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TNG and my travels.

I'm home from my trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina. I'd write all about it, but I really think kathryntact summarized it best here (warning, naughty photo in her post depicting what we did). Suffice to say, it was a wonderful weekend with her, with the added bonus of time with fetishcuriosity and taliakit.

This weekend I fly out to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Rio Grande Leather. I'm presenting a keynote speech on TNG, and my involvement with its founding.

It would appear I have good timing, as things are afoot.

On one side of the country, you have people in San Francisco planning the fourth TNG conference, TNG4. In the middle, there are TNG leaders trying to plan the "TNG revolution," or some nonsense like that. And in the east, one of the two founding TNG groups seems to have fallen victim to the wave of political drama that has been happening in DC for years and years and years.

It's a mixed bag of emotions for me. The baby that was born out of the efforts of high4tower, Schelli, Kyri, and myself seems to have grown into a teenager, full of the growing pains, angst, and beautiful moments that those years stereotypically offer.

I've seen TNG exist as a local service - a safe, comfortable place to serve as a gateway to our young - as it was originally intended. In some places, like New Mexico, Boston, Ohio, Arizona, among others, that spirit lives on. In other places, it seems to serve as a bargaining chip in a bizarre remake of West Side Story. And yet in others, people seem to think TNG is due for a revolution, and needs to step up and take on the world as its own center of power. (Would you believe some of the things I have heard? A national TNG umbrella organization where all other TNG groups would become chapters? The need for a TNG flag? Or, my favorite, a Mr. and Ms. TNG contest!!!)

I distanced myself from TES-TiNG two years ago. I was 29, looking towards 30, and I decided it was time to hand the reigns off to someone else. In that time, I have attended precisely one meeting - one that I was asked to teach. I intend on keeping it that way, letting them do their own thing. I will attend and teach at TNG4, and then I am officially done with TNG. That is it - my last hoorah.

Yet my head spins from all of the things I am seeing. The state of TNG groups. The attitudes towards the young that are binding us. The horseshit that is being crammed down our throats.

This should be an interesting speech.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'd love to read your speech, if you decide to post it after you've spoken. I'm watching this with sadness, in general.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 17th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
It's amazing how many people don't remember today. It's amazing how much the story has been rewritten.
Oct. 17th, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
Don't old people always say things of that nature to the young? LOL
Oct. 17th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Well said. Something that also will play a significant role in my speech.

Thanks for the reality check. I know you meant it tongue in cheek, but you're right.
Oct. 17th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
I'd really like to hear that speech.. might I suggest that you post the text of it so that those of us not in attendance can read it?
Oct. 17th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
even better, do you think you can get it recorded or webstreamed?

we really do need to have a reunion of the Gen X Syndicate and their peer cohorts. We can just sit there in rocking chairs and talk about the olden days...the waybackwhen...poppin pistachios like they were peanuts and sippin some punch and eatin pumpkin pie.
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
The Gen X Syndicate is in the speech. ;-)

What was your title again?
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
The Grand FUBAR!
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Here because Pete posted a link.
Don't forget Miss High Mucky Muck and Her Royal Highness Little Miss Thang'!

And to think, Next year on Sept 28th/29th will be the 10th anniversary of the Gen-X Syndicate. Meaning that 2009 brings the 10th anniversary of TNG.

We've nearly spanned a generation.

A lot of this whole DC-TNG drama is making my teeth grind. As I see it, some comes from a few personalities not being able to let go and grow up and out of what they think is TNG. Some of it comes from a few not realizing the what TNG was for in the first place - creating safe, comfortable space for the scene's youth to learn and eventually become the next generation of scene leaders. Most of the latter already benefited for TNGs creation and never knew a scene without TNG. They never got talked down or treated like a child just for being in their 20s.

Of course, all movements evolve. It would be great to start to see the scene in it's post-AIDs crisis status embrace sexual expression beyond kink. But what's going on in DC is less evolution towards a sex positive scene and comes across more like a hissy fit over the pragmatic rules one organization has by those that refuse to let go of the TNG label - even though they are now the last generation, not the next.

