Sunday, July 22, 2012

The response to "Archon Hear a Who"

To keep the Doctor Who fans I wrote about in my last posting abreast of what's happening with our suggesting a Doctor Who media guest to attend a future Archon, here is a reply on an open St. Louis SF fandom email list from the media guest liaison:

Yes, for those of you who missed all the Facebook fun, this blog was absolutely innaccurate. Obviously the writer decided she had a great hook with the 'Horton Hears a Who' tie in, without really bothering to do any research to see if anything she wrote was actually TRUE.

No, we (Archon) have not been contacted by anyone at BBC America, these guests, or their representation. And as Van so aptly pointed out, seriously, if they were calling us saying 'can we please come' what do you think would be happening? It sure as heck wouldn't be Archon saying, 'yeah, thanks but no, we're good'.

Could we get a Dr Who guest in future? Sure, maybe we can work that out. If anyone would have come to me and said, 'Hey, we'd love a Dr. Who guest, and maybe we can even work out some fundraising to help support it' I'd have been their new best friend. I love Dr. Who. But this was handled SO badly that it honestly makes me want to not look too hard into it in the near future because I don't want to encourage this kind of attrocious behavior by anyone else.

Not saying that I WON'T look into it, just saying that this whole mess has put a bad taste in my mouth about the idea. I'll probably be over it before we go hunting for a guest next year. :)

Archon Media Guest Liaison

Here was my response on this same email list:

Thank you, Katrina, for your fair assessment of the events. My blog posting was never meant as a personal attack against any individual involved with Archon. It was a call to Doctor Who fans to make our voices heard. I believe this is an exercise of freedom of speech. If we are bullied into keeping quiet because it contradicts another person's opinion, then who benefits?

If you read the piece, you'd see I know of persons with direct contacts within  the BBC that live in the St. Louis area. I see now why they were shy about making their points known to the general Archon community--they would be accused of being "liars" as well. I did not once mention Ms. Stadter's name in the blog
article (I had no clue who or what group is in charge of media guests), and I never once insinuated that what she said was not "true". Yet I open my email digest today and see that I'm being called essentially a liar. I only wrote about what I was told on good authority. It is my personal blog and my friends are allowed to talk to me if they so desire. I write on topics when I feel like
it could be of help to my friends. Please don't malign the messenger if you don't care for the message.

I do not appreciate being told I am trying to start controversy within STL  fandom. It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would take a blog posting so seriously. I will not take such unfounded accusations as a personal attack from the Archon board members. But I will sincerely appreciate if the personal attacks cease and desist forthwith. Nobody wins in these situations.

That's all I'm going to say on the matter. In the many years I've been a SF fan,  I've never met a fan I didn't like. I think the general Archon community would say the same. I hate to painted as being a "not-so-nice Doctor Who fan" for future reference to people who don't really know me as a human being. There is enough hatred and hate speech in the world nowadays. Let's try to keep fandom a
happy and supportive place for all to share their thoughts and opinions without fear of bullying or maligning of character.

Thank you for listening.

And that's all I'm going to write on the matter. Yes, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. I've always been a great supporter of Archon and fandom in general, but obviously I'm not to everyone's tastes. So be it. You can't please everyone, so they will have to learn to live with me and move on. 

I have more important things on my plate. We're going out of state to visit my mother this weekend and see how she is doing in her new assisted living apartment. I had thought about writing some more about coping with a loved one with cancer, but thought I could use a break and take some time to write on lighter topics for a while. Obviously, my beloved Doctor Who is not a light enough topic. Go figure!

Your kind wishes, comments and prayers on my and my mother's behalf are always welcome. Let's try to build each other up in this life: I think we all realize just how short it is and what really matters.


Anonymous said...

Well I believe you made your point quite clear.... LOL

Stephanie Kelsey said...

You definitely come across as much more professional than they did. Kudos on keeping your cool.

Cindy A Matthews said...

Thanks, Stephanie and "Anonymous". I do try to remain professional at all times. I have no wish to disparage any person or persons, and I humbly request that they do likewise and treat me and my fellow DW fans with respect. The world is big enough for differences of opinion! ;)

A J said...

An odious affair, and a nasty firestorm, brought about over what I think is your very reasonable request to see more, current, media guests at Archon. Judging by that response, Some people really do need to get a grip on themselves.

Cindy A Matthews said...

I agree with you, AJ. Some variety in media guests at a con could only be a good thing that would bring in newcomers and welcome back old-timers. It's not a life or death issue, and it really doesn't call for name-calling.If feedback from the fan isn't allowed, then the board members should take down the contact information and place a statement stating this in policy.

Jody Brickner said...

Perhaps before people are allowed to comment on blogs, a statement should come up for people to confirm that they in fact, have read the blog carefully. That would screen out a lot of unnecessary drama from the pathologically mean.

I suppose you should take it as a compliment that she got so hot and bothered by your suggestion.

Cindy A Matthews said...

Yes, I agree, Jody. It's better to read FIRST before commenting on a blog. Something about when you assume... ;)

Never realized that I'm that effective a writer! I provoke emotion and drama at the touch of the keyboard! That's amazing and considered a good thing generally. Maybe I can get a decent book contract from this experience? LOL!! ;)

Anonymous said...

A little sugar helps the medicine go down. While the sentiments are true that have a Doctor Who guest would be fantastic, maybe it would have been more pragmatic to locate somebody on the Archon committee and ask about it rather than say they just don't listen? Sadly, it is always much easier, especially on the internet, to tear down relationships and trust than to build them. Sorry to say, this could have been handled better by all sides.

On a side note, I would like to read more about coping with a parent with cancer as my father has just been diagnosed with a recurrence of his cancer.

Scifi Fan said...

I think the last commenter is completely missing the point--a whole group of persons (a board of a convention) attacked ONE individual on a personal basis (called her blog "attrocious" and I thought it read quite well). Sure things could have been handled better, but why is an organization attacking an individual and getting away with it? That is bullying by any definition.

If a group of people jump on you, are you not allowed to defend your position? It seems there is more truth in the blog that the fans had been ignored or harrassed by the board or representative(s) of the board in the past. How can individuals who have been bullied in the past approach this same board without fear of more bullying? They chose to speak to the blogger who was sympathetic to their cause. All she got in the end was grief and insults. A board can take their lumps and complaints in mass, but an individual is left with nothing but scars and hurt feelings.

Yet another example of the one percent sticking it to the 99 percent?

Cindy A Matthews said...

Well said, SciFi Fan. It seems to be the prevailing culture of the 21st Century--kick'em when they're down and be sure they take the rap for your action. (The victim is always at fault, in other words. Tell that to someone who's been raped. It doesn't help them heal at all, believe me.)

My hubby and I were discussing "snarky" attitudes online the other day (I wrote a blog about a year ago) and how they're getting worse. You attack the messenger if you don't understand/agree with/like the message. I hope we see a resurgence in manners in the near future, but I won't hold my breath.

But like you said, those with the power (the 1%) will always feel like they're in the right over the vast majority who need to keep their opinions to themselves and take their lumps like good little slaves.

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