Out my hotel window, about 6 a.m.
There is no way to get fresh air in this room.
Here in Las Vegas, the common thing people say at parting isn't, "Have a nice day," it's, "good luck."
That would be "Bella Fortuna."
I am sitting in the lobby area, at Fortuna, "A Coffee & Wine Experience." (Once you pay your $12.99 for 24 hours of Internet access, you can pick it up anywhere in the hotel.) In LV, seems everything is "an experience." I.e., marketable.
There are slot machines all over, of course, and--unexpectedly--U.S. Air Force personnel, this morning. I rode down in the elevator with a young woman in uniform. Just to prove I was a civilian, I asked her if she was in the army.
Right, just like it says in big black letters across her chest.
She told me they are doing exercises, flying planes out in the desert, and some of the people are being put up here in the Hilton. (Doesn't that seem odd?)
Before I left home, I made a button to wear out of the photo, right--I cut a circle around Sulu and the dog.
At the ariport, as I put my bags on the rollers for security screening, a homeland security guy said, "Mr. Sulu! Are you a Trekkie?"
I confessed I was.
He lifted his hand, in blue latex gloves, and gave me the Vulcan salute.
In the midst of Code Orange security alert, he smiled and said, "Live long and prosper."
I have been a bit dubious about claims that people like Star Trek because it's optimistic, but I was wrong. The philosophy of optimism rings out here at this con, clear as a bell here.
Yesterday someone asked Robin Curtis (Saavik, in the movies Star Trek III: Search for Spock and IV : The Journey Home) how she sees the future.
She said she'd watched an interview with physicist Stephen Hawking recently, and someone asked him about the future of the universe.
The universe will be just fine, he said. But if humans don't change our ways, he only gives us another 100 years before we're done for.
Curtis said she believes we will change our ways, and many ST people do too.
While I admire the optimism, I'm not so sure we'll ever make the necessary changes voluntarily. It would require giving up things like fan conventions in this entirely nonsustainable city.
(As I took a shower this morning, I thought, this water shouldn't even be here.)
But not to be grim about it--many of these people actively work to improve the world.
For instance, I just talked to Valerie, a high school physics teacher. I asked her, "Did your love of ST inspire your career choice?
"Absolutely!" she said. "My dad was in Vietnam and I saw people in ST solving problems without killing each other, and I thought how can I help create this future? Being a teacher!"
We'll need more than luck, but I love being around people who think this way.