By the sea, by the sea,
by the beautiful sea!
But first, we have to get there. Off to St. Pancras International Station – with easily the most uncomfortable public seating in the known world – to locate the Chiltern Railways run headed the right direction, and an hour later I’m in Brighton! Hooray!
While I’m getting there the old-fashioned way, you can get there in a matter of four minutes (plus another 60 seconds to find a comfortable seat before the train gets started and some time to catch your breath at the other end).
So… now that you’ve arrived – and so have I – let’s go to the World HorrorCon, shall we?
The international event in Brighton went quite well. It was fascinating to have the opportunity to see a clash of cultures in microcosm with the self-driven positive promotion of the American attendees – wearing their emotions very much on the surface of the moment – with the members of England’s delegation who tended to be of a more restrained and humble demeanour – and very much leant to the ‘it’s a pleasing moment’ when expressing their incredible joy. While expected, the contrast was considerably more distinct than anticipated. During the closing ceremonies, the event was described as ‘the best ever’, ‘very very very good’, the “red shirt” helpers running around doing the little things required to ensure events ran smoothly ‘worked really incredibly hard doing a huge amount of difficult work’, the artists who were displayed in an exhibition were “the finest artists working in the world today’ and the display was ‘the best exhibition ever’, and people attending were thanked for ‘travelling incredible distances’ to ensure that this was ‘truly a proper World event of incredible proportions and diversity’.
Hyperbole injection, anyone?
Following the Stoker Awards ceremony, at least one UK person was heard to describe the affair as ‘clearly an attempt to out-do Hollywood’ with its use of video-taped message from the Chair of the AHA – an attempted high-production affair which was plagued by badly synced sound and an already reverb-laden recording being played on a sound system in a reverb-laden room, at too low a volume to hear properly anyway, with incredibly slow pacing, albeit with rather attractive costuming and a fine example of a rack… and the set dressing had some nice torture devices as well – as well as a few grumbles about ‘and there was all this clapping you had to do, as if you bloody cared about all these people you’ve never heard of; WOO! WOO-HOOOO! all the bloody time… and then you had to stand-up… PFAH! I don’t think I’ll go to another fucking awards thing ever again!’
I, on the other hand, have often noticed and enjoyed the dignified restraint of the UK-held events where ‘excellence’ is recognized, yet completely understand the outbursts of enthusiasm during American-held ones. This may explain better than any other way what sort of people Canadians are. Flexible, easy-going, adaptable. We see both sides, respect and understand the differences, and celebrate the diversity of human behaviour.
Either that or we simply are obsequious bastards who need to be loved by everyone.
The afternoon of leaving Brighton, I toured the Pavilion [exterior image, right; sadly, no pictures are allowed inside], which was INCREDIBLE. Both Crazy Legs and Christopher Fowler were quite right to say/command that “one must visit it”. The overt-sensuality and explosion of Chinoisery of the Banquet and Music Halls were perfectly off-set by the less temperate elegance of the Salon and Music Gallery. Much of the building seems to be open to viewing, but there are no doubt treasures that remain out of sight.
The gardens could be improved, but there was no mention of them ever being a remarkable thing to the eye during either its use by the Prince of Wales/Regent/King George the IV or Queen Victoria. Given the beauty within its walls, it might not have been seen as necessary to have outdoor works of visual splendour. ‘Splendour’ certainly is not in short supply there, that’s for sure.
NEXT POST: more about the World HorrorCon itself, as well as its events.
Table of contents for the series “Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle (Spring 2010)”
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: Preparations are Prepared
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: T-Minus 1… Standing By…
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: We Have Lift-Off!
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: Houston, the Fez Has Landed!!
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: First Manœuvre Successfully Completed
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: Newspapers as Oddities
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: Brighton, Part II
- Conquering the Sceptrèd Isle: Back to London