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Marshall Fine Headshot

Why Comic-Con Is Dangerous to Our Intellectual Health

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I've posted diatribes the past few years about Comic-Con -- an event I've never attended and never hope to.

But I was going to ignore it this year.

For a couple of reasons: For one thing, I feel as though I've made my arguments in the past. But I recognize that mine is a minority opinion, at least in terms of influencing whatever impact Comic-Con may have. The geeks shall inherit the Earth, as many wags have punned in the past.

And, frankly, there are more important things to worry about.

But when the big weekend -- last weekend -- arrived, you couldn't get away from it. One of the entertainment websites from which I receive news updates via email must have blasted a new news notice every hour on the hour with "COMIC-CON" in big letters in the headline. Easy to delete, but still annoying.

Here's the thing: In the greater scheme of things, Comic-Con -- and all that it represents -- is yet another pointless distraction, a way to keep the masses occupied while all the other important stuff goes down.

Because there is little at Comic-Con or in the bulk of the entertainment it represents that attempts to raise consciousness, increase awareness on the most pressing issues of our time or otherwise edify its consumers.

Oh, I can hear the fanboys already: Hey, man, I can point to comic books that deal with racism and homophobia.

Really? Tell me about it when it's not such a rarity that it makes news whenever it does happen.

And then there are the ones who say: Dude, sometimes we just want to turn off our brains and be entertained. Understood.

But Comic-Con represents what amounts to the intellectual equivalent of the all french-fry diet. Or the all Snickers diet. Choose your poison -- then overdose on it. That's the influence and impact of Comic-Con.

This commentary continues on my website.