Ted Talks – “Brickworld 2018: A Con Odyssey”

Hey Kentucky! Welcome back to the Manifesto and more importantly to our regular feature Ted Talks, where friend of the blog and bon vivant Ted Andes shares his wit and wisdom on a wide variety of topics.  Without further ado, take it away Ted!

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The monolith

Evolution

In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, a large black slab of extraterrestrial technology is discovered by our presumed hominid ancestors, causing a considerable shift in their evolution and marking the dawn of mankind.  Thousands of years later at Brickworld 2017, another significant discovery was made; a number of “White Brick” monoliths had been placed around the display hall, sometime during the dawn of Sunday morning.  Sure enough, they appeared yet again at Brickworld 2018.  Perhaps they are the harbinger of another shift in our evolution… an evolution in both the LEGO convention experience and in the community of builders at large.

The White Brick

“I think that white brick is really the heart of what we all want the community to be and represent, rather than the manufactured recognition that pretty much all awards have disappointingly come to be.” – Matt rowntRee

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The “White Brick” monoliths are the same size and shape as the red, brick-built trophies given to the winners of each Brickworld awards category.  As with the monoliths in “2001: A Space Odyssey” these “White Bricks” also contain many mysteries.  One of which is that these bricks are actually hollow boxes that contain a surprise MOC inside, many times personalized to the receiver.  So where did they come from? Why did they start showing up?

Since the “White Bricks” closely resemble Brickworld trophies, the easiest explanation for their appearance is to recognize noteworthy displays that had been passed over for a nomination.  If you haven’t attended Brickworld Chicago, the award nominations are doled out in predetermined categories; Best Vehicle, Best Spacecraft, Best Mech, Best Building, etc.  People certainly build MOC’s to purposefully fit them into these categories, while others consider the categories after the fact (and some even make them fit on a lark).

For those people who just want to “build something cool”, many times they don’t know what awards category their builds should go into, if any at all (…and I’m not sure why it is up to the builder to decide that for themselves).  As a result, many epic builds fall through the cracks when it comes to award nominations. They either don’t fit well into any category, get lost in the sheer number of displayers… or perhaps for other reasons?  Like “so-and-so never gets nominated, so let’s throw them a bone this year”, or “so-and-so always gets nominated, so let’s nominate a different builder instead.”  Rather than merit alone determine the nominations, politics and popularity creeps in (there was one such dubious nomination in “Best Spacecraft” this year).  You can play the game, but as you live by the sword, you die by the sword too.

The “White Brick” started appearing last year on such un-nominated builds. In 2017, Andrew Mollmann and Cecilie Fritzvold were two recipients of the “White Bricks”.  Andrew had built a most excellent “Grand Budapest” façade that year.  I’m not sure which of Cecilie’s builds that her white brick was placed in front of (perhaps for her “Goomba”?), but she did have a banner year in 2017.  She had received a Brickworld award nomination for best vignette, and was also part of yet another “Best Group Layout” win for the Eurobricks collective (they won this year too – 3 years in a row!).  She even defeated Chris Maddison in “Iron Builder” earlier that year, which was no small feat.

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Cecilie Fritzvold’s “Goomba” – so what’s in the box?

This year, however, the “White Bricks” weren’t only placed in front of un-nominated builds. Learning who else received them has led to an important discovery regarding their true meaning; The “White Bricks” recognizes those people who make the Brickworld experience special in some way, not only through creating displays but also through meaningful engagement within the community.

One such “White Brick” was given to Victor at Eclipse Graphx.  At first he had thought a customer accidentally left it behind.  When he opened the box, however, he discovered his Eclipse Grafx logo placed inside. Victor has always been a great supporter of the building community.  He definitely stepped up in a major way for us during the speederbike contest, by creating those custom printed tiles that we distributed to worthy participants. Victor receiving a “White Brick” was great recognition and well deserved, and I know receiving it meant a great deal to them.

Our friend Simon Liu received a “White Brick”, although technically it wasn’t actually white.  It had been built using trans-clear and trans-red bricks, and integrated into it was “The Heart of Brickworld”.  There is no doubt that this brick belongs on his shelf.  From my very first Brickworld, and probably from his first, he has set a positive paradigm for others to follow; inclusiveness, generosity, kindness, always build something new and fun, etc..  I was happy that I could extend some of that hospitality back to him prior to Brickworld this year.  Simon was so taken in by the charms of Louisville, KY during his 2017 “Pub Scouting” trip that he made a return trip.  We got the chance to hang out the weekend before Brickworld, along with Alec, Caleb, and Evan who joined him on this year’s “Brickworld or Bust 2018” tour.  I guided them to rockin’ local distilleries, hot-chicken joints, brick stores, escape rooms, and a meet up with John Klapheke too.  Good times.

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Simon Liu: The “Heart” of Brickworld

The rowntRee received one too, with his containing a dick with crabs inside… Wait, what!?! … I haven’t seen any pictures, but maybe I don’t want to. I guess that makes him the “STD of Brickworld”?  On the surface it definitely sounded insulting, but leave it to rowntRee to see the deeper symbolism in all things. He declared it the “Dick of Brickworld” brick and a badge of honor, showing that he doesn’t care about preconceived notions or anyone else’s perceptions. It is recognition that people in the community who “call it like they see it” are a necessity, however bluntly they put it, and he will own it and wear it with pride…  Honestly though, anyone who thinks rowntRee is a dick is way off base (or he’s merely reflecting back what you are projecting). I shared a room with rowntRee this year, upon Keith’s unwavering endorsement, and I concur that the main is worth his weight in gold.

Lords of Acid: Crablouse (lyrics are NSFW, but the beat is a rager… )

Lastly, I myself was honored to receive a “White Brick” placed in front of “The Shadowlands” collaboration.  We didn’t receive a Brickworld award nomination, but I wasn’t really expecting one… although I definitely hoped we would for our contributors’ sakes (I was happy to at least see Barbara Hoel get a nod for Brickworld Master Builder). I simply wanted to put on “one great show” this year, and the “White Brick” was a great recognition for all our efforts, creativity, and innovation…

However, the ever-insightful rowntRee saw that it was actually recognition for much more than that.  Inside the brick-box contained a cool little Portal MOC.  I hadn’t thought that deeply about why that was the MOC inside, but rowntRee saw it as a metaphor to how I opened up the way for so many others to join in on the fun.  It’s true that I could have done a solo layout, but what’s the fun in that?  It’s so much better to “open it up”, to be inclusive, and share in the experience.

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I do strive to recruit at least one new person to Brickworld each year.  In both of my first two Brickworlds I successfully inspired, or convinced, at least one new person to come to their first LEGO con; Christopher Hoffmann and I shared our first in 2016, then it was Jen Spencer last year.  This year I thought I could get Jake RF to cross that threshold, but it was not to be.  But the streak is technically still alive.  Saturday evening an old friend that I used to work with, Jina, happened to be in the area.  Seeing a Facebook I made for the collab, she decided to check it out.  Special thanks to Barbara for providing one of their family’s unused full-registrant badges so that Jina could stick around and walk the floors with me after public hours (and it turns out that she and Barbara are neighbors!).

Those thoughtful touches are what make the “White Bricks” all the more thoughtful and impressive.  You have to look beyond the surface and see the deeper meaning inside of them.  I admit that I was originally a cynic when they first showed up last year, and judged these books by their cover.  I was blind, but now I see … It also makes you wonder how many of them were premeditated (like Victor’s and Simon’s), and how many were created on the spot. For example, was rowntRee always destined to receive the “dick with crabs”, or was it pre-built and looking for a worthy recipient? Looking back at the MOC that Cecilie received in 2017, perhaps that random “ant” wasn’t so random either.  It could be recognizing her quiet unassuming demeanor, yet you can’t help but notice all of the things she ended up dutifully building, carrying a building load 100 times more than expected.  To date, I don’t think the interior MOC’s have ever been repeated… Questions abound…

 So far as I know, the mysterious distributor(s?) has yet to be identified or step forward. Noticing how personalized the “insides” of the bricks were this year to the receiver, is the distributor someone that all of the recipients know?  Is there a “White Brick Illuminati” watching over us?  Being that I’d prefer that the anonymous distributor(s) remain anonymous, these are questions best left unanswered.  The mystery is what makes it even more special (and because if they do get unmasked, the locusts of nomination seekers will certainly descend upon them).

I think non-official trophies like this are the way of the future. We all need to show better appreciation of each other’s creativity and contributions, rather than fall into the self-centered trap of an awards competition. These types of awards also reward creativity and innovation more than those boilerplate, predetermined nomination categories are capable of doing.  To the innovators should go the spoils!

“The Race at Shadowlands”:

 “Damn, this is cool. The concept has come a long way from the butcher paper 2 years ago.” – Christopher Hoffmann

Video by Dennis Price

Indeed the speeder-race concept has come a long way from the butcher paper deserts of the Tech West.  Although my 2016 speederbike rally collaboration was cool, especially having pulled it all together in only single month, I just had to revisit the speeder race concept and set it to motion.

For each of my Brickworld collabs, I try to recruit a new person to join in the fun. It is putting into practice Keith’s boiler plate interview question, “Name 3 builders whom you would like to meet and build with someday”.  It was really awesome to get Barbara Hoel involved this year, with her alien botany, and I am so glad she joined in.  I had learned that she always considered her plant sculptures as “space” creations, so it was serendipity. I also learned some of her techniques in how she lays out her landscaping, which I can now use to hone my aesthetic eye (clusters of odds and creating visual triangles, among other things).

A huge thanks also goes out to all of the other “Orphans & Outliers” who contributed to the project; Dan Church, Gil Glomshire (aka Dennis Deathdog1), and Michael Frost (Kingdomviewbricks) played major roles in bringing this display to life (and Micah Beideman who was on the ready to fill in any last-minute landscaping needs). A huge thanks also goes out to Rowntree, Adam Myers, Noel Peterson, Paul Wolfe, Noah McDonell, Matt De Lanoy, Sean Mayo, and Simon who all helped round out the display with a crowd of fun spectators. Everyone’s efforts and support really turned this display into a crowd favorite.

James Burrows also deserves a huge shout-out. He has a tremendous Jurassic Park themed rollercoaster layout also using the CDX system, and he helped us out EMMENSLY by giving us a ton of pointers in troubleshooting.  It really gave us the confidence that we would get the race track operational.  I learned a TON about getting this system working, and in return I showed how the system could be used in ways that had yet to be explored (or at least publicly).

It was great driving up and back to Brickworld with Dennis too.  Having a great traveling companion always makes the long drive go by so much faster.  Dennis really stepped it up on the Shadowlands collab, and was my right hand man during the entire set up (even during those times when I didn’t know which end of the coaster was up).  Thank you again, sir knight of Glomshire.

Meeting New Faces:

Overall it felt like I really didn’t get to socialize with everyone nearly as much as I had wanted to, due to how much time I spent working on getting the speeder-coaster going (and keeping it running during public hours). It was worth the effort, but I definitely had less time to appreciate everyone else’s creativity than at past Brickworlds.  I didn’t even get to attend any of the sessions.  “Sorry” to all of you that I didn’t get to meet up with or talk with more

That said, I did finally meet quite a few people that I had yet to meet in person.  Notably to readers of the Manifesto I got to meet up  Cameron, our resident “Barnacle” Builder Extraordinaire who delivered quite a few compelling Bionicle articles to us during “Blog or Die!”.  It’s a good thing he was wearing his Manifesto T-shirt during registration so that I could pick him out from the crowd.  His funky chicken even got a nomination for “Best Creature”.  Represent!

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“Do the funky chicken!”

One entirely new face for me was meeting David Slater.  Holy crap, did he build some awesome cars!  His lime green Dodge Charger (or was it a Challenger?) deservedly won for “Best Vehicle”.

I also finally got to meet Shane; I’ve been a big fan of his artwork for some time, and in turn he has been a consistent fan of my builds. He was there for the live demo of “1×5 Games” new strategy game “Clunkers”, and share some of his artwork for a new card game called “Nutpunch!”  If those sound like game names that “rowntRee & Flor” might come up with, you’re absolutely right.

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“Ain’t that a punch in the nuts…”

Improvement ideas and closing thoughts:

In closing, here are just some things that crossed my mind this year…

 “MEDIC!!!” So my lower back was a total disaster after being hunched over the display tables for almost 3 days strait trying to get that coaster working.  I could hardly get any sleep because of it.  I propose that every Con should have an area with those people that give reversed chair back-massages.  I promise that us builders that fall into that over-40 age bracket will pay up, and handsomely.

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Google Images

“MORE (or LESS) BOOZE, STAT!!!” I think a breathalyzer is a necessary addition to any evening of drunken builder activities.  I don’t know the full story, but our good friend Rowntree had to restrain an angry drunk (or at least a badly behaving drunk) that thought “drunk build hopping” was a good idea.  Blood alcohol level thresholds should be set for both “drunk enough” and “too drunk” to participate.  Trust me, passed out and/or puking is no way to spend the aftermath of a drunk build. People pushing themselves towards the thresholds of alcohol poisoning should be discouraged.

“MALÖRT!” … the only needed improvement here is that we need to come up with some Brickworld themed slogans to go along with it:

“MALÖRT! – The rocket fuel that gave birth to Blacktron!”

“MALÖRT! – Tonight is the night you dry hump Captain Marvel!”

“MALÖRT! – Better that chewing on unclean playbrick!”

“MALÖRT! – The real reason why Tyler Halliwell ran away to Scotland!”

“MALÖRT! – Heath made me do it!”

 So that’s a wrap on this Brickworld 2018 wrap-up.  Feel free to chime in with whatever I missed in the comments below, or share your own stories.  Until next time…

“MALÖRT! – It’s like getting a nutpunch to your mouth!!!”

19 thoughts on “Ted Talks – “Brickworld 2018: A Con Odyssey”

  1. Thanks Karf.
    … One other thing that I’ve just now realized is that the “White Brick” could have also been meant for Barbara. She had displays all over the hall this year, and it could have been an acknowledgement of that. She probably would have liked to have used a portal to get from place to place. There were two of the LEGO flower stem parts (without flowers) that were placed inside the box as well, which is why I’m thinking about it that way now….

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  2. Oh, holy hell yeah!

    Great write up matched only by the fantastic spooning. Sorry, Keith, don’t be jealous. Loved the white brick in depth. And I can’t thank you enough for the room, the opportunity to contribute to the Shadowlands, and for just being the top shelf guy that you are. Seriously owe you, dude! Can’t wait to pore over this wrap up further and throw in my art school girlfriend two cents.

    Off to work, will say more this weekend.

    matt, Dick o’ Brickworld 2018. 😀

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    1. Can’t wait to hear some of your stories out of Brickworld, and definitely more that just 2 cents worth. You saw a lot of action, and you know that Keith is all about knowing “Who Controls the Action?”. I especially want to hear how the greater Chicago-land public reacted to “Team MALÖRT” and the Bushmaster.

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  3. Thanks for the write up Ted. I think this article and the change in leadership is enough to get me back to BW next year.

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  4. Ted, the brick is definitely for you. You brought us all together and suffered the back pain making the track work. And how you kept from falling over dizzy keeping the racers from jumping the track is a mystery to me. 30 minutes taking a turn was enough to make me queasy for half a day. I love the mystery awards. They make us think about our builds differently. I received some “litter” in a garden layout (which was fairly pristine for me). It was a nice contrast to the MOC itself and fun to discover on Sunday morning.

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    1. Thanks Barbara. Rather than getting dizzy, I found watching the racers going round-and-round very hypnotic. Mesmerizing even. I rarely ever looked up to see the public’s reactions, and the public hours just flew on by, as did Brickworld itself….

      I definitely want to come up with something fun to place on people’s displays next year, and carve out more time to talk with more folks. Speaking of which, Edward Chang built a really cool working sawmill that kind of got lost in the overall Texas RR layout, and overlooked as those “big trains” chugged on by.

      Brickworld 2018

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  5. Okay, where to begin?

    First off and at the absolute forefront is you, Ted. Your generosity and inclusiveness are what we all wish to exemplify even just a small percent of. There’s no doubt that if Simon is the “Heart o’ Brickworld”, that the creator of the white bricks likely had a difficult time deciding between you two and that both your bricks could be easily exchanged. Thank you for everything!

    Secondly, in answer to your question, the Bushmaster was a hit. The beast did garner a nomination for best space craft; and in light of the competition including El Barto’s and Simon’s unnominated ships, I can’t be any more pleased with just being mentioned. The public loved the scale in general, but the use of the Technic figs seemed to really make them marvel. The best part was watching the real Chicagoites recognize Team Malort. They were drawn in by the presentation smiling at the cool factor, those smiles burst ear to ear when they recognized the Malort emblem. Makes one wonder about THAT night from their past. I also placed a can of Old Style barely in view underneath the table for that extra zing of the hardcore’s reminiscing/regretting that Chicago Handshake from back in the day.

    Thirdly, and speaking of THAT day, I have to agree about the breathalyzer. Jeezis H. Fucking Christ! Yeah, if you’re apologizing to everyone the following morning for whatever shit you can’t remember doing the night before, you have LEFT Las Vegas. Yup, wiry 140 pound me had to wrestle a 250 pound belligerent drunk across the hall during World of Lights’ pitch blackness of course. At one point, he lunged at an entire family scaring the holy shit out of all of them, I think that’s when he dislocated one of my ribs (sounds worse than it is, but it aches for days after I can pop it back in, which was just when I started my 2000+ mile drive home. With the Brickworld 2018 plague. Sneezing. good times, good times.) I managed to get him out of the hall where I barely controlled his collapse to the ground. I then picked his sorry ass up and got him out of the way a bit more where he collapsed again. I stayed propped behind him ready to throw a choke hold or control the direction of his prior meal. Several guys came to help including Bonahoom to get him into one of the rooms out of sight so that he could lay down, evacuate his stomach, and let his liver go into extra innings. We all kept an eye on him after that while he slept it off. I really hate belligerent drunks, and having to deal with them for a vast portion of my life, I knew what was in store if I just let this one slosh through the crowd. So, on that note, let me say that I highly recommend that Mr. Webb refrain from alcohol as it obviously has a much tighter grip on him than I ever had trying to control him.

    Fourth, and speaking of meeting “interesting” people, I have to say that I have never been as social as I was at BW in comparison to any other con. I spent more time talking with the public on Saturday and Sunday than I have on all the public days at every con I’ve been to combined. At no point did I ever feel the urge to create a matt shaped hole in the closest wall trying to get a breath of open space. It may have contributed to the plague I got, but I had a genuinely fantastic time. As usual, I think I managed an average of three to four hours of sleep each night while spending the time drinking RESPONSIBLY down in the hall socializing with anyone and everyone. Got to talking with the likes of Sean Mayo and Tyler Clites, Simon a little bit as he was feeling oogy, Deathdog, Adam, Cameron, Shane, Conner and anyone lucky enough to fall into our web of revelry/Flor hospitality. The real reason to go to Brickworld!

    Fifth, speaking of Flor, was the introduction of 1×5 Games. We brought a Lego based game called Clunkers to run a bit of beta on the crowd. We had about twenty people playing three separate games while Heath and I gauged the mechanics, fun, concentration, hiccups, failings, and successes. Clinically speaking, it went over extremely well. We had parents asking about availability, especially seeing that their kids (averaging around 14 years old) were completely absorbed. Not only that, but the fact that the game made them work together rather than battle each other added a level of communication and teamwork that no one really anticipated. Even us! We also semi introduced our Nut Punch! card game and Shane and his son showed up as our featured artist. Seriously love those two! We ran out of time for that one and the Skully Solitaire game we also brought, but seeing the reactions of everyone that saw the cards was truly priceless and encouraging more than enough to get the Kickstarter campaign rolling VERY soon. Heath and I, along with our “staff” of Shane, Jenna, and Shannon will make this little collaboration work!

    Sixth, speaking of collaboration, Shadowlands was a blast! Especially watching Ted worry and fret over the whole thing working. Sorry, buddy. I’m a sadist at heart. 😉 It was so wonderfully mesmerizing to watch and then to see the crowd smile as they were mesmerized as well. Watching Ted and Dennis control the action made me proud to be just a small part, it honestly reminded me of any KeithLUG collaboration. The sandbox is there, now go play. Any collab Ted is heading, count me in!

    Seventh, speaking of collabs to count me in on, count me OUT of anything labelled VLUG. Seriously, I have to mention it especially seeing that disaster last year. Where we are lucky enough to see how a collab should be run with Ted and Keith, Eurobricks and GamerLUG, and every train crew, VLUG is the exemplar of how NOT to do it. Kudos to El Barto for the work he did this year and last year, but throwing everything onto the shoulders of one person and his family to herd a bunch of cats that have other priorities and try to control every variable and contingency is abominable and pathetically unfair. I’m not saying that the builds sucked, far from it; they were awesome. But when the sum of its parts is greater than the whole, ya fucked up. And to everyone, whether you know the details of why I left VLUG or not, who may think my criticism of them is harsh, you are correct. I won’t let them off the hook for what I saw, how they treat their fellow peers, and their persistent contradiction of their mission statement to arrogantly pursue bigger accolades. Hopefully VLUG will exist in the least bit as a cautionary tale.

    Eighth, speaking of cautionary tales, Missouri should be avoided at all costs. But only barely less so than Oklahoma. Why do people live in Tulsa!?! God, that place sucks ass!

    Ninth, speaking of sucks ass, I want to thank Ted once again. You actually make me want to build again and be a larger part of the community. Even if it is a bigger dick. 😉

    Tenth, speaking of dicks. The Dick o’ Brickworld. Not to worry about my being Keith’s art school girlfriend in interpreting the dick in a box as a good thing. Something like that would require a little explaining as something like that simply appearing would likely take flight from the recipient. I cannot take credit for the positivity of my particular white brick as it was explained to me. I will not say who as Ted’s assessment of the mystery is much more appropriate to its validity. You would never read the final chapter first in an Agatha Christie novel, so don’t bother looking for the answer when the question is more than enough and far more enlightening.

    These white bricks are definitely the shift in evolution that this community needs. I can’t help but think back to my track days where at the awards ceremony I received the most valuable athlete for the second year in a row. The irony of it was that I was permanently out of commission for the last half of the season (and forever) with a 70% tear in my right hamstring. But the award of note that I saw as more of an acknowledgment of a true achievement was the seemingly obligatory Most Inspirational. It went to an odd friend of mine that was quiet and kept to himself. He was a fellow hurdler that never finished higher than last place every time. Seriously, he just wasn’t fast or flexible enough, and going against the powerhouses from Compton, Hawthorne, Ganesha, and basically every rough suburb of the greater LA basin, he never stood a chance. But he was relentless and kept going. And he was rewarded not with a ridiculous trophy but with the thanks of everyone, especially me, for trying to make it all worth the effort no matter the place you finished. Mike Ward’s accomplishments were less than nothing of note, but he showed more than any trinket could ever hope to acknowledge.

    The white brick is that. It shows an appreciation of the artist, not the art. Those “little turds” get dropped off and praised every year, get lumped into arbitrary categories to garner arbitrary recognition, and get glossed over and redirected in vaporous attempts to fulfil a check mark in everyone’s box to make it an “everybody’s a winner” mentality. The ironic contradiction is that it turns everyone into losers by forgetting innovation, dispelling creativity, and ignoring the person behind it all. The white bricks sidestep that landmine by saying, “fuck that shit, this build is awesome BUT it is made better by getting to know the person/people that built it.”

    I see a similar endeavor that was begun by Simon with his little creations set on builds the following year after his being named Master Builder. It has since seemed to become more of a calling card than any extraordinary personal appreciation. So be it. It is still cool to come across one on your build as a wonderful acknowledgment and will far outshine any red brick. I think the individually built awards like the ones offered at Brickcon and elsewhere are retaining a modicum of authenticity and validity, but they still exist in those arbitrary confines of a set category. Of course, the alternative is just as evil with everyone winning in every category as every build would be a unique standard. Actually, that would be far worse and completely stupid.

    So, there will always exist categories for every bit of expression to be lumped into because that is how our grey matter filters the world as efficiently as it does; but it is my hope that these anti-awards continue as a thorn in the side of these established norms and accepted practices if only to show that there is always a better view outside the box.

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    1. Nice write up, Matt. You definite merit your own article, but as we all know by now that’s just not how crotch-crabs roll… they just infest other peoples articles.

      First off, thanks for the sentiments, my friend. I appreciate the thought of me being worthy of the “Heart O’ BW”… but I swear that for every one thing we are aware of that Simon does, there are at least three more things we had no idea he was doing too. No question that the heart o’BW is he.

      And I had no idea that the “White Brick” distributor exposed him (or her) self to you… but I guess if someone is going to insert a dick with crabs inside a box, it’s best that you confidentially disclose that kind of thing up front. I’d ask who it is, but I know you would just reply “I am Sparticus!”… The only thing I’d hope is that they are a BW regular, and that they plan to continue. Otherwise, I hope they let someone know so that we can be “Sparticus!” (not to say we all don’t do our own things too, but the “White Brick” flag should always have a flag bearer).

      Thanks for the run-down on how you came to be the one detaining the drunkard. I only saw the part where you got him out of the hall and finally sitting under the stairs. It reminded me a bit of those cowboys at the rodeo wrestling down a steer. All you needed was a lasso to wrap the legs and a waving your hat in the air to call time. XD

      I think I only walked by the Bushmaster once during public hours, and you did seem like one happy dude. The BW Chicago public seem like they might be a bit more engaged. Perhaps there are only so many displays you can ask the boilerplate before even you get bored of asking, so instead they only engage with what interests them and they ask the more insightful questions. It really did look like you were enjoying yourself immensely.

      Glad you enjoyed the collab too. Like Keith, I prefer taking the sand-lot approach, and let people get creative and help shape the vision. For me, when a collab becomes a list of obligations to build, that is when the fun balloon goes flaccid. I pulled the rip cord on an alternate collab idea that I had like that… I also realized that building replicas of anything is just not my bag. That’s just me (and why I was never destined to stay too long with building trains, cars, etc.). I always want to do something new and fresh.

      Oh, and one more fun fact: for 6 years of my childhood, I was an “Okie from Muskogee”. Tulsa was always “goin’ to the big city” back then. Tulsa even had a Casa Bonita back then…

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      1. Seriously, dude?! Tulsa is where they’d stick the tube if the US needed an enema. That place suuuuuucks! And what the hell is it with Oklahoma in general?! Here in the rest of the world, we like to add what’s called signs on the motorways to inform drivers of how far it is to their next destination. I didn’t see a single sign saying how damn far it was to Oklahoma City until AFTER Tulsa. Oddly enough, I happened to be looking for such a sign as soon as I left the neighboring shithole known as Missouri because I was gauging mileage. Should I stop here in the bustling metropolis of two dimensional splendor called Tulsa and hop off this $9.50 tollway through the anus of America to refuel oooooor should I venture forth to this state’s wondrous capital of toothless cornholes in the hopes of finding a gas station along the way that won’t remind me that meth is a bad thing? Why does Oklahoma exist other than a gauge to say, “Well, it ain’t as bad as Alabama. So, we got that goin’ fer us.” I see why the rest of the world hates the US, I’ve been through Tulsa.

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      2. Well, all I can say is that from an Oklahoma P.O.V., I always thought that Arkansas existed for that exact same comparative gauge… I’ve got stories, for sure, but they are not for posting on the internet. Will need to save those for the next meet-up… along with SW Missouri stories…

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    2. Ah Matt, the inception writer of articles within articles 😀

      I kid. Nice to have a read of your experience at the convention as well! Gotta say, I’m getting hyped for 1×5 games and th eline up you and Heath have got already. You’ve gotta let us know when the Kickstarter drops. Consider me signed up already!

      Mate, between you and Ted, I’ve got to make the trek to this World Of Bricks one day. She really sounds like a blast!

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      1. Thanks Wolff, you better get your ass out to one of these things. I’ll post when the Kickstarter begins everywhere, we really are excited for it.

        Great assessment of my tendency to write long winded counters and agreements within any article or post. It is really my bread and butter for how I engage the conversation. I find it exceptionally sad and disheartening when others don’t do the same even though I know that they are capable and have something pertinent to add. Too many people remain quiet.

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  6. Awesome article Ted! Well written as always, and it’s always great to read recaps of cons that go a lot deeper than any Youtube Video I can find!

    Gotta say, those White Bricks are such a great touch of recognition for the builders and organizers that make the community what it is. Really helps cement the idea that we’re all just a bunch of loons obsessed with chunks of plastic, and we’re all in it together!

    Thanks mate, and it’s nice to see that the Manifesto’s still kicking. 🙂

    Like

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