Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Black Hood Returns! Fangs Hits on Kevin! Kevin's Still Hot for Moose! And Poor, Poor Midge... All in Tonight's "Riverdale!"

Tonight's "Riverdale" was a mixed bag tonight. It all centered on Kevin's "Carrie: The Musical" production at Riverdale High. I thought that they made it up for the show, but apparently it's a real thing. The songs were interesting, but I really wasn't in the mood for it.

I did like the idea of this potential romance between Kevin and Fangs Fogarty -- not that Kevin seems into this potential ship. He's still mooning after Moose.

But I was completely unprepared for the final moments of tonight's episode!! During the rehearsals, Kevin kept getting messages from somebody claiming to be the Black Hood -- who we all know died just before Christmas. In the letters, the Black Hood said that it was going to be bad for everyone if Cheryl Blossom continued playing the title role in Kevin's musical. Cheryl was eventually pulled from the play and replaced by Midge.

Then in the final moments of tonight, Midge's bloody body was prominently displayed on-stage with the following message: "I am back from the dead. All those who escaped me before will die. -B.H."

Who does that put at harm? Archie. Mr. Andrews. Moose. And Betty. I think that's all of them.

So what do you think? Is this the real Black Hood? Or a copycat? And who is this Black Hood?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LGBTQ Activist Donna Red Wing Dead at Age 67

Donna Red Wing died yesterday following a long battle with lung cancer. She was a longtime LGBTQ activist, having served in leadership roles for a variety of programs such as Grassroots Leadership, Interfaith Alliance, the Gill Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. She also served in key LGBTQ political outreach roles for both Barack Obama and Howard Dean. She served most recently as executive director for One Iowa (from 2012-2016).

Red Wing became one of the main defenders for marriage equality in the state of Iowa.

She was 67 at the time of her passing.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Trekfest XXXIV Announces Its 2018 Schedule of Events!

I was online and noticed that the schedule of events has been posted for Trekfest XXXIV in nearby Riverside, IA:
Friday Night – June 29, 2018:
5:30 - 9 PM - Kids games, inflatables
6 PM  ESO Community Meal
6 PM – Kid’s Parade Registration
6 PM - Bill Riley Regional Talent Show
7 PM Star Trek Trivia Contest
7 PM Guest Speaker at St. Mary’s Parish Hall
7 PM Riverside High School Robotics Tournament
7:30 PM Pet show
8:30 PM -11:00 PM Live Music: The Swing Crew
9:30 PM -1:00 AM Adult co-ed softball tournament
9:30 PM Star gaze: Cedar Valley Astronomy Club
11:00 PM: Star Trek Movie

Saturday – June 30, 2018
7 AM - 12 PM St. Mary’s Pancake Breakfast
7 AM - Trek for the schools 5k Registration
8:00 AM 5k begin Hall Park (1 mile fun run @ 7:40 AM)
7 - 9:45 AM Kid’s games, inflatables
7:30 - 9:45 AM - Live music: Abbie Callahan (voice contestant)
8:30 -  9:45 AM Town ball T-ball games
9 AM Sand Volleyball Tournament
10 AM - Parade through Riverside
11 AM Star Trek costume contest on the Main Stage
11 AM - 9 PM Kid’s games and inflatables
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Kid’s water fight at the fire station
12:30 PM Live Music: The Awful Purdies
12 PM Barb’s homemade apple pies
12 PM Adult Co-ed softball tournament
12 - 2:30 PM Community Lunch
12 PM - Bingo and Star Trek scavenger hunt
12 PM -  6PM: Star Trek Movie Marathon
2 PM Kid’s tractor pull
4 - 7 PM Live Music: Chautauqua Road Band
4:30 - 7:30 PM - Demolition Derby ($10 admission)
Dusk - 10 PM- Fireworks display
8 PM - 11:30 PM - Live music: Brutal Republic
For those not in the know, Riverside is the official future birthday place of Captain James T. Kirk from the "Star Trek" franchise. Trekfest is an annual celebration of his future birth. It features of combination of Trekkie fanboyishness with small-town activities.

If you haven't been there, you should check it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Lower Warden: The Slums of Midsomer County, UK!

