Another day, another dollar, well for this writer another dollar in the coffers of the multimillion dollar company I work for while I take home my meager salary that barely covers my wife and I for a month. The money men at the top take home there five figure salaries and world continues to spin but I digress the aim of A Mind of its own is not to be a platform for this writer to voice his woe is me moments but to make the readers aware of what’s going on in the world.
So where do we start you ask yourself and on what great topic will the team be enlightening us with this week? Well that’s a great question as we struggled for days on end to come up with a topic that will touch the hearts and minds of our readers. Then it came to us like a smelly fart on the wind. Well it was more a suggestion from this writers old man. In order to write this weeks blog I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone, well maybe not step out so much as step up and own my often geeky ways.
With much trepidation I jumped in the rental KIA carnival of death with my old man and headed off to the Gold Coast to gather some much needed content for this weeks piece. Now ladies and gentleman, I used to think I was a bit of geek, the cool kind who plays video games, reads comics and watches all the movie adaptations yet still likes sports and manly things like beer, guns and boobs. But as I learnt last weekend I am far from a geek let alone remotely geeky in today’s modern society.
So let me paint the picture of the land that I had just walked into. Everywhere my eyes looked they took in a world unknown to them. Men, Women and Children dressed up as tv, movie, comic book, video game, manga, wrestling, you name a character someone was no doubt dressed up as it. As I ventured deeper and deeper into the den of what i had by now dubbed the festival of freaks and geeks, i felt my IQ growing and a sudden love for dungeon and dragons. Maybe it was all the colourful costumes or perhaps it was seeing grown men living out the lives of their idols and heroes but I actually felt smarter.
The growing world of cosplay was all around me and here I was the odd one out for several reasons. Firstly no one had told me it was a dress up party and here I was in baggy pants and a tee shirt. Secondly I was wearing deodorant and wasn’t smelling like a high school gym after year 8 physical education class unlike many of my fellow event goers and thirdly which was probably the most surprising, my old man knew more people than I did. That had never happened to me before and we were in my Knick of the woods not his. Was my Dad more popular than then me?
We weren’t even through the main doors and yet my education had already began. Like a hyper colour explosion pop culture and its faithful surrounded me. There were some amazing costumes and some not so amazing. People had gathered from galaxies far, far away well as far as I’m concerned Logan and Ipswich often produce people from other planets. Yes Pauline I’m referring to you and I know you don’t like it.
I had peeled back the curtain and dared to sneak a look into a world of unknown. Like the first time your mates take you to a club of sin, I was filled with excitement and trepidation. What if I someone recognises me? What if my Dad posts we are here on Facebook? Dammit too late for that one, we haven’t even been here for two minutes and he’s checked us in. The Dalek is out of the Tardis on that one.So with no further risks of embarrassment I dove deeper and deeper into the throngs of fanboys and girls.
There were rows upon rows of fanfare and paraphernalia mixed in with some C and B grade celebrities with 100s of people lining up to grab a photo and autograph that’ll be worth something amongst these people in years to come. Let’s be honest they were more like D grade celebrities, I’d never heard of half these people let alone watched the shows they were from. I strolled past some authors and artist trying to hawk their wares. Listed in on a talk or two about fight scenes in video games and movies. And more than likely starred for way too long at some of the people squeezing through the throng of people gathered.
Now deep in the dungeon I found myself standing in front of what looked like a third world armoury bazaar shop in some third world country. Gleaming fake swords, mock guns and hammers made of foam hung from the ceiling of the store. If I was preparing for a fake zombie apocalypse this where I would come to arm myself to the teeth. I passed several other medieval fake blacksmiths and even an armoured heaven. The guys sitting there didn’t look very heavenly nor did the look like they had much to sell to masses. They did however look like they were decked out for a serious round of laser tag.
Forty minutes later I was done, my eyes hurt from gawking, my jaw from letting it hit the floor and my feet from having to dance around people to keep moving down the aisles. I was left with more questions than when I started, an expensive signed comic print and desperate need for air that hadn’t been contaminated by body odour. I was also starting to think of a career in marketing as ranges of pop cultured themed deodorants swam through my mind.
So what did I learn this week? Supanova, Comic-Con and many other pop culture conventions bring out people from all walks of life. The people that used to be referred to as the freaks and geeks now seem to be the norm and teenagers haven’t discovered the wonders of deodorant. Cosplay has hit Australia in a big way and is here to stay and my dad will always know people at these events than I ever will.
My first adventure to the dark side has left me wondering and wanting to ask more. What I can safely say is that everyone needs to at least go and check out a pop culture convention once in there lives. There is something for everyone and it was more than a little surprising. So for another week it’s over and out. We dare you to go where no man or woman has gone before…