I lost five followers because of this post
I shouldn’t laugh but I’m doing it anyway.
I lost five followers because of this post
I shouldn’t laugh but I’m doing it anyway.
DashCon is a first-year fandom convention for Tumblr users. It is happening this weekend and turning into possibly the largest convention kerfuffle anyone has ever seen.
- Due to the DashCon staff done diddly goofin’ by not putting a payment schedule in their hotel reservation contract, they were asked to pay $20,000 by 10 PM last night or the convention would be kicked out of the hotel. They asked attendees and Tumblr users to donate $17,000 via PayPal and cash to keep the con going - and they supposedly raised all of the money. Con attendees then piled into the ballroom to do Mockingjay salutes and wail Freddie Mercury songs to celebrate them falling for what is suspected to be a scam (as people have contacted the hotel to ask about this “$17,000 fee” and the hotel reportedly has no idea what they’re talking about).
- You can attend wonderfully informative panels like this at DashCon:
- DashCon claimed there would be 3,000-7,000 attendees. There are 1,000 at most and all of them are white kids in flower crowns who are rioting for the anti-sexualization of women in media while simultaneously running panels about “homoerotic subtext in fandoms and finding the gay ships for YOUR fandoms!!!”
- The con didn’t have the money to cover WTNV’s transportation and performance fees. When WTNV asked them to pay the remainder of their performance fee prior to the panel beginning, DashCon was unable to do so, and WTNV walked out as they are positively free to do because what the fuck you don’t invite keystone guests if you aren’t able to pay their fees upfront (and showing them your PayPal balance on a smartphone absolutely does not count).
- It’s being speculated that Steam Powered Giraffe was not even booked properly in the first place.
- A full weekend badge was $65 dollars for a first-year fandom con jesus christ that’s almost the price of most full-fledged comic cons.
The list continues but so far it’s only the con’s second day and it is quite literally the most dramatic, hysterically cringe-worthy convention debacle I have ever seen unfold.
Adding some updates as of 7/12 at 7:35 PM EST:
- The game room consists of some tables, one TV, and one gaming console. No, really, that’s it.
- DashCon proves they have possibly the worst PR team ever when addressing the WTNV cancellation. Instead of clearly explaining the situation, they say they “don’t want to get into it,” and then offer compensation for those who bought advanced seating tickets for the Night Vale show. What’s the compensation? An extra hour playing in the ball pit (which is really just a slowly-deflating children’s pool with some balls in it). Oh, and if there’s room, you may get one of the first-come-first-serve spots at the Time Crash concert happening tonight. Huzzah!
- Most panels are completely disorganized. The “Name That Anime” panel was even handing out hotel mints as prizes for correctly answering questions like “what’s the anime where they fight with clothes!!!”
- This still needs verification, but supposedly there are minors being let into the 18+ panels (like “BDSM 101”), which DashCon could easily get sued for allowing. Not that they have the money for it.
- It’s been pointed out that as a Marriott hotel, the Renaissance would have required them to submit their full reservation payment 5 days in advance of the event. Therefore it’s very, very likely that the “$17,000 fundraising” was a huge scam. Because DashCon would’ve had to pay that money 5 days before this weekend or the event wouldn’t even be happening in the first place.
- Furthermore, someone attempted to debunk the letter that DashCon posted to prove that the hotel asked for money. Not all their points are valid (i.e. “RE:” is commonly used for “Regarding”, not just in response to previous communication, and idk but this dude doesn’t strike me as an expert on internal Marriott stationary), but frankly the letter looks sketchy if only because
17000%99% of it is whited out. Is it real? Is it fake? We just don’t know.
- There has been no confirmation that the money donated in cash and via PayPal last night ever made it to the hotel (if that was indeed where it was intended to go).
- People are demanding full or at least partial refunds. Needs verification, but purportedly DashCon has a list at the con where you can sign your name and the amount you donated to be refunded later. Which sounds like a totally effective and not at all easily-abused system.
- Attendees are either in denial saying this is the best con ever or they’re crying and having panic attacks. Welcome to Tumblr.
And as a bonus: DashCon originally ran an IndieGoGo campaign last year to raise $5,000 to start their convention. They raised $4,000. The campaign ended in April 2013 and rewards have still not been sent out (which consisted of tea bags, a couple business cards with your Tumblr URL on them, and if you donated $500+, some knick-knacks from Etsy).
The full story for those wondering what the hell is happening.
I’ve been reading up on this fiasco and… well, I have a lot of very complex reactions, most of which are a mix of amusement and embarrassment with a side order of “I fucking called this the first time I ever heard of it.”
