Marty Cantor’s Corflu Report


The backsides of great fanzine fans. A rare view, rather like that famous photo of Churchill.

The 2011 Corflu in Sunnyvale, California
by Marty Cantor

For a hot-house plant like me, even Los Angeles can be cold in February. But a sweater, jacket, overcoat, gloves, and a hat can take care of that whilst the interior of the car warms up. Even over the Grapevine, that gateway to a fast drive on the I-5 north from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Or, to be more accurate, to Sunnyvale, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Even in Buttonwillow, 100 miles north of my North Hollywood starting point, where I stopped to put gas into my car, and thence to grab a bite to eat in the rest stop just north of that burg, the cold was barely tolerable when I removed my gloves to remove money from my wallet to pay for the fuel at the gas station and to hold the sandwich I consumed at the rest stop.

But what really warmed me up was the listening to some of my favourite music on my way north. CD players built into automobiles are a boon for people like me, people who like music at least a bit out of the mainstream.

See, I started out listening to two CDs of the secular music from the Renaissance, wonderful sounds from 400+ years in the past. I then moved up 200 years and listened to a CD of Ludwig von Beethoven’s overtures – and then got all modern listening to Catulli Carmina and Trionfo Di Afrodite by Carl Orff, modern music only 100 years old. I was listening to Orff’s Carmina Burana when I pulled into the parking lot of the Domain Hotel in Sunnyvale, the venue for this year’s Corflu, a con celebrating a part of science fiction fandom which started in the 1930s and sometimes feels like it has barely left that time despite the embrace of modern zine-creating technology.

And almost the first thing I did after registering at the hotel and moving things to my room was to take three other con-goers in my car and drive to the Winchester Mystery House for a tour of same. This weird and wonderful 160-room, Victorian mansion which was continuously a-building for 38 years (until the owner died) seemed a fitting start to a con dedicated to the ideals of what started our hobby. (Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs of any parts of the interiors of the mansion but photos aimed outward from porches and balconies were apparently not forbidden – and I shot some from those viewpoints.) Fandom does, of course, adapt to the new technology to continue producing fanzines, usually much easier to create than it was in bygone days; and, sometimes even showing better repro and other technical niceties.

This Corflu’s concom, though, tech-savvy as they were, did not keep their web site updated, so it was a decided shock to see some people show up who were not listed as members. Make that a “pleasant shock” in many cases, as non-listed Pat Virzi walked into the hotel lobby, and the totally unexpected appearance, walking down a hotel corridor, of Victor Gonzalez (with his wife, Tamara). Out of the past walked Gary Farber – or so it seemed at the time as I do not think that I had seen Gary since the 1984 Worldcon in Los Angeles. And, even though the day before I had been posting on an e-list where Graham Charnock was sending messages from London, England, awaiting the birth of his first grandchild, there he was in the hotel bar when I walked in.

One new person I met was Kat Templeton. On one or another of the e-lists I infest it had been mentioned that she was going to be producing a fanzine. I asked her about it and she told me it was half-finished. As, maybe, a spur to get her to do more fanzining, I handed her an envelope of Rotsler illos. I had used all of these illos during 2010 and I was originally going to give these to Earl Kemp for use in his on-line zine. But, with Earl not at the con this year, I saw no reason why I should not help a relative newcomer by giving her the Rotsler illos.

And one of those wonderful, unplanned happenings of cons are the totally unexpected connexions and meetings which spontaneously happen. I more or less slightly overslept on Saturday morning – but I was still the first person down for breakfast. I had just finished eating and was starting my second cup of coffee when Michael Dobson walked in and joined me. He told some interesting anecdotes about some people (non-fans) he knew in DC (where he lives) and we traded some anecdotes about Australia, a place we had both visited. At the time, I had been planning to take my second cup of coffee and walk up to my room and begin typing this con report on my computer, but it was really more interesting, talking to Michael, so I started working on this account about an hour later than planned. As cons are one of those things which are usually so interesting there is relatively no time during them to do any writing, the only time for typing is either before or just after breakfast for an early riser like me.

Friday night’s opening ceremonies were, well, opening-ceremony-like, with the only difference being me taking photographs with my brand-new camera. And, also, taking the microphone and announcing that I had copies of Len Moffatt’s fannish autobiography for sale, all proceeds to TAFF and DUFF. (A sudden weird thought – why is it always TAFF and DUFF rather than DUFF and TAFF? Probably it is because TAFF was here first rather than a more usual alphabetical listing. Still, some phrases always bother me because they are so backwards – like the phrase “back and forth”. I mean, how can one come back before one has gone forth? Et bloody silliness.)

