I don’t do Twitter. Never had any interest in trying to have conversations limited to a few words at a time or with wrdz turnd 2 jmbls. Besides, I got talked into Facebook some years ago by friends and that eats enough of my free time up as it is. I was so Twitter illiterate that I only just recently discovered that you don’t actually have to have a twitter account in order to read anyone’s tweets.
One of the things that assisted in my recent familiarization with Twitter was an email sent to me by an acquaintance of mine with a link to Ron Marz’s Twitter page. What I saw was… interesting. At the time though, I basically decided to just ignore it. This by the way was what I saw.
Ron’s definition of “skeevy” seems to be an interesting one. Posting facts with links that correct the incorrect statements of the Boycott Brigade or attempting to discuss the counterpoint in the argument is somehow offensive to Ron’s delicate sensibilities Nice to know. And someone should point out to his Boy Wonder sidekick there that I post as me and only me when I post anything at all. I leave the use of multiple names and email accounts or multiple Twitter accounts under various assumed names to the Boycott Brigade.
But, as I said, I basically decided to ignore it at the time. If Ron wanted to be an asshat, then Ron gets to be an asshat. That’s his right after all. I was a little curious about why he posted the question to Twitter, a place I’m not on and don’t frequent, rather than posting something in one of the various forums I might have actually been and where he saw me discussing the boycott with others, but not curious enough to really give it much thought other than thinking that Ron was maybe a little sketchy for skipping the forums and heading to Twitter to say something about me rather than to me.
Two things recently changed my mind about commenting on this.
The first was an interesting discovery. Having actually looked at Twitter for the first time and discovered that, unlike many Facebook pages, you can read just about every page without an account, I asked a friend on Twitter how to best use any search engine on it. The reason for this was curiosity about a burst of referrals to my blog that came from Twitter back in April. The odd thing about the Twitter referral was that it was to the main page and not any specific post.
So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the only reference I could find on Twitter for the time in question was just this one.
Granted, I didn’t look long, but this is the only link to my blog that I could find to explain the Twitter referrals from April 21st to April 23rd. And, oh, look, it’s Ron Marz. So Ronny Boy knew who I was before asking who I was two weeks later. And, apparently, Ronny Boy not only skipped commenting directly to me on various forums, but he found my blog, skipped commenting here, ran to the safety of his Twitter account, and gave his own special, overly simplistic spin on my position.
It was also kind of funny that he posted that at all. My last blog post on the matter had been almost a full month earlier. Anyone following his link by then were met with short-film reviews. I actually thought that whoever was linking from Twitter was referencing those since they were the second and third highest hits behind the main page. But, nope, it was Ronny Boy being an asshat and a coward from the safety of his Twitter account.
How can I call him a coward you ask? Oh, well, I’m going by Ronny Boy’s own guidelines on what makes one a coward. You see, that’s the second thing moved me to write a nice little “Pot, Meet Kettle” style post. See, the acquaintance of mine who sent me the first link sent me a second link not long ago with a “You won’t believe what a hypocrite this guy is.” note attached.
Old Ronny Boy apparently got upset with someone who wrote a blog post about something said in one of Ronny’s tweets. The gentleman in question apparently has a Twitter account or at least access to a Twitter account through the professional blog in question, but he apparently decided that addressing what was said in actual sentences and paragraphs was preferable to tweet after tweet after tweet. Now, despite the blog being not only readable to all on the web and on a fairly well trafficked site, Ronny Boy took umbrage to this.
The fact that this guy could have responded on Twitter but chose a different forum, even one that Ronny had knowledge of and access to, made him, by the Ronny Boy Rules of the Web, a coward.
So, Ronny Boy actually came here and, rather than commenting here, skipped off to hide behind his Twitter page and comment, at that time, behind my back. He then later saw me discussing the boycott situation in several forums and, rather than making any comment in them that I can locate, he skipped of to the safety of his Twitter page and talked shit, at that time, behind my back. But when someone else on a blog that Ronny Boy is actually aware of comments on Ronny Boy’s tweets rather than commenting directly to Ronny Boy on his Twitter page, Ronny Boy declares that such an act is an act of cowardice and that the guy was hiding behind his blog.
Hey, Ronny Boy, I don’t have a Twitter account. You found my blog and ran away to hide behind and comment on your Twitter page. You saw me commenting in other forums and ran away to talk shit on and hide behind your twitter page. So, not only are you, Ronny Boy, an asshat, but by your own expressed standards and rules of the web you are a hypocrite and a coward as well.
Good to know.
Well, that took less time than I gave them credit for. Between their deluded sense of righteous indignation, arrogant sense of moral superiority, and, in some cases, irrational anger, you had to see the majority of this, well, mob in the making breaking down and turning into a screaming, angry mob working off of their own mindless stupidity. I actually gave them some credit early on though. I thought that they’d have gotten through at least mid-June before reaching this level of arrogant, mindless stupidity and juvenile, driveling nonsense.
Perfect examples of that sense of righteous indignation and arrogant sense of moral superiority as well as a dash of arrogant, mindless stupidity all come in the form of one of the latest Boycott Brigade bandwagon members. That would be one Mr. Steve Niles. Now, I happen to like Steve Niles and I also have some acquaintances in common with him who may well get pissed off by some of my comments, but, so be it.
Niles decides to weigh in on the subject of the boycott and attempts to boil it down to the simplest terms possible. The problem with that is that this is not a simple matter. This is a very complicated matter with a long history, a lot of details, and a small ton of misinformation (at this point mostly from the Boycott Brigade) put out around it.
And how you view the information and facts of the last (almost) 13 years as well as how you come to a decision based on the information and facts of the last (almost) 13 years is likely going to be dependent on a lot of factors. For me, one of the major factors is a career in law enforcement and the related familiarity that has given me with courts ranging from local courts and all the way up to the State Supreme Court. As a result of that background, I look at the things that were done by the legal system down there in the first ten or so years of this and just end up doing a facepalm of utter astonishment. I look at all of the facts and I see a legal system that failed utterly in its job.
I’ve also looked at the claims of the Boycott Brigade with regards to what Dragon*Con has supposedly paid Ed Kramer “per year” in dividends on the shares he owns and have found that their claims don’t stand up to fact checking or basic Business 101 level information. I also, based on a functional knowledge of the legal system, tend to find their primary claim of Kramer being able to avoid justice based on these dividends (high five figure to low six figure payments each year on the years he actually got a payment) to be ridiculous. Combine that with looking at the history that Collins has with regards to this matter, a history littered with example after example of questionable and factcheck failing claims and statements, and some flat out reprehensible actions and I lean quite heavily towards not boycotting Dragon*Con.
Now, others may go a different way on the matter. I both know and know of people who do ranging from just regular people to potential guests. I have no problem with many of these people. They understand the complicated nature of this and they’re respectful on the matter of disagreeing. And I can certainly respect their reasons given for not going. Some state that they just don’t know enough on the matter yet and want to take a pass this year while looking into the matter in more detail. Others state that they just don’t feel comfortable going until the matter is settled. And, even more so than their reasons, I can respect them. They’re actually looking at this like adults and looking at a complicated issue with a long and complicated history and accepting the fact that people with different backgrounds, life experiences, and different levels of knowledge in certain areas based on those all of those things might look at all of the facts and come away with differing opinions on the matter. They can make a choice for themselves and not feel the need act like, well, ignorant jackasses with a moral superiority complex.
Steve Niles is not one of these people.
Niles decided to post his thoughts on the matter and decided to pepper them with a not inconsiderable amount of a sense of unwarranted righteous indignation and an arrogant sense of moral superiority as well as a nice helping of arrogant, mindless stupidity; a quite amazing amount in fact given the short nature of the post.
Niles also posted a link to his post on his Facebook page. When posting there, a place where there’s ample opportunity to discuss and debate, he made it clear that it was not being posted to be discussed and debated. Not surprising. One of the first signs that someone knows that their position is a weak one is when they step up, comment on a complicated situation with a complicated history and a large novel’s worth of details to look over and declare that there really is just no other opinion on it but theirs and there just is no debating their opinion on it. And on this matter, at least according to Niles, we should all just blindly accept the Gospel of Nancy as the unquestioned facts, despite what reality has said to the contrary, and accept and live by the moral decrees of Saint Niles.
Oh, and he decides to be a really insulting prick about it.
Apparently Niles felt that being an insulting prick was necessary in order to fit in with the big boys at the Boycott Brigade. After all, that has been the SOP of so many of them. You have the many anonymous internet posters in various forums who can’t go more than two posts before running out of intelligent points and resorting to name calling. You have Don Murphy who can’t make even make it past a single post without resorting to name calling or accusing anyone who won’t support the boycott of being pedophiles themselves. You have favored pet parrot of the movement, Tim Lieder/marlowe1, who thinks it’s clever to declare such intelligent things as Peter David’s stroke being a punishment from God and wishing painful death upon Peter for not being a boycott supporter. And, of course, you have Nancy herself and her occasional attempt to try and be clever with her insults but instead come off looking like a mentally and emotionally stunted teenager.
