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Category Archives: Conventions

Ok, my doctor has told me I HAVE to cut back on stress given my current medical conditions. Things that upset me, annoy me, or generally raise my blood pressure and/or heart rate are things that I should be avoiding. Goddess knows I have tried, I really, really have tried to avoid it all. But some fuckwits have finally driven me past the point at which I can turn a blind eye and I am going to finally say my piece instead of remaining “neutral” in this whole debate. I love each and every one of my friends on my friend list here on Facebook but quite frankly some of you are turning out to be people that lack the moral fortitude to remain in that hallowed circle. I don’t know how much time I have left but I know I am not going to sit here and “wring my hands in dismay” while people I care about deeply are attacked. So please, if you have an issue with what I say next you have two choices: debate me in the comments or unfriend yourself and take out the garbage for me. Saves me the effort in the long run.

Sit down, shut up, and buckle your fucking seatbelts…you’re about to see some serious shit!

So, a con I have only attended once many years ago (they had George RR Martin that year) because David Weber and Sharon Rice-Weber were going to be there, recently invited another good friend of mine of whom I am a huge fan of his work. John Ringo is someone I met many years ago (7/8/2007 according to my emails) when I emailed him some questions about his political leanings and philosophies as I read through his “Von Neumann’s War” novel that he wrote with Travis Taylor. Quite frankly he was presenting, through that novel and several of his others, both viewpoints in politics at the time very convincingly and I was curious as to which way he lay. He was the VERY FIRST author to ever respond to me to a question I sent (he beat Spider Robinson by about a month) and gave me the answers that I needed. It would be another 3 years before I finally got to meet him in person at DragonCon, the first BIG CON I had ever been to (Jasmine DeGroot was my copilot for this one. She got to meet Jim Butcher…I’m still jealous!). Now John had a huge line for signatures but when it got to me I told him that we had been emailing back and forth and that I was the one who had set him up in a display of prominence at the bookstore I worked that (along with Weber, Drake, Michael Z. Williamson…well hell it was a Baen display, that is what it was!). He said, “You’re Gerry?! You’re my BOOK PIMP!” and he proceeded to sign my book with that very inscription. We had talked every since though not super often (heh, me lowly fan, him author…trust me I understand) and it would not be until my very first LibertyCon (LibertyCon 26) that I got to see him in person again. Every time I get to see him it is an absolute pleasure as he is full of amazing tales: non-fictional/autobiographical and fictional tales that may or may not ever see print (Toni Weisskopf needs a bigger whip). Going to LibertyCon is a family reunion in every way, I get to see people that I can only see once a year there and meet new family that I didn’t know I had yet.

Guess what though…some of those people hold opinions different than my own! *GASP* I know, that is scandalous isn’t it? I mean, climbing out of my own echo chamber to actually converse with people who have different life experiences, who does that?! Why, you might be exposed to an…idea….I believe they are called? Instead of simply regurgitating the information that you have blindly absorbed from the people who are “your betters” you might actually have to come up with cogent arguments to support your opinions. Why, you may even have to use those pesky things called…facts (I think?)…to support your beliefs. Feelings do not count here my friend, you will simply have to rely on actual evidence in order to support your statements.

Quite frankly I do not believe some of you could actually do that even with a severe handicap (teleprompter, encyclopedia, access to Google, hell even those damned lies called statistics). How do I know this? I have been sifting through the dregs of things you call a “cogent argument” on social media. Trust me, doing this goes against all of my doctor’s advice (and my roommate’s, and my best friends, ad nauseum). I just cannot look away though, I really cannot. If you were simply lambasting someone for actual, factual events instead of the ravings of severely biased sources with no fact-checking or corroboration then I might actually give two shits about what you are saying.

Seriously, for the love of all that is holy CHECK YOUR SOURCES. If you are using File770 for instance, look for the conservative equivalent on the same topic. Somewhere in the middle will be the actual truth. This goes the same for using a site biased in the opposite direction. Ask some actual people ,instead of just internet usernames, for their experiences, facts, and opinions. Any one can create posts online with no way to verify them; have you not seen all of the posts we get on Facebook alone every year about “military movements mean martial law is coming” or “vaccines cause autism” or “planes spread chemtrails across the sky to spread sedatives,” etc that your friends and family keep sharing and you smack your forehead in disgust. YOU ARE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING EXCEPT IN THIS CASE YOU ARE ACTUALLY ATTEMPTING TO HURT AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS DONE NOTHING TO YOU!

