Today London threw me one of it’s nice little surprises. It’s obviously gorgeous out there – easily the nicest, hottest day of the year so far – so I decided to go for a drive along the river and up to the dome. Certain things are still playing on my mind from yesterday, and I needed to think them through. Once up there, I decided to hop on to the Emirates cable car, simply because it had been ages since I’d done so, and I want to get to know the north side of the river a bit more.
Once up there, I began to notice something odd: there were lots of people in all kinds of strange costumes about. I trundled over to the Excel Centre, where the oddlydressed people seemed to be conglomerating, and I suddenly realised I had stumbled upon some sort of huge convention.
I was instantly fascinated. I’m still very much into that kind of fan culture, but I still think I need to explore other forms of it: I still want to find other narratives, beyond those of mainstream film and television, to get into. I decided to pay the twenty quid to get in, and put my Walter Benjamin hat on.
What I found in there was incredible: all sorts of stalls and exhibits about all kinds of narratives and franchises, most of which I had never heard of. It struck me how varied it was: rather than being about one specific narrative, as in a Star Trek convention for example, all kinds of franchises and their corresponding fandoms were on show, particularly manga. Thus I got the impression that this event was more about a form of culture than one specific text. I found it intriguing as an outside observer, wandering in off the street, as it were.
I stayed for about an hour, then set off home. Ii really need to look up some of what I saw; I can see myself getting into that kind of outsider culture. London has done it again: it has shown me something fascinating I wasn’t even looking for. But for now, the sun still beating down, it’s time to head back out into the city.