Sunday, 26 October 2008

The "Culture" of BIOS: Unprofessional, Uncooperative and Rude

Yes, I know you ALL really expect some pictures from the past two days, since not only is there material from Audience Killer Loop IV but also from yesterday's... Well, we'll get to that soon enough. As always, a little patience people: the first photos will be up on Monday. Until then, let us discuss yesterday's... events. Now, I am aware that most, if not all of you who were there, are very (intimately even) familiar with what happened in BIOS (Pireos 84). However, for the merit of anyone who did not get the full scoop or was absent, let me enlighten you.

As you have seen over the past few weeks, Ordre de Ciel were invited to BIOS to organize a Cosplay Party as part of the 24-Hour Comics Day, hosted by Comicworld. I believe that on the part of Comicworld, there was absolutely nothing problematic and we maintained regular contact throughout the organization leading to the event. However, the owners of BIOS, as they have done in the past with's Karaoke Party, believed it would be a good time to cause problems 2 days before the event. Ordre de Ciel were informed at the time, that the venue offered one CD-player and two vinyl disc players for Ordre de Ciel to use. Now, that was the first foul, since it had been specified, over two weeks earlier, that 2 (mark the number - it looks nothing like a 1!) CD-players and a mixing console were needed. That was ALL that was required from the very beginning and they thought it very logical to inform of their inability to provide it, only two days earlier, throwing OdC (and me along, since I would be guest DJing) into the hunt for a solution. After various failed attempts, the solution came from one of you! Chiroto kindly offered to provide a professional DJing CD-player and his own mixing console, just in case we faced problems even there.

Arriving at BIOS with Ordre de Ciel, we were witness to intense unwillingness to help with the setup. When you go to a venue and use even one piece of their own equipment, proper procedures dictate that they should take care of the setup, since not only one cannot be familiar with their wiring but there is also the matter of liability in case of property damage. We had to go and get the person responsible for the setup 3(!) consecutive times, until he deemed fit to have everything in working order. Be that as it may, Ordre de Ciel were ready to start playing by 20:05, starting with Raven, who played until 22:00 and then had to leave because she is coming down with a virus again, poor dear (hope you get better soon!).

The fact that [room302] got weird looks from the oh-so-adequately-dressed (laughs all around) people tending the bar, when he went to order some warm tea - looks which continued towards our general direction (and figure, the only cosplayers present at the time were Oremo and Nikmer, as Debitto and Allen Walker from D.Gray-man - nothing too extreme really) afterwards - was not really problematic, just plain rude. I guess their high sense of 'culture' has deprived them of any sense of good manners.

Next up was everyone's dear psycho anime geek (yes, I know you love me - talk about narcissism!), who had already decided to go for broke with that particular list, which, as you know by now, was comprised of anime themes by chronological order, starting with 1974's Getter Robo and finishing with 1999's "Butterfly" from Digimon. I will post the rest of that list on Monday, so again, a little patience: I have people to chew up yet.

After my decidedly happy-tralala set, next up was none other than [ru-mu], who planned on getting the (almost gathered by then) Ordre de Ciel crowd up and jumping, with songs (not specifically in that order) like "Zetsubou Billy", "I.V.", "What's Up People?", "One-Winged Angel", "Koi no Megalover" (a.k.a. "Smurfs With Electric Saws", affectionately), "GO" etc. etc. Predictably, you people got up and started having the wild fun you always do. At some point, the setup guy comes over and asks me what's the rest of the program and how many more of us will play. After I answered him and asked "why", he told me that they were thinking if they could change the music at some point. That smelled trouble, so I went to inform [ru-mu], who, correctly, told me that if they wanted anything, they could tell him in person.

Around the time of "One-Winged Angel", [ru-mu] called me over, evidently infuriated. He told me:

"I'm going to put on one more song and then you are up."

"But... err... It's not yet..."

"Look, I will be leaving, so if you want to take over, it's yours!"

"OK, what happened?"

"They told me that 'this music is too Heavy Metal' and the usual patrons have left." ('Too Heavy Metal' is such an intelligent remark from people who obviously know as much about music, as a stripper knows about nuclear physics).

By that time, 80-100 people, some with incredible cosplays, were present, some dancing, others ordering drinks and in general, the place was getting very lively. When we arrived, BIOS had barely 50 people, all of which were just sitting around with a lukewarm beer or a coffee.

"OK, so they have but still, the place is packed."

"Yeah, but they say that there will be trouble, the patrons will not come back after this and they want us to go to the basement to continue. I AM NOT GOING down there. If you want to go, feel free."

"Dude, look at all these people - and some wear cosplays that will suffocate them in there. There is no way I am going."

After that, the owner showed up and tried to 'reason' with [ru-mu]. Fat chance. I took out my second set and waited to see what would happen. The music stopped. The owner came up to me, all 'friendly'.

"Um, is there any chance you will play some pop?"

"What do you mean, exactly?"

"Well, what's in there?" (pointing at the case)

"You can't put a label on it. It's a Japanese compilation; it has all sorts."

"What, like the one before?!" ("One Winged Angel")

"As I said, there's all sorts inside."

"Right, OK, so we'll just have to take the party downstairs, OK?"

"Look, I cannot tell all these people, some with very stuffy costumes, to go to the basement. They will suffocate."

"No, there's ventilation. why will they suffocate?" (Anyone who has gone to the underground part of BIOS and has done serious cosplay, knows perfectly well why 100 people would suffocate down there. Besides, it was a breach of agreement. Ordre de Ciel had been invited to host a Cosplay Party in the main hall, so there was nothing to discuss).

