Friday, September 5, 2008

God Bless the Freaks

My friend of 32 years, author of the Maples Law of Wal-Mart Conservation, is a constant inspiration for written material. He wrote me this week to share his personal highlights from DragonCon 2008, Atlanta's slightly smaller and slightly geekier version of San Diego's ComicCon. He also shared the AccessAtlanta photo galleries, which are such a wonderful hoot.

Here's one of shots from the convention and the downtown parade.

Here's a series of "portraits" of various people in costume.

Some of his personal favorite moments from witnessing it all:
* Zod For President vehicle with election stickers: "Kneel before Power in '08!" the guy didn't look like Terrence Stamp. but i concede Zod makes a strong case for sheer ubermensch power.
* huge fairie group. lotta manga and Final Fantasy people. kudos for using the brain slugs from Futurama to turn political pollsters into staggering brain-controlled zombies.
* not as many Resident Evil/Umbrella Corp. shocktroops this year, but i loved the Racoon City news van, which looked like they drove it right off the movie set. no Mila though! (but presence of Lara Croft on scooter made up for that.)  
* lego Star Wars guys remain a HUGE hit by making their costumes out of cardboard boxes. there was a cardboard Chewie this year. i cheered lustily for the snowtroopers, my personal favorites. yes, the imperial troops of various ranks and stripes are still the caboose of the 40-minute-plus parade, with only a lone Mario-type janitor sweeping up behind them.
* i need to drink more to get the Tron guy out of my head. he has a 'stache.
* 3 Wonder Women, none of them up to the sterling standard of years past. but hey, they put on the costume, so i'm gonna give 'em some luv. couldn't find them in the Hyatt after trekking to the park and back, so i have no photo with WW this year. booo.
* When Worlds Collide: in my head, the Black Gay Pride Parade (in midtown, natch) and the Dragon Con parade would collide, and Black Panther and Black Lighting guys would discover exciting new social possibilities. but that didn't happen. the huge cultural collision was instead reserved for elder Crimson Turd fans who were milling around on Peachtree while the crowds for the parade were clotting and the cops were closing off the streets. it was great to see head-to-toe crimson and white folks looking uncomfortable or flat-out aghast at all the people who didn't fit into their myopic football world. "i thought all the goddam queers were in midtown" was what their faces said. it was gold and i wish i'd nabbed a shot of some of them hustling across the street with incredulity in their eyes. i didn't see Clemson fans freaking out at all. i'm just sayin'.
Football meets Fantasy. I can think of few things with greater sitcom potential than a bunch of Roll Tide football fans stumbling into a sci-fi/fantasy convention. One of the Bama fans falls for a chick dressed like Supergirl, and the series revolves around their attempts to get their utterly uncooperative and disparate friends to accept their new loves into their lives.

"So she wears a cape to Hooters. So what? She loves me, OK? Now pass me the pitcher and slap that waitress on the ass for me."

"So he watches football all weekend. That's when I'm on Second Life saving Nebulon City from the clutches of evil. Our relationship has a good balance, OK?"

It worked for Grease. It worked for Moonlighting. It worked for Mork & Mindy. I smell a hit for The CW...

Seriously, how awesome is it that these people get this one weekend where they get their freak on in a big way and have the streets lined with families and fans (and merely curious onlookers) who are mostly laughing with them, not at them? We can mock the goobers who in their 30s live in the basements of their parents' house. We can mock that Trekkie couple who speak to one another in Klingon. We can mock that woman who despises herself and agonizes at how socially clueless she feels. But DragonCon welcomes them. And when they parade down the 200 streets named Peachtree in Atlanta, people applaud them.

I feel like it's fair game for me to mock them, because in one of my many alternate realities, the Butterfly Effect most certainly would have me as one of them.

Don't we all deserve a few moments like that out of our years? Wouldn't the world be a better place if even the least and geekiest and most awkward of us were granted just a handful more of these moments in our lives?

I included "Slot Machine" by Superdrag because it contains the lines:
"I don't know what I'm to do
to get those pleasantries from you
but if you'll be my Princess Leia that's OK"

Both songs can be purchased through iTunes and's mp3 site.

1 comment:

Daytimerush said...

Did you have to link to the Maples Law post again??? You just tempted us to click on it and see THAT PICTURE!!!