I already wrote here and here some incoherent ramblings about my FEDCON weekend, but now I try to sum it up, go a little bit more into detail, will most likely repeat more than once what I already said before and show some photos and even videos. If you lick your computer screen at the right spots, you can even taste some of the best things! By now everything is just a huge, blurry but extremely coloruful and tasty (lick here for FEDCON taste) mix of moments that might have happend at any day, so excuse me for just throwing all my memories in the blender.
Well, it was a weekend full of fun and boredom at the same time. Most of it was awesome as usual, but I had way too much free time on my hands. Usually I would be happy about that, but not at the FEDCON. It’s not completely their fault, though. Okay, the autograph sessions are very long and contrary to ten years ago, when I started to visit the con, every actor is now involved in them at the same time, which means none of them was available for panels, but they had a counterprogramming with games, fanpanels and lectures. It was just that I wasn’t interested in any of them. Not the con people’s fault (even though I don’t like the current autograph system). I’m a pretty picky person. I even wandered every morning through the central station and the airport in search for some breakfast, but despite estimated three dozens of bakeries and similar joints, (lick here for donut taste) I couldn’t find anything. (Like every year, I lost weight during the con weekend, but that is a different story.)
Also because of that high amount of free time, the new four day weekend didn’t work out for me. Usually the con only ran three days, but for the 20th anniversary (*cough*yeah, right*cough*) they extended it to four days. And apparently four days is the new way to go, because next year it’s again four days. Oh well, I hope they find a better use for their time. (Translation: I hope I find a better use for my time.)
The indisputable highlight of the con was Garret Wang, who is the complete opposite of his Ensign Kim from VOYAGER (Surprise! He was acting!) and was the MC this year. And damn, he did a great job. I already mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but he put some real dedication into it.He not just got on stage to announce the next guest, when the situation demanded it (or it would just be funny), he even came on stage again during the panel to help out in one way or another. When a question could become a little bit too awkward, he tried to straighten out the situation. He even took the “Fedcon virgin” Kate Vernon by the hand and sat down with her on stage during the panel, when he noticed that she became too nervous and the panel was slowing down too much. And then of course he just popped up once in a while, when it was the right time for a joke. And I really mean “whenever it was the right time”. When I saw him doing this for the first few times, I already expected it to become very tiresome and annoying, especially for the more negative con visitors, who tend to hate everything, but Garrett always knew how and when to do this and when not. If the FEDCON keeps changing its MC every year, like they planned to do, it would be okay. There might be some interesting choices over the years. But if they keep Garrett from now on, I don’t think that anybody will complain.
The guests were well chosen. Of course the two really big names were Scott Bakula and Richard Dean Anderson, who did their best to entertain the audience, even when someone asked them a shitty question. The most dangerous was maybe the one about the origin of Scott Bakula’s last name. While Scott quickly explained from which European country it came (I forgot which one), the questioner had his own theory about it and its meaning. According to him, “Bakula” comes from Poland and is a variation of a word, that means “filthy liar”. Bakula’s response: “So why do you think I’m denying, that it comes from Poland?” Thumbs up for that man. I don’t know if he was really insulted (the questioner of course didn’t mean to and if someone had told me, that my name means something like that, I would have found it hilarious), but he didn’t seem to and ended this hairy situation for everybody with a good laugh. Because he couldn’t be at the closing ceremony, he was also taking song requests on his first panel. He sang IMAGINE, VOLARE and a song from MAN FROM LA MANCHA. Also on his second panel, Captain Archer finally gave Ensign Kim his well deserved promotion.
Richard Dean Anderson was more laid back. He was funny on stage and despite the rumors, he had no problem to talk about MacGyver. To me he didn’t seem to be 100% sold on being at a convention and answering questions, but he had a good sense of humor (the one German phrase he learned was “Ich bin sehr geil”) and took his time to give satisfying answers to even not that good questions. I appreciate it, when a star answers questions in a long winded way, as long as what he has to say is interesting. And most of the time he delivered in this category. (Lick here for blueberry taste.)
