George Goner, for The Haunted Cabaret
I just spent a very enjoyable day at R.I. Comic Con, chatting with friends and making new acquaintances. I relived my youth looking at issues of Conan the Barbarian and The Avengers that cost forty cents new, now sealed in plastic bags to preserve their freshness against the decades. I enjoyed the day, but left with a melancholy sense of time passing much too quickly. The celebrity guests I had most looked forward to seeing didn't help. The promotional posters showed actor Adam West, and pro wrestler Superfly Jimmy Snuka, in the prime of life, at the height of their fame, but the reality of these folks in their 70's was something else again. Not disappointing, just...unsettling.
I'm not complaining; It's fun to see them in person, close up, the heroes and TV stars of my childhood. And they deserve to be remembered, and to make a few bucks at the same time. But the years move fast, and that's scary. More scary than anything a special effects crew can create with makeup and animatronics. I remember Superfly Snuka leaping off the top rope during a match against Crippler Stevens at the Providence Civic Center in 1986, the memory as clear as if the match happened yesterday. I find this idea, of a quarter-century passing in the blink of an eye, much more terrifying than any traditional horror topic I could talk about on the Haunted Cabaret. In other words, the fact of my own death doesn't sit well with me. That's my take-away from Comic Con, along with the posters, signed photos, and plastic-embalmed Vampirella magazine: Life goes on. It goes on, no matter how much we wish it could have stopped back when the most important thing in the world was the new Star Wars movie, or the next issue of Red Sonja, or tickets for Saturday night's pro wrestling show (We needed to see if this time, against all odds, Superfly Snuka would finally win the Intercontinental title belt from Magnificent Muraco).
Life goes on. Which is actually good, because if one thing is different, everything is different. I have friends I didn't know back then, a Haunted Cabaret internet radio show I didn't have then; and, now that I think about it, I was pretty goddam miserable during the 1980's because I hated most of the music, the slasher movies were lame, and Superfly Snuka never did win the title from Muraco.
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