21 April 2009

Ending the Embargo

I swore I'd never go to a Trek convention. Sure, I've seen just about every minute of Trek that ever aired, and I've read more Trek novels than is recommended for a sane person. But I always kept it in the house. I never let it hurt those I love; so why would I want to go to a trek convention now?
Partly because of the curiosity of what I might see, the deals I might find (I'm always on the look out for a good deal), the photo-ops. I might actually be able to compose a decent shot or two - you look at the photos from these things and you'd think that these people have never heard of off-camera flash, or even bouncing the light.
And that's why I have to go. The pictures. Not the mechanics, but the subjects. The stars. The people we as sci-fi watching nerds all love, love to hate, want to be, or want to be with (watch some TOS, and your hailing frequencies will be open, allright) are up on stage, or at some table, signing autographs, hugging sweaty nobodies in ill-fitting and poorly sewn costumes, and generally looking uncomfortable.
I'm not white-knighting. I don't plan any major SAVE THE STARS campaign. I'm willing to bet the money's even pretty good. But something about the way they look in those photos just doesn't sit right with me. Our idols reduced to common men. Heroes of our youth (and, let's all be honest, not-quite-so-youth) brought down to our level. Not even do they appear to be treated as celebrities, cordoned off from the rest of us by assistants and security and velvet ropes. Plastic folding tables, sharpies, and glossy prints from 30 pounds and a decades past. Is the money worth being on display? They just look borderline miserable to me.
Except when they are on stage. Then they come alive. I mean, they are actors, after all. The photos while they are on stage, performing, reminiscing - the fourth wall ephemeral but still there, almost in phase with our reality (to borrow some technobabble).
Or, I'm completely off base, projecting my own feelings into some inopportune moments captured in jpg format; faces in transition from listening to a smile of warm recognition of a shared experience. Maybe it's too a bit of my naivete that I'm unwilling to part with: I know they are just people working on a sound stage, but in a deep part of me I want it all to have been real. So I want to go to a convention to see for myself. While I'm there maybe I can take some decently lit photos, and capture the moments that I'm hoping I'll see.

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