So you can understand Niles feeling a need to ratchet up the prickish nature of his personality for his post. He probably feels that the Boycott Brigade won’t let him run with the cool kids if he doesn’t act the part of the prick and display an amazing level of arrogance and indignation in his presentation.
See, if you don’t accept the Gospel of Nancy as unquestioned fact and don’t accept and live by the moral decrees of Saint Niles, you’re disgusting and both Dragon*Con and you are a horrible scar on fandom that makes Niles himself and the smugly superior who do accept the Gospel of Nancy and live by the moral decrees of Saint Niles ashamed to be a fan.
Niles then leaves the realm of they who have their deluded sense of righteous indignation and the arrogant sense of moral superiority and quickly enters into the realm of arrogant, mindless stupidity. He also manages to show that he hasn’t got the first clue about what’s actually going on in regards to this matter by making the following statements.
“[I]t’s time for Dragon*Con to grow a pair, step up to the plate and do what’s right. New con. Same city. Done.”
Yeah… Nice of him to put up a giant neon sign over his head with the word “CLUELESS” written across it in flashing letters like that. Let’s have just a quick recap of basic facts.
Problem #1 – Kramer has litigation against DragonCon/Ace Inc. going on right now. Some aspects of it have been settled, but some of it is still technically in the active phase. By Georgia law, a business can’t dissolve itself with active or pending litigation against it. And if you’re suggesting that they not dissolve and just start a new con; you’re an idiot. It’s not the convention that Kramer still owns shares in; it’s the company.
Problem #2 – And this is a big one for the supposed goal that you claim is in fact your goal. You’ve swallowed the nice talking point that his dividends have funded his ability to avoid justice for going on thirteen years now hook, line and sinker. You’ve also apparently swallowed the exaggerated numbers that he has, according to the Boycott Brigade, received “per year” from those dividends. Okay…
Let’s give you the most exaggerated numbers and the most exaggerated total for what he has supposedly received overall. Your supposed stand is that you want to defund his ability to pay for his legal defense. Ignoring the fact that the man had made quite a pretty penny before his arrest to lean on early on, had numerous sources of revenue other than his shares through the mid ‘00s, and actually has other sources of annual income right now and that he would still have legal representation even if he had not one single dime; it’s obvious you haven’t given three full seconds of thought to your position.
Go ahead and (ignoring the realities of Georgia business law for a moment) dissolve DragonCon/Ace Inc. and shutter the operation after this year’s con. Do you, Steve, have any concept of what your solution hands to Kramer? Keeping it simple; the business assets would be liquidated and distributed out to the shareholders based on the percentages that each shareholder owns. Without a 2014 Dragon*Con to spend money on or to convert 2013 profits into investment capital for, every red cent that 2013’s Dragon*Con finally makes goes into that sum. In short, your solution to defund Kramer would give him a lump payment that would likely dwarf any annual payments he’s been getting as dividends from his shares.
Good thinking there, Steve.
But you don’t have to worry about that. It would likely never reach that stage. I’m assuming that you know enough about the matter to know that Kramer likes to file frivolous complaints and suits. DragonCon/Ace Inc. dissolving in order to start a new convention in the same city would end up with Kramer filing a lawsuit. They’ve been trying to fully buy him out or force him out going about eight or nine years now. That’s in part what he’s launched the lawsuits over. He feels that he’s being defrauded and conned out of what’s rightly his.
In all likelihood, he sues to hold the process up based on this being, in his view, just another continued attempt to screw him out of what’s his and to continue the fraud he claims that he’s been the victim of. He might not win that one. Actually, he would most likely lose that one. But depending on when he launches the suit, one of two things happen.
A) He launches the suit early enough to stop the process completely. Tricky to do and goofy as hell, but something that Kramer seems the type to try doing. DragonCon/Ace Inc. now has litigation against it again and cannot dissolve. It’s also, in your world, no longer putting on a convention. There’s no revenue coming in while money is being spent on lawyers and lawsuits and the clock is ticking.
B) He waits until he gets his nice payment that you so desperately want to fund him with and then sues his former partners as they attempt to start up a new convention. This could also end up meaning that there’s no convention, no revenue coming in while money is being spent on lawyers and lawsuits and the clock is ticking. That clock bit will become more relevant later.
Now, there is however an option on the horizon that’s looking pretty doable. You just have no desire to let the legal system down there finally do what it’s supposed to do.
See, the legal system down there has finally gotten its shit together and is acting like it actually wants this man on trial instead of just saying it does while approving bond after bond, allowing unmonitored house arrests with no actual oversight, and bowing down to his every complaint and request while basically letting him flip them the bird and telling them to kiss his ass. If he faces trial, he gets convicted. He’s guilty and, barring the prosecution completely screwing it up, the most likely outcome is a guilty verdict. At that point, DragonCon/Ace Inc. has the ability to divest themselves of him. They could have also done the same by now had there been a civil verdict against him, but, for whatever reason, the victims have seen fit to not seek a civil case against Kramer despite the decade-plus of stalling in the criminal case.
Now, I’m sure that Niles knows this stuff plus all the other details of the last decade plus of this farce. I’m sure that he made an effort to know the facts around the case before speaking on the matter rather than just accepting the hearsay and wading in like an uninformed drone.
But then, even more fun, Niles doubles down on the stupid in a big way with the following.
“So you don’t think I’m just blathering off, I have been in a situation like this.”
That raised an eyebrow. I seem to have missed the news about Niles owning and running a company that ran even a small convention; let alone a major multi-media convention that brings in over 50,000 people to its hometown.
Oh, he hasn’t.
“A few years back I did several books for a major publisher. One day I turn on the news and bang, the artist had been arrested for distribution of child pornography. I didn’t bitch and whine about how it affected me. Instead we all agreed it was best for those books to go away.”
Yeah… Maybe I should have said quadruples down on the stupid instead.
Apparently, asking a publisher to pull a book from publication is exactly like dissolving an entire company and dissolving a company that runs a major convention is just as simple and easy as having a book pulled from the shelf.
A slight digression first to fill in some blanks for those who might not already know about this as Niles leaves them empty by providing no details when citing his grand sacrifice. What Steve says was done was little more than what publishers do every day anyhow. The book in question was a six issue mini-series for DC Comic’s Creeper. Original issues had already gone out of print and it had gone to trade paperback in 2007. The artist, Justiniano, was arrested in 2010. I’d hazard a guess that a three year old TPB had passed its peak earning days and, while still probably selling, wasn’t burning down the sales charts and may well have been not long for print at that point anyhow. Hell, you can still find a lot of new copies sitting around online through a number of booksellers, so it’s ability to sell out was long gone by then.
Niles saying that he’s “been there” by citing the Creeper artist situation is a bit like a mall security guard telling a group of cops discussing holding the line in a full scale riot that he’s “been there” and citing the eight person food court fight that he once had to break up. Anyhow…
The obvious first flaw with his analogy is that a book is not a business. Steve Niles is essentially the business and the book is the product. Niles pulled a product from the shelves while having still others out there and keeping the business of Steve Niles intact. DragonCon/Ace Inc. is a business and when you shutter it it’s gone.
A book doesn’t have multi-year contracts with multiple businesses that it would be breaking if the business owners just decided to up and dissolve the company. DragonCon/Ace Inc. does in fact have multiple contracts with multiple businesses that it would be breaking if it just up and dissolved. And one would think, just based on basic business knowledge, that a company choosing to break contracts because it wanted to rather than, say, because of bankruptcy forcing them to might just find itself on the hook for those contracts and maybe facing litigation over them.
Now, there is something that the two things do have in common. They both have, in essence, a publisher that they have to deal with. Niles got lucky. He apparently had a good relationship with the publisher and the book in question was not an A-Ticket attraction TPB at that point. As a result, they granted his wish that the book be pulled. However, had it been like Alan Moore’s works (V for Vendetta, Watchmen, etc.) still being printed and published by DC… Well, Niles could complain until he was blue in the face and as bitter as Moore and the books would likely still be on the shelf.
DragonCon/Ace Inc. also has a “publisher” of sorts that it has to deal with as well. That publisher is called Georgia’s corporate laws. They’re not quite as lucky because of that. See, right now, as mentioned above, those laws say that DragonCon/Ace Inc. has to keep its Watchman on the shelf. Aspects of those laws impact other things here as well. For example…
I wonder what it costs Niles to start a new comic story. What, a few hours of time here and there during a month maybe? A few bucks towards the electric bill each month for computer time? I’m sure that cost, whatever it is, is just exactly the same as starting up a major new convention. And certainly that cost is just the same when you add in the lawsuits that Kramer would file for trying to pull what he would likely claim was fraud and from the many businesses that DragonCon/Ace Inc. broke contracts with.
Remember that clock ticking comment above?
