“I’m probably much more influenced by film-makers and painters than I am by other songwriters or poets. … With songs I almost see the images, see the action, and then all I have to do is describe it. It’s almost like watching a scene from a film, and that’s what I go about trying to catch in a song.”—Considering this is exactly how I react to music–putting it into a visual context so I can grasp it–it makes perfect sense this is why PJ Harvey is one of my oldest favorites. This Guardian interview with her is delicious.
“Writers spend all their time preoccupied with just the things that their fellow men and women spend their time trying to avoid thinking about. … It takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause—to look at them and make something of them.”—Harry Crews
So I recently fulfilled a very long-time goal of mine by jump-starting an initiative to encourage women in programming and web development - Girl Develop It Columbus. I’m working on a much more long-winded treatise on that goal, but, in the meantime, I wanted to record an experience I had at our Friday night mixer, which got together the group’s future students, teachers and supporters to talk and share ideas.
My night was pretty much made by meeting an older woman who is signed up for both our introduction to programming and introduction to HTML/CSS classes. She was so excited for the opportunity to learn and was so grateful for an environment that encouraged people like her to learn. She told me she’s wanted to be a developer for twenty years. She’s spent most of her career in tech-adjacent fields and has been constantly talked-down to, belittled and dismissed as someone who can’t handle technical things. Now, she feels she has a solid opportunity to prove them all wrong.
We haven’t even officially started yet and already I feel like it’s worth it. I can’t wait to see what all of these amazing people accomplish.
Why do guys who are outspoken advocates for any number of causes keep their mouths shut so often when it comes to feminism?
I don’t know, but I have a guess, and it starts with that word: Feminism. Because it’s cool and all, and we’re for it and not against it, but it’s also weird to identify with a movement that is — right there in the name — woman-centric. Even if the end result would help men as much as it would help women, the fact that the movement identifies itself as woman-oriented makes guys uncomfortable. If it’s for everybody, can’t we call it something dudelier?
I don’t have much in the way of answers, but I do have this: for me, talking and writing about feminism, and using that scary word to do it, is part of the change that I want to see. If you call your movement for general equality “feminism,” that means that you’re overcoming the impulse that says that women are inherently marginal — it’s hard for a movement called feminism to be totally dominated by dudes, at the very least, and that much is a good start toward creating a better world for all of us.
For Batman, the victory is in the preparation, and over time, that’s become one of the aspects that defines Batman as a character, and in a broader sense defined his literary ancestors like Sherlock Holmes, who always had the piece of knowledge and the skill at observation to solve whatever problem presents itself.
It also leads to one of the most frequent misreadings of Batman, especially with regards to Mark Waid and Howard Porter’s Tower of Babel storyline, where Batman is revealed to have been keeping files on how to take down the rest of the JLA. That’s not Batman being a jerk, and it’s not even really Batman figuring out how to take out his friends if he needs to. That’s Batman being a character who lives in a world where having to fight off an evil version of the JLA from another dimension or a worm from space who can control minds or a disembodied spirit that can possess Superman is a very real problem that happens about once every three months, and having to figure out a way to deal with it. It’s dedication to the necessity of staying a step ahead of evil no matter what form it takes.
”—Surprisingly, this treatise on who would win in a fight–Batman or Harry Potter–actually hits on a rather serious reason Batman is worthwhile hero. You now, in a real mythical type of way. I dig it. Use its lesson in your own life. In case you ever encounter a worm from space who can control minds.
A composition book with her name printed in proud kindergarten script on the front. She fills it with sentences about her day or pictures of her life. She usually picks a favorite person to write or draw about, and he’s still apparently one of her favorite people.
She asks me who is a grown-up that I love. You know, there aren’t many of them left at this point. Maybe none, really.
She suggests his name. I’m particular about being honest with her. “Yes,” I say, “but he doesn’t love me, so it doesn’t matter anymore.”
She thinks about this a moment. “Why doesn’t he love you anymore?” she asks.
Honesty again. “I don’t know.”
There’s another moment of thought. “But it’s okay,” she determines. She learned that from me. Then she moves on to reading a book (which can do all by herself now, except for asking me certain words). I hope she doesn’t think saying it’s okay is a way to dismiss it, or that the truth is not something to be talked about, even if it hurts. I don’t think that’s a good way to go about life.
We’ve had similar conversations before, and I’ve noticed recently that she’s started telling me that she will love me forever and I’ll always be with her, right? Fortunately, for both of us, in one way or another, that’s the truth.