Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scarcity Kills

As the media becomes more and more interested in comic books, I, big ol' comic book fan, benefit from more information on what's going on in the DCU and Marvel U and all points in between. Rare is it that there is sad news.

Until now.

A "Twilight" fan was struck and killed by a car in front of a horrified crowd of fellow Twi-hards camping out two days ahead of the opening of San Diego Comic-Con.
Gisela Gagliardi (center) died at Comic-Con 2012
The article states:

San Diego Comic-Con, running from July 12-15, is considered the biggest event on the sci-fi, fantasy and comic book lovers' calendar, regularly drawing 250,000 attendees to the four-day event. A seat inside the Convention Center's Hall H, where Hollywood studios often fly in A-list actors to unveil footage of upcoming movies for the 6,000 fans that can cram inside, is especially coveted.

Gagliardi had been with a group of Twi-hards that had been camping out since Sunday.
Chuck Rozanski, the founder of Mile High Comics, has this to say:

The motive for her being so rash was supposedly that the convention staff was reversing the way the line flowed, thus potentially costing her the position that she had established beginning on Sunday.
Upon reflection, I have to tell you that the sad news of this lady's unnecessary death makes me feel more than a little angry. As those of you who have seen Morgan Spurlock's documentary about the 2010 convention, COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE, are already well aware, much of the drama in the movie revolves around scarcity. At San Diego, scarcity begins with attendance tickets for the convention being quite difficult to obtain, and then escalates into other fan conflicts, such as availability of limited edition toys and giveaways, placement in the admission line, and the availability of seats for the most popular panels. The infamous incident of a couple of years ago, where two fan's disagreement over seating in Hall H led to one being poked with a pencil in the eye by another, was but one previous instance of where scarcity of highly desirable resources at the convention caused serious difficulties. 

Scarcity. That's important.

We live in a country of great abundance. However, when we are faced with the threat of having few resources for the many, a primal instinct kicks in. Fear and anger mix in an ugly cocktail. We see it from the comfort of our American televisions but it's out there.

In Greece:
 In Egypt:

In Montreal (YES! Montreal!):
Rioting is going on all over. Much of it is because of scarcity. Scarcity of food. Scarcity of money. Scarcity of education. Scarcity of freedom.

The "Twi-hard" who was killed during the Comic-Con's opening is tragic and a death perhaps in vain. It does illustrate how aggressive and wild we can be when we are scared or, worse, when our desires for possessions are greater than our concern for life and others.

This is not commentary on the rightness or wrongness of conventions or civil protest. It's a commentary on the lengths we go for the supply when it is in demand. It is a challenge to listen to the words of today's Gospel reading:

 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.

If we can't meet our needs in peace, then we need more peace.