It’s not necessarily a contradiction to say that I love the passion that fuels geek movie culture — the fact that it’s a ardent demo unto itself, and that geeks are heavily invested in the mythology of this or that franchise — although I’m starting to feel more and more repelled by the CG wham-bam throttle factor that seems to infect every last fantasy, monster and comic-book-derived movie out there.

All to say that I don’t want to be swallowed up by a crowd that worships this stuff regardless. I don’t want to be part of that vibe at all, even peripherally. I’d rather hang with contrarians than with obedient servants, worshippers and Upper Nile pyramid builders. Which is all to say I’m going through my usual “do I really want go through the hassle of Comic-Con?” dialogue. It all starts on Wednesday evening, and right now I’m thinking I might…naaahh, not likely.
I feel like a number when I’m sitting in that massive hall, sitting there as those promo reels play and the panelists sit and smile and sell their shpiel. What’s the big can’t miss-this event this year? What reel from what essential movie is being shown with what talent in attendance? I’m looking over the schedule and I’m saying to myself, “I don’t know, man…I really don’t know.” Nikki Finke recently posted each day’s activities — here’s July 23rd and 24th, July 25th, July 26th and July 27th.
And I don’t look forward to bumping shoulders with the low-life cretins who hang around the Gaslamp district and sometimes spray attitude and start fights. Does anyone remember L.A. Times guy Geoff Boucher writing last year about getting sucker-punched by some tattooed, shaved-head, cutoff-wearing ape, and then getting knocked to the ground and going home the next day with staples in his head?

Don’t forget also that Transformers and Shoot ‘Em Up producer Don Murphy and his wife also “suffered a similar attack [in the Gaslamp district] that left us in the emergency room for hours….we were with a group of twelve, six people attacked, two arrested.”
Boucher wrote that “the cops at the scene said this sort of incident isn’t that rare” — i.e., is somewhat common. Commenters on the Boucher essay page, some of them San Diego residents, didn’t strenuously disagree. A poster named “Rob D” called 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.”