Thursday various

Rainy Wednesday

A normal, if rainy, middle-of-the-week, middle-of-the-road kind of day. It was broken up only by a surprisingly really informative presentation about the higher education model in the United Kingdom. (Short version: it’s very different from the model here in the U.S., both from a student’s and a bookseller’s perspective.)

Tuesday various

  • Wonder Woman: Who Needs A Father Figure?

    The issue goes to the very heart of Wonder Woman’s character and the nature of her message. Diana has been presented as an Amazon, beholden to no man from birth and therefore unbound from the question of patriarchal control. Though she has often worked for (with?) the gods in the stories — even joined them temporarily as the goddess of truth — Wonder Woman is presented as a woman of her own identity independent of boyfriend, husband, or father figure. Despite years of the old ’will she/won’t she’ with male characters like Steve Trevor, Superman, Nemesis and even Batman, Wonder Woman has remained a woman devoid of close male ties outside of friendship. She has provided readers with a portrayal of a woman outside of the boundaries of the patriarchy that she speaks out against. By including a male parent with as powerful a hand and presence as Zeus — not to mention with such a history of philandering — the story has shifted to add a new familial dynamic and a new, powerful patriarch to Diana’s life.

    I don’t have any great familiarity with the character, although I read (and was a little confused by) the first issue of the new reboot. But I’m not sure boiling everything down to daddy issues is really the best way to go. It seems like they’re grafting Clash of the Titans onto the mythos, and that’s not good for anybody.

  • More on fixing comics’ “women problem”: Female Super-Hero Characters and Sex: Creators Explain How Comics Can Do Better. I think Kieron Gillen says it well:

    If you treat your characters as objects instead of characters you are, by definition, objectifying them, and if you constantly objectify your female characters you come across as sexist. [via]

  • Global warming was all fun and games, but now it’s affecting peanut butter and chocolate, and it’s serious. [via]
  • Starbucks concerned world coffee supply is threatened by climate change. It’s possible the world’s ecological problems will only be solved when it’s in industry’s best interests to do so. [via]
  • And finally, The Electronic Publishing Bingo Card

Monday various

  • Wow, Marvel sounds like a lousy place to work:

    It gets downright messy. Marvel’s new offices have only one restroom for each gender. In a company of hundreds of people. The post-lunch hour piddle line is said to be especially long and people actually stagger their lunches so as not to wait in it. There’s a human resources staff of one for the whole company. Review copies? You’ve got to be kidding. Editors have to purchase copies of the books they worked on. The precious archives of assets have dwindled over the years due to not spending any money to save them.

  • Mark Bittman on why the demise (well, okay, just bankruptcy for now) of Friendly’s might not be such a bad thing. I have some fond memories of the chain, more for the ice cream than the food — and certainly not the ambiance or service — but I’m also not going to pretend like this is necessarily bad news.
  • Emma to Charles Darwin. He nickname for him is…um…
  • Noel Murray defends the Matrix sequels. I’m not sure I’m completely convinced, but he makes a very persuasive argument.
  • And finally, how many books on are written by robots? More than you might think. [via]

Monday various