Jul 29, 2020
Breaking Bad Enthusiasts And Star Trek Fanboys Getting A Little Out Of Hand Maybe
I get fandom, I really do. You get all sorts of inside jokes, a sense of belonging, a readymade community with a shared set of referents, and the illusion that there are other people like you who appreciate this One Special Thing just as deeply as you do — and often, you share the sense that you know the characters and their backgrounds far better than the writers and producers, the Powers That Be. Come on, Berman, Captain Picard would never do that!
But there are limits, people. You do not wear your Starfleet uniform to jury duty, for instance, probably. On the other hand, maybe if you’re on a town council in North Carolina, it’s perfectly OK if you do write your resignation letter in Klingon, at least as long as you’re not also carrying a bat’leth? Council member David Waddell did that this week, announcing with a letter written in Klingon (or at least copypasted from Bing’s Klingon translator toy) that with two years left on his four-year term, he’d be resigning, possibly because his role model is Sarah Palin. He said it was a lighthearted joke:
“Folks don’t know what to think of me half the time,” said Waddell, so “I might as well have one last laugh” on the board.
Just a couple things, though. Numero Uno: People who describe themselves as hard to understand — or worse, “off the wall” — are almost universally douchey. This is a known thing. Numero Two-o: You didn’t see Michael Dorn walking away from his job after just two seasons, now did you? That’s Denise Crosby foolishness, and it’s unworthy.
Mayor Michael Alvarez called the stunt childish and unprofessional. “It’s an embarrassment for Indian Trail, and it’s an embarrassment for North Carolina,” he said. Frankly, what’s silliest about it is Waddell’s reason for leaving — he’s planning to run against U.S. Senator Kay Hagen on the Constitution Party ticket, which is about as likely to be successful as demanding that the local public schools start serving gagh and prune juice.
Our other story of Fandom Gone Bad comes from Florida (where else?) where Ryan Lee Carroll, who won a contest to watch the finale of Breaking Bad with the show’s cast in Los Angeles last year, was arrested Wednesday on, what else, charges of “possession of a synthetic narcotic with intent to sell and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription” as well as a misdemeanor charge of “keeping a shop or vehicle for dangerous drugs.” The Naples News reports that
It’s unclear from an online booking report what kind of drugs Carroll is accused of possessing, and local authorities are keeping tight-lipped about their “investigation of significance.”
Possibly because they are worried that they might just start giggling.
And of course, back in September, when he won the big prize, Carroll called Breaking Bad “highly addicting, just like the meth they make,” because sometimes the universe is just designed to work that way. NPR reports that among the items seized in the raid was a ‘Hazmat suit signed by the cast”; no telling whether it was in mint or “used” condition.
Frankly, it’s all rather dispiriting. Shouldn’t people know better than to drag their entertainment-related obsessions out into public where everyone can see them?