Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watson Day 2: More of the Same...

So last night, the Watson lecture was more of the same from the first night. The crowd was split 50/50 as to whom attended the first night lecture, and who didn't, so the panel felt it necessary to reiterate a lot of what they had said on Monday. Since I decided to blow my nerd load and write the longest post in Carly on Comics history yesterday, I'll take it easy on you today. Today, like when I went to NYCC, we will be discussing lecture etiquette. I will be posting some of The Editors notes near the end, just in case he felt there was anything significant that was spoken about last night that I missed. There will be another long post tomorrow, wrapping up the lecture series. On with the politeness!

Let's just face it. Everyone likes you better when you're nice, right? When you have learned and utilize basic social skills, you don't look like a total a-hole when you go out in public. At the age of 27, I have now come to realize that a lot of people are missing this filter, and just say and do whatever they want, even if it's being a complete jerk to the people around you. For those of you who can actually CONTROL yourselves in public, kudos, keep it up! Below are a few tips for those of you who go the other way.

1) If you're sick, stay at home. - Last night I was sitting to one of the most irritating families on the planet. Mom, who sat next to me, was hack-coughing like she was going to choke and die any moment. Did she excuse herself and go get some water and take care of the situation? Nope. She proceeded to hack and cough her mucous and germs all over me. I hate being sick. I mean, I REALLY hate it. I had mono for 7 weeks last summer, and it sucked. The weather is just starting to get nice, and I really, REALLY don't want to be laid up because some stupid soccer mom in her stupid Uggs thinks she's a good mom by infecting a room full of people with her grossness. People like her are the reason the zombie apocalypse would spread like wildfire.
Only you can prevent an undead outbreak.
2) Treat the lecture as if you were at a movie. - Nay, on second though, treat it more as if you're going to a Broadway show. The panelists are people too, and they are giving up three evenings of their lives, three evenings of being away from their spouses and kids, to talk to a bunch of people who DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY TO BE THERE about something they've been talking about for months. The least you could do is put your cell phone away. And god help you if you pick up a phone call in the middle of the lecture. You will get a death stare from me that says "This is your warning. Do it again, and that phone is going where the sun don't shine". Of course, I understand if the house if on fire, if your kid forgot to take hid Ritalin and now he's holding the babysitter hostage, etc., there are exceptions to every rule. However, do NOT pick up your phone to tell someone you can't talk because you're at a lecture. That should be automatic execution.
Put it on airplane mode, jerk-ass
3) If the floor is open for questions, don't ask stupid questions.- Ah yes, the ol' comic con wonder... For some reason, whenever a large group of nerds is in a room together, listening to a panel discussion, as soon as the panel is open for questions, there are at LEAST 8 nerds who want to ask questions. Most of them are dumb questions which have already been answered once or twice. The best way to avoid this is to ask your friends if they know the answer to your dumb question first. Chances are, they do. Also, if your friends tell you your question is stupid, don't play the hero and go ask it anyway. It just makes you look like an idiot.

4) Don't bring a child under 15 to a lecture at a college. - The past two nights there were an amazing amount of parents who thought it appropriate to bring their kid(s) to the lecture. Bad idea. As previously stated, I am a 27 year old nerd, and I don't quite understand everything that is being said. I'm 27 and there are points when I get antsy in my seat. That being said, unless your kid has taken a bunch of Ritalin or Benedryl, he or she WILL become restless. Restless = irritated, irritated = whiny. Please do not bring your child to a lecture to whine. Also, do not ignore your kid when they become whiny, because the rest of us cannot ignore your kid as well as you can, and it doesn't make us irritated, it makes us pissed. Either remove the whining child, or take them to a more kid-friendly environment to begin with, like Chuck E' Cheese.
When your kid looks like this, it's already too late.
5) Respect the arm rest- Arm rests do not exist in a chair solely for comfort. Arm rests serve as a barrier. Please keep this in mind at all times. One of the most uncomfortable things in the world to me is being touched (or coughed on) by someone I don't know. Please PLEASE respect that, and when you take off your coat, at least TRY not to smack me in the face with it. If hitting me in the face with your jacket is unavoidable, please, for the love of god, apologize. Also, in addition to you not spilling over into my seat with your personal belongings, respect the fact I don't like strangers touching me, and try to keep yourself from spilling over into my seat.
Keep yourself to yourself.
It's really all about respect and common courtesy. Not just for the presenters who are graciously giving their time to educate you, but also to the people who are your audience-mates. Together, we can make the nerd community a nicer place.

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