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San Jose shows its geek love for Silicon Valley Comic Con

San Jose let its geek flag fly — literally — as the Silicon Valley Comic Con banner was raised inside the City Hall rotunda Tuesday afternoon in advance of Steve Wozniak‘s pop culture/science extravaganza this weekend. Woz was there for the ceremony wearing a comfortable “Star Trek” hoodie, and much to his delight, most of the City Council was decked out in Trek gear, too. “I don’t know what comic con in the United States, the City Council comes out and dresses up in cosplay and helps make it an enjoyable event,” said Wozniak, who later accepted a commendation from the City Council. Not too many cities have a councilman with his own Captain America shield, either. But hey, if you can’t be a pop culture nerd in Silicon Valley, where can you do it? “I have always loved San Jose,” said Wozniak, who later accepted a commendation during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “All of the Silicon Valley work, all of our engineering, it all involves a large amount of fun and play. Geeks are that way.” Councilwomen Dev Davis and Magdalena Carrasco wore red uniforms, the color of Starfleet engineers — the people who get things done. Of course, in Trek stories, the “redshirts” have a bad habit of getting killed off. Councilman Raul Peralez, perhaps showing his intellectual side, was in a blue top like Mr. Spock. Johnny Khamis, Chappie Jones, Tam Nguyen and Lan Diep matched Woz by wearing gold shirts like Capt. Kirk. “It is a mini-mayor system, after all,” Diep joked. The rotunda actually was filled with costumed characters, including “Star Wars” Stormtroopers and Jedi, a few Boba Fett-style bounty hunters and even a Borg from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” While Mayor Sam Liccardo wasn’t there, his chief of staff, Jim Reed, was part of a skit that was certainly one of the ceremony’s stranger moments. One of the Boba Fett cosplayers pelted Reed a couple of times with a foam weapon, prompting Diep to leap Kirk-style to his defense, wielding his Captain America shield. Reed fell to the ground with thespian grace, but careful observers should have expected him to do that. He was wearing a red shirt, after all. A more serious issue inserted itself into the frivolity as a group of seven advocates for adopting “just cause” evictions in San Jose silently demonstrated behind the politicians during a photo op. But even the demonstrators got into the spirit of things, wearing red plastic capes and holding signs that read, “Real Superheroes Protect People.” Silicon Valley Comic Con will take over the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from Friday through Sunday. It’ll also have events at the City National Civic, the convention center’s South Hall and Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The star-studded guest list includes astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor John Cusack, “The Flash” star Grant Gustin, 1960s “Batman” TV stars Adam West and Burt Ward and ’70s film star Pam Grier as well as the original Capt. Kirk, William Shatner, and much of the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which is celebrating the show’s 30th anniversary. Schedule and ticket information is available at www.svcomiccon.com. PALO ALTO SEEKS ‘THE TRUTH’: The Truth Booth, an inflatable video recording booth shaped like a giant speech balloon, will be popping up in front of Palo Alto City Hall on Wednesday. People can go into the booth from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and record their idea of what “the truth” is to them. The Truth Booth was created by a team of artists, designers and ethnographers — who study cultural phenomena — called Cause Collective and toured the country starting in 2016. The Palo Alto stop is one of the last on the tour.  

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