On Friday night I found myself, along with the fiancee and a couple thousand other Torontonians at Newmindspace’s ROM lightsaber battle. The event entirely filled the broad sidewalk in front of the ROM’s new Bloor St. facade. There was at least one storm trooper, several Darth Vaders, lots of neck beards, several tinfoil-and-cardboard robots and at least one very confused Klingon.
(Side note: if you want to drive a sci-fi geek insane, mix up Star Wars and Star Trek, but they themselves can do it as some kind of ironic statement? Maybe it’s like rappers using the “N-word.”)
Amid all the weirdos there was a group of candy ravers. I thought all the candy ravers were extinct. I remember in 1999-2000 they were all up and down Queen St. in the furriest Modrobe pants they could buy. I had not seen them though for quite some time, maybe the subculture lost its cool some time after the moral panic over Ecstasy shifted to some other drug. Anyway, on Friday night there were candy ravers at the lightsaber battle, I don’t know why, but there were.
So there I am standing in the freezing cold waiting for the lightsaber distribution and some guy who looks a little too business-like (but in an emo sort of way) sidles up to the candy ravers and asks them what they are dressed up as. They pause, “Uhhhh, ourselves?”
“We usually dress this way.”
The corporate-emo guy reveals himself to be a National Post reporter. He is there to cover the largest, best-organized nerd fight Toronto has seen. He continues his questioning, “What do your costumes represent?”
“But what do they mean?”
“Uh, we like to be ourselves.”
“Being yourself, that’s great! Can I get your names for my story?”