A show that’s been in the background of my life for almost a decade, oh man. I remember when it first came into my life via Tumblr, there were constant gifs of it and people singing its praises relentlessly. I thought it sounded worth a watch and turns out I was very right.
It’s sad to see it end. But it got a great wrap-up where everyone got to say and do exactly what they needed, AND we finally got to see that dang tattoo. So long, show. Forever a 99/10.
Pleasure Island at Cleethorpes has been closed since 2016, a fact that depresses me slightly since I loved it as a kid. So while in the area last week me and Dave stopped and took some pictures of its ruins.
Don’t worry, we didn’t actually go in! It’s covered in barbed wire, more bafflingly there’s a trench built all the way around it, and there’s a security dog too.
There he is!
So we just got as close to the fence as possible and stuck the camera through increasingly tricky gaps.
Here’s the fairytale-like entrance to the park, not such a fairytale anymore.
Broken things everywhere.
Some castles left to rot behind barbed wire.
Who even smashed these windows?
The remains of one of the rides I remember best from Pleasure Island, the water side. It used to stand a bit taller.
A few misc buildings round the back, and a warning message.
RIP, Pleasure Island. Here it is in happier times.
We spent last week doing that adult rite of passage, visiting relatives who are in care homes thanks to physical ailments (hopefully curable) and mental ailments (not at all curable, sigh.) It involved going back to a place I very much associate with childhood (my grandmother’s house in Cleethorpes) which kind of simultaneously made it better and worse.
Getting into the care home to visit requires a covid test every day, so you can imagine how delightful it was to see this lot protesting in a Cleethorpes park.
Anti-vaxxers aside, it wasn’t a bad trip or anything! We got to wander around some of my childhood haunts and take pictures! But it was strange. So very strange.
Man. I knew as soon as it didn’t get renewed that that was it, the writing was on the wall. I’m so bitterly disappointed but I’m used to that with TV shows now. Sorry, Olan. I hope you get another shot at telling this story one day, somehow.
Honestly I feel I have little to say about 9/11 that hasn’t already been said by much smarter people. And that may be for the best, I guess?
So I’ll share a photo instead. This is one my dad took when he was in New York in 1997. It’s strange because to me it always looked like a 9/11 photo, like the ones burned into my brain since age 13, except the towers are still standing. And the flag was already at half-mast.
So the infamous Spider-Man story Sins Past is about to be retconned, according to some leaks that have just come out about the end of Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man run. I’m… not looking forward to it. (You’re bound to hear all about it on harryosborn.net.) For a start I suspect it’s not going to deal with the actual sin.
In the years after Sins Past came out there was so much complaining about how the story “ruined” or “tainted” Gwen. But let’s look at what she actually does in the story, shall we? Not much, because the story doesn’t seem nearly as interested in her as it is in her uterus, but-
Gwen finds herself attracted to Norman after he (during one of his spates of non-villainy) helps rescue her and her dad. Okay, fair enough. Gwen actually wasn’t technically Peter’s girlfriend at the time, and even when she was it didn’t seem completely exclusive, since Harry and MJ were in the mix there too. So she was really free to pursue whoever she wanted. Norman is, uh, an odd choice but his design was based on Tommy Lee Jones around this time and I’m sure Tommy Lee Jones had his share of female admirers, so whatever.
Now let’s look at what Norman does in the story!
He has a girl young enough to be his daughter turn up at his house and fawn over him. Norman must have known Gwen as a teenager at least a little, surely, since she and Harry were close friends since high school. He must have some idea of her personality, that her mother was dead and she was devoted to her father. And then…
What exactly passed between them to make them instantly fall into bed together? We don’t know, but we do know that it’s heavily implied this is the first time Gwen had sex with anyone–
-that Norman wielded quite a lot of power and influence at the time, even without bringing his superhero alter-ego into things-
-and that, this is rather crucial I always thought, they didn’t use protection! That’s where the twins came from!
Does any of this sound like a regular “affair”? No! You know what a decent man does if a girl so much younger makes a pass at him? He SAYS NO!
But that’s not what happened. Gwen soon found out what sort of man Norman was and found herself pregnant. (You’ve got to wonder if she considered getting an abortion, but the story isn’t interested in that.) She gave birth to the twins and then Norman murdered her. The Death of Gwen Stacy was written long before Sins Past came out but one thing SP didn’t retcon was that Gwen meant less than nothing to Norman.
Oh, and eventually he then proceeded to creepily hit on her alternate self too.
….Where there was an even bigger age gap, I’m assuming.
Long story short, Norman is a misogynist who took advantage of a younger woman, and Sins Past justnever really acknowledges it. The Gwen/Norman encounter is treated like a regular affair, albeit one where superpowered sperm is involved (ugh) but it wasn’t. Yes it wasbetween two consenting adults, but oh god the power dynamics. It’s a story that plays out time and time again in real life and yep, always ends badly for the woman.
Gwen was Norman’s victim in all of this but was treated like his collaborator. That’s the real sin of Sins Past.