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Posts tagged "Alison Bechdel"

The Week of April 14-20, 2013 (and then some)

This has been a trying week for me personally, as a Bostonian and otherwise. Thankfully, none of my friends or family have been injured or killed, and the greatest tangible impact the week’s events have had on me personally is the postponement of Boston Comic Con. I will miss the energy and community of that event that I feel we could all use right now, but it is a small price to pay for the public’s safety and the first steps towards achieving justice for the losses and chaos we have gone through. (ETA: Fun Fact: it is sheer coincidence I posted this a mere 5 minutes after he was captured. Didn’t even realize he had been until I scrolled through my dash some.)

But life goes on and comics do too! I’ve missed this feature for more weeks than I’ve actually done it, but I’m going to keep intending to do it and hopefully do it more.

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You may want to save this link for later because they’re having malware issues right now, but Comics Should Be Good at Comic Book Resources has revealed the audience-chosen Greatest Gail Simone Stories Ever Told! Basically all of Secret Six is there, but so are a few arcs of Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Welcome to Tranquility, and her still-uncollected Deadpool run (the Deadpool Classic series is about to catch up to it soon, though.) It’s a fun walk down memory lane and makes me want to reread all of them!

image Alison Bechdel's blockbuster memoir Fun Home has been adapted into a musical, which will debut in October at the Public Theater in New York City:

FUN HOME 
Music by Jeanine Tesori 
Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron 
Based on the Alison Bechdel book 
Directed by Sam Gold 
October 1 - November 3, 2013 

From four-time Tony Award-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Tony-nominee Lisa Kron (In The Wake,Well) comes a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Directed by Sam Gold, FUN HOME is a groundbreaking, world-premiere musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.

The musical was developed at the prestigious Sundance Institute’s Theater Lab last year.

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Posy Simmonds has reacted to last week’s passing of ex-UK Prime Minister Margaret “Iron Lady” Thatcher with a picture-book style fairytale called "King Ironsides" available over at The Guardian. It’s extremely amusing, even to an American who only really knows Thatcher’s legacy from Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady and whatever I picked up from the complaints of my LSE poli-sci student friends when I lived in London.

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The Paris Review visited Miriam Katin’s studio, where I learned for the first time that she was an animator on one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Daria. She also had this great anecdote about being the oldest person to work at MTV:

I get a phone call, and she says to me, this girl, “This is human resources. You’ve made a mistake on your birthdate.” And I say, “Oh, well, I always make mistakes. What did I do?” And she says, “Well, you wrote you were born in 1942.” I say, “Yes?” So she says, “I’m sure you meant 1982.” “No.” “1972?” “No.” Now she’s getting spooked. I mean, everyone around there is an infant. I say, “Look, let me make it easier for you, I was born in 1942, and I am still alive and working.” She was totally freaked out. It was a such a great story, MTV used it in training sessions.

Bonus Art Thing:

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You’ve probably seen Hanie Mohd's art nouveau superheroine ballgown pin-ups before. Now you can buy prints and tee-shirts from WeLoveFine.com!

Other Things I Do!

It’s a new season of Mad Men, which means it’s a new season of the Mad World Podcast! With Between the Panels and Geeks of Doom’s William Goodman and #Television editor Tahlia Hein, we discuss the latest episodes and you can listen to it! The usual podcast exhortions apply: Subscribe! Review!

Also, I finally caved and started a personalish Tumblr where I currently post sporadically about other pop culture things, but which will likely soon devolve (or evolve, depending on your perspective) into reblogs of cat gifs.

Market Monday
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, includes work by Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Jennifer Camper, Diane DiMassa, Kris Dresen, Leslie Ewing, Joyce Farmer, Ellen Forney, Isabel Franc, Leanne Franson, Roberta Gregory, Michelle Grubin, Joan Hilty, Gina Kamentsky, Lee Marrs, Susanna Martín, Carrie McNinch, Erika Moen, Annie Murphy, MariNaomi, Andrea Natalie, Trina Robbins, Roxxie, Joey Alison Sayers, Ariel Schrag, Christine Smith, and Mary Wings

Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.
No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, cross-over creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.
Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.
These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.

