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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Catfights & Clydesdales

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: October 2010

What is it about hitting the early twenties that turns females into complete lunatics? Now, before I get angry women’s libbers writing a flurry of angry emails to the editor complaining about my gender generalizations, let me elaborate. Men seem to go through their own strange phases in the early twenties too, but for the most part it surfaces in a much different, Axe body spray, alcohol induced fist-pumping type of way. Moving on… when frequenting the downtown bars in Chico, it seems there is always an over abundance of 21-23 year old females sprinkled liberally between each watering hole. On a weekend night, you can always catch a hefty plethora of them in line at Lasalle’s, wearing their too-tight dresses and clip-clopping along like Clydesdales in heels that look like it takes a special team to extract their feet from. They seem to carry an air about them, a cloud of heavy-handed perfume and an unpleasant opposition towards any other females in their age bracket. Where does this animosity come from? Is it a biological reaction that we haven’t yet evolved out of? I say this, not with a holier-than-thou undertone, for I certainly went through this as well. The best I can decipher, the behavior of getting gussied up and going to bars seems to be an attempt at “adulthood”.  It all seems so grown up, in the “look, I’m carrying a clutch” and “my tits are on display” type of vein. I still can’t understand the animosity though. With any luck, on the tail end of this phase, comes the realization that the foundation for being an adult is treating other humans with kindness. Adopting the attitude that other people don’t necessarily exist to cater to your whims, and that people should be treated with respect, no matter how low your self-esteem is, is generally in your best interest and will serve you better in the future. So dear nerdlings, please try to heed my advice and be kind to one another… or not. Taking the advice of someone who hides in a pillow fort reading comics and drinking whiskey for most of every day might not be the best choice available. I’ve just found from my personal experience that being kind to people usually works out better in the long run, especially in a town like Chico. So my darlings, with the female combatants in mind, this week we’ll take a look at DC Comics Presents: Batman/Catwoman #1. Written by Ann Nocenti (Spider-Man, Defenders, Doctor Strange, Venom, Ghost Rider) and with art by Ethan Van Sciver (Flash, Superman/Batman, Hawkman, Wolverine, New X-Men) this series looks pretty promising. It’s worth noting that this is particularly significant coming from me, because usually I have trouble getting excited about anything DC has published. Van Sciver is infamous for putting obsessive amounts of detail into his characters, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for that saucy, crazy little vixen Catwoman.  

Arielle Mullen