Background: As part of the team who worked on #DragonConGoesVirtual, the socially distanced version of Dragon Con 2020, I filed a “love letter” to the convention that was used in closing ceremonies.
Greetings from DragonConTV Studio West. Thanks to everyone who joined us for Dragon Con Goes Virtual, especially those of you who got up early, or stayed up late, to watch the Late Show.
We ran a bit short on time this morning, so I wanted to take a moment here to file my Dragon Con Love Letter.
About five years ago, on a Monday morning much like this one, I was hosting the in-person version of this show, about to sign off for the weekend. In the fog of exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and a rollercoaster of emotions, there was a realization of why this con was so important to me.
I told the story of when I was five. How my school teacher mom and ex-Marine engineer dad got me a C3P0 and put me on a path to explore strange new worlds, seek out action figures, and boldly watch Doctor Who on PBS after everyone else had gone to bed.
The worlds I found were compelling, hopeful, and deeply weird.
Labor Day is supposed to be our weird weekend. We embrace weird. But this wasn’t the weird we wanted.
After two decades of volunteering for Dragon Con, I look forward to my weird weekend. I embrace it as a chance to reconnect with found-family, meet the people who made my favorite universes, and admire the creativity of an immense, fan-driven community.
Earlier this year I had to come to terms with the fact this weekend wasn’t going to be the same. But two months ago, the family we built over the years made a decision… the show would go on.
Reliving that moment of being five reminded me then and now why I do this show. What I remembered was the feeling of hope.
What we face today is hard. The world today mirrors the gritty realism that critics admire in recent genre fiction. It’s easy to look back at the stories our worlds are built on and find their faults. Those faults are valid, and we use them to learn and discover how we can be better.
What we often fail to see looking back on these stories is their hope. The caped crusader of my childhood came from campy reruns, but he had a hope and purpose that finds its way into the best modern interpretations. The lost time lord, running from their past, is delighted when, just this once, everybody lives.
Rebellions are, as we have heard, built on hope.
What the people who built this show wanted more than anything, was the hope we could put on the show you loved. Same bat time, same bat channel. But y’all knew that wasn’t in the cards.
Instead, we learned from our best stories: discover the world has changed, set a new course, and endeavor to be better.
Today isn’t an ending. We’re in the second act, tired of what led us to this point. Our friends have assembled, and we’re ready for the next page. The third act takes hope, and this weekend has restored some of what I have lost over the past few months.
Hope is more than a word. Hope is a form of love.
Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down.
I don’t know what Dragon Con 2021 looks like. But based on what my friends have done here, I have hope that the best is yet to come.
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