#31 Followup on “Enter The Anime Rave” - Not As Bad As We Thought
I wanted to come back to this distasteful story, because there are only so many developing stories in the world of American otaku right now. Well, that and I love distasteful stories. See the earlier article “Dude, The Cops Raided Anime Boston”for details.
When the news first broke, nobody knew exactly what was going on. We speculated, we whispered. We traded our own gross stories about people passed out in puddles of their own bodily fluids outside the rave.
In the last column, I said it had to be that some teenage kids found some alcohol, got drunk, ran into the rave and caused some trouble. It was a safe bet. It happens a lot!
The details eventually made it to the local newspaper, the Boston Herald... and they scored a “medium” on the scale of “what could have happened”. The police showed up to shut the event down for overcrowding: as a bonus, they found a passed-out partier. A common occurrence, as we mentioned above, but they got even more than that. The most unusual thing is that a “clearly disturbed” young man was arrested for trying to punch and kick the EMTs (emergency medical technicians) who arrived. Drugs were confiscated, but again, no big surprise there.
Anyway, the interesting thing is that most online reaction to this story from convention-going otaku was “Yeah, we know.” Nobody who regularly attended conventions was actually surprised at the level of chaos and debauchery: in fact, the events at Anime Boston were considered tame. Just one unconscious raver? Only one guy trying to start a fight? Oh, that's nothing, they said.
I'll paraphrase a comment from someone I will assume is a seasoned anime convention partier: “Of course this is what people do at anime conventions. Nobody goes to anime conventions for ANIME, right?”
In the conversations I've had with friends about the Anime Boston affair, it keeps coming up: why does the convention have to hold a huge, officially sanctioned party, anyway? Why should a convention take responsibility for the partying that happens after hours, underage kids getting into trouble, or the bad behavior of people who show up to the convention solely to get trashed? If I ran my own dream convention-- please note: I hope never to run, organize, or staff an anime convention ever in my life-- we'd wrap up a little past midnight and tell the attendees to have their own damn party. Then I'd go get my friends together and have my own damn party.
So yeah, strange things happen at the American anime convention. Some people get in trouble... but they're usually people who tried really, really hard to get in trouble. Please, don't think that you would be in any danger at the American anime convention. You wouldn't be... just stay clear of the rave.