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One of the Many Reasons I Love the Humanities

May 8, 2007
In the May 7, 2007 edition of The New Yorker (by the way, you capitalist greedy pigs at The New Yorker, why in the hell would I renew my subscription as a “professional subscriber” for $49.95 a year, 47 issues, when each issue I receive is loaded with subscription cards offering 47 issues for $47. Is this how you treat loyal readers, return customers? Why treat me as if I am stupid or just willing to throw my money at you just because? Assholes. You should be giving me a better deal because I am a returning customer. Ask Oprah how it worked out for her. Her republican pandering disguised as pseudo-self help was so not renewed after the charter year because of this same extending a great deal to our valuable readers crap. Mendacity, -thy creed of capitalists!) there is a cartoon of “Melinda Lopez as a mistreated statue of Demeter in Noah Haidle’s play ‘Persephone.’”

The cartoon accompanies a theatre review by John Lahr of the comedy “Persephone” by the playwright Noah Haidle, currently being performed at Calderwood Pavilion, in Boston. The review, nor the play is of any interest to me, for one, I do not particularly care to see the Demeter and Persephone myth as a comedy. The very thought is bordering on desecration. And two, I know if I think about it hard enough I will get too angry, because I know somehow it will illustrate how men, Nicholas Martin (the director) and Noah Haidle (the writer) once again manage in some way to subvert any form of pre-patriarchal female existence and instead appropriate this mother and daughter story for a tale most advantageous for the patriarchal agenda, including a homosexual one. Perhaps that is an unfair bias on my part, if so, so be it. There is enough proof between Hesiod and Haidle to trust the odds.However, if you do want to read a review you can do so here, here, here, and here.

Anyway, when I first saw the cartoon (Lahr’s?) of Demeter I immediately thought of Gillian Anderson’s Lady Dedlock in Bleak House. I rushed to my Bleak House DVD cover to compare the two. The New Yorker’s cartoon Demeter varies somewhat, mostly it has her looking older than Anderson’s Dedlock. Nevertheless, they were close enough that my mind started racing about possible topics I could write about, mainly comparing the cartoon in some way with the character Lady Dedlock. To make sure my thesis would hold up I needed to find a picture of Melinda Lopez as Demeter, which I did here, and I must surrender that my idea is a bust. However, my wheels continued to turn until I reached a more suitable comparison and that is Charles Dickens’s Bleak House protagonist Lady Dedlock and her daughter Esther Summerson’s story can be argued as being closely similar to the Demeter and Persephone myth.

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