SciFi Fandom Pride: Where’d You Go? “He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits.” – Cassian Andor, Rogue One

The Force Awakens

To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977.  George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie.  The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.


Photographer:
One Idea LLC

The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring.  In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch.  For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication.  Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.

Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.

There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens.  Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility.  There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.

The rest of Star Wars will be history.

There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer.  Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way.  Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q

In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.

If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky.  I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.

You are welcome to click “like,” to follow the blog, and/or to comment.

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part I

Puzzle game

Updated November 22, 2018

In December my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift, a puzzle celebrating The Beatles’ music on The White Album.

Puzzle game
The Beatles

The puzzle is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

Beatles’ White Album: Five myths the 50th anniversary deluxe edition puts to the test

 

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Photographer:
Little Visuals

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for individual success and how it is misleading.  Four are presented here.

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Suzy Hazelwood MONOPOLY FOR MILLENNIALS MAKES NPCs CRY The YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers fascinates me.  When Jeremy announced that he had fallen prey to a phishing spoof six weeks ago, I wanted to describe the problem in this post.  Jeremy was distracted at the moment and made a rookie error, surrendering control of Geeks + Gamers for seventeen minutes until he could get it back in order.  A second oversight occurred, when Jeremy neglected to secure his Google AdSense funding for the channel after the spoof.  When he realized that an entire month’s worth of  monies designated for Geeks + Gamers was stolen, he finally revealed what happened:  My YouTube Channel Was Hacked, Money Lost – Learn From My Mistakes  I’d been paying attention to Geeks + Gamers because I feel it protests and dissects conventional scholar on media.  The Geeks + Gamers team typically tackle major film projects like the DC universe on film, or more often the Disney Star Wars trilogy, as though the success, usually financial, of studio film output speaks to the conclusion that if a film is not fun, that if it doesn’t “work” in terms of being appealing to an audience, the film is not so much a radical success as it is a weak link.

  • It didn’t matter to Jeremy that The Last Jedi is another splendid blockbuster in terms of the money it made for Disney; it was to him a complete letdown and something that was a disservice to the favorite films that remind him of his childhood, the Star Wars films.  Disney Has Concerns About Star Wars After The Last Jedi  It is interesting that while ostensibly the financial success of a film doesn’t mean the film is magical for Jeremy, when it comes to his YouTube channels, Geeks + Gamers and others, it is certainly a problem when a month’s loot is stolen, by cyber-crime means.  I wish Jeremy and the other members of Geeks + Gamers hadn’t had to go through that.Halloween with Geeks + Gamers was interesting for the fact that Jeremy argued that very bold criticism of what he does with Geeks + Gamers had been declared, criticism that included the idea that “code words” were being communicated to Geeks + Gamers subscribers that subscribers should launch literal hate and violence at targets which Geeks + Gamers usually defame, a video you can watch here:  NPC Star Wars Writer Continues To Lie and Spread False Information  Jeremy responded firmly that Geeks + Gamers is in no way is supportive of violent attitudes in any situation, and further that Geeks + Gamers made no attempt to “boycott” the recent Star Wars film Solo, a position I’d heard Jeremy take before in a discussion how Solo ws lacklustre in terms of box office returns.

All this keeps me quite rapt about what this YouTube channel is saying about the Star Wars films–Geeks+ Gamers plays a role in backlash concerning the Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi.

