?

Log in

No account? Create an account
KS Alternative Factor

Oddly entertaining MediaWest incident

MediaWest convention is a large multi-fandom convention held at the end of every May in Lansing, Michigan. It’s open to all fandoms, and to gen, het and slash.

There’s always been a number of vocal anti-slashers in attendance; they will occasionally make snarky comments about my zines as they pass by my table in the dealer's room. I generally ignore this sort of behavior. After all, if I’m not interested in something, I don’t spend any time on it, and I can’t imagine why they want to waste time on something they’re not interested in/dislike. But some people just feel impelled to run their mouths.

I *was* oddly entertained by an incident at this year’s convention. It involved someone who was vocally and decidedly on the gen-only side. (She didn’t like slash and she didn’t like het either.)

The hotel (they are so patient with us!) allows attendees to post fannish flyers up in certain specified areas of the hotel. I was busy posting flyers for my upcoming K/S zines on one wall when a woman (a total stranger) came up next to me, posted her flyer, and said:

“Well, I *never*!”



(Full disclosure – she didn’t say exactly that; I can’t recall her exact words, but they were spoken in just the sort of outraged primness that phrase implies.)

I don’t recall saying anything in return, but that didn't stop her. She began ranting on and on about how it’s always been an outrage there’s so much filthy artwork in the art show, but she couldn’t *believe* that all she had to do was just glance through the dealer’s room door and have her eyes assaulted by porn. She went on to say it was bad enough when it was only “SL”* who indulged in that sort of thing, but now all kinds of people were making dirty art.

Surprisingly, she wasn’t commenting on my flyers – I had, at first, assumed that's why she started talking, but I don’t think she even looked at them.

I couldn’t resist, and said in my best perky voice that yes, there were lots of talented people doing wonderful erotic artwork; and that I’d published quite a bit of erotic artwork in my fanzines.

She stalked off.

Of course I couldn’t resist going to have a look at this example of filth and pornography which so offended her.

It was quite a lovely fantasy/pagan piece of a green man/horned god carrying a wood nymph in his arms. The nymph had long flowing red hair, which artfully covered almost everything but did leave one breast – and thus one bare nipple - exposed.

Now, I am very used to extremely explicit art, and I am rarely shocked by anything. I have to consciously put my head back into that “shocked by anything” place. The only way I succeed in doing this is to imagine my mother seeing the piece in question. That does the trick every time. My mother probably wouldn’t have liked this piece either. (Example: My mother didn’t approve of ballet; she considered ballet sinful.)

But… there are a lot of classic statues which are much more explicit than that painting. This woman’s reaction seemed so out of proportion to the piece. Has she ever seen the Venus de Milo? Or Michelangelo’s David? Or the endless examples of classic art throughout the ages?

(shaking head)

(*SL = well known fan artist who has done exquisite artwork in numerous fandoms. She had app. 20 pieces in the MW art show from all sorts of fandoms, all beautiful.)

Comments

*giggle*

Maybe it was the nymph/green man thing. Separation of the races, you know? That would set off my grandma for sure!

*giggle*

Funny story!

More detailed report later on?
>>>Maybe it was the nymph/green man thing. Separation of the races, you know? That would set off my grandma for sure!

Could be, could be. I hesitate to even speculate on what was going on her 'brain'...! ;-)

>>>More detailed report later on?

So much of Media is personal conversations - in the hallways, at room parties, at meals, at my table in the dealer's room. And it's also about roaming the hallways at night. Many of the rooms leave their doors open and if they have their doors open anyone is welcome to come join fannish parties in progress.

Or, they're selling stuff - fannish stuff of all kinds - new and used zines, artwork, plus jewelry, Ren Faire type clothing, weird stuffed toys (anyone for a stuffed Cthulhu?), etc. My favorite purchase were a couple of Photoshopped fake magazine covers with articles by or about various TV characters. i.e., Popular Science might have an interview with Mr. Spock or MacGyver.

I had several panels earmarked, but only went to two Brokeback Mountain panels. I'd wanted to do to the "Is canon important?" and "Do you write for yourself or for your audience", as both of those are interests of mine, but wound up getting sidetracked with other things. Our group did "sneak off" and go see X Men III on Sunday. Great movie!

Yes, give us more! Funny!
man, I love stories like this. These are the people who made second rate craftsmen whittle the penii off of statues by Michelangelo.
They just love to be outraged, don't they? And yes, they are all about the censorship & the destruction. When they're not destroying statues they're burning books and CDs. Scary people, actually.
Hehe, SL. Cool. Probably "classics" are okay because they are CLASSIC. (Never mind that even they came out fresh one day in the distant past.) The glory of patina.
The glory of patina, indeed! Just consider the themes of some of the classic statues and paintings - maidens being carried off to be ravished by gods was certainly one popular theme.
Isn't it interesting how some people just have to try to remake fandom in their own narrow image? I wonder what she was doing at the con at all.
Oh, there's plenty of anti-slashers at Media. I had dinner with one of them last year. She was a friend of a friend, and a whole group of us went out for Chinese. She was ready to start an anti-slash harangue by saying she "just didn't understand why people did these things to the characters", so I jumped in and mentioned I'd been reading/writing slash for 30 years. Since I wasn't in her fandom (Stargate) she didn't go all ballistic, and we actually had quite a civilized conversation. One of *her* friends listened with obvious fascinating, caught up to me later in the con and asked for my recommendations for K/S zines. (Another convert...! )