Thursday, December 1, 2005

Sci Fiction Con

Dear Friends,

    The Hard Taco song for January is called, "The Only Girl at the Sci Fi Convention," and you have every incentive to download it right now.
    To be frank, I don't much care for science fiction myself. Besides the familiar fact that there are no female science fiction fans, most of us don't know much about this strange genre. When I first started diving into my research for this song, I thought that I would come to respect or at least appreciate the champions of this unusual subculture.
    Surprisingly, I was wrong.
    Science Fiction Conventions, or "cons," are billed as a gathering place for like-minded individuals to discuss common interests. The disturbing truth is that the science fiction world is a tangled web of contentious factions. The conventions are simply the arena for these feuding sociopaths to engage in gang warfare. 
    The Trekkies hate the Warsies (Star Wars fans) who like to beat up on the MSTies (Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans). Everyone wants to kill the Whosies (Dr. Who fans, who are unusually ugly.) The BFF's (Babylon 5 fans) are complete savages who pretty much hate everybody while the Earth F. Conflicties (Earth: Final Conflict Fans) mostly just loathe themselves.
    Within the subset of Trekkies, there is a divisive hierarchy. It would be social suicide for a boy whose family follows "Deep Space Nine" to go out with the daughter of an "Enterprise" fan. The muddy waters run much deeper than that, though. James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original series, was found dead in July. The official coroner's report lists pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease as the causes of death, but the ugly truth is that he was stripped and tortured to death by a gang of "Voyager" zealots. In my opinion, violating a demented 85-year-old in his own home is entirely wrong, especially if he has pneumonia. 
    But these guys don't care. Most of them have the dangerous triad of autism, antisocial personality disorder, and pimples.
     Casual fans who go to these conventions looking to buy Quantum Leap trading cards are completely unprepared for the world of hurt that is in store for them. If your shirt says "Gene Roddenberry is God," someone will kick your ass. If you take a second series Jar-Jar figurine out of its original box, someone will kick your ass. If you conjugate a Klingon verb in the wrong tense, someone will kick your ass. If you try to be non-confrontational and fly under the radar, someone will kick your ass. That just makes you an easier mark for the "He doesn't like you. I don't like you either," line. 
    The trick is to find the one guy in the convention center who is smaller than you and beat him to a bloody pulp in a public place, such as in front of the Peter Mayhew autograph booth. You won't have real street cred until the Battlestar Galactica crowd thinks you're a maniac. Only then can you move among the panel discussions and costume contests with a certain degree of impunity.
    Just make sure you have an emergency escape plan for every situation. For instance, if an overweight teenager in a Stargate Atlantis shirt starts bludgeoning your face with the butt of a plastic light saber, you will want to distract him by throwing a pile of Enterprise blueprints into the air as you head for the nearest exit sign. (See Exhibit A)
    If the exit is blocked, you will need a backup plan. Carefully follow the specifications in the blueprints (see Exhibit A again) and build a functioning life-sized replica of the Enterprise. Then, go to the transporter room and beam yourself to a safe distance.   
    Don't forget to download the song, because it may start a dialogue about a lot of these issues.

With warmest regards,