As is the protocol at cons, at least for those of us who have been in fandom for awhile and who have attended some cons, almost more important than the usual official starting ceremonies are the individual greetings of those whom one has not seen since the last iteration of the con – especially at Corflus as this meeting of fanzine fans is often the only con attended by those of us who enjoy this part of fandom. Of particular enjoyment are the first meeting with fans with whom one has been corresponding in one or another milieu, often for some time, but with whom this is the first ever face-to-face meeting. such was the case in my meeting with Mike and Pat Meara, over from Old Blighty to experience the American iteration of Corflu and to see how it differs – if at all – from the English version of the con which they attended the previous year. Indeed, I met them almost as soon as I arrived at the con hotel. And they (along with Milt Stevens, the other Angeleno at the con) were my passengers as I drove them to the Winchester Mystery House, theoretically a 10-minute drive from the hotel – according to the map I downloaded before I left North Hollywood – but local traffic made that more than a bit of a joke. But get there we did, and I must say that we all enjoyed the tour of a house with cabinet doors which opened to blank walls, an outside door on a higher floor which opened up to open air and no stairs, a stairway up to a ceiling, a window in the floor, and many other strange constructions. Anybody interested in this over-large anomaly of a building can probably read about it in many places. Needless to say, joining with the British Sandra Bond and the three passengers she drove over from the hotel, we had a fascinating tour of this architectural pile.

After which we all returned to the hotel or went for a meal or did something before we went to the Opening Ceremonies. In my case, even though Milt and I shared a table in the hotel restaurant before going to the opening ceremonies, nothing much which happened on that Friday evening compared to the sensory overload of viewing the Winchester House. At the Opening Ceremonies I remember Carrie Root’s name being pulled from the box, therefore making her the Guest of Honour at this Corflu, but not all that much of what else happened at that event – except me making an announcement of the Len Moffatt autobiography which I had printed upon hearing of Len’s death. (This autobiography was a compilation of 9 episodes which Len wrote and which I had originally pubbed in nine different issues of my zine, NO AWARD (starting over 10 years ago).

Tired from all of this, I went to bed even earlier than usual. So, if anybody is interested in what I did at the room parties and such like at the con, please note that I am an early riser and rarely stay up until midnight at most cons. Indeed, even were I to stay up past midnight, I would be asleep anyway. A night person I am not – unless it is at the tail end of the night, as I awaken before sunup.

Programming at Corflus is always single track. Granted, there are not all that many people at these cons compared to, say, Worldcons, but these are all the sort of people with whom other fanzine fans love to hang around. And talk. And talk. And talk. So, even though whatever the programming at the con happens to be, tailored as it all is to the interests of fanzine fans, sometimes many of the attendees do not much bother the programming which is put on for their enjoyment/edification.

So be it.

This means that I missed the fannish trivia contest where four teams squared off to see which team knew the most useless information. The results, though: the Mike McInerny American team of John D Berry, Milt Stevens, and Gary Farber beat the Sandra Bond English team.
One item of interest was a slide presentation by Dave Hicks, a fanartist
brought to the con by the Corflu 50 group. Dave is a fanartist whose
artwork I would dearly love to showcase in any genzine I was putting
out. If I was putting one out …

In my case, I was only interested in the Fanzine Auction, put on at 8 on Saturday evening, given that I had brought items to auction off for DUFF. All of the items put up for bid at Corflu auctions are meant only for the support of various fannish charities, usually (and mostly) the various travel funds: TAFF, DUFF, GUFF, and the like. I have participated in fannish auctions before – as an auctioneer – and it turned out that this was to be no exception as Chris Garcia, the con chair, had not made arrangements for anybody else other than him to do the auctioning. As more and more fans straggled in from dinner, the auctioning got more spirited as more people began participating in the bidding. At the end of the scheduled hour, with only a few items left to auction, we called an end to the bidding so that those who had won items could pay for them and the next programme item could commence.

This was a fannish play, written by Andy Hooper. I always seem to enjoy reading them after the fact as I usually have conversations drag me away from the live productions – and this time was no different from the usual.

I went up to the con suite and got into some conversations, including a bit on the virtual con suite, a connexion to interested parties via the internet. This was most ably handled at the Corflu end by Kat Templeton.

Sunday morning saw Jack Calvert arriving for breakfast as I was going in for same. Yeah, I slightly overslept today, too. Jack is a member of LASFAPA, one of the two APAs I run, and he is also a member of Inthebar, the e-list founded by fan artist Harry Bell. As is all too common, I remember that Jack and I had a fine talk during breakfast, with me not remembering any of the details.

Sunday mornings at Corflus usually start slowly as the only scheduled programme item is the Banquet. Of course, eating food is only one of the things we do at the Banquet. The food at this Corflu’s Banquet was a brunch – in name, even though it was mostly breakfast food along with exceedingly spicy chili. Some of us who had already eaten breakfast at the hotel were slightly put out that essentially the same food for lunch. (An aside: a free, full breakfast was included in the price of our hotel rooms. Personally, I find that a wonderful change from the sweet roll and coffee combo called a free breakfast at some hotels. And, as a breakfast, it was very good.)

The food part of the Banquet was served in a room off the lobby of the hotel. So, when we finished our meal we moved to the room we used for Corflu functions, on a hallway in back of the elevators on the second floor. This is where the “business” of the con was then held. Starting with the nominations and voting for the Past President of FWA, Fanzine Writers of America. As explained by Ted White (who ran this part of the meeting), what the members of the con produce are fanzines, and whether drawn or typed, we are all writers, and no matter from whence we came, we are all Americans – at least for the purpose of FWA. And we always vote for last year’s President as there is never any current President of FWA. (Ted explained all this better than me but I was too busy taking photographs to write down any details.) Anyway, after some very spirited voting, Spike was voted Past President of FWA.

