Wiscon is coming up soon. I’m looking forward to it; it’s one of the conventions that matters to me, deeply.
But I am also pre-emptively pissy and resentful about Wiscon, here, two weeks ahead of time. Why?
Because, like Burr in the musical Hamilton, I want to be in the room where it happens.
In the musical this song is a sort of shorthand for the fact that Aaron Burr perpetually resents the fact that he is not closer to power. That major events in government and politics happen without him. He KNOWS they are going on, he can see all the people doing the things, but he is not there. He’s locked out. He’s not allowed in the room where it, whatever it is, happens.
I so often feel this way about Wiscon. It feel like the big things, the stuff everyone talks about later, are always taking place somewhere I am not. In some other panel, some other party, some other room. Never the room I am in.
But I gave this some serious thought and realized that I’ve actually been IN “the room” while “it” is happening at some points in the past. At Wiscon, or other events. I’ve been there. I’ve been, from time to time, the insider. It just never felt that way at the time.
And that made me think how utterly stupid I am being. I mean, way to proactively ruin a great convention, being upset about whether or not the “important” things are happening where I can see them. It’s my convention experience, dammit! I can and will enjoy it for my friends, the conversations I have, the sleep I’ll get, the people I’ll meet, the dinners I’ll have!
Worrying about whether some hypothetically better conversation is going on in the next room, well, that’s the kind of thinking that led to Hamilton’s death in a duel. It’s poisonous nonsense. And I’m no longer going to participate in this sort of thinking.
Wherever I am at the con, that’s the room where MY life is happening.
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