Was my first time actually attending the con this year. There wasn't much to it in reality, there was a lot of video rooms with anime playing and then there were two dealer halls. One hall was for the artists and their personal works and the other hall was for dealers who kept saying they were artists and they had personally made these hats or other items that they more than likely had not made at all. The con itself reminded me of Anthrocon from the many times I had gone to AC years past. It was just a large dealer show and sell with little happening elsewhere cause it was poorly set up. Unfortunately this convention didn't have a bunch of awesome looking fursuiters running around, just a lot of scantly clad women. It also lacked in the department of a bunch of friends to hang out with though there were still a few that I enjoyed hanging out with.
I actually really enjoyed this con this time around. Like last year it was a last minute ordeal where I managed to get a ride with my furry housemates and friends down to Califur as well as stay with them at the con. The con was once again mostly about hanging out with friends from the south Cali area that I haven't been with in a while. Zot, Margo, Frost, and many other new and familiar faces. I didn't have much money so I almost had to ghost the con but I'm glad I didn't since the two things that I actually really enjoyed at the con was the FNL skits and the Cabaret. Though it sucked that the Cabaret was held up for an hour because some sick and dumb con goer was caught jerking off somebody elses dog in the hallway, a second time. Really, keep your sexual fetishes and kinks to the proper areas but jerking off an actual dog in public? WTF is wrong with these fucking furries now a days? ugh. Despite that disgusting fiasco the Cabaret went off well enough. The best act up there, coming ahead of the really funny yiffy lube and the bad fursuit 80s porno, was this smoking hot female that knew how to dance and make the floor drop the greens (for charity). I could swear that even the so called 'gay' furries were straight for at least the amount of time she was out there in the audience.
Some gripe that I have about Califur though is the crap that happened behind the scenes. Both FNL and the Cabaret were forced to bring in their own equipment. I mean curtains, poles to set those curtains upon, projector, screen, ect. Califur was lacking in so much in these departments, in stuff that was supposed to be provided for these events. Worse was that the people that was working for the con with some of the audio/video stuff and some of the FNL and Cabaret stuff had to pay out of pocket to get those supplies ASAP and then were not compensated for gas or other stuff by the con. That's about as bad as telling the GoH that they have to pay for registration (on top of paying for their own room, flight, ect). I can't say for certain if I'll make it down next year since it all depends upon my finances and travel accommodations but one thing is for sure, I'm more than likely to ghost the con next year if they don't have their act together. Also, get some fucking card readers for reg! A cash and check only registration is retarded! Also, fire the head of the networking and/or registration system cause having registration open up only to not work immediately afterword cause of shitty programming skills of some narcissistic, self centered furry is also bullshit.
So this friend of mine had been complaining in a very passive aggressive way about how they didn't have enough money to go to AC but really wanted to. They became more desperate as AC got closer and began to say some pretty stupid things like being someone's art slave to actually selling off their droid cell phone to try to get to AC. I decided to help him but in an completely fucked up way, the way the military taught me (and a way that I really despise being used even though it still works from time to time).
Let me put some back story on my military boot camp training. At boot camp the instructors there were there mainly to berate and belittle what independence people had in order to better train them to support each other (their shipmates) while in the military. This was mainly needed because of the strict sleep, eating, and physical and mental training you had to go through in boot camp. If you were too independent then you'd easily crack under the pressure because you would feel like you couldn't rely on others but if you were relying on others to help you out then you'd never feel alone enough to give up.
Now, back to my little social engineering experiment. In order to try and help my friend out I did what my instructors did to me, I belittled him openly over twitter. This was done in the hopes that what friends that he had, either those that didn't quite know of his plight or those whose minds were just on the edge of helping him out with money, would actually band together in a (hopefully) "I'll show you" attitude and not a pity or sympathy bonding. Strangely enough it worked, though random people hated me and talked shit about me on the internet, I laughed (cause they were stupid and didn't know what was going on).
What if social engineering didn't work:
Sure, there was a chance it wouldn't work so what would I have done if it didn't? Nothing. If it failed I couldn't of explained how I was trying to help my friend cause even after explaining then why didn't it work? In too many cases people are angered when you try to help them but fail to fully fix what ails them to trying to explain how something was SUPPOSED to work when it didn't will just fall on deaf ears. Worse is that I would have made more enemies than friends in that regards (though in most cases it comes from people you normally wouldn't care or hand out with anyways).
Why try to help someone when there's more to loose than gain from it? Well, why not? There shouldn't be any reason why one person should help another. There shouldn't be only benefits to helping another out nor should you be constantly weighing the pros and cons of helping someone out, especially if it's a friend. If there's a chance that what you do can help someone out, then why not do it?