A program the Missus was watching the other night had a segment on these....people who paint themselves blue and run around in the woods, with pointy ears (and tails, RR, can't forget the tails!), talking like the creatures in Avatar. Free. No one with tranquilizer guns in pursuit.
Growing up, the weirdest thing on the radar were the Polar Bears: you know, those fellers, half lit maybe, who jump into the ocean for a swim. On New Year's Day. That was as crazy as it got. Sure, we had philatelists, train (or plane) guys, and Pynchon fans (guilty on 3 out of 4, yer honor) but they were 'mostly harmless'. Then George Lucas comes out with Star Wars: all bets are off, the clown car is here! People started dressing like wookies, and worse : Star Trek fans thought it was safe to leave their parent's basement where they lived, blinking in the light of day. It was ok to wear Spock ears, even to work! They were the tip of the weirdness schwerpunkt. Comic book fans and their conventions were the second wave. Comic books are not written for kids anymore. You can't hand a kid a comic book these days and worry about 'rotting their mind' as my parents did. O no. The 'super' heroes are angst ridden nutcases, 'bout as bad as the 'villains' , I am told. Children do not understand what is going on in them. The fans (adults, who should know better) hold crummy little conventions, dressing up and making nuisances of themselves. Now, with the inter-web, there goes the neighborhood: the digi-village has thousands of new idiots, sucking up bandwidth. They are everywhere, like cockroaches.
Back in the day, these people would have been culled from the herd. The harsh Darwinism of the schoolyard would have nipped any of this extreme dorkiness in the bud. But now we have them and other pernicious enthusiasms. Drum circles, taken from Native Americans, subverted into New Age rubbish ; graphic novels (even graphic non-fiction), all the rage in libraries, lowering IQs nationwide; Klingon weddings (see photo above), oyeah, and re-enactors. You know, people who dress up Napoleonic, Roman, American Civil War, World War I (!?), any war or period. These guys opened the flood gates for Renaissance Fairs and such and it has been downhill ever since. Never mind the Society for Creative Anachronism, founded in 1966 from a Medieval Studies department. This is what these people go to school for, so they can dress up like Midden Mary, without the dung?
You ask,"Why get in a swivet about these people, RR?". See, life in America is weird and stupid enough these days with Sarah 'abandon hope ye who enter I do not have opposable thumbs and I am happy' Palin slouching around, massive cuts in education budgets, and runaway partisanism; we do not need the daily jolt of this weirdness. America has never been too high on the cultural vine, and this kind of foolishness just exacerbates the problem.