I wonder how much time Niles is required to wait before starting on a new story for a comic or graphic novel when he pulls one off of the shelf. Is he required to wait a week? Is he required to wait a month? Is he required to wait an entire year before starting to write a new story after having one pulled off of the shelf? Hell, does he wait at all or does he likely already have a new one in the works? DragonCon/Ace Inc. closes the convention and voluntarily dissolves the business, breaks various contracts and reneges on various deals that it’s in and, as I’m sure Niles knows from looking into the facts so as not to be speaking from a position of ignorance, then has to wait at least one to two years to start up again as an identical business. And, again, you would likely see lawsuits that would be coming from Kramer and from the many businesses that DragonCon/Ace Inc. broke contracts and deals with while they’re sitting there with no new convention and no new revenue.
The outcome that Niles and others are pushing for is the end of the convention and of any other convention like it from the current members of the board of DragonCon/Ace Inc. But, of course, this is likely the real point of the crusade.
Nancy’s past actions and statements made me initially suspect that her call for boycott had less to do with justice for the victims and seeing Kramer face justice and more to do with a little ax grinding, score settling, tending to the grudges she’s been nursing for the last decade-plus and, maybe, fanning the flames of controversy to create buzz and set herself up for another stab at cashing in on the suffering of the victims with her tabloid book idea. I’m now even more certain that my initial gut reaction was correct.
See, that’s where the comments from the Boycott Brigade have been going recently. Many of them, some with Nancy cheerleading them on, make it clear that their goal is destroying the convention and the people currently running it; maybe even a goal of far more importance to some of them than justice for the victims. And it’s not just the anonymous internet posters going that direction with it. No, it’s some of the pros that Nancy has embraced into the cause as well. One of them, Tony Isabella, even recently titled his first real comments of the matter ‘DRAGON*CON DIES AT THE END’ and ‘DRAGON*CON STILL DIES AT THE END’.
And as we head into this direction and the, for lack of better words, “logic” and “reasoning” of the Boycott Brigade, we find ourselves swimming into the truly deep waters of The Stupid. I mean, these waters are so deep into The Stupid that they make the comments by Niles and some others look like a dissertation by Stephen Hawking. And those waters are confidently owned here by Nancy A. Collins and Tony Isabella.
We’ll start with Tony first.
One thing that was interesting while reading his blog posts was that other things that Tony has written started going through my head. Years ago, along with Bob Ingersoll, Peter David, Mark Evanier and others, Tony wrote a column for the weekly Comic Buyers Guide. A particular theme got started one time, either from a column or an editorial, about bad fan stories.
Now, these weren’t stories about bad fans. These were stories that fans were telling, almost always 100% false, of extremely negative natures about pros, events, conventions, etc. Various writers talked about it and offered up examples of stories told as absolute gospel by adamant fans, some claiming to have been firsthand witnesses to the events in question, of things that absolutely could not have occurred.
One of the hilarious examples that stuck in my head was of the several writers who saw in person at conventions or on bulletin boards a number of fans bragging about putting one particular pro in his place. See, this guy thought he was a major badass because of the badass stuff he was writing and the macho characters he was handed to bring to four-color life. These fans talked about how they had gotten into it with this guy, backed him down and put him in his place.
The reason that the stories were funny was because there was an obvious tell that each and every storyteller was absolutely full of it and that the closest that any of these bold men of action had ever got to this writer was looking at the credits of Marvel’s then current books. The man being discussed was Jo Duffy; full name being Mary Jo Duffy. If you haven’t worked out the funny bit about the tall tale tellers, Jo is a woman and a woman who is in absolutely no way likely to be mistaken for a man either up close or far away; especially back then.
The general consensus amongst the writers at the time was, among other things, that when you deliberately opened the door for bad fan stories you were going to get them. As a matter of fact, you would almost get a competition for the worst bad fan story. Every single one would be presented as the gospel truth, but almost every single one would ultimately be false.
And Tony knows that to be true. And that is just one of the reasons that what he wrote is so sadly pathetic and laughable.
Two of the things that make his posts hilarious are the utter irrelevance of much of what he talks about and the fact that he basically admits that he doesn’t really know all that much about the situation. He mentions that he’s heard stuff over the years, but he really hasn’t bothered to keep up or find anything out. He excuses both of these two things by declaring that his blog isn’t investigative reporting, that he doesn’t like Dragon*Con and that there’s a clear moral issue at hand here.
Gee, I can’t see anything wrong with that attitude. He just basically declares that he doesn’t really know all of the facts, that he has no interest in learning the facts, and that this attitude is okay because he doesn’t like her anyway and, hey, he’s making a moral stand by joining the screaming mob in burning the witch.
Another of the other things that make his posts so hilarious are his personal recollections of his prior visit to Dragon*Con and how utterly irrelevant they are to anything that’s been going on. See, Tony hates Dragon*Con because the convention is just so sleazy. How is it sleazy?
According to Tony, he was at Dragon*Con and a young lady offered him sex in exchange for a place to sleep (Tony’s hotel room) while in the hotel elevator. Oh, and this girl was underage. Did Tony check her ID? No. He guesses, in the telling of the story, that she was “at best” 16.
Okay, that bit struck me as even more asinine than some of the rest of it. I could sit tony down in a room and send twenty young ladies in there one at a time. Half of them would be 16 and the others would be 21. Tony’s only job would be to tell which girl went into which group. Even without the stress and embarrassment that the incident caused; I’ll bet that Tony would get at least 50% of the answers wrong. Not a knock on Tony. It’s just a fact of life that just about anyone who has picture IDs handed to them as a part of their job (cops, bartenders, club doormen, etc.) will tell you. It’s questionable addition to an already pointless to the events story that’s there just to create a little extra “ick” to the narrative he wants to create.
And you have to wonder what in the hell that has to do with Dragon*Con as an event. It’s not like they had a “Proposition a Pro” Trak going on. Certainly there was never a “Sex Your Way into a Hotel Stay” panel held at Dragon*Con that I’m aware of. I’m assuming she was an attendee, but Tony never actually says so. And I’m pretty sure he would have led the story with the fact that she was convention staff had that been the case.
Hell, for all we, or Tony, know, she could well have been doing it as a joke on a dare. She could have been serious and just been a groupie for pros. A strange and rare concept, but not one that I’ve never heard of before and not something that’s isolated to any one convention.
He then follows that recollection with a story of spending an evening during the same stay wandering the hotel looking for some friends of his. As he wanders lost around a hotel, he encounters a sex slave auction. Or maybe he doesn’t. While stating that it was “pretty clearly” that, he then follows that sentence by stating that he didn’t actually know if it was real or not.
Neither of these two thing actually have anything to do with what’s going on right now. Further, they have nothing to do with Dragon*Con. I’m sorry, but anything that happens before the start of the convention day, after the close of the convention day, and is not found in the program guide is not an authorized, sanctioned, and organized Dragon*Con event. I can find stories and reports, actual news reports, of violence at SDCC. Hell, a guy in a Harry Potter shirt stabbed another convention goer in the face with a silver pen because of a fight over seats at a Resident Evil panel at SDCC just the other year.
You know, nothing says geek fight quite like a dude in a Potter shirt stabbing a silver pen into the face of someone at an RE panel. All that was missing was the claim that he thought the guy was actually a werewolf.
But anyone who takes that story and the others like it or the various blog posts and stories of wild times at SDCC and tries to paint a picture of the entire con based on them is a damned fool. Just like the damned fools here building their bullshit narrative about Dragon*Con.
A few people, even a few pro-boycott people, actually point out how irrelevant Tony’s tales are to the subject at hand both on his blog and on The Beat’s (comicsbeat.com) article quoting his stories. Tony doesn’t seem to have an answer for this until glomming onto one provided for him by someone else and declares it right on all counts.
“I would argue Isabella is highlighting the dysfunctional culture that Dragon-Con promotes. I would also argue that some of these responses promote that dysfunctional culture. Other conventions don’t seem to have these problems. A culture that supports a company because only 1/3 of it is owned by a pedophile is a culture that supports sexual abuse. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how it can be anything else.”
There are three problems with this. In reverse order –
3) This gentleman’s comments are complete and utter bullshit.
2) Not only does Dragon*Con not have these problems to even a tenth of the degree that the new marching order talking points of the Boycott Brigade try to make out that they do, but the fact is that you can find fans telling “horror” stories and drunken sex stories, true or not, about every convention when you open that door.
I know people who came back from SDCC and NYCC with tales of wild parties, drunken exploits, and very intense 30 minute relationships. Hell, there are two reasonably long Youtube videos of a guy at SDCC where he and his cameraman walk around drunk during the con, stop girl after girl, make comments about their breasts, ask if he can motorboat them, and ask them what costume the prefer a guy to wear into bed with them. And not only does he get answers and permission from a lot of SDCC attendees, but he’s apparently a regular.
I’ve been to smaller cons, 2,000 attendees or less, over the years up and down the east coast. If it’s a weekend long event in a hotel with a bar, my boring, nondrinking, and these days married ass is in bed early and waking up to what seems like easily a quarter of the attendees, guests and, sometimes, staff hung-over with more than a few tales of both failed and successful hookup attempts, both from attendees and guests, being discussed.
The simple fact is that if you’re single, out of town, on vacation, and in a party atmosphere, there’s a chunk of the population in general that looks at it as an opportunity to make merry. It’s not something that’s isolated to Dragon*Con attendees and it’s not even something that’s isolated to geek circles. I should know. I lived in the Tampa Bay area for four years and really learned to hate Spring Break and other like events and holidays.