I am watching people that I used to like and admire threaten and attempt to intimidate a convention, a place where all geeks are supposed to be equal, to such an extent that John had to sit down with them and be mutually uninvited because they were concerned about HIS SAFETY and the safety of the people that were there to see him. My god, some of you even whined about “your safety” there because he might show up, or accidentally walk next to you, or breathe somewhere in the same zip code. How many of you have actually met the man? How many of you have read his books? How many have bothered to do the research about him? I saw someone saying that he brags about his books and yet no one knows him? Tell that to the “NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR” note he can put, (eight times) on his resume and the, oh I don’t know, over 1 MILLION books in print? I could only wish for people to know me as well as they know someone who has done more in one lifetime than some could have done in several. Trust me, he should be more scared about the rabid mob you all were attempting to incite than you of him (and his fans, trust me they are way more controlled and polite than you are).

Now, this sounds like a bit of a masturbatory post and yes, I am a fan of John’s both in the literary sense and as a friend. But you guys are really starting to scare me because of how you turn on anyone who even seems to have an odor of “wrongthink” or “wrongfun” about them (borrowing those terms from Larry Correia). The best part of all of it, is you seem to think that you owe no one an explanation of your vitriol or that you should be there to educate and inform on why you think this way. You think that your opinions matter so much that we simply would be utter fools be in your contempt to simply presume you may be incorrect. Guess what? It does not make you look high and mighty to anyone but your own fan club when you do that. You may have been able to convert someone who is on the fence if you bothered to actually answer a question instead of simply stating an opinion without any facts.

Of course your cherry picking of facts is always of much amusement to me, especially when I know both parties involved. Someone decided to invoke the unholy name of the “sick puppies” without actually bothering to check to see if John was a part of it. Was he a part of “Sad Puppies?” Well if by “a part” he was nominated by them for their Hugo slate then well, a LOT of people on both sides would be considered a member of the “Sad Puppies.” Please be sure to use the correct name for them though as “Sick Puppies” was the attempt by Vox Day to throw himself into the chaos and attempt to garner some fame from it and it had NO support from the actual “Sad Puppies.” I know, I know; if you don’t use the “Sick Puppies” name it just does not have the same impact but hey, why let facts get in the way?

Seriously though, you guys are really starting to harsh my calm. I am friends with Communists, Liberals, Anarchists, Conservatives, Libertarians, and pretty much everyone else on the political spectrum. I am also very good friends with people on all ends of the religious spectrum (and guess what, that spectrum does not just mean Christianity!). I have at least one friend in nearly every Christian denomination and most Judaic-based offshoots, pagans, neo pagans, pretty sure I have a couple Satanists on here, agnostics, atheists, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters (may your noodles always be al dente!). On the sexual spectrum? God damn rainbow over here and I am pretty sure there is pot and gold on either side.

So why do I bring that up? Am I doing a “humblebrag?” Yes and no (hey, at least I am honest). The point that I am making here is that I do not agree with any of them on everything at any time. Quite simply I would have to suspend all of my disbelief in order to try to fit all of the opposites in my head and then simultaneously agree with them. So what does that mean? It means, quite simply, that I have as many debates as I can to figure out the truth for me and have the evidence to back it up. There is NOT ONE person on my friend list that I agree 100% with (except my Mom (Judy Martin) when she tells me I have to).

I still am friends with each and every one of you (for the moment) though because that diversity and the ability to have actual debates with (most) of you all is what I treasure above all else. I have my own beliefs but like a certain scientists that annoys me says, if you present me with ACTUAL evidence to the contrary I will modify my beliefs accordingly. I cannot tell you how many of you have influenced and shaped my core beliefs over the years without even realizing it. I hope to have many more years of being wrong and being corrected by you ahead of me.

