Local Hufflepuff Identified as Slytherin By Sorting Hat

In what many have already declared to be the scandal of the century, J.K. Rowling has found herself in hot water after it was discovered that a popular YouTube personality received conflicting results when he retook the Sorting Hat quiz on Pottermore.

“I could no longer access my original Pottermore account, so I thought I’d retake the quiz live for my channel,” said Justin Baker, who runs the popular Harry Potter YouTube channel, Potterheads. “Last time, I was placed into Hufflepuff, so, by all logic, I should have received the same result, right? The Sorting Hat doesn’t make mistakes. Instead, I was placed into Slytherin. Do you know how humiliating it was not only to be placed into the wrong house, but to be placed into Slytherin, live in front of hundreds of thousands of people?” After receiving the results, Baker breaks into tears on the video. “I was so upset that I did not even bother to find out what patronus they’d give me. I’d have probably ended up with a mastiff dog anyway even though they know that my patronus is supposed to be a mongrel dog.”

Since the video, many have demanded a response from Rowling, who has yet to comment on the controversy. With the upcoming release of the second Fantastic Beasts movie, Rowling has already faced criticism for her support of Johnny Depp, whose alleged domestic abuse and half-assed acting has dwindled his popularity among both wizards and emo kids. Now that Hogwarts may not be as magical as loyal readers originally believed, executives are Warner Bros. have expressed concern that the movie will suffer in the box office from the bad press.
As for Baker, he has set up a GoFundMe to replace all of his Hufflepuff memorabilia and help him pay for the divorce from his mudblood wife.

Local Drummer Offers Free Performance for Neighbors Each Night

Every night is like Coachella for the residents of Humboldt Street. At 8 PM, when families are preparing for bed after busy days, sixteen-year-old Chris Ulrich steps into his parents’ garage, grabs his drumsticks, and performs on the drum-set his uncle bought him for his birthday two months for one, sometimes two, hours.

Unlike many other musicians, Ulrich does not perform cover pieces nor does he even write music. Instead, he embraces the rhythm beating in his heart and amplifies it through his drums. The most amazing part about this teenage prodigy? Ulrich has never had a day of musical training. This lack of formality gives his performances a raw, unconfined sound that does not conform to any genre but instead is best identified as a post-modern improvisation of modern music.

Although some of his neighbors expected the boy to neglect his musical career once school resumed, most have now accepted that Ulrich is committed to the craft and will continue to perform his neighbors every night.

Neither Ulrich nor his parents could not be reached for comment.

Lana del Rey Faces Pressure to Cancel US Tour Amidst Human Rights Violations

After receiving criticism for her decision to perform in Israel, pop singer Lana del Rey has found herself in the midst of another controversy as pressure increases for her not only to cancel her performances in Israel, but also in the United States of America.

Citing numerous violations of human rights by the United States of America due to their zero-tolerance immigration policy that have separated immigrant families, many of whom have yet to be reunited, and unlawfully imprisoned them in cages, critics have urged performers to show solidarity to the America’s victims and cancel performances in the country. “If you perform in a nation that violates human rights such as Israel, China, Russia, or America, you are showing your support for that nation’s actions,” political expert John Graham told the Bard. “You enable them to continue their human rights violations.”

While the singer reaffirmed her commitment to performing in Israel on Instagram, adding that she would also visit Palestine during her trip, she has yet to respond to the call not to perform in the United States. Many artists have already canceled performances in Israel as well as America. Tours on entire continents, including Europe and North America with the exception of Canada, have been dropped to show solidarity for the marginalized and oppressed in those regions.

In spite of the political controversy of performing in an oppressive region, Lana del Rey’s tour dates remain sold out, confirming that all Americans adore and fully support their current administration.

Franchise Fatigue to Blame for Poor Box Office Sales

HOLLYWOOD, CA—After the latest Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, severely underperformed and is expected to end its box office run with a loss of at least $80 million, movie companies are trying to determine the cause of the recent batch of movies that have failed to attract audiences. Some are speculating that moviegoers are experiencing a “Star Wars movie fatigue.”

“When Star Wars: The Force Awakens made two billion dollars, we expected that future movies would enjoy similar success,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Disney’s Lucasfilms. “However, we are discovering that movies made by committees that lack imagination and appeal to the lowest common denominator of audiences and rely solely on the strength of the brand are not drawing in the public as much as before.” When asked if Disney has a plan to deal with the recent Star Wars fatigue, Kennedy stated, “We have a Boba Fett movie in the works right now. He’s pretty popular, almost as popular as Han Solo, so that should be a much bigger success.”

