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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Just got in a little while ago from...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 11/8/1992 2:37:00 PM  

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Just got in a little while ago from Wishcon, and overall it was a
terrific experience. There was just one blemish on the weekend.

Prior to the B5 presentation, someone mentioned to me that Majel was
furious that B5 was being given any exposure there, and that something would
be done about it. I dismissed this upon hearing it, figuring it was the usual
rumor-stuff that invariably encircles cons like this.

The progression was a panel by Wil, a panel by Majel, then the B5
presentation. Wil ran about 5-10 minutes over. Majel went 5 over. Then 10.
Then 15. Then 20. The con organizers were indicating to her to wrap it up.
She refused, saying that she wasn't going to give up the microphone. 25
minutes. She noted my presence, commented upon it, but kept on going. 30
minutes plus, and finally she surrendered the stage.

What happened next comes to me from people who were there. One of the
con organizers apparently went to Majel, who was signing autographs outside,
and asked point-blank if she'd done that on purpose to try and foul up the B5
presentation. She smiled, very satisfied, and refused to comment. "What did
you think we'd do?" he asked her. "Cut the presentation off? Or in half?
Won't happen. All you've done is to cut into the auction, and all that does
is hurt the kids." (Wishcon is part of a fundraiser for the Oak Hill School
for the Blind and the Make a Wish Foundation, for terminally ill children.)
She still only smiled and didn't answer...and the auction lost 15-20 minutes
of fundraising time. It would have lost more, but I cut my own comments
short at the end, even though I wanted to say more to the large group, and
instead moved to a smaller room. (I would've originally had 15-20 minutes in
the big room before moving over, if the schedule had been kept.) Better that
I should have a little less time than cut further into the fundraising
efforts.

I'm not angry about it, more saddened that a good cause, with the
interests of terminal children at heart, would be held hostage to someone's
pique. And astonished that she'd do this so plainly in front of over a
thousand witnesses, plus all the people standing in line outside for the
latter part of the story.

Ah, well. As was said in "Phantom of the Opera," these things do happen.

That incident pales, though, before the reaction to the B5 presentation.
One of the con organizers told me subsequently that in the con's history,
including showing "Unification" prior to broadcast, no such preview has ever
gotten a standing ovation. It left me utterly flummoxed, and pleased, and
grateful. It was at that point that I began to think that maybe, just maybe
we had something here.

Because truth is, you never know. You're too close to the situation to
be objective anymore. So the response to the presentation has provided a
considerable boost in energy and enthusiasm, which has been conveyed back to
my associates already.

It was fun meeting all the GEnie-ites (even Cindy...I think) (oh, and by
the way, Tamlyn isn't as young as you mentioned; she's in her early 30s, which
is a fine age for that kind of job, she just looks very young, darn it, said
the fellow who was looking old long before his time). To put faces with names
is always a fascinating experience. It's a strange sensation...to come into a
town where you don't know anyone, to find that you know people.

Anyway, good to meet y'all, and thanks for the support. It was a hell of
a weekend.

(Oh, and before I forget, to respond to the note above about the name of
Babylon...it was only later in its history that it gained the rep that has now
come down to us. It was a place of great plans for commerce and culture. The
name Babylon comes from Bab El, which means the Gate of God, hardly an evil
place. But it declined, and eventually was overthrown. Will B5 go through a
similar arc? Who knows...?)

jms

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