Monthly Archives: January 2012


“But the highest goal of science fiction is to tell us the truth about ourselves. We find it in every sci-fi work that ever tried to say: “This is how it is. Don’t pretend, don’t turn away, don’t lie. This is who you are. This is what we are.” Seeking truth is the strongest and bravest course, the hardest fiction to write, the most difficult to fall in love with, because it holds an honest mirror to humanity. We never want to look that clearly at our own reflections. Is that a blemish coming on? Does this dress make me look like the privileged product of a globally exploitative oligarchy? Why, yes, actually, it does. Turn that mirror to face the wall.”

–Maggie Burns. “Mars Need Women: How a Dress, a Cake, and a Goofy Hat Will Save Science Fiction.” Serenity Found. Ed. Jane Espenson. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2007. 15-24. Quote on page 16.


“Any new writer on a Joss Whedon show learns early on that the way not to sell Joss on an idea for an episode of television is to try to sell him on a cool monster, a cool visual, or a cool moment. There always has to be a real reason to tell the story. There has to be a truth exposed through the story. Either a truth about the world, or a truth about a character. Or, ideally, both. Joss’s take on gender, the nature of heroism, and the role of religion cannot be separated from the ways he writes his people. This insistence on having a reason to tell the story means that Joss’s stories are striving in a very real way to communicate content beyond just a steam of well-imagined fictional events. They set out to do more than simply keep the audience tuned in through the commercial breaks.”

–Jane Espenson. “Introduction.” Serenity Found. Ed. Jane Espenson. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2007, 1-4. Quote on page 3.


“Nationally, 1.6 million U.S. children lived in homeless shelters, motels, with relatives or other families or living on the street in 2010 — a 38 percent increase since 2007, according to the center [The National Center on Family Homelessness].

The large number of homeless students presents a particular challenge to school districts.

In addition to emotional and health problems, homeless students are more likely to go hungry and are four times more likely to show delayed development, the center says. They have twice the rate of learning disabilities as non-homeless children and the vast majority of them lack proficiency in math and reading. At CPS [Chicago Public Schools], 98 percent of homeless students are members of minority groups.”

–Adeshina Emmanuel. “Number of Homeless Students Surge, Putting Strain on Schools.” Chicago Sun-Times. Jan. 6, 2012. Web.


“Then there’s the devotion to the content of a work, putting craft entirely in the service of its subject. The belief that if the power of the stories and the characters come through, then nothing else matters. The willingness to tell stories so seamlessly that the teller of the story all but vanishes in the telling.”

–Scott McCloud. Making Comics. New York: HarperCollins, 2006. Quote on page 230.


“The clock struck the tenth hour of the evening watch. As the next long hour passed, I found myself touching things–a chair, the bookshelf, the annoying clock–just to make sure that the entire world hadn’t vanished with her.”

–Carol Berg. The Daemon Prism. New York: Roc, 2012. Quote on page 21.


“Congratulations on choosing to wear the World’s most leading brand of off road running shoes.”

–Bottom of inov-8 F-Lite 311 shoe box.


“Theodore Roosevelt was the perfect subject for the cartoonists’ art. One is tempted to say that if TR, in all his distinctive glory, had not come along, American culture would have had to invent him. Presidents were boring before Theodore Roosevelt, and boring after him; life, as many said after he died, seemed emptier without him.”

–Rick Marschall. Bully! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2011. Quote on page 4.


“Stiff shoulders mean a blocked spirit.”

–Shigeru Mizuki. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths. Trans. Jocelyne Allen. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2011. Quote on page 313.


“In the case of the [University of California] regents, you have millionaires and billionaires using their political connections to shape markets and reap personal gain. Thus it should be no surprise when the regents are virtually silent when the university uses violence to stop protests. The wealthy always rely on state-sanctioned violence to impose austerity measures and protect their corporate welfare.”

–Bob Samuels. “Connecting the Dots to Expose the 1 Percent Governing UC.” California Teacher Nov./Dec. 2011: 15.


“Teachers do need and deserve a living wage. Like everyone else, teachers need enough to take care of a family, to be able to live in the same neighborhood as his or her workplace–if they so choose–to maintain good health, to get from here to there, and to live out a reasonably decent life after 30 or more years of teaching. The good teacher can’t teach better if offered a carrot or threatened with the stick. These might do for a horse or an ass, but a teacher is neither.”

–Maurice Englander. “10 More Maxims for Teachers.” California Teacher Nov./Dec. 2011: 10.