Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 Disastrous Panels (from Mary Robinette Kowal's Twitter feed)

I'm about to dump my Tumblr account because it's just another social media site that I don't really need, and I don't find it particularly useful for discussions. Before I do, however, I'll post this one last link to "10 Disastrous Panels You Have Been on or Seen" by Mette Ivie Harrison. If you've attended even a few conventions and participated or seen a panel or two, you'll see something you recognize here. I'm not sure I would call any of the bullet points a "disaster". Somebody having a stroke or starting a fist fight during a panel would be a disaster. Still, it's a pretty spot not, if not comprehensive, list of typical annoyances and embarrassments.

The first point is something with which I'm going to have to respectfully disagree: "Microphone Hog who will grab it every change he has. Always a he. Sad, but true."

Always a "he"? Are you absolutely sure about that? I can't speak to your personal experience, but I've seen plenty where the mic hog was a woman. Granted, these panels were at more specialized conventions like Steampunk-themed and Historically-focused cons, but I'm sure there must be female mic hogs at comics conventions and other nerd fests, as well as more average settings. With all the talk around the web currently about sexism and discrimination and all that it entails, words like "always" in this context seem a bit careless.

My sympathies are definitely with the "Moderator looks ready to walk out...because no one actually answers the questions she asks and she is working so hard to try to get the panel to address the topic the audience came to hear about." Talk about herding cats. Ugh.

As for point "D"? "I think that I have something interesting to say, but I’ve hooked my mouth up directly to the rambling section of my brain and it will just keep pouring out words until someone takes away the mic." That's never happened to me. Well, hardly ever.


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