Archive for the ‘Needless Things’ 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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Located in downtown Atlanta across from Centennial Olympic Park- just a few blocks diagonal from the Dragon Con host hotels -is the Georgia Aquarium. Officially opened to the public in 2005, it was the largest aquarium in the world until the 2012 opening of the Marine Life Park in Singapore. Beating it out for sheer size was no small feat. The Georgia Aquarium is home to several thousand species of salt water and fresh water life from around the world, and it contains over 10 million gallons of water to keep those critters alive and swimming in. Just a little over 6 million gallons of that water are used for the aquarium’s primary exhibit, allowing it to be one of only two institutions in the world to house whale sharks. You’ll see swimming alongside the whale sharks some of the largest manta rays you’re likely to ever see, as well as more fish and more varieties of fish than you can likely count in one single day’s trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

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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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Today (assuming you’re reading this on the day it goes live) is Thursday 28, 2018. Within the next 24 hours, the last Toys “R” Us in the United States will be closing its doors for the very last time. A business that Charles Lazarus started in 1957 (or 1948 if you go all the way back to Children’s Supermart) will cease to exist. But, more than that, and unlike with so many other businesses that leave us in the ever changing consumer landscape, a piece of our collective childhoods will cease to exist this week.

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