This is how alcohol is treated at conventions. Having it implies that you're in a social status that's above people who want to remain sober. It's the same "I want to be cool" cure-all elixir that it was when you were in ninth grade and learning that other people are making out and that if you don't start doing it soon, you might never do it. It marks the passage into adulthood.
It's not because having cartoon souvenirs within your arm span at all times somehow makes you a child again, and if you ever see me say otherwise, find me, because my clone is currently trying to flirt with you. I don't know what it is, and that's probably why I started doing it, too. As it turns out, I don't judge the less hip from a castle shaped like a Vampire Weekend vinyl. If enough people talk about how cool it is to carry a hip flask, I will toast to that. Behind the building in a secluded spot. Because I really don't want someone to catch me. Call me old-fashioned, but if I'm going to be drunk for an event, people will find out when they ask me why I walked into a door.
You Realize That Fandom Doesn't Belong To You
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
As I wrote earlier, we all enjoy things in different ways. The show that I'm watching right now is currently being watched by someone who has their dick out. But there's always the pressure to become King Nerd. You never want to be told that you don't know as much, or that you aren't as enthusiastic about a subject, as someone else is.
Attempting to crown yourself King Nerd is a natural response to suddenly being thrown into a giant group after spending a long time entrenched in the solitude of your interests. We have a desire to make ourselves stand out from others. We want to either possess the most knowledge or have the funniest insights or create some kind of lasting impression that people will think about on their drive back home. "I met a lot of people who dug One Punch Man over the weekend, but that Daniel, he was the One Punch Maniest."
And after a few rounds of WOO beer, I was the One Punch-Drunk Man.
But the fandom doesn't really belong to you. It doesn't belong to the people who bought more expensive passes than you, and it doesn't belong to the guests that people line up to see. Technically, it belongs to the people who own the copyright, but I'm not going to end this thing with a death by natural causes. The fandom doesn't belong to anyone. And I think that's what helps you to kind of forget that you're going to be ingesting chicken strips until your poop starts to resemble them, and that you're accidentally knocking into people with every third step. It's a shared thing.
Conventions are overly commercialized to the point that San Diego Comic-Con would benefit with a name change to "AMC'S THE WALKING DEADSTRAVAGANZA (And Whatever New Batman Thing Too, We Guess.)" But there's still something intangible that keeps people going there, and to things like it. For me, it was hearing the applause after John Carpenter, director of Escape From New York and The Thing, answered a question at a panel a few years ago. I don't remember the question or the reply, but I do remember clapping with everyone else and thinking to myself, "Oh thank god. It's not just me."
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Both because he's John Fucking Carpenter and because he had nothing to do with goddamn zombies.
Talk to Daniel about wrestling and Batman on his dumb Twitter.
What do Chuck Norris, Liam Neeson in Taken, and the Dos Equis guy have in common? They're all losers compared to some of the actual badasses from history whom you know nothing about. Come out to the UCB Sunset for another LIVE podcast, April 9 at 7:00 p.m., where Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim, and more will get together for an epic competition to find out who was the most hardcore tough guy or tough gal unfairly relegated to the footnotes of history. Get your tickets here!
Psst ... want to give us feedback on the super-secret beta launch of the upcoming Cracked spin-off site, Braindrop? Well, simply follow us behind this curtain. Or, you know, click here: Braindrop.
See why even the spookiest conventions can have sane members in 5 Things I Learned Infiltrating A Paranormal Convention, and check out the conventions that put Star Trek to shame in PathetiCon: 8 Geek Conventions God Never Intended.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the convention we always wished we could go to in If Every Fictional Company Held A Job Fair, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook, and keep up to date on all the conventions where you can see your favorite Cracked writers in person!