Saturday was the day of action to protest “President” Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy, which has had children and parents separated during arrest at the border, and both detained and/or deported separately. A federal judge has ordered the separated children reunited with their families within 30 days (14 days for children under 5 years old; over 5 and older must be reunited within 30 days), but the administration has no idea how to do this. Meanwhile children and parents crossing the border will no longer be separated–instead will be detained together with no clear process to get them out. So yeah, people were angry.

Normally we’d go to the Boston Common to join the protest, but we still haven’t been settled in an apartment yet and are staying at a friend’s house in Haverill. Luckily people of Haverill gathered to protest as well. This was a different one that Sophia was used to: people were staggered across 4 corners of an intersection, holding signs, chanting, and trying to get motorists to honk in support. It was in the 90s and humid, but we had water and Sophia had her cell phone. We eventually made it to each corners and supported those in custody and tried to get the word out.

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I should have words to talk about the Nazi riots and terrorist acts in Charlottesville, Virginia like all my other friends, but I don’t. I don’t, not because I’m immune to the goings on (definitely not as a person of color) or because I don’t care about it (I do of course) or even because I’m inundated by too many negative news about racism (who isn’t these days?). I don’t because the day of the events in Charlottesville, I was sheltered by events at the Boston ComicCon.

While antifa groups were clashing with Nazi Klansmen, my daughter and I were trying to figure out how to go to two separate events simultaneously. When a car plowed into peaceful counterprotesters killing Heather Hayer and wounding 19 others, we were listening to Jim Cummings (voice of Winnie the Pooh) talk about his encounter with Mel Blanc. While friends were posting our “President’s” lack of concern/concern over the events, Sophia was talking to people easily about their love for particular anime. Where people were trying to reclaim their “greatness” in being white, we were watching female Aquamen, Black Batmem, and a few Rocky Horror Frank-n-Futters all wandering the expo center looking for Pop vinyl figures and T-shirts. I even ran into the comic artist Buzz, who is a friend from high school, and he gave my daughter an autographed copy of his Best of Art book. It was a perfect environment for my daughter to learn what was good in the world: love of art, music, culture, fun, games, costumes, and appreciation for the art and passion of others.

Yes it was a horrible day for our country, but my daughter and I, and all those others at the con were sheltered from almost all of it for a while. I say sheltered because I know geek culture isn’t immune to problems of race, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ sentiments, and other such problems (e.g GamerGate, diversity in movies/comics and the backlash, etc). But within geek culture the tendency is towards acceptance and openness that is sorely lacking in society in general. And yes we have our Nazi-Geek-Gatekeepers as well to contend with, and we hate them, too, but they are often more annoying than dangerous (also they are often in worse physical shape than most, so they are easy to fight or flee as the situation calls for). For the most part it is great to see groups from all races, ethnicities, countries, genders, sexual orientations come together around art and culture in a way that is positive and caring.

I am not trying to make light of what happened in Charlottesville and other such places, but I offer a way to counter those responsible. They are the cloistered and closed-minded that feel they are losing their society when it is actually growing around them. Education and experience of the new and unknown will always grow our sensibilities and empathy. And I don’t mean that the art of comic books or the culture of science fiction will save us, but consider this: societies are always defined by their art, music, and cultural similarities. Such is the same with geek culture. As such, it is art and culture that binds us together in large swaths of people and open-mindedness that will carry that hope into the future, and this is what will sustain us and our souls. It is when we nurture that fascination to discover new art and stories that expand our understanding of the world that we grow as people, thus growing as a community. This is what I see BLM, LGBTQ, women, antifas, and all marginalized groups fighting for: to grow the community to include—not exclude—everyone. We should always stand against racism and fascism in all its forms; but we must be open to culture to know what we are fighting for.

Almost immediately after being inundated with everything fall being falsely equated with pumpkins (PUMPKIN SPICE BAGELS???? ARE YOU SERIOUSLY FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?), now we have to endure Christmas 24/7 for the next two months. I haven’t seen decorations in the stores yet, which is unusual for East Boston this time of year, but maybe I’m not paying attention (part of that whole being in a fog thing). However I saw my first obnoxious Christmas commercial the other day. So I need to say this for me, but I’m sure there are others out there that feel the same way.

Big Lots, YOU HAD TO USE Satana’s “Black Magic Woman” FOR A HOLIDAY JINGLE??? REALLY?!?!? YOU COULDN’T JUST FUCK UP A BRITANY SPEARS OR DRAKE SONG, YOU HAD TO TRY AND RUIN A CLASSIC?!?!??!? YOU HAVE TAKEN THE MOST OVER-COMMERCIALIZED SEASON EVER AND MADE IT THAT MUCH WORSE!!!!!! WELL IT GUARANTEES I WILL NOT SHOP IN YOUR STORES EVER!!!!

There is a war for Christmas but it’s not the kind Fox News whines about. It’s the one Charlie Brown has been talking about for 50 years since the Peanuts Christmas Special came out (yeah this year is the 50th Anniversary of the Christmas special. THAT’S cool). We don’t need to argue about taking Christ out of Christmas; it was taken out decades ago and replaced with a white tag sale and a catchy jingle (ONE THAT ISN’T SANTANA!). The war is for who will get the most shoppers in their stores as soon as possible. I will not get caught up in it. I will not shop on Black Friday or Small Store Saturday or Online Tuesday or whatever day they pick after Thanksgiving (WHICH HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET) to plug as a day to get people into to buy shit. For the last few years, my daughter has been most excited about the Christmas gifts that I make for her myself, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. Any of you retailers have a problem with that, talk to me after New Years.