Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Decadence of Jewel Staite and Friends

Today is the second day of Vulcan Event's "Away Mission: Orlando." (You can go Google about it). Some of the guest stars include Patrick Stewart, David Warner, and Jewel Staite. I wasn't paying any attention to this until Staite tweeted about it, leaving a link to the event. I took a gander at it and that's when I began to wonder just what planet she and her friends really come from.

First were the prices to participate. Yep, you gotta pay to play. The highest price is a Platinum Reserved Weekend with all sorts of goodies;
  • A reserved seat in the first rows of the main theater all weekend.
  • Admission to a private cocktail party with celebrity guests in attendance.
  • Four autographs vouchers for use with any of our celebrity guests. (One of the four autograph vouchers can be used for Sir Patrick Stewart's autograph.)
  • Etc, etc, etc, bling, bling, bling.
Everything that your decadent geek heart could desire. The price of admission for this little fête? A mere $299.

Here's an economic reference point for Staite and Company. Florida's minimum wage is $7.33/hour. That's $292.40/week before taxes on a wage that leaves you officially below the poverty level. I guess the high cost of a Platinum ticket is to keep the riff-raff out. A mere Gold ticket is just 2/3rds the price for $199. For a ticket price that would be the monthly utilities for most on minimum wage, you can't get drunk with the stars (no cocktail party) and only you've only two vouchers for autographs instead of four (but at least you can get a Sir Patrick autograph!). Even general admission is rather steeply priced. And the cost of individual autographs; don't those folks get enough at their day jobs? Nope, they ain't givin' nothin' away at the Away Mission.

And then there's all the dressing up like make-believe characters. Since this is right next to Halloween, I'm sure there's bound to be a few gruesome and bloody costumers roaming about. Well here's a dress-up idea. You can go as Scott Olsen, the Occupy Oakland protester who was shot in the face with a tear-gas canister earlier this week.

With all the problems we have to face right here and right now on this our home planet, the idea of escaping into a bright and sunny future (even the fictional world of Firefly and Serenity were too bright and antiseptic, even including the animalistic Reavers) is irresponsible at best. What problems could we actually solve in this world, and how much more quickly might we march into one of these brighter, shinier futures, if we could devote all this energy pumped into these make-believe worlds into helping the real world around us?

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