ROFLcon 08

April 28, 2008

So I just discovered every time I type “Tron Guy” into a post, it somehow gets posted on Tron Guy’s actual livejournal. I think that’s amazing. Read about his experience at ROFLcon here.

ROFLcon was a lot of fun. Learned a lot of cool stuff at the conference and saw some great stuff too. There was a lot of stuff about gender and the web, and why panels were mostly male-dominated and why there are “no women on the internet.” I have my own theories about this, the most valid (in my opinion) being that women aren’t as accepted if they suscribe to “low comedy.” Women are ostracized if they participate in low humor… It’s not as easy for women to get away with fart jokes, and although bodily humor is becoming more prevalent among women, it is still not the forefront. A lot of men suscribe to low humor on the internet, and therefore, a large part of readers/etc are men.

The other thing I thought was really interesting about ROFLcon was the presence of Anonymous. It was unannounced on the website (it was slotted as “mystery” on the schedule) and I was excited about going when I heard. They recently protested in Boston at the scientology center.

So as they started showing their video about fighting scientology and whatnot, I felt really good about it, thinking that this is an organization I could wholeheartedly support. I’m not against religion or believing in whatever you want to believe in (sure, Aliens. Believe in it. I don’t have a problem with that.) But I am truly against an organization that bases itself entirely around money. Because they are a “religion” they are tax exempt. To learn more within the church, you have to “donate” thousands of dollars. Why do we mostly hear about celebrities being scientologists? Because they can afford it.

So as Anonymous got on with their presentation (it was 5 people in the Guy Faukes mask – thats their thing) I quickly discovered that this wasn’t about exposing the truths about a “religion” or changing the recognition of Scientology, it was about making mischief and having “fun.” Most of the answers the Anons gave were about them “having fun” making trouble for scientology.

And thats where I found my issue. I certianly couldn’t support a “Project Mayhem” sort of organization that wasn’t there to make a difference, but to have “fun”. They talk about morality and exposing the truths (they use the term “Moral Fags” on their website and within their own community) but trying to expose an organization “for fun” and not to make a difference sounded like it had no morality behind it at all.

I’m not saying what Anonymous is doing is wrong, or that everyone within Anonymous feels like they’re just doing this for fun, but having those 5 represent an organization full of thousands of people was a poor decision in my opinion, and it really rubbed me the wrong way.

This guy signed the lunchbox (which I bought) he designed for the conference. He was realllllly nice and very humble.

That’s another thing. Out of all of the “internet celebrities” that were at the conference, The Brothers Chapman of Homestar Runner were probably the cockiest people there. I was really turned off by that. Everyone else was incredibly humble and flattered by the amount of people that showed up to see them.

Leeroy Jenkins was the MC. Only my little brother knew who he was. And the WOW people in the audience. Holy God. Hahaha.

Maybe I’ll talk a bit more about it later. I haven’t even talked about the “Sleeper Hits of the Internet” yet. It was awesome.

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2 Responses to “ROFLcon 08”

  1. anonh20 said

    I kind of have to disagree with your evaluation of our panel, unless we came across really poorly with our message. Our intent is to change the perception of the Church of Scientology, however we want to do it while keeping things light for the members of the group, mainly to ensure people stay interested.

    I stated multiple times that I found front groups like CCHR to be deplorable, as well as the abuse the Co$ heaps upon its parishioners.

    I think for a lot of people, the Church of Scientology’s ridiculous response to us has made things fun, and has kept interest high for many old school anons who are more interested in things like raiding habbo or whatever.

    But please be certain that there is a large percentage of us who are in this for the long haul because we believe that what the Church of Scientology does to its members, the abuse of the irs, their stranglehold on the media are all serious offenses that need more light shed on them.

  2. natalielewis said

    I appreciate a response, and I’m glad you were able to articulate yourself clearly in your post.

    Quite frankly, I thought the video you guys had was really powerful, and it initially drew me in to what you guys had to say. But I would say that two out of the four anons on the panel (not the moderator) stated that (almost verbatim) that they were doing it “for fun”. I can tell you that I spoke to a number of other people at the conference about it (because I thought that maybe I was the only one that felt that way about the panel) and they seemed to agree that it seemed that Anon was more about making mischief than actually making a difference. Protests were referred to as “parties” more than once during the panel, and it certainly skewed my opinion about what “Anonymous” was about anyway.

    While I completely support the organization trying to change the views the world has on scientology and whatnot, I can’t commit to an organization that prides itself on it’s “parties” and “having fun” more than the difference than they’re making. And yes, I consider myself a “moral fag” for thinking these things… in fact I feel like I’m more morally faggy than a lot of Anon members.

    Again, I appreciate your comment and clarification, although I will still politely disagree. Hopefully next time Anon has a discussion like they did at ROFLcon, less emphasis will be on the “fun” and more on the change.

    Best. N

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