Of course the undefeated champion of giving-long-winded-but-interesting-answers is still Dirk Benedict. This might be a problem for some, if you stand in line to ask your question, but the simple one that was asked before you got a 20 minutes long story as an answer. He was honest and full of interesting anecdotes. My favourite was the one about his son, about whose existence he didn’t know until he was 28. And his son didn’t know that “Faceman” was his father either. Dirk also has very interesting and most of all reasonable views about political correctness, the role of men in modern society and similar things. He is not an arrogant hardliner, who wants women in the kitchen, but he isn’t afraid of telling the world how he feels about the model of the modern, sensitive man, that pops up so often in the media these days. I hope they don’t wait another 10 years to invite him again.
Marina Sirtis has already been there a few times. I think four, if I remember right. It’s always nice to see her. She brings so much energy to her panels and is constantly hilarious. She usually says what she thinks, but I don’t think that she is really out to offend anybody. She’s just brutally honest, but – at least on stage – in an entertaining and light hearted way. As long as you don’t dare to leave in the middle of her panel, as that poor guy, who just wanted to get something to eat, had to learn. Marina sees everything and starving is no apology for her. (Lick here for cookie taste)
Wil Wheaton, well, I don’t get the cult around him. He is a nice and clever guy and I never HATED Wesley Crusher, but recently, especially since he played an evil version of himself in that horrible geek minstrel show THE BIG BANG THEORY, his popularity just exploded. His panels weren’t that mind blowing to me either, but I don’t wanna come across as negative. And I know many people will take this as “Wil Wheaton sucked”, but fuck them. He is one of the good guys. I may not love him (especially since he dared to mention TV TROPES), but I would have totally high fived him, if I had a chance.
The annual Costume Contest was as usual a mixed thing. I don’t think that there was a really bad contribution to it. Some of it didn’t work out 100%, because it wasn’t probably as funny as the contestant thought it would have been. Sometimes the showpart lacked a little bit of…“it“, but I can’t think of anything that had me going: “What the fuck were they thinking?!“ Even some of the weaker executed entries had at least a nice idea behind them. And one of the celebrity jury members (I think it was Paul McGillion. Sorry if I’m wrong.) entertained the audience in between with stealing lost props or throwing tribbles from the stage. And Nessie, the traditional costume contest host, did as always a good job. Okay, some of the international audience members complained that the contest was still mostly held in German and they are maybe right about that. But I’m not the one to decide about it. (Lick here for the taste of diplomacy) My favourites where definitely the two Klingons, who started a deadly duel on stage, with more than just one hilarious outcome. But the HALO costumes were awesome too. I’m sure that I’m forgetting someone here and I feel bad for this.
There were some fanfilms. Some episodes of STAR TREK: PHASE II, a series that I never really come across watching, so it was my first exposure to this series. It’s cool. I admire what they try to do and what they have achieved so far. The ENEMY STARFLEET episode didn’t really work for me, but the KITUMBA episode, which was about a klingon civil war, was seriously clever and well done. I also loved the audience reaction to a pretty graphic death near the end of the episode. Another fanfilm, that was shown before the opening ceremony, was A STRANGE JOURNEY, which was a semi-remake of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, in the world of SciFi fandom. I’m not really into ROCKY HORROR, so it wasn’t that exciting for me, but the visible fun that the people in this movie had, won me over. Before the costume contest started, they also showed a “commercial” for their “sponsors” WOLFRAM & HART. It started with a very questionable scene, where Blade (played by an actor who totally nailed that role) killed a family of demons, including the kid and the dog. That was some really dark humor, but I liked it and judging by the laughs, the audience did too. Then Ghost Rider got into trouble with the police. The very creative execution of his burning skull made this segment a winner, although it was dragged out to long. The final segment of it was something about Bellatrix Lestrange getting interrogated, which felt in my opinion pretty unnecessary and lacked a punchline. But despite some huge pacing issues, this short film was fun to watch. So thumbs up from me.
