The Archon 38 committee, responding to protests such as those written on its Facebook page, has revoked its invitation to Tim “Uncle Timmy” Bolgeo, the fan guest of honor.
The action was taken May 20 after someone identified on Facebook only by an online handle posted a lengthy complaint, characterizing Bolgeo as a racist and providing examples of ethnic jokes and other relevant remarks published in Bolgeo’s zine Revenge of the Hump Day.
The author of the complaint said he had first e-mailed Archon’s board about his concerns in March after reading issues of Revenge online, and not satisfied with the response, he repeated them at an open meeting of Archon organizers this past weekend. The board voted to keep Bolgeo as a guest, he reports, therefore he resorted to social media in protest.
The committee promptly capitulated:
The board of directors has heard the voices of our attendees. We have decided that it is in the best interest of Archon to withdraw the invitation to Mr. Bolgeo as Fan Guest. We did not make this decision lightly, however. This situation is a lose-lose for Archon, for Mr. Tim Bolgeo, and fans in the Midwest and South. When we asked Mr. Bolgeo to be our guest last year, we made a commitment we were forced to break. Repercussions from these discussions and the resulting decision will affect everyone for months to come. However, this convention is not for the Committee or the Staff, it is for the fans and you have spoken.
Bolgeo’s name has been stricken from the Archon 38 website (though it still remains on Eventbrite.)
Finding these tasteless jokes in Bolgeo’s zine was a bit of a surprise to me because although I’ve never been on his distribution list, I’ve often seen news items from Revenge quoted in other publications and believed they were representative of the whole. Apparently not.
Bolgeo was completely taken aback by today’s complaint, and some of his friends are equal parts mystified and enraged. He set about trying to explain himself in this post, which says in part:
I have really tried my best to be color blind all my life. I think what torques me off the most is that The Revenge of Hump Day was called a Racist Rag by that dude. He even put one of the jokes on the page but left out the “Tacky Alert” point that I always put on something that is of a sensitive nature. Hell guys, I poke fun at Blacks, Whites, Indians, Baptists, Catholics, Italians, Irish, Jews, etc. I was raised with ethnic humor and I still enjoy it. He also cut and pasted all kinds of scandalous stuff from the Revenge only to leave out the headings on where it was or the complete article. I have always depended on the readership of the Revenge to keep me straight and balanced and I had thought that y’all had done a pretty good job of it. Yes, The Revenge of Hump Day is Politically Incorrect, but it is presented with tongue firmly planted in my cheek and hopefully will make people think about the ideas that are presented in it. A place where people can agree to disagree.
Times change. Archie Bunker got away with being an equal-opportunity-offender in 1971. That pose isn’t as widely accepted in the age of social media.
Archon will take place the first weekend in October.