[links] Link salad wakes up without lifetime coverage limitations on its cancer treatment

Michael Jasper and I have collaborative story forthcoming in Black Gate — Mike has all the deets.

Rilke’s rejection letters — Snerk.

A hike around Jay Lake, WA — I really must go there when I’m back in health.

With an excellent essay on unproveability and assertions of the divine — As I recently said, simply because a religious tenet happens to be popular at this moment in civilization doesn’t privilege it over “turtles all the way down” or any other empirically unproveable hypothesis.

Hey guys! Yes, ladies, this means you — I’m one of those people in whose idiolect “guys” can refer to an entirely female group. (Nicked from Language Log.)

White Skin, Black Mask — A fascinating article from the Indian press about the history of The Phantom.

Too much tea party racism — Golly, an all-white angry conservative movement that reacts only to the financial excesses of a centrist black-led administration while never objecting to much worse behavior of the same kind on the part of prior white conservative presidents? No, can’t possibly racism. Not when they’re spitting on black Congressmen and using the N-word. Nope, no racism here. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: Do you miss lifetime coverage limitations? The free market sure will.

Writing time yesterday: n/a (sick)
Body movement: 30 minutes (sick, did it anyway)
Hours slept: 8.0 (moderate)
This morning’s weigh-in: 232.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (but still sick)
Currently reading: [between books]

One thought on “[links] Link salad wakes up without lifetime coverage limitations on its cancer treatment

  1. Cora says:

    Thanks for the link to the Phantom article.

    “The Ghost Who Walks” is indeed the rare case of an American creation (and one of the earliest superheroes, predating Superman by 2 years) which was more popular abroad than in his country of origin. I never knew about The Phantom’s popularity in India (and to be honest, I am a bit surprised, considering the setting and villains of the early stories), but I know he is very popular in Australia and many European countries.

    I found the Phantom as a young girl via a cartoon adaption and was fascinated to discover that there were comics devoted to my new hero. Of course, actually getting to read one would be difficult, as my parents believed that comic books were responsible for my cousins’ poor reading and writing skills (personally I suspect that comic books were the only thing that kept those skills from deteriorating further). Eventually, I bought a Phantom comics after all, snuck it home and hid it in the closet. And when my Mom finally found it, she didn’t even mind me reading it, because it turned out that she’d read Phantom comics herself and loved the character. My Dad also turned out to have owned a stack of Golden Age superhero comics as a teenager – courtesy of an American uncle – so they should really have known better about the comics harm literacy thing.

    I noticed the geographical confusion (Was the Skull Cave in India or Africa or somewhere else altogether?) early on, but then I was the weird kid who would look up story locations in an atlas only to be disappointed when half the time the location didn’t exist. I also recall wondering why the Phantom’s skin wasn’t darker, because certainly through the centuries some of his 20 predecessors would have found themselves a nice girl in the neighbourhood rather than travelling to the US or UK to meet their wives.

    Seeing the Phantom analyzed from a non-Western perspective is very interesting and I can sympathize with the author’s frustration on finding out from early Phantom stories that the Phantom was originally based in India and battling badly stereotyped Indian pirates (not a fan of the Singh Brotherhood myself – to me it always felt like watching the Phantom battle Sandokan, another of my childhood heroes). It’s the same frustration I just felt seeing a trailer for the new Doctor Who series only to find that there was yet another WWII story and yelling at my computer, “Oh please! Insult some other nationality for a change and leave mine alone.”

    I think this is a situation white mainstream Americans and Brits have problems understanding, because they’re not used to seeing people like themselves portrayed as villains or buffoons (or even worse, buffoonish villains), let alone seeing people like themselves portrayed that way 90 percent of the time.

    That said, IMO Lee Falk – in spite of being a product of his time with all its racial and ethnic biasses and prejudices – was actually better than many other adventure fiction writers of the same period. After all, Falk’s other comic strip, Mandrake the Magician, featured a black main character, Mandrake’s partner Lothar, from the very start in 1934. Of course, in the very beginning Lothar was drawn very much like a racial caricatures (early Mandrake strips make me cringe in that respect) complete with leopard fur outfit. But even back then, it was clear in the comic that Lothar was not Mandrake’s servant or subordinate (though other characters often assumed he was), but equal and friend and king of one of those African countries you can’t find on any map. Mandrake eventually also acquired a girlfriend of a shifting, vaguely oriental ethnic background (I think she’s been everything from Egyptian to Indian, but she’s definitely not white) and by the time I caught up with him, a Chinese adopted son. Meanwhile, Lee Falk addressed the questions “What if a Phantom only has daughters?” and “What if a Phantom happens to be gay?” (the Shakespearean Phantom mentioned in the article) in the 1970s, if not earlier. So while there is a lot of offensive stuff especially in the older strips, there’s also a lot that’s interesting.

    Sorry about the long comment, my inner fangirl ran away with me.

    PS: There is a popular author of Harlequin romances named Diana Palmer like the Phantom’s girlfriend/wife. I’ve always wondered if she chose that pen name on purpose.

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