A bunch of idiots trying to one-up each other’s twisted tales while also pretending that this is something unique to Dragon*Con just ends up looking like what it is. A bunch of idiots trying to one-up each other’s twisted tales while also pretending that this is something unique to Dragon*Con
But the big one on the list of problems is…
1) By Tony’s own account of the tale, this was 25 to 26 years ago.
Tony and the merry band of happy idiots are claiming that Tony’s tales from 25 to 26 years ago has anything to do with Dragon*Con and its attendees now. Right…
Even if we take Tony’s stories as the unvarnished truth, 100% accurate in all ways and not the least bit embellished or exaggerated; it was two-and-a-half decades ago.
Not only have certain things changed over the years at Dragon*Con itself, especially after Kramer lost control and Pat Henry took the reins, but time does tend to change things.
If we were talking about something else here, every person cheering Tony on would be calling him a drooling idiot. 25 years ago, Times Square was known for being a dump. There were porn shops and strip clubs all around it and many people who went to New York came back with tales of drunks pissing on the sides of buildings and prostitutes lined up as far as the eye can see. Okay, slight exaggeration on the prostitutes.
It’s not that way now. Or at least it’s nowhere near like that to the same degree. If Tony wrote a blog post talking about how he went to Times Square 25 years ago and saw a man taking a dump in the ally, a drunk pissing on a phone booth and getting propositioned by a hooker every five steps and cites that as to why he would never go today and/or why Times Square was a horrible place to go to today; people would call him an absolute idiot.
25 years changes a lot of things. Businesses that were the biggest thing going are gone. Businesses that barely anyone gave a chance to are some of the biggest things going today. People were talking about things 25 years ago that would be THE fill-in-the-blank of the future while having already forgotten about it just 20 years ago. Fads and pop culture influences on certain segments of the population that affected their actions have changed, mostly faded or gone away.
Hell, 25 years ago, Tony Isabella was a relevant name in discussions about writers in comics. And that’s not a dig at Tony by the way. That’s a regretful observation on an industry that doesn’t seem to have room for stories like his.
No matter what I think of the artist right now, the art ain’t the man. Tony was one of the select few who could write Black Lightning as a readable solo book. He also wrote what could have been one of the great classic, defining and influential Ghost Rider arcs had the payoff issue not been rewritten and redrawn at the orders of Jim Shooter in such a way as to utterly destroy the payoff and undo everything that Tony created in the prior parts of the two year arc. If you’re a fan of good comic stories, you should search out some of Tony’s old stuff. If he was still writing a book today, I’d be up to a whole four comic titles that I still read.
Tony then moves on and completely devolves insofar as intelligent discussion and observations on the matter. You remember the Jo Duffy bit from above? It comes into play here.
Tony then says that he opened that door. And what did he get? He got story after story that made his “horror hit a new level” as he read each new story. Now, the funny bit is that he admits, albeit briefly, that there’s just a bit of a likelihood that the vast majority of the stories may not be exactly reality based. Oddly, that doesn’t stop him from going on about them for several paragraphs and more or less making them a part of his lynchpin argument or parts of his follow up posts.
Gotta love it. What’s he going to do for an encore? Write a post where he says that the stories of his local vet drowning puppies in the lake down the street are probably all false and then spend another post-and-a-half explaining that these stories are why the vet needs to be shut down? Maybe he’ll join the next boycott call to go after KFC because the Colonel left instructions in his will to fund the KKK right after he blogs about it and points out that the occasionally popular urban legend isn’t true.
There’s another thing that’s absolutely laughable about what he writes is in the second of the three posts. He actually thanks everyone for their “respectful” postings to his first post on the subject. Certainly the posts from the few people who disagree with the boycott are pretty respectful. I guess he just decided to redefine the word in order to accommodate some of the pro-boycott posters on the board who contributed the following pearls of civility and wisdom.
“Life occasionally calls for using good judgment.
Grow the fuck up.”
“Meanwhile, people like you can continue in moral bankruptcy, but please shut the hell up because your rationales are as nauseating as they are redundant.”
“You can rationalize supporting DC and a child sex predator with such lunacy all you want, but for those who have a moral compass and are smart enough to see their money at work, it’s a very simple decision: DON’T FEED THE DRAGON.”
But then, maybe he just realizes that this is the closest to “respectful” or “intelligent” discourse that you’re going to get from the majority of the Boycott Brigade and he’s just grading their comments on the curve.
But Tony, no matter how hard he tried, can’t take the crown from the true champion of The Stupid in the last month or so of this. No, that crown, and apparently a nice tinfoil hat, rest safely and securely on the head of Nancy A. Collins. As bad as Tony came off to anyone who has actually followed the facts of this case for even a while, Nancy absolutely buried him in the competition this last month or so.
Nancy has pretty much made it clear here that she doesn’t care if what she says has any factual support behind it or not. Not that this comes off as an especially new trait to anyone familiar with her history in the long, strange, and stupid saga of Ed Kramer since his arrest and her little S.P. Somtow fiasco. But now she’s getting tin foily. That’s right, Nancy has entered the realm of the conspiracy theory.
See, Nancy has recently commented in several places, including a recent article about Kramer in The Beat, that Kramer has obviously had people in power down there protecting him all these years and explains that he’s not quite getting his way now because she suspects that these people are now gone. That’s why, in her tin foil hat world, we’ve seen the changes in how he’s being treated these days.
While I had some fun with this the other day, the truth is that this conspiracy pushing of hers is just retarded. And it’s made all the more so by the fact that she flat admits that she has zero evidence to cite when anyone asks for it. She’ll just push it because she thinks it creates a darker, more sinister tale about the situation that’s now filled with corrupt officials hell-bent on protecting the evil Kramer from justice.
Both quotes are from The Beat article “Dragon*Con Founder Ed Kramer files dozens of complaints from jail while looking extremely creepy” (linked in my prior post here.)
“Nancy A. Collins says:
04/22/2013 at 6:24 pm
Jon: I am of the opinion one reason Kramer has been able to avoid trial for so long is because someone relatively powerful in Georgia politics pulling strings on his behalf behind the scenes. Why someone would be willing to do something like that is anyone’s guess. Although it would appear whoever it may have been has either died, retired, been voted out of office, or simply decided Kramer was no longer worth the risk, judging from his current situation.”
Doesn’t make any sense and there’s nothing to be gained by her imaginary officials, but it sure sounds great when embellishing for the Boycott Brigade. Oh, and they’re all pedophiles down there according to Nancy.
“Nancy A. Collins says:
04/24/2013 at 3:53 pm
And I love how everyone rushing to dismiss the “conspiracy” theory that Kramer has benefited from some behind-the-scenes “juice” in order to stay out of a courtroom all these years assumes he doesn’t know/ have dirt on other pedophiles in the state of Georgia.”
Yeah… Do you get the idea that someone close to Nancy really needs to sit her down and talk to her about leaving the fiction writing for her books and maybe even looking into some professional help and medication? Me too. And this isn’t even her only conspiracy theory floated recently.
Nancy was on a recent Transmissions from Atlantis podcast (Episode #30 and on iTunes) to discuss the boycott. Now, it became painfully clear that the hosts knew very little about the history of the case or of many of the facts around it, and around Nancy’s less than stellar history with it. Nancy picked up on this rather early and it seemed to embolden her as the interview went on. Nancy, tinfoil hat firmly in place, then threw out a fact and followed it up with a fun bit of embellishment in the form of another idiotic conspiracy theory. It actually may have backfired a bit as well.
Nancy cited Kramer’s 1996 arrest for charges similar to his 2000 charges. She then declared, basically out of nowhere, that there was a cover up to protect Kramer and keep his and Dragon*Con’s secret out of the news. The hosts asked her who was involved in the cover up and where they can look it up and got ers and uhms before being told that she didn’t actually have any evidence of this and couldn’t prove it any of it.
But there was a cover-up damn it! Yeah, okay…
Oh, a big funny moment in the podcast was where she also basically said that the numbers she cites with regards to the dividend payments that Kramer gets are in fact based on Kramer’s claims on the matter in court. This is the same woman who will insult others for pointing out documented facts on the case that are not based on Kramer’s word and belittle them for being stupid enough to believe anything Kramer says. I guess it only makes you stupid in Nancy’s eyes when it doesn’t serve her narrative.
But as absolutely goofy as Tinfoil Hat Nancy is, she’s a freaking genius compared to Amateur Psychologist Nancy. See, Nancy, who hasn’t set foot in a Dragon*Con in almost a decade and knows jack and shit about anyone who attends the convention, has declared that she has analyzed the situation and come up with the rationale for people wanting to go to Dragon*Con and for not wanting to buy her boycott bullshit.
What she offers is nothing more than the pure garbage she pulls from the emotionally and mentally stunted depths of her own personality and then projects onto others.
And on Stephen Bissette’s (for now open people who are not friends) Facebook page.
