LeakyCon Orlando 2022 Health & Safety Policy: Vaccines, Tests, Masks Required

I got an email last month from Leaky Con inviting me to buy tickets to their Orlando event this July. The pictures in this post are all taken from that marketing blast. You’ll note that no one in these fotos is wearing a mask; everyone is shown enjoying the company of others without social distancing or shielding their faces with a screen or face covering.

Which is understandable because the last two and a half years of Leaky Cons have been canceled because of Pandemania and the lock-step conformity of venue owners and event sponsors with risible CDC and WHO recommendations lest they be subject to liability litigation. They don’t have any pictures of Leaky Con attendees partying down with face masks because the events they scheduled in the periods when they were required never happened.

For those considering attendance at this year’s Orlando Leaky Con, please be aware that they are standing by their draconian Covid-hysteric ‘Health and Safety Policy,’ something hidden in the darker recesses of their website:

LEAKYCON ORLANDO 2022 HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY

All those in attendance at LeakyCon Orlando 2022 including, but not limited to, ticketed attendees, special guests, presenters, vendors, press, and staff, will be required to show either proof of full vaccination OR ​​a negative antigen COVID-19 test results from a testing done within 24 hours of entry to the event OR a negative PCR COVID-19 test result from a testing done within 72 hours of each day of entry to the event. Fully vaccinated is defined as at least 14 days after receiving the final vaccine in a one- or two-shot protocol with a vaccine approved by the FDA or WHO (including emergency use authorization).

Attendees will also be required to wear masks at all times during the event, except in designated areas for eating and drinking.

Any additional LeakyCon Orlando 2022 health and safety policies will be announced at a later date ahead of the event in line with the most up-to-date data and public health advice at that time.

This, though, may very well change before the July event. More on that after the jump! [Read more…]

An Even-Odd Strike Pattern Addendum: The Waitress on Break Tells Backstory

Last week I shared a pattern that may exist in the Cormoran Strike mysteries by Rowling-Galbraith. In Strike Pattern: Bars in London and Out of Town Business-Conversations in Alternating Books  I explained that odd numbered books featured Cormoran and Robin in a bar, some mention of Strike’s boxing, heavy drinking, and remarkable revelations about their pasts that pushes their relationship and understanding of each other significantly. Even number books, though they include meals and drinks in pubs, have no unveilings of this kind. They do have a meal on the road in which they discuss their business partnership and Robin’s ability to do the job given her personal circumstances and mental condition.

I speculated in last week’s post that, if this is a true pattern, we should have another of these even numbered book scenes in Strike6, Ink Black Heart. It occurred to me today that Silkworm and Lethal White, our two previous even-numbered books have something else in common. In both books Strike goes to some lengths to interview a waitress, who, on a break from the hectic labors of waiting tables, reveals the backstory elements the Peg-Legged PI suspects is out there but needs to nail down. Join me after the jump for the relevant scenes in Strike 2 and Strike 4 — and what we should look for in Strike6! [Read more…]

Rowling May Day Twitter Drop

J. K. Rowling yesterday re-tweeted fifteen ‘May Day’ tweets from around the UK and Commonwealth, all of which were from admirers attending ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ celebrations in imitation of the gathering Rowling sponsored at the River Cafe last month. Three examples:

Rowling has written that she departed regular tweeting largely to protect her mental health. It was by tweeting her opinions about transgender overreach that caused the WOKE tsunami to break over her and it seemed that she had decided to abandon her remarkable social media platform except to promote book launches and the like, e.g., the Ickabog pictures from young fans and the Troubled Blood roll-out.

Recent tweeting activity, though, suggests The Presence has elected to reverse the usual “just business, no politics” policy of prudence for a “no business, all politics” policy of creating and making visible the community of people who support her views vis a vis #RespectMySex. She has not tweeted once, for example, about the opening of Secrets of Dumbledore while twice creating long drop-sets about “Ladies Who Lunch.”

One of her writing signatures is turning genre tropes on their head before delivering an equivalent or greater experience of the genre in question. It looks to me like Rowling has decided that, having been victimized on this platform by the profesional twitterati, she can now turn it to her own use, not to victimize but to celebrate and encourage others who feel isolated by the Zeitgeist. De gustibus!

The Secrets of Dumbledore Box Office: 67% Drop from First Weekend Gate

Fans of the Fantastic Beasts film franchise have been watching the gate receipts for the latest installment, Secrets of Dumbledore, attentively and with some trepidation. Secrets had the worst opening weekend and first week of any of the Wizarding World movies and then had the second-biggest drop-off in its second week.

