Thursday, April 28, 2011

To the Cosplayers - NaPoWriMo 28/30

Warning,
the proceeding comments and criticisms
may come as exceedingly geeky.
Listen at your own discretion and risk
of otaku exposure.

To the cosplayers
who ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’
over barely acceptable costumes,
to the cosplayers
who fill convention centers with
the hot air of their unfounded fawning
like so many of Miyazaki’s soot-sprites,
to the cosplayers
who comment carat-eyed
on subpar costumes simply because
the character is rarely endeavored:
            Have some damned standards.

Every cosplayer bold enough
to pose as glittering gold
is not that precious substance
if their wrappings reek of brass.
You scour con-spaces like your last name is Ketchum
and the first peek you get
gets you throwing that ball like
“I choose you, unearned hyperbolic response!”
What happened to quality?
Were we cursed overnight like so many Sohmas,
who instead of shifting shapes
acquire costume-stoked low standards?
What happened?

I’m not saying betray your fandom,
and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be excited
to see a beloved character cosplayed
well,
but if someone wears velvet and
tries to call it fur,
I try not to call them something
worse than they deserve
for swerving so inexcusably far from
the clearly textured blueprint,
for turning Kimahri’s hirsute blue
into cheap cerulean spandex,
for turning Sailor Moon into
bloated bait for resident trolls,
for overshadowing greater efforts
with advantageous
but heinous
mediocrity.
For the sake of the fandom, Usagi, and cosplay,
please have some commitment to quality.

The preceding comments and criticisms
were, without doubt, exceedingly geeky.
In listening to this imploring poetry,
the listener’s nerditude has garnered XP.
The listener has leveled up!

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