[B5JMS] ATTN: JMS - Our friend's been at it again....

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Sat Jul 6 04:24:02 EDT 2002

From: "James Bell" <jamesb at naxs.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 09:42:12 -0400
Lines: 26

"Jason E. Schaff" <jschaff297061 at comcast.net> wrote in message
news:3D223FF0.EFAE2A89 at comcast.net...
> Paul Harper wrote:
> >
> >
> <major snippage>
> >
> > Care to guess which con-running studio break-in artist in question is
> > being referred to as "The Gentleman"?  <grin!>
> >
> > Paul.
> >
> There is obviously some back-story here that I have never
> heard.  Could someone please enlighten me?  Sounds like it
> might be humorous, in a sick sort of way.

It isn't really funny.  This guy is infamous.  Paul might catch you up but
if he doesn't, do a Google search in this newsgroup for the name Cooney. [in
the body, not the subject]


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 06 Jul 2002 04:16:49 GMT
Lines: 54

>It isn't really funny.  This guy is infamous.  Paul might catch you up but
>if he doesn't, do a Google search in this newsgroup for the name Cooney. [in
>the body, not the subject]

I'm being a bit loquacious today, since my hand is doing a bit better today, so
I thought I'd take a moment or two to offer some thoughts here on whys and
wherefores and how-the-hells....

See, there's this syndrome Linda Ellerbee came up with a few years ago.  It's
called Riding the Elephant.  

Whenever the circus comes to town, they have to move the trained animals across
town to the site of the circus, and they make a parade out of it.  Along the
way, they get somebody -- usually the mayor, or an honorary mayor, or some
other local person -- to ride the elephant.  And people show up and they wave,
and the guy on the elephant thinks, "Hey, they're waving at me!"

No, they're waving at whoever got to ride the elephant for a moment.

Some convention organizers suffer from Riding the Elephant Syndrome.  A show
comes along -- not just B5, but any show, and to be honest, not just this but
other kinds of promoters -- and it brings in lots of people.  The convention
organizer stands in front of the crowd and thinks, "They're here because of me!
 They're here FOR me!"

Not understanding that they're there for the elephant.

In the end, the promoter in most cases is simply irrelevant to the process, and
over time that knowledge comes to the forefront as the promoter gets addicted
to public applause, to riding the elephant.  Take the elephant away, and a lot
of self-image and pouter-pigeon ego goes with it.

Which is one big reason why I stopped doing conventions after a bit, doing them
with increasing rarity.  My SDCC appearance this year is the only one this year
(absent Loscon which is a local con).  Because I didn't want to start wanting
it.  That's why I always pushed the actors out front whenever possible.

Because I know a lot of people who got caught up in the cult of persoanlity,
and got crushed by the elephant.

So I don't ride the elephant.

I just feed her the peanuts.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

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