Join Us for a Feminist Friday discussion tomorrow at Part Time Monster.

I’m writing the Feminist Friday post at Part Time Monster this week. It will be short and personal. I’ll talk about some experiences dealing with a six-year-old who gets all kinds of crazy messages from the culture which it often falls to me to correct. I might mention television commercials and fast food restaurants.

Have a marvelous weekend, and stop by the Monster tomorrow!

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There’s a Drumming Noise Inside My Head That Starts When You’re Around – Florence & the Machine

I’ve recommended a few other bands so far in my series on music, like The Lumineers and The Black Keys. Both of those bands have a simpler sort of sound, from a folk origin like with the former, or from just being two musicians with the latter. So how about a different sort of band?

Florence & the Machine. It sounds even from the name like it’s a large thing. The sort of band where you might expect a song called Cosmic LoveTheirs can be both a large sound, and can focus in and be all about the haunting vocals of the lead singer, Florence Welch. Also, they have a harp.

Florence & the Machine

I thought I would share a bit of the fun of this band, and a few of their songs. The recent news is that they are working on a third studio album, but along with the first two, there are also deluxe editions and B-sides and live albums galore to choose from while you wait – plenty to check out!

Great Lyrics and Intensity

What the songs are about, the lyrics and images and ideas, are part of what is so great. Some songs are full of images, full of ideas and things we would understand. Full of love and emotion and feeling.

Florence_JohnSimm

Okay, and not Doctor Who references. Well, maybe… They are British…

I found that image a while ago on Tumblr, and lost the original provenance from where I found it, but it stuck with me. I love her intensity in the image used – it combines well with the lyrics and the song. I think intensity is a good word – thinking of songs like Kiss With a Fist or Girl With One Eye.

Along with strong images and intense songs, however, they also work with a lot of metaphorical and poetical language. I love it. And, as is fitting with the name of my series, I don’t understand it much at all.

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Mr. Freeze: The Most Sympathetic of Batman’s Villains

Good day, everyone! I hope your week is going well. For this week’s post, I want to focus on another Batman villain the way I did the Joker many weeks ago. This time, I want to look at Mr. Freeze, Batman’s most underrated and sympathetic opponent.

Mr. Freeze (originally named Dr. Victor Fries and called Mr. Zero) was created in 1959 by Bob Kane, David Wood, and Sheldon Moldoff. At first, he was a somewhat ridiculous, generic ice villain, of which there were several in the Silver Age (the Flash’s Captain Cold being another notable example). And Mr. Freeze remained an unremarkable sometime foe of Batman for decades, despite a slight bump in popularity during the Adam West years based in no small part by portrayals by such esteemed actors as Eli Wallach. That is, until the 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series entitled “Heart of Ice.”

The animated version of Mr. Freeze (voiced by the late, great Michael Ansara) was an entirely new take on the character defined by his sorrow and his quest for vengeance against the company that pulled funding on his studies to cure his wife (then in suspended animation) of an undisclosed terminal illness. The resulting seizure of his lab by its big businessman owner (Ferris Boyle of Gothcorp in some versions) ended with Victor Fries being bathed in a cryogenic formula that drastically lowered his body temperature and made it nearly impossible for him to survive exposure to even the mildest environment without the aid of an armored suit.

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