me despite my having quit and run screaming into the night. We talked about MCU and OTW stuff. At some point panels started, and I went to as many as possible, but didn't take many notes: "Ethics and Squee", "Teen Wolf", "Attachment and Identification in Fandom" (which ended up being about a different topic due to the original mod dropping out), and "Podfic How-To". I also went to lunch with Franzeska, Alice, and FishieMishie and ate shawarma for the first time. Alice is very funny, by the way.

"Ethics and Squee": according to my hazy recollection, we discussed some fears about making fanworks of fanworks (remixes, sequels, fanart of fanfic, podfic, etc.), both from the point of view of the transformee and the transformer, and also three questions relating to the topic--do we want to follow legal precedent or make our own norms, blanket permission, and ???. The issue of what happens when the original fanwork is taken down was discussed--maybe that was the third point? The orphan works problem was also on the list to discuss, but we didn't get to it.

"Teen Wolf": The discussion was pretty wide-ranging, but I only remember what I wrote down--the show's theme of loss of bodily control (Stiles taken over by the nogitsune, Derek used by Scott and Gerard, the kanima being controlled by Matt/Gerard, Peter's insanity, Lydia not having control/knowledge of being a banshee, Peter calling Scott in season 1, bitten werewolves in general. I made a point about how this relates to the theme in the original movie about werewolves as a puberty metaphor. We discussed whether the theme was deliberate or whether Jeff Davis just had a lot of issues. The mods talked about the different cultural sources of the mythology of the show (e.g. banshee, nemeton = Celtic; kitsune = Japanese). Peter as a catalyst maybe canon, creating a werecoyote, a true alpha, Lydia's banshee powers, whatever Kate is. The significance of various characters' names: Mahealani = full moon in Hawaiian, Lydia Martin = ? Some discussion of fandom: one person on the official TW social media team was trying to police critical reblogs of their posts and got told by Tumblr to knock it off. Tumblr wank about Tyler Posey's opinion of Sterek. Sterek fans hating on Peter/Lydia shippers. Discussion of how the average age of fans affects wank--the Ray Wars happened because due South fandom was young, and they ended when people got older and wiser. The TW showrunners actively encouraging wank because they want to be the trending topic on twitter and think attention is always a good thing. How TW showrunners handle interaction with fans vs. how Sleepy Hollow does it. At the end of the panel, one person pointed out how amazing the gay representation on Teen Wolf was. Danny is popular and an athlete!

After the panels, a bunch of us went to a room to record some group podfic. People found enough fic to record that we had to reconvene on Sunday during lunch. Regonym commented later how different an experience it was from recording solo--nobody stopped for retakes of minor errors, but just went with the flow.

Then cocktails and hor d'oeuvres and vid show and dance. I was sitting next to klb when jarrow and xeria showed up, and klb and jarrow proceeded to talk about nothing but Glee for the rest of the night (except during the actual vidshow). klb was a Klaine fan; jarrow was a Faberry fan. (klb said something about klaine fans viewing faberry fans as "magical faberry wizards", so it wasn't a ship war or anything.) I left at some point and came back, and I think it was exmanhater who commented on how it was a spectator sport, with various fans watching for a while until they realized klb and jarrow were just never going to stop talking about Glee before wandering off again. The vid show itself was good--I had seen a lot of the vids before (except obviously the premieres), but it was interesting to see everyone else react to them. The dance party was disappointing due to technical issues--the speakers were too quiet and fuzzy, so a lot of people left. However, the fanon Cecil and Glow Cloud cosplayers were a highlight.

After the official con stuff was over for the night: room parties! One room party was so crowded with possibly inebriated fangirls playing never have I ever that I went to a quieter room. Several people were there, but a few left, so it ended with Alice, burnishedvictory, Scribe, and me giving each other fic recs and talking about fandoms past and present. Good times.

SUNDAY: I managed to get up early because I was still on east coast time, but a lot of other people did not. I only went to two panels--the Welcome to Night Vale panel, which was a piece of audio performance art that the mods promised would be posted online, and the due South panel, where we sang "Barret's Privateers" before chatting about how we found out about due South and what's been happening in the fandom lately. Scribe and the mod may have been the only currently active fans in the room? Scribe reported on how the fandom was still going strong, but the fic was a lot more diverse than the 2006-2008 wave (mostly Fraser/Kowalski). Also mentioned was the one Vecchio troll in the fandom who flames everyone, Kowalski and Vecchio fans alike, for not writing enough about Vecchio or loving him enough or something. The other two panel time slots I spent adding sparkles to photos of One Direction at the craft table. Someone had to do it.

After the panels was a "Rec my fandom" session, where everyone took turns telling us how amazing the canon for their smallish or possibly non-existent fandom was: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, women's soccer ("You're all in the wrong sports fandom," said Scribe to the hockey fans), Babysitters' Club, Parks & Rec, Cut and Run book series, Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, The Blacklist, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, The Voice RPF, Longmire book series, Number 6 (anime or light novels), Amy Poehler and Seth Myers RPF, After Hours webseries, and the new Three Musketeers show.

