Next year, I’m going to Dragon-Con, I promise. But while I was in New Orleans for Southern Decadence, I did my very best to cover it from a fanboy culture perspective. So, here are some final thoughts and a couple of pics.
• I’ve had many discussions and have read many articles about whether or not Superman is still relevant, or whether Batman has surpassed him in popularity. But when you get 90,000 shirtless guys together and you take a look around (which I did), you can’t help but notice a prevalence of Superman tattoos. Not a lot of Bats, but a ton of Supes. Then on the rare occasions that shirts go back on, the crowd is dotted with Superman t-shirts. The “S” is everywhere. So what does it mean? Does Superman still have some Kryptonian power over the gays? Is the “S” just more fashionable? Is it easier to fetishize Superman than Batman (highly doubtful). So I think there’s still a place for Superman in the world.
• Speaking of t-shirts…like I said, I saw lots of Superman. Some Green Lantern. And one Aquaman. Then there were these guys, whom I would be happy to have rescue me. (Notice the guy on the left is wearing the same aussieBum underpants we put FBOTM Marc in back in November 2008.)
• I brought a bunch of FBOTU t-shirts to give away at a party, then I got the brilliant idea to toss them off the balcony to revelers during the parade. People went nuts. They had no idea what a “Fanboys of the Universe” was, but they were thrilled to get a free t-shirt. Will any of them come to the site? Probably not. So, huge waste of t-shirts, but it was still a blast. Here’s a pic of my friend Matthew in his customized FBOTU shirt.
• Finally, even though pretty much anything goes in New Orleans, there is a very small (2 or 3 by my count) group of protesters who come and say mean things. This year, they were marching at the end of the parade, shouting their unpleasantries to an overwhelming chorus of boos. On the corner of Royal and St. Louis, an older couple of street performers started singing “Jesus Loves Me” in response to the protester’s shouts of hell and damnation. Suddenly, the booing turned into singing as everyone joined along. It was spontaneous and inspirational and very moving. My own personal belief system is based on Star Wars and the morals at the end of He-Man, but even I thought it was the perfect end to the parade.
And that’s it. Vacation over. I’ll be back to all FBOTU, all the time tomorrow!