DailyCampus.com reported after the first week that Secrets has to make $750 million to break even:

“The Secrets of Dumbledore” debuted to a $43 million gross this weekend, about $20 million less than “The Crimes of Grindelwald”’s opening weekend in 2018. To make matters worse, this film has a $200 million budget. Factoring in marketing expenses, the domestic-international split of the franchise and the theater’s share of box office revenue, the film likely needs to gross around $705 million worldwide, of which $175 million is domestic, to break even. With a $43 million opening weekend domestically, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” has virtually zero chance to gross that in North America, unless it has some magical legs. The film will likely close around $110 million domestically, perhaps worse depending on the trend next week. 

The second week numbers are in and it looks like the $110 million break-even target won’t be reached. Per Screen-Rant.com:

After having the Wizarding World franchise’s lowest opening weekend, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had a massive box office drop in just its second weekend of release. The film lost 67% of its business in a week, only gaining $14 million in the process. This decline is mostly because of newer, more interesting releases, such as Universal Pictures’ animated adventure film The Bad Guys, which topped the weekend box office for April 25, 2022. Additionally, although The Secrets of Dumbledore performed better internationally, it remained a commercial disappointment domestically. This arguably reveals a disinterest in the franchise, thus raising questions about its future.

ScreenRant thinks Warner Brothers will protect its Wizarding World franchise, with all its lucrative theme parks, merchandising properties, and new gaming programs, by shifting from the seemingly cursed Beasts movies to a filmed version of the Cursed Child play. Daniel Radcliffe is already saying he’s not interested, at least not right now, which of course is what he must say to get Warner Brothers to give him a significant payout.

Three quick notes about all this after the jump! Did Warner Brothers make this film with the expectation that it would be the series closer? [Read more…]

Moaning Myrtles Wrock Band Star Now Head of United States Ministry of Truth

You may have heard that, in the wake of Elon Musk buying Twitter, the Biden Administration announced that the Department of Homeland Security had opened a Disinformation Governance Board, quickly dubbed “The Ministry of Truth,” an Orwellian tagline from 1984. The head of this new government agency? Nina Jankowicz.

If you follow that link to Ms Jankowicz’s Wikipedia page, you will learn that she is a Bryn Mawr and Georgetown graduate who studied in Russia and was a Fulbright scholar in the Ukraine. The page also adds as an aside that she “has an interest in musical theater.”

Senator Ted Cruz tweeted out this catchy tune with clever lyrics by the Governance Board Chair appointee about disinformation.

Tucker Carlson, in the piece below about the so-called Ministry of Truth as a shameless affront to the First Amendment’s prohibition of government abridgment of free speech, also played this clip (beginning at 4:55) along with statements from Ms Jankowicz saying that disinformation is a problem with the political right, not the left.

The funny thing? Neither of these spokesman of the conservative and Constitutional originalist faction in the United States chose to mention where Nina Jankowicz developed her “interest in musical theater.” She was one half of one of the most popular Wizard Rock bands at the height of that musical genre’s zenith in the late Aughts, The Moaning Myrtles. You can listen to their biggest hit, ‘Prefects Are Hot,’ in this YouTube clip.

As you might imagine, conservative news aggregation websites like Breitbart.com loved this connection, especially because of the anything but chaste lyrics of ‘Prefects Are Hot.’Biden Disinformation Chief Nina Jankowicz Sang About Sex Fantasy with Dead Harry Potteris the Breitbart lede on their home page today. Forget the graduate degree from Georgetown, the Fulbright Scholarship, and the two published books; the Disinformation Governing Board Chair is to be judged by her late teen accomplishments as a Wizard Rock band member.

Just or unjust as this portrayal may be in the current climate of a cold Civil War between left and right in the United States today, my interest is in noting that the ‘Harry Potter Generation’ has now officially taken a position of power in Washington, as we all knew they someday must do. Breitbart concluded their cheery-picking of every Moaning Myrtle lyrics to find the most salacious with an observation reflecting the article writer’s familiarity with Potter canon: “It is an ironic discovery — Jankowicz’s apparent obsession with Harry Potter — as many have deemed her the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic’s overpowering Dolores Umbridge.”

The children that grew up reading the Hogwarts Saga are now both the actors on and scribes writing about the political center ring, positions they will probably hold until the Parousia or for up to three decades if the Lord tarries. “The Griffin has landed.”