Monday, October 18, 2010

Kiss My MAX!

It's come to my attention that the more hardcore convention attendees in SoCal have started to join the butthurt bandwagon over Anime Expo 2010 and have decided to jump the sinking ship for a little engine that really SHOULDN'T called MAX.

So what the heck IS this "MAX" thing anyway?

According to my research, it was a "donation event" last year that was free to enter... until you decided on one of their events that you wanted to go to. Then you were expected to pay after all. *rolls eyes*

This event is also sponsored by mysterious shadow-men from the industry who's names remain shrouded in obscurity for all time, so surely it must be better than Anime Expo, what with their CEO and his alleged rudeness toward celebrities from Japan that have never been confirmed as Guests of Honor, right?


Let's say there's a panel you wanna go to at this MAX thing, and so you waltz right into Club Nokia, where they supposedly had some swankified meet-n-greet with some big-name muckity-mucks last year. (By the way, the only name that stood out in my mind was Stan Lee, but I later heard it wasn't worth the trouble anyway.)

So off you go on your fancy little schmooze with the cool kids. No more swimming in the kiddie pool for you, eh, tough guy? So then you pick out this nice J-Rock panel with a concert and an autograph session, but wait! Looks like you're expected to DONATE SOMETHING! After all, this is a DONATION EVENT and all these fancy suits are looking at you to see how much you care about the industry and how you're gonna show your support, right?

At Anime Expo 2010, I, like so many of my fellow cosplayers and anime fans, was just making it by the skin of my teeth. As much as I would LOVE to donate five bucks to support my hobby, I kind of need to be able to afford my hobby first. Eating food is also a decent option, as well as paying my bills, buying clothing and other necessary objects with which to live.

I just can't stand the idea that these guys have the balls to pressure me, the fan, the enthusiast, THEIR CONSUMER, into forking over what little I have for myself for their stupid company and their muckity-mucks and their so-called swankified whatever-this-is event!

Also, why would I attend the one for 2011 if it's in Anaheim, where the locals don't want us around when I happen to live in Los Angeles and can easily access the Los Angeles Convention Center via public transportation? It's way more efficient, AND the tourism factor actually helps my city's economy. Go figure!

Some of these things are purely situational, of course, but when I weigh the options in my mind, I come right back to the beginning of the cycle where all of the wanking began--money.

I think the CEO of Anime Expo has more than enough support financially to pull of yet another year of this convention even WITH their debt. You know they're in debt right? Did they mention it? Because you really ought to know that AX is in debt, since you probably don't wanna go to a convention with bad credit scores no matter how amazing it is this year. I mean, how could they possibly hope to top Megumi Nakajima, May'n and anime and video game soundtrack composing LEGEND Yoko Kanno what with how much money they're apparently losing right now!

I highly doubt there's anything to worry about if Anime Expo got Yoko Kanno with this monster of a debt looming over their heads last year. I don't suppose anyone knew that they've BEEN in debt since a few years back, did they?

This is why I find other anime fans frustrating at times. A lot of 'em think they can simply whine and cry and get their way, and when it STILL doesn't work, they go running off with their knickers in a twist to try and start their own party and so-and-so from the other group isn't invited.

And then there are the ones who assume that the money used to run a convention simply appears in mid-air. Perhaps Haruhi Suzumiya herself smacks God upside the head with a paper fan and he drops a sack of Leprechaun Gold on the CEO's head--just so he can put on an event for ignorant otakus the world over!

Plain and simple, guys, conventions cost money for the people organizing it too. Why else do you think the badge price is so high? It's actually not entirely the convention's fault, in case anyone has any knowledge of business whatsoever. See, every year these guys have to pay to use the convention center. They have to pay people who work for LACC to work on a National holiday, which counts as time-and-a-half for people with REAL jobs. There are laws that state an event with this many people MUST compensate its workers, so people who are high up enough to get a salary out of this receive one, and the lower ranking grunts get a free pass for next year if they work enough hours.

There's also safety regulations. The reason we're not allowed to sit in the hallways is because of laws. "It's because of the fire marshal" is a phrase you might wanna get used to if you ever attend as many conventions as me--and I volunteer at a few of 'em too.

I guess I can see both sides of the playing field, and that's what riles me up. But really, what on earth do we need YET ANOTHER anime convention in Southern California for anyway? We are just so spoiled here. I think NorCal doesn't even have HALF as many events as we do here in the southern half of the sate, and what's even more ridiculous is that with the addition of Anime Conji last year and Kintoki-Con and MAX this year, we'll outnumber ALL of the East Coast cons by almost half their numbers in just one state!

If people have all this money to throw around, why not go somewhere that better organization is needed, huh? I hear a lot of complaints for Texas con attendees who say some of their events need some work. Some of the Midwest cons seem like they could use a boost. Heck, I bet even the big names like Anime Boston, Sakura Con and Otakon could use a hand.

Then again, this is California we're talking about, and I already mentioned that we're spoiled rotten.

So, back to the original reason why I posted tonight.

I'm not gonna bother attending MAX 2011. I'll be hitting up Anime Expo again if I'm not visiting my friends in Canada for Anime Evolution in August or if I'm not cosplaying as Sasami from Tenchi Muyo with a group of friends in Texas for AnimeFest in September.


Because I know AX well, it's in my neighborhood and I find the idea of attending MAX similar to the concept of rewarding a toddler who's thrown a tantrum because mommy and daddy said no dessert until after dinner.

I'm not interested in coddling a group of butthurt ex-staffers who didn't get paid enough to get stressed out over something that tons of people in the area would love to get paid for themselves. That's how businesses handled strikes in the 20s--they found people who DID wanna do the job for the amount of pay that wasn't satisfactory. Only difference between now and then is that people in this day and age go on strike when they don't get their way and their scabs wouldn't be working in life-threatening conditions for two cents an hour.

Simple enough.

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