December 4th, 2013

Peter G

…But Ugly Goes Straight To The Bone

Why I will never attend DragonCon.  Ever.

For those who came in late -- one of the founders of DragonCon, Ed Kramer, has been followed by allegations of diddling underage boys, both at the show and outside.  He has not only avoided persecution for years, the money brought in from his co-ownership of DragonCon paid the legal fees to keep him out of trouble.

Given that DragonCon is really just a cheap excuse for people to have sex rather than an actual convention, the reaction was typical -- it was ignored.  When it comes to people in subcultures, there is this tendency to say that child molestation isn't really molestation.  The logic is that, as sexual traits develop, these people are simply blooming instead of being violated.  16?  12?  There's no such thing as "nonconsensual" in their books.  I know several people who were warned this when they were just entering the fandoms at those ages.

As a result, within the insular world of DragonCon, Kramer's activities were an open secret.  Nancy Collins decided she'd had enough and tried alerting everyone to the predator in charge and everyone's refusal to do anything about it.

She not only received little support, she was attacked as someone making stuff up or with an axe to grind.  Among those who actually defended her, who were willing to lose the money the con got them, were Dave Dorman, Colleen Doran, and Steve Bissette.

Collins had been urging the con to either buy out Kramer's portion or close it down and reincorporate.  DragonCon said that was nearly impossible, but apparently, enough rumbles happened, because this year, they did just that.  Kramer is without the six figures the con got him.  Two days ago, he ended his fight.

Kramer pled nolo.  That means "no contest".  He threw himself at the mercy of the court.  What happens to you depends on your clout.  Your just a drug dealer?  You're looking at the maximum sentence.  You got connections?  You get off easy.  So what does Kramer get for three charges of child molestation?

Five years under house arrest.

Well, that smelled funny.  Turns out there were rumors of LOTS of powerful political people getting busy at the con.  And…oh, lookie!  One of Kramer's attorneys is the former Libertarian candidate for the presidency!

Oh, and if you really want to be sick, check out Free Ed -- Just Let Ed Kramer Go, a page from friends basically saying, yeah, maybe he did, but his civil liberties are being violated and he's suffered enough.  Among the names is Harlan Ellison and Anne McCaffrey.  I will never buy their shit ever again.

The fact that DragonCon turned its nose to such a blatant cesspool makes me furious.  And cultures like that don't vanish overnight, they just go underground to look like they have.

I will never attend DragonCon.  I will not support sexual predation.