Then came the time for Spike to announce the winners of the FAAN Awards, with said Awards being carved on bronze plaques (by Tom Becker). First, though, there was a Special Lifetime Achievement Award given to Art Widner. Art got up to take the award and then sort of hesitated as he attempted to read the words on the plaque. Some wag – not me, this time – wondered, aloud, if the words on the plaque used Art’s spelling. Art mentioned something about them being in “dumb English.”

Below is a list of the FAAN Awards as voted on by fans:

Artist: Steve Stiles
Letterhack: Robert Lichtman
Fanzine: Robert Lichtman’s TRAP DOOR
Writer: Roy Kettle

Carrie Root then gave her Guest of Honor speech; which, in her case, was a slide show of a visit with relatives and Andy Hooper to northern New Mexico. It was well received.
There was then a discussion of where Corflu would be held in 2012, with Ted White presenting a bid for Las Vegas as none of the Vegrants were able to appear at this year’s con. Many of us have good memories of the Corflus previously held in Vegas, so it was with good heart that Las Vegas was awarded the 2012 Corflu.

The end of the Banquet is traditionally the end of the programming at Corflu. The Con Suite will remain open until around midnight or so and there are still get-togethers and fannish food expeditions afterwards, but many people leave for home on Sunday afternoon and evening. Being theoretically retired – well, I run the apartment building in which I live as a supplement to my Social Security check – I usually stay at the hotel an additional night and start my drive home early Monday morning. As I did, this time, except I had the “pleasure” of having rain or drizzle as an accompaniment to my driving all the way south until I arrived at the Grapevine. From the beginning of my ascent into the mountains – and for the remainder of the day – the Sun was shining brightly. A fitting end to a fine con.

Widner goes forward

Art Widner rises to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Art Widner deciphers his award plaque.

18 thoughts on “Marty Cantor’s Corflu Report

  1. “A rare view”

    I actually found it was absolutely the most common view. What was hard was to get shots of people not all facing away, or talking to each other. Most people don’t tend to spontaneously all turn in one direction.

    For a “rare view” I find that 90% of my pictures are apparently “rare” while 10% are common. Your camera must have very special traits, Marty. 🙂
    At risk of being a bit picky, your first four ‘graphs have nothing to do with Corflu, nice as it is to hear what music you like, how you drive, your gloves, the rest stop, and so on, but a bit of editing might have been nice. 🙂

    Ditto that the Winchester Mystery House is nice, but wtf does this have to do with Corflu? Or is this just cut-and-pasted in from a general trip report? (That would explain the non-Corflu report aspects, although the “cut” part might have been used.)

    “This Corflu’s concom, though, tech-savvy as they were, did not keep their web site updated, so”

    This concom pretty much consisted of Chris, who is always spread and thin. I found the lack of updates a bit frustrating, myself, but not worth complaining about; ditto a few other nits I could pick, but they’re all basically trivial.

    “…so it was a decided shock to see some people show up who were not listed as members.”

    I thought that was quite deducible precisely from the fact that so few people were listed, and the dates were listed so distantly in the past, but I’m glad you were pleasantly surprised, however odd that might be.

    “Out of the past walked Gary Farber”

    Actually it was out of Mike McInerney’s car, and my life, right where I’ve always been. It always amazes me the way that fans seem to think that if you’re not standing in front of them, waving your arms, you’ve disappeared. My name has never not been on the first page of google just for MY FIRST NAME ALONE, let alone that “Gary Farber” has never ever ever not been me as the #1 listing, and yet somehow that means I’ve “disappeared.”

    I fell over laughing some years ago when Mike wrote his “whatever happened to Gary Farber?” piece, and reported with astonishment that he was blogging!

    Yes, it’s almost as if I was one of the most googleable people on the planet, with millions of page views. But to Corflu fandom, made up of a couple of hundred people, if you don’t personally, I don’t know what, email them your words, or something, you’ve disappeared. To say this is immensely bizarre is an understatement; I might just as well say that “Corflu walked out of the past,” and that would seem a lot more accurate, given how old most people are, and how obscure the milieu is int he world, but that would be silly, since we’re all right we’re we always are: in front of ourselves, and in front of those who pay attention to each of us.

    Having said that, it was delightful to see you, and everyone else, especially the 99% who were pleasant to me. 🙂 I wouldn’t have come, otherwise, and I had a great time.

    But it’s not as if I’m not all over fandom; I’ve never not blogged about it, I rather imagine that more tens of thousands of people, at a minimum, read about fandom from what I write than most of Corflu put together, I show up on all sorts of fannish online places, from blogs to LJ to getting stuff posted on, to, to Cheryl Morgan’s place, and not to mention quite frequently writing for that mysterious site, “” 🙂

    Where I rarely see you. 🙂

    “Still, some phrases always bother me because they are so backwards – like the phrase “back and forth”. I mean, how can one come back before one has gone forth?”

