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When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

(This is apparently a quote from a mass email my uncle sent out, and [ profile] aishlynn printed, encapsulating her thoughts of me vis a vis C14. I has a fan!)
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[ profile] bareflix is, as they say, fucking brilliant. Thank you, Chris and crew!
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The C14 Roll Call is up!

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Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the winning design (submitted by Michael Render) for the front of the C14 T-Shirt:

(Thanks to all the 43724673291864 people who submitted designs. We at C14 Control appreciate your efforts!)
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Thirty years in the making! Coming soon to a drunken gothic kiddie-pool near you![1]

[1] Assuming you're in Tampa next August. Watch this space for further deatials Coming Soon.

(h/t to [ profile] trystbat for the link)
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I think that it's making my fucking head explode to watch people bitch about it, whether or not I qualify as "elite" or not by anyone's definition, or simply have some name recognition.

There's some flat-out pig-headed stubbornness on both sides, and it's unbecoming. I have -been- on both sides of that argument, and I was just as stubborn and obnoxious as everyone currently involved.

I don't honestly give an iFuck what is or isn't a net.goth, a netgoth, or whatever. I care deeply about [ profile] netgoth, but that's because she rocks the catbox.

The schism, if it's one of those Holy War subjects, is over accretion, and how to cope with it.

C14 is going to be a simplified iteration of the Cx event, so that the folks who've come on board late to the party can see what it was like before the big-event crowd tried to make it their bitch. There may be people out there who think we're wrong; I personally happen to think they are. *shrug*
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Rather than spam everyone, please pipe up if you'd like to be on my explicit ruminations/planning/event-related crap posts.

I suspect I will need to grow my flist to accommodate some of y'all, because I've been a slacker in that department of late.
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Why YOU should vote for Ybor City this year

Not because we have the coolest, most gothic city. Not because we've stuffed our committee full of big names. Not because we run around in black every day and answer to names like Vlad, Morticia, and Fester. We don't. We haven't. We certainly wear colors. Our committee has 3 people, none of whom are going to win the Miss or Mister Goth FL contest. We cover a huge range of musical tastes and interests but we all appreciate the gothic genre and have some damn fine friends amongst the alt.gothic krewe. Also, we like to throw parties. A lot.

You should vote for Ybor because right now - this year - we have a chance to take Convergence back. To show the newer attendees what the true purpose of the event has always meant. To put a definition to the phrase "Convergence is about people" rather than just giving it lip service. See, a Convergence where you need a mother fucking spreadsheet to figure out what's going on when is not a Convergence. It's a festival. Or maybe a traditional convention. It's not Convergence as it was meant to be.

Sil's - personal - Convergence Manifesto

1. Convergence exists to facilitate the gathering of net.goths. Events are set up for this purpose and no other. Conflicting events should be discouraged as much as possible. Events should not be scheduled so heavily that time for impromptu or offline gatherings are not easily accommodated. While many people enjoy the official events, there are plenty of sub-groups which use C* as their annual gathering.

2. The laminate is mostly used for recognition and keeping the strays out. There's no reason to have a $90 laminate. Given that a decent percentage of C* goers will eschew some of the official events for more intimate/personal gatherings, keeping laminate costs low allows folks to buy a laminate and miss some events without feeling like they got swindled.

3. We're adults. The vast majority of the net.goth scene is in their 30s at this point. Or even older. Very few of us need our hands held or to be entertained 24/7. We know what we like. We know who are friends are. We have access to Google. Give people a heads up as to where the cool restaurants, fun attractions, and well stocked liquor stores are and let them do their thing. If they need a shuttle, make it happen.

4. Show people your city. Almost every major city in this country has a weekend's worth of cool things to do and see. Pick out the best and present those to your guests as potential excursions. Not every C* attendee is going to sleep all day or spend the day getting their hair just so for the dance. Not every trip has to be an official event. There's nothing wrong with informally gathering a group of people to hit Busch Gardens or the Dali Museum (for example). Part of the charm of Convergence is that it's held in different locations. Use the city to your advantage, rather than holing everyone up in a club all weekend.

5. Convergence committees (I prefer the term hosts) should facilitate the event rather than lord over it with an iron fist. Be approachable and work with people to ensure they have a good time. Be there to answer questions and play host and trauma organizer as needed. Anything else is overkill. Committees need lots of indians and a few chiefs. A streamlined group of people leading the event is going to make a much smoother Convergence than having to run everything through 14 assistant DJ fluffers.