Preview at Amazon link

Market Monday

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, includes work by Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Jennifer Camper, Diane DiMassa, Kris Dresen, Leslie Ewing, Joyce Farmer, Ellen Forney, Isabel Franc, Leanne Franson, Roberta Gregory, Michelle Grubin, Joan Hilty, Gina Kamentsky, Lee Marrs, Susanna Martín, Carrie McNinch, Erika Moen, Annie Murphy, MariNaomi, Andrea Natalie, Trina Robbins, Roxxie, Joey Alison Sayers, Ariel Schrag, Christine Smith, and Mary Wings

Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.

No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, cross-over creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.

Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.

These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.

Preview at Amazon link

wwnorton:

On the left, Alison Bechdel’s re-creation of a vintage paperback edition of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, The Price of Salt. On the right, the Norton edition released in 2004 (and made available as an e-book last month). The novel was originally published under the pseudonym ‘Claire Morgan’. Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska are scheduled to star in the upcoming film based on the book.

Alison Bechdel—a serious Highsmith fan—was kind enough to mention our Highsmith recommendation engine on her blog(!):

Check out [Norton’s] great website. You can “choose your Highsmith” by answering a branching list of funny questions about what exactly you’re in the mood to read. And you can see a 3 minute promotional video with people like Joanne Schenkar and Terry Castle and me (Alas,no! I did not get to meet the infamous Castle or the mysterious Schenkar…we were all interviewed separately.) talking about Highsmith’s work.

You may remember us talking up Highsmith a ton last month.

And you may remember me mentioning that Highsmith used to write comics before her first novel was published!

Also, they are making a movie with Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska??? Must see *_____*

PS: W.W. Norton, I would buy an edition with the Bechdel cover, jsyk.

Market Monday
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood…and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

Market Monday

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood…and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

Awards Round-Up

First up, LGBT publishing association the Publishing Triangle has awarded Alison Bechdel the 24th annual Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement.  The awards ceremony will be held on April 19 in New York City.

Also, the Glyph Comics Awards have announced their nominations of “the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color from the preceding calendar year.”  Lady creators are also well represented in this year’s nominees:

  • Artist Mia Goodwin and her work on Princeless have been nominated for Story of the Year, Best Artist, Best Female Character (Adrienne), and Best Cover (issue 1)
  • Artist Sara Pichelli and her work on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man have been nominated for Story of the Year, Best Artist, and Best Male Character (Miles Morales)
  • Cartoonist Ms. Shatia Hamilton and her webcomic Fungus Grotto, have been nominated for Rising Star, Best Comic Strip or Webcomic, and Best Female Character (Vielle)
  • Writer Gemma Bedeau's creation Afroella (and one of my favorite “discoveries” of last year) has been nominated for Best Female Character!

The awards will be presented in May at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia.

ETA: An award given about a month ago that I hadn’t posted about!

The Japanese Embassy in the UK has been holding a manga competition for UK creators since 2007, and the winner from 2011 is one Elena Vitagliano, for her eight-page story, "The Deep Needs Train".  

Runners-up were also predominately women—3rd: Jade Sarson (with Dean McKnight), "Shear Brilliance"; 4th: Vivian Truong, "Moving On"; 6th: Gillian Sein Ying Ha, "To The Girl With The Butterfly Ears"; 7th: Anya Zhuravskaya, "Storyteller Sisters"; 8th: Ami Clark, "The Flower That Held Its Breath"; 9th: Rebecca Burgess, "Letters From England"; 10th: Sarah Burgess, "The Man and his Shadow"; and a Special Prize for most impressive Manga by entrant aged 14-16: Megan Wheeler, "A Harvest Love"

Congrats to you all!

Alison Bechdel, graphic novelist

phenomenalpeople:

Graphic novelist, whose work explores gender and sexual identity.

Read about her very personal graphic memoir here.

Back in 2008, Anne Elizabeth Moore interviewed Alison Bechdel; in 2011, Gabrielle Gamboa illustrated the interview for Moore’s “Ladydrawers" column on Truthout.

Bechdel discusses the relationship between personal and political and the future of print comic strips.

(She makes an error claiming that Signe Wilkinson is the “only” female editorial cartoonist in the country, however. I have a list, of course.)

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home follow-up Are You My Mother? to get 100K first printing.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home follow-up Are You My Mother? to get 100K first printing.

Hillary Chute Interviews Alison Bechdel from Critical Inquiry on Vimeo.

Alison Bechdel shows her process.


