Posted by Sari
Firstly, props to all who made the con happen: ad astra per aspera (which, the internet tells me is not only a popular latin tag as I thought, but also the motto of both the Starfleet and the state of Kansas. The things you learn). Special thanks and congratulations go to Anne for a huge job well done ( also apparently winning some prize or another...) I was also very happy to see that our wedding present for Eemeli and Saija had found gainful employment :-)
I had fun, which is pretty rare for me, being a very contrary (heh) person. I enjoyed meeting old friends, and talking to new people. I have no idea if my own program items went well or not, but I enjoyed doing them. Being a part of programming ended up bitter-sweetly being also a way to remember Leena who was a wonderful and wise co-panelist the first time I braved actually performing at Finncon.
I could have seen more of the programming, but I liked what I saw. Jukka’s interviews with Joe and Liz were, I thought biasly, pretty great, and enjoyed a lot listening to the grumpy “old” women complaining about SF-related things. You have no idea how old I felt every time Senja started a sentence with “when we were young”…
I also saw the “salaiset kansiot” –panel. I am really interested in the way it has been percieved in the net, some people like it some (like the chairman himself) were not that impressed. Me being me, I am taking this little bit meta. I think The panel was a really old-school Finncon panel. Remember the time when Finncon was at Vanha Ylioppilastalo, had basically one program track, people were allowed to bring their pints on the stage and nobody really understood what it said in Tähtivaeltaja’s con-report? This was the kind of off-the-cuff lets-just-go-up-there-and-spout-bullshit –kind of panel Finncon used to have more. Because there was a sort of an assumption that most of the people there knew that if you put people like Hiltunen and Halme on stage result would be weird unstructured and (hopefully) funny hour of non sequiturs about underwater nazi zombies.
It was also an old-school panel in the sense that it played with inside information about fandom. Fandom as a collective knows about Aleksi’s underwear (no, he is never going to live that down), Petri’s fascination with sharks and that Ninni’s Pasinen has a thing about physics. Jukka knows that Marko is no friend of time travelling, that Ilja knows a thing or two about bad movies nobody should know, and that Vuorensola is right there on the first row, so he can riff off them all.
I think Finncon needs these program items where the bar is not set that high (or far…) and which rely more on us being a fandom than what is going on on on the stage. They can be successful or less succesful, you never know how the dynamics of the situation go, but they need to be there. Because the one thing Finncon really is at the moment in danger of loosing is the feeling of communality. Selling SF to the masses, being a big carnevalesque cultural festival and drawing in new people needs to be balanced with fandom doing things for fandom. And that is why I enjoyd “salaiset kansiot” panel immensly though it was silly and juvenile and really never went anyhwere. It reminded me of Finncon 1991 when I was a neo and decided that this was a tribe to which I want to belong.