Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Tucked away on the corner of 18th Street and Spring Street in Atlanta, Georgia is the Center for Puppetry ArtsIf you’ve been to Atlanta but never visited the Center for Puppetry Arts, this or next year’s trip down for Dragon Con would be very good times to consider rectifying this particular oversight. Now, unlike the Georgia Aquarium, this isn’t a sight you can see with just a short walk down the street from the Dragon Con host hotels. It’s anywhere from a 45 minute to 1 hour walk depending on who is doing the walking. You can drive to it in about 15 minutes, but what levels of insanity would you have to be suffering under to cause you to consider driving in downtown Atlanta?

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One of the bits of news that came out of 2018’s San Diego Comic Con news dump was the return to television of Buffy Summers and her quest to kill every vampire she comes across other than the ones that qualify as good dating material. This was met with some positive reactions in fandom, but the positive reception of the news hasn’t quite been universal. The reasons for this have been the details around the news. First, it’s a reboot. Second, fans of the official continuation of the Buffy story, the comic series, are suddenly having visions of their beloved stories getting junked and declared no longer official ala Star Wars properties in the era of The Mouse running the franchise. Third, the announcement was big on emphasizing that this will be a reboot featuring the exploits of a black Buffy Summers.

Believe it or not, some of the complaints about that last bit aren’t what you likely think they are or from the sources you likely think they’re coming from. But, taking those in order…

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A bunch of horror fans spent part of this last weekend having a complete and total meltdown. Now, I don’t blame them for that. However, even as I suffered the same aggravations they did, I think they’re letting the thing that aggravated them cloud their vision a bit. Yes, what happened was annoying as hell when it was happening, and, yes, it was probably worse for the people who finagled the day off from work for a day-long event they were really looking forward to. But, guys and gals, there is a huge bit of great news out of last weekend’s aggravation that a lot of you need to open your eyes to and actually see for what it is.

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This is easily the longest thing I’ve written for Needless Things, and certainly the longest thing by far I’ll ever write for Needless Things. It is, however, a matter that is important to me.
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I should give a word of warning. Most of you reading this will find yourself largely in full agreement with me while reading the first 1/3 of this. Although, anyone who finds themselves in an easy full agreement with much of that first 1/3 may start to find the remaining 2/3 to be uncomfortable. However, the last 2/3 of this may be more important than the first 1/3.
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There’s a sickness in parts of fandom. In some bits of fandom, it’s nothing more than a mild fever. In other bits of fandom, it’s more like a gangrenous lower limb that needs immediate amputation. Unfortunately, while the other parts of fandom have rightly jumped up and spoken out against some of the most egregious actions by some parts of fandom acting like a gangrenous lower limb that needs immediate amputation, they’ve been, perhaps willfully, less observant and/or forceful about other parts of fandom that seem to have similar issues. We’ll be addressing both of those here.
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Harlan

That was a name you could say in many circles without having to add the last name, and no one wondered which Harlan you were talking about. If you brought up that name in literary circles, science fiction circles, or convention panels, almost everyone who had been around for longer than a cup of coffee knew you were talking about Harlan Ellison.

 

How do you describe someone like Harlan Ellison? I’ve already seen many attempting to do so by calling him one of the greatest science fiction writers of his time or simply the greatest science fiction writer of all time. But, honestly, that diminishes the man to a degree. Yes, he wrote some of the greatest and most well-known science fiction stories of a generation, but he was far more than just a science fiction writer. His work covered almost every genre and every medium of entertainment. Harlan Ellison, as he sometimes made very clear himself, was a writer– full stop.

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So, over on Netflix they’ve had some success with a Netflix original program based on the 1980s cult wrestling hit GLOW. But, rather than actually have a women’s wrestling show on Netflix, they went the path of a comedy/drama telling a fictionalized version of the creation of the show. The original GLOW was the creative child of David McLane. He had an idea for giving women wrestlers a more story-based spotlight and set about building GLOW into a ratings winner for a time. That was the late 1980s, and it’s been a long, strange, spandex (and roller hockey) filled trip for McLane since then. 

Between the Netflix original show, a recent documentary, and the general nostalgia buzz people have been recently having for all things 80s and 90s, odds are good you’ve probably at least heard of GLOW. GLOW was something of an oddity back when it hit television screens across America. Women’s wrestling was considered more of a novelty act in much of the wrestling world of the time, and even pop culture moments like Wendi Richter joining up with Cyndi Lauper didn’t seem to give any long-term momentum to women’s wresting in general. Indeed, McLane was even told by his one-time boss Dick the Bruiser that such a notion wouldn’t get over with most wrestling crowds back when McLane first got the idea while working in the World Wrestling Association. McLane decided it would get over with the crowds, and he set off to Hollywood to prove it. However, what he ultimately created wasn’t exactly a wrestling show as most folks new them.

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In between grumblings and observations on fandom and genre, I do a lot of promoting of other people’s works and passion projects. One thing I’ve really not done is promote anything I’ve been working on other than in the little bio bit at the bottom of the columns, and, let’s be honest, most people that read articles on websites tend to stop reading when they hit the first few words of those things.

However, if I learned nothing else during my years of being a professional wrestling fan and seeing Mick Foley on the television, I’ve learned that cheap pops work. Unfortunately, cheap pops of the Foley variety don’t really work all that well on a website like this. However, I also learned from the Foley years of WWE television that shameless self-promotion isn’t always a bad thing.  As such, this week I’m doing some shameless self-promotion. Think of it as my birthday gift to myself. Granted, my birthday is still five months away. However, I keep being told that procrastination is bad, so I’m getting it out of the way now.

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