|If you don't know what this is about, don't worry.
||[Oct. 5th, 2009|09:21 pm]
In order to dispel any doubt that there may be over my opinion on the matter:
Firstly, It's my firm belief that the correct response of a convention committee hearing criticism of their convention, or its current or previous committees, is to prove those critics wrong by running a great event.
Secondly, it seems to me that banning your critic from your event, refusing to enter into any online discussion on the matter, and refusing to discuss it with any other persons, seems (on the face of it) to be a little odd.
Thirdly and finally, I'm trying to remember any occasion when a committee has banned a critic and then refused to discuss it, and then gone on to find that their public image has improved in any way. No success yet.
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And (which might not be obvious from that link) Pádraig has done loads of sterling work in Irish fandom, not least of which is in the field of conrunning.
But his most heinous sin is to have founded PhoenixCon, which each year shows the current Octocon committee what a Dublin-based SF con can be.
As a disinterested observer, and reading between the lines, that I suspect is at the heart of this little spat.
In my opinion, and it is only that, the current Octocon Committee would be happiest running some form of Uni con. They've been getting less than 100 attendance the last couple of years, and their recent level of organisation has been such that, for example, membership badges haven't been printed before registration opened. I think they want to run cons, but having the mantle of 'Ireland's National SF Con' hanging on their shoulders is, I think, too much for them.
Contrariwise, PCon is now what Octocon used to be. It gets appreciably larger memberships, it's much better organised (i.e., it actually works), and there are a number of guests who turn up for it who have no intention of going to Octocon again.
That is also the con that Pádraig founded, but he stepped away a few years back, letting it grow out from under his wing.
I have a feeling the ecological niche for a general Dublin SF con (as opposed to specialist ones, and media cons) is only large enough for one, even though PCon moved away from the autumn to the spring to avoid crowding Octocon. Perhaps. That might explain Mr Brophy's attitude. But there are those of us who were flying over to Dublin twice a year, attending both. And if Octocon had continued as what it used to be, we'd not be finally giving up on it this year.
Randon factoid: when we bumped into some people we knew on the island of Miyajima, a week and half-a-thousand miles from the 2007 Worldcon, the group in that square was over 10% of Octocon's attendance a few weeks later.