pandering

The Girlfriend Experience

And by that I mean the “Gold” VIP Package from Creation’s Supernatural Con.  Just check out all the great stuff!

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU GO GOLD AT THE SUPERNATURAL NEW JERSEY CONVENTION: (Insert LA for Jersey)

1) The absolute best reserved seats in the main theatre where all our major guests appear! These seats are YOURS, come and go, all weekend. (The closest you’ll get to J &J’s lap and rockhard chest all weekend)

2) Complimentary in-person autographs with great guests including (whoever is available that weekend which for LA meant more actual stars and less “who’d you play?”) and more to be announced.

3) First to get autographs: we go row by row: you are in the front rows: you get the idea! THAT’S RIGHT: you get to our guests first! (To sign various paraphernalia which, seriously, where are you going to put that 8ft stage banner?)

4) Complimentary admission to our SATURDAY NIGHT DESSERT AND COCKTAIL PARTY! Mix and mingle with fellow fans and selected guests. This event is EXCLUSIVE for Gold Weekend Patrons! (I can only imagine, cause I opted for the cheap, voyeur seats)

5) Pre-Registration fun: we get you set for the weekend before other patrons and give you first crack at the exclusive merchandise!  (Five tables selling disappearing mugs and autographs leftover from other cons, stuff you’ll really need in 10 years.)

6) Wristband access: we have special color coded wristbands and lanyard credentials for GOLD Package Holders: once you get set you don’t need to wait again! (Read that again, lanyard credentials.  Seriously.)

7) Complimentary Admission to our SUNDAY MORNING Breakfast and Charity Silent Auction: enjoy a delightful continental breakfast with other fans and special celebrity drop-ins, and help us raise money for a great charity. This event is EXCLUSIVE TO GOLD WEEKEND PATRONS! (Even I can’t hate on charity.)

8) Fantastic FREE SUPERNATURAL gift you’ll love!  (Not so much free when the whole Girlfriend Experience costs $500, not including lodging, refreshments or travel.  Oh and crap for all those “free” autographs you’ll be collecting.)

Honestly, I’m torn and a bit of a hypocrite.  I went to this thing, I gave Creation my money.  I whooped and hollered when the attractive menfolk where on stage.  Sure I can comfort myself with the fact that I spent more time exploring LA with my dear friend Rachel than I did creepily stalking sci-fi celebrities.  In fact I watched Mark Pellegrino (Lucifer for the un-Supernatural-initiated) walk past on his way to the green room and didn’t realize it until after the fact was pointed out to me.  I also missed the Costume Contest to catch my flight but then I proved all weekend my lack of fangirl crazy by not bidding multiple benjamins on banners, autographs, mugs, crap, crap and more crap.  Oh and I didn’t submit a fan music video to set to Train.  Damn.

BUT as I said to Rachel, for the $500 Gold/Girlfriend Package one of those Winchester boys better be making out with me for at least 10 minutes, wives and girlfriends be damned.  I don’t mean to mock those girls/people that did though.  I don’t know your life, I don’t know what your reasons were for taking the time, spending the money and hanging out at an airport hotel all weekend.  Maybe this is your special thing you do every year.  Maybe like me, you meet up with someone and have a great time wandering a new city and watch cinema at it’s most painful (LA folks haven’t lied, The Room really is that bad it’s good, but good in a painful, never again way.)

Or maybe you fall in the typical stalker fangirl clichés.  Maybe you write self-fulling fanfic where an attractive young woman named Amanda walks up to a Winchester Boy, pick one, and makes a pithy comment and ten pages later are in bed declaring undying love and devotion.  Not that I would know.  Seriously though, I don’t know who to blame for these events.  Creation for making money where there is obvious money to be made?  The stars for appearing and getting paid and giving something back to the fans?  The fans for investing a seriously INSANE AMOUNT OF MONEY.  REALLY?  I PAY RENT WITH WHAT YOU SPENT ON POSTER-SIZED PIC OF SOME DUDE!!???!!!

