- CRITTER TALK
- SCI/TECH/OTHER STUFF
I know that must come as something of a shock to my loyal readership, but yeah… the coolest guy you know on Mad Mike’s is a full-on pop culture slut. I’m not just some newbie who wandered into a comic book store one day and thought, “Wow! Now I can be cool because everyone else is into comics, too!” either- I am an elite geek. The only way you can reach elite status is either by knowing pretty much everything there is to know in any given geek subject, such as movies, TV shows, music, comics, horror, and sci-fi. Of which I am familiar with all of the six subjects listed above. Or you can attain elite status simply by your length of interest, but it has to be longer than 15-20 years.
Oh, and I wanted to clarify- there is a very CLEAR difference between nerds, geeks and dorks. I’ve already described geeks, so let’s move on to nerds. Nerds are the Steve Jobs types- people who are highly intelligent, socially awkward, tech-savvy gamers. Dorks have re-branded themselves as themselves as ‘hipsters’, but in truth, they have no real identity and travel in both geek and nerd circles, thinking that they’re cooler than they really are. If you run into a hipster, just do what I do- walk back to your car, open the trunk, pull out a bat, and do your best impression of DeNiro from THE UNTOUCHABLES.
(If that inference was too subtle for you to understand, let me speak more plainly- I HATE HIPSTERS. If the apocalypse ever happens, the only things left will be roaches, the cast of JERSEY SHORE, and hipsters!)
But I digress. The reason I bring this stuff up is because, as my father is wont to say, “I have a cute story for you!”
It all begins with this past Sunday. I woke up relatively early to make it to the monthly comic book convention at the Shrine Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles. If the Shrine sounds familiar to you, that’s because it used to be the home of the Academy Awards before they moved it over to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The reason I wanted to go was because I had heard that two stars from THE WALKING DEAD, Laurie Holden (Andrea) and Danai Gurira (Michonne) were going to be doing a signing appearance there.
I left the house barely awake, but relatively excited. I was kinda ticked at myself for leaving later than I intended, but that’s because I figured I’d end up smack at the end of a huge line of people waiting to get in. Turns out I couldn’t have been more mistaken. While there was a big line at the doors, it wasn’t terribly massive.
As I paid for my ticket, I asked one of the staff what time the signing was going to be. She said, “We don’t know what time they’ll be here exactly, but they should be here around twelve p.m.” Then she added, “Oh, and don’t forget- if you want something signed, it’s thirty dollars. Cash only!”
It took my brain a moment to process the information. I said, “Hold up- you mean they’re actually charging for autographs? What a fucking rip!” I walked away in disgust.
I thought it over for a minute. As much as I despise paying for a signature, I REALLY wanted to meet Laurie Holden and have her sign my Walking Dead dvd. But shelling out money really goes against the grain. I mean, I knew why they did it- when people started to get non-personalized autographs on memorabilia, it was so they could turn around and make a profit on it. Since the celebrities weren’t making a dime from that, they started charging. Some celebs still sign stuff for free, but only if they can personalize it to the person who wants their autograph. That’s how they know their dealing with a true fan instead of a money-grubbing whore. In the end, I decided to forget it. I could use the money for something that wouldn’t eventually rub off.
A lap-dance not withstanding.
I was disappointed to say the least, but decided to make the best of it by walking around and seeing what swag there was to score. Under normal circumstances, I would have brought a buying list with me to find what back issues I was missing, but I was too tired from the night before to compile one. Besides, the thought of having to dig through a bunch of cardboard boxes and risk getting paper-cuts or getting stepped on didn’t appeal to me. I ended up buying a trade edition of Garth Ennis’ UNKNOWN SOLDIER and DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES.
When noon rolled around, I stood in the back by the main panel stage, hoping to at least get a glimpse of Laurie and Danai before heading home. Behind me, Edward Furlong, who played the young John Connor in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, was sitting at a table doing his own signing for thirty bucks. Not that anybody was lined up for him.
Then a pair of kids dressed in goth-punk style walked up to Furlong. A thin, gaunt, platinum-haired girl with her boyfriend next to her stood in front of Furlong and said, “We just wanted to stop and say that we really loved you in T2! You were awesome!”
Furlong gushed, “Thanks, Man! Yeah, it was a cool experience. Do you guys want an autograph?”
The girl cleared her throat and said, “Normally, I would love it, but I can’t afford the thirty bucks. I’m kinda broke!”
That was when Edward Furlong did something that pissed me the fuck off. With an overly cocky smirk, he said, “You can’t afford it? Ha! What a pair of losers!”
I felt bad for the girl and her boyfriend. They looked as though Furlong had slapped them across the face and followed it up by spitting on them as though they were a couple serfs begging royalty for a crumb of bread. Furlong just chuckled away like they were beneath him as they stood there, heads down from embarrassment.
I turned around and faced him. I said, “That was fucked up, man.”
Furlong snarled, “What’s it to you?”
I shot back, “Treating your fans like garbage is NOT cool. They may be broke, but at least they still have a future ahead of them! What about you? You’re pushing forty and still look as though you haven’t hit puberty yet! What have YOU done lately, asshole? You’re just coasting on a movie you made over twenty years ago! Grow a fucking brain, burnout!”
Jumping out of his chair, Furlong snapped, “Hey, you can’t talk to me like that!”
Walking away, I said, “I just did, DICK!”
On the way out of the auditorium, I ran into the blonde girl and her boyfriend by the parking structure. She stopped me and said, “I just wanted to say thanks for what you did back there.”
“Yeah, man!” Her boyfriend agreed.
I chuckled. “No thanks necessary. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Besides, I think he needed to be taken down a peg. What an arrogant little shit!”
We all laughed and went our separate ways. Driving home, I kept thinking that maybe I’m not cut out to be a part of geek culture anymore. Not that I ever was, mind you as I don’t fit the traditional geek paradigm. I look too straight for the geek world. By the same token, I’m too much of a geek for the straight world. I walk in both worlds, but I’m at home in neither.
If anything, I’m a self-contained unit. I don’t make judgments on what’s cool or not, I simply like what I like- no excuses. If you can’t accept that, I could care less. I never needed a tattoo or outrageous clothes to be different, I simply am. My attitude defines me, not my interests.