“Nancy A. Collins
I am now coming to a better/deeper understanding of what is motivating the rabid DragonCon defenders and who they probably are. There is a large contingent that apparently bases their entire sex & social lives around conventions. *Especially* the sex. And since DragonCon is the largest and least-controlled con on the circuit, where everything short of setting fire to the building can and will be ignored, if not actively condoned, by those in charge, anything that endangers the convention is perceived as a direct attack on Their Way Of Life.
April 25 at 7:49am”
Yeah… That’s got to be it. Of course. Or maybe Nancy is just the biggest full of shit idiot of the year at this point. I’m going with the last one personally.
I’ll start with me. I’m the father of two and husband of one. We go to Dragon*Con as a family and have even had in-laws go along with us. And we’re not the only ones. We have a picture of my son dressed as Spider-Man standing with a family, children, parents, and grandparents, all dressed in the (basically) traditionally designed Spider-Man costume.
We also meet family and friends at Dragon*Con who are local to the area. Most of them, all fans of Dragon*Con, are couples or the typical American household of mom, dad, and 2.4 children.
My kids have played with other kids while waiting in lines for panels while we chat with the other kids’ parents about whatever the panel will be about. As a matter of fact, you can’t swing a foam rubber and latex cosplay sword in any area of Dragon*Con without hitting a couple or a family who came to the convention together. Hell, we were just giving advice to a woman on one of the Dragon*Con Facebook groups the other day as to how best to prepare for this year’s con as she and her husband now have a toddler in tow.
My son and I grabbed a bite in the food court and shared a table with a father and son pair of Storm Troopers and Darth Talon mom.
I have several friends who are cosplayers. They’re either married or have been in relationships for so long now that they may as well be. I’m “Friends” with quite a few on Facebook who are major Dragon*Con fans. Again, they’re almost all married or are currently in longtime relationships.
And you don’t have to just take my word for it.
Couple dresses up for DragonCon
Burnses spend lots of time, money, energy getting look just right
Domestic Goddess lets inner Klingon out
Lawrenceville homemaker competes in ‘Star Trek’ challenge
And you can find even more than that out there. There are Facebook pages and groups, MySpace pages, blogs, and various websites out there where Dragon*Con attendees post their thoughts on the Dragon*Con that they just went to or the upcoming one they’re looking forward to attending. Page after page, group after group and site after site you’ll find posts from couples and families discussing their love for the con.
Dragon*Con is a family event and has been for years now. They have many traks that families are family safe and even have traks specifically for the younger set to enjoy. The idea that Dragon*Con attendees are some mass of relationship challenged freaks who attend the convention with the hopes of getting a rare lay is laughable beyond words. If Nancy had even a shred of integrity or intelligence, she’d be embarrassed by her comments.
Now, are there parties and get-togethers after official event hours? Yes. Are there singles attending who occasionally hook up at these parties or for a part of the weekend? Yes. Does that make Dragon*Con even marginally different than any other multi-day convention or even any vacation location/event not connected to genre fans? Not even close.
But Nancy has to project her own problems and hang-ups onto others when trying to figure things out it seems. She apparently can’t seem to grasp the concept that not everyone has the same issues and hang-ups that she has or has had in the past. She apparently can’t wrap her head around the idea that not everyone is as messed up as she might be.
But then, Nancy is a master at projection. She can’t even understand someone disagreeing with her idiotic crusade without trying to twist the other person into a reflection of her.
No, Nancy, not how my mind automatically works. I don’t do things just so that I can cash in. That’s not my first instinct in situations. That would be you. You know, like how your first instinct all those years ago was to cash in on the suffering and victimization of children by trying to get a deal for your tabloid trash book on the case.
Which reminds me; two questions need to be asked to set the perimeters of the betting pool.
Do we count the time until Nancy announces the attempt to cash in on her temporarily renewed “relevance” and flog the new version of her cash grab book in days, weeks, months or years and does she go small press or self publish through something like Amazon?
Let the betting begin.
(Alternate Title – Why Mindless Conspiracy Theories Are Never A Good Idea)
Well, she didn’t actually say it in those words, but she managed to accidently say it without realizing it. How? It was easy for her. She just slipped into the realm of The Stupid and decided to don her tinfoil hat. Nancy you see has entered into the world of the conspiracy theory. Hey, why not? No facts are required and you can say whatever you want to say about a subject when you visit the Lala Land of Planet Conspiracy.
It’s not even the first conspiracy theory that she’s floated with regards to the entire Kramer fiasco, but it’s certainly the most inadvertently funny.
See, Nancy is of the firm belief that Kramer has been able to dodge justice for all this time because Kramer has had powerful protectors in influential places. Who are these people? She has no idea. What did they have to gain? She has no idea. Is Nancy overdue for some meds? Yeah, she quite probably is.
Here’s Nancy’s trip into the land of the tinfoil hat in all its idiotic glory. Pay particular attention to the middle paragraph.
“Nancy A. Collins posted on 04/01/2013 03:35 PM
@Wrenn_NYC Whatever money Kramer is likely to receive from DragonCon–assuming they finally DO buy him out–will not be his for long. He has a conga line of creditors lined up behind him, including several of the lawyers he’s used and tossed away like Kleenex over the years. And once that money is gone–it’s gone.”
And the DA *has* been trying to prosecute him. Numerous times. Only to be thwarted by various rulings regarding Kramer’s health. Personally, I believe someone far higher up on the political food chain in Georgia was pulling strings for Kramer. Why? Who knows. But whoever they were, they appear to have either died, retired, been voted out of office, or have decided that he’s too big a liability, judging from his current situation.”
BTW, Kramer just got a new criminal attorney two weeks ago–thus delaying his day in court even more. Your DragonCon profits at work.”
Quick aside – I love that last bit. Kramer’s last attorney, Bob Barr, left him for another political run. Kramer therefore needed a new attorney. And this is somehow Dragon*Con profits at work? What, Dragon*Con profits were used to pay a scientist to make a time machine in secret, go back to the founding of our country and ensure that the right to representation was somehow worked into our system to ensure Kramer could get another short delay in his case in 2013? Oh yeah, Nancy is really, really in need of those meds now.
She repeats the conspiracy theory blathering again here.
“Nancy A. Collins says:
04/22/2013 at 6:24 pm
Jon: I am of the opinion one reason Kramer has been able to avoid trial for so long is because someone relatively powerful in Georgia politics pulling strings on his behalf behind the scenes. Why someone would be willing to do something like that is anyone’s guess. Although it would appear whoever it may have been has either died, retired, been voted out of office, or simply decided Kramer was no longer worth the risk, judging from his current situation.”
Now, roll that around in your head for a minute. Do what Nancy apparently doesn’t do and think about what Nancy is really saying here.
Nancy probably thinks she’s creating a wonderful bit of spin and embellishment here designed to create a darker, more sinister, and more corruption filled narrative with regards to the Kramer fiasco in the heads people who she thinks are as shallow in their thought process as she apparently is. But look at what she’s really saying here.
She’s saying that the boycott is now officially irrelevant and basically no longer needed.
Kramer has been, by Nancy’s own version of events, avoiding having to face trial and justice because of highly influential people in places of power and authority. They’ve pulled strings, played cards, and likely cashed in a few favors all to keep Kramer in the clear. Why, that has nothing at all to do with any of the high five-figure to low six-figure dividend payments that Kramer has been getting (in the years he got one) over the last 12 years and, the last time I looked, that’s what the boycott is supposedly all about.
And just look at what else she says with this bit of conspiracy speculation. She says that whoever was helping Kramer to avoid justice is no longer doing so. She says that the strings that were being pulled have been cut and that Kramer is no longer under the protection of the puppet masters who shielded him from justice for the last 12 years. Kramer is now, by her accounting of events, SOL and in it deep. Why, that would mean that Nancy is saying that Kramer is about to face justice no matter what he does or does not get in annual dividends.
Boycott is done, irrelevant, and in need of being put to bed then. The cause of justice is well on its way to being served according to Nancy.
But, apparently, some people are a little swifter on the uptake than Nancy and worked that bit out. A writer for Heidi McDonalds’ website The Beat apparently tries to help Nancy recover from her little oopsie on this one with, well, not very convincing results.
“It’s been said that local politicians have helped keep Kramer out of jail, and Barr certainly qualifies, as Collins pointed out. Also…can this case get any more bizarre?”
The Beat: “It’s been said…”
Yeah, it’s been said by Nancy. That hardly qualifies as a credible source.
The Beat: “Barr certainly qualifies, as Collins pointed out.”
No, he really doesn’t. Nancy throws some “details” out as why she believes that they’re not helping Kramer anymore when she waxes conspiratorial on the matter.
“But whoever they were, they appear to have either died, retired, been voted out of office, or have decided that he’s too big a liability, judging from his current situation.”
“Although it would appear whoever it may have been has either died, retired, been voted out of office, or simply decided Kramer was no longer worth the risk, judging from his current situation.”
How Bob Barr, out of political office since 2003, failed joke Presidential candidate and chronic political party hopper, actually qualifies as a powerful figure in Georgia politics at this point is anyone’s guess, but he certainly doesn’t fit the qualifiers of having died, retired or been voted out of office at a point in time that would explain the current (and finally apparently truly serious at last) treatment of Kramer.
