Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Geek Chic or White Trash Paradise

Here in Central New York the Last weekend in July means three things – roughly two months till it starts snowing again - one month to the Great New York State Fair and Oswego’s Harborfest.

So since I don’t plan on being in Syracuse next summer I decided to go this year and check it out. So the little lady and me head out to Oswego down a two-lane road and drive till we hit water. Harborfest is a huge festival stretched out over several miles of city streets with stages tents and booths set up down the sides of the canal and along bridges and shores.

People drive their boats up and dock usually three deep along all sides of the water. Stunt planes fly overhead and small local acts play on different stages and can be heard for miles. Then there is the food and drink – giant lemons, beer, and food stands dot the festival. The festival attracts thousand an estimated 300,000 attend over the weekend. With all of those families attending there are also lots of people getting drunk – you can see coolers chuck full of ice and suds on hotel balconies and on the backs of boats and I swear there was a funnel hanging over the side of at least one boat.

Sounds like a blast – but don’t be distracted by the scene – its all simply set up for the story. Oswego is about 40 miles East of Syracuse – quite a bit away from the “pulse” of the city if you get my idea.

So the cutting edge culture icon I am I was wearing a “Vote for Pedro T-shirt. Not a real Vote for Pedro shirt since on the back it says 45 Martinez – so it really a Mets shirt pretending to be “Geek Chic”– but I was still the center of attention.

As I walked around the festival teen girls giggled and pointed and at least more then 10 people commented on the shirt.

The comments went both ways – people yelling “Vote for Pedro! Or Skills! and others Saying who’s Pedro?

The apex of the comments came when a shirtless tan blond guy standing on the back of his boat saw my shirt and raised his arms to the sky and screamed at the top of his lungs Sweet!!! Lucky!!!”

It’s funny how films end up influencing everyone working its way into the zeitgeist and lexicon. People who in real life are more like Summer and her blond asshole boyfriend Don – (the one who hands Napoleon the Vote for Summer Button he chucks down the hall) end up embracing Napoleon. However I’m sure the real Summers and Dons of the world would much rather quote a fictional dork then dare be seen with one in real life.

Then I think maybe they are laughing for a different reason. They are laughing not with him – but at him. They don’t identify with Napoleon and what he faces but laugh at him the same way they would laugh at a dork in the hall.

Or maybe my two semesters of psych have me over analyzing and these popular kids are simply latching on to the newest fad – even if it is one started by a dork hero.


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