Facts about the number 34

-It is the atomic number of selenium

-It is the ninth Fibonacci number

-It is the age at which Hollywood icon Jayne Mansfield died in a car accident (the reason Mansfield bars were invented)

-It is the ninth distinct semiprime (nope, I don’t know what that means)

-It is the name of a song by the Dave Matthews Band

-It is the number of the rule stating that the internet contains pornography of every conceivable topic

-It is the age I turn today!

A lesson

Me in 2005, looking at pictures of myself in 2000: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2010, looking at pictures of myself in 2005: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2017, looking at pictures of myself in 2010: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2022, looking at pictures of myself in 2017: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now…

absolute unit

It was a beautiful day today, probably one of the best since the year began, so we stayed inside and built this huge and fabulous entertainment unit.

Totally tetris’d the bottom part with various Funko pops to hide the huge mess of wires behind it.

(no idea what to put on that empty shelf beyond ‘something that will hide the rest of the wires’)

We spent the rest of the day sorting out a big box of comics that has laid untouched for several years now. AND WHAT DID I FIND BUT:

A near-immaculate copy of Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #14, featuring an excellent Green Goblin story I wrote about on harryosborn.net not so long ago while having NO IDEA one of the original prints was sitting in the same house as me!

So ur, weirdly productive/surprising day?

RIP, The Baby-Sitter’s Club

100% score on Rotten Tomatoes but I guess that just wasn’t good enough for some people. At least it went out on a high and told some excellent stories along the way. (Still not over how well Janine’s character development was done.) Honestly? It was better than the books.

A tremendous grudge against Netflix’s cancel-happy execs has been forming for some time now and now I suspect it’s here to stay. They better not cancel Raising Dion next (although I strongly suspect they will.)

Death on Daytime

This expose of The Jeremy Kyle Show aired on Channel 4 yesterday. It made for difficult watching and invoked that all-too-common feeling of “Wait, this was happening in plain sight for ages and everyone just accepted it?” I never sought out the Jeremy Kyle Show but I always assumed from what I saw of it that everything was staged, not that people were being abused and belittled on a regular basis.

It sort of makes you wonder, which things that are currently commonplace are going to be seen as horrifying in a decade or so? I have a list. I hope I’m not doing any of them.

“Why did you say that name?!”

(spoilers for The Batman ahead)

I’m back from seeing The Batman and it’s a very good movie, absolutely deserving of all the hype. Excellent deconstruction of Bats and his supporting cast. But there’s one character I want to single out specifically…

As the founder of the Dead Fictional Mothers Club (it contains one member, me) I’ve always been quite interested in how Martha Wayne is used in Batman stories. I recollect the Nolan movies barely acknowledged her as anything other than an afterthought, and I admit it, I have quite a lot of goodwill towards Batman vs Superman and that scene simply because it didn’t do the same thing.

Now we have The Batman and Martha gets a new backstory, or I gather a mostly new one anyway: after witnessing a horrible tragedy as a child she suffered serious mental health issues and was sent to an institution. This information was used by a journalist to blackmail Thomas Wayne and it led to not only his and Martha’s deaths but also the various increasingly horrific things we see taking place throughout the movie. And I walked out of the theater thinking, “WAIT A MINUTE. Could a lot of this have potentially been prevented if a woman’s mental illness hadn’t been treated like a shameful thing?!”

Unfortunately the movie doesn’t go much into this, which is fair in many ways, it’s got a lot going on. But I do think – and bear in mind I’m not thrilled about the portrayal of the Riddler here either – that the Batman franchise in general has A LOT of heavy lifting to do when it comes to mental health stigma. So I really wish they’d taken the opportunity to delve into Martha’s backstory here. Hell, her thoughts, even. There’s lots of talk right now about potential Batman spinoffs, well, I want a Martha Wayne one.

By the way, that picture up there is seen for a couple of seconds in the film, but is also found on the secret tie-in website built for the movie. You can find it here! But I wonder what that image is meant to invoke when the audience sees it. Fear? Revulsion? I hope not.