Here's a hint: CO$T! It's ALL about money. My guess--and it is a guess--is that it runs several thousands of dollars less to book Anaheim (or Miami) in summer and Chicago (or Minneapolis) in winter. The hotels are also cheaper, and they are more willing to do deals on prices just to fill the rooms and get something. So are tourist things, if that's your thing, and restaurants and airlines. This means--listen up--it costs less for us to attend than it would if we went someplace Neato and Coolio like St. Louis in January or Boston in June.
And why Anaheim instead of L.A.? Hello? Go read paragraph #2. It's cheaper.
Why do I know this? Because I know people who work in the for-profit world. As much as that annoys me sometimes--huh--they have to justify the money they spend, and I will tell you all that there are times when they look at government (i.e. that would be us, kiddies) and are appalled at how clueless and retarded we are. So, chalk one up to ALA for saving money. ALA gets kudos for being financially responsibile on this count at least from me.
I was in Anaheim last month, across the street from Disney. I hate Disney. I'm not ridiculous about it--for instance, I don't hate it the way I hate terrorists or liver-and-onions--because I didn't feel compelled to partake in ANYthing Disney while I was there. I didn't eat, shop, ride, or enjoy ANYthing related to Disney, except 5 minutes of fireworks one night, in spite of practically marinating in Disneyfied air.
Guess what: I don't go to conferences to a) drink, b) eat gourmet food, c) have spa treatment, d) tour the vicinity, e) bitch about my host (i.e that would be Anaheim, kiddies). I go to LEARN. I go to enjoy some networking, to get excited about my job, to find out what might be coming down the pike, to meet some interesting people that I otherwise would not (and I assure you, I am NOT talking about the people doing most of the talking, though I did speak to Tim Spalding in the LibraryThing booth and congratulate him for being an instigator), to see an old place in new light or a new place period, and to get the FUCK away from work for a change of scenery!
So, Anaheim was hot, and there was a lot of concrete. So, I am out of shape. So, I am not thin. So, somehow--though I'm beginning to wonder if I imagined it--I hiked the distance to and from my cheap-ass motel (bar- and restaurant-free, mind you) and the conference site. I rode the shuttle bus precisely once, just to see how that worked. I walked 6-plus hours one day on concrete in exhibit halls and never once tried to steal anything that I "thought" was free but wasn't. I probably put three times more mileage on my feet in California than I do in the average month in 'real life.' And you know what? I could have gone several more days doing the same thing! It fucking was not that bad. Frankly, I felt crappier when I was on vacation in London four years ago walking (duh!) concrete streets and marble museum floors for a week.
The people who are bitching on their blogs about how AWFUL it was in Disn...er, Anaheim have a tone to their commentary that is very curious to me. It is the sound of cheerleaders talking down the Ugly Chick. It is the sound of Heather dismissing Martha Dumptruck. It is NOT the sound of a group of people I hope represent libraries or librarians now, nor do I hope these are the future leaders of the profession. I hope that librarians aren't a bunch of spoiled, whiny, and unbearably rude brats. I hope this because, while I was never Martha Dumptruck or the Ugly Chick in high school, one of the reasons I love the movie "Heathers" is because I enjoy watching a 100% pure bitch drink drain cleaner. It's very...cleansing.
Can we just get over ourselves and our liberal, white-bread, white-ass snobbery and gain some understanding of what the FUCK we were supposed to be there for?! And if you whiners can't figure out the last bit, at least stop griping about the carbon footprint of the conferences, the fact that California is notoriously based on driving instead of walking, the inanity of Disney, the perception that ALA is run by "Boomer Deadwood" and therefore toe-dally SUX!, and the lack of crunchy Trader-Joe-approved food. Use that energy to make your workplace better in a positive way.
I dunno. Maybe y'all just need to get laid. Or get stuffed. But please, for the love of Mike, shut up! It's enough to make this liberal-but-not-crunchy post-Boomer want to throw up a little on your self-righteousness. I remember being young and perfectly sure of the stupidity, hypocrisy, inanity, whatever-ity of The Oldies. Some of them annoy me still, now. But, what do you remember? Watching Ursula beat up on Ariel? Yeah. OK.
And what are you doing about it? Oh. Yeah. Working on that Second Life avatar that will change the world while simultaneously making a new LOLcat. Great. Let me know how all that works out for you. I'm sure you'll blog about it. Just remember: the people in Anaheim that you are talking trash about are PEOPLE who can READ your BLOG and be OFFENDED about how UNPLEASANT some LIBRARIANS are being about the place they LIVE. How would you feel if they were talking your hometown down that way?
And yes, believe it or not, I do get the irony. Because, you know what? Irony has been around...awhile.
Word Spy Word:
kindergarchy: n. Rule or domination by children; the belief that children's needs and preferences take precedence over those of their parents or other adults.
Do I really need to explain why I chose the word kindergarchy to end this post? OK, here's the thing: I'm not against people younger than me. I just don't want the good-hearted ones I know to be overrun by the Asshats with Attitude, a.k.a. Kindergarchs.
* No, I'm not about to link to any of them. If you haven't read any of them, and care to, go Google 'em all up.