Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Was "Private Snafu" at MarsCon 2008?

So today in Googling some MarsCon 2008 Con Reports and blogs, etc., there are surfacing some tales of the "unexpected guests" at the convention misbehaving and dissing the con-going regulars (or irregulars if you like). I know that at least once the military guys had to be settled down by an older, wiser authority - and my observation was that they snapped into line pretty quickly. But I also don't disbelieve that once that authority figure was out of sight his authority was probably also out of mind. All I observed was the sort of rowdy behavior you can get with any group of drunken people, and frankly I didn't think it was that bad and the few of them I personally spoke with seemed to be getting into the spirit of it, rather than mocking it (maybe they were closet geeks?) Then again, I briefly lived in a UK town not far from an R.A.F. base where most weekends found many of the military personnel in the local pubs, so by comparison I didn't think what I saw going on was a problem, but I'm sure I only saw a small fraction.

That said, it sounds like as the night wore on and the alcohol accumulated some of those guys got a bit more out of hand, though I was back in my room by the time this was allegedly going on so did not see nor hear it myself. After all, they were soldiers, not angels - and much like Mal said in Serenity I'm sure some of them went onto the 13th floor with the thought, "I aim to misbehave." Again, I don't doubt at least some of them saw us as a bunch of freaks or were saying disrespectful things about fans and fandom. Of course, when you gather a bunch of people together, military or not, a "group mentality" often forms where they'll say and/or do things together they wouldn't otherwise when alone (heck, that probably explains the conventions themselves, right?) But to be fair, those of us who go to these things probably have members of our own families who think/say we're freaks and wierdos for dressing up in costumes and going to these things, and even though I'm no "Con Virgin" there are still things at the conventions that cause me a WTF? moment or two.

(Frankly I've never understood why we're singled out as social outcasts simply because some of us dress up in Starfleet Uniforms or paint ourselves in strange colors and go to conventions to get autographs from actors who were in shows we enjoy; but if the same person painted themselves yellow and purple, put on a football jersey and helmet, went to a game (or other event) to get an autograph from a player who was in a game they enjoyed - why is the latter socially acceptable rather than mocked? I'm sure it's probably all rooted in the deep-seated animosity between "nerds" and "jocks" that forms in high school.)

1 comment:

Susan in St. Paul said...

Interesting. I found the UK military guys a lot better behaved than the US ones who crashed through on Friday night/Saturday morning.

I had a great time with them, I never expected that soldiers could be so much fun. True they were drinking and some claimed to have been up for 40 hrs straight, but they seemed fine to me even though I am a non-drinker.

We were planning on leaving about 1:30am but ended up staying until 4 talking and doing karaoke with them.