Nice attempt at the save, Beat, but not even close.
But, anyhow, all of you boycott supporters can drop the thing now. Kramer’s protection from justice is gone. He’s up that creek without a paddle and no one who was there with a paddle for him before is currently in the paddle market. Kramer is due to face justice without your efforts. Nancy said so.
Or at least she does until she actually realizes that she did.
And the world feels like it just became a little smaller and more mundane with his passing.
But, oh, just imagine the wonderful new collaborations that are taking shape right now.
Reference links can be found here - http://jjchandler.wordpress.com/the-dragoncon-boycott-link-madness-page/
I’m starting to run into an interesting argument in various places. Some people resort to it when you knock the legs out from under their inaccurate statements on a specific topic with facts. Others acknowledge knowing the facts and then put this argument forward as though it’s supposed to make sense to anyone not wearing the anti-Dragon*Con blinders when looking at the argument being made. The argument is that Dragon*Con’s present owners are telling lies and trying to hide the fact that Kramer still holds shares in the company.
Yeah, I know. We’ve already addressed this. We’ve pointed out in Part 2 that you can find multiple instances of Dragon*Con spokespersons and Pat Henry himself flat out stating to various news sites that Kramer was still a shareholder as far back as 2002 and as recently as, prior to the court rulings bringing the news up again in 2012, 2009. There are even news stories from 2011 discussing the Kramer case that cite the 2009 quotes and reprint them. The facts put the lie to the claim that Dragon*Con has done everything that they could to hide that fact for the last 12 years or that they’ve lied about it until having to admit it after the 2012 ruling.
But when you present some people with facts that they don’t like, they either accept them grudgingly and simply change tactics or they engage in what I’ve long referred to as Situationally Exclusive Reasoning. Situationally Exclusive Reasoning is that fun thing that humans can do where they will demand that the argument that they’re presenting is reasonable, even logical, even if they would not deem it as such themselves if it were applied to any other like situation.
Apparently, many on the ant-Dragon*Con Crusade, and that’s really all it’s turning out to be at this point, absolutely excel at Situationally Exclusive Reasoning.
Here’s their argument.
The people running Dragon*Con now are liars and have been being deliberately disingenuous because they haven’t stated that Kramer is a shareholder in Dragon Con/Ace Inc. every single time that they’ve responded to the question of whether or not Kramer still had anything to do with the convention or when Kramer has been heavy in the news and that news cycle has been filled with headlines referring to Kramer as “Dragon*Con’s Founder” or some other line that, without disclaimers, makes it look as if Kramer was still active in the convention itself. Because, apparently, anyone connected with Dragon*Con has to say that Kramer still has shares even if the question has nothing to do with shares or who is or is not a shareholder.
Edward Kramer stepped down from having any official duties with Dragon*Con shortly after his arrest in 2000. He may even have unofficially handled a few details in the business through 2001 or 2002. Why not? He was still in that zone of only charged and innocent until proven guilty and had many people believing in his innocence at that time. But even unofficial duties were likely ending by 2002 and there’s certainly no way he was handling anything by the time the buyout pressure was on or when he started lawsuit threats and actual lawsuits.
So can we agree that he’s likely had nothing at all to do with the running of the convention, the handling of the business or even major decisions for the company in any way for about ten years? Good.
So Kramer has been gone for ten years. He still owns shares, but he hasn’t had anything to do with the running of the business or the management of the company for all of that time. So you decide to send them an email tomorrow and ask them if Kramer still has anything to do with Dragon*Con. They reply that, no, Ed Kramer has not had anything to do with Dragon*Con for ten years.
And you, being an anti-Dragon*Con Crusader and a master of Situationally Exclusive Reasoning run to the internet and declare far and wide that Dragon*Con is telling lies and that those liars are falsely claiming that Kramer has nothing to do with the convention he helped to build and ran for so many years because he still owns shares in the company. It’s pointed out to you that various Dragon*Con officials and spokespersons have actually stated that fact quite clearly and honestly themselves when asked about it on multiple occasions. Your response is then that they have to declare that fact every single time, even if whether or not Kramer still has shares or not is not actually the question put forward to them, or else they’re liars.
The thing is, you only want to hold Dragon*Con to this Bizarro World standard of logic and “honesty” that only you insist makes any sense at all. And I can point out a pretty specific example of why you would look foolish to even your own selves if you tried to insist that this argument made any sense with anyone else or anywhere else.
Michael Eisner ran Disney for twenty-one years. He reshaped the company, created new policy, gave the company new direction and increased the profits that the business was bringing in by increasing revenue from $1.5 billion in 1984 to $30.75 billion in 2004. For twenty-one years he was the vision that grew and strengthened the Disney brand.
Despite all of that, after a shareholder revolt and a bitter rivalry between Eisner and Roy E. Disney, Eisner quasi-voluntary resigned and left the company in 2005. He walked out the door with some $1 billion in bonuses, shares and, stay with me here, stock options. He then moved on to other pastures entirely and left Disney behind.
Let me throw a simple scenario at you. Someone you know sends an email to Disney tomorrow asking them if Michael Eisner still has anything to do with Disney. They respond and tell your friend that, no, Michael Eisner has nothing whatsoever to do with Disney. He may have run the company for twenty-one years, but he left seven years ago and has nothing whatsoever to do with running the company now, making decisions, planning projects or figuring out how to exploit new markets.
Your friend then runs to the internet and declares that all the Disney people are liars. Why are they liars? Because they said that he has nothing to do with running the company, making decisions, planning projects or figuring out how to exploit new markets but totally failed to mention that he still has shares in Disney. Your friend then explains at length that, despite this bit of information being public record, Disney lied and is trying to hide the fact that Michael Eisner still profits from Disney’s success.
I dare say that you would think your friend to be just a wee bit goofy at this point and you would likely be asking your friend what illegal substances they’ve been consuming that day that allowed them to think that this made any sense at all.
But it’s certainly the same thing. The man may still own shares in the company, but he has zero to do with the business. He may still profit from the company, but he in no way handles the first decision with regards to anything to do with the business. The closest Disney related decision he makes these days is whether or not to buy a ticket or a DVD for a Disney product.
But you want to insist that the people running Dragon*Con right now are liars or being disingenuous because they stated that Edward Kramer has nothing to do Dragon*Con in any way related to the business but didn’t then add, even if they weren’t specifically asked, that he still had shares in Dragon Con/Ace Inc. every single time they’ve addressed the question. You want to claim that they’re liars because, despite the fact that they did state publicly over the years that Kramer was still a shareholder, they didn’t say that he was a shareholder every time someone asked if he had anything to so with the convention itself. Right…
Wait… I see that objection. The legs are getting knocked out from under one of your favorite talking points and you’re grasping at straws for a way to save it. Yes, you say, but Kramer was one of Dragon*Con’s founders. He, unlike Michael Eisner, was there at the beginning. It’s a completely irrelevant point and objection, but I can see some of you grasping for it even now.
Come on, you saw The Social Network. He was there at the beginning of Facebook. He helped get it started. There was a lawsuit that was settled with his being listed as a cofounder of Facebook and he owns shares worth, at last look, a little over a buttload of cash.
But he does diddly-squat with regards to the day to day running of the business or making decisions in the business of Facebook. He just owns shares in the company.
Let me throw a simple scenario at you. Someone you know sends an email to Facebook tomorrow asking them if Eduardo Saverin still has anything to do with Facebook. They respond and tell your friend that, no, Eduardo Saverin has nothing whatsoever to do with…
Okay. We’ll save bandwidth here. You get the idea. And, hell, I’ll do you one better.
You turn on the TV tomorrow morning and there’s good old Eduardo Saverin in all his glory claiming to be a part of Facebook now and talking like he’s connected to the business operation itself rather than just a shareholder in the company despite not a single thing having changed. And then, along about lunchtime, you see Michael Eisner on the TV talking up the Disney Star Wars films coming out and acting like he was in some way responsible for that by having something to do with the day to day running of Disney and talking like he was a part of the business operations even though you knew that he had nothing to do with them other than still having some shares from when he left the company seven years ago.
You’d likely think both men were nuts or liars.
But that Bizarro World version of reality is how you want everyone else to see Ed Kramer.
Situationally Exclusive Reasoning. You want the people running Dragon*Con to be liars, so you’ll come up with “logic” and “reasoning” that you’d only apply here. Apply it to anything else that you don’t have a stake in being “right” about and even you would think it looks foolish. But still you’ll insist that it’s “right” and you’re “right” in this specific situation because, well, you want it to be so if only exclusively for this situation.
Forgive the rest of us for not going along with it. Forgive us if we think you’re full of it when Man A, who you have no beef with, says that the sky is blue and you agree with him and then, one minute later, Man B, who you want to have a beef with, says that the sky is blue and you call him a liar because the sky is actually light blue in color with shades of reddish pink at the one edge and, hey, clouds are a part of the sky and they’re white with bright pink highlights this time of day and…
Your argument, your ranting and your stand on this are based on nothing more than the desire to be right and not actually you being right. You’re engaging in Situationally Exclusive Reasoning at its worst. You’re demanding that everyone else accept a faulty argument here that no one, likely including you, would accept anywhere else as reasonable or logical.
