29 March 2015
A most excellent evening to you all, the Geeks and Geekettes of the World Wide Interwebz! Azzy here once more and hopefully getting things back on track for the ball of awesome that is GR2 Weekly! Got a few weeks yet until No Brand Con (April 24th-26th), so there will be no GR2 Weekly post that Sunday as well. But in the meantime, there will be much Awesometicity and Failsauce to Rant and Rave about. Science proved that the iconic Barrel Roll from Star Fox is possible in a vaccum, a writer for io9 makes a pretty solid case for why 9th Doctor was Best (modern) Doctor, some cast members from The Flash did an a Capella that made Browncoats everywhere weep with joy, Captain Kirk hints that he himself may be a Brony and we got more musical goodness from Smooth Mcgroove. But on the wrong side of the tracks, it was a big week for scams, shams and farces. Mars One turned out to be a steamy pile of nothingness, rumors about a new Star Trek series had zero truth to it whatsoever, the former movie site for Tatooine from Star Wars is now under siege by ISIS terrorists, Streaming site Twitch had a ginormous security breach and Sony wants to make a Live-action Robotech film. And now, ladies and germs, we move on to an Issue so massive in magnitude, it takes up both the Rant and the Rave sections of this week’s blog. Read on!
Geek Rave of the week
I’m sure by now you have heard about the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that had been floating around the Indiana legislature and recently signed into law (more on that later), but there has been some good that has come out of it. Neumerous Indianapolis businesses have spoken out against, pledging to continue support and allow patronage from people of all sexual orientations. But the reason I mention that city in Indiana in particular is that is home of one of, if not THE biggest gaming conventions in the country, GenCon. Prior to the bill’s signing, the CEO of Gen Con, in an article that was posted on Polygon, Adrian Swartout issued an open letter to the governor. In the letter, which you can see here, Adrian points out how the welcoming environment for people of all gender, orientation and socio economic backgrounds GenCon provides “has become a key element to the growth and success” to their convention.
I should point out also that this is a convention that generates over $50 Million a year for the city of Indianapolis. Yeah, that is a pretty significant chunk of change. So now as contract negotiations are currently underway for the conventions’s future (they are under contract with their current location until 2020), it remains to see what happens. But in the meantime, for standing up for equality for all of us geeks and geekettes out there:
Geek Rant of the week
So yeah, it was back on Thursday when Indiana’s Govenor, Mike Pence, signed the highly controversial bill into law…….in a private ceremony. You can see the precise text of the legislature (which will go into effect on July 1st) here, but to put it all into layman’s terms, supposedly only “prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person’s ability to exercise their religion — unless the government can show that it has a compelling interest and that the action is the least-restrictive means of achieving it”. But let’s be honest with ourselves here. What the bill really does is allow businesses and people to cite their religious beliefs as a defense if they get sued by LBGTQ people for refusal of services.
If only there were one.
And the backlash since has been nothing short of fierce. In addition to the aforementioned threat of GenCon’s possible departure: -Service Referral company Angie’s List put a swift stop to plans it had for expanding into Indiana.
-Well-known Geek Extrodinarre, Star Trek alum and Equality Advocate Geroge Takei has throughly comdemned it, as well as ESPN personality Keith Olberman, which you can read about at this link.
-Numerous other state governments have banned taxpayer funds from being used to travel to Indiana.
-NBA legend Charles Barkley urged the NCAA to move this weekend’s Final Four round of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.
-The Midwestern Athletic Conference (or MAC for short) has announced it will no longer hold Championship games for its conference’s college sports or meetings of any kind there until the law is corrected or repealed.
In other words, Gov. Pence is playing one big game of Economic Chicken and is losing big time. If ever he had any ambitions to run for re-election and/or higher office, I think this pretty much just killed them. Something this big of a downer calls for a most epically geeky palet-cleanser. This oughta do.
Well, my fellow geeks and geekettes across the interwebs, that brings this blogiside of GR2 Weekly to a most satisfying end. And as I tend to enjoy mentioning every chance I get, should you have any suggestions for what I should Rant and/or Rave about (please suggest away, I promise I won’t bite), feel free to follow me both on Tumblr and WordPress. You are equally as encouraged to post much linkage on the official GR2 Weekly Facebook page. See you next week! While you’re still here, though, be sure to check out and Vote Up Lemme Addams everybody. Sonny Strait will be a happy person. 😛