How beautious mankind is . . .

. . . oh Brave New World that has such people in it.

The opening quote is spoken by Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Nobody doesn't like Miranda!

And what is there not to like?

Everybody loves a winner... And charismatic and atypical characters...

And men (or women) of power such as Prospero.

In The Sandman, it is Dream (the title character) who inspires William Shakespeare to write The Tempest, and it is presumed Prospero is based on Dream.

And, in truth, isn't the slow evolution of mankind out of the primordial muck made of "such stuff as dreams are made on"?

Haven't most of mankind's major evolutionary leaps in sciences (physics, mathematics, biology, medicine,...) and most major breakthroughs in the humanities (history, philosophy, arts,...) been the achievement of dreamers who dared defy conventions, who dared dream a bigger dream and believed a better world was possible? Very little remains static for long, nothing is written in stone, and contrarily to popular beliefs, not even (and probably least of all) in religion---by all accounts, Buddha and Christ were conventions shakers (the story has it that Gautama defied the cast system of Hinduism, and the bible makes it no secret that Jesus didn't get along well with the priests of his time. (Ever wondered what Jesus would make of the fundamentalist priests of our era?)

In fact, sometimes the stuff will manifest itself in some unexpected ways in a dream. Anecdotal evidences suggest that many major breakthroughs in science and the arts came up in dreams.

Sometimes it materializes as the stuff of nightmares.

Born out of insecurity and fear.

The stuff of bigotry.

Superstitions, greed, prejudices and intolerances.

Occasionally, there may come some dreamers who are aware that they are dreaming. They may control something of the dream-stuff, bending it to their will. They may be mighty for good or for ill, as we look upon them.

Ooo suuuper maaan.

Or is it the other way around, and is it the stuff dreaming the dreamers? The Spirit of the age?

It sometimes can happen that the dream is just too big for any "one" to carry.

It is something that everyone can relate to intuitively to one degree or another.

There is a reason why The Dark Knight was the second-highest domestic grossing film in November of 2008.

Superheroes in spandex do look kind of quaint, but, hey, don't laugh, they are the mythological Hercules and Achilles of our times.

Not to mention that super-hero vigilantism has its own dedicated cult following in the States.

Some people like Superman, others prefer Batman.

It says here that the Blogbat weblog "has been around since 2003 and has been quoted, published, and linked to by academic and news journals, such as The New York Times page on Georgia (Russia), Harvard Law School's Global Voices Online, Slate, etc. and that its author has also been invited by the Washington Post to participate in one of its online public fora dealing with Cuba and moderated by David Ignatius and Fareed Zakaria."

There is no accounting for the "intellectual prowess of the masses"

Which brings us to an old debate:

Who is the coolest super-dudette of them all? Batgirl or Supergirl?

Me? Oh, I fear I couldn't possibly be a fair judge in the matter.

I have my own bias.

A sure rule of thumbs might be W.W.V.D.

What Would Vampirella Do?


  1. One does not look often to Ohio newspapers for progressive inspiration. An exception is the Toledo Blade, a paper I check online everyday. Yesterday its editors put forward a clear, concise opinion piece that is a refreshing blast of oxygen in the emergency room of healthcare reform.

    Public betrayal?

    COMPROMISE is an essential element of politics, but supporters of President Obama’s vision for health-care reform now have reason to wonder whether his plan will be bled to a condition of futility and impotence one compromise at a time.

    This past weekend, the administration made clear that the President is prepared to jettison the “public option,” an alternative government insurance program similar to Medicare that would serve the nation’s millions of uninsured. Conservatives have cited it as a prime exhibit in their opposition to “socialized medicine.”

    But that suggests more trouble. The very fact that the single-payer system, which Mr. Obama once supported, was not seriously considered was itself a compromise to political realities born of the socialized medicine bugaboo. Where did that get Mr. Obama? Nowhere.

    Having been condemned as a socialist and Marxist for a plan that was neither, Mr. Obama is unlikely to catch a break from critics who are very much invested in the dysfunctional status quo and who see this as an opportunity to bring him to his political Waterloo, as Sen. Jim DeMint, (R., S.C.) has obligingly admitted.

    That a public option is so feared in some quarters is revealing; it subverts the notion that private enterprise is always more efficient than the government. If so, why do its critics fear its presence as an option? Maybe because, like Medicare, it will become the trusted support of millions.

    We the people vote for governments; we do not vote for private insurance companies, which under this compromise will be left on the field uncontested, despite having enriched themselves in helping bring the nation to its present sorry predicament, one where coverage is denied because of pre-existing conditions or canceled or too expensive for millions to afford.

    To fill the void left by the prospective abandonment of a public option, the administration is saying it would be open to consumer-owned, nonprofit co-operatives that could compete with private insurance companies. We won’t dismiss this suggestion out of hand, but we challenge the idea of any compromise at all.

    The Duke of Wellington stood his ground at Waterloo and took everything the enemy threw at him before advancing to victory. If he doesn’t want to be the Napoleon of health-care hopes, Mr. Obama has to find the fortitude to do the same. Despite the polls, millions of Americans are at his side, looking for that leadership.

    Also in yesterday's paper is a syndicated column by Froma Harrop on the death of her husband, presided over by the "death panels" that comprise the capitalist private insurance companies. They're so nice...until it's time to submit a claim.

  2. What's more, the Republicans have already indicated they won't support the co-op idea. So what's the use?

    They insist it is a stealth form of the public option, socialism in drag. Yes, they are "conservative" alright, clinging mightily to their Reaganesque orthodoxy claiming that "government is the problem." Never mind reality, logic, or even the facts.

    An excellent editorial.

    Now why isn't it blazing in that great neon sign in the sky, the one we all see, which infiltrates our national consciousness, which we go to sleep with and wake up to: that if the private sector is better than the public sector then it has nothing to fear from any public option. And that if the public option is better then it is for our good and benefit to make the swap. Because we are not here as potential patients and healthcare consumers merely to enrich the insurance companies.

    Jesus Christ what does it take?

  3. The President took to the airwaves all day yesterday, and I think went a long way to redeeming himself. I hardly ever watch television anymore, but I was spending a quiet day with my sister (as she recupes from a hip replacement) and watched the whole face-to-face session with progressives on C-Span yesterday afternoon. Krugman's still after him today though~~~

  4. I'm glad progressives are now in revolt, as Krugman says. And, yes, it should come as no surprise to the Obama administration.

    By being in revolt we bolster Obama's backbone. By politically letting him know he will lose his base if the administration gives away too much.

    But the truth is that at this moment they simply do not have the votes for the public option. And it's Democrats who are killing it.

    We are also enormously unlucky in that two Demos are in the hospital. And there's that law in Massachusetts which requires five months for a special election to replace a senator.

    And now this month long "vacation" in the Congress has created a vacuum. Since they're not "working" look what's filling it. Ye gods!!! Come back soon and break the suspense. Give us something solid regarding healthcare! No more hallucinations, fantasies, and lies!

    But cheer up! It's still too early for the post mortems. But the funereal atmosphere filling the vacuum reminds me a little of the fall of the Spanish Republic. Everyone on the Loyalist side began attacking everyone else on the same side blaming them for the loss. Truth was, though, the other side had more guns. There was nothing really they could have done.