Beyond The Con #8
25 May 2018
Another week and a bit and a whole bunch of pop culture news and interesting characters to delve into, read on as we cover this editions Heroes, Zeroes and more!
This weeks one and only..
A bedroom that looks more like an industrial sewing room may not be considered ideal by most boys, but Campbell Remess is definitely not like most 12-year-olds.
For the last three years, Campbell has spent all of his free time sewing teddy bears for charity. Literally one bear every single day.
Sonya Whittaker said she told her son Campbell that with nine children of their own, buying presents for sick kids would just cost too much.
“He said ‘No worries, I’ll make them then’,””OK, [I said] go for gold, knock yourself out.”
“Look at the last three years of experience and practice and skill he’s got … look at what the word ‘yes’ has done,” she said.
“Just one simple ‘Yep, knock yourself out’ — and he has.”
If only more young fella’s were like Campbell and more so they had supportive parents like Sonya to give them the green light to follow their dreams.
Having been featured on a bunch of morning TV shows and most of the Australian major news websites he should have no trouble continuing to engage in a hobby that brings comfort to children all around the world.
Texas Governor Dan Patrick for blaming Videogames for school shootings
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Sunday said school shootings aren’t happening because of any lack of gun legislation . Rather, he blamed the tragedies on violent video games.
“What are these games showing you how to do? Kill people. … The vast majority [of psychologists and psychiatrists] will tell you it leads them to become numb to violence, to have less empathy to their victims and be more aggressive. ”
Given that he also blames lack of religon in schools and too many entrances you have to take it all with a grain of salt..in fact given his lack of any semblance of common sense or attempt at logic we could also rope in anyone who voted for him as deserving of our disdain as well. Seriously Texas? WTF?
The Australian Classification Board for banning ‘We Happy Few’
We here in the lucky country aren’t safe from ignorance though, the complete morons at behind this decision should all be fired immediately and stripped of any pension due to the outrageous lack of thought involved in coming to their conclusions.
“Computer games will be refused classification if they include or contain ‘drug use related to incentives and rewards’,” the recently released report reads.
“We Happy Few’ is a new game produced by ‘Compulsion Games’ the team behind the popular and critically lauded game ‘Contrast’. It depicts a dystopian future where the player realises they are being brainwashed by a society that require drugs among other methods to control the population.
“In one sequence, an NPC is viewed on the ground, convulsing owing to a reaction from taking a Joy pill, which has subsequently turned bad. After several NPCs encourage her to take Joy and she refuses, fearing that it will have an adverse effect, they beat her with steel pots and a shovel, until she is implicitly killed.”
Clearly a satirical look at an Orwellian approach to keeping the people happy or rather, reminiscent of the world created by Aldous Huxley in his ground breaking 1932 novel ‘Brave New World’ .
The irony of being censored by a well meaning but completely ignorant group of people who have clearly never played a video game in their life or are aware of the average age of gamers is strong.
Hell, we even have an R18 classification now, why don’t we just slap that on it and let local retailer get a slice of the action? Now anyone who wants to play is just going to go online and fatten the wallets of an overseas seller.
Given the boards history of banning games like Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, South Park and many others for equally spurious reasons we shouldn’t really be surprised but given its nearly 2020 its about time someone cleared out the dead wood and appointed some board members a little more in touch with reality.
Allison Mack for recruiting women into a bizarre sex cult
One of the smartest characters in the Scooby gang that saved the world over and over in CW’s ‘Smallville’ Chloe Sullivan was the subject of many a teenage crush including myself.
However in a story much weirder than any plot ever featured on the long running hit TV series the actress who played Chloe has been charged with sex trafficking , conspiracy and illegally branding women.
The 35-year-old has been accused of recruiting women as sex slaves as part of a secret society which portrayed itself as a self-help group.
She is said to have contacted Emma Watson and Kelly Clarkson to try to interest them in joining the alleged sex slavery cult known as Nxivm.
