Express Yourself

Katsucon is in two and a half weeks.

I’m pretty jazzed about it.  I’m giving a bunch of panels as part of the JCI (Japanese Cultural Institute), including panels on Miyamoto Musashi, Tale of Genji, and even talking about the Japanese-American Internment Camps in World War II (man, I wish that panel wasn’t so topical right now).  I’m also giving a presentation on hacking the Japanese language.

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Fact and Fiction

Here in the United States, it’s Election Day.

That today is not a National Holiday on par with July 4th and Thanksgiving is nothing short of a tragedy (but then, the way Thanksgiving is disappearing from the cultural consciousness, maybe that’s not the best example).  Still, today is a critical and important day.  No, I won’t try to persuade you to vote.  At this point, you either are going to vote or you won’t.  Even if the election was still pending, I wouldn’t try to persuade you to vote.  Instead, I would persuade you to educate yourself.

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Anime USA

Anime USA was this past weekend.  It was a terrific time and I want to thank not only the staff for taking such good care of me and my fellow speakers but also to the fans who were overwhelmingly awesome.  I thought, rather than offer a typical write-up, let’s just hit the highlights:

 

  • Parking in Washington DC is crazy. I can’t even itemize all the ways it was insane.
  • Washington DC road systems is documented to be difficult, but I think they’ve passed into the realm of mental illness manifested.
  • That said, the hotel itself was positively gorgeous.
  • That said, $13 a day for in-room wi-fi is absurd.
  • I don’t know how Charles ‘Anime Anthropologist’ Dunbar does it, but he remains the leading voice in geek cultural assessment and deconstruction
  • I was able to to meet Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe, whom Charles as often spoken highly of. Having met her, I learned he did not do her justice.
  • Between these two guests, the convention was pretty much nonstop entertaining, intellectual, and fun.
  • I am officially an old man because going into the games room revealed a vast array of games I had never even heard of.
  • The dealer’s room was 75% cosplay material and merchandise
  • I learned of a new immersive musical experience beyond Eien Strife: Psyche Corporation
  • This was the first convention I’ve ever done where I didn’t see a single Evangelion or Final Fantasy cosplayer. Not even a specific Final Fantasy; any of them!
  • People apparently took my Top Ten Transformers Episodes panel personally because I got some…ahem, ‘colorful’ counter-points in my email the following morning.
  • This was the first con I’ve done in recent memory where I didn’t hear the Colossus roar at least once.
  • MAGFest to the DC fandom scene is like really good weed, the weed that’s so good, all you can do is hit it and look at it. Just mention MAGFest to a geek in or around DC and see what happens.
  • It surprised me the number of anime fans for whom not only knowledge but interest in anime began and ended with Adult Swim
  • No matter what Mapquest or Google Maps tells you, add an hour to your travel time anytime you have to go through DC
  • Work is astoundingly boring after a con.

 

AUSA was a lot of fun.  For a convention that I attended long ago, to now return to, it was delightful beyond words.  I hope everybody had a great time.  Thank you to everyone who came to the panels, bought the books, and made the weekend so wonderful!

Optimystic

i’m not really sure what to write.  Trying to get back on the horse about posting regularly, I find myself unsure what to share.

If I write about writing, I fear I’ll spoil surprises in upcoming books and short stories.

If I write about exercise (another great passion of mine), I’ll bore those disinterested in such physical pursuits.  Same if I post about martial arts.

If I write about politics or social issues…well, yeah.

Not that I am reticent to write about such things, only not casually.  So then what?

I guess I would take this slightly aimless morning to say it’s okay.  It is okay and it will be okay.  That seems a reassurance few people get and most people need.  And it’s true.  It’s going to be okay.

Yes, we still have work to do, and yes we still need to do it.  But it’s going to be okay.