But right now I’m going to talk about the $17,000 hotel payment scam.
MY CREDS: When I was 10 or 11 years old, my parents formed their own company. For the past 20 years, they have been running events ranging in size from webinars with a few dozen attendees to FOSE (Federal Office Systems Expo — a convention focused on new technologies and the government) at the National Convention Center in Washington, DC — which, when we ran it, had over 10,000 attendees. After FOSE was handed off to another organizer, we took over running IRMCO (Interagency Resource Management Conference), which is a lot smaller (under 1,000 attendees) but VERY specialized and aimed at high-level management and government persons. Of course, since the business is run from our home, over the years I have worked for the company doing a variety of different tasks — everything from on-site press/vendor/keynote management to registration to finances. All of this is verifiable. I am not hiding behind anonymity. My parents’ company, Hosky Inc., is very highly respected and has 20 years of working with the US government and pretty much every major computer technologies company you can think of. We also did a thing with a bunch of syndicated cartoonists for FOSE one year and have an office full of original art from them with handwritten dedications to us. Mort Walker, who writes and draws Beetle Baily, even created a character specifically for that event, all to help raise money for the Fischer House, an organization that provides housing and other services for the families of wounded soldiers while they are hospitalized.
Bottom line: I know events planning. I have worked with hotels. I have seen every aspect of convention planning conceivable.
Some of the flaws in this letter have been pointed out already [http://youngliterati.tumblr.com/post/91561291997/the-explanation]. Here are some additional problems:
1. When organizing an event with a hotel, the contract will outline the payment plan in a lot of detail. The organizers of an event will usually either have to pay in advance, or the hotel will allow for credit to be paid off in increments or by an agreed-upon time in the future. If an event is granted credit by the hotel, they will have had to provide bank statements and records of previous work showing that they can be relied upon to pay. An organization hosting its first event would almost NEVER be given credit by the hotel — their contract would have required a payment of an agreed-upon sum in advance. On VERY rare occasions, it is POSSIBLE that the contract may have specified that payment would be given on the day of the convention. This is not likely because the hotel’s payment comes from collected funds from registered attendees and sponsors (if there are sponsors). It is POSSIBLE that a hotel’s management might agree to accept payment on the day of a convention if the organizers could demonstrate a reasonable expectation of having enough attendees show up and buy tickets at the door that would cover additional costs.
This is VERY, VERY UNLIKELY, however, since Dashcon was organized by people with no record whatsoever of previous work. The hotel would most likely have required payment in advance for projected costs, and then billed later for additional expenses.
This is what Dashcon’s tumblr says happened:
»>We worked out a plan with the hotel to give them money slowly for the entire course of the weekend, which was more than 100% feasible for us. However, 12 hours later one of our admins was unexpectedly pulled into a meeting with higher-level hotel staff, at which point they were informed that convention management had to procure $20,000 by the end of the night. It was an extremely sudden change, especially since we had sent them a number of payments before and a considerable sum the night before. «<
No, it didn’t. I can state with 100% certainty that this cannot have EVER EVER EVER happened.
There HAD to be a contract. Payment HAD to be outlined in it. If the organizers signed a contract specifying gradual payment over the course of the weekend, that is a legally binding agreement and the hotel would not and COULD not change it out of the blue. If the hotel demanded payment of $20,000 by that night, the contract HAD to have stated that the organizers agreed to do that. The hotel CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES just decide to change the terms of the contract without the organizers agreeing to it.
This is not a case of “well maybe it was different because blah blah whatever.” No it wasn’t. I ran this by my parents and siblings and a couple of their employees just to make super extra totally sure. This cannot have happened the way the Dashcon people are claiming it did. It CANNOT.
2. I actually just want to use this space to reiterate how little sense it makes to have whited-out ANY PART OF THIS LETTER. The only reasons any part of a letter like this would be kept from people are that it is fake, or it shows that the organizers did something wrong. Why would you censor the name of the hotel employee responsible for this correspondence? That person is either breaking contract, in which case OF COURSE you would leave their name visible so you could call them out, or they are bringing up legitimate issues to the organizers and the organizers don’t want their name known so people can’t follow up on the issue themselves.
3. Why is this document printed?
4. Why is this document printed on hotel stationary?
5. And shows no signs of ever having been folded?
6. Soooo… the Dashcon folks are trying to claim that the hotel HELD A MEETING to demand payment, and then also put that demand in writing, in an impersonal letter, which they printed on hotel stationary, and then must have had someone deliver in person? I… just…. ??!? NO THEY FUCKING DIDN’T THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. AT ALL.