More Alison Bechdel news today!  Of particular interest if you live in the Chicago area:

There will be a screening of “Alison and Riva”, a documentary about Riva Lehrer’s collaboration with Alison Bechdel, on Dec. 1, 6:30—8 p.m. and comedy with Liz Carr, a famous co-host of the comedy podcast “Ouch” on BBC, at Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. There will also be a reception for the artist at PrintWorks, 311 West Superior St., Suite 105, on Friday, Dec. 2, at 5—7:30 p.m. The exhibition continues through Feb. 4, 2012. Printworks Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Mirror Shards, a one-person show featuring new mixed-media drawings and paintings by one of Chicago’s most accomplished artists, RIVA LEHRER….
[T]he exhibition will feature a number of stand-alone portraits, including a two-year collaboration with graphic novelist Alison Bechdel to produce a drawing that marks the turning point in her own artistic career….
Mirror Shards will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, December 2 and the exhibition will continue through February 4. The gallery at 311 West Superior Street is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00-5:00 and by appointment. (via Windy City Times)

More Alison Bechdel news today!  Of particular interest if you live in the Chicago area:

There will be a screening of “Alison and Riva”, a documentary about Riva Lehrer’s collaboration with Alison Bechdel, on Dec. 1, 6:30—8 p.m. and comedy with Liz Carr, a famous co-host of the comedy podcast “Ouch” on BBC, at Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. There will also be a reception for the artist at PrintWorks, 311 West Superior St., Suite 105, on Friday, Dec. 2, at 5—7:30 p.m. The exhibition continues through Feb. 4, 2012. Printworks Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Mirror Shards, a one-person show featuring new mixed-media drawings and paintings by one of Chicago’s most accomplished artists, RIVA LEHRER….

[T]he exhibition will feature a number of stand-alone portraits, including a two-year collaboration with graphic novelist Alison Bechdel to produce a drawing that marks the turning point in her own artistic career….

Mirror Shards will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, December 2 and the exhibition will continue through February 4. The gallery at 311 West Superior Street is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00-5:00 and by appointment. (via Windy City Times)

Market Monday
Best American Comics 2011 HC, edited by Alison Bechdel and Jessica Abel

Market Monday

Best American Comics 2011 HC, edited by Alison Bechdel and Jessica Abel

ProFile Friday
Alison Bechdel (born September 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in 2006 she became a best-selling and critically acclaimed author with her graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
Alison Bechdel was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to Roman Catholic parents who were teachers. Her family also owned and operated a funeral home. Bechdel’s brother is keyboard player John Bechdel, who has worked with many bands including Ministry. She attended Simon’s Rock College and then Oberlin College, graduating in 1981.
Bechdel moved to New York City and applied to, but was rejected from, many art schools, and worked in a number of office jobs in the publishing industry.
She began Dykes to Watch Out For as a single drawing labeled “Marianne, dissatisfied with the morning brew: Dykes to Watch Out For, plate no. 27”. An acquaintance recommended she send her work to Womannews, a newspaper, which began to publish the strip regularly beginning with the July—August 1983 issue. After a year, other outlets began running the strip.
In the first years, Dykes to Watch Out For consisted of unconnected strips without a regular cast or serialized storyline. Bechdel introduced her regular characters, Mo and her friends, in 1987 while living in St. Paul, Minnesota. She became a full-time cartoonist in 1990 and later moved near Burlington, Vermont. It was also in Dykes to Watch Out For where she formulated what is now known as “the Bechdel Test”, which tests a movie (or other mainstream media) on its depiction of women based on whether 1) there are at least two women, who 2) talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. In 1988, she began a short-lived page-length strip about the staff of a queer newspaper, titled “Servants to the Cause”, for The Advocate.
In February 2004, Bechdel married her partner since 1992, Amy Rubin, in a civil ceremony in San Francisco. However, all same-sex marriage licenses given by the city at that time were subsequently voided by the California Supreme Court. Bechdel and Rubin separated in 2006.
In 2006, Bechdel published Fun Home, an autobiographical “tragicomic” chronicling her childhood and the years before and after her father’s death. Fun Home has received more widespread mainstream attention than Bechdel’s earlier work, with reviews in Entertainment Weekly, People and several features in The New York Times. It spent two weeks on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction bestseller list. It was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by numerous sources, including The New York Times, Amazon.com, The Times of London, Publishers Weekly, Salon.com, New York Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Time magazine named Fun Home as #1 of its “10 Best Books of the Year.” Lev Grossman and Richard LeCayo described Fun Home as “the unlikeliest literary success of 2006,” and called it “a stunning memoir about a girl growing up in a small town with her cryptic, perfectionist dad and slowly realizing that a) she is gay and b) he is too. … Bechdel’s breathtakingly smart commentary duets with eloquent line drawings. Forget genre and sexual orientation: this is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.”
Fun Home was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award in the memoir/autobiography category. It also won the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work. ”Fun Home” was also nominated for the Best Graphic Album award, and Bechdel was nominated for Best Writer/Artist.
Dykes to Watch Out For was suspended in 2008 while she works on another graphic memoir, with the working title Love Life: A Case Study. It will focus on Bechdel’s relationships. Bechdel describes its themes as “the self, subjectivity, desire, the nature of reality, that sort of thing”. She currently resides in Bolton, Vermont.

