Week of November 3, 2004

Good luck at FOX News; they obviously need your kind of journalistic "help." Yeah, right.
Chris M. Barkley
Middletown, Ohio

We Heart all kinds: While admittedly so there is a lot of partying at Archon, there are a lot of things that are taken very seriously. Most everyone has a hobby of some sort. Be it cars, fishing, model building -- the list could go on and on.

For quite a few of us, though, in the costuming aspect of things, Archon can be the culmination of a year or more work on a costume. Archon's masquerade is one of the most professional and top-ranked in the costuming world, and while there are some acts that go at it as fun, others have painstakingly researched the character or costume that they present in their one minute of fame on the masquerade stage. Some have spent a sizable amount of money and hours constructing their entry. For a lot of us, the Archon masquerade is the World Series of convention masquerades. We do take it very seriously.

It does take all kinds to make up sci-fi fandom, just as it takes all kinds to make up any group. You have some of your more reserved members and some of your more outgoing and raucous members as well. No group of many should be judged by a few.

For myself, sci-fi is an escape from my 9-to-5 job of doing data entry. I sit and stare at a screen in what could be considered a very mundane and boring life. The weekend of Archon is one of the few times I can actually go have fun and get out of the binds of normalcy of a desk job. How many will go fishing, go to an auto race, or any other event over a weekend and not relax and let go? Isn't that the point of doing something different on a weekend?

While there is a large amount of partying that goes on at Archon, there are a lot of other things that go on that aren't. Archon has always been a fun and relaxing weekend with friends. Isn't that something we all need in our lives?
Christopher "Tyger" Roth
St. Louis

We said we Heart FOX News: It's a shame that with all of the access Mike Seely had to Archon 28, the best article he could write about the convention was the snarky, condescending hatchet job that appeared as your cover story. The overemphasis on the partying obscures the more worthwhile aspects of fandom at Archon.

Archon is much more than drunken, hedonistic geeks, and with a little effort Mr. Seely could have uncovered these facts: Archon sponsors a charity art auction each year; the Archon Masquerade has been the starting point for several local fans who are now working in LA as F/X artists; programming has included topics on cryptography, Egyptology, feasible alternatives to fossil fuel and other worthwhile non-frivolous topics; Archon has hosted writers' workshops that have helped jumpstart local writers; Archon has showcased writers that were superstars (Stephen King) or just starting out who later became well known in the field (Joe Haldeman, George R.R. Martin, C.J. Cherryh).

Oh well, when Mr. Seely decides to move on from the Riverfront Times, perhaps he can find a job as a spinmeister at one of the national political parties or as a reporter for FOX News.
Jim and Donna Bakke, chairs
Archon 5, 6 , 7 and 8
University City

Beenie There
The big Beenie picture, Take 1: Thank you for shedding light on an issue that is misunderstood by people who have only a superficial view of it [Erik K. Arnold, "Chi-Chi Man Eye for the Straight Guy," October 20]. I don't condone persecution of anyone for their beliefs, and as a result those who oppose homosexuality shouldn't be condemned for doing so.

As for the advocacy of violence, I am strongly against that and will say that dancehall can and should do more to cleanse itself of this plague. However, dancehall is a subculture of a larger culture, and the factors that shape and influence that breeding culture cannot be ignored. It's those shaping factors that some people overlook.
John Dean

The big Beenie picture, Take 2: I am a Jamaican woman who has been following this issue of gays vs. deejays, and I must commend your paper for showing a different side of the argument. Thanks much.
Yolande Gyles
Kingston, Jamaica

In last week's installment of Radar Station, we gave an incorrect Web address for Gateway to a Cure. The correct address is www.gatewaytoacure.org.

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