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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATTN: JMS - Our friend's been at it again....
    Date: 7/5/2002 9:16:00 PM  

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>It isn't really funny. This guy is infamous. Paul might catch you up but
>if he doesn't, do a Google search in this newsgroup for the name Cooney. [in
>the body, not the subject]

I'm being a bit loquacious today, since my hand is doing a bit better today, so
I thought I'd take a moment or two to offer some thoughts here on whys and
wherefores and how-the-hells....

See, there's this syndrome Linda Ellerbee came up with a few years ago. It's
called Riding the Elephant.

Whenever the circus comes to town, they have to move the trained animals across
town to the site of the circus, and they make a parade out of it. Along the
way, they get somebody -- usually the mayor, or an honorary mayor, or some
other local person -- to ride the elephant. And people show up and they wave,
and the guy on the elephant thinks, "Hey, they're waving at me!"

No, they're waving at whoever got to ride the elephant for a moment.

Some convention organizers suffer from Riding the Elephant Syndrome. A show
comes along -- not just B5, but any show, and to be honest, not just this but
other kinds of promoters -- and it brings in lots of people. The convention
organizer stands in front of the crowd and thinks, "They're here because of me!
They're here FOR me!"

Not understanding that they're there for the elephant.

In the end, the promoter in most cases is simply irrelevant to the process, and
over time that knowledge comes to the forefront as the promoter gets addicted
to public applause, to riding the elephant. Take the elephant away, and a lot
of self-image and pouter-pigeon ego goes with it.

Which is one big reason why I stopped doing conventions after a bit, doing them
with increasing rarity. My SDCC appearance this year is the only one this year
(absent Loscon which is a local con). Because I didn't want to start wanting
it. That's why I always pushed the actors out front whenever possible.

Because I know a lot of people who got caught up in the cult of persoanlity,
and got crushed by the elephant.

So I don't ride the elephant.

I just feed her the peanuts.


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