Some of my friends may have noticed I’ve made a flurry of union posts over the past few weeks. I have posted some articles but thought that I would provide a small amount of insight into why IATSE is ready to strike on Monday morning.
WHO IS STRIKING?
This potential strike will be conducted by most of the workers in the film industry, from carpenters to camera operators. They belong to a union called the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE for short).
WHO ARE THEY STRIKING AGAINST?
The members of IATSE will be striking against a group of employers belonging to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP for short). This alliance includes major motion picture studios, broadcast networks, and streaming platforms like Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.
This is a contract dispute between workers and their employers over the contracts they work under.
AS I WRITE THIS, Dragon Con 2021 is winding down one of its strangest years on record, and one of its most joyously attended.
The convention managed to navigate a third wave of Covid-19 infections by implementing attendance caps, vaccination/testing requirements for admission, and general mask use for indoor events.
While none of these procedures could work as an absolute shield against the spread of Covid-19, they were sufficient to satisfy people who felt that they could navigate the convention safely.
My friends who decided to attend had a blast – I was glued to my phone all weekend following their adventures (mom is on an immunosuppressant so I decided to forego the festivities).
It was great seeing so many people being careful and having fun all weekend. A lot of attendees are now headed home with fond memories. A percentage of those folks will go home with Covid.
This person responsibly removed themselves from the convention as soon as they found out (this image was forwarded to me).
Prior to the convention my friend Don informed me that he was planning on being tested after Dragon Con, to ensure that he would not be spreading Covid to his local community upon his return.
I thought that was a brilliant idea.
So I reached out to a relative who administers Covid protocols for a large organization. They took time out of their schedule to discuss post-event testing with me. It turns out that they rely heavily on the Centers for Disease Control for guidance and provided me with several links, shared below.
Have you seen the incredible series on Disney Plus detailing the history of Disney’s theme parks? Highly recommended. When I finished watching the series I remembered a box that I made years ago after going to EPCOT with my family. You have to see this “vintage” handmade EPCOT box!
By the time I built this I had already corresponded with Disney several years prior, while doing a school report about EPCOT Center, and was increasingly certain that I was going to grow up to become an Imagineer (blissfully unaware that I would be temporarily waylaid by the film industry).
Preface: As we shelter-in-place to weather the spread of Covid-19, I was reminded of our family’s tragic history with a different type of outbreak, back in the 1920s. Your first thought might be the Spanish Flu, but that pandemic had largely passed by the time this happened.
This morning I had a conversation with my mom and my Aunt Dee about their Aunt Mamie, who died before either of them was born. The story that was passed down to them is that Aunt Mamie’s husband William had died from an illness that was passing through that region of South Georgia, in the summer of 1921.
Several years later Aunt Mamie pulled an old rug out of storage and took it outside and beat the dust out of it before setting it up in their front room. The rug had previously been in the old house that her husband William had died in. Not long after, Mamie took ill and died from the same illness in November of 1924 – more than 3 years after her husband.
I saw a few people posting a chain letter around Facebook designed to memorialize today for them to find again in the future. It was pretty good, but it was terse and general. I decided to make a custom version for my blog. So here goes.
When I was a kid I had my tonsils removed. It was a pretty awful experience because surgery in the 70s was less refined, so the first few days of recovery were miserable. Plus, the hospital folks lied to me about getting to eat as much ice cream as I wanted after the operation. It wasn’t ice cream at all! It was banana-flavored popsicles, and they only had a few.
But the worst thing about the experience was the long recovery at home, because the television commercials taunted me with delicious pizzas and burgers and steaks that I was weeks away from being able to eat.
That’s kind of what it’s been like for the past few days with all these wonderful old commercials depicting Life Before Plague; images of a fallen world where zany things happened to entire families at restaurants filled with singing animals.
Note: I never imagined I would be posting TWO “rare sci-fi convention” videos within weeks of each other, but here we are! So here’s the story…
In the fall of 2019 I mentioned to my friend Whit Norris that I was planning a side project to save some of my old home videos from VHS to digital format. Of special interest was the preservation of footage from of one of Atlanta’s two PBS affiliates, WGTV Channel 8, at the science fiction convention Dixie Trek back in the mid-1980s (here’s where I uploaded that other footage).
As Whit understood what I intended to do his eyes lit up and he said “I have a tape that you need to see. We shot video at some conventions back in the 80s.”
Keep reading to learn more about this star-studded vintage video…
This post covers what I expected for the Game of Thrones Ending and was written between airings of episodes 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones, Season 8. We just watched the Battle of Winterfell three days ago and I’m completely aware that what I’m doing is Monday morning quarterbacking, but it’s just for fun, so please read it with that in mind :)
Well we have three episodes left to go in the final season of Game of Thrones. Three nights ago the world watched the Battle of Winterfell unfold and I dare say that many of us were astonished to see the Night King’s army shattered – the long-heralded Winter was apparently just a one night stand.
Our journey down this social media river together has been so wonderful and interesting and challenging and… it started off like a big rafting party, and when all our energy was spent we just took in the scenery, but now that we’ve been drifting down this river with each other for so long we have started to realize that we’re all on a stupid LIFE RAFT together, just trying to SURVIVE. We’ve floated past trillions of memes and funny videos and we now FINALLY realize that ANYTHING can be mashed up into ANYTHING ELSE and now we’re just trying to preserve our drinking water so we don’t have to start drinking each others’ digital pee and the people we used to LOVE seeing post funny stuff have jumped over the side of the life raft and are now hanging onto that little rope that runs around the side of the raft and are judging whether they have the strength to swim to shore and JUST ONE MORE tiresome homemade April Fool’s joke by one of the people on the raft indicating that they plan on getting married to a sewing machine or whatever will convince the people in the water to say “screw it” and let go of the rope, never to receive digital karma again.
On Friday I drove over to the airport Hilton near Hartsfield-Jackson to purchase a weekend pass to AnachroCon (www.anachrocon.org), a small historical fiction convention held in the Atlanta metro area every year since 2009.
An Outsider’s History of AnachroCon
AnachroCon was launched around the time that the Steampunk Movement hit (around 2009 to 2012), and like most cons it enjoyed its moment in the spotlight.
For more on trends in fandom read ‘20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con’.
From the outset, the convention’s stated focus was “steampunk, historical reenactment, time travel, and other related genres” – but still, it’s no secret there was always a very special love for Steampunk.
I’ve probably attended 4 or 5 AnachroCons – my bona fides in Steampunk were established back in 2007 when I assisted the infamous space pirate Captain Drew with the design, production, and promotion of Continue reading Review of AnachroCon 2019