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The Future of Klingon Fandom

By: Thought Admiral Kethas epetai-Rustadzh

I joined the family of Klingon Fans a little more than 16 years ago. Over those 16 years, I've seen a wide variety of things happen within Klindom. Some of them good, some of them bad.

Of the more noteworthy good things were Camp Dover which gave us 15 years of coming together as family, Star Trek VI gave us an undeniable presence in Trek and boosted our popularity, Days of Honor was created for all Klingon fans to celebrate the anniversary of who we are, the creation of Tri Table brings Klingon fandom leaders together for cooperative communication without BS politics, and a few others.

And of course of the more noteworthy bad things in fandoms past are in-fighting within certain groups, the need for senselessly sabotaging other groups or people in fandom, the senseless need for some groups or people to spy on groups or people or extort groups or people for what they believe to be good intentions or personal gains, and then whole organizations claiming to be honorable set out to destroy other organizations by taking in members through some rather questionable means.

The bad things of course are not what we like to hear about. Most of us know that they exist, and only a few of us are willing to stand up and openly shout out to the rest of fandom that we find those things unacceptable. The sad fact here is there are those who wish to ignore those things, or take part in them and claim to be honorable.

It is not my place here to point fingers. That need not be done. For those that follow that particular path are already known to those of us that live with honor and have nothing to hide.

It has been said before in Klingon fandom that, "Klingons with no enemies, fight among themselves." This happens to be fact, as far as my experiences go. The sad fact is we do have an enemy. It rarely goes seen, but more and more each passing month our numbers are diminishing. Not just within Klingon fandom either, all across the board. Star trek fandom is quietly going the way of the DoDo.

A few organizations have started to take notice of this, and act on it... BLA, IKF, IKEF, KAG Kanada, KIDC, KSF, KWS, KLI, Khemorex Klinzhai, tlhIngan Qummem, and the Anpu Attack Fleet just to name a few. Other organizations have started to be more progressive in their ways, but actions speak louder than words, and after all what are words without actions to back them up.

A few years ago a group of Klingon Fandom leaders decided to get involved in opening the communications between organizations, and Tri table was born. Currently only 8 organizations are involved, but hopefully the tides of Klindom are turning and more fandom leaders (and their representatives) will follow.

For those of us who are wondering what's up with the decline of fandom, the answers are pretty simple... There's currently no series in production (and looks like the future is fairly dim for that possibility as well), There is a new movie coming out in 2008, but that's two years away. The biggest issues that are facing us are the fallout from others in fandom, or even some of our own actions. In fighting has to stop. Even I left fandom for two years because of it. Most people Iíve talked with upon them leaving fandom have said that it was the BS politics and infighting that they got sick of. Entire fleets and chapters have separated from their parent organizations to become their own because of it.

If Klingon fandom is to survive, we need to get along with each other, stop the BS politics between groups, tear down our egos, and become willing to communicate with each other. I'm not talking treaties by any means, but warriors agreements between fandom leaders to come sit down and talk, find the strengths within each otherís groups and learn from each other. Only then will we really flourish and Klindom will rise again in strength and popularity.

We also need to constructively revitalize our respective organizations, and the way to do that is by public awareness. The more events you do in costume as a group, and without slamming other groups or organizations, the more people you'll attract. No one wants to see a pissing contest, unless there are betleH in hand and everyone is having a good time.

By all means go out and taunt the feddies and roms, call them weak and insignificant, challenge them to whatever throws your gorilla, but keep in mind that underneath is all, every piece of costume and makeup, we're all fans of Star Trek.

I've said for years that it takes a special kind of person to get into 20lbs of makeup and vinyl and stomp around in the heat and have fun, anyone can put on a pair of pajamas. With that being said, it also takes a special person to remember the following words in every moment. Duty, Honor, Loyalty. Duty, Honor, and loyalty to ones self, unit, family.

Remember why we started doing this all in the first place...

To have fun

Thought Admiral Kethas epetai-Rustadzh
Chancellor, Imperial Klingon Forces