I’ve been in the anime fandom for a long time. Not as long as many, but certainly longer than most. I’ve been places, I’ve seen things. But today, it’s a different scene. It’s a scene dominated by run-of-the-mill fans, scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel both in quality and quantity. It’s about showing people online how you are King and Queen Nerd of Nerds, about who has the bigger crush on Matt Smith, and who can squee the hardest, ignoring the fact “squee” is not a word. Maybe I am seeing this in a different light. I appreciate form and function over vanity and flashy. Animation for me is a medium I find to be more versatile and molding for storytelling and universe-building. But more importantly, when I am among the fandom, I respect what it means to be a fan, and to be part of something bigger than myself.
By now, we’ve had a few days to process the immense failure that is Dashcon. If Dashcon were just a failure because of the content, then we’d have nothing to talk about. But Dashcon was a failure on the most fundamental level of the fandom. It was about teenage organizers who knew nothing about their fandom and had even less respect for it in general. They thought they could slap together a few rooms, reel in some big names on promises of delusion and grandeur, and capitalize on the fact that people are perfectly willing to throw away money to become temporary internet superstars for fifteen minutes, before realizing the folly of their errors, and crying in the hugboxes they delicately maintain as-is.
And frankly, it really sort of pissed me off.