Then dinner break, but I don't think I ate dinner? Some time passed, I applied One Direction temporary tattoos to my now normal-looking arms, talked to Franzi, watched some fans play Cards Against Humanity, and then everyone watched Newsies. So slashy. Then the con was done! Ten-fifteen of us who hadn't left yet ate a very late dinner at the hotel restaurant. klb asked everyone to name a personal highlight and a low point of the con. bessyboo swore about hockey. Several people mentioned being sick during the con. aphelant and abbylee? complained about inaccurate representations of Winnipeg in hockey fanfic. People talked about podfic. It was a good time.

Then it was Monday morning, and people who hadn't left yet were standing around in the hotel lobby looking ready to leave, including andeincascade, who I had thought left a day earlier. whoops. I had breakfast with Regonym and her driving buddy, whose name I have now forgotten...? I got to explain why One Direction was so awesome. Driving buddy (Dine?) made some observations about fannish dress codes and how unconventional we all looked and how refreshing that was. And then we packed and went our separate ways. :(

At the airport, I ran into bessyboo, and we talked about Minnesota cons and how I should watch Ouran High School Host Club. Then I ran to my gate and found no signs of boarding. I did find Scribe again, and we chatted until we had to get on the plane. And then the plane ride was looooong, and then my father picked me up, and I had dinner with my parents and told them about the con, and then I stayed up until 4 am reading a Harry/Zayn college AU and now I feel like a zombie. A zombie who should be cooking spaghetti right now.

And that was my Pacificon experience. Or what I can remember of it. The End.
aethel: (stiles sleeping [by circa77])
Muskrat Jamboree 2013: In summary, it was fun.

I took my own advice and skipped one panel each day to sit in the con suite and put glitter on things. It was very relaxing, and other fangirls were there, making glittery things that were better than mine.

Because I am a cheapskate, I did not take my own advice about booking a hotel room so I could participate in room parties, and my decision resulted in my being a total zombie on Saturday, since I had to drive home at midnight and then come back for a 9 am panel. Super fun! But I did go to two room parties anyway: On Saturday I joined the Supernatural viewing party (yes, I'm not in Supernatural fandom, so what), but left after one episode so I could get home without collapsing in an empty Alewife garage at midnight. On Friday klb hosted a podficcer gathering where we recorded four(?) group podfics on the spot. It was amazing! I participated in two; it was my first time doing a live multi-voice session and my first time doing a cold reading. Inkjunket expressed amazement that people were able to mostly read straight through without having to re-do every line. If I had been recording alone, I know I would have re-recorded everything, so I'm interested to hear how the finished product sounds. After the recording session I went out to dinner with Inkjunket, a lovely person I had never talked to before.

Panels I attended:

- slash pictionary
- Avengers movie squee
- fannish challenges, fests, etc.
- fourth wall
- Knotting

- Tumblr
- Teen Wolf fanon
- Fall Out Boy
- Fandom Osmosis
- Robots
- Due South

Friday I paid the exorbitant hotel parking fee so I could stay for the vid show and dance party and not worry about creepy Mass Ave + subways at midnight. Dance party was fun, though right before the end I noticed some fangirls weeping and hugging in a corner because My Chemical Romance had broken up. Initially I thought that SOMEONE HAD DIED. I needed to remind myself about that time I lay awake for an entire night being angry after I saw "Seeing Red."

The Panels
what was discussed )
aethel: (buffy cranky)
So, I suppose not everyone likes fanfiction, but it's a bit jarring to suddenly be subjected to a surprise legality-of-fanfiction debate in an unrelated panel at a fan convention. That was an awkward moment, and I was just a bystander. I was also glad not to be the one arguing about the relevance of fanfiction vs. polyamory* in programming selection. The panelists managed to head it off at the pass by advising the fanfic fan to talk to the people in charge of programming and then changing the subject. It seems like the division between fanfic fandom and sf fandom is alive and well, even if the animosity between literary vs. tv fandom is gone.

I ended up talking to the people in the programming office, who said that even getting one fanfic panel into the schedule had been a struggle. And yet, that one fanfic panel, apparently pitched as a 101/outreach type thing, was attended mostly by fanfic fans who probably didn't need it... because it was the only option available.

(I hope someone who stayed for the whole panel does a writeup so I can find out what people talked about after I left.)

*Not just polyamory in SF. Polyamory in RL for poly people. It sounded interesting, but I didn't go to any poly panels because I didn't want to be like that guy in the non-binary-gender panel defending The Left Hand of Darkness, a book written in 1969 that even the author acknowledges failed in this department. AWKWARD. Plus, you know, I wanted to see the panels on topics close to my heart, and there were way too many interesting panels scheduled simultaneously.


aethel: (Default)
æthel the aardvark

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