  • For Geeks + Gamers to become a successful YouTube channel, it meant starting from basics and building a subscriber basis and becoming a success, with people watching the videos and comment and so on.  If Geeks + Gamers were reviewing music, instead of films, and it was fifty years ago, perhaps they would have spoken about The White Album.  Instead, they are speaking out, frequently, about The Last Jedi, in a way which makes it completely clear that they regard Episode VIII of Star Wars as rubbish.When I watched The Last Jedi when it arrived on Netflix, I enjoyed it and even felt moved.  The mods of Geeks + Gamers had no such experience.  Instead, they despise the film and regale in making that clear rather than taking a positive spin on something that’s an extension to something they loved in childhood.I would guess that Geeks + Gamers take such a broad interest in film criticism that they feel they can succeed with a successful YouTube channel.  The idea of success they have is different from the idea of success that’s reflected in something like the fiftieth-anniversary of The White Album, or in the success of the blockbuster The Last Jedi.
  • The mods of Geeks + Gamers don’t seem to see The Last Jedi as a success at all because they despise it so much.  Their YouTube channel extrapolates messages like that Star Wars has been mostly reduced to rubbish, or that the DC comics universe could similarly face a death grip in the cinema.  I believe I had misunderstood Geeks + Gamers with my belief that Geeks + Gamers doesn’t desire or see any value in success at the level of the “blockbuster”; instead they expound on problems in entertainment which is compromised by identity politics in the entertainment that they criticize.  Now that I understand some more about Jeremy’s point of view,  it has me feeling a touch more informed about how identity politics show up in entertainment.
    To them, The Last Jedi is a weak link.  They wouldn’t aim for that kind of success in their own lives, for example.  It is notable, having learned of their misfortune with a phishing spoof, that their success has been compromised by their own position as a good-sized YouTube channel.

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Photographer:
Rawpixel.com  In addition, an example of underhandedly reacting to what’s been said on Geeks + Gamers is the shout-out they gave Mike Zeroh after film director Rian Johnson mean-spiritedly called out Zeroh who is devoted specifically to exploring what’s going on in Star Wars.  The Mike Zeroh channel is Zeroh’s speculation about “behind the scenes” in Star Wars.  In the initial days of shooting Episode IX of Star Wars, Johnson, reflecting on Twitter about what he was accomplishing with his Star Wars film, referred to YouTube’s Mike Zeroh as being a zero, although Johnson later apologized.

  • It is the same kind of weak link that exists when Geeks + Gamers tackles Star Wars because for all the enthusiasm Mike Zeroh puts into anticipating Star Wars, Mike Zeroh has personally explained that he feels The Last Jedi is a poor effort.
    Mike Zeroh Vs Rian Johnson… Thank you Rian Again!!!

I was amused by The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to share these opportunities.  I am glad if you have read this.  You’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to comment.

August 17, 2018 #NationalNonprofitDay

Louth United, disbanded in 2006
  • Yesterday the website ZDNet reported that researcher Sam Thomas speaking at the Bsides technical security conference in Manchester alerted attendees that WordPress has been rendered vulnerable to a bug for the entire duration of the last year.  While the situation hasn’t been exploited by attackers, Thomas sounded a concern with WordPress that will require a patch.  This is the first, I believe, that it has been reported, which is a fact, I suspect, that lends itself to the possibility that there could be an upset connected to this WordPress bug and the suggestion of vulnerability

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/wordpress-vulnerability-affects-a-third-of-most-popular-websites-online/

 

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Photographer: Negative Space

 

In a different light on what’s happening in the blogosphere, I would like to say here that I think of myself as a reasonably well-informed individual.  I have an interest in being active with a blog, with Facebook, and with Twitter.

What’s come up is that the seventeenth of August, 2018, is a celebratory day for nonprofit businesses.  Despite the caveat at the start of the post, it can be said that if you’re unaware of the significance of August 17, 2018, it is that this is National Nonprofit Day.

I thought I would write something to mark the occasion.  I personally am part of a business that has a not-for-profit status.

About nonprofits, National Nonprofit Day recognizes people who contribute to organizations who generally rely on charitable funding to keep going.  There are a lot of needs that would be underserved if it weren’t for nonprofits.  Funding for not-for-profits helps with needs that otherwise would go unmet, which is great because it helps deal with active problems.

I help care for a not-for-profit cemetery that is small but pretty, named Maple Lawn.

Here is a recent photo.  Me, my dad Peter and his brother, my uncle, Dave, run the cemetery.

Louth United, disbanded in 2006
Formerly Louth United Church, St. Catharines

We don’t specifically receive funding for what we do.  We got involved a few years ago when Peter opted to take responsibility for a cemetery whose trustees no longer wished to care for it.  Since then we have opted to care for the grounds and to handle burials.