    Because first you retrace your steps, and then you travel somewhere else. You’re misunderstanding the phrase. “Forth” doesn’t mean “back,” or we’d be saying “back and then back again.” That’s not what the phrase means. Except that in a descriptive sense it does, and then we’re into how prescriptivist versus descriptivist we prefer to be, and then we’re into linguistics.

    Perhaps this will help:

    wing (v.)
    O.E. swingan “to rush, fling oneself,” from P.Gmc. *swenganan (cf. O.S., O.H.G. swingan, O.Fris. swinga, Ger. schwingen “to swing, swingle, oscillate”) denoting “violent circulatory motion.” The meaning “move freely back and forth” is first recorded 1540s. The noun meaning “a stroke with a weapon” is from late 14c.; sense of “an apparatus that swings” is first recorded 1680s. Meaning “shift of public opinion” is from 1899. The meaning “variety of big dance-band music with a swinging rhythm” is first recorded 1933, though the sense has been traced back to 1888; its heyday was from mid-30s to mid-40s. Swinging “uninhibited” dates from 1958; and swinger “person who is lively in an unrestrained way” is from 1965. Both had various other slang senses traceable to 1590s. Swing shift first recorded 1941, typically 4 p.m. to midnight. Phrase in full swing “in total effect or operation” (1560s) probably is from bell-ringing.

    It means:

    Definition of BACK AND FORTH
    : backward and forward; also : between two places or persons
    […] First Known Use of BACK AND FORTH

    Mike Dobson and I chat daily, if not more, on the Dread Facebook, by the way; we’ve gotten to know each other vastly more better there than we ever did in person.

    At the Opening Ceremonies I remember Carrie Root’s name being pulled from the box, therefore making her the Guest of Honour at this Corflu, but not all that much of what else happened at that event

    You might want to watch the video, then.

    Probably Kat Templeton wouldn’t have been so new to you, also, if you chatted with her frequently, as I do, You Know Where. 🙂

    “Granted, there are not all that many people at these cons compared to, say, Worldcons, but these are all the sort of people with whom other fanzine fans love to hang around.”

    Yes, they’re almost like “other people” that way. 🙂

    Some of us who had already eaten breakfast at the hotel were slightly put out that essentially the same food for lunch.

    Er, knowing that would be the case, some of us felt it best to not deliberately try to eat two meals immediately after, which wasn’t a difficult choice to make, given that breakfast ran from 7-10, the Banquet started at 11:30, and if you chose not to ask what was being served, well, it’s a shame you were put out by somehow not figuring out this complex matter, but some of us were quite pleased with the food in both cases, although I confined myself to the free breakfast on Friday and Saturday, myself. I do hope you didn’t suffer indigestion.

    (Ted explained all this better than me but I was too busy taking photographs to write down any details.)

    Again, you might find watching the video helpful.

    Anyway, after some very spirited voting, Spike was voted Past President of FWA.

    As I already wrote on this blog yesterday, but to elaborate, John D. Berry was first nominated by Andy Hooper saying “Mr. Chairman, I nominate John D. Berry,” Ted said “wait we need a second on that,” I yelled “Second,” so did others, Ted then said “Andy?,” who then repeated “I nominate John D. Berry,” there were various seconds, Ted said “and we have a second, are there any other nominations?”

    Bill Burns then asked if the chat room could nominate, Ted said “I don’t know, does the chat room *have* a nomination?” (which one might think Ted could deduce from Bill’s question, unless he thought Bill was simply asking for no point), someone then noted that John Purcell was nominating Robert Lichtman,” Ted pointed out he was “already serving,” that was taken as a “no,”

    Carrie Root said “I would like to nominate Spike, we need a girl on that list,” there were seconds, including by me, Ted said “okay,” asked “do we have any other nominations?,” there was some redundant chatter in which all agreed that Spike had been seconded, there was more rhubarb from the streaming part of the con about Nic Farey having or being nominated, I suggested that, yes, they should be allowed to nominate, Ted said “all right, we have a nomination for Nic Farey,” he was corrected that Nic was nominating Roy Kettle, Ted was puzzled, but got this straight, there was chatter about how Nic had been nominated (online), but declined, Ted then got confused, there was more chatter straightening this out, (this would be a lot easier if the chat had been projected on the giant screen right behind Ted which was later used to present Carrie’s GOH trip report, but clearly no one thought of this quite trivially easy thing to do [plug in a damn USB or VGA or other cable]), there was much laughter as this this confusion was untangled, Roy was seconded, Ted then declared that “four is enough, don’t you think?”

    I missed where Graham Charnock had been nominated, but the vote was then taken, and was almost a tie between John D. and Spike, I asked, knowing the answer, if we could vote for both, since I was torn, then there was a revote, and Spike apparently won by some unmentioned number by Ted, after there was some discussion of a tie, which Ted said wouldn’t happen, there will be many future years.

    As an aside, I was torn because Spike has done an enormous amount for fandom, Carrie was right about having more women, and Spike has been more active more recently. Yet overall, John D had been active for decades longer, been far more influential in fanzine fandom overall, and thus there were good arguments for both, which is why I wished I could have voted for both, and knew I’d feel guilty either way.

