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Revenge Of The Nerds

It's coming, my friends. No, not winter. DragonCon 2016 is this week! If you're out of the loop, and I can't see how considering it's one of the largest draws to the city of Atlanta of the entire year, DragonCon is a celebration of pop culture, fandoms, music, dance, history and alternative history...basically anything and everything! Back in the day, conventions usually focused on just one genre. For example, there were the ubiquitous Star Trek conventions which catered to, you guessed it, Star Trek fans. Not anymore!

The folks who started DragonCon came up with the concept that a convention can be more than just one fandom, can be more than a celebration for just one group. Over the years, DragonCon has grown and thrived into what we know today: cosplay, panels, concerts, shows, and parties that go late into the night. In one day, you can attend a panel on the politics of Star Wars, dash over to hear scientists discuss human stasis and its impact on space travel, listen to Charlie Cox talk about playing Daredevil, eat lunch and people watch throngs of folks dressed as Klingons and Deadpools, sit in a round table discussion on media and LGBT rights, and then spend the evening at the Harry Potter Yule Ball or the Heroes and Villains Ball. Having gone through the schedule for this year's convention, I can truly say that here is something for everyone.

The reason I bring this up is because there are a few panels that I will be blogging about once I attend them, so be on the lookout for that. However, more significantly, I wanted to remind everyone out there to celebrate what makes you different and what makes you happy. Life is difficult, so full of ups and downs that sometimes we get lost in the upside down (shout out to my Stranger Things fans!). This time of year, at this particular event, I toss myself into a group where there's no judging, no bullying, no violence despite the fact that you're in a crowd of 80,000 people. By the end of the con, you're exhausted and sore but can't shake the feeling that you participated in something awesome that's way bigger than yourself. And that's a good feeling.

We are constantly surrounded by judging, bullying and violence in its many forms on a daily, if not minute by minute basis. Families are communities under a microscope. Judging, bullying and violence are just marks on the same graded line. Worse conduct, same approach.

No judging for the whole weekend. Now that's nice.

Megan McClinton

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