ProFile Friday

Alison Bechdel (born September 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in 2006 she became a best-selling and critically acclaimed author with her graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

Alison Bechdel was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to Roman Catholic parents who were teachers. Her family also owned and operated a funeral home. Bechdel’s brother is keyboard player John Bechdel, who has worked with many bands including Ministry. She attended Simon’s Rock College and then Oberlin College, graduating in 1981.

Bechdel moved to New York City and applied to, but was rejected from, many art schools, and worked in a number of office jobs in the publishing industry.

She began Dykes to Watch Out For as a single drawing labeled “Marianne, dissatisfied with the morning brew: Dykes to Watch Out For, plate no. 27”. An acquaintance recommended she send her work to Womannews, a newspaper, which began to publish the strip regularly beginning with the July—August 1983 issue. After a year, other outlets began running the strip.

In the first years, Dykes to Watch Out For consisted of unconnected strips without a regular cast or serialized storyline. Bechdel introduced her regular characters, Mo and her friends, in 1987 while living in St. Paul, Minnesota. She became a full-time cartoonist in 1990 and later moved near Burlington, Vermont. It was also in Dykes to Watch Out For where she formulated what is now known as “the Bechdel Test”, which tests a movie (or other mainstream media) on its depiction of women based on whether 1) there are at least two women, who 2) talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. In 1988, she began a short-lived page-length strip about the staff of a queer newspaper, titled “Servants to the Cause”, for The Advocate.

In February 2004, Bechdel married her partner since 1992, Amy Rubin, in a civil ceremony in San Francisco. However, all same-sex marriage licenses given by the city at that time were subsequently voided by the California Supreme Court. Bechdel and Rubin separated in 2006.

In 2006, Bechdel published Fun Home, an autobiographical “tragicomic” chronicling her childhood and the years before and after her father’s death. Fun Home has received more widespread mainstream attention than Bechdel’s earlier work, with reviews in Entertainment Weekly, People and several features in The New York Times. It spent two weeks on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction bestseller list. It was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by numerous sources, including The New York Times, Amazon.com, The Times of London, Publishers Weekly, Salon.com, New York Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Time magazine named Fun Home as #1 of its “10 Best Books of the Year.” Lev Grossman and Richard LeCayo described Fun Home as “the unlikeliest literary success of 2006,” and called it “a stunning memoir about a girl growing up in a small town with her cryptic, perfectionist dad and slowly realizing that a) she is gay and b) he is too. … Bechdel’s breathtakingly smart commentary duets with eloquent line drawings. Forget genre and sexual orientation: this is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.”

Fun Home was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award in the memoir/autobiography category. It also won the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work. ”Fun Home” was also nominated for the Best Graphic Album award, and Bechdel was nominated for Best Writer/Artist.

Dykes to Watch Out For was suspended in 2008 while she works on another graphic memoir, with the working title Love Life: A Case Study. It will focus on Bechdel’s relationships. Bechdel describes its themes as “the self, subjectivity, desire, the nature of reality, that sort of thing”. She currently resides in Bolton, Vermont.

The question of ghettoization…

Is it self-ghettoization for women comics creators to have their own spaces, either in anthologies, panels, or *gasp* blogs?  Is there really a sexism problem in comics, actively keeping women creators out?  How much of this issue is just the nature of the market?

Saturday at Boston Comic Con, the Female Creators panel wrangled with these questions, but 45 minutes was not nearly enough to discuss them to any greater satisfaction. One of the panelists who basically dominated the discussion (who, I note in the most charitable way possible, is not actually a comics creator but an illustrator) answered Yes, No, and It’s Only About The Money.

Well, I respectfully disagree.  Not entirely, but there are some crucial nuances that did not get discussed, as well as the conflation of personal experiences with a universal standard.

Read More

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