Thursday, August 28, 2008

Less than Zero

I'm listening to Elvis Costello, and in the song "Less Than Zero" there's a line "Mr. Oswald with the Swastika Tattoo.", which brought to mind something that happened a few years back, at DragonCon, a big SciFi convention and geekfest in Atlanta.
I was in a room watching the show "Firefly", which had just come out on DVD, on a big screen TV, with great sound. Between episodes, we would all sit around talking about the episodes, and totally geeking out. Well, the host of the room was also in costume, an "Alliance Official", I think, and at one point he got too warm in the synthetic fibers he was wearing, and took off his costume shirt. On his right forearm was a tattoo of a Nazi eagle, with a swastika in its talons. To say that this changed my opinion of this guy doesn't even scratch the surface. I had to leave. I wish, now, that I had had the balls to ask him about it, but how do you bring something like that up? "Hey, nice tattoo, you Nazi bastard." To quote Jake Blues, "I hate Illinois Nazis", or any Nazis, for that matter. Sure, there's something about the obsessive, compulsive nature of SciFi fandom that attracts the type who latches onto an idea and won't let go, but you have to think that if you're that devoted to a cause that you'd mark yourself with it permanently, you're almost asking to get confronted about it, aren't you? Well, I just walked out. Confronting him wouldn't have done any good, anyway. He's already so far gone that it would be pointless. I almost feel like he was looking for an excuse to show off his tattoo. Maybe it was bait, but I didn't bite. Still somewhat ashamed of that, but at least all my teeth are still in my head.

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