    Then came the Awards, and I’m tired of narrating this minute by minute, so watch the damn video if you’re interested. 🙂

    Ditto the video of everything else Marty mentioned, save that my memory card gave up halfway through Carrie’s speech/slide/trip report.

    (Which reminded me to get a 16 gig card, not a 4gig, or to at least have brought my other 4 gig card down from the room, but oh, well, and it was about then that I collapsed in pain and exhaustion, anyway, and immense thanks to Audry Trend for noticing and helping me out.)

    Thanks muchly for your con report, Marty; it was very enjoyable, however picky I may have seemed here. And it was truly delightful to see you, and like so many there, if not everyone, I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk more.

  2. This comment, almost as long as the report, reminds me of something a reviewer in The New York Review of Books once said in response to an author who complained about a less-than-complimentary review of his latest volume: “May heaven preserve us from the taking of offence that is longer than the alleged offence itself”.

  3. @Gary: Blame me for the “rare view” caption. Marty sent me this particular photo because he was reluctant to have me post photos of people without first obtaining their permission. At first I thought it of no use, til I remembered the time Churchill turned his back on a photographer who went ahead and took a picture anyway.

    My personal yardstick is that photos of people taken in the public areas at public events are fair game for news coverage. Other factors to be weighed depend on the picture.

  4. As far as I’m concerned, the music Marty was listening to is the mainstream.

    Yes, it’s “TAFF and DUFF” rather than the other way around because TAFF came first. At the time joint auctions were initiated, DUFF was still very much a tentative newcomer while TAFF was already well-established.

    I’d call that food at the buffet taco meat rather than chili. And yes, it was rather spicy, more than I’d expect would appeal to folks who dislike spicy food.

  5. My personal yardstick is that photos of people taken in the public areas at public events are fair game for news coverage.

    I don’t want to go into this all over, but let’s say that major members presenting the program and awards and accepting don’t share your view, so you should take it up with them. I’m really really beyond tired of the subject.

    My aim is to be courteous as possible, and not tell people that their views on privacy are absurd, because everyone has a right to their own views, and if I say anything more, I’m back into it again, since, really, that’s the sum of it, save that trying to please everyone is impossible.

  6. Actually, I have to note that it was Marty who stood up at the banquet and yelled across the room at me that I shouldn’t take his picture because Facebook was… something or other, and he wanted to have nothing to do with it.

    I take it his views had nothing to do with privacy, given that there’s nowhere more possibly private to post anything, other than an https system like a bank, than Facebook, where everything is configurable, and privacy can be set to “me only,” or just a given individual, or any two individuals, or three, or any group, or so on.

    But I don’t want to conflate anyone’s views, nor do I want to get into personalities, since at least one person who has strong views that pictures should not be taken at conventions is a good friend, while another is someone I have nothing but admiration for, but does not seem to hold a return view, and in one case I respect the person’s views, even though I don’t hold them myself, and think they may be somewhat unrealistic, in the other case, I really have no idea what the issues are, since the person more or less wasn’t speaking to me, and in Marty’s case, I don’t know what his views are other than, apparently, Facebook is evil, which a lot of folks seem to believe, although every time I ask them about it, they tend to know nothing whatever about FB save some vague idea from some article long ago that is about as dated as something from the 19th century, given that FB changes its software literally every few minutes.

    The entire photo system was changed over the weekend.

    Yes, it’s “TAFF and DUFF” rather than the other way around because TAFF came first. At the time joint auctions were initiated, DUFF was still very much a tentative newcomer while TAFF was already well-established.

    Yeah, I thought that was obvious, but Marty already more or less acknowledged it, and I was already feeling like I was being too picky, and as Joseph noted, rather long, although again, I could be accurate and long and fill in Marty’s “I don’t know what happened,” or short and uninformative.

    Ironically, since so many people expressed such strong views on privacy, I figured I would never post any pictures on my blog, but only on FB, where I could control privacy, so I’m startled to see photos here, and kinda banging my head against the wall again. I wish people would make up their minds.

    “Other factors to be weighed depend on the picture.”

    I was blanket told that pictures taken of the Faan Awards being given out, and the rest of the ceremonies at the podium that involved certain people were forbidden, by the person who objected, who was a crucial part of such. So I didn’t video those, or take pictures. Ditto the other pictures consisted of people sitting in full view of the hotel security cameras, and all the fans, in the hotel lobby.

    I carefully didn’t post any, save that one upload to Facebook, viewable by no one but those on my Friends list, accidentally included two shots of two people sitting on a couch in the middle of the lobby, I deleted them as soon as I saw them, which was after they were up for all of two minutes, but then, due to the aforementioned FB software changes, FB reposted them while I was asleep, by which time I had received angry third party objections.

    Of course I would have immediately deleted the offending shots as soon as I’d seen that they were back up, no matter what, but I was struck by all sorts of oddities here.

    1) There’s no way the offended party could see those shots, since OP is not on Facebook.

    2) Therefore the only way the OP could be aware of them is if someone did violate the privacy of, in no particular order, the Offended Party, Facebook’s Terms of Service, and my own privacy, given that the whole point of FB’s privacy policy is to, you know, keep things private.