If it was more about the community and not the one-upmanship of who can get the most crap signed by the most stars and “I really liked your moment with Jared” (real comment overheard by the bathroom mere moments before I was completely oblivious to Mark Pellegrino, who I enjoy as an actor) maybe I’d feel less dirty.  Mostly I felt uncomfortable the whole weekend about the elephant in the room no one, organizers, stars, fans, would acknowledge.  I like that this show, these characters, this world isn’t real.  I have enough real.  I have relationships, work, baby showers, laundry that all need my time and attention.  I don’t need fictional characters to be real.  I need them to live on the screen and in the ethers, entertain me for an hour and then leave me be.  But for some, the Girlfriend Experience is real.  They think they’re making real connections with these people.  They’re knitting them things, asking obnoxious questions, expecting these stars to be the characters, or at least fit into their perception of them.

Again I feel like a big phony for saying all this because I was part of the problem this weekend.  I maybe also had a different expectation too.  I had thought this would be more about celebrating the work and it wasn’t.  And maybe I’m just making excuses.  All I have to say is that hope everyone got whatever they were looking for because for that kind of money you better have gotten your climax.

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Beware the cleverly packaged book…

It always comes back to haunt you.

ghostgirl

I picked up Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley  and thought, wow this looks great and I love the tagline “Rest in Popularity.”  The Edward Gorey goth girl on the cover, the gothy typeface, the coffin-shape of the book were all very attractive.  A funny satire on popularity was promised.   Unpopular Charlotte attempts to become popular but her plans are ruined when she dies.  Sounded promising.

I was disappointed.   Very.

First off, it wasn’t funny.  The jokes were pointed out with lines like “she said jokingly.”  That is the laugh track of books and usually signifies someone is kidding/being sarcastic, not actually telling a joke. 

Second was another problematic line.  After our heroine dies and wakes up in her high school, she finds she needs to graduate from Dead Ed to move on. There is mention of no desire to see her family because teens are too self-involved.  Excuse me?  Huh?  Seriously?  If your average teen died and was a ghost they wouldn’t take a peek back home?  Just for the satisfaction of seeing them cry, knowing you were missed, especially considering at this point of the story the main character’s obsession is attention.  No, I’m sorry, I’m calling BS.  That’s lazy writing.  “I don’t want to write about the family because they won’t have a large role so I’ll put this throw-away line in and be done with it.”  This is how we should find out and care about Charlotte.   How does she talk to people in her life, like family?  How important are they to her?  Do they know of her obsessive desire to be popular?  It frustrating as a reader because there is a giant hole in the main character by page 52 and there is no way to fill it.

And lastly, characters.  Even secondary ones need to be rounded and distiguishable.  All the dead kids blended into one and with the shifting view points and human possession so that one character was acting through another…confusing, flat, and for just great potential, boring.

Why am I nitpicking this book apart?  Why can’t I move on?  Am I that bitter?  Probably yes to the bitter but mostly I wanted this book to be better.  I wanted to love it and have it be my new “you gotta read this.”  I also resent that it panders to the worst stereotypes of teen girls.  If you’re not popular than you’re either an outcast trying to break in or a rebel trying to break out.  Is this true anymore?  After the Queen Bees and Mean Girls stories does this trope really work or has it become a cliche?  Maybe if it was funnier, maybe if it was shorter…something, this whole thing needed something.

Then I had a revelation while viewing Ghostgirl’s well-designed website, and wanted inexplicably to like this book.  Ghostgirl should have totally been a graphic novel.  I could have forgiven the flat characters and unaminated plot.  And after viewing the website it seems the whole set-up from book design to the “Rest in Popularity” tagline to the Gorey-esque cover dead girl are a marketing package for the Hot Topic/Torrid crowd.  The merchandising is fantastic.  Really, if I was back in my jeans/teeshirt high school uniform I would covet the “Rest in Popularity” tee.   And then, thank you Wikipedia, I found all the answers.  Of course Ghostgirl started out as website character.  Of course it makes sense all the cross over merch was in place.  I just wish the story lived up to design.   Or that I wasn’t so critical.  Or bitter.  Same thing right.  Going with Lame on this.