When I reviewed Maya Angelou's most recent book in April of 2013, Mom & Me & Mom, I thought we still had more time with her. She still had so much to say. Unfortunately, Angelou passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina today. (I did a check in several places and I don't think this is an Internet hoax.)
Angelou will be remembered for many great things because she did many great things. But for most I think her literary works will live on forever. I have a short list of books I have read in my lifetime and will continue to re-read over and over again, and her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is at the top of that short list.
She gained acclaim for her first book, her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller. More Here.
The intensity of that book is impossible to describe. Unless you actually read it you'll never fully understand what I'm talking about.
CNN has listed most of her accomplishments in an abbreviated form.
In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in "The Blacks," an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
"I created myself," she has said. "I have taught myself so much."
Even though I was already a dedicated reader of Angelou's work, I gained a whole new respect for her in 2008 during the Democratic primary when she offered her support to Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama. This was at a time when everyone began to endorse Obama and it seemed like what all the cool kids on the proverbial block were doing. I admired Angelou's honesty and tenacity. And it wasn't just because I was supporting Hillary Clinton myself in that hugely contentious race. I liked what Angelou said about why she was supporting Clinton.
Angelou is steadfast in her loyalty to Clinton. She said recently: 'I made up my mind 15 years ago that if she ever ran for office I'd be on her wagon. My only difficulty with Senator Obama is that I believe in going out with who I went in with.'
Maya Angelou left a long list of inspiring quotes. This is one of my favorites.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Here's an article The Wall Street Journal did on Angelou's personal life in her later years, including a few photos of where she lived. This is what she said when she moved to North Carolina:
"I thought I was going to buy a nice little house," she says. "I'd wrap it around me in a poetic way, and I'd live a poetic existence. But then I thought, 'Wait a minute. If I moved from a 10-room house [in California] and into a three- or four-room house, then what am I telling myself? That I've been reduced?' I couldn't do that."
Now that's the kind of logic I understand, especially when Tony talks about "scaling back." Maya Angelou always seemed to be moving forward, not backward.
Edward Snowden Interview
Edward Snowden is talking now in the first interview he's done with a US TV network. One of the things he's saying is that he was a trained spy.
EDWARD SNOWDEN: "I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas - pretending to work in a job that I'm not." (Via NBC)
Evidently, NBC has spent months working on this interview in secret. The full one hour interview airs tonight on NBC.
You can read more here.
Gay Batman Interpretation
Batman is turning 75 years old and there's a highly entertaining gay interpretation out to celebrate what many have considered the gayest superhero of all time.
The ‘gay’ interpretation goes all the way back to 1954, when a psychiatrist claimed that the comic books were ‘homosexual fantasies’.
The 1995 feature film Batman Forever, and especially its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, both helmed by openly gay director Joel Schumacher, attracted attention for the homoerotic innuendos.
There is a list of comic photos and examples, and as far as I know all are real and this isn't actually a parody.
They're all funny, but I like this one the most.
Robin talking to Batman:
This is the first chance we've had to finish cataloguing these trophies since you returned! Gosh, Batman -- remember this leather thong? It still has your teeth marks in it!
I wonder how Ben Affleck feels about this. Here's an interesting piece titled, Ben Affleck's Batman is so sad, it's sad.
With the recent photo release of the new Batsuit and Batmobile, a superhero fan frenzy has exploded across the web in anticipation of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film. But extreme fans, like those of the Dave & Buster's Virginia Beach Instagram page (@dnbvabeach), noticed that Batman was looking a little sad. We think he was just having a bad day.
With the link above you can check out some photos that I think are, indeed, parody. I just don't get what they all have against Ben playing Batman.