Tag: Literature

I Need to Read His Books

I’m embarassed to admit that that I have never read a book by John le Carré. With the news of his death at age 89, I am feeling rather guilty about this. 

His spy novels were a marked contrast to the cartoonish James Bond:

John le Carré, who forged thrillers from equal parts of adventure, moral courage and literary flair, has died aged 89.

Le Carré explored the gap between the west’s high-flown rhetoric of freedom and the gritty reality of defending it, in novels such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Night Manager, which gained him critical acclaim and made him a bestseller around the world.

On Sunday, his family confirmed he had died of pneumonia at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Saturday night. “We all deeply grieve his passing,” they wrote in a statement.

Given the whole pandemic thing, I have some additional time to read.

F%$# 2020

The Bad Sex In Fiction Awards have been cancelled, because its organizers have concluded that 2020 already has a surfeit of badness:

It’s one of life’s simplest, funniest, most bewildering pleasures: Literary Review’s Bad Sex In Fiction Awards. Year in and year out, this annual event brings us throbbing members, swollen mounds, allusions to train tunnels and outer space, dubious meditations on female anatomy, and proliferate of use of the word “seed.” This year, not so, as its judges have “after weeks of deliberation” and a hopefully hilarious emergency meeting, decided to cancel this year’s awards. The reason: 2020 sucked enough as it is, and no one should have to endure mixed metaphors about jism, too.

Here’s Literary Review’s official word on the decision:

The judges felt that the public had been subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well. They warned, however, that the cancellation of the 2020 awards should not be taken as a licence to write bad sex. A spokesperson for the judges commented:

“With lockdown regulations giving rise to all manner of novel sexual practices, the judges anticipate a rash of entries next year. Authors are reminded that cybersex and other forms of home entertainment fall within the purview of this award. Scenes set in fields, parks or back yards, or indoors with the windows open and fewer than six people present will not be exempt from scrutiny either.”

Damn you.

A Correction

Yesterday, in writing about the poo flinging between Senator Marsha Blackburn and various personalities in Chinese media, I quoted something that I had believed was originally said by Clarence Carrow Darrow.

I was wrong.  The quote was made by American writer and humorist Harry Golden

Additionally, I got the quote wrong:

While Anglo-Saxons were still roaming the forests of Great Britain, painting their bodies blue and eating wild strawberries, the Jews already had diabetes.

My apologies for misinforming my reader(s).

Quote of the Day

As for the Republicans — how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillip did love him some long and florid paragraphs, but this is spot on.

It’s a Variant of a Russian Joke

During the 1990s, when Boris Yeltsin was presiding over the rape of Russia by finance types, there was a joke going around:

Everything that they said about Communism was a LIE.

Unfortunately, everything that they said about Capitalism was the Truth.

Donald Trump hews fairly close to this.

Everything he said about himself was a lie, but much of what he said about the US elites was the truth, and this review of the book The Tyranny of Merit, provides an interesting primer on this idea.

The thesis of this book is that the “Meritocracy” sees itself as important, when it is really self-important, and that it is pervasively corrupt, where the efforts to benefit themselves are hypocritically sold as benefiting society as a whole:

In examining the 2016 populist revolt that gave rise to Donald Trump and Brexit, most observers have focused on two explanations. Some say the uprising was driven by economic dislocation: Voters were angry about rising inequality and felt they were losing out because of trade. Others argue that anger with the establishment stemmed from racist discomfort with immigration, demographic change, and growing religious diversity.

In his new book, the Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel focuses on a third factor: elite smugness and self-dealing. To Sandel, 2016 represented a rebellion of voters lacking a college degree against a governing class that believes that its credentials, wealth, and power are the products of its merit. These leaders, Sandel argues, have condescended to blue-collar workers, “eroded the dignity of work and left many feeling disrespected and disempowered.”

Sandel focuses primarily on the left. For three decades, he writes, leading Democrats—including Bill Clinton (Yale Law ’73), Hillary Clinton (Yale Law ’73), and Barack Obama (Harvard Law ’91)—embodied personally, and touted rhetorically, a brand of meritocracy hopelessly oblivious to what he calls the “tyranny of merit.” Sometimes, this is implicit, as when Pete Buttigieg flexes on his ability to speak eight languages and his experience as a Rhodes Scholar. Other times, it’s explicit. Speaking in Mumbai in 2018, Hillary Clinton