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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. 

Screw You, Saint Patrick

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2011

Well kids, it’s that time of year again. Come Thursday the streets will be raging with drunk people, clad head to toe in shades of green while the gutters run vermillion with vomit and pollen. I have mixed feelings about St. Patricks Day, as while it’s always entertaining to watch the denizens of the greater Chico area stumble from bar to bar, in a drunken stupor that far surpasses any other day of the year, the origin of the holiday has always rubbed me the wrong way.

St. Patrick gained fame for (among other things) chasing the “snakes” out of Ireland. Unfortunately, “snakes” is a term used for educated women, or women of power. So you see my dilemma. I suppose though, St. Patrick’s Day has become such an Americanized holiday, that it doesn’t really have anything to do its roots anymore. It has essentially become a drinking day, like Thanksgiving or Tuesday. In any case, have fun but be safe out there. There’s no point in having a great St. Patrick’s Day if you drink so much you can’t remember anything in the morning.

In other news, by now I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark that’s being produced by the Edge and Bono, which is like Justin Bieber producing a Radiohead album. Guys, stick to writing subpar songs, (ok, Sunday, Bloody Sunday was alright) leave the comic-related entertainment to those who are better equipped. This clusterfuck of a play has been nothing but… well, a clusterfuck, from day one. After writing the script way back in 2007, the powers that be finally came to the brilliant conclusion that maybe it might be a good idea to get someone involved that actually knows something about Spider-Man. Enter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has written Spider-Man comics for Marvel in the past. Not that this addition will by any means save the show, which has been delayed countless times and is already millions of dollars over budget. Also, it was recently revealed that director Julie Taymor has left the project, essentially pulling the old “quit-before-you-get-shit-canned” act. An oldie but a goodie…

It’s not all bad though, because out of the ashes of this doomed-from-inception project, a phoenix by the name of The Spidey Project a.k.a. Spiderman Smackdown has risen. This musical, opening March 14th at the People’s Improv Theater on the east coast was conceived, written, composed, cast and rehearsed between February 21st and now. Even more impressive is the fact that tickets for the show sold out in seconds, which is both wonderful, and a hilarious slap in the face to the abomination that is Turn Off The Dark. Perhaps one of our local theaters can take a page out of The Spidey Project’s book and organize something on this coast. Ben Allen, I’m looking at you, buddy. 

Arielle Mullen