The first time I ever played a show at a sci-fi convention (as Worm Quartet,) I was also signed up to participate on a “Filk Vs. Dementia” panel. I knew that Dementia was the name given to the fledgling comedy music scene of which I was a reasonably new member, having just secured the #2 most requested song of the year on the Dr. Demento show the previous year, but I had to Google filk, which has many definitions but safely boils down to something like “music performed at cons, usually performed just with an acoustic guitar, and often funny.” So my first exposure to filk at my first-ever con performance was finding myself on the wrong side of a “vs.” from the genre. As such, it was introduced to me as “This is a thing. But WE do THIS thing, not THAT thing, and THAT thing is insanely different from THIS thing due to these handful of minor points.” Having been a metalhead in high school and then experiencing a good chunk of the western Massachusetts hardcore scene a few years later, I’d seen this crap before. I don’t remember what exactly I said on the panel, but I seem to recall describing my Dad’s eyebrows when I explained the panel to him (seriously, if you ever want some perspective on scene-related minutia, try to explain said minutia to someone outside said scene,) and using the phrase “inter-subculture pissing contest” at least once.
In the years since this panel, I’ve occasionally been billed as a filk act because sometimes I perform music at cons. This amuses me, but has certainly never offended me, although it’s kind of aggravating when they schedule me to perform in a room with no PA because they assume I’ll just have an acoustic guitar. Legendary filker Tom Smith and I have covered each others’ songs, and I’ve even done a couple of projects with a Pegasus-winning filker named Rob Balder.
The template I’ve outlined with this strip seems to hold up for T<dementia> (where event e would,I believe, be the slow decline of novelty music on mainstream radio,) T<punk> (where event e would probably be the rise of Green Day in the 90s,) T<metal> (Metallica’s black album,) T<sci-fi fandom> (Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams maybe?) and T<most religions and art or political movements> (YMMV.)
I’ve now typed entirely too many words.
UPDATE (9/12/2013) :
By popular demand…
MRS. SHOEBOX’S ASSESSMENT OF TODAY’S STRIP: Bullshit self-pandering makes you an annoying, whiny, and overcompensating assface. Also, it makes me want to break idiots. With a crowbar.
(She assures me that she’s referring to the dude in the strip here, not to me.)