The Replacements: Odyssey Con’s New Guests of Honor

Three days after Odyssey Con lost the last of its GoHs over its mishandling of Monica Valentinelli’s safety concerns, the con has recruited two replacements — filmmaker Michael Butts and artist Brent Chumley.

Michael Butts aggressively defended his decision in a statement posted as his Guest of Honor bio.

Michael Butts

I thought long and hard about joining Odyssey Con. I learned that one of the Members had made choices that upset people in the past, and how it was handled was not the best. I believe that the damage that was done has been contained and separated from the convention. I understand many people are still upset by this, and some would like to see Odyssey Con fail. I do not believe that is right. Because of the actions of a few, is all of the labor and love so many fans have put into this event to be discarded? Should the whole barrel of apples be discarded because some were bad? I say no. What happened is horrible but it is not beyond repair. And I want to see this convention raised up to become a shining beacon of decency. I am giving them a second chance, will you? And remember, before you judge all on the actions of a few, I would like to remind you that ‘Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes’ (Obi Wan Kenobi).

Butts commands instant forgiveness for things that happened just last week, even though the Odyssey Con committee hasn’t finished shooting itself in the foot yet – witness the posting of his GoH bio – let alone done anything to show a change in the culture that led to the problems.

The early reaction on Twitter has been decidedly unfavorable. D Franklin lit into the guest announcement with a series of incisive tweets that included these two –

[Thanks to imnotandrei and James Davis Nicoll for the story.]

60 thoughts on “The Replacements: Odyssey Con’s New Guests of Honor

  1. Wow, That is a lot of hate!
    Remember a place called Salem? Odyssey Con must be the witch. If you go to Odyssey Con or are a guest of honor there, you are a witch too!

    Let me guess, you are all stuck in the Adolescent stage of development.
    I hear Suzy had a party. She had a friend who helped set up the party who’s name is Jamie. I hear Jamie called someone a name and was mean at Carols party two years ago. Suzy is having another party if you go tho that party your as mean and nasty as Jamie is. I am going to tell everyone not to go.

    Sounds like high school to me

    The way you are treating GOH Butts is exactly why the previous GOHs left.
    Odd Con has apologized. What would make everyone happy? How about a public tar and feathering?

    Do I condone sexual harassment? Of course not. Am I going to attend Oddcon? Yes. Do I agree with everything everyone there does and thinks. No.

    I know how to solve this problem. Every person that comes or works at Oddcon will have to have a background check done along with a full psych profile for all incidents that happened in the past and could happen in the future. Then Oddcon will submit that information on the internet to the public and they can decide who can attend. Wow what an inclusive convention.

    PS. I am ready to get shamed now, as in “Things they do in the Shadows” Shame, Shame, Shame.

  2. Hey look. Gareth made a mistake, retracted it, apologized immediately and sincerely, didn’t blame anyone else, and now we’re all cool. See? It can be done!

    OddCon should try that, instead of doubling and octupling down on stupid. Willful stupid, at this point.

    @Aaron: what you said.

  3. The way you are treating GOH Butts is exactly why the previous GOHs left.

    Really? The previous GoHs said really stupid things on the internet and were criticized for it? That’s why they left?

    Or perhaps they left because Odyssey Con’s staff showed that they didn’t know how to handle having a serial harasser in their midst, dismissed the concerns of one of their GoH’s who said that staffer had harassed her in the past and wasn’t comfortable going to the convention if he was there? And that they then handled the whole matter in an entirely unprofessional way by making private e-mails public and handling the issue in increasingly tone-deaf and offensive ways? Maybe that was it?

    I am going to tell everyone not to go.

    Who here has told anyone not to go to Odyssey Con? Be specific. Provide quotes.

    Odd Con has apologized. What would make everyone happy?

    No. It would not.

    An apology is the start of the things Odyssey Con needs to do, not the end. The convention needs to show they understand what the problem is (as you clearly do not), acknowledge the errors in judgment, policy, and action that caused the problem, and demonstrate that they have taken steps to rectify those errors and put in place policies and plans to ensure that they will not happen again. Thus far, they have shown that they don’t even understand the problem, let alone have an idea of what to do about it. And, as your post demonstrates, neither do you.

  4. @Zeph:
    “Blah blah blah, stupid analogy, blah blah, I’m not the one being harassed and I wish the people who were would just shut up, blah blah blah, stupid analogy, blah blah, why does other people’s safety have to ruin my fun, blah blah blah, miscapitalization.”

  5. The way you are treating GOH Butts is exactly why the previous GOHs left.

    This comment shows you stumbled into this discussion without knowing the basic facts of the controversy. The first Guest of Honor left before anyone was talking about Odyssey Con. She was upset at how the concom had handled her concerns about harassment.

    You say you don’t condone sexual harassment at cons, but when you compare this to kids ostracizing each other in a spat, it shows you don’t take the problem seriously.

  6. Remember a place called Salem? Odyssey Con must be the witch. If you go to Odyssey Con or are a guest of honor there, you are a witch too!

    It’s a deeply stupid analogy but it could almost work if OdCon is Salem and the Guest Liaison is Cotton Mather.

  7. I recall those days when being accused of being a witch in Salem led to the deadly practice of strongly worded critiques of the witch’s behavior being placed in a public forum where the accused witch may or may not have read them. I truly hope we do not relive those days of unrelieved oppression.

  8. Robert Wood: I recall those days when being accused of being a witch in Salem led to the deadly practice of strongly worded critiques of the witch’s behavior being placed in a public forum where the accused witch may or may not have read them. I truly hope we do not relive those days of unrelieved oppression.

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