My Favourite Dictator

Happy Belated Memorial Day to all you USAmericans out there, “I personally believe that USAmericans…don’t have maps” ah forget it. I would have had this up yesterday, but The Company that I work for has seen fit to BLOCK CMBZ… it’s a conspiracy I tells ya. Anyway, here is a note to USAmerican President Barack Hussein Obama:

Stop it with your baseless, unfair condemnation of the General Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea, the Great Leader himself, Kim Jong-il.

Yes, Great Leader Kim Jong-il, a man whose Legendary exploits are the stuff of Legend! Have you seen the size of the fish he caught? Have you heard of all of those holes in one he’s hit? Have you seen his video collection? And what about that hair?!

He is the Great and Glorious Leader of North Korea and YOU are only alive today because he has allowed it, so you will show him some GODDAMN RESPECT!

You are lucky he even performs for you BASTARDS! Leave Kim Jong-il ALONE!!!!!!


The Official Calgary Comic Expo Blog

Was sick for a couple of days… Just a cold caught from the thousands of sick, coughing, sneezing humans @ the CCE, not the so-called “swine-flu.” It’s almost funny the amount of goo that builds up in the ole sinus cavities!

Anyway, was down @ the Calgary Comic Expo on the Saturday and am left wondering somewhere in the recesses of my brainmeats that oh-so eternal question axed by old guys in buddy cop movies: am I getting too old for this shit?

The truth of it is, I had completely forgotten about the CCE up until a week before it was on and was only reminded by me buddy Dooks on a visit to his store. At that moment it dawned on me that I was completely unprepared, had planned nothing, saved nothing, and on top of everything couldn’t even be certain of my attendance. On the way home I mulled, and hemmed, and hawed in the dark cavern of my mind and came to the conclusion that no, I would not in fact be attending this year, I would stay home and relax, perhaps read a book or something.

As the week progressed I found myself going back and forth like a tennis match in my head: should I stay or should I go? After a Friday night of beers and Rock Band on the 360 that lasted until 4AM, and the sudden knowledge that Edward Freaking James Olmos, Mr. American Me himself was to attend the Expo, I decided I would indeed attend.

Woke up around 9:30 Saturday morning and got my shit together, showered, dressed and was @ the Big4/Round-p Center/Corral by 11:00. And it all went wrong big time, so much so that I nearly fled the scene. I bought a ticket (was it always $20 to get in?) and was then instructed to get in line for entrance. I looked at the entrance; people were filing in through the big double-doors, why could I not just go in with them? Or what of the half dozen other entrances to “Hall D?” Then I remembered back to the Big Convention, back to Celebration 4 and it all became clear to me: the organizers of these events just LOVE to make people WAIT IN LINES. Even if there is no need to. Especially if there is no need to.

So I strolled through the hallways of Hall D of the new edition to the round up center, through the old complex, passed the corral, almost out the back door and into the parking lot, up the stairs to the west entrance of the Saddledome. About four or five city blocks worth of line-up, and I waited. And waited. Four blocks of line, three deep with Filthy Humans, ripe with the B.O. and diet Dr. Pib stench of Geek… was I the only Geek in attendance with the good sense to SHOWER this morning??? Perhaps or perhaps not… but the stench was palpable, hanging in the air like a living thing, a funky companion of which there was no escape.

I was in line, for an hour, slowly moving forward, inches at a time before finally making it through the first set of doors into the anti-room where the fan groups were housed and the meeting rooms where the panels were to be held. This area is thick with costumed Geeks, and fat guys squeezed into Star Trek shirts that are many sizes too small, as well as cos-playing 13 year old girls dressed as their favorite “yaoi” manga characters. Oh hey, there is a Klingon! And a Stormtrooper! And then right in front of me passes none other than UglySkinnyGreasyGlassesGirl and her friend HomelessLookingGuy from the city’s Anime club! I shudder to think of how far we’ve fallen. This is the very stereotype of Geek Culture that “normals” latch onto when they seek to deride us, the very thing I have been fighting against my whole Geek life.

I find myself @ the doors to the main hall and as soon as I am through the doors everyone in front of me grinds to a dead stop. Come on. I want to scream out to everyone: “FUCKING GET A MOVE ON!” but I don’t. I dig deep for the patience of the Jedi, the patience that seems to be evaporating from my being with each passing second. Breathing. Deep breaths. I push forward through the crush of people and try to get a look @ some of the various wares the dealers and scalpers are selling in this great hall of Consumer-Geek-Culture.

All around me, male and female Geeks of all shapes, sizes and hairstyles are coughing, sneezing, sniffing, chitting and chatting, as they meander, slowly shuffling like the zombies in Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, searching back and forth, scanning the tables and booths for something that might pique their interest, or perhaps just something distractingly shiny.

