Three days ago L.A. Times guy Geoff Boucher wrote about getting sucker-punched by some tattooed, shaved-head, cutoff-wearing hormone monster in San Diego’s Gaslamp district during Comic-Con, and getting knocked to the ground and going home the next day with staples in his head.

And then yesterday Transformers and Shoot ‘Em Up producer Don Murphy posted a comment on Anne Thompson‘s blog saying that he and his wife “suffered a similar attack [last] Thursday night/Friday morning that left us in the emergency room for hours….we were with a group of twelve, six people attacked, two arrested.”
Boucher writes that “the cops at the scene said this sort of incident isn’t that rare” — i.e., is somewhat common — and commenters on the Boucher essay page, some of them San Diego residents, haven’t strenuously disagreed with a with a commenter named “Rob D” calling the Gaslamp district “a magnet for stupidity…on any given night during the summer you’ll see people stumbling into the street, hanging on street lights and yelling incoherent drunken shit..[the area is] literally a haven for the retarded.”
This is an issue that Comic-Con and the city of San Diego need to address. The remedy, obviously, is hiring extra security to patrol the Gaslamp streets, and to keep a particular eye on beefy 20-something apes with shaved heads and tattoos and other sartorial indications of rage and alienation. This is not an issue for geeks — the Comic-Con faithful are generally cool, cerebral, spiritually impassioned types who would never pop anyone — but the simian under-class types that hang out in the neighborhod adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center.
It’s not unheard of for lower-class brutes of any municipality to express loathing for the connected cell-phone class that visits for a film festival or whatever.
Six or seven years ago I was talking to someone on my Motorola while standing on Park City’s Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival, and some townie drove by in a Chevy Silverado and yelled out, “Look — another asshole with a cellphone!” I yelled back, “Look — another asshole in a pickup truck!” The truck immediately pulled over and two guys got out and charged over, obviously looking to get down, but I went into my Matrix Reloaded mode and in less than ten seconds they were both moaning on the pavement, in the fetal position and begging for mercy. I wailed on them again for good measure, and they cried and whimpered like the pathetic bitches they were and always will be.
Okay, everything after the word “truck” is made up. As if I needed to say that.