Brent Spiner is appearing at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention tomorrow. Around this time last year, I met Wil Wheaton at Meltdown Comics, so the prospect of meeting and getting my picture taken with another Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member, and possibly continuing a mission to encounter all eight of the Enterprise-D's bridge crew*, is overwhelmingly tempting (not to mention my stint on the bridge itself) . . . but, to paraphrase a friend that prefaced his karaoke performance of "American Pie" last night with a pseudo-political soliloquy, these are hard economic times. The eight dollar entrance fee would set my girlfriend and I back sixteen bucks, then, to meet Spiner, attendees must pay twenty-five dollars for his new CD Dreamland. While this purchase guarantees the actor's signature on an additional item of the fanboy's choice, the fine print says nothing of picture-taking opportunities, i.e., whether or not Brent will look up and smile to capture the moment on Flickr forever. Everything I've read about Spiner indicates that he's nothing but a gentleman on the convention circuit, but he's still an actor, and even the nicest exchange is guaranteed to be a brief one, considering the amount of people that will want to meet him during the meager two hours he's available. Would that precious thirty seconds be worth at least forty-one dollars? Let's not even talk about the price of gas for the drive, lunch, and the tempting comics cluttering the Shrine Auditorium's exhibitor hall. So, in this unique case, resistance isn't futile. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll find Spiner again in a more affordable environment.
Still, I don't need an emotion chip to be a little disappointed.
* Of course, the bridge crew includes Captain Picard, Commander Riker, Lt. Comm. Data at Ops, Ensign Crusher at Con, and Lt. Worf at Tactical, but I'm also assuming that Counselor Troi is at Picard's left, that Dr. Crusher is in that awkward seat added when the director wanted to end the episode with all of his headliners, and that Lt. Comm. LaForge is at the Engineering station in the rear. Just to be clear.