    3) The message conveyed referred to the Offending PArty commenting on a specific aspect of one of the two photos, which made seemed to make almost certain that the OP had actually seen the photo in question, which mean that:
    a) My own privacy was violated, since someone broke through FB’s rules to download my picture, violate FB privacy policy, and not incidentally violate my copyright.
    b) this was all absurd since all the person who saw them had to do was drop me a private note saying “gee, I see you posted a picture of X, and you know X didn’t want that, what happened?” and I’d have said “oh, damn,” looked, seen what happened, and did what I already would have done anyway, which is instantly taken down the shot.

    Instead, this message was posted to the thread with the pictures, helpfully NOTIFYING ALL MY FRIENDS TO GO LOOK (not that more than maybe 3 would care, particularly since most of them aren’t from sf fandom, and since the way FB works, everything is, as you know, Mike, seen scattershot, and unless someone goes to a moderate amount of clicking and searching for a specific album, almost no one will see anything anyway, Friend or not, but all of which seems a very peculiar way to defend someone’s privacy.

    So whomever did this wasn’t exactly being helpful, but instead apparently was playing “let’s you and X” fight.

    4) Failing that, OP/X could have just dropped me the same note privately, and it all would have been quiet and no nothing to anyone.

    5) Because of all this I can’t help but think that OP told someone to specifically check my album for Evil Violations, although possibly there’s some other explanation, though it leaves me very curious what that could be, given how unlikely it all seems, but, hey, I’m not omniscent, so there could be any number of possible explanations, including pure coincidence, people simply not thinking, accident, or my simply not imagining all the possible scenarios.

    6) This all seems to me to be incredibly petty and a great waste of everyone’s time, when a little bit of assumption of good faith and kindness would have gone a long way to avoid a lot of fuss over nothing, but, hey, this is fandom, and this sort of thing seems all too common, and it’s one of the aspects of fandom that doesn’t endear me to it.

    Whatever else might be involved here I can only speculate about, and frankly I’ve already spent about 50 times more time time and energy on this than I wanted to, which was zero, other than doing my best to be courteous and respectful of everyone’s wishes, but instead I’ve gotten lots of hassle, so: sheesh. This all seems deeply silly to me.

    I think that women have very good reasons, in particularly, to not want to feel harassed, and I think that people caught in embarrassing moments who might have future employment concerns have entirely legitimate concerns, although most of this disappears if posted on Facebook, where no employer can see it, and where any specific person or set of persons can be excluded from seeing it, but, again, it’s not for me to judge other people’s reasoning, and I’d never ask anyone to justify themselves to me; I simply as a matter of courtesy respect people’s wishes.

    But it all does, in aggregate, seem rather odd, and I’d wonder what the heck is involved in a couple of these cases, since clearly assumptions of good will on the part of at least a couple of people don’t seem to have been involved. Which seems a shame.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we just were, you know, nice to each other, kind, thoughtful;, and assumed good will? Peace and love? Whatever happened to those ideals?

  7. This comment, almost as long as the report […]

    Joseph, I love you dearly, and I mean this only in the most affectionate way possible, but isn’t there something a tad ironic about your complaining about long letters of comment?


  8. Um, Gary is misremembering something. Yes, I intensely dislike Facebook, but for reasons he does not seem to know: the assholery of the company thinking that it OWNs *everything* posted on it and can do with it what it wants. Therefore, when Gary came over to the table at which I was sitting, he eventually got into a discussion with another person sitting at that table about her not wanting to have him pub her photograph on Facebook, I opined – whilst Gary was sitting there – my views on that slimy company. At which point Gary got up and left. He can continue to hold his views – I will continue to hold mine – but there is no physical way I can yell anything across any room of talking people as my voice cannot do that. Indeed, if everybody at my table had been talking at the time of my “Facebook” comment, I could not have been heard by him or anybody not sitting right next to me as even my “shouting” is not loud. My regular speaking voice is almost as loud as any shouting I do.

  9. “I deleted them as soon as I saw them, which was after they were up for all of two minutes, but then, due to the aforementioned FB software changes, FB reposted them while I was asleep.”

    It seems to me that, regardless of anything else that subsequently happened, this more than justifies the unkind comments about FB that Marty supposedly “shouted” at you “across the room” (across the table, more like). You want kindness, peace and love, goodwill? It might be a good idea to stop enabling an evil institution that undercuts all those noble purposes by turning innocent people into unintentional violators.

  10. I am a strong proponent of new electronic forms of fanac but reading Gary’s comments I can see one great advantage a fanzine has over a blog — a WAHF list.

  11. Well, in fairness, I admit that I’m somewhat shy, especially in a situation that I’m not overly familiar with. Given that this was my first actual Corflu in which I was on the Corflu side of the glass and not on the virtual side, that first Friday was spent mostly trying to get my bearings and figure out who these people were and what relation they had to the names I’d been reading in various fanzines and lists.

    And Gary, there’s a difference between knowing somebody via a medium like Facebook (or a mailing list, which is how I ‘know’ Marty), and actually seeing the flesh and blood person in front of you. For the most part, except for the locals (like Chris), most everybody in this place was completely new to me. (I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know that the way somebody presents themselves on the tubes (or in fanzines, for that matter) is not necessarily the way they present themselves in the real world.)

