times were simpler then

2

Happy 153rd Birthday, Ida B. Wells-Barnett! On her 24th birthday, the activist was in Denver, Colorado. She recorded a drive through town with a Mr. Marcus, which she considered her birthday gift. Times were simpler.

“Mr. Marcus took us driving through town Friday morning before we left; as that was my 24th, birthday and the first time he had so honored me I took it as a birthday gift.”

See more of Ida’s diaries and her personal papers in the substantially digitized Ida B. Wells Papers @UChicagoSCRC.

Images:

1. Ida B. Wells in 1893/1894. Photograph by Cihak and Zima.

2. Excerpt from Ida B. Wells’ diary, 1885-1887.

I never understood why people want their blogs to be “rated”. I seriously don’t get it. You want to impress some person who doesn’t even know you and have them criticize your blog, something that is a reflection of you and your likes, have them potentially tell you that it sucks because they don’t like it, and you get upset about it….what is the reasoning behind it? You do you and don’t let some 15 year old kid put you down.

1000 Follower Appreciation! :D

“MYAHAHAHA! Yes, bask in the inconceivable magnificence of the mighty Skeletor, foolish mortals! None can resist my power! Myahahaha!”

“Except He-Man.”

“Yes, except– SHUT UP!”


((I never imagined when I first started this blog that it would take off so quickly in popularity, or ever reach 1000 followers. I can’t say for sure why any of you in particular decided to become one of those followers, but I’d like to think that for a great many of you, at least in part, it’s because Skeletor fills us all with such a profound sense of nostalgia. He reminds us of a simpler time, when villains were unapologetically over the top with their ridiculous schemes, incompetent minions, and in Skeletor’s case especially, an encyclopedic arsenal of colorful insults to fling at their hapless henchmen after every inevitable failure. Yet the fact we have the privilege of a character as memorable as Skeletor is quite incredible, given the circumstances surrounding the show that propelled him into the spotlight.

Ultimately, He-Man was a cartoon that was created to sell toys first an foremost, which meant that much of its content was at the mercy of Mattel’s marketing department. It also had a shoestring budget, and had to deal with a stifling list of restrictions on what could be shown on a children’s show, due to the strict FCC regulations at the time. Yet despite all this, the writers, animators, and voice actors all did their best to make the best show they could with the precious few resources they had. Nowhere else was this more apparent than with Skeletor, who was easily the most interesting, entertaining, and memorable character on the show. He-Man, more than any other cartoon, is synonymous to me with childhood, and naturally, my favorite character was always Skeletor.

But that being said, was the original He-Man cartoon a good show? In many ways, it certainly wasn’t. The visual quality was rudimentary at best, and was rife with errors and reused animations, all as a result of the miniscule budget. The plots were predictable, and you knew at the start of every episode that by the end, everything would be back to normal. Character development was virtually nonexistent, and controversy was avoided like the plague. But for all of its shortcomings, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has carved out an enduring spot in our collective cultural psyche.

With my portrayal of Skeletor, I always do my best to remain true to his character. If I cannot hear one of his lines being spoken in his unmistakable voice after I read it, I will rewrite it until I can. Every action he takes, I think back to the show and ask myself: ‘is this something that could happen in an episode, if censorship weren’t an issue?’ I do my best to recapture the Skeletor I knew and loved, because without him leading the armies of my imagination as a child, I doubt I would have developed the creativity I depend on so much today. I made this blog to pay homage to a character who will always stand apart in my memories for bringing me joy and laughter, and teaching me that no matter how many times you fail, you are never defeated as long as you face each day with the same determination as the last.

Having the chance to share this with all of you, to rekindle your own fond memories of Skeletor and also to create new ones, to once more give Skeletor a chance to bring smiles and laughter to people’s faces, to give people a glimmer of happiness when they need it most…being able to do all of that means more to me than I can ever hope to express, and it’s only possible because of all of you. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, each and every one of you.

And always remember: no matter how often the He-Men of your lives may foil your plans, don’t ever stop trying until you’ve seized your Castle Grayskull!

– End User))

“‘It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? It didn’t stop me from developing a razor-sharp wit, though, even if the townspeople did suspect that I was possessed by the devil. Four hundred years ago, no one really understood why people stuttered. They were simpler times.’
‘So why do people stutter?’ 
‘I don’t know. They’re probably possessed by the devil.’” 

- Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant: Deathbringer