bITS 'N CHUNKS
So I've been going to AkaiCon for a couple years now and I generally enjoy it each time. Last year was probably my least favorite due to their chronic No Parking Syndrome so if it's financially feasible I would highly recommend just using rideshare the whole time. Fortunately, this year the convention moved a lot closer to me so I think I spent less on Lyft rides for three days than I did in the dealer's room.
This was the place for my menhera outfits and people responded to my pastel shirts but menhera isn't everywhere enough that people were like "omg look!!" and I was pretty dressed down. I lost a few of my more obvious accessories so I was stuck with the syringe necklace I made, some bandages, my bondage gear, house shoes, and robe. Saturday could have been more successful if I'd remembered to switch into my full sleepy time gear instead of just wearing the robe but, well. Well.
Anyway, the point wasn't really me dressing up this year but just the general experience of the con. I appreciated all the walking space and the hallways never felt too crowded or sparse. The new venue worked for me because most of everything I wanted to see was on a single floor and the hotel is equipped for conferences and events so there was plenty of room for pretty much everything. There was a good bit to do as well and a nice diversity of panels and events. I also really appreciated all the main events having their own floor this year for all the people they could fit in and all the people who didn't want to deal with constant noise in their other panels. That was a great move for everyone. And merging the dealer's room and artist alley is always a win in my book, personally.
Now, that being said there was quite a bit of what I think is best summed up as "shenanigans". Con silliness if you will. A lot of the "this was out of our cosmic control". I didn't have to worry about the infamous parking situation because push came to shove I was close enough to bike/walk/bus whatever. That was…unfortunate, from what I was told. But inside the wacky world of the con there were some odious scheduling misfires, on the fly changes, and probably the most egregious was shutting down the anime viewing/video room with only a note on Facebook and not a con-wide announcement which miffed off many a patron. It got a little weird to say the least and depending on your temperament, pretty wack. And the elevator situation? Still haunted.
But, I gotta say I still had a good time. Every con is what you make it and this was one of my more social ones. I even got to gab about wrestling for a few hours and see a few adult panels. It was a rather unique bonding experience and shows AkaiCon is definitely getting better and better and deserves attention. I'll never get back all the money I sank on merchandise, but at least memories are free.
Hi everyone, before I get into this post I just want to stress it's pretty much me speculating based off lived experience and things I've noticed and I'm in no way attempting to extrapolate information about society based on a Japanese street style lol. As a continuation of my first menhera post, this is basically just why I'm attracted to the fashion and why I think people that look like me might be drawn to it as well. If you have any insight yourself or even counterpoints you're always free to comment. No one is forcing me to make a disclaimer about this I'm just choosing to out of respect. That being said...
Continuing on with our menhera interlude and writing in general, let's talk about DIY and supporting your local artists. First, a short tutorial on this necklace:
1 syringe from the vet
1 bottle of acrylic paint
1 pair of scissors
Clean the syringe thoroughly, and when dry suck up some paint from the tube to your preferred level. Let dry. Cut syringe to preferred length and then, near the middle, cut a small hole. Push the top of the plunger through the hole.
Syringe necklaces actually stem from the cyber scene so you can do this with bigger syringes, neons, glitter, etc.
Most of the scenes I belong to encourage a DIY mentality. Punk, metal, goth, otaku even the smaller subsects of j-fashion will tell you to fuck the mainstream and just make the damn thing yourself. No one said you can't flex, but we tend to prefer you flex creatively. Now, there is the caveat that in this society you can't do EVERYTHING yourself. In that case, yeah, you're going to have to give money to someone doing it themselves and selling.
DIY and the #shoplocal movement are highly political and a little complicated of course but in their purest form: support small business when you can, if you can. The internet has expanded the definition of "local" greatly and there's more product out there than ever before. Sometimes I dream of things and it seems like someone hears my cry from the heart and makes a knitcap out of it.
Let's stick to scenes. As a writer, goth, emo, nerd, whatever, you're participating in the scene. How do you contribute? You might think, well I write. That's good! But hopefully, you're reading books by other authors and buying them. Boosting voices. Sharing music. Maybe you're crafty and making goods. That deserves support. All of those things are how we keep our scenes alive.
The scenes I belong to abhor mainstream, so DIY and one of a kind products are highly valued. You don't want to look the same, smell the same, whatever. You want the ONLY print of that t-shirt in the whole state of Tennessee. But you know what's also cool? Telling people where you got them from. Sharing a discount code because we're all broke.
Also, if you're...well, differently sized, DIY and shopping small business is a good way to finally get catered to without spending an arm and a leg. People will tell you to go to Goodwill all the time but you know where you need to go? Redbubble. Etsy. Ebay. Yes, the sites that get a bad rep but tend to have the biggest variety of sizes and styles. Them's kind of the breaks sometimes. Not all of us can or are able to sew. More on that later.
Now, the downside of this would be, of course...so you're shopping local and shopping small, and you start thinking to yourself, man, I could do all of this for cheap. And that's OK. In my caption up there you'll see that I mention that necklace cost me about 1-2 dollars to make but PLEASE support your local artist. Yes, it's easy to make a syringe necklace. But sometimes you have to decide is it worth it to you. Do you want to drive to Wal-Mart at midnight or would you rather just pay some nice person to ship you a completed work of art, eh?
What I like most is the human connection of shopping small. I get to support people and learn more about them (especially in the event that you DON'T want to support them) and where my products are coming from. It's such a neat process to be part of sometimes. You can really make someone's day just by buying a necklace. And it's still contributing and keeping your scene alive. You want your scene to live, right? Think of it as a home. You don't pay bills for a few months and come back, the grass is up to the porch and it's property of the bank now. Although I suppose we're all property of the bank at this point...well, don't think about it.
Content warning: this post will include description/discussion of topics surrounding mental health such as anxiety, triggers, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and suicide. There will also be a few depictions of gory/horror material although not excessively graphic in my opinion. Pictures will be limited and purely for demonstration.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...