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What is the difference between "Obedient" and "Cooperative"?

Into which category do you usually fall?


—Bureau of Nosy Statistics
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Back from the 2015 Oregon Country Fair, and somewhat re-grooved to fit into this so-called “real life”.

I saw some cool cosplays.

People on stilts: with giant monarch butterflies on their heads; ‘dressed’ in hospital gowns and clumping along on really tall walkers, shouting about getting old; dressed as angels, with huge white wings.

I saw one really good raven outfit.

I spent most of my time during open hours in the booth; it’s just too crowded out there for me to move easily from place to place during the day.
I did visit the ‘new area’ a couple times. That’s a welcome addition: new crafters, new food booths, and a LOT of open space and seating and new art.

I wore this shirt for a lot of the Fair, and I got scanned a few times. All hail the Spectacle! Salute the new order: we are all ‘brands’ now, we advertise our creative functions like dish soap.

Recall that in French ‘advertissement’ means “Warning!”.

The OCF: what can I say about it? It would require a long, deep essay to describe the contradictory thoughts and feelings this event inspires in me. It is simultaneously a magnificent spectacle and The Spectacle, a hint of what a better world would be like, and a glimpse into how egalitarian values can lead to authoritarian outcomes. More than anything , it serves to remind me how investing power in a Board or executive can turn an assembly into a (dis)obedient mob.

I’ve begun that essay (in my mind) at least a hundred times. The balance eludes me.

Oh, well I had fun. And the people watching was fantastically entertaining, as always. One aspect of the Fair-as-Festival that’s always fascinating is the freedom people feel to dress as they wish, manifesting all sorts of archetypes and individual dreams and nightmares. Among the ordinary folks and the oddly-dressed and the conventionally “costumed”, there are always a few whose personal vision transforms them. That raven, for one. S/he even had some of the head movements...
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Thoughts about my most recent Country Fair experience:

Next year, I think I’ll have a short story written which bridges the worlds of SF fandom/conventions and the Country Fair. It shouldn’t be hard to put Mr. Rothakis through such hoops, and if the story is 30-60 pages I can print and bind it myself, and GIVE IT AWAY so people can become familiar with my work. (I could give it away at cons, as well.)

I am troubled by the feeling that more and more of the decisions controlling my enjoyment of the Fair are being made in an Authoritarian manner. I’m not gonna go on about that right now, I’m not ready for that rant yet.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Parades this year. The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Band and Chamber Orchestra and the Chinese Parade Dragon both gave good shows. The Flower Covered Man was especially odd.

The opening act at the All-Night Hootenanny across from our booth was pretty good. The electronica band that played third was fun as well.

We should make a sign for our booth to point to the W.C. Fields stage.

I expect there will be some more of this coming along soon.


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September 2017



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