This week is the 20th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, which aired on American television from September 1992 to '95.
If you've never seen the series, do yourself a solid and check out an episode or two from Netflix.
For fans, this incarnation of Batman achieved what the movies have not: it strikes the right balance between the fanciful, kid-friendly hero of the silver age comics and the brutal vigilante of Frank Miller's dark world.
For everyone else (even those who may have already reached their superhero saturation limit), the series has other virtues. You'll appreciate the vintage radio drama storytelling style, film noir visuals ("dark deco" art direction by Bruce Timm) and Shirley Walker's excellent orchestral score.
One of those rare moments when pop culture is worth a second look.
"What really raises one's indignation against suffering
is not suffering intrinsically, but the
senselessness of suffering." —Friedrich Nietzsche
"A sad soul can kill you quicker,
far quicker, than a germ." —John Steinbeck
"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.'
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone." —Rose Kennedy
"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good
must suffer with him." —Euripides
"Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of overcoming it." —Helen Keller
"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create,
to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and
to be greater than our suffering." —Ben Okri
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars." —Kahlil Gibran
When I begin to feel frustrated by encroaching banality and mediocrity,
it often helps to contemplate those heroic figures who inspire.
Here are some of them:
Johann Sebastian Bach
Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonard Bernstein Wendell Berry
Dave the Philosopher
Philip K. Dick
Harry "Sweets" Edison
T. S. Eliot
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Felix the Cat
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Harold (& The Purple Crayon)
Robert A. Heinlein
John F. Kennedy
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Rainer Maria Rilke
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Detective Mike Stone
Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III
Henry David Thoreau
J. R. R. Tolkien
Vincent Van Gogh
Ack Van Rooyen
Happy 50th Anniversary to the Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Spider-Man,
the Mighty Thor and the Invincible Iron Man, all created in 1962
by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers,
Don Heck and Larry Lieber.
You four were among my favorite babysitters when I was a kid.
I never dreamed you'd all become movie stars in my adulthood!
"Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for 'the universal brotherhood of man' with his mouth." —Mark Twain
"Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior
to all others because you were born in it." —George Bernard Shaw
“Patriotism doesn’t automatically equal conservatism.” —Tony Stark