Scorpion pops, the San Diego Comic Con, people being herded at the con; later, cattle being herded into people…

Driving down to the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, stopped for coffee at a place on the  I-5 that sold a sort of lollipop & its ingredients read, “Mannitol, food coloring, scorpion…” And it has a real scorpion in it, a baby one. I bought one as a souvenir as it reminded me of that Kirkus reviewer who felt my book was too extreme and complained, “There are readers who suck his lollipops of pain?” A memorable line–I always wanted to create a line of “Lollipops of pain” to hand out, complete with label as conventions. This scorpion pop would make a great “lollipop of pain.”

We arrived. Pretty good day at San Diego comic con – even saw some comic books.  But big Media now dominates the convention, with displays relating to movies and television. People in costumes everywhere. It’s like the stream of free association in big entertainment media’s collective mind…and the people, voices merging, sound like they’re mooing as they herd about; the young ones bouncing off  display booths like moths from light bulbs.

It’s sometimes culture fugue, sometimes culture shock, sometimes low-culture fatigue. Archetypes come in bright colors here.
In the end, the megalarge, overflowing hugeness of attendance at San Diego Comic Con made it impractical for us to go to see new movie trailers, or for my wife to see the Dr Who people she wanted to see–it would’ve required showing up at least an hour early to each event, standing in line for a looong time, then maybe you might still not get in. So we concentrated on my autographing, went to my panel, gazed at the pop alluvia…

Driving back up from San Diego, on the I-5 again, we smelt a terrible smell…soon came to the source, an unspeakably huge complex of barbed wire holding pens for cattle about to be slaughtered. Just…vast, bleak, not a blade of grass in it, nightmarish to behold. I heard one of the cattle saying, “When are they going to take us back to our pasture?”

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