Singular Cerebrations: It Takes a Village
Emily and I were recently lucky enough to be invited to cover the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. We were treated fabulously, got to interview Linda Godfrey and Loren Coleman, and generally had a blast surveying the conference scene. Look for our write-up and videos of our interviews to be posted over the weekend.
But that's not really what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about community building, and why it's important in our field. Anybody who does what we do will tell you it's not about the money. If you're interested in getting rich, then go to business school. Nor is it about the attention or celebrity; at least not for me. I won't comment on paranormal television stars, because that's frankly a discussion for another time. No, the investigators, writers, and artists who devote their time to the strange subjects we all love do it out of passion. We all share a certain weird curiosity, and often have had experiences ourselves--or wish we had. We have far more in common than that which divides us.
And so we've all sort of floated around and found each other here, at this conference. You see, you can't go to school to investigate fortean activity. There's very little support from your more mainstream peers, and if you want a job in this field you'd better be prepared to make one for yourself. So the support network we really have is each other. And that's why we need the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. We need this space where like-minded individuals can come together and support each other's endeavors, whether they be research-based, investigative, or artistic. We need to take all of our little pockets of oddness and combine them, and in so doing build a community that is stronger than any one person or organization. Some of the people who follow The Singular Fortean Society might find they also want to follow Cult of Weird, buy Linda Godfrey's new book, or visit Loren Coleman's cryptozoology museum; and any of the people following them might decide that they like what we stand for, and decide to join our little society.
Community building benefits everybody. The benefits to we who build our lives around this are obvious, but it also helps expose more casual fans of the fortean to new vistas of the strange and wonderful to which they might otherwise remain oblivious. So I hope you'll join us in supporting the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. You can donate to their gofundme page here. And we'll be donating 50% of the proceeds from our shop in October to them, which you can find here. Thanks in advance for helping us build and strengthen our community.
Yours in Impossibility,