Kevin Speculates

A mysterious post appeared on Kevin’s LiveJournal overnight under the title of “Pull Up the Gangplank”. It is very short so I’ll reproduce it here. He says:

I am convinced that there are a bunch of regular participants in Worldcon politics who would not have allowed themselves through the door when they found fandom if they applied the same standards to themselves then as they want to apply to new entrants today. This, to me, is like the depressingly large number of adults who, as far as I can tell, have completely forgotten what it was like to be a child.

Given that the post is tagged “fandom, worldcon, wsfs” I suspect that this has something to do with things being said on The List That Must Not Be Named, i.e. the SMOFs mailing list. Of course if Kevin told me what was being said there would be outrage at him having leaked private conversations to an enemy of fandom, so I can only wonder myself what might have brought this on. I do hope, however, that it results in actual proposals being brought before the WSFS Business Meeting in San Antonio, because I’d love to see those responsible standing up and arguing in public that Worldcon is their lawn and that kids need to be kept off it. We could do with some entertainment.

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7 Responses to Kevin Speculates

  1. twilight2000 says:

    You’re in good company – anyone who considers you an enemy of fandom needs to look very closely at what they’re thinking. You’re all about asking questions and looking at things from a new angle – and that’s what fandom *should* be all about. GAH!

  2. It’s a couple people on SMOFs. I’m comfortable with telling the world that so far, none of the people leading actual upcoming conventions and bids have said anything on SMOFs that implies they want to keep the “wrong sort of fan” out.

    • Cheryl says:

      Dear me no. Actual conventions want lots of people to attend. It is the people who think that Worldcon “belongs” to the 500 or so people who go every year who are the problem. I want to see them state their opinions in public, preferably on video so it can be shared widely.

      And I want to see them voted down decisively.

  3. Tero says:

    To me, it seems that the crux of the argument is not exactly how Kevin read it, but more that there’s a fundamental difference between those who want to get as many people involved in Worldcon as possible in any way possible — even if it is only (for example) voting for the Hugos, or attending some other part, and those who basically want to welcome new people to participate fully, but are reluctant to try to get people involved only partially (either because of the fear it would reduce the amount of participants, or because they don’t want partial involvement from people who would be only interested in — again for example — the Hugos, but not in Worldcon as a whole).

    That said, I have to say I’m much more sympathetic to Kevin’s side in the argument, and think that quite a few of the arguments presented are downright silly. And I have to add the caveats that a) I didn’t have the patience to read every single iteration of the discussion all that carefully, and b) I don’t know these people personally, so it’s possible that my reading of their arguments is way off because of I don’t know the history.

  4. Mike Glyer says:

    No way to adequately convey the truth of this, but I can assure you that even when they were relative newcomers to fandom decades ago, these particular “right people” were already devoted to keeping out the “wrong people.”

    I understand why someone witnessing the dialog today assumes it is symptomatic of old age. But look around and you will find plenty of antique fans who think and write otherwise.

    • Cheryl says:

      Good to know, Mike. Thanks.

      And I suspect that there are young fans today who think they are the “right people”.

    • Oh, Mike, I believe you completely, since the discussions are effectively the same as they were when I found fandom. The only difference is that the people who they were trying to keep out two generations ago are now the ones trying to keep the “wrong sort” out. It isn’t even Fandom; it’s depressingly human nature.