It all started in 2006 when the then 23-year-old Mack attended a weekend seminar put on by Jness, the female empowerment arm of Nxivm. The group’s leader, Keith Raniere (who has also recently been arrested), assigned a high-ranking member to latch onto the actor, eventually convincing Mack to meet with Raniere and join the group
One of the first people to come forward after doing PR for Nxivm, Frank Parlato, said Mack never had “the ability to be an excellent body servant or valet… But she had the ability to bring women to Raniere’s bed. She procured some startling beauties.“
It all came crashing down when she was arrested on the 18th of April and given a $5 million bond to be spent at home until she is either convicted or exonerated. Given the amount of evidence and witnesses it looks like one of the greatest allies of a young Superman will be spending a very long time behind bars.
Here’s the grim stat: In the past 21 days, two dozen broadcast series have been euthanized. It was one of the ugliest, most brutal cancellation stretches since, well, last May.
Of the many forgettable shows that have had their day one show that is ending isn’t due to cost cutting fat cats but rather the actor moving onto other things. After a brief flirtation with a return to the series Gillian Anderson has bid adieu to the X-Files.
In the wake of The X-Files’ Season 11 finale, series creator Chris Carter said, “I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be more X-Files, in some shape or form. I think there are lots more stories to tell and ways to tell them. I’m leaving this as a giant cliffhanger, and Gillian has announced that she’s not coming back. Hard-core X-Files fans know there have been no real endings on the show.”
Given however that during its long off and on run the one character who was always around in some form was Dana Scully. While Chris Carter clearly has plans for more its hard to imagine the show without her.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom though, with ‘Gotham’ turning off its lights for the final time a new Batman universe themed show arises from the ashes. The same creators will be bringing you the story of Alfred, Bruce Waynes usually elderly butler.
This time however they go right back to his early days as a rough and tumble ex SAS operative and body guard for Thomas Wayne. Set in the swinging sixties in London it should be a wild ride and hopefully a little lighter than the usually gloomy pathos of ‘Gotham’.
Where is Spiderman?
Agents of Shield also gets a big tick from the bean counters with season 6 being written as we speak, god knows how they will deal with the aftermath of ‘The Infinity War’.
Losing half the team will mean the writers will have to do some creative mental gymnastics to keep the audience happy with the shows own internal timeline while incorporating the biggest event in the Marvel universe since Loki punched a hole in the sky above Manhattan. If anyone can do it though its Marvel, with the only cancellation on their roster so far being the ill fated Ínhumans..
The Stars are better off with you
‘The Expanse’ also got saved at the last minute by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO clearly is a fan of dystopian sci-fi and will hopefully synergise things a bit by offering free delivery on all MCR mugs and T-shirts!
Amazon was always going to be the likely savior for the show given it had the SVOD rights already. It already has a packed roster so lets hope the ratings pick up and the show finds its sea legs now it has some room to breathe
Rule 1 : Cardio
Celebrations continue for fans of the film ‘Zombieland’ with the writer Paul Wernick speaking to Vulture recently.
“We’re going on the tenth anniversary of Zombieland. Zombieland came out October of 2009. We don’t know what you get someone for their tenth anniversary, but it may be a Zombieland 2,” he told Vulture.
“The hope is that we’re shooting that thing early 2019 for an October of ’19 release…with the original cast, by the way,” he added.
We know Bill Murray won’t be back but the main cast are all superstars in their own right now (okay Woody already was but Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg are much bigger stars now) which should help bring a new generation of fans on board.
I recall critics at the time saying the whole Zombie trend being just a fad that would quickly burn out. Well a decade later and it looks like zombie based properties really are living up to their name, their soulless undead eyes will be staring out of our screens for a long time yet.
Goodnight sweet Runescape
One property that is finally shutting down is ‘Runescape Classic’ the grand daddy of MMORPGSs. Its blocky graphics and outdated play mechanics kept many a nerd away from his maths homework in the early noughties.
