I think Robocop was hiding in this guy's pants.At this point my Farpoint experience took a turn for the worse. Most people don't know this, but science-fiction conventions aren't actually the lawless free-for-all they may appear to be in photos. Many are monitored by security guards and even undercover police officers. "Undercover" in this case meaning in plain sight: As Trinity and I finalized our drug transaction, we were accosted by a narcotics officer in a Robocop suit. I wondered how Robocop had known immediately that I was soliciting drugs. Then it hit me: he hadn't.
My accomplice and I were hauled out of the hotel, thrown in a police cruiser, and taken to the detention block of the Baltimore police station. When it came time for questioning, I tried to argue that I was a victim of racial profiling; however, the police just scoffed and tried to trap me in a web of circumstantial evidence - blurry photos, a blurry surveillance video, and a blurrily signed confession of my crime.
The police ultimately let me off with a warning. If they ever saw me again, they said, they wouldn't hesitate to throw me in jail. It was a hollow threat, since it's common knowledge police can't tell black sci-fi characters apart, but to move things along, I treated it with the requisite amount of fear. To be honest, the officers' menacing voices did actually scare me a little. That and the fact that I lost my sunglasses in the scuffle with Robocop were why I spent the rest of Farpoint sulking in my hotel room.
What my encounter at Farpoint taught me is that the science-fiction dream - of an egalitarian future where all races, as long as they aren't Borg or Romulan, explore the stars together - is dead. I'm not sure what TV composer and Justice League member Alex Courage had in mind when he wrote the Star Trek theme, but it certainly wasn't this. Trekkies can parade around in their Klingon costumes anticipating a racially integrated tomorrow, but until that tomorrow comes, all I see is a minstrel show with bat'leths.
On the plane ride home, the in-flight movie was Gettysburg. For racists who never studied the American Civil War for fear of getting depressed - Spoiler Alert! - you lost. There's one scene where a thousand Confederate troops line up for an ill-advised charge into a hail of bullets and cannon fire. In addition to a catharsis for my convention experience, it also served as a reminder of one thing I can't help but admire about white culture: its gung-ho attitude toward blatant acts of stupidity.
I've decided to adopt this same attitude by attending Farpoint again next year. Because in the immortal words of the apparently quite mortal Hunter S. Thompson, why not? I've already seen too much of this shitshow to not stick around. Might as well watch the utopian sci-fi dream complete its death-spiral down the toilet bowl of racially slanted fandom. Like the captain of a beleaguered star vessel, I feel like it's my duty to stand by my cause until its bitter, explosion-filled end.
It's what Morpheus would have wanted.
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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