I fear that maybe we never pushed the idea of TNG existing as a youth gateway for future scene leaders enough down here in DC. It just makes me sad, because this is part of my scene roots and my legacy, and yet I'm the same way as you in that I no longer identify as "TNG."
Which means that TNG did its job for me.
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Amen! I still have the group photo. :)
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
Can you scan that???
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
You Have Mail. :)
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
I will be there and could bring the equipment to make an audio recording.... That is assuming boymeat is game.

I will need to know by Thursday for packing purposes.

This should be a truly interesting event indeed.
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
I'm game. However, I think we should get permission from the people putting on the event, no?
Oct. 17th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
If you don't mind I am pretty sure they won't. You are right though, it does bear asking. Heh, plus we have been out of the area for over a year now and politics may have changed from what I remember...

The people to contact are probably the BoD for NMLL (bod @ nmleatherleague.org). Would you like to make the request yourself or would you prefer me to? Since you are the person being immortalized for posterity it is more likely that they will play nice with you.

I will plan to pack my stuff so that it is at least there either way.
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
From the Old Fart with The Glowing Crystal
I actually attended the TNG Party/Sleepover this past weekend in DC and was very impressed with the effort, attendance,and overall vibe at the event. I think the BR-TNG coordinators are really doing a good job and should be commended. It brought back memories of the Chickenstock Road trip and how lucky I was to come into the then-forming TNG movement when I came in the scene.

I know that my TNG days are behind me, and while you can't go home again it is a nice place to visit.
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
the national organization still boggles my mind. it makes no sense at all.
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Some of the folks I am working with keep talking about wanting to form a national board to facilitate later cons. I have thrown near temper tantrums telling them that if they want to waste their time that way they can do it when I'm not at a bloody meeting.

Thank you for saving my ass and doing TNG4 as your last hurrah. :)
Oct. 17th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
In other places, it seems to serve as a bargaining chip in a bizarre remake of West Side Story

I'm curious... what does that mean?
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
TNG groups have been central to political struggles within organizations quite often - many of the independent TNG groups are the result of that.
Oct. 17th, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
Ah. Thanks. Luckily, when I ran it, there were no political struggles with our TNG group... there were lack of attendance struggles. :-)
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
I haven't been involved with BR-TNG for several years now, and have long since aged out, but every now and then I hear bits and pieces about the current state of things and can't really do anything but shake my head. I've heard/read a few different people refer (with a straight face) to a certain someone as the "founder" of BR-TNG. Ha. I wonder what Schelli and Kyri would have to say about that?

A national TNG organization? A contest??? WTF? I remember there being a lot of discomfort back in the early days about BR-TNG being affiliated too closely with BR, because it was too much of a "club" or too "old guard" for some peoples' tastes (including mine) -- and now they want TNG titleholders?

Kids today... *shakes head*

How many of us are left who've been to all three national TNG events so far? You, me, rdhdsnippet, high4tower. Maybe petemosq? I can't think of anyone else offhand.
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
I'm struggling to think of anyone else. And I am guessing that if TNG4 comes off as planned, I will then be the only person to have attended all of them.

Sometimes I see how far TNG has come. Sometimes I see how little things changed.
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
If I could possibly afford it either financially or emotionally I'm almost tempted to go with you just to go down in the history books together. *smile*
Oct. 17th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
I think part of the problem inherent in TNG is that is automatically separates people into "the next generation" rather than "the now generation." NOW that TNGers are really getting older and more mature and ready as a larger group to become part of the "overall community" there's more clashing and conflict than ever. Rather than just work together and become a vibrant new layer of history, the youngsters are fighting to retain their individual identity and having some trouble being accepted in the existing world.

Kinda like most older 20 somethings in any part of life :) It just gets polarized due to the nature of sub cultures.

It's sad, completely unnecessary, completely avoidable, but this is the scene and this is humans.
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
I don't see that at all. Maybe some individuals have done that in your view, but here in NY, the average age of TES has dropped, directly due to TNG. TNGers are now board members, and are becoming involved in the entire community.

But then again, in NY, we were never separate from the community. We always encouraged our attendees to become a part of the larger world. Yes, other groups seem to have isolated themselves - this was not the spirit intended in TNG's creation.
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
I would agree with you for the DC scene as well, though I don't have stats to back my agreement up.
Oct. 18th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
I'm home from my trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Damn it! I'm sorry I missed you. I didn't realize you'd be there. Sounds like you had a good trip.

Enjoy Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Rio Grande Leather. Sounds like it's going to be fun.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )