Wednesday, June 17, 2015

GenCon Cosplay: Crusty's General Convention Preview, Part 2

As promised, Crusty Old Dean is back with his General Convention Preview, Part II: Electric Boogaloo (yes, like many middle aged Gen Xers desperately clinging to their efforts to be hip, Crusty
retreats to old school rap, though he does prefer Krush Groove to the Breakin' series of mid-80s efforts to mainstream rap to white people).

Crusty has recovered a bit from his blue period last week (part 1 can be found here), when, as one commentator suggested, it sounded like COD "needed a hug and some Scotch."  Never a good sign when a blog post is about Brian Wilson songs and Bergman films.  Perhaps it's because Crusty did just that and had a hug and some Scotch.  Perhaps it's the thought of being in lovely Salt Lake City, perhaps it's because General Convention brings together Crusty's love of church polity and continued hope in the future and is a big old reunion of old friends and colleagues, and that there's a Triple AAA minor league baseball team just down the street from the Convention Center on nights when suckers are stuck in committee meetings, but
COD calls Preacher for his GenCon cosplay.
Crusty Old Dean is back, friends.  How could he stand by the sidelines when General Convention is starting up?  First off, he is proposing that we go all-in on the church nerd aspect and change the name officially from General Convention to GenCon, to make it sound more like Comic-Con (but not BiMonSciFiCon since it's held every three years)  This would allow deputies and bishops to dress in appropriate costumes (or "cosplay" to well adjusted humans who don't know what I'm talking about).

Later this week, Crusty will come out with the third installment, making specific predictions about General Convention.  This time, however, we'll look back, to review my predictions from my June, 2014 General Convention preview.  The posers and bandwagon people start writing their previews when the calendar strikes 2015; COD was out there with his preview a full year in advance.  The full preview from June of 2014 can be found here.

So, how did Crusty do?  Let's break it down.

Crusty will use the following ranking system, taken from his eight years studying Russian:

молодец! From the Russian word meaning "well done!" or "good for you!" or "brilliant!"  Where Crusty nailed it.

дурак!  From the Russian word meaning "idiot" or "fool".  Where Crusty missed the boat.

ладно...  Roughly equivalent to "whatever," where the prediction wasn't neither right nor wrong, or particularly relevant.

Since Russian is an utterly transcendent and fantastic language in which to curse, be glad COD is keeping it to these three categories.

1)  Crusty made reference to one of the X-Men movies, "Days of Future Past," which he still hasn't seen.  It's sitting, unwatched, on his DVR.  Crusty faked this cultural reference because he is a comic  book nerd and had read the initial comic book version of this storyline from X-Men 141 and 142, which he bought at Myette's Country Store in Hanson, MA, in 1981, where he used to ride his bike with his best friend Bubba (who was not overweight, which makes Crusty wonder all these
I'm terrified to think of what the white dipping stick was made from.
years later how he got that nickname) on lazy summer afternoons to buy comics, Coke in glass bottles, and Fun-Dip, and hang out underneath the WPA-built bridge over the North River (though X-Men 141 and 142, the original Days of Future Past Timeline, actually came out in the winter, not the summer). 

For the X-Men movie reference that you still haven't watched one year later: дурак!
For not selling X-Men comics from 1981 (actually Crusty has more or less the X-Men run from issue #100 to issue #150, with only a half dozen or so missing):   молодец!
For the fact all the Fun-Dip and Candy Cigarettes consumed from 1977-1985 have not caused lifelong health problems:  ладно..., there's still time.

Lest this devolve into a GenX version of "Stand By Me," though, let's move on to the actual predictions:

2)  Crusty predicted "the current PB will let the committee know she will not be considered for nomination, but will wait as long as humanly possible to announce this." More or less what happened, though the PB didn't actually wait for "as long as humanly possible."  Theoretically that didn't come to pass until May 12, when the deadline for nominations from the floor passed.  Crusty gives this prediction: молодец! 

3)  As for the PB slate, COD predicted it would include "Mary-Gray Reeves (El Camino Real), Eugene Sutton (Maryland), Dean Wolfe (Kansas), Ian Douglas (Connecticut), Daniel Martins (Springfield), Andy Doyle (Texas), and Ed Konieczny (Oklahoma)."  A mixed bag here, in part because of the complexities of figuring out who would be willing to let their name go forward in nomination/discernment.

There's a pretty glaring omission here.  COD did not pick Michael Curry back in June of 2014. However, this is not because Crusty doesn't think he would have been nominated, but because his gut at that time told him Bishop Curry would not go forward with the nomination process.   For this, Crusty gets дурак! But, since he had no insider information and was guessing, this was a crapshoot, anyway.