No. Not gonna do it. Your argument is worthless. It’s bogus. It’s a joke.
You really only have two options here. You can admit that it’s bogus and a joke and drop the silly games or you can continue to claim that your argument isn’t dumb as a post and basically show anyone bothering to actually look at the facts that all you care about is being able to attack Dragon*Con and the people now running it no matter how fact free your “facts” or illogical your reasoning is. That’s pretty much your only two choices here.
At some point, you have to accept the fact that the statements being made in support of the boycott are demonstrably untrue and proven so with facts and links and that much of the logic and reasoning behind your arguments falls flatter than a pancake with only the slightest bit of thought placed against them. At that point you can just come clean on the deal. This isn’t about Kramer facing justice. This isn’t about caring for the victims. This is for many of you just about attacking Dragon*Con and doing a little ax grinding.
Hey, you might as well start being honest about something in this at some point or another. Why not start now?
You have to love the comments a blog attracts. I mean, the Dragon*Con posts have gotten me some hilarious posts that I’ve refused to approve and simply deleted because they were little more than a string of profanities.
Oh, quick side note to the idiots like that – When you make certain statements on a blog, you can certainly create a fake email address to enter that will fool some systems. You should keep in mind this one fact though. As the blog admin, I get IP Addresses as well. You might rethink some of the statements.
I love spam. Some of this stuff is practically a demented art form at this point. I have no idea why, but I love this last one. I just think it’s hilarious.
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I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered brilliant transparent
I mean, that’s practically spambot poetry at this point. It may even be better than some of the stuff I had to read back in school.
Reference links can be found here - http://jjchandler.wordpress.com/the-dragoncon-boycott-link-madness-page/
There’s a common theme one can see in the comment sections of many forums where various genre “news” sites report on the call for a Dragon*Con boycott and the claims made by the people pushing for the boycott and on the various blogs that simply repeat the coverage of the boycotters’ claims. It’s one of absolute shock and disbelief that Dragon*Con has been funding Kramer’s legal fight to the tune of $150,000 a year and thus allowing him avoid jail for going on 13 years now as well as traveling around the country and securing himself future victims. Maybe they should realize that it seems so unbelievable because it’s not exactly true.
The false narrative being presented has several major problems with it. The first is the $150,000 a year dividend payment claim. There are two major problems with this actually. The first is that the number being cited by the boycott supporters is in fact not a dividend payment. It is in fact a settlement from one of the two legal cases that Kramer has against Dragon*Con/Ace Inc and Pat Henry. The second problem with their narrative here should be obvious. They apparently have no idea what a dividend payment is.
Let’s give them the full $150,000 figure as the 2011 dividend that they claim it is. That means that their talking about a payment figure that is unique to 2011. Dividends are paid each year based on the worth of the shares one owns. The worth each year will be dependent on the profit of the company. Now, Dragon*Con has seen explosive growth in the last five years of conventions alone. In 2007 for example, the attendance figures had them at just over 20,000 paid attendees. In 2012, that figure was just over 50,000. Now, the math behind working out a dividend payment is a bit more complicated than just linking it to attendance figures and doing the X2.5 thing, but you can see that there were obvious signs of growth there. And Dragon*Con itself has moved from being a one hotel attraction in 2001 to taking up five hotels by 2012.
The obvious takeaway here is that the convention has only gotten more successful over time. That would also mean that dividend payments have gotten larger over time. The supposed “$150,000” in 2011 would then be larger than the payment from 2010. Whatever 2010 was would be larger than 2009. And this would go on down the line. This by the way would also not be a totally correct line to draw when following the possible dividend payments.
The profitability of each year’s event is also predicated on the money laid out for the convention. Some years would have less profit than you would assume by just drawing a line and playing base-it-on-the-attendance math. As the con has expanded each year, they sometimes had to lay out more money upfront. That can also effect payments for any specific year. Reportedly, there have been years were no or very little dividends were paid. The thing is that no one in the public square really quite knows what went to whom over the years. But certainly we can agree that the idea of $150,000 per year as a set payment is laughable. I mean, do these guys think that Kramer got $150,000 after the first Dragon*Con? Do they think he was getting $150,000 in 2000 and 2001?
The other major flaw in their narrative is that many of them are pushing the talking point as if Kramer’s only achievement in life was Dragon*Con and that his only source of income was from his shares in it. And, of course, their story is that it’s his Dragon*Con money that’s been paying all of his legal bills. This is not only untrue, but the idiocy on the part of Collins, having known the man for nearly a decade before his arrest, for even trying to occasionally imply that should be embarrassing.
Edward Kramer had an incredible career prior to his arrest in August of 2000. His resume includes titles such as editor, writer, producer, agent, photographer and photojournalist.
The books he had a hand in editing include-
Tales of Riverworld (1992)
Grails: Quests, Visitations and Other Occurrences (1992), a World Fantasy Award nominee for Best Anthology
Quest to Riverworld (1993)
Confederacy of the Dead (1993)
Michael Moorcock’s Elric: Tales of the White Wolf (1994)
Grails: Visitations of the Night (1994)
The Dark Destiny trilogy is set in White Wolf publishing’s World of Darkness:
Dark Destiny (1994)
Dark Destiny II: Proprietors of Fate (1995)
Dark Destiny III: Children of Dracula (1996)
Dante’s Disciples (1998)
More Phobias (1995)
Forbidden Acts (1995)
Dark Love (1996), a World Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award nominee for Best Anthology
The Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996), a British Fantasy Award nominee for Best Anthology
Michael Moorcock’s Pawn of Chaos: Tales of the Eternal Champion (1997)
Free Space (1997), recipient of the first Prometheus Special Award
The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams (1998)
Strange Attraction: Turns of the Midnight Carnival’s Wheel (2000)
Grails: Quests of the Dawn (2004)
Kramer also acted as a literary agent and agented volumes of work for the likes of Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, and Fritz Leiber. Kramer was also involved in creating the partnership between Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson that re-launched the Dune series of books.
Kramer did work as a photojournalist and music critic as well. Kramer’s features were syndicated through the NY Times regional wire and his photography was used in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Time, and USA Today. Kramer even had some original fiction appear in various collections and magazines.
Kramer and Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch have also entered into various business deals together and Kramer reportedly still has ties to the development of an interactive SF game platform that Hatch is promoting. He also had a major hand in the rather poor direct to net feature ‘The Terror of Tate Manor’ where he directed and co-wrote the script with author Brad Linaweaver. Granted, out of all his various projects, ‘The Terror of Tate Manor’ was a notable misfire outside of an extremely small cult following and likely only provided a total revenue stream of about ten cents. But he was also with White Wolf publishing when they came up with Vampire: The Masquerade and, I dare say, he probably made a pretty penny from that period of work.
And, on top of all of this and being a founder of Dragon*Con, the man had day jobs over the years. The most notable being working for Regional Technical Service Agency, where Kramer worked as a technical advisor and wrote grant applications.
Do you maybe get the idea at this point that the man might just have had a little cash laying around at the time of his arrest in August of 2000 and maybe even had a few continuing revenue streams to lean on? Edward Kramer was not a man who was dependent on Dragon*Con as his only source of income prior to his arrest. Even after his arrest, the various books still in print that had his name attached to them did not go out of print overnight. At least one, the Sandman collection, is still in print now. He still managed to grab other jobs as well and even managed to hold a very brief position with Moving Pictures Media Group in Hollywood, CA in their Multimedia Rights division.
And all of that is just the public record stuff. It doesn’t include any possible private income. Kramer was an extreme genre geek. His home was reportedly filled with all manner of collectibles and books. Certainly any or all of this could have been sold off directly or through third parties to raise funds here and there.
Looking at the relative success of Dragon*Con in the 90s and even 2000 to 2002 or 2003, the majority of his income during these years was very likely not from Dragon*Con. And He still had money coming in from all of these things after his arrest. Not to mention the fact that there was a movement to help him that sprang up after his arrest. Charity auctions were held to raise funds for Kramer’s legal defense. A website was set up where donations could be sent and funds were raised.
In late 2003, Kramer was rear-ended while stopped at a train crossing. Two years later, he sued the driver. The suit was later settled for an undisclosed sum. Then in 2005, Kramer succeeded in being declared eligible for Social Security disability. Federal Judge Dana McDonald retroactively granted him benefits going back to 2000.
And this all went to help pay for his early legal bills.
The earnings he got from his shares in Dragon*Con/Ace Inc. did not contribute to his legal bills as much as the boycott brigade would like to imply that they did or do. How can I be confident in saying that? Simple. Dragon*Con is still there while the vast majority of those other sources of income and savings were gone by 2004 to 2005. Have you actually seen the state of Kramer’s finances today?