It took me most of a half-hour just to push and shuffle my way to the Red Five Collectables booth. I dived sideways like a running-back avoiding a tackle, pulling myself from the mass of sweaty humanity to the relative safety of the booth. I chatted with some buddies, my eyes big as saucers, and annoyance level firmly in the red over the sheer number of Geeks in attendance. A confined space, ten thousand people, and they’re all in front of me.

After catching up, and catching my breath, I dove back into the moving mass of smelly Geek. I try to check out some of the different dealer booths and tables, but it seems every time I try to move off to one side, the current of the crowd sweeps me past and away from the table that caught my eye.

I should have known… it’s usually quite difficult to get to see anything in the first couple of hours of these conventions, so I decided a different strategy was in order. My idea was to skim around the perimeter, then make a bolt for the inside aisles in an attempt to check the whole place, returning later only to the booths and tables that contained items I was interested in purchasing. Hit and run, zip in, zip out, like going to Wisconsin.

This of course posed a new problem: The Stoppers. Those Geeks, mostly with small children and babies in flimsy but wide push-carts that feel they have to stop in the middle of the aisle every five seconds because of a whining or screaming kid. I have two suggestions for you: step to the side and let people through, or pay the five bucks for a fucking baby-sitter, and leave the squealing pink-grub @ home! This way you don’t have to slowly push a baby pram through a huge crowd, inconveniencing EVERYONE and you don’t contribute unnecessarily to the stink of the crowd with the wonderful stench of a shit-filled diaper! I don’t want to go off on a RANT here but look, I understand you Geeks out there who choose to breed want to have your genre-cake and eat it too by having kids and still participating in all the glories of the Geek Lifestyle to which you have been accustomed, but come on, have some consideration for others and get Grandma to take care of the kid for the day for once.

Eventually I found myself @ a booth with a shitload of G.I Joe figs and decided to have a quick, and what I thought would be a fruitless, look for the Blue Costumed, Green Sunglasses, “Olivia Munn features” Baroness® figure I’ve been trying to get my greedy little hands on for months. Just as I was ready to give up the ghost, I spotted her surrounded by a heap of Dukes® and Storm Shadows®. I pulled her from the peg and tried to pay, but was told to go to the other side of the booth. I did happily knowing that “Olivia Munn features” Baroness® would soon be mine, I will have paid way too much for it, but it would be MINE. There was no one in line and I reckoned this would take only a few seconds to pay and be on my way… WRONG! As soon as I came around the corner of the booth two people materialized seemingly from no-where, in the line in front of me. I shook my head and trudged forward thinking; at least they have interac® as a payment option, as cash was pretty tight this week/every week, so being able to access the accounts directly was a huge plus since 96% of dealers on the floor only accepted cash. The first guy in line zipped through quickly; a cash customer, the second guy tried to pay with interac®. Tried being the operative word, several swipes, two cards, and several minutes later the girl @ the till decided “his cards” didn’t work so in the end he paid with cash. I wanted to use my interac® card to free up the cash for a higher priced item later, but was now doubtful that the option was available. One, two, three, swipes, four or five tries, and two different cards later and a line queuing up behind me. Well, clearly there is something wrong with my cards… ER their machine, either that or the girl working the till didn’t know how to operate it! So much to my chagrin, I ended up paying with cash.

As the day wore on I began to feel a wee bit peckish and thought to grab a little snack from either the stampede burger kiosk or the pizza booth. Coming around the corner I saw the line for pizza and quickly fled, not wishing to wait a half hour in another line up. As for the burger kiosk, I don’t even think it was open… the decision was made! I would go without! It wouldn’t kill a fat guy like me to miss lunch on a Saturday afternoon anyway. And about that, one of the things I love about a huge Geek Fest like the Calgary Comic Expo is this: I am NEVER the fattest fuck in attendance. No matter how down on myself I may get with regards to my immense girth, there is always a bigger, fatter, geekier Geek waddling through the crowd to make me feel better about myself, if only for a moment.

I fought my way back to the Red Five booth and chatted briefly with buds before heading out the doors for a breath of fresh air. As I pushed open the glass doors on the west side of the complex, the cool air assaulted my senses, like a man crawling through the desert taking his first sip of cool, clean water, I drank back the fresh air greedily, gulping it in until I had my fill, then back inside to the warm, moist, fetid air of many, many, Geeks.

As I was saying “hey” to me buds from the Calgary Fan Force the thought of being too old for this shit again assailed my brainmeats. Was I getting too old, to grumpy, too ornery, too curmudgeonly, to have fun anymore? Even as the words drifted past my lips they felt hollow, empty, a lie. How could I be too old for this? Sure the crowds are unpleasant, and some of the dealers choose to scalp you on every purchase, but its all part of the experience. For two days all of Geekdom, from Otaku, to Steampunks, get together to celebrate their uniqueness, madness, Geekness. For those two days the geeks all get along the pettiness and politics of fandom are set aside as all are united in their quest for that one elusive book, t-shirt, comic, action figure, or autograph that their collections just must have, and if that is wrong, then baby I don’t want to be right.
*The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo image is copyright the owners and used without permission.

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