COD has no idea if Eugene Sutton or Mary-Gray Reeves were involved at any stage, and will not really comment on their potential candidacies.  It cheapens the tragedies that have impacted their ministries to make those events fodder for church gossip like whether it affected their PB chances.  Crusty will not comment and will continue to pray for them and their ministries.

COD gets points for predicting Ian Douglas, who did end up on the slate.  A year in advance.  Suck on it, haters!  молодец!

He's surprised Andy Doyle or Dean Wolfe isn't on the list, and presumes it is because they would rather be Bishop of Texas or Kansas right now.   ладно...

Crusty will argue he deserves points for Daniel Martins and Ed Konieczny, since they were stand-ins for "right of center candidate as a token to three really liberal bishops" in his thinking -- and yea, Dabney Smith appeared as that candidate slot on the slate. молодец!

However, at the end of the day, the truth is COD only got 1 of 4 candidates correct.  He will give
You think 1 of 4 finalists is bad? This is a bad prediction.
himself a: ладно...If you don't agree, and want to give him a дурак! then how about you come out a year in advance with your picks?

4)  "COD predicts that the issue of divesting from Israel -- more specifically, divesting from companies that do business in the occupied territories and/or supply materials to the Israeli Defense Forces as part of the occupation -- will make it out of committee for the first time and to the floor for debate....Crusty doesn't think it will pass but thinks there's enough momentum for it to make it out of a legislative committee for the first time and thus derail all other business while we obsess over for a good 36 hours or so."

And yea, it came to be.   There is more than one resolution coming to Convention on this issue.  COD will talk about this a little more in his General Convention 2015 preview.  Remember, we're just reviewing stuff from over a year ago.  молодец!

5)  "There will be a much more reasonable and saner budgetary process, and no repeat of the utter fiasco of 2012...There's lots of reasons for this, first and foremost there's really no way to imagine it being more of an unspeakable, dysfunctional, clusterf**k than it was in 2012.  Nowhere to go but up, sadly."

And yea, it came to be.  молодец!  Hey, give credit where credit's due.  The budget process was an utter catatroph***k in 2012, and we did it much better this time around.

Though it could get interesting since there are a flurry of resolutions requesting from pretty massive appropriations that aren't in the budget.  This means we might have an actual budgetary debate instead of the Chinese democracy presentation of the budget to the joint session and being told we have to approve it or not because Convention is adjourning and the world will collapse if we don't.

6)  The Task Force for Restructuring the Episcopal Church.  Crusty wrote in June of 2014:

"The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC).  Put simply, nothing will come of this.  They have put out two study papers.  The one on networks was cover-your-eyes awful (see Crusty's thoughts here...The second addressed Governance and Administration (see Crusty's thoughts here), and received the kiss of death when the PHOD expressed her concern with structural reform limiting the prophetic voice of the Episcopal Church...They will, of course, play out the string.  They will release another paper or two (though have not done so for over three months), hold some kind of webinar or something in the fall since they don't have any funding for a churchwide conference, and duly file a report, perhaps even with some specific suggestions."

First off, a big  молодец!  Crusty didn't think TREC would hold a meeting in the fall, unless, as predicted in the next paragraph "TREC pulls Trinity Wall Street funding out of a hat and holds a churchwide gathering in 2014."  Which is exactly what happened.

Frankly, TREC did surprise Crusty and proposed more than "some specific suggestions."  Crusty thinks a couple of those suggested resolutions are utter gibberish, mandating people have spiritual encounters and report back to their bishops, calls for the creation of undefined networks, and has some proposals that are out of order constitutionally.  But hey, they did make lots of suggestions.

For those of you who love to see COD get worked up and rant -- and who doesn't, this is my COD writes this blog -- please not that while often identified as a TREC hater, COD has regularly also pointed out and lifted up things they got right.  We owe several very important things to TREC

--fulfilling a difficult mandate given to them;
--brilliantly diagnosing much of the current situation we find ourselves in;
--keeping the discussion of restructuring in the service of mission alive and present

However, Crusty still thinks very little that they have proposed will been enacted in any way, shape or form -- but will hold off on that until he gets to his General Convention preview, Part 3: The Search for Structure.  Stay tuned.


  1. Sorry to disappoint you Crusty, but GenCon is already taken ( It's a full on gaming and geek convention (which incidentally is held each year in the same building where the 77th General Convention was held in Indianapolis). дурак!

    You do get bonus points however for claiming the Jesse Custer cosplay. молодец!

  2. This has been pointed out to Crusty several times -- but have they registered the name? If not, then The Episcopal Church funding problems are over! We incorporate GenCon and license it to the other GenCon, who, I can only assume, far exceed our GenCon in attendance...

  3. Tom, you can borrow my Preacher costume if you want:


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