Marvel Studios, also owned by Disney, has avoided this fatigue by spreading out the release of its movies: Ant-Man and the Wasp was released a whopping two months after the last Marvel movie, Avengers: Infinity War, which finally arrived after three months from Black Panther. However, analysts are sure that Marvel will suffer in the box office from a similar movie fatigue sometime in the next decade.

Other studios have suffered from similar fatigues. Last November, Warner Bros.’ Justice League failed to reach the success of even the divisive Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which Warner Bros. promised would ape Marvel Studios films even more blatantly and half-assedly than previous attempts. All of Sony’s and Paramount’s have also suffered from fatigues of their respective brands, including popular ones such as Ghostbusters.

“The problem with Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, was that a few decades between movies was just not enough time for the audience to rest and be ready for the next one,” said Paul Feig, director of Ghostbusters. “People do not have time in their busy schedules to watch three movies in thirty years.” Despite suffering from fatigue of most of their franchises, Sony is optimistic that their next movie, The Emoji Movie 2, will be a success now that people are no longer suffering from Emoji Movie fatigue.

Local Christian Discovers God Exactly Like Him

LATHROP, CA—Good news for Lathrop resident Brett Graham: After a summer church retreat in Pinecrest, Graham discovered that God is perfectly pleased with the way he lives his life. Not only does God have zero objection to the many activities in which Graham participates, but God agrees with him on every subject, no matter how miniscule. It turns out that while God is also a huge Star Wars fan, he too agreed with Graham that the last two movies were disappointing.

Many at Graham’s local church were skeptical of his revelation, which included the fact that God prefers blondes like Graham’s new girlfriend to brunettes like Graham’s ex-girlfriend, but he erased all doubt when he shared his testimony the following Sunday. “While many have misinterpret coincidences in life as messages from God, what sets Graham apart is that he had a hunch that the signs he witnessed were real. His description of God, from his taste in music to his political affiliations, also conforms with what we know to be the true biblical nature of God,” said senior pastor Kevin White.

While Graham’s church has come to support him, other local churches argue that Graham’s revelations were heretic as members of their own congregations have experienced the true nature of God, some of which depict God as more of a fan of Lord of the Rings.

New Twitter Feature Makes Weaponizing Tweets Easier Than Ever

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—While Twitter struggles to maintain marketshare in the battle of social networks, the company may have found its killer feature: Whistleblower. As a response to the recent headlines of Twitter becoming the new weapon of choice for political groups, the social network has announced that using its service to pressure companies to fire political dissidents will be easier than ever.

“Thanks to our new algorithms and partnerships, finding the perfect tweet to use against your political opponents is as simple as using our search engine,” Jack Dorsey, president of Twitter, told the Bard. “Whereas the search engine previously required users to search for specific words in tweets, you can now simply search their tweets based on what crime you want to accuse them of. Our algorithm will then not only produce the tweets most likely to cause the most damage but will also show any tweets they have liked or retweeted that could also be used against them.”

What really makes Whistleblower effective though is Twitter’s partnerships with hundreds of media companies. By clicking the Whistleblower icon on a tweet, not only will the tweet be sent to dozens of media sites, but if the corporation that employs the targeted Twitter user is one of Twitter’s partners, the tweets will also be sent directly to their HR departments.

Some critics have argued that the new feature will create a more toxic community, but others have pointed out that gamifying the social network will make it a more exciting and dynamic place. “Battle royal games are very popular these days, but what is more fun than destroying somebody in a video game?” said strategic analyst Kevin Thompson. “Destroying somebody in real life.”

Although these are exciting changes for the social network, Twitter stresses that the service is still in beta and only select users of select political affiliations have access to it right now, but they hope to have the service ready for the general public by next year provided that everybody has not been driven off by then.

Production on Sonic the Hedghog movie gears up

HOLLYWOOD, CA—After many quiet years, fans all over the world can now rejoice: production on the Sonic the Hedgehog movie has finally begun! The hotly anticipated movie is expected to arrive in 2019 and will take the world by storm as thousands of fans of the acclaimed SEGA mascot will now get to see him as they always dreamed: in a live-action film full of human characters.

After bouncing around multiple studios, the movie found itself at Paramount, known for such hit franchises as Transformers and the new monster cinematic universe, the first of which was The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. Sonic the Hedgehog may prove to be the last piece of this trifecta in Paramount’s winning strategy as Sonic the Hedgehog is still a popular character in spite of SEGA’s many assassination attempts. Though video game movies are often derided as terrible, that will probably not be the case for Sonic the Hedgehog, which is said to be an action comedy. Ask about the hedgehog anywhere around the internet, and you are sure to get tons of laughs.

