[personal profile] tammylc
http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=7263

Edited to add: I think this is a very positive article. Yes, it focuses on the parties and the costumes, and makes some minor errors (astrologer<>astronomer) - but it makes the convention sound like it was *fun* and that's the kind of coverage that we want. So please - no more letters to the editor complaining! You should see the stuff that gets written about other conventions - this is really good!

Date: 2005-02-02 07:38 am (UTC)
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
From: [personal profile] erik
Email I just sent to them:
I was saddened, but not surprised by your article covering Confusion 2005. The reduction of Science fiction culture to a freak show is something to which we are quite accustomed.

However; with such a rich pool of eccentrics from which to paint such a picture, there was really no reason to impugn Br. Guy Consolmagno's professional credentials.

Br. Consolmagno is in fact the astronomer to the Vatican. Astronomy, as your Mr. Fortune seems to not be aware, is the scientific study of the stars and planets. Astrology is a system of fortune telling based in the belief that objects millions of miles away can affect whether you will be hit by a truck next Tuesday. As far as I know, Br. Consolmagno does not subscribe to its teachings.

Please take the time to instruct Mr. Fortune in the difference, that he may avoid embarrassing errors of this type in the future.

Thank you for your attention

Erik Wessing

Date: 2005-02-02 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tammylc.livejournal.com
I actually thought it was quite a positive article! Yes, there were some minor errors, but this is head and shoulders above articles written about the worldcons in Toronto and Boston, for example. It actually makes it sound like something that would be *fun* to attend.

Date: 2005-02-02 08:18 am (UTC)
ext_13495: (Default)
From: [identity profile] netmouse.livejournal.com
I really liked the first half of it.

maybe he had more time on that part...

Date: 2005-02-02 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talyen.livejournal.com
and mine:

Brother Guy Consolmagno is a meteorite expert and one of the foremost astronomers in the world. He is not now, nor has he ever been, the astrologer for the vatican. He is, however, the Vatican astronomer.

Too bad your article didn't focus more on the amazing science programming at ConFusion. We had pictures from the Huygens probe on Titan (the moon of Saturn, in case you're not familiar with the solar system), and from Cassini far above. Bill Higgins from Fermi Labs (a premiere physics lab in Illinois) presented them with Brother Guy.

We also had, as one of our Guests of Honor, scientist Christian Ready, who used to work for NASA with the Hubble Space Telescope. He brought some recent pictures from far out in the galaxy, including some recent discoveries made only in the last few months.

I am sorry your article was unable to refer to these premier scientists, as well as to the 30 other high-ranking authors and hundreds of other published authors and artists who participated in programming and attended the convention. Their contributions to the programming give it the excellent reputation that ConFusion enjoys amongst regional conventions.

-Krysta December
Programming Wrangler and Liaison to the Hotel
31 Flavors of ConFusion

Date: 2005-02-02 08:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tammylc.livejournal.com
hundreds of other published authors and artists

I think that's a wee bit of an exaggeration...

Date: 2005-02-03 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talyen.livejournal.com
Well, yeah, but I was really pissed off.

They're printing my letter. And one other one, if they get permission.

Date: 2005-02-02 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeffreyab.livejournal.com
Scheduling problem?

I know Christian's panel was early.

Next year maybe you should squire around the press to show them what we have in the way of science, point out that they are ouer most popular panels.

Date: 2005-02-02 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thatguychuck.livejournal.com
Next year if the press shows up before nine at night we might be able to get them to a panel. :) The snow threw a big monkey wrench in their plans.

All in all, I think it was a good article for ConFusion. It didn't say, "Hey everyone, look at all the weird people! Lets go poke them with sticks!" It told people some of the interesting things and interesting people.

I'd like to see the server logs for Stilyagi.org for the next week or so. I'm curious how much the traffic will increase.

Date: 2005-02-02 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] legocoach.livejournal.com
Just a note: if I'm remembering correctly, the Catholic Church actually condemns astrology as heresy. Be odd for the Vatican to have an official heretic, wouldn't it?
ext_13495: (Default)
From: [identity profile] netmouse.livejournal.com
*sigh*

in talking with Cornelius, it was clear that whatever angle he initially wanted to take on the article, it wasn't acceptable to the metro times.

I'm sorry to see that this is what we ended up with. He actually did ask me some half-way intelligent questions while he was working on the article. I had asked to see it before it went to print and obviously I could have corrected the factual errors if that had happened, but it didn't. (note to future conchairs - make sure media contacts get a copy of the program and encourage them to look at it, note the title of the convention, etc.)

The "here come the freaks" is an especially unfortunate caption.

When he was talking to me over the phone, Cornelius didn't have his usual phone conversation recording equipment, so any quote is of course approximate. I know for instance in discussing the program I was sure to mention media programming and social/fannish issues. He mentioned media stuff enough in other contexts, but he *didn't* mention more than half of our GoH list, which I was sorry to see.

I don't remember the term sci-fi coming up in our conversation, or I'm sure I would have discussed its implications. I guess we can just keep working on educating cornelius, since it looks like he's our man at metro times for the moment, and hope we can get some coverage promoting the con next year.

calling Diane a 'veteran' was kind of funny...
From: [identity profile] jeffreyab.livejournal.com
Well she has been to more than three cons and worked at at least three of them for Confusion.

She is not a tenderfoot anymore.
ext_13495: (Default)
From: [identity profile] netmouse.livejournal.com
not a tenderfoot, that's true. in any case, the quote was a positive one.

From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
I really wish fandom would drop the obsession with stamping out the word "sci-fi" and concentrate on things that actually matter. I know the word makes a lot of older fans upset, but nobody outside hardcore fandom cares. It's even worse than the attempts to rehabilitate "hacker". Nobody thinks "sci-fi" is insulting except people who use the plural "fen".

Calling us "freaks" is another story. That's actually insulting and stigmatizing.
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
(Netmouse, this is not meant as an attack on you, even though your post provoked it. Sorry if it came off that way. It's a pet peeve about Asperger Fandom and its influence on the rest of us.)

Date: 2005-02-02 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avt-tor.livejournal.com
I'm remembering the phrase that all publicity is good publicity. "Out come the freaks" may be off-putting to mundanes, but Confusion isn't exactly the stuffiest SF convention. :) As fans, we're going to be who we are. Might as well be open about it and welcome people who might also be interested.

Really Good

Date: 2005-02-02 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lsanderson.livejournal.com
I'd say it's a really great review. If you compare it to today's discussion of Detroit in the NY Times...

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