After a bit of a late night I had great plans for Latin study alternated with doing as little as possible today in an effort to conserve what little remains of my sanity at the moment. It’s heading into silly season and I don’t know why I thought I had a quiet weekend ahead of me, but that went out the window pretty quick. C’est la vie.
Anyway, today for the first time I ended up at one of those strange cultural phenomena known as a comic conference or a popular culture festival, called Supanova (why they spell it like though, that is beyond me). I was not expecting to be going, and was rather lukewarm on the concept to be honest… and I certainly wasn’t one of the many in the crowds who had obviously been looking forward to this event for months with great anticipation – sequins, fake blood, brightly coloured wigs and hot glue guns at the ready. It took me a minute, but as we got near the venue; the penny dropped… aaah pop culture/comics books/fandom/geek fest = cosplay.
I seriously had forgotten about the complete license to let your freak flag fly at these sorts of events and was initially a little taken aback at the wide and varied and excessively skimpy costumes on display. If cookie monster hair and a Sailor Moon costume is what it takes to get you going… more power to you. But I just somehow totally failed to make the connection before we got there for some reason… meh.
So the March of the Weirdos was extremely entertaining (and this coming from someone with 15 years of background in medieval re-enactment… yes, I am fully cognisant of the hypocrisy/irony in the sentiment) mostly because I simply didn’t have the background knowledge to know what the fuck most of these people were supposed to be dressed up as? I mean I go to an SCA event and I can pick someone who is doing 10thC Anglo Saxon from someone who is doing 15thC Spanish which are both clearly different from 14thC Burgundian or 12th Irish! But most of the people at the showgrounds today just caused me to me constantly ask ‘What is/are he/she/it/them supposed to be dressed as?” Absolutely no frame of reference whatsoever for most of them. I recognised an orc, and saw some robots (but couldn’t tell you what flavour or franchise of robot they were supposed to be), and I saw two Links (thanks Small Child, wouldn’t have known that one without you) and more Batmans than you can poke a stick at. But past those I was like ‘what’s she/he supposed to be?’ which turned out to be a bit of a pointless exercise anyway because the answers made me none the wiser anyway… I can’t pick a storm trooper from a mechwarrior (?) in a line up anyhow. :S
We whipped around the pavilions, saw LOT of cutesy cutesy Japanese anime Hello Kitty type merchandise right next to someone selling huge movie related replica swords, knives and quasi-military paraphernalia (paintball, tactical gear, webbing, scopes and balaclavas??) There was stalls selling comic books, chunky compendiums of graphic novels and serious collectors items alongside with someone selling home made gingham hairbows with little skull faces in them?? Err… a little something for everyone one I think?!?
I rapidly discovered that open ended questions gave me a marginal advantage in stopping me from looking like a complete noompty – so I spent most of the afternoon saying, ‘What is that for?’ or ‘What is that from?’ or just ‘what the hell is that thing?’… :S Because apparently it’s better to appear ignorant than to get it wrong… as in “Cool, I’m going to buy Mr K this silly figurine from Star Trek that no one likes as a bit of a shit stir! :P” whilst holding up a thing called Jarjar Binks. Yes, I admit it I don’t know anything about the Stars… Star Treks, Star Wars, Star Gates, whatever! They’re all the bloody same to me – aliens, lasers and good guys and bad guys (yes, yes, please keep your indignation/incredulousness down to a dull roar… ta).
I pottered around the place with an odd feeling that I could not remember the last time I felt so ‘out of place’ anywhere. I am usually quite comfortable in my surroundings and never feel like I don’t belong or don’t understand the place or my purpose in being there. So it was a very unusual weirdness to feel a bit ‘What exactly am I doing here, and what is this whole thing about?’ Couldn’t remember the last time I felt like such a fish out of water.
Surrounded by confusing icons of pop culture, I did what any sensible woman armed with only a Platinum Visa for protection would do – I shopped!
I did buy the Jarjar Binks STAR WARS (yes, I was set straight on that one) figurine for Mr K, but I also found boxes of WoW cards and called him to see which ones were which, so I could buy him ‘the right’ box. I also found a Lego stall and after much deliberation bought the Small Child some Avengers Lego – very cool. Ummm… I also got a ‘not for tv’ Marty McFly rainbow coloured cap, a strange Mac&Cheese smelling car freshener for the Small Child to hang off his monitor which I thought he might find amusing, and a cute Super Mario belt that spins from a red to a green mushroom (you can’t have a ten year old son and NOT know who Super Mario is so I was safe there). 😀
All up it was a rather entertaining afternoon (an interesting cultural counterpoint to Saturday’s matinee session of Carmen by the Australian Opera Company)… but not sure it’s one I care to repeat. Been there, done that, what’s next? 🙂