It is not known which of Sonic’s many other friends will make it into the movie, but at the very least, we can expect Dr. Eggman will make it. Sonic will also have a human sidekick played by Westworld’s James Marsden, who was recently confirmed to play a cop that befriends the hedgehog. Other questions, such as whether Sonic will have a human girlfriend or if he will use guns, are still unanswered, but the movie’s PG-13 rating suggests both to be a possibility.

Unfortunately we have to wait at least another year before the movie arrives. 2019 can’t come fast enough!

Warner Bros. Hard at Work Ruining Aquaman and Shazam

SAN DIEGO, CA—After the positive reception the trailers of Shazam and Aquaman received from Comic-Con patrons, executives at Warner Bros. have announced that they are already at work at ruining the two films in time for release.

“While Wonder Woman unfortunately escaped our micromanagement, we are already hard at work at ensuring the directors of both movies make massive changes to the movie in response to the reception of focus groups consisting of people who know even less about DC characters than we do,” said Bill Pickman, one of Warner Bros.’ faceless and powerful executives. When asked why they continue to meddle with the movies when the main criticism aimed at them is the obvious executive meddling, Pickman responded, “With the changes we are demanding, such as expensive comedic reshoots for Aquaman and advertising future movies in development in Shazam, we are ensuring that the Worlds of DC remain a viable and profitable venture.” When it was pointed out that the last movie, Justice League, underperformed severely even with all the changes Pickman and his fellow executives demanded, he shrugged his shoulders.

While the movies are already said to be complete, Pickman promised that after a few months of reshoots and edits, both movies will feel overstuffed without being fleshed out, and sparse but still outdrawn. It is a feat the executives are almost close to perfecting, Pickman stated.

Local Church No Longer Openly Supports Trump Administration

RIPON, CA—In a move that may signal a political shift in the religious community, Kingdom Valley Church has announced that it no longer explicitly supports current direction of President Trump’s administration.

“While we will continue to vote exclusively Republican and have every intention to see Trump reelected in 2020, we want the world to know that we no longer openly stand behind his controversial policies,” Matt Sagan, senior pastor of Kingdom Valley Church, told the Bard. “President Trump may be a godsend against the likes of Hilary Clinton, but his administration’s action of separating children from their parents has proven unpopular even among some of our congregation. As such, we have decided not only to cease gloating about our political victories so openly and to half-heartedly admonish the president for actions that do not bother us but apparently bother many others.”

Elders of the church hope that their move away from politics will not only entice those who recently left the church to return, but to also draw business to their new coffeehouse that promises to have the high-quality coffee you’d expect from Starbucks but with a Christian twist. “We print Bible verses on the bottoms of the cups,” Sagan said.

Other churches are following in Kingdom Valley’s footsteps. “If our coffers demand that we bite our tongues when it comes to jokes about the unattractiveness of Trump’s accusers during our sermons, then so be it,” said an anonymous source from a competing church. “We can save them for our men’s retreats.”

Local Movie Slightly Underperforms

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story was reported to have slightly underperformed during its cinematic run with a small loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. Although preliminary forecasts suggested that the movie could exceed a billion dollars as the last three Star Wars movies had, Solo was unable to reach even half that amount in ticket sales and is not expected to do much more now that much better movies such as Unfriended: Dark Web and Teen Titans Go! to the Movies are now in theaters.
“Although ticket sales were not as high as we had hoped,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, told the Bard,“we believe this movie has done well and Lucasfilm will continue with our plan to release origin movies of other tertiary characters in the Star Wars universe, including Greedo and the opera singer from The Last Jedi.”
Despite its muted performance, few are blaming the quality of the movie itself. Professional critics believe that fans are suffering from Star Wars fatigue because of the amount of amazing Star Wars movies coming out in such a short amount of time. “Four Star Wars movies have come out in the last three years,” Chip Robertson, top critic of Rotten Tomatoes, said. “That’s literally unheard of. Name one other franchise that has released movies annually and maintained unprecedented success.” Others are blaming the fact that Mercury is in retrograde. Either way, the film’s quality is not in question and neither is Kathleen Kennedy’s flawless performance as president of Lucasfilm.
The next Star Wars movie, Jar Jar: A Star Wars Story, has been delayed as it undergoes hasty edits and expensive reshoots that will surely help it exceed a billion dollars in box office sales.