Monday, September 7, 2009

Freak Flags Are Flying in the ATL

I am married to a nerd, I love nerds, and many of my closest friends and associates are nerds. Nerds pay our bills, in more ways than one. And yet I have a conflicted relationship with nerd culture. Or maybe "nerd culture" isn't a capacious enough label for what's going on downtown at DragonCon right now.

Two Dudes

There are 30,000 people down there for the weekend, partying and going to conference panels and generally letting it all hang out. (Some of them are letting too much hang out.) Kirk and Spock are there, of course. And the kid who plays Draco Malfoy. But there's also a guy from the CDC and a bunch of astrophysicists. Hmm. And look! There's Adam Savage from "Mythbusters"! I am positive that if I weren't married, we would be dating.


As I mentioned the other day, our old friend Rick is visiting. He is selling his novels in one of the exhibit spaces at the conference. Matt went down with him yesterday to check out the action, and I went today.

Hyatt Lobby

My conflicted relationship with nerd culture stems from the fact that I don't know that much about most of the source materials that those 30,000 people are celebrating. I can recognize most of the superheroes, and I am devoted to "Lost" and a few other pop-culture monuments, but a huge portion of it all is unknown to me. Also, I have some kind of mild allergy to any kind of exuberant Renaissance Faire-ish costuming. You know, like vaguely medieval corsetry and buskins? (Okay, I don't know what a buskin is but just go with it.) Or Goth-pixie-naughty-Tinkerbell efflorescences? Not into it. Not not not.

That said, I do love a spectacle. And I love it when people try hard to make or to do things that they like. So I grabbed my camera and went down there. Keely, I needed you to be my wingman! (I also went to a panel discussion on the H1N1 flu virus, and an astronomy panel on looking for other life in the galaxy. Not that different from an academic conference, actually, except there were multiple people dressed like Harry Potter in attendance.) Here are some of my favorite folks that I saw.

A League of Their Own

Klingon Lady

Batman and Friends

I should note that Batman and his friends did not plan their outfits together. They just more or less converged on this shoeshine stand. And here's one for you, fellas.

Red Sonja and Electra

Cat Head Girl

I love her everyday blue hair peeking out from under her cat headpiece. And I was kind of sweet on this guy too.

Dharma Guy

And look who else showed up?

Klingon Elvis

He's Klingon Elvis. Go on, love him tender, until he tires of you and destroys your home planet.

So that's where I was today. It was pretty fun, and I have a feeling that after that, Halloween is going to seem kind of boring.


The Dental Maven said...

Confident as I am, I don't think I'd go with the Klingon nose-and-forehead combo.

delaine said...

This is fun-weird, but fun. The CDC was in the midst of this gathering? Oh, where's Ianto and what was he doing there?

Michele said...

I would be totally enthralled with the costumes. That's some investment those people have into their hobby?

Amy said...

Man, I would've loved to see that! Cause I don't get many chances to wear my Goth pixie naughty Tinkerbell costume. I don't get the "League of their Own" baseball girls, though. How does this fit with the genre? Cute, though! What did YOU wear?

Hilarious post, Beck! Did you meet the Mythbuster dude?

Amy said...

Also, I meant to say that I love nerds, too! There is something charming about people who just totally go for it, you know?

Cassie said...

Wow. That's... amazing. I married a nerd too but as of yet neither of us has dabbled too deeply in nerd culture. Mostly there's just a lot of discussion about computer programming and software development at any given time. No costumes or anything.

That looks like a fun day... I'm also dying to know what you wore.

Mental Momma said...

I once went with my husband, then boyfriend, to ComicCon, because he had some older "valuable" comics and a famous and reclusive artist was there signing.

Of course, he made me stand in line with a huge stack of comics because there was a rule that you could only get two signed at a time and he thought I might be able to get away with more. I did. Of course I couldn't exactly brag about it to my girlfriends afterwards. Until now, that is!

Keely said...

Okay, how much do I love that the Klingon woman is touching up her eyeshadow??

I'm not sure what the League of Their Own chicks have to do with anything, either, but cool costumes. You're right, I would have been a great wingman - I squee'd a little over every single one of those.

(Though I don't get the goth-pixie-french maid cosplay stuff either. Mostly because it would make me look ridiculous)

bsouth said...

I'm sorry, I had to google it.

poz said...

The Klingon Elvis is astonishing. Did you realize that his red "rhinestones" are in the shape of the Klingon Empire logo? This is no "Hey I've got an Elvis suit-- it'll be fun to do a Klingon face with it for the con!" No way: this is a fully-realized Klingon Elvis costume.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Awww, Becky. Go on and admit your a Tribble. You're among friends.
; )

bernthis said...

i wish I had that kind of passion for something. I don't even like getting dressed up for Halloween

Becky said...

Poz, you're right! OMG, it is the real Klingon Elvis!

And you commented on my blog! Squee!

You would have been very entertained by that whole scene, I bet.

Casey said...

Wow, that looks like a fun time but 30,000 people dressed like that would sort of freak me out.

gretchen said...

OMG. I am SO JEALOUS!! I am a total, semi-closeted nerd/geek/dork!! Were Kirk and Spock REALLY there? Are we talking Shatner/Nimoy or the cute young boys from the new movie? Was there anyone from Battlestar Galactica?!?!?!? Okay, I'm starting to hyperventilate. And embarrass myself. I really shouldn't admit this stuff to anybody, right? I mean, I've never actually dressed up in a costume, or gone to a convention or anything, so I'm not just totally pathetic, right? I should probably just shut up.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Becky -- Thankfully, none of these photos are of my daughter and son-in-law, although they did get to meet and talk to the Draco Malfoy guy while he was talking a smoke break outside of the Wolfpack party. DragonCon is the best place ever for ... uh .... people(???)-watching. Thanks for giving us an eyewitness report!

susie said...

I am also married to a nerd and if I weren't, would probably be dating one. We do not share his love for computer games, science fiction, but we have other values in common, so it works out. I just wanted to give a shout out to another lady who treads this nerd-culture line carefully.