Prose and Cons

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Just in case you're trying to decide whether you should attend the Democratic National Convention (website: boston04.com) or the World Science Fiction Convention (website: boston2004.com), the WorldCon folks have created a handy comparison chart. Some of my favorites:

1. We're not $10 million over budget. We don't even have a $10 million budget.

2. Our promises for the future are supposed to be fiction.

21. Secret Service has no plans to shut down major highways for us.

52. At our convention, "Star Wars" has a rather different meaning than at theirs?as perhaps does, "undocumented aliens".

55. Our attendees often swear in forms unrecognizable to the FCC.

So far, no word from the Democrats on this burning issue.

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  1. We, the DNC, believe that this website is a diversionary tactic by Bush to turn public attention away from us. Only Republicans could come up with a convention filled with idealogical dreamers that have no social life whatsoever and are obsessed with flights of fantasy that bear little resemblance to reality, and then have the utter audacity to have it run at the same time as OUR convention! Have they no shame?

  2. These are also good:

    Nobody we’ve nominated for anything is about to be handed millions of dollars by the Federal Elections Commission.

    Filkers know more songs than just “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)”.

    If we rewrite history we label it as fiction or “alternative history”.

    When we talk about “skull and bones” it’s probably in a discussion about paleontology.

    When we sling mud, it’s probably in a workshop on making alien pottery.

  3. Reminds me of Cthulu for President. I realize that Cthulu isn’t exactly sci-fi, but I’ll venture that a lot of people at the sci-fi convention would know what I’m talking about.

    On a related note, a friend of mine was looking for a Klingon to Quenya dictionary (or vice-versa), either online or in print. Anybody here know where to find one?

  4. Will they burn Will Smith in effigy? I, Robot, hah. More like I, Suck.

    t, that is quite possibly the geekiest request to hit H&R.

  5. The LP fave:
    We aren’t putting it on with your money, unless you bought a membership.

    I still think their motto should be, “Be there and be square.”

  6. thoreau,

    A quick search didn’t turn one up. Of course, he could use a real language (like English) as a bridge. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paramount and New Line put the kibosh on any effort by fans to do something like that, anyway. I have heard that Paramount is VERY protective (litigious) of the Star Trek franchise, even as they destroy it.

    Mo,

    I’m sure we can come up with geekier ones. We almost chased away Jennifer a little while ago with D&D comments. You probably don’t want to encourage us.

    “Be there and be square.”

    LOL. Good one. 😀 😀

  7. god, thoreau…you really work overtime to reinforce the “libertarians are flaky geeks” perception…

  8. I resent being called flaky! 😉

  9. Thoreau: He’d probably have to get a Klingon-English dictionary and a Quenya-English dictionary. I’ve seen the first but don’t know if the second exists.

  10. Well, there are some similarities. Both groups are secretly yearning for more salacious details about Jeri Ryan’s sex life to hit the news.

  11. There was story somewhere on the web a while back that Cthulhu was dropping out of the race because Bush was carrying out the destruction of the Earth so well. In in my archives, I’ll look for it.

  12. I have to take partial blame for this one. The ones which I came up with (to the best of my recollection) are 17, 18, 19 (the one which Mo liked), 31, and 40.

    Thoreau: I know someone (going to Worldcon, naturally) who’d know if there’s a Klingon-to-Quenya dictionary, if anyone does. I’ll ask him, and let you know if he provides any leads.

  13. Thoreau, here’s a reply I got. I tried emailing you, but the mail bounced.

    1. Google “Quenya”. The fourth hit is a Quenya-English Dictionary at
    http://www.rialian.com/quenya-english.htm. The page text is Swedish, but
    there is very little of that. The first hit is for a Quenya course, a free
    PDF.

    2. There’s a lot of useful stuff (for appropriate values of “useful”),
    including the following, at the web site of the (British) Tolkien Society,
    http://www.tolkiensociety.org/.

  14. garym,

    Did you attend the ConJose in 2002 ?

    My favorite t-shirt slogan from that convention – “On my home planet i AM normal”

  15. Oh Yeah; great title, Hanah.

  16. When I go to cons, I enjoy saying to the hotel personnel; “Could you please tell me where the science fiction convention is? I only appear to be normal”

  17. Jennifer-

    Beware of this guy at the convention:
    http://premium.theonion.com/news/index.php?id=830

    Garym-

    Thanks. What we were really looking for, mostly just for the geek factor, is a dictionary that only uses those 2 languages, just so we could say to the other physicists “Hah! We’re the biggest geeks of all!” But that would really be a lie, since neither of us knows a single word of Klingon, and I know at most a half dozen Elvish words (some of which might not even be Quenya).

