ComicCon

Evidently there is a comic convention going on in New Yawk City. At least CNET is reporting on such. As seems to be the mode with so many entertainment gatherings these days there are costumes attiring not just displayers but attendees as well.

Notably, it appears that the New Yawk State Constabulary is providing some of the security and because of the costume milieu, have had to consistently identify themselves as as actual gens d’arms.[Link] The difficulty of distinguishing them from Star Wars characters is obvious. But then, would any Star Wars character be seen in public in a lavender (or is it dark lilac?) necktie?

We are, of course, reminded of the In Our Time podcast on the Great London Exhibition [Link] where a team of Belgian policemen, who had been invited to attend by the London Police, were arrested by the London police as suspicious characters. One is at once struck by both the natural human distrust of those who are different (followed immediately by some biological desire to reproduce with them?) and the idea that those not attired in some outre costume would be the ones who were different.

Which takes me to consider the evolution of comic characters. In my father’s day, these characters, both the evil doers and the evil opposers, were often not attired in any special costume at all, just an ordinary business suit and homburg with the addition of a mask of some sort. Mad scientists invariable were attired in pristine white lab coats and had perpetual Einsteinian bad hair days, somehow associating difference, evil, and lack of knowledge in one melange. This mundanity did not survive the democratization to include female characters, both good and bad.

By my day, comic characters all wore body hugging costumes, perhaps anticipating the advances of chemistry not hinted at before the Second World War. This was carried to its extreme in the environments of characters like Adam Strange where everyone wore such outfits, making the mundane fashions of Tellus seem baggy and dull. But except for a couple of notable characters such as the Superman and the Batman, these characters stayed on the pages and did not cross media boundaries.

Apparently today, this is not the case, and the intelligence of the characters, both good and bad, have suffered by this diversity or degeneracy (in the mathematical sense,) perhaps indicating that when a character is divided among several media intelligence over all is conserved? From what we know about the intelligence of mobs and crowds, this somehow seems fitting even if it does open interesting questions about information exchange across the media forms.

One also notes [Link] that job dissatisfaction is at a 20 year high, the limitation imposed by that being the duration of the period of measurement. This again leads to some contemplation. As my father told it to me, in his day people were more concerned with getting a job that paid well and regularly, a direct result in all likelihood of the trauma of the Great Depression. In my day, at least for myself and my close associates, it was a matter of doing something that was satisfying, followed by good pay – the assumption of regularity and security was a given. Today, the regularity and security are effectively gone, and there seems to be more concern with pay than satisfaction. This could explain the general malaise of dissatisfaction.

It is noteworthy however that according to the reportage the Yankee big city coastal folks are more dissatisfied than the folks in the hinterland. No mention of the guys on the left coast, however. It is tempting therefore to hypothesize some association, even determinism, between job dissatisfaction and this milieu of costume wearing? Could it be that the less we are able to live in our occupations and jobs, the more we must live in our leisure? Certainly this has been my note of those who work in large stilted organizations. I used to find the NASA folk banal in their jobs but bizarre in their hobbies – and that’s saying something for a physicist and his hobbies as comparison.

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