Did you hear that we broke the world record for “most people in Star Trek costumes at one place”? It’s not officially acknowledged by the Guinness folks yet, but among the people who participated in it, were me and 690 others. Boom. Suck on this, convention in Las Vegas, whichs name I forgot! In your face! And don’t you dare to beat us again! You know that we will just take the record back to Germany, exactly like we did this year, motherhuggers!
One of the main reasons why I love the FEDCON is the daily party. But this time it was a little bit of a bummer. The only dancefloor was inside the bar and holy shit, it was small. It was almost a (drumroll) minibar (rimshot), so it was very difficult to get inside and even more difficult to find a place on the dancefloor. The good thing is that by Saturday, most people had apparently already given up, so there was more room inside and I was showing off my bon-diggity dance moves to some crazy Dutchs. But another dancefloor was painfully missing. Outside of the bar it became way too crowded, so most people were just standing there and talking. The lobby of the Maritim was huge! They could have easily put a 2nd dancefloor somewhere downstairs, which was still close enough to the bar. And they could have hired a better DJ! Like I say every year, the FEDCON parties didn’t become legendary for the music, but this year it was worse then ever. Apparently the DJ had only two or three hours of music with him and constantly repeated the same few songs over the weekend. Not even SMOKE ON THE WATER is cool enough, that it deserves to be played four times within five hours. But despite all those HUGE flaws, I had a blast at the party, thanks to all the awesome people.
Especially Diana, the only Romanian at the convention. If she would be a superheroine (or at least a sidekick) her name would be “Awesomegirl” or something like that. She introduced me to other cool people and has a humor, that is very similar to mine. Usually I’m the only person, who would joke about diarrhea at a Starbucks, but this time I wasn’t alone. (Lick here for super special mystery taste.) Please visit her blog, if you can.
But let me give a shout out to all the other cool folks who hung out and danced with me, like (In no special order) Cynni, Maggie, the other hat guy (Nic, as Diana told me in the comments. I suck at remembering names), Steve/Stephan and Florian, Joyce, Imanuel, Kaye, Bram, all those other crazy Dutchmen and -women who almost brought the bar down in style and everybody who I forgot to mention! I’m sorry! I’m really, really sorry!
All in all the brand spankin’ new relocated and extended FEDCON was worth its money for the experience alone. It always is. It wasn’t the best, most mind blowing con I’ve ever attended, but it was lots of fun for me. But I still haven’t decided if I return next year. The four day concept, which will also happen next year, didn’t convince me. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are! The con always felt too short for me, when it only ran three days, but this time I almost got homesick! And I hate to be home! I will also most likely be very alone next time and I don’t have the energy to make new friends every year. And I’m not sure how my financial situation will work out. Unless they have some very irresistable guest stars, I tend to say “No, I stay home”, but who knows? It’s a year away. FEDCON is always fun. And I like fun.
Here are now my favourite tweets from my #Fedcon weekend:
- discussing lots of filth including horsegenitals. Filthiest #fedcon ever
- Awesome! There are massage chairs at the airport!
- I wonder if they also have blowjob chairs.
- Hey, I’m tweeting from the crapper of the Maritim! Most awesome place I ever left something of me. #fedcon
- Now at Starbucks, but it’s not my cup of tea
- Can’t keep my eyes off that 7 of 9 statues’ ass. But yes, I feel dirty and ashamed of myself #fedcon
- Hey, random stranger who stared at me in shock, if you can’t even stand a guy with long hair, you shouldn’t be here. #fedcon
- So I was just peeing and I think the Klingon next to me totally looked at my dick. #fedcon
- I’m fucking hungry and gotta piss, but I got a good seat and nobody to keep an eye on it. So I starve and pee myself. #fedcon
- Why is it that whenever I come home for a long trip, my piss has a dark orange colour? Good night.
And here is a seriously good video from German TV. Check the background. I’m in it at one point.