I was watching "A Tale of Two Hamlets" earlier this evening, which is a season six episode of "Midsomer Murders." Ever wondered where the slum are at in Midsomer County? They are apparently in Lower Warden, which is tagged with graffiti and littered with stray mattresses! And Lower Warden might not have a grocery store, but that doesn't stop its residents from bringing grocery carts to town -- just for the thrill of littering the streets with them!

Check this out -- and noted DCI Barnaby's disapproval!:

This is what I imagine Lower Amana would look like -- if there were such a place...

Judge Kevin Ross Rules In Favor of Church that Fired a Basketball Coach Who Wore Drag to a Costume Party

I was watching videos on YouTube yesterday and stumbled across this segment from an old Judge Kevin Ross episode. In it, a guy named Kyle Jones was hired to coach this church's basketball league. He'd turned down other employment for this job.

About midway through his term, he was pulled over for speeding while on his way to a costume party. He was wearing a dress and wig for the party. The police officer was a member of the church. After issuing the ticket to Mr. Jones, she contacted Pastor Paul Adams. He immediately fired Mr. Jones for living an alternate lifestyle. Mr. Jones wanted the rest of his salary.

I was originally heated when I saw this segment. I decided to do some digging and learn more about the pastor and his church. Turns out that both he and Kyle Jones aren't real people. They are characters portrayed by actors. Which is something to consider next time you sit down to watch another episode of "America's Court with Judge Ross." The cases are fake and are actually "inspired" by real-life cases.

Fakeness aside, the show really played into anti-gay Christian stereotypes -- which is usually easy to do. The truth is that most Christian churches would have done the same. I know too many LGBTQ people who've lost jobs to churches or other Christian organizations, so why not "Kyle Jones," who may have been a closet cross-dresser, or he might have actually just been traveling to a costume party.

Sadly, some of these interactions are all too familiar:
Judge Ross: And that (Jones wearing a dress for the party) was a problem...?

Pastor Adams: Cross-dressing as a woman, yes.

Judge Ross: It was a costume party...

Pastor Adams: So he says.

Judge Ross: Oh, that's the issue... Did you just ask him, "Is this a lifestyle thing or is this a one-time thing?"

Pastor Adams: No.

Judge Ross: Why not?

Pastor Adams: Because, he was dressed like a woman. There's no excuse for it!
The pastor then explains that he'd spoken to Mr. Jones in the past because he wears "flamboyant clothing." But he still hired the guy to teach the league despite these previous admonishments. There was other judgmental crap like that from the "pastor" scattered throughout the episode -- which, once again, wouldn't surprise me from most actual cases.

Judge Ross was ultimately sympathetic towards the plaintiff, but ruled in favor of the bigoted pastor. Which doesn't shock me, but not for the reasons stated in the episode. It's a church basketball league and the plaintiff was employed by the church. They're allowed for discriminate against LGBTQ employees. And such employers generally delight in such discrimination.

You can watch the entire segment here.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Art Bell Dead at 72

The Nye County Sheriff's Office reported that Art Bell -- the former host of "Coast to Coast" -- passed away yesterday in his home. He was 72-years-old. The cause of his death has not yet been determined, but an autopsy has been scheduled for next week.

"Coast to Coast" was an interesting overnight radio program. Because of when it aired, it was really difficult for me to listen too often. The program explored conspiracy theories about the paranormal, UFOs and non-human lifeforms, demons, and shadow government activity. Bell seemed to become increasingly paranoid and abruptly resigned from his show several years ago. He would occasionally return, but then quit again.

Still, I enjoyed most of his programs that I did listen to and am sad to learn of his passing.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Fred Proposes to Daphne in SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #24!

DC Comics just played out the most understated, under-reported marriage proposal of two major comic book heroes. Ever. I mean, forget about Kitty Pryde and Colossus. Why isn't anyone talking about how Fred proposed to Daphne in SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #24??

You might remember how Scooby and the Gang set up stakes in an abandoned shopping mall last issue. Except that the mall wasn't quite abandoned. There are two factions of monsters (nicknamed the "Consumerites") who live in the Mears and CJ Nickel stores. Twice daily, they all race out into the mall and kill each other. Our group is waiting for the Consumerites to kill each other off and then take over the mall completely.