"I am sorry but if you tell me that we absolutely have to go downstairs, I will simply leave.

"OK, so what do we do now?"

The man was either of limited mental faculties or thought his repeating that same question three times, would somehow make me change my mind, when Ordre de Ciel had already made perfectly clear that they refused to subject their people to what the owner proposed. So I left the decks and waited to be given permission to make an official statement about this turn of events. Of course, that was merely formal, since I knew that the sort of people who behave like this, would never have those they have offended make an official statement on the spot. Instead, I just waited until all our guests had left and informed any who asked about the situation.

Oh, we had plenty of fun elsewhere, but that does not mean that the owners of BIOS (and they alone, because Comicworld and 24-Hour Comics Day was not to blame) are not the most unprofessional, uncooperative and rude people Ordre de Ciel and I had to work with so far.

There will NEVER be another Ordre de Ciel event in BIOS, unless the ownership changes and some people who can respect formal agreements and individuality, buy it off. In conclusion, I advise anyone who is not playing music within the strict limits of pop or drum & bass, to not ever try and book BIOS for an event, because contrary to its elaborate title of "Cultural Venue", the owner and management could not spell "culture" if their life depended on it. Even if you do play to their particular tastes, they are still uncooperative and try their absolute least to facilitate the events they have agreed upon. BIOS is a shame to all professional venues of entertainment and all supporters of culture.

The irony is, given the cosplays and attendance, this would have been one of the most successful Cosplay Parties ever, but the owners 'cleverly' thought to insult the organizers and cut it short, leaving BIOS almost completely empty for the night (except for the 24HCD of course).

Ijyou desu,


P.S. Here is the official Ordre de Ciel Announcement on the events of last night.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

"Where the HELL Have You Been?!"

I realize this must be on the mind of anyone who has cared to come back here since last month's Hellboy post. Well, the truth is I have been caught up in stuff and have had quite a load of things to go through in my life's backlog, both professionally and personally.

On another note, I have been posting quite frequently in Otaku Lens and editing gazillions of pics, as always, so that left no time to write for other stuff here. Meanwhile, Ergo Proxy has been facing one thing after another, after another (and yet, another) with the Army Service (thankfully ending by bloody mid-November), so he has been unavailable even for a bit of talk, let alone blogging.

However, these things being as they may, Easy Subjugation is by no means dead and will be picking up as of November again. As I had written in the last posts during Summer, there will be a slight change of direction, as all the heavy duty Japanese posts will be now hosted in Otaku Lens.

If any of you have read (if not, go read it) and remember (again, if not, go read it) Breaking Into Politics (with a Sledgehammer), you might recall that I am not real big on politics. Sure, I follow the news, both online anf off, read papers, listen to the radio, etc. etc. That is how I knew we were dangerously close to a "Krach", not unlike the one of 1934 ("Depression" is a great no-no word - oops, did I say that out loud?) and that everyone who was anyone, was running panicked to hold it back (well, except the people stealing hard-earned money at the Stock Exchange, under the COMPLETE consent of the law!). However, I do not enjoy blogging politics...

Opening YouTube to find something interesting to post here, all the top videos are, well... U.S.A. elections and Barack Obama related. Why is that? Well, simply, because the U.S.A. have brought themselves to the brink of economic catastrophe, endangering the rest of the world along with them; except for the Chinese, to whom they practically owe a debt so huge that they can NEVER hope to pay off "conventionally" (if you get my meaning). Is it the fact that Obama may be the first-ever colored President of the U.S.A.? Noooooo! It's just that people hope he will somehow make the U.S.A. a giant again. Well, that part is not hard. It IS a giant - substituting those clay feet with something sturdier, might be a bit tricky though.

As I am writing this, I made a background check to make sure I have not - somehow - missed any prior African-American U.S.A. President. Lo and behold: Google turned up "5 Black Presidents". According to it and according to the stated source, people should consider among those (1) Thomas Jefferson (2) Andrew Jackson (3) Abraham Lincoln (4) Warren G. Harding, based on their ancestry, i.e. supposedly their "black" DNA! Now, I am not an expert on racist matters but I am not sure this is a good way to look at it. Even if it is, anyone whose IQ rates higher than a turnip's, knows perfectly well that racial segregation had much less to do with modern genetics or family trees, than it had with politics, economy, religion and plain old-school xenophobic prejudice. However, press on the link above and read the source: I found it immensely funny.

On the other hand, I might be wrong...!!! Digging around some more, I found this interesting bit (read the second from "Other Answers") in Yahoo!Answers. However, if you are ready to consider I am wrong, you might have to consider that these U.S.A. are NOT the same with the original ones... since THOSE U.S.A. were established through the Articles of Confederation and NOT the current Constitution. the Articles became operative in 1781, after the Revolutionary War. Under those Articles, the first President was John Hanson, from 1781 to 1782 and not George Washington.

I might add that the American Constitution was signed in 1787 (and this is the scanned version) and colored people were not allowed to vote until after the end of the Civil War, in 1865. Even then, the Jim Crow Laws of the 1900s greatly restricted any bid for equal treatment, let alone power.

But listen to me ramble on and I am not even American... I know what, let us leave all these uncomfortable things aside and have a look at Michael Moore's "SICKO". Guy's a million laughs alright...

Do you know what the worst part is? From personal experience, I can tell you, the Greek Health Care System is nearly as bad as that of the U.S.A. (except, Greece is so miniscule by comparison, that the problem has not grown THAT out of proportion).

Well, that is all for today. I just wanted to holler and say we're still here and I ended up discussing politics and American history, with a bit of health care for icing. My trains of though are positively weird.

Take care,