6. Music is great and a large part of the reason we're all drawn together, but non-stop music at club levels does not facilitate people gathering. Make musical events a special part of the weekend (not the whole weekend) and make sure there are plenty of low volume spaces for people to mingle.

7. Have beer. No. Really. We represent the kegger contigent.
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Invading Hordes Love Us )

[what's even funnier is that [ profile] aishlynn's mother sent this to us, clipped out of the local paper]
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... of The Kegger Contingent.

I understand we get bright yellow shirts.

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Something about net.goths, and drama? Did I hear that correctly? I may have gotten too much sun and fresh air.

I was trying to give a precis of the current situation to [ profile] critus, along with a thumbnail of how Mac and I had "our Convergence throw-down" back in the day[tm][1] (this here is, of course, me speaking as me, not as the mouthpiece for Ybor, though my opinions certainly inform my actions as such):

While the old-school core contingent has always been a.g. (and the places the core a.g. crowd hangs out together now that there's more to life than usenet & IRC), some social accretion has occurred to grow the invested populace. Goths, and net.goths, were already marginalized; being excessively exclusionary isn't the point (you just need to be wired and not an irredeemable jackass... at least be a jackass with a couple redeeming qualities. I mean, look no further Mac and me. ;-)).

However, the event itself has mutated into something that, while not anathema to its original purpose, is no longer treating that purpose as its main reason for being, which means the Gothapalooza approach to Convergence needs to die ("in a fire" not implied, but not ruled out).

The Ybor bid reflects this sensibility.

Quick poll, for anyone who wants to play along. Think about all the Convergences you've attended. Pick out your favorite moment or moments from each one. Now... how many of those are directly related to the scheduled events?

Me? I've been to eight C*'s, and the *only* time something the Committee arranged makes my list is when Voltaire introduced PFM.... and that's only because I assumed when he said, "He sang Ziggy Stardust," that ZOMG DAVID FUCKING BOWIE was about to walk onstage. Every other one of my Greatest Hits of Convergence had nothing to do with any of the formal events, and everything to do with the people I was there to hang out with, whether it was singing gospel songs at 2am or running up a ludicrous bar tab or infesting a hot tub.

People make the event; the event doesn't make itself.
Some folks seem to have forgotten this.
We haven't.


Successfully submitting a bid, in the right place and at the right time, is not difficult. The directions are crossposted fetishistically every year, and it's not like they're complicated or obtuse.

Heck, Angel wrote ours in ten minutes (we have a two-beer rule for bid proposals around these parts - they have to be thought up after two, and can't take longer than drinking two to type up); we're not anyone's idea of serious web designers. At last check, being a web designer had no crossover skill with throwing a good party (which isn't to say they're mutually exclusive; photos from the Suite of Doom at C10 can attest to [ profile] mpeace's party co-facilitating acumen, and she web geeks for a living).


The current flap over the disqualification of potential bids is, well... pointless.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with voter-registration ballot-stuffing campaigns (I'm looking at you, Dallas Committee - you couldn't even be bothered to post your bid to alt.gothic or speak up in your own defense? Shame on you.) or any conspiracy on the part of the c*b*l.

Damn few things in life are fair; the fact that there is such a hue and cry when a process that everyone (even a certain flightless asshat) has been able to understand for the best part of a decade is conveniently ignored by one bid (and, granting the benefit of the doubt, honestly misunderstood by another) says something sad about the larger world. Rules should matter. Breaking them has consequences.

Honestly, until a certain prominent member of the C13 committee (and presumed tight accomplice to the Dallas committee) went completely off the handle and outed himself as a complete jackass... I'd read over Dallas' bid and liked it. I wouldn't have minded losing to them in a fair fight. I wouldn't have minded coming in a distant third to Hollywood & Dallas both... in a fair fight. I have one vote, to cast as I please.

But the thing of it was.... this year, if the disqualified bids had gotten their way, it wasn't going to be a fair fight. And, because there are consequences for breaking rules, now there's no fight at all. And ... that's okay.

We've made our point. Convergence has jumped the shark.

It's time for it to be about the people again. And now it will.

[1] circa C5, if anyone cares
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Since the official announcement has been posted, and the site uploaded to the appropriate location, the shark is out of the bag on this one.

[C14-Ybor] Bid )
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