Except that Cliffy realized in this latest issue that the Consumerites aren't really reducing in numbers, even as more and more bodies litter the main floor of the mall. Daphne and Fred decided to sneak into CJ Nickel to see what's happening inside the store.

Always the master of good timing, Fred tells Daphne that he's only going to chase her so long and that she needs to make a choice once and for all. And then he proposes to her!

And she said Yes! (After scowling at him...)

Who said there's no romance after the apocalypse?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spider-Man & the Iowa League of Heroes Create Spidey-Themed Seizure Helmet for 5-Year-Old Boy

I was reading this evening about a 5-year-old boy from Des Moines who is diagnosed with Doose Syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy. One article about him reports that he has drop seizures up to 50 times daily. The boy got hooked up last year with Spider-Man, a cosplayer with the Iowa League of Heroes. Spidey visited the boy at the hospital and eventually began visting him several time monthly at his home.

More recently, the child has been struggling the the physical fall-out from frequent drop seizures: severe facial injuries from falling on the floor. The boy wears a seizure helmet, but it wasn't doing enough to protect his entire face from the falls.

Spider-Man and the other Iowa League of Heroes connected with a local artist and designed a Spidey-themed seizure helmets, which makes it much more motivating for the child to wear.

Apparently, insurance doesn't cover the cost of the helmet -- which actually doesn't surprise me. Fortunately, the Iowa League of Heroes fund-raised to pay for the helmet.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Iowa: Brandon Routh from "Superman Returns" & "Legends of Tomorrow" Endorses Nate Boulton for Governor

Iowa has a primary election coming up soon where voters can choose between several good Democratic gubernatorial candidates to go up against Governor Kim Reynolds later on in November. I'm a personal fan of Nate Boulton, but I'll honestly support anyone with a "D" following their name during this upcoming election.

It was pretty exciting to see Brandon Routh endorsing Nate Boulton earlier today. Check out this endorsement video:
Brandon Routh: Hi! My name is Brandon Routh and this is my friend and Iowa's next Governor, Nate Boulton. You might recognize him... I mean, me from my role as Superman in the movie "Superman Returns" or as the Atom in TV's "Legends of Tomorrow." And you might recognize Nate from his work as State Senator fighting for Iowans at the state capitol.

Nate Boulton: Both Brandon and I grew up in rural Iowa. Both of us care about the future of the state. And we're not sitting back while Republicans take our state down down a path of darkness.

Brandon Routh: Now there are a lot of good Democrats in the race for governor this year, but I know that Nate rises above the rest of the field. From his roots in rural southeast Iowa to his tireless advocacy on behalf of working families. Nate's got what it takes to deliver on the promises of a better future to all Iowa. So I urge you to join me in supporting Nate's campaign for truth, justice, and the Iowa way!
Supporters then encouraged to sign up at Nate's website.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pat Robertson: It's Okay to Enjoy Mermaids

It's been a while since I've visited Pat Robertson or "The 700 Club." Many months ago, Pat rebranded his "Bring It On" segment with "Your Questions/Honest Answers." Personally, I preferred the original heading. Then again, I'm pretty much a heathen to him so he really doesn't care.

I found this question pretty interesting in one of his "Your Questions/Honest Answers" responses pretty interesting. Both because it was asked in the first place and because he was actually pretty laid back with his honest answer. Co-Host Wendy Griffith shared this question by a girl named Britney: "Dear Pat, I'm 12 years old, and I want to know if having mermaid dolls and books are bad? I know God didn't make them, but as a Christian, is it okay for me to have them?"

Here is Pat's answer:
I see nothing wrong with a mermaid doll. You like mermaids? Good for you! I know again nothing in the Bible about mermaids. I think they're kind of half-fish and half-women, but I don't think such a creature exists. 

I've seen why people thought there were mermaids. There was some fish that kind of jumped out of the water and they sang and people would see these things and think they were female mermaids. But they really don't exist.
You can watch the entire segment here.