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The Right to Refuse Service
Wednesday August 09th 2006, 8:37 am

Dear Convention Organizers:

I know that I’m new to the whole con thing, and that it’s a culture that’s been humming along on its own for quite some time, so please forgive my ignorance when I ask this:

Why in the hell do you let people like the Fan From Hell into your cons?

If I ran, say, a restaurant, and a customer came in, swiped food off people’s plates, wiped his ass with the tablecloth and announced he was going to sodomize his entree as it was being served, I don’t give a stony rat’s ass if that person is the restaurant critic for the New York Times, he’s getting tossed out and barred from returning. You can’t please everyone, but, as a business owner, I damn well better make sure I please the vast majority of my customers, people who are trying to have a nice meal without worrying about the ravings of a steakfucker.

You know who this woman is, yet you allow her to show up, harrass the guests, annoy the vendors and bring down the place, all in the name of…what? Having an open and friendly environment for all to express themselves? Listen: putting on an Imperial Stormtrooper outfit with kitty ears is self-expression; using your daughter as a way to finagle your way into the company of actors, artists and writers is fucking child abuse. And you let it happen.

The con circuit is small enough that people know who the bad apples are. And I don’t mean the people who are a little off; the beauty of science fiction conventions is that everyone is a little off. I mean the stalkers, the harrassers, the gropers. The steakfuckers.

Geeks, of course, don’t like conflict. They’ve been bullied and put down all their lives, and cons are the place where they can feel free of that. You’re still running a business, folks, and that means you not only have the right to refuse service, you have the responsibility to do so. That’s no excuse to allow the kind of awful behavior Colleen Doran and company talk about in the comment thread. These aren’t kids we’re talking about, but grown adults, people who should’ve learned about things like manners and personal space and proper goddamn hygiene.

Show some spine, organizers. Toss out the steakfuckers. You’ll be making cons better places.

Love and kisses,
Adam Rakunas
Worldcon Member

Filed under: Spleen Venting