  18. SM,
    No, actually, I get to more cons in Europe than on the west coast.

    The best slogan I’ve seen from a convention was in response to ConDiego, which was so disorganized that the people running it couldn’t even spell its name correctly: “Hello. My name is ConDigeo [sic] Montoya. You killed my weekend. Prepare to die.”

  19. I did a Google search with the words “Klingon English dictionary” and found a veritable embarrassment of riches. Lots of Quenya topics came up, too. I pasted one Klingon link below:

    http://members.aol.com/JPKlingon/newbook.html

    Funny thing: I’ve been unusually tired this past week (coming down with a cold), and last night by eight o’clock I was as tired as if it were past midnight. My boyfriend and I were watching a rerun of Star Trek TNG, and by the time the episode ended my eyes were at half-mast and I shuffled off to bed. First, though, I said, “I used to be so incredibly cool, and now I’m going to bed at nine o’clock on a Friday night. [Pause] After having watched Star Trek.” My boyfriend laughed far louder and longer than the joke warranted.

    If Boston still exists, we’ll both be going to World Con. Perhaps we’ll see some of you there.

  20. Welcome to our world, if only temporarily, Jennifer. As one door closes, another opens…and all that mystical stuff.

  21. Let me guess: One of the guys shouted “Hey, so is Duchess Kitiara!” and then ran to find the obese woman in chainmail and arrange an introduction? Cuz that would be a pretty miserable situation.

  22. Thorreau-
    I don’t remember it too well, because I was a tad drunk at the time, but what I do remember is that the guy was. . .well, not inherently ugly a la Woody Allen, but possessed of appalling personal hygiene and even worse social skills. Imagine a dirty, unattractive guy using pick-up lines that would fail even if a hunk like Hugh Jackman or Brad Pitt attempted to use them. He actually said that I must be exhausted, because I’d been running through his mind all day! (Groan.) Then, when I told him I was a lesbian (bear in mind, my boyfriend’s there the whole time), Grease Monkey allowed as to how he could change my inclination. “Actually,” I said, “it’s guys like you that made me what I am today.” I think he thought I was flattering him.

  23. Fun party game for future-minded citizens to play at political or science-fiction conventions:

    Vote for US President via an alternative voting scheme and see who wins:

    http://www5.cs.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/andru/civs/vote?id=E_2ecaeb874ed56bac&akey=6704add964974f85

    That’s right: come one, come all, participate in the online elections of the future! Pick a winner using the arguably superior Condorcet method!

    If we had more money, we’d display the ballot in Klingon, Elvish, and Esperanto; sadly, however, you’ll have to make do with English for now.

    You Kerry, Nader, and Bush partisans should note: the Libertarian Party’s Michael Badnarik is the leader at the moment, but the sample size is very small. It will be interesting to learn what the Condor Say after a few more folks have voted.

  24. The article was about a guy who went to Dragoncon 2001 with the goal of getting laid. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.

    You’re right about women at Cons becoming sex goddesses by default. Although I rarely go to cons anymore, I have only one simple request of women at cons: Obese women should avoid the chainmail lingerie.

    However, not all men will concur with that request. Even the obese chicks in chainmail get hit on!

    My wife and I just got back from spending the evening at a Shakespeare festival. My wife and I just go for the play, but we usually see a few people in costume doing renaissance fair-type stuff beforehand. We were surprised not to see them this year. Maybe Love’s Labor’s Lost isn’t their thing, and they’re waiting for next weekend and Henry V.

  25. Whoa! Any thread about Scifi on this blog just has to include the groovy “Libertarian Futurist Society”. The Libertarian Futurist Society was founded in 1982 to recognize and promote libertarian science fiction.

    http://www.lfs.org/index.htm

  26. Thoreau-
    Ah, yes. I read about DragonCon guy in one of my Onion books. I think I met him at ReaderCon a couple years back.

    Word of advice to any females planning to attend a convention: assuming your 6’3″ boyfriend refuses to step in and stop guys from hitting on you, DO NOT attempt to dissuade such guys in their attempts by implying you’re a lesbian. Boy, oh boy, does that ever backfire.

  27. Went to a trek con in T.O. several years ago. The main leisure activity seemed to be watching the (your derisive epithet here) dressed in their home made costumes trying to look sharp, and pick up the chicks dressed in Klingon armour. The drunker we got, the more amusing it became. Having said all that, some of the women who were in ‘character’ were quite stunning, both in a positive and, more often, negative light

  28. Holy cow, mention Star Trek and the Libertarians come crawling out from under their playstations. Klingon dictionaries? Star Trek conventions? Am I the only one that thinks this might be part of the LP’s very limited appeal. No wonder your candidate is a computer programmer. No personal offense meant here, I watched star trek when I was a kid too, but come on!

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