Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes a patriot

This is my 51st blog post, and but for an eleventh-hour substitution, it would have been the 50th. If that had come to pass, here is how it would have gone:

This is my 50th blog post. I thought this day would have come quite a bit sooner, but it comes now, and I want to post something special. Something classy and respectable, and that best represents the magnanimous spirit of Czardoz Contra World.

Behold, a goat peeing:

As Paul Harvey would say, now let’s hear “the rest of the story.” I spotted this enchanting tableau at Comic-Con this year, on a congested intersection in the heart of the convention’s splash zone (by which I mean, where the Con’s largesse splashes over onto the streets of downtown San Diego). The goat was one of an unholy trinity of protestors calling for the abolition of Anaheim, specifically in reference to our northern neighbor’s attempts to pilfer Comic-Con from us, but perhaps in general terms as well.

I hope all this talk of Comic-Con leaving San Diego for Anaheim or LA or wherever is all smoke and mirrors. The Con is the cultural touchstone of San Diego, and the city needs this event much more than the alleged wooers. Anaheim has Disneyland. LA has Hollywood, among other splendors. Vegas has . . . Vegas versions of Paris, New York, Ancient Rome, the South Seas, and more magicians than you could fit into a clown car.

Lest anyone think this is purely a local issue, one municipality against another, I must remind you that this is a matter of national gravity, nay, of patriotism. This point is driven home by no less than the greatest patriot, Captain America:

Though Cap is looking about as plush as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man these days, his point is well made.
This controversy actually reminds me a lot of the Lebron James debacle in Cleveland. I’ve been to Cleveland. I’ve seen President Garfield’s coffin lying in the crypt of the exquisite Garfield Monument. I’ve admired Tiffany’s denim jacket at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve stood in the footsteps of the concertmaster at Severance Hall and gazed from his perspective at the podium where George Szell once conducted the Cleveland Orchestra.

So yes, I know that Cleveland has its place in the world. But that place is not at the top of a jetsetter’s hitlist. And if I were some young buck (or cavalier, for that matter) with a bright present, I wouldn’t expect a very bright future staying in a town like Cleveland.

Lebron is just a dude, of course. Comic-Con is an institution, and, like the office of President, it’s much bigger than any one man. But even though I can understand the arguments for moving – the bigger convention space, the proximity to Hollywood, the proximity to Disneyland, for Goofy’s sake! – the loss of Comic-Con would leave a cultural void in San Diego far bigger than the bankruptcy of the San Diego Symphony in 1996, bigger than the loss of K-BEST 95 – the only oldies radio station in town and yet to be replaced, bigger even than the death of Dr. Seuss.

Yes, I understand that this is a crum-bum town in which I reside, and when the Namor-reading nerdlinger grows up to be Tobey Maguire or some kind of expensive Hobbit crap, he needs to spread his wings and fly to a bigger toilet. Hell, I did it myself once upon a time.

So no hard feelings on my end. But Comic-Con, if you really do leave, just don’t think for a second that the gasping culture junkies you leave behind in this wasteland will forget that you pulled the plug on their life support.


Henry said...

At least nobody will ever take our Padres away from us.

Czardoz said...

Who would want those bums!