Running since 2003, its fifteen year run is impressive and only coming to an end due to conflicts with modern operating systems and software. To be fair only about 1000 people have been playing it regularly since 2012 and the newer shinier version of Runescape is now much more popular but you have to respect the diehard fans who stuck around all this time for the original.
Toys ‘R’ Who?
The bell tolls for Australia’s biggest toy chain with only a faint sliver of hope left for parents hoping to still be able to spend more than they need to on the same boxes filled with plastic you can buy at Target, Big W and Kmart among others.
Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last September and after frantic attempts to restructure the business finally waved the white flag in March.
The retailer’s more than 700 remaining US locations closed along with 33,000 jobs.
“We’re putting a for sale sign on everything,” The CEO Mr Brandon told employees in a conference call. “Frankly, all anyone has to do is offer one dollar more (than liquidators).”
Shortly afterwards, the UK and Irish operations also shut up shop.
Toys ‘R’ Us in Australia has continued to trade as normal with speculation the company may bundle the business up with the Asian stores and sell the whole lot off, potentially as a stand-alone operation under the same and much-loved brand.
The trailer for Bohemian Raphsody dropped the other day with actor Rami Malek as Mercury and, based on the trailer, traces its subject’s rise from aspiring singer-songwriter to era-defining superstar.
Twitter however erupted in a storm of condemnation upon realising that the film may downplay the Queen frontman’s sexuality as well as his battle with AIDS.
No mention of the disease that killed Freddie Mercury or his bisexuality is alluded to in the footage shown which lends credence to rumours behind why the original director left the production along with the orignal star, Sacha Baron Cohen.
While Rami is a great actor and captivating in ‘Mr Robot’ this might be a film he will want to forget before its even out of the cinemas if the backlash turns out to be warranted.
And then there was one..
Bud Plant is a comic book retailer of some standing, so when he decided to quit the San Diego comic-con leaving potentially only one booth left selling comics if any is a sad indictment on the otherwise largely successful convention.
He has been running as many as 11 booths since the now famous pop culture phenomenon began in 1970 and finally called it a day in a facebook post last week.
Some like comic book retailer Chuck Rozanski who starred in the 2011 documentary ‘Comic-con Episode IV : A Fans Hope’ were not surprised and took the opportunity to lash out at their former stomping ground.
““This is not supposed to be San Diego Media-Con,” he said. “This is not supposed to be Let’s Make Disney a Little More Rich Con. This is supposed to be all about comic books. It’s supposed to be about literacy. It’s supposed to be about reading and passion.”
Rozanski said Comic-Con has taken its mission statement and “just buried it in a hole somewhere. They’re not meeting their mission statement in the slightest. … They have taken this beautiful event and utterly converted it and perverted it to their own needs and wishes.”
(Comic-Con International, in annual tax filings, states its mission as “creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms.”
He and others accuse the convention of giving out coveted passes to fans of celebrities and industry rather than people who would actually buy comics. Its a tension that has existed for a long time in the space with comic focused booths in Australia also struggling to break even in an increasingly crowded market.
Given that nearly ALL of the most popular properties on our screens today began in the pages of a comic we hope that people don’t forget where it all started and end up biting the very hand that feeds them.
(October 17, 1948 – May 13, 2018)
Kidder began her career in the late 1960s, but rose to fame in 1978 for her role as Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie opposite Christopher Reeve. She went on to reprise the part in the movie’s three sequels.
She went on to appear in many other films but none as iconic as Superman and suffered mental health problems in the nineties, falling as far as being homeless for a brief period.
After receiving treatment, Kidder went on to become a lifelong advocate for mental health awareness. She was the Montana State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America as recently as 2009, and in 2011, she and dozens of other protestors were arrested while protesting the Keystone Pipeline.
It is unknown yet how she died but her life was long and full of as many highs and lows as her characters onscreen boyfriend.
That also brings this round of Beyond the Con to a close, lots more next time so see you soon and let us know what you thought on our
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