austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Some are building monuments, others are jotting down notes

Now, offhand, how long has it been since you ran into any Galactic Empire Storm Troopers wandering around the main shopping district handing out balloons and posing for pictures? I'm willing to bet it's been longer for you than for me, since that was what I encountered this afternoon.

There were several Imperial Storm Troopers, and a couple Sith Lords, including Darth Not Appearing In This Film (the one who got killed in The Phantom Menace), a few of the underlings killed aboard Death Star I and II, and one woman dressed sort of like Luke Skywalker dressed up, getting photographed, putting up with people tapping on the foreheads of their helmets (where applicable), and so on. The reason the costume players from the 501st Legion Singapore, Starwars.sg, and Fans Force Singapore were out there was not that the secret masters of fandom have taken over southeast Asia. They were there to support the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, to ``unlock the second prison'' of poor employment and social prospects of ex-offenders. And who wouldn't give a second chance to someone whose only crime was helping blow up Alderaan, anyway?

There was a small fair set up, with events like a reverse-bungee trampoline for kids, and posters displaying educational programs for offenders, and projects to help them get on their feet. Somewhere in there was supposedly yellow ribbon croissants made by inmates, but on three passes through I couldn't find where they were being sold. There was also somewhere a stage, announcer, and terrified audience person brought up on stage, but I couldn't find it. The loudspeakers I heard, though. The host was asking trivia questions about the Yellow Ribbon project, about its founding and how many are participating, and got to asking ``Would you give an ex-offender a second chance?'' Sure, he would. ``How about a third chance?'' Okay. ``A fourth chance?'' The person on whatever stage was there said he would, but I have to admit at that point I'd start getting a bit wary.

But all this is getting away from the point which is that once again an otherwise ordinary day has been derailed by finding a group of Imperial Storm Troopers on line at a 7-Eleven. This is part of why I don't go to conventions anymore; how would I know the difference?

Trivia: Scandinavians consume, on average, about 400 mg of caffeine each day. Source: Molecules at an Exhibition, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: The Vulnerability of Empire, Charles A Kupchan.

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