GR2 Weekly- 19 April 2015 Edition

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19 April 2015

Hiiiiiiiiiiii!  Just Good ‘ol Azzy here ready and raing for yet another blogisode of GR2 Weekly!  As I’ve mentioned before, I will be at No brand Con in Eau Claire this next weekend, so sadly there will not be any GR2 Weekly next Sunday.  A bummer, I know.  But anyhoo, I am getting pretty hyped……

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Sit down, Mojo Rawley.

….well, pretty hyped for No brand Con that is.  Geek.Kon (which I am involved with) is having a Cards Against Humanity-themed room party Saturday night (which you will need to be 18+ to partake in the CAH).  There’s also the Touch Football tradition that is No Brand Bowl (might be more about that later, you never know), hanging out with friends both old and new, wishing Erica could be there (but I think I might be able to sneak her into the Recap somehow), among many other things.  But for the sake of getting things back on track, it was a very busy week in the Geek World.  Some of the week’s groaners involve GameStop apparently plotting to put local vintage game shops out of business, a couple of lame trailers for both the new Terminator movie (which spoils a BIG plot twist) as well as the upcoming Batman V. Superman flick, Wonder Woman’s initial Director already called it quits, someone played Candy Crush until it literally broke them (torn tendon in the left hand) and in what is surely one of the worst ideas humanity has ever generated, a Russian man volunteered to be the very first human to have their head transplanted onto another body.

Why do I have a feeling Vodka may have played a role in this?

But on the good side of the coin, we got trailers for both the new Star Wars movie and for the upcoming Ant-Man movie, the infamous MTV Clay-animated show Celebrity Deathmatch has been revived, a video promoting the USA-Mexico men’s soccer game from earlier this week (which resulted in the traditional 2-0 win aka Dos A Cero for the USA) has a slight Pokemon twist to it, a gamer made Bloodborne players all over look silly by beating the game with a Guitar Hero controller and science has made a breakthrough in potentially getting environmentally damaging oil out of our water.  And without any more delays, here’s what I chose to Rant and Rave about this week.

Geek Rant of the Week

Normally, I’d hate to Rant about a general and wide-reaching issue such as Gamergate, Men’s Rights Activists, etc., but I could not possibly ignore this particular instance.  In a news event that was featured on both The Mary Sue and Nerd & Tie (who will be doing a live Podcast at No Brand Con this weekend), the Staff at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (we’ll call them “Canadian C2E2” from here on out) had their hands full with a Pro-Gamergate group that somehow snuck their way into an Exhibitor booth for the convention.

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The Pro-GG group in question, Honey Badger Radio (a group who is affiliated with the hate-filled website A Voice For Men), managed to acquire their booth space via a Crowdfunding Campaign as basically a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.  This was a write-up of their campaign by some of its representatives (Karen Straughan, Mike Stephenson, Alison Tieman, and Sage Gerard):

In April of this year, the Honey Badgers plan to put on a booth at the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo! We plan to infiltrate nerd culture cunningly disguised as their own. Each of us has been carefully crafting a persona of nerdiness through decades of dedication to comics, science fiction, fantasy, comedy games and other geekery, waiting for this moment, our moment to slip among the unaware. Once there we will start distributing the totalitarian message that nerd and gamer culture is… perfectly wonderful just as it is and should be left alone to go its own way.”

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They didn’t use their website to apply for their Exhibitor status, but rather via one of the Honey Badgers members’ webcomics instead.  It goes about as well as you might expect, with this greeting attendees as they walked by their booth on Day 1:

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Yeah………..

But wait, there’s more!  Some of the Honey Badgers attended a Women In Comics panel that evening and proceeded to heckle and harass the panelists to such an extent, even Arsenal fans at a Tottenham game would step back and tell them “Mate, chill.”  One of the panelists, Brittney le Blanc, gave this as her account of the panel overrun: “We were about fifteen minutes into the panel when a woman in the second row stood up and identified herself as a Men’s Rights Activist. She and her male companion both came to raise issues they felt would not be covered by our panel. Raising points about the way men are portrayed in comics struck a note with all the panelists, as we agreed that we want to see a diversity across body types, characters, races, etc in mainstream comics. Not everyone wants to see a hero who looks like he’s built like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. They also accused us of presenting all women as victims, which was an outright lie and derailing tactic.

