“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.” –Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth
We (my friend Ricker and I) were standing in line at the Subway sandwich shop located in the convention center when he (Ricker) turns to me and asks, “What do you think God sees when He looks at this event?” My initial suspicion was that Ricker meant something deeper, though I never asked if that was so, or what that might have been. I guessed that God saw what I saw. What did He think about it? I had no idea. I wondered if anyone there cared, except Ricker, and I—after he pointed it out to me. What, Seriously!? You are, once again, way ahead of yourself here, boy-o; let’s start with what I saw.
Costumes everywhere, that’s what! Though a brighter writer could probably put the experience into categorically easier to swallow segments, there is no such writer here…save the ones I’ve dispatched in fits of jealous rage, as a result, they are in no shape to comment. Costumes are a proud tradition among “Conies”, although I would’ve assumed them to be more widely worn, perhaps Seattle has the same attitude toward fan-boydom as it does toward everything else, that of passive indifference. Still, there were a few costumes, some entertaining, and some that gave me the itch to give my hippocampus a rape shower. The costumes gave wall flowers the chance to shine in a controlled environment, and 6s and7s the chance to be 8s and 9s. There is a strange self-absorption to these costumes; it is a self-absorption that requires others to play along. At the “Con” (as my friend Ricker calls it) there are many willing to participate.
There were Princess Leias, storm troopers, Fetts of all stripes, zombie every things, He-Man was there (though he had really let himself go) (Ricker thought so too), some higher ups in the COBRA organization, at least one Ewok, various Steam-Punks, and two or more Kevin Smiths. I also saw some alien beings that were like ten feet tall! I think God saw all of that too.
I saw a zombie who was clearly irritated by the large crowd gathered at the “Con” (as my friend Ricker calls it). Here is a thought (mayhaps judgmental, so please forgive me in advance), if you go to the Comicon dressed as a zombie try to stay in character and not act irritated by crowds…zombies love crowds; especially slow moving crowds that are locked up like cattle on a feed lot. You guys “live” for that shit. Slow moving crowds are to zombies what low hanging fruit is to Aesop…fodder for tales.
Dear He-Man please do a sit-up or two before you decide to don the ole ephod and double bandolier, or whatever you call your ridiculous get-up, there are kids here!
There was a man dressed as the Riddler of “Bat-Man” fame pushing around a baby carriage, this made me think of the intellectual-anal cavity search I underwent to adopt my two girls, all of which would have been flushed down the toilet had the caseworker found any component of the Riddler’s costume in my closet. This put me in a dark and bitter mood. Child rearing is so easy for some. Tim Engstrom warned me not to write that, “It sounds too much like a bitter re-telling of sour-grapes tales of woe”, he said. (I think) Looking at it now, I think he was right. But what am I going to do about it now? Go back and erase what I’ve just written? Negative, not only would that affect the observation itself, but all of these thoughts that follow as well…unacceptable. Move on! That is part of the point though. How can I even begin to imagine what God thinks of this spectacle, when I am so insularly informed by my own bitter predispositions? And if I could, would anyone care? The answer is no. No one would care.
In the 1940s a group of physicists were talking about intelligent life in other universes, of which there are many. They spoke with great anticipation of how many different societies there inevitably were given the fact that there are so many planets in so many universes, and given the relatively short amount of time it took for humanoid life to evolve here on earth. A man named Enrico Fermi listened patiently to all of this talk, and then he replied by simply asking if all of this were true, where was everyone? More to the point, where is everyone? This idea became known as the “Fermi Paradox”. Decades later it was posited by Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, that perhaps “Runaway Consumerism” was to blame for the lack of intelligent visitors from other planets. The idea being that once a society, on any planet, evolved to a certain point all the trappings of said evolution—trappings like Xboxes, comic books, and Comicons—would interrupt said evolved beings from caring about all other living creatures in any meaningful way. More simply, a society with video games wouldn’t care about visiting their next-door neighbors, leave alone visiting creatures in neighboring galaxies.
The costumes at the “Con” (as my friend Ricker calls it) attest to the idea that it is more rewarding to pretend to visit other planets than to do it. What does God think when he looks at the “Con” (as my friend Ricker calls it)? I don’t know for sure. The more troubling question lies shallowly beneath the spectacle. Does anyone care?