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An Open Letter to Jessica Blankenship from a Dragon Con attendee

16 Jan

I know I promised my year ends as my next post here. I assure you, they are coming. I’m also certain you are all tired of the open letter craze that was going around last year with Miley Cyrus, Sinnead O’Connor, and Amanda Palmer. Who are all terrible in their own right. Believe me, I was sick of it too, but this is something I need to get off my chest. It probably won’t change the intended recipient’s mind since she’s set on calling my people “weirdoes” and “Dragon*Condoms,” but at least I’ll feel better from it.

Hi Jessica.

You don’t know me, but we do have mutual… well, I guess “friends” is a word for it. They’re friends of mine, but I don’t know if they’re friends of yours anymore. Still, we’re only a few degrees apart from each other. Which could be potentially terrifying for you because you “have nothing in common with those Dragon*Con weirdos” beside a love of drinking, partying, screwing, and Nathan Fillion. But I don’t know your life as much as you don’t know mine, so I guess we’re square on that at least.

Now, I don’t think you’re a bad writer. I enjoyed your article on Women’s Issues for Creative Loafing and the writing for the 10 Of The Actual Best Things In Atlanta Because There Isn’t Even a Waffle House here was pretty fun when it wasn’t coming across as hypocritical or misinformed. Because first of all, there are two Waffle Houses in the downtown area alone and 16 within spitting distance of my address in the EAV.

Secondly, while Criminal Records is awesome (they’re my local comic book store as well as my local record store), it seems very weird you used a picture of their old storefront when they haven’t been on that location in Moreland in almost six years. I remember because I couldn’t go to Criminal the first month I moved to Atlanta in 2008 because they were moving around the corner to Euclid. There are MANY pictures of the Euclid storefront on Flickr if you search “Criminal Records Atlanta.” Why not use any of those?

Also, why go on about the best tofu scramble in Atlanta, but mention that you can still smoke at El Myr? I’m just curious.

Really though, let’s get to the dragon sized elephant in the room.

The #6 on your list was about how sneaking into Dragon Con is one of the best things about living in Atlanta. I know you said you weren’t attacking us, but the whole vibe of the blurb comes across as “I don’t get it, but hey, you do you. PS: I’m totally sneaking in anyway lol.”

First of all, the asterisk had to go away when the con finally dissolved Ed Kramer last year. So any press that refers to Dragon Con as “Dragon*Con” isn’t technically correct. I can’t really hold that one against you since that happened so close to the con and as a longtime con goer, I’m still getting used to it.

there are not “three hotels full of nerds getting more laid than their adolescent selves ever dreamed.” There are five plus the America’s Mart as of last year. Do you want to know why we have five hotels for the Con?

Because 50,000+ people attend this con every year.

I incorrectly stated 30,000+ in my Dragon Con Survival Guide, but mostly because that was the number just a few years ago. The point is that a LOT of people attend this con and it gets frustrating to get around the convention, even when it’s just people attending the con. Throw in people who come to be tourists and it gets even more annoying. Hence why there is security checking for badges and hotel key cards at all the entrances to the hotel. To cut down on crowding and harassment from non-paying attendees. If you somehow managed to sneak into this con in the past two years without paying, I want to know how you managed to do it without getting caught by security so I can report that weak spot.

It wasn’t just that though, it was the fact your whole bit about sneaking into Dragon Con and being a tourist followed the blurb about how much you hate it when people from outside of the city come and hangout on your precious bars on Edgewood during the weekend.

Now do you understand why some of us got so pissed off at you? There isn’t much of a difference between OTP-ers crowding your favorite bars and tourists coming to gawk at your while you’re trying to let loose at your favorite con. Maybe in sheer strength of numbers, but not in terms of having people that don’t really get it ruin your good time.

Plus, good luck trying to get into Trader Vic’s on Dragon Con Weekend.

If you really want to admire people at the con without paying, why not just people watch at a nearby restaurant or come see the Parade on Saturday morning instead of trying to sneak into the hotel and further crowd everything up? I swear, you’ll still get plenty to see. My Aunts Millie and Lisa have plenty of proof from their times just hanging out at the Durango Steakhouse after work on Friday. Including me leaving the con just to say hello.

Like adopted niece, like adopted aunt.

Like adopted niece, like adopted aunt.

But hey, if you ever decide to pay for a badge and come hang with us, we’re around. With plenty of booze to spare.

Sincerely Yours,

Ashley Leckwold

Blogger for Nerdophiles, Former Media Editor for Steampunk Chronicle, and Dragon Con attendee since 2006

PS: I apologize for the tenth grade mentality remark I made to you on Twitter. Your tweet got to me after a particularly rough day at work and I wasn’t particularly appreciative of your “Dragon*Condoms” remark. For what it’s worth, I agree with you about the view of the city from Freedom Parkway.

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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in General, Internet, Personal

 

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