    Marty, I didn’t thank you enough for the illios, but I plan to put them to good use, as I’m hoping to have Rhyme #1 out by June.

    As for running the Corflu end of the virtual consuite, it’s a tough job, and I really appreciate all the encouragement and thanks people have been giving me for my part in it. It’s not exactly the easiest job, and being it was my first time doing the job, I was trying to concentrate on getting the feed out. The one time we did attempt to run a feed of the chat to the TV in the consuite, Lenny and I spent about an hour and a half trying to get it to behave as all the pieces wouldn’t work together properly. We’re still in an odd position when it comes to doing these things, as the technology is getting better, but it’s really dependent on cost.

    I could have done some pretty nifty technowizardry if (a) I’d had a lot more time to think about it — as it was, the job of the consuite fell into my lap the weekend before Corflu and (b) I had the resources to buy the equipment that would make things work. If I were doing it in my dream fashion, I’d have a couple of computers, three or four cameras for various angles, a soundboard for making the sound work properly, and a few microphones so all the proceedings could be captured. As it was, I had a cheap webcam, a five year old laptop, and a cell phone. It is what it is, and I was doing the best I could despite the circumstances.


  12. I now have the interview with Art up in two parts. The first part, currently, is flipped sideways, due to Facebook’s badly written software which theoretically should let me flip it with a click, but won’t, so I’ll probably run it through some editing software at some later point, maybe in an hour, maybe in a week or more, flip it, and repost it, and then probably repost it at one of my own blogs, so don’t count on this being here forever; Mike, when I get around to posting them, I suppose, at Amygdala, I’ll drop you a line.

    Part 1 is unfortunately also noisy, as I simply did this on impulse, and suddenly remembered in the middle of chatting with Art in the con suite (which was really just two smallish rooms) that I had a Canon PowerShot on my hip, and I’d already been using it for video, and that who knows when I might see Art again (although I’ve now realized I might actually see him again in two weeks at Potlatch, but also didn’t know that at the time, and besides, I don’t know for a fact that he’ll be there, all I know is that he’s on the membership list), so the first part is, unfortunately, also a bit noisy.

    Part II is a second part because I at that point pulled him into the hallway, where it’s much quieter. 🙂

    This *should* be viewable by all, at least temporarily, and if it isn’t, try refreshing your brower, and if that doesn’t work, try closing your browser, making sure the process really has quit, then open it and try again, if that doesn’t work, try a restart of your computer, if that doesn’t work, it could be a Facebook glitch, or a hundred other things, so good luck.

    Part 1, for the moment, sideways:

    Part 2:

    Please note this: Video copyright © Gary Farber 2011; permission to reproduce or upload this anywhere is NOT GRANTED without written permission from [email protected]. Ask, and ye shall probably receive, but I want to know first, and then give you permission. Thank you for this. If you want to put this on YouTube, I WILL grant permission, but ONLY with my written authorization.

    And, Mike, I’ll eventually grant you permission to repost if you like, but I’m afraid I’m going to be selfish for a bit, and first post it on my own blog, and then let other have it.

    Not that it’s anything all that special, it’s just impromptu, and those familiar with Art’s stories may find them familiar, but many aren’t, and so it is what it is.

    Marty: “Yes, I intensely dislike Facebook, but for reasons he does not seem to know: the assholery of the company thinking that it OWNs *everything* posted on it and can do with it what it wants. ”

    Marty, this isn’t the time or place, but here are the actual legal terms you’re referring to, and those are the facts, make of them what you wish to: Facebook Terms of Service. This is written in very plain English, and is also legally binding.

    Similarly their current privacy controls: Privacy.

    I assume you’ve read these, and thus know what you’re talking about, but people can make up their own minds, since those are the facts.

    On you own views, Marty, I certainly don’t know what you think, have thought, or will think, as we didn’t discuss the topic, and in any case, I’m certainly not going to claim to represent anyone else’s views better than they do; I have enough trouble writing something clearly representing my own views, which happen to often change in light of changing events, or my rethinking something, possibly as soon as five minutes later. As we say on the internet, YMMV, or “Your Mileage May Vary.”

    Thanks for correcting any misunderstanding I may have, or may have left. I’m also perfectly willing to believe that I misremembered what happened. My memory is somewhat different, but memory is unreliable, and I’m glad to have your version, and won’t in the least contest it; yours certainly may be more accurate than mine; at the very least, I was distracted by pain, noise, etc. Thanks again for making your view clear, and I apologize for any unintentional misrepresentation on my part.

    I probably should have written my previous comment here more slowly and carefully, but so it goes.

  13. “It might be a good idea to stop enabling an evil institution that undercuts all those noble purposes by turning innocent people into unintentional violators.”

    DB, the same exact thing can be said of WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, Yahoo, Google, and so on, including the software Mike uses to edit and post his words here, then post them to the internet, save that Facebook actually protects privacy and this blog software does not.

    If you think you know otherwise, I invite you to examine the links above with the actual facts, and then decide for yourself.

