So I came here as a faux marketing representative for Scher's company Safe and Secure Productions, hoping to get an appetizer taste of the sick, unavoidable panoptical futurethat Foucauldian terror-world we yapped about so indignantly in our college Contemporary Thought classes and dorm rooms: ever-present electric eyes; evil plastic fembot people; homes like ATM machines.
The terror world, however, is more like a giant Letterman show. Everyone, including the gluey guy with glasses at the registration desk, seems to have that well-rehearsed, vaudevillian "just don't call me a cab" kind of sense of humor. They all smile and it's only 9 a.m. They are so self-confident and say things like, "Alaska...Canada...We're everywhere." I wish I was that unembarrassed about my life.
The only gay salesman I see is of course named Ty. He is working at some lame kiosk that hails all the way from Alabama. He has a thick accent. Ty's hair is gel-wet. Ty has a little frat outfit. Ty's tie is striped.
Our ID badges have little bar codes on them with encoded with our company info. Boothtenders just zap your badge like you are a box of Ho-ho's on a checkout line, recording your name and address so they can send you junk mail. Attendants hand you buttons, stickers, glossy pamphlets, keychains, highlighters, thousand-dollar raffle tickets, piles of peach snack-pies, and, mysteriously, a chance to win a vacation to Israel from Fort Lee, New Jersey's Crow Electronic. ("Win a 7 day trip to the Promised Land to see the Revolutionary Technology that has been recognized...as one of the Security Industry's Finest" gushes a curiously emphatic sign.)
All the company names have a vaguely familiar ring to them, as if your dad worked there when you were seven and not cognizant: Pelco, Dynalock, Javelin Systems, Secura, Isotech, Ramtech, Sentech, Xantech, and Protech. One unfortunate company is called Amcest, which sounds like a very perverted trade union: "We're Incest America! Amcest!"
In front of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Pavilion is a woman in a racy, "Star Trek," silver reflective biking outfit, her hair in a Madonna/Seka upswing ponytail, putting "I've been geminized!" stickers on the lapels of horny men. She's working for Gemini Hardware/Wireless. "Let me geminize you. It's part of my job," she says and gingerly places a sticker on my chest. Her name is Suzanne, and she's sassy: "I feel like a Vegas showgirl." Women with lots of makeup make me feel like a preteen, so I just stare at her aluminum soft-core space porn bikini: Um, Is that material comfortable? "Nothing that looks good is comfortable." She has to sticker people until five.