Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can't Stop the Signal

One of the core concepts of the movie SERENITY is the idea that you "can't stop the signal" - that information always goes out, even if it's buried under layers of distraction (like a Fruity Oaty Bar commercial). One of the ways that the Joss Whedon fandom is distinguished from other (somewhat rabid) fandoms is the level of activism; in a way, we often see ourselves as the "signal." Case in point -

Back in 2006, some fans wanted to figure out a way to get SERENITY back on the big screen. They settled on a charity screening, with proceeds to benefit the very worthy charity Equality Now, a human rights organization that focuses on issues facing women and girls. (A former student of Whedon's mother was a co-founder of the group, so there's your connection.) The group does some amazing work on issues that other (also worthy) groups don't deal with, such as stoning disobedient women, so-called "honor killings," and other dreadful practices. This is the third year of organized, worldwide screenings and the movement shows no signs of slowing down.

Last night, the Charlotte group had its screening - it was a blast! Raising money and awareness should always be fun, don't you think? The global goal this year is $150,000 and I believe the Charlotte group did its part to reach that goal. In addition to the screening, there was live entertainment (really amazing music), a costume contest, food, and a veritable treasure chest of raffle items. I contributed by having a table to sell my book, with autographs for an extra donation. I raised nearly $50, which I thought was pretty cool. Not to mention, it was great (and a little humbling) to meet people who had bought the book, read it, and wanted to chat about it.

These really are some of the best fans in the world.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

To Arkadelphia!

I'll be gone for the next little bit. I'm off to the third biennial SLAYAGE conference; a conference devoted to the scholarly discussion of all things Joss Whedon. This year's version has attracted scholars from all across the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, and I don't know where all. All of us are descending on the once-peaceful sleepy town (see previous post about "sleepy towns") of Arkadelphia, Arkansas where the lovely and open-minded Henderson State University has agreed to host us.

I'll be posting thoughts and observations from there over on the blog devoted more to Whedon material - you can access that by following this link - and I'll see you back here in a week or so!

Until then, keep safe and may all your vampires have souls!