    I will ask if you’ve actually done this, and thus are basing your opinion on the facts, or if you might cite or link to or describe what you are basing your opinion on.

    Moral judgments I leave for each person to make for themselves, just as everyone is free to make their own choices as to what software to use, how to blog, do a fanzine, throw a convention, and so on. Thanks for your views.

  14. Eric: “I am a strong proponent of new electronic forms of fanac but reading Gary’s comments I can see one great advantage a fanzine has over a blog — a WAHF list.”

    Eric, I can see one advantage “new electronic forms of fanac” which have only been around since I was getting printouts of SF-Lovers on ARPANET in 1978, a mere 33 years ago, have, over a printed fanzine, which are called “scroll keys.”

    Moreover, last I looked, lots of fans post to, and read there, but possibly this “new form” isn’t one you use, and is merely instead read by I have no idea how many people, and I suppose no trufen are on “new” email lists, which have again only been around since Listserv first came into use in 1988, and ditto that the hundreds of thousands of fans who use the web don’t count, and so on.

    Really, everyone is entitled to their own views, and if I didn’t care about fanzines, I wouldn’t read lots of them at, wouldn’t have gone to Corflu, wouldn’t have taken home many fanzines, wouldn’t have read them, wouldn’t have noticed that, say, Rich Coad’s new issue of Sense Of Wonder Stories didn’t have a long piece by Peter Weston compiled of… excerpts from a fannish mailing list from 2005, that the new issue of Banana Wings is jammed with URLs as footnotes, that one Eric Mayer has his zines here, and that he is posting his comments on this blog, a “new” electronic form of fanac created in 1997, which were first called “zines,” and so on.

  15. Mike Ward, thanks very much for the link to your photos. I notice that in this one you have a photo of someone who was quite emphatic to me that his pictures were not to be posted anywhere on the internet.

    I don’t speak for him, so I merely note this. It’s none of my business.

  16. DB: “It might be a good idea to stop enabling an evil institution that undercuts all those noble purposes by turning innocent people into unintentional violators.”

    David, setting aside the fact that most of the sf community, fan and pro is there, as is 60% of the American population, as is your own wife, and setting aside that we don’t pay any money, I don’t click on any ads, and so I fail to see how I’m “enabling” anything, I’ll note that you choose to have a journal on LiveJournal, post there frequently, despite being notoriously security vulnerable, full of controversialpolicies which have led many to quit it over the years, is owned by a Russian company which:

    However, expatriated Russians have expressed concerns, citing links between the company and state security. Some have also worried that SUP’s purchasing of the community was less to make a profit and more to curtail or even dissolve the strong independent Russian blogging community, silencing dissent the government found inconvenient.[65] These concerns started with the licensing deal, and have grown with the announcement of the sale.

    LiveJournal was sold to SUP in December 2007.[66][67]

    So I remain unclear on why you are “enabling” this “evil institution,” and I’d be curious to know which international mega corporations you deem it appropriate to make use of while giving them no money to. I’d like to be morally correct as possible, and if you could direct me to a list of which companies that I give no money to I could boycott, I’d find that helpful.

    As possibly would be Mike Glyer, who is on Facebook, most of SFWA, and most of fandom.

    This is a deeply silly discussion.

    And if we wish to get all faanish about long comments, I don’t recall Gary Deindorfer being denounced for long locs, nor Rick Sneary, nor, well, okay some had trouble with rich brown, but he was a lovely sweet man, and then there was Dave Hulvey, and really, I can’t help but feel that there are some personal elements to all this by some, mixed with a considerable amount of confusion, and I’d like to note that at no time have I ever tried in any way to persuade you or anyone to use Facebook.

    You’ll recall that the subject came up very momentarily at Debbie Notkin and Alan Bostick’s New Year’s Eve Party, and what I said in response to your bringing up your views on Fb was simply that it had its pros and cons and everyone should make their own choice.

    And that’s my view. I now hope to walk away from this discussion, because it doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere productive for anyone, nor very pleasant for any of us. Certainly I don’t find it pleasant. People should do as they wish regarding what online services they use, in my opinion. If you want to denounce others, go right ahead, but I’m out of this.

  17. Like most corporate apologists, Gary Farber’s attempts exercise the art of Not Getting It. Here’s a small note from the clue factory: LJ has never reposted, without my initiation, anything that I’ve ever deleted from there, whether it had been up for two minutes or two years, which is what you said FB did to you. Kindly show me exactly where in the oh-so-perfect FB privacy policy it reserves the right to do this, and I will show you a lack-of-privacy policy. If the FB privacy policy does not say this, then it is worth about as much to protect privacy as the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics protected human rights.

    And FB does this, and other things, like it, all the time. If you genuinely are not aware of the massive complaints against FB’s undermining its privacy policy, changing default settings without notifying users, etc. etc. bloody etc. – to a degree far outstripping anything the other platforms you mention do (LJ has perpetrated some pretty hamhanded censorship from time to time, but it doesn’t try to distribute your private data without your knowledge) – if you’re genuinely unaware of this, you shouldn’t be pontificating about social networks.

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