Marcon has come and gone like a thief in the night, and my wallet is much lighter now, but so is my mood. Well, not entirely, for I suffer from the dreaded “con withdrawl”. If you’ve never been to a convention, you might not understand what it’s like to “walk among your people” for a couple of days and then have to return to the real world. I want to live in a world where I can turn a corner and run into someone dressed as a Ghostbuster, or where I can catch a girl dressed as Vash the Stampede snogging the fourth Doctor. But alas, this is not the world in which we live.
There are those who do…sort of. They become “con junkies” and find lots of conventions to go to. I actually would do so if I could. It’s like the folks who followed the Grateful Dead around in the 60s, you just go from con to con. The only thing is, I think the magic would fade then. When the extraordinary becomes the status quo, it loses its allure. In other words, it can’t be Christmas every day.
Marcon 47 was wonderful; it was my first visit to Marcon, so I had nothing to compare it to save DragonCon, and that would be unfair. That’s like comparing a row boat to a racing yacht, but this little row boat did pretty well for itself. I heard that attendance was way down this year, which had a lot to do with the date coinciding with Easter weekend. Here’s a hint – don’t plan conventions on weekends that people will traditionally spend with family. Other holiday weekends are fine: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day…those work fine. You’re not expected to be at Nana’s dinner table those weekends. Still, I had a great time at Marcon, even if the programming and guests were a bit lacking.
Let me speak for a minute about the dealer’s room. While not as large as DragonCon, the spirit was definitely there. Steampunk was the big thing this year, and while I didn’t buy, some of the watches, compasses and astrolabes available were awesome. I did consider goggles, but I don’t know that they would look good on me. As it was, I bought a number of shirts, Doctor Who stuff, and some gaming stuff. Very cool and fun to just walk around and admire.
I have some observations about “my people”, the geeks of the world. First, we are a sickly lot; there were a large number of folks in wheelchairs or with medical equipment (and not cosplay stuff). Granted, many of these people were of the extra-large persuasion. I too am extra-large, but…well, not quite that big. Thank goodness for my height that I inherited from my father, but while I’ve got “a bit extra around the middle”, there were a large number of folks there who were quite literally round. Now, please understand I have nothing against that. I understand that there are a lot of people who could eat nothing but a doctor prescribed diet and still be overweight because that’s how their bodies work. But there were some people there who could have cosplayed as the Volus from Mass Effect with very little work.
I’m sure part of this is because nerds, geeks, etc. form from the outcasts of society. However, the skinny nerd stereotype is so false as to be blatantly hurtful. They exist, sure, but they are the exception, not the norm. The norm are large people with bad hair, bad fashion sense (or no fashion sense) and guarded, fearful personalities. Why? Well the hair and fashion thing are just the coloration of the species, but the personality issues stem from a paralyzing fear of not being accepted, of being ridiculed, etc. That’s why some open up during these cons and talk to others, and you quickly come to realize they are fascinating, but terribly broken, people. Many have no one to speak to, no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to tell them when they are horribly misinformed, and so while these people are all generally highly intelligent, they often are very, very wrong about things because they have never had the chance to argue them and discover that their assumptions are wrong.
It’s sad and fascinating at the same time. I might have to write something further on this topic. I’ve considered adding a Convention section of the site to cover observations and tips for cons, so maybe this will motivate me to do so.
In all, Marcon was a great experience and I hope to go again next year. I hope it returns next year considering the low attendance.