May 27, 2008

WisCon Day Two

Saturday morning at WisCon means the farmer's market on the capitol square and squeaky cheese. By the time we were up for breakfast, Laura and Kelly had already hit the market, so I had fresh cheese curds with my fruit and pastry.

Once we'd endured the line at Michaelangelo's and I had my monkey mocha, it was time for the market. I've never seen it so crowded. Somehow, everyone had collectively decided to proceed clockwise. We opted for widdershins. People would have been less surprised had we colored our hair green. Being without refrigeration for the weekend, we didn't buy much, but it's always good to get some exercise at a con.

We hit more programming in the afternoon. I've been to other panels on what one can/can't get away with in YA before, so some information was repeated, but there was an interesting discussion of why YA books aren't labeled for content or for "appropriate" age ranges. Namely, YA publishers do take care to educate booksellers and librarians what's in books, and resources are available to parents who want to know what their kids might be reading. Labeling for content tends to invite censorship, and labeling for age discourages kids at or above the lower age limit from reading. That is, it may actually push the book exclusively into the hands of kids younger than its intended audience. Tamora Pierce also had lots of neat stuff to say about why things were included or excluded from her books that I haven't properly processed yet.

The next panel was "Captain Jack's Big Gay Torchwood." There were many funny moments from the panel, including the woman who kept having to fan herself when the discussion got too, uh, heated. I was less impressed with some of the analytical discussions. Someone raised the question of why slash, yaoi and Torchwood--venues largely for exciting women with gay sexuality--were okay when men viewing lesbians the same way isn't. Someone suggested that the "current thinking" on this was that male fantasies of lesbians involve changing the relationship to center around the men while women are just making up love stories about the gay men involved. I was not the only highly skeptical (or pissed off) member of the audience. At least we could all agree that the show was poorly written.

The true highlight of the panel was the question from the young man (maybe all of 13, probably 11) in the back. He mentioned that James Marsters had caught his eye on a magazine cover at a store. Then he saw the headline, "Spike's Gay Kiss," and decided on the spot that he needed to see Torchwood. His question? Since the kiss didn't happen until the first episode of the second season, and since he was finding the first season pretty slow going, which episodes could he skip to get to the part he really wanted to see?

Done with sitting still for a bit, we made our annual pilgrimage to the hat shop on State Street. Ben found one that works with bowling shirts. Our dinner luck held out, and we ended up in Peppino's. Everything was excellent, although a wine sauce with artichoke hearts and olives was not the best choice while dealing with a massive canker sore. Great taste. Pain. Great taste. Pain. At least I got to be distracted by James chatting up our waitress without having a clue that's what he was doing.

The Tor party was Saturday evening. I headed down about 10, expecting to talk to lots of people briefly and leave. Tracy showed up a few minutes later. I asked her what she'd been up to for the last year, and we stopped talking about quarter to two, when it really looked like the interns were ready to clean up and go to sleep. I stumbled off to bed, ready to really sleep in the next morning. I should know better by now.


Ben Zvan said...

A small correction -- We were going clockwise to everyone else's widdershins.

Walking: They're doin' it wrong.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Bugger. You're right. I must not have had enough coffee.