My dad worked for many years at the municipal cemetery in the city.  We generally attend to the cemetery grounds once a week, on Wednesdays, and we do additional work as needed.

There’s a church on the cemetery grounds.  The United Church of Canada congregation which filled it disbanded from this church of ours in 2006.  It may sound like we’re carrying out a selfless endeavor, but there are a few advantages, in addition, that I can think of.

Running the cemetery doesn’t require a huge amount of input or direction.  I am on hand to do some of the grounds keeping, and I also put it in time doing research and the like as the cemetery SMM.  My dad does a lot of the work that requires expertise tied to the particulars of operating a cemetery.

While many not-for-profits would operate on a fulltime basis, we write our own hours and we mostly look in our own pockets for what we need to spend.  I recently returned to the popular 4 Hour Work Week book by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss for the third time now and you can view, if you like, my thoughts on it as the following blog post I wrote

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/07/24/pausing-to-read-the-4-hour-work-week/

 

We cover our costs and contribute to the cemetery if someone wants a grave here, or if a funeral needs to be conducted and we do this out of a sense of goodwill.

We have a Facebook page–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited–and a website–http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/

I remain partial to the notion that if I write a blog there will be a little additional interest in what I say.

I look at Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …because of Twitter’s use as an information tool.  I don’t limit my interests on Twitter to what we do at the cemetery.  I explore a variety of interests outside what would otherwise be confined to a very limited niche.

Cemetery operation is too specialized, I think, to confine a Twitter account to that sole purpose.

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Photographer: Rawpixel.com

I don’t feel that time is lost carrying out service at the cemetery.  The time that’s devoted to being part of a small not-for-profit rather than working in a career in sales or the like is meaningful and, even better, enjoyable.  I feel that limiting one’s energy to a volunteer position is time invested in oneself.

With the trade-off of what might be a better living secondary to time invested in the cemetery, I feel like I have something personal to me that I do, although I know a lifestyle like this is certainly not for everyone.  I continue to look at the work from the standpoint that it is a lucky opportunity.  There are drawbacks but I don’t want to emphasize them here in this post.

Furthermore, I appreciate that National Nonprofit Day celebrates nonprofits, people who work hard to make a difference.  When Maple Lawn highlights for people what we’re doing, such as on our Facebook page for the cemetery, we often get positive responses for the care we take to keep the cemetery looking nice.  Visitors to our Facebook page reward us that way.

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
Photographer: Wilfred Iven

People who work in not-for-profits may not always feel that benefactors give them the credit that they deserve, but it doesn’t mean not-for-profit employees don’t find satisfaction in what they do.  I am sure that among not-for-profit personnel, many of them welcome August 17 and celebrate their work accordingly, and that’s what I’m writing about in this post.  I usually represent what we’re doing at the cemetery in positive terms, which is how I try to frame it.

That is to say, I think of myself as an optimist rather than as a pessimist, despite the solemnity of the atmosphere of a cemetery.  If you relate, you’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to “comment.”  In November, I will try to respond specifically to the occurrence of Giving Tuesday, the day that charities work especially hard to raise funds.

I realize there may not be such a sense of urgency that a cemetery like ours needs additional assistance, but you never know unless you ask if there is some unknown avenue to improve the standard of work in our hands.  It is probably the right idea to look into getting additional help at the same time that similar organizations are delving into the same.  Autumn is the time of year for it.

I hope to continue working at the cemetery while playing the additional role of nurturing Facebook and Twitter, writing here on WordPress, and otherwise keeping a hand in at our not-for-profit.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

  • Please do not be alarmed by the idea that there is a bug in WordPress that could, in theory, render you in jeopardy if you maintain a blog with WordPress.  Actually, it has been kept under wraps for an entire year.
  • There have been no specific problems made aware of that ZDNet reported and there is no indication that the bug will actually be exploited in the name of enemy action, however so easy a target exists.  I know with this attention to the issue WordPress will respond with a patch.