Some reports are that Kramer had to sell off his home to deal with some of his debt. Other reports indicate that his home was actually foreclosed on. Either way, he lost it to money issues. He’s in debt and as creditors on his case. He even has former members of his legal team who he still owes payment to. But this supposed “$150,000 per year” that he’s supposedly getting is allowing him to pay for high-end lawyers, avoid trial, avoid jail, live his life on his terms and travel the country without a care in the world? If this statement of theirs were true, Kramer would not be in the financial shape that he’s in today.
And this isn’t even the aspect of their claim that comes off as the goofiest bit of thinking on their part when you apply any thought or logical reasoning to it. No, they come off as much dumber looking when you take off the blinders that they want you wear when looking at their claims.
They’re (wrongly) claiming that Kramer receives $150,000 per year from Dragon*Con and that this payment is what’s keeping him away from trial and out of jail.
Let’s look at the history of certain crimes and cases in the last 13 years. What do you see? We see millionaires and billionaires being charged, facing trial and going to jail. We see Hollywood stars getting charged with crimes and facing trials. Hell, we even saw the friend of a sitting President, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a man who had both money and connections, fight to avoid trial but who still stood trial and was convicted. And in the vast majority of the many cases from the last 13 years that we could specifically cite, cases involving millionaires, billionaires, celebrities and political power players who could get the best legal teams that money, power, celebrity and connections could buy, you’d be hard pressed to find even one where, even where they tried, anyone was able to delay a trial like we’ve seen with the Kramer case.
Hell, BP is already on trial over their negligence with regards to the 2010 Gulf spill. They certainly didn’t want to go to court and I think they just might have a wee bit more cash to spend on legal maneuverings than Kramer does as well as way more high power political and legal connections.
But Kramer is buying his freedom and avoiding trial for going on 13 years now solely due to a comparatively measly “$150,000″ (at best) dividend payment? Right.
And let’s stay in this general area of thought for a moment. When you’re watching the news and watching the coverage of the hot ratings trial of the moment involving a celebrity, a politician, a power player or a multimillionaire and you’re watching the judge and the legal system playing patty-cake with them or give them a gentle slap on the wrist even after repeated violations of bond or the law and slap your head over the stupidity of it; do you blame the people, institutions or studios who paid them over the years or do you blame the legal system that’s dealing with them? Me? I blame the legal system. And the majority of people I’ve been around over the years and listened to when they’ve complained about the stupidity when these cases are being played out in the media tend to blame the legal system for the stupidity. Seriously, do you blame Disney and Robert Rodriguez for the stupidity of how the legal system handled Lindsay Lohan or do you blame the legal system for allowing her to flip it the bird for so long?
Simply put, the narrative and argument being put forward by those pushing for the boycott is incredibly flawed in its reasoning, focused at the wrong target, and built on inaccurate statements from the get go.
The $150,000, actually closer to $154,000, was not a dividend payment. It was a settlement figure.
It was certainly not a figure, whether dividend or settlement, that represents what Kramer makes “per year” from his shares.
Even if it had been a dividend, it would have been a payment based on the success of that year’s Dragon*Con and would have been markedly higher than anything that Kramer saw in between 2000 and 2007.
Kramer had at the time of his arrest multiple sources of revenue, savings, and assets that he could convert to cash if necessary. And all of these would have still been there for several years after his arrest.
These sources of revenue, savings, and assets were not the only aid he saw early on as there were auctions held on his behalf through at least 2004 and a fundraising and legal aid website set up in his name to help cover his legal expenses.
Kramer is now, when Dragon*Con actually is one of his few sources of annual income, broke and in debt and has lost his home.
The idea that whatever dividend he’s actually getting is what’s been keeping him from facing trial for going on 13 years when multimillionaires and people with major political connections can’t do the same is laughable.
The idea that boycotting Dragon*Con is going to fix the amount of stupid we’ve seen from the legal system down there during the early years of this case is even more laughable.
If you buy this argument from the boycott supporters, can I also interest you in buying a bridge or two?
Edward Kramer is at this point in time closer to having an actual trial than at anytime in this farce since 2003. His defenders are few and far between at this point with even some of his legal team walking out on him while citing not being able to defend him in good faith at this point. He’s shown himself to be untrustworthy and high risk if allowed out on bond and is now about as likely to be released on bond or placed on unmonitored house arrest as seeing snowfall in hell. He might not even be able to play the ill-health card anymore if anyone snapped pictures or took video of him in Connecticut while he was reportedly hiking around the woods being used for the filming of the independent movie he was involved in. His bag of tricks is all but empty at this point.
If you want to just spin your wheels, waste your time and waste the effort while doing nothing for the victims in this case, doing nothing to see that Kramer stands trial and doing nothing more than assisting one woman with what is looking more and more like an attempt to settle old scores with people other than Kramer; you go ahead and boycott Dragon*Con. At best you’ll get nothing useful or intelligent done and at worst you’ll just end up hurting people not named Edward Kramer while not hurting Ed Kramer by your actions in the least.
But if you want to actually do something useful; use the energy, the effort and the time to create general awareness of the case itself and place the focus and the spotlight on the legal system down there. The knowledge of that level of national scrutiny combined with the position that they now have Kramer in might actually ensure that he sees trial before another 13 years go by.
Edit (Additional Information) – 4/3/2013 – It appears that Kramer also has new revenue coming in from old books. You can buy Kramer edited work through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble on both the Kindle and Nook platforms and for the major market publisher price point rather than at the lower prices you see with some works on those platforms. That’s notable since e-books tend to put more money into the pockets of everyone involved.
No news is available at this time if more titles are to come later or not. Either way though, it’s cash in his pocket outside of Dragon*Con revenue.
Back when all of this stupidity first started, Nancy A. Collins acted like a damned fool. Some might argue that she’s still acting like a damned fool. Either way though, it is her right to act like a damned fool.
Likewise, it’s the right of anyone who supports her to act thusly. Yeah, their rights to act like damned fools end at certain points like sending harassing and insulting PMs to people or filing bogus take down notices against blogs to harass people that don’t tow the boycott line, but they do at least have the right to act like damned fools up to that point.
Which brings me to the problem I have with some who are anti-boycott.
Some in the fringe leveled death threats against Nancy all those years ago. Supposedly a few have again. Stephen R. Bissette claims that after he came out in support of Nancy he was targeted by fandom and had his Facebook page and blog hacked. There are a few other stories out there from others of like activity. And, hey, it might even be true. Certainly Nancy and crew have to start getting their facts straight about something in this thing.
Look, guys, and spread this word as far as possible among the people that support Dragon*Con against Collin’s bullshit boycott and the constant stream of inaccurate statements being passed off as fact by her and her supporters -
We do not need that crap being pulled by our side.
If the last month has shown us anything, it’s shown us that Nancy’s gun is loaded with blanks. There’s not a claim that she’s made that’s not easily disprovable with a few links and in context quotes.
Her claim that Dragon*Con lied for 12 years and tried to hide the fact that Kramer still had shares and profited from them? Debunked.
Murphy’s rantings that all of the delays in the case were caused by Kramer alone with no screw ups and delays caused by the Gwinnett courts and DA’s Office? Debunked.
Nancy’s claim that the $150,000 was a dividend payment rather than a settlement from the case Kramer had against Dragon Con/Ace Inc and Pat Henry? Debunked.
Any credibility that they would claim to have about knowing a thing about business laws or what Dragon*Con can and cannot do over the issue? Blown clear out of the water.
The flimsy evidence they presented that Kramer was an invited guest in 2008? Debunked at best and shown to be supported by flimsy evidence and assumptions on their parts and highly unlikely at worst.
And we have links and facts to back this up.
We don’t need to sink to stupid levels. We have something on our side that they don’t have and have not had since say one. We have facts and the truth to back our arguments.
Let someone like Don Murphy stoop so low as to send harassing PM’s and play stupid and bogus legal games to harass. It’s all he’s got. Let Nancy play her ‘poor little me the victim’ card while spinning and pushing inaccurate statements as facts. Let Bissette rant about how evil the entire industry is and make nonsensical arguments backing the boycott. It’s all they’ve got.
Again, we have the facts on our side. And we’re better than that.
But threats and hacking? This we don’t need. If nothing else, we don’t need it because they’ll just add it in to their list to plump up their fake “victim” status.
If you know anyone out there who tries to hack a boycott supporters account, blog or social networking page – Tell them to knock it off. It’s not needed and it’s not wanted as reflective of our side.
And if you know anyone who thinks that death threats is are an okay form of communication and debate – Tell them to knock it off and then tell them to never again claim that they’re on the same side of this as the rest of us. And if they don’t knock it off? Turn them in.
Death threats aren’t funny. Terroristic threats aren’t funny. Making people legitimately wonder if they’re going to turn a corner and have someone hurt them or kill them isn’t funny or a game.
We’re better than that. Certainly if we hold ourselves to the ideals of the things we love and, occasionally, in some cases, claim to aspire to be like, we at the very least aren’t that low.
We don’t need this. Spread the word to any and all who need to hear it. Knock it off.
Reference links can be found here - http://jjchandler.wordpress.com/the-dragoncon-boycott-link-madness-page/