What does all this mean? Well it means this: IF YOU COME AFTER ANY ONE OF MY FRIENDS WITH BASELESS, “HURT FE-FEs,” EMOTIONAL, FACTLESS DIATRIBES and/or ATTEMPT TO HURT THEM IN ANY WAY, THEN WE ARE DONE. I will NOT tolerate, nor will I have anything to do with, people who are so intellectually corrupt, morally bankrupt, and so pure evil that they would stoop to that. My tolerance for your intolerance is done, zero. I will have no pity nor mercy when you are ridiculed into your miserable echo chamber and wonder why no one wants to hang out or talk to you. You have made your bed now sleep in it.

For everyone else, I love you more than words can express. Thank you all for being there through everything with me and I hope to have more time to spend with all of you in the future.

Sincerely,

Gerald (Gerry) Martin (because I have no problems signing my name to this)

P.S. Many thanks to Branden Mikah-Hayden Martin for keeping me from shuffling off this mortal coil (and subsequently using that coil to make a homemade still!).

P.P.S. Also thanks to Chris Byrne for giving me a good style to reference for this.

P.P.P.S. Feel free to sound off in the comments below, I will respond to them in time

I had an absolute blast last weekend at ETSU-Con in Johnson City, TN! It was amazing getting to meet so many awesome cosplayers and the guests that the con had were amazing. Nolan North (https://twitter.com/nolan_north) and Courtenay Taylor (https://twitter.com/courtenaytaylor) were just as charming in person as you would expect them to be. They both had incredible stories and advice for up-and-coming voice artists. They also signed autographs and were very reasonable on prices for them (some celebrities charge $40+ for autographs). ETSU-Con covered the first autograph for free in the fees they paid the VAs and additional ones were only $10 which was incredibly awesome of Nolan and Courtenay to do.

Jirard Khalil (https://twitter.com/JKCompletesIt) and Alex Faciane (https://twitter.com/FacianeA) were the other two major guests at the con and they did not disappoint either! They both hail from “That One Video Gamer” (http://www.thatonevideogamer.com/) and have “The Completionist” (https://www.youtube.com/user/ThatOneVideoGamer/) and “The National Dex” (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNationalDex) respectively and collaborate on “Super Beard Bros” (https://www.youtube.com/user/ThatOneLaserClown/). I was super, super excited to see them and even got a little emotional during their Q&A. Their videos helped me get through a really lousy time about a year ago when I was diagnosed with my autoimmune disorder. I presented them with tribute (a copy of Starflight, Star Control, and Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday all on Genesis and a VHS tape of “Donkey Kong Country: The full length movie!”). I also got photos with them and they signed my “+5 Shirt of Awesome.” Puck (https://twitter.com/PuckBrandedArt), who was also with me, got Alex and Jirard to do a video for me to help cheer me up on my bad days. Lets just say that “truck nuts” are forever imprinted on my mind. I also got them to sign the interview I did with Chris Avellone (https://twitter.com/ChrisAvellone) that they posted on the TOVG site a few years ago. That is what Jirard is holding in the picture below.

I also got to present my “Collecting Retro Video Games” panel at ETSU-Con and I had really good attendance! You can watch my panel here on YouTube. I got some really good questions throughout the panel as well which made it even more fun and interesting. I will have JPEGs of the PowerPoint available on this post as well.

The Dealer’s Room was really nice as well and both Puck and I grabbed some awesome stuff from there. He got me a copy of “Final Fantasy II” (which was IV in Japan) and I got him a shirt and a Gatomon plushie. We also ate at a German restaurant in downtown Johnson City called “Freiberg’s” and IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Honestly, that was some of the best mashed potatoes and homemade sauerkraut I’ve ever had!

Overall Puck and I had an absolute blast and I hope that they do have an ETSU-Con next year (it is in question due to renovations being done at the Culp Center on ETSU’s campus). Currently I am writing this from my hotel room at Mysticon in Roanoke, VA where I have been restricted to due to coming down with viral gastritis earlier in the week. Puck and Thesally are having fun at the con and helping with A/V while I work on some other projects.

Thank you all for reading this and I hope to see some of you all in the near future!

LongwoodGeek (aka Gerry)

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