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06 February 2006 @ 04:30 am
ConFusion Journal - A Transcription. Part 4.  

20 January 2006, later, in my hotel room.


While in bar eating, watched comings and goings. Saw many attractive, youngish women in cute costume. Thought the unsurprising thought that I might like to get to know some of them, one of them. Mused that, unlike “good old days,” they were all likely to be part of a subfandom uninterested in my … um … subfandom and unlikely to know or care who I am, how I fit in, in what ways I might be interesting, what I might have to offer. Were I to approach one and smile and say “hello,” I’d likely be perceived as just another annoying old letch. It saddens me to realize that … um … I’ve spent pretty literally a lifetime developing a reputation and a standing in a community that so few today give a rip about.

Maybe I was in an unusual situation in my early years in fandom, having been imbued with an interest in and some awe about Those Who Had Gone Before by Jim Young’s knowledgeable and infectious enthusiasm, and by reading such books as Harry Warner, Jr.’s All Our Yesterdays and Bob Bloch’s The Eight Stages of Fandom. I don’t know. But I think a greater percentage of folks in our little subculture back when I was most active had some sense and appreciation of history, a sense of who had been important to the development and direction of the community, a sense of what it was that brought and bound us all together than is currently the case. Or is this just the grumpiness of an old phart who’s feeling like an outsider in a setting where he once felt perfectly at home? Perhaps they really are aware, perhaps they really do care about the history of the group … but for different cultural icons and community founders and myths.

Or are they totally “of the present”/“in the present” and just don’t care much about the past? If the latter, what happens to continuity? Why should anyone invest anything in the community? Are there immediate “rewards” which suffice and replace reputation and respect? If you don’t care about the past, do you care about the future? How can you?

On the other hand, and to be fair, back when I was more active there was a much greater chance that a “random” fan at a convention might have read one of my fanzines or read some of my writing or seen me making music at a previous convention or heard about me from friends. And a greater chance they’d turn out to be somebody I knew of as well. Maybe I’m just suffering from an acute awareness of too many years of too little activity. Who’s to say?

These thoughts are too scattered. I’d like to organize them better some day, but I probably won’t get around to it.

To be continued…

Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: "The Trouble With Trouble", Trish Murphy; Captured
Laurel Krahn: fandom - propellor beanielaurel on February 6th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
When I was a teenager who hadn't yet attended Minicon, I read everything I could get my hands on about fandom. 'Course I didn't yet know about a lot places I could find that stuff, so I didn't have a lot on the topic (yet). I think I first got really excited about it when I read the book about the first Star Trek conventions, and then later I got even more into it after my first Minicon and because of my forays onto Fidonet and Usenet.

We've got a copy of All Our Yesterdays in a place of honor in our household; there's a really big Warhoon in the next room that I assume is out 'cuz Kevin was reading it or looking something up; his current book that he's reading on the bus is Peter Weston's With Stars In My Eyes: My Adventures In British Fandom, which was a Christmas gift this year.

I was kinda tickled to discover that one of the many things Kevin and I have in common is an interest in fannish history and science fiction history.

'Course we're no longer part of the young generation in fandom, alas.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on February 7th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)

Indeed. I believe our first real conversation revolved around fannish history and your interest therein. But you've always struck me as having unusually broad interests, Laurel. And I find it a good datapoint that Kevin is likewise interested is fanhistory. Would you say that such an interest was uncommon or common among the people who got involved in fandom about the same time(s) as each of you?

skzbrustskzbrust on February 6th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Part of the trouble is, there really are a lot of annoying old letches. Like, uh, me, for example.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on February 7th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
Oh, no, Steve. You're not an annoying old letch. You're a charming old letch. Big difference…
Liana: comic metezliana on February 7th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
Sure he is. But you are charming as well, just a little less flamboyant.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on February 8th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)

Thanks. I think. I mean, I surely wouldn't want my friends to murder me out of hand … or even with premeditation, now that I think about it.

(Seems to me that it would be darned difficult to be more flamboyant than Steve. And he does it so well, too…)

Liana: comic metezliana on February 8th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Natch. Flamboyance is a Hungarian invention, after all.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter Mark IV by Reed Wallerfredcritter on February 7th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)

To be fair to me, I'd like to hope that I'm not as ageist as this post might sound. I don't think I'm grumbling about "those kids today"; rather, I'm unhappy about what I perceive to be a fracturing of fandom. I'd like to think that the only thing a person's age has to do with my thoughts are to the extent that it indicates a probability about when a person was likely to have become involved in fandom or to have started attending conventions. That is to say, I think a person's fannish generation is more likely to be significant than their actual generation as the "real" world sees it.

Matthew B. Tepperasimovberlioz on February 7th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
I empathize with your first paragraph. More than you could possibly imagine.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on February 8th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
You'd be surprised. Fans are slans. My imagination knows few bounds. "To infinity and jolly-well past that—ha ha!" and all like that.