“Probably one of the most disastrous side-effects for the long-term unemployed is the attendant anomie. By and large you begin living outside of society, outside of its rhythms, outside of its collective wisdom. Your futile job hunt begins to highlight the capriciousness with which punishments and rewards are doled out. Progressives pay lip service to the way marginal distinctions can grow into yawning inequalities, but I think in the end its something you can only comprehend fully through lived experience. Each job you are not hired for creates an ever growing gap on your resume and makes it all the more likely that you won’t be hired after your next interview. As these anxieties grow, you become more ambivalent about looking for work because you know that what you should be focused on isn’t searching for a job tomorrow, but erasing the job hunt from yesterday.”—
It would’ve taken a profound fool to have not learned from Katrina, but it was a right-wing presidency which abandoned New Orleans to watery graves, alligators, and people who are homeless more than five years after the fact.
However, President Obama’s FEMA Is being widely complimented for its handling of disasters, and the President went to FEMA himself before Irene to make sure things were proceeding properly. That’s leadership.
“The Democratic party is represented by the donkey… which is quite fitting, because a donkey also has no organizational skills and shits itself whenever it’s startled.”—The Correspondents Explain-The Democratic Party (via now-let-me-at-the-truth)
Though enslaved people primarily directed their aggression toward their adult owners, men and women, who were responsible for their state of bondage, others engaged in acts of self-mutilation as a means of publicly declaring ownership of their bodies and countering notions of their inhumanity. Aware of the value of their labor and physical bodies, some enslaved people displayed their refusal to be sold as chattel on the very site that embodied the essence of bondage. In one dramatic case, Cherokee freedwoman Nancy Rogers Bean described her aunt as a “mean, fighting woman. She was to be sold and when the bidding started she grabbed a hatchet, laid her hand on a log and chopped it off. Then she throwed the bleeding hand right in her master’s face.” Enslaved women, like Nancy Rogers Bean’s aunt, understood how the commodification of their bodies, especially their productive and reproductive capabilities, shaped and secured the socioeconomic structures in the Cherokee Nation and other slaveholding communities. As a result, such actions of self-mutilation, though physically painful for those who committed them, simultaneously hindered the ongoing sale of enslaved people and epitomized their reclamation of their own bodies in Indian Territory.
You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.
You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth.
Mariah Huehner is a comics writer and editor. She is badass, as evidenced by her appearance on the New York Times bestseller list. In July she wrote the below entry on her blog. I didn’t find it until by chance recently. In a nutshell, it’s a documentation of her experience at a past Comic…
Here’s the thing: I am sick and tired of super-heroes who aren’t super and aren’t heroes, but more, I’m sick and tired of Hollywood blaming us for their failures. I am sick and tired of hearing various Hollywood studio execs who are as disconnected from the reality of middle-American taste as Rick Perry is from Christianity excusing the poor performance of their ill-executed product by tacitly blaming you, me, and everyone else of us who didn’t pay to see their garbage. Catwoman fails? Instead of, perhaps, just perhaps, acknowledging that the movie is a piece of excrement unworthy of use as fertilizer, they conclude instead that a female lead can’t open a movie unless her name is Jolie. So now we’re not only guilty of not being willing to pay for 90 minutes of intellectual abuse, we’re all apparently sexist jerks, as well. The problem with Green Lantern’s performance at the box office is that it’s not “gritty” enough? I don’t think so.
I can think of no other industry where the consumer is made to bear the blame for the product’s failure as much as Hollywood. Seriously, let’s think that one through. The movie didn’t perform, therefore it’s our fault? You got food poisoning eating the fish they served and you paid for, it’s your fault? The brakes on your new car crapped out and you wrapped it around a tree, it’s your fault?
Here’s a crazy thought.
Maybe you made a bad movie.
Yo, DC Comics. Your comic books and your movies? Take note of this blog entry. It wasn’t that you needed a reboot. Your customers aren’t as wrong as you like to respond that we are. When the product isn’t selling, it might be time to consider that maybe you’re producing something unappealing. Maybe what you think will sell, isn’t what actually sells.
Marvel is kicking your ass in the box office. It isn’t the fault of your customers. We want good movies. I want so badly to have good DC films to go see. HOWEVER, the smart, new-audience-riendly, sincere, often heart-warming, and heroic movies are coming from Marvel.
Not to mention that movie GL’s costume looks like one of those Skinless Guy medical textbook illustrations. And that most Americans know him via Justice League Unlimited — John Stewart, not Hal Jordan. “Who’s that white guy? Why does he have hair?”
Look, I like gritty. I write gritty. There is a time and a place for gritty. I’ll take my Batman gritty, thank you, and I will acknowledge that such a portrayal means that my 11 year old has to wait before he sees The Dark Knight. But if Hollywood turns out a Superman movie that I can’t take him to? They’ve done something wrong. Superman is many, many things. Gritty he is not, something that Richard Donner certainly understood.
(Pet peeve time: for the contingent out there who sneer at heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman and Captain America, those icons who still, at their core, represent selfless sacrifice for the greater good, and who justify their contempt by saying, oh, it’s so unrealistic, no one would ever be so noble… grow up. Seriously. Cynicism is not maturity, do not mistake the one for the other. If you truly cannot accept a story where someone does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, that says far more about who you are than these characters.)
This is not an argument of era or audience sophistication. Sophistication does not negate sincerity, nor does it even deny it, as the Captain America movie proves. Sophistication demands better storytelling, clearer motivation, purer intention. “Gritty” is an apologist word in this sense, used in the place of “realism.” We don’t go to the movies for “realism.” This is why documentaries aren’t the major product in the theaters. Sophistication does not demand realism; it demands smart.