7. I really want to go on about how much of a clusterfuck this entire thing is, but I am legitimately so overwhelmed by the amount of WRONG that EVERYTHING about this is, I can’t even decide where to go from here. So instead, I am just going to say that I invite people to submit questions to my askbox if there’s anything else about this con you want me to debunk the bullshit as someone who has done this many, many, many times before.
Dog doesn’t want kisses
> This dog has incredible comedic timing.
> Remember your place, human.
Was bored. Boyfriend and I decided to do a random shoot~ (https://www.facebook.com/Washufrell)
Finally, after all this time, this is the English adaptation of Be Ze Game, the intro to the FamiKamen Rider series of JewWario’s videos.
When Justin Carmical was first creating FamiKamen Rider, he said he wanted the reviews to look like an actual tokusatsu/Kamen Rider TV intro. He then asked me if I would be capable of writing lyrics for his theme song, as well as singing it. In Japanese. I was of course thrilled that he had asked me, and it was true that I have a small level of Japanese language certification, but the idea was still intimidating. He’d asked Julien (SadPanda) to compose the backing track, and once that was done he sent it my way.
When the instrumental came to me, I sat and listened to it… and I thought, “What the hell am I going to do!?” Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it sounded like something attached to most Kamen Rider intros, but I wasn’t about to give up. I just decided that the lyrics had to be very, very Kamen Rider, but while still being funny and light-hearted, much like the host of the show. So, certain lyrics like “Semaru Nega yo!” (Nega is approaching!) were specifically reminiscent of classic lyrics (“Semaru Shokkah” - Shocker is approaching - from the first Kamen Rider intro).
Furthermore, I realized I wouldn’t be able to write some of the lyrics without first knowing and understanding what the series was about. I didn’t necessarily want Justin to spoil it for me, but I asked him if he’d be alright with sharing the script for the first part of his two-part miniseries with me. And so I was able to write something that didn’t sound completely different from what was actually in the show. And with a little help from a native Japanese speaker, I was able to come up with lyrics that not only matched the setting and tone of the show, but were also grammatically correct (very important!).
The end result is what you now see in his Rider Reviews (example here with the Segata Sanshiro game review): http://youtu.be/MLJzvRsIqdM
But one thing I had always told Justin was that I was planning on making an English adaptation of the exact same song. Something that wasn’t just a literal translation (because you can clearly see that literal translation in the subtitles of the videos), but a REAL adaptation, that sounds good in English and rhymes (because for some reason English likes to rhyme when Japanese doesn’t really care all that much). He seemed really excited about it, though he honestly never asked me to do it. But it was something I always really WANTED to do.
Then, lots of stuff happened. 2012 to 2013 wasn’t very easy for me, and in fact, the hard drive that stored SadPanda’s instrumental for me was no longer easily accessible for me, so I went all this time without ever having recorded it. Needless to say, in this time of loss, I really, really, REALLY wanted to finish it right away. But I STILL couldn’t get connected to my old hard drive, and actually SadPanda himself no longer had the instrumental. Luckily for me, someone on Twitter (thank you very much Christian!) actually had all of the audio, and send the instrumental my way the other day. And today, I finished the English lyrics and re-recorded it. I only did a little bit of audio touch-up. I can only do so much. I’m not a professional, and I don’t have a studio or anything. But it’s not exactly a lot different from what the original song sounded like.
There’s still a large part of me that would love to see the FamiKamen Rider series get off the ground, even now. Not like I have any clue how that would ever get executed, especially without Justin. Some have suggested that it be a comic. Some have suggested that it be an animation. Maybe it’s too soon to even think about. Though I think that there’s enough people out there who would want to see it happen in some way, shape, or form, and I think there’s resources there to be pulled from. I still have some information on what was happening… I don’t know. Maybe it could be a thing, or maybe we should just let it be, and stay the fun little thing it was.
But for now, Justin, this is the gift I always intended on giving to you. I am kicking myself and am somewhat mad at myself that I never just freaking did it sooner. But it’s here. And I hope it brings the people who knew you and your work a little bit of joy. It’s still the same lyrics. Just in a different language. It’s still about the same old character, the same old you. I would never want to change it.
Missing you, my friend.
When things seem as dark as they can be
He saves the world with button-mashingYou see this guy right here?He plays games every dayYou’re telling me he’s a hero?There’s no way!Help! Nega is coming!Won’t someone do something?FamiKamen RiderThe last of the fighting WarionWhen he transforms using his belt, the game is on!FamiKamen RiderYou better take this man seriouslyHe’s got some game reviews he knows he’s got to doBe the Game!