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Fandom Events for the Lower Mainland & Greater Victoria Region Update

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Two more fandom events in Victoria and Vancouver, BC have confirmed they won’t be taking place in 2021. They made the announcement this week, and the list may continue to grow. Potential fatalities on this list include Sidney, BC’s Van Isle Comic Con and Westshore’s Phenomacon; little activity exists on their social media channels.

Capital City Comic Con decided February of this year–a weird call only a month away from their traditional date–and the sister event, Victoria BC’s Ultimate Hobby & Toy Fair, is not happening for the spring season. If restrictions lift for Autumn, this event may take place. But that depends on how many people are vaccinated as the pandemic is well into its second year. The good news is that the dates for 2022 have been booked. To keep up with the situation, please visit their Facebook page.

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We Want to Believe’s Ongoing Search for Bigfoot Mounts in Part Two!

24 Feb

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We Want to Believe’s Bigfoot Hunt has expanded to four episodes in JoBlo.com’s YouTube channel, The Paranormal Network! Well, in what I was led to believe was that it would be a three-parter, but during the editing process the production team saw they had more to help add to the mystery of what lurks in the forests of British Columbia.

They are not purposely stretching out the content because current health and travel regulations say please stay at home. Regional variants of the COVID-19 virus, like this critter, are creeping in and that’s the last thing anyone wants to be besotted with!

Part Two shows Jason Hewlett talking to other leading Sasquatch hunters, namely paranormal podcaster Shannon LeGro and cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard, about why they are invested and what this creature represents in the various cultures around the Earth. Ken wisely reiterates the ideas from the first episode regarding how locals, namely the indigenous people, regard him.

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Comic Cons, Concerts and Concerns in the Midst of a Continuing Pandemic

18 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Usually around this time, I’d be planning (or have attended) a pop culture convention by now. Emerald City Comic Con may run their 2021 event at the end of the year, but by then, are we sure it’ll happen when information of COVID-19 variants is the new concern? We’re in a pandemic, and although a vaccine is available, it’s not guaranteed to completely placate the virus. LiveScience published an article explaining how they work. People can still be carriers and not show any symptoms.

Plus, not everyone are able to get the shot right away. The rollout will target particular public health sectors first, before the public, and most regular joes–the fandom–is last in line. Changes to these events are expected because any show that doesn’t incorporate safety measures as a precaution is not only hazardous to everyone’s health but also a breeding ground for another wave.

As much as I like to resume that life of an avid con goer in a normally busy month of March, I don’t see myself feeling comfortable being at one unless these events invest in “the new norm” which includes plexiglass barriers to put between fans, dealers and guests along with many sanitizing stations. Whether that’s with ultraviolet portals to pass through or a table with cleansing dispensers, it won’t be enough. The shows that want to take place sooner than later may include waivers for everyone to impress their fingerprint upon so that the company can’t be sued if an attendee gets sick.

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Bullied: You Are Not Alone on VOD. A Documentary Review

10 Feb

Available On Demand on Select Streaming Platforms

Coming to Tubi on Feb 12, 2021

For updates, please visit their Facebook page.

Bullying in any form is socially unacceptable, and the nerd/geek community is often the target because we continue to love stuff that other people have outgrown. Filmmaker Thomas Keith‘s documentary Bullied: You Are Not Alone examines the nature of the beast, and I feel it’s a must for every high school curriculum to show in Social Studies. It’s important for teachers to also encourage discussion so everyone can have an easier time in school instead of doing something they may regret later, like dropping out of society (and life). This subject really should be relabelled History, but I digress.

This work brilliantly shows us how bullying behaviour developed over time, and the range is from the cave man days to where we’re at in the 21st Century with cyber-bullying (on any social media platform). When looking at the statistics revealed about Americans, the numbers concerning those being harmed are terrible! Correcting this universal problem is not easy and in what makes this work special is that it shows us possible solutions to change this troubling aspect of society.

The stories we see here aren’t about those facing a challenging social life in school. There’s also workplace bullying and how people treat others when one may have a disability or other characteristic (like race) the other doesn’t like.

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Decoding that “Glitch In The Matrix” The Documentary

31 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Premiered at Sundance 2021

Limited Theatrical Screening & Available On Demand Beginning Feb 5, 2021

Are we living in a simulation? The question raised decades ago by celebrated author Philip K Dick was never fully answered. The debate is ongoing and fiercely explored in Rodney Ascher’s fascinating documentary Glitch in the Matrix–and no it’s not about all the bugs in Cyberpunk 2077 that still needs patching. The whole program, according to multiple sources, is simply bugged!

Because this filmmaker includes respected names from the literary and science fiction community, the ideas presented in this 108 minute work aren’t necessarily far-fetched. Or perhaps, Francis Bacon’s Four Idols of the Mind makes more sense. I recognize a bit of his theory seeping into this documentary about altered realities, sentient machines, what we represent in this system (are we programs or independent thinkers?), and if we can escape from it.

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