 

Their questions did take up quite a bit of time at the panel and served to derail the topic onto another tangent, which was frustrating for the panel and for those in the audience. It’s what they came to do, and in part, they succeeded. I would say that it brought up some great discussions though, allowing us to talk about the lack of representation for people of colour in comics and to give well deserved props to artists like Sophie Campbell, who has done an amazing job in showcasing a broad range of bodies with her art in Jem and the Holograms.

 

It’s disappointing that they weren’t there to have a conversation or to listen to what we, and members of the audience, were saying. They wanted to stand up and have their say, but not to listen or try to understand the points of view other people in the room had. This was further proven by the video discussion they posted later last night, in which they mentioned our panel and that we were “donning the ball gowns of our victimhood”, which I’m not even entirely sure how to take. I will admit to not watching the whole video, and I think anyone who attempts to watch it would understand why.

 

I truly believe in freedom of speech, but coming to a panel with the entire purpose of derailing it and shooting down the voices on the panel isn’t constructive. It appears that was their plan for the expo, to come and to loudly take over the spaces of other people – although it was not violent or threatening, it’s disrespectful, disappointing and offers a prime example of why these panels need to exist in the first place.

Thankfully, the Canadian C2E2 staff soon “asked” them to leave, as the Pro-GG group clearly violated their Anti-harassment policy, which you can see in the FAQ section of their website.  Naturally, the Honey Badgers played the role of “victim” (and I use that in the loosest sense possible), claiming that they were bullied out and that their being expelled from the Expo was a clear violation of their Human Rights, as Canadian C2E2 is partially funded by the city of Calgary.  The levels of hypocrisy, stupidity and overall doucebaginess of this (and quite frankly ALL Pro-GamerGate groups) just never ceases to both amaze and disgust me at the same time.  People like them need a good, hard Reality Check. And by that, I mean strap them with ice skates in a hockey rink and have every single member of the Calgary Flames give them said “Check” hard into the boards. But enough about those turd burglars.  On to something far more positive and reflective.  :3

Geek Rave of the Week

The subject of this week’s Rave waxes a little bit of nostalgia, all in thanks to a recent post of Fandom Post’s website by a British friend of Adam’s.  The linked post (which you can totally read right now before proceeding further if you don’t mind some minor spoilers) discusses a smash-mouth, comedic shounen anime all about Americal Football, Eyeshield 21.

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YA HA!

To give a quick summation, Eyeshield 21 is about a lifelong school gopher by the name of Sena Kobayakawa, who ends up getting “recruited” to join his high school’s (Deimon) football team by the demonic Quarterback (and “shadow ruler” of the school) Hiruma. While things are a rough go at first for the team, they slowly gain more and more players and their skill improves as the series goes on.  You can watch the entire series for Free on Crunchyroll.  Hard to believe it had been 10 years ago already since the anime was released.  Yeah, it has aged some and is kinda meh at times compared to the manga.  But regardless, it is a very entertaining series and well worth your time.

When I was just starting getting started with the convention scene. I had already watched several anime series by this point, but nothing I could really gravitate my fandom energies to.  It was Adam (who I had come into regular contact with via the No Brand Con forums when they were still a thing) who initially suggested Eyeshield 21 to me and I was instantly swept up by it.  So much so, that in between No Brand Con 5 and 6, I had gotten the idea of forming a group of NBC attendees together to form a “football team” of sorts called the No Brand Devil Bats.  I appointed Adam the Captain and Quarterback of the team and for NBC 6, we ran an Eyeshield 21-themed room party complete with Tailgate Party, anime viewing of Eyeshield 21 and what would become a regular event, the touch football game that came to be known as the No Brand Bowl.

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Yeah, it seems weird.  Who would have thunk a bunch of geeks would be spending time at an anime convention playing football?  Of course, up until a few years ago, the games took place on the roof of the con hotel’s parking garage.  But since No Brand Con moved back to the Plaza Hotel, we have been fortunate enough to play on an actuall grass field which has made some rather interesting encounters in of themselves.  And of course, on the 9th Anniversary of the No Brand Devil Bats’ formation and first gathering, what should happen to be showing at the convention’s Anime Room but Eyeshield 21?  Can you take a guess what I’ll be doing at 8am next Sunday?  😉

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 and I just as strongly encourage you to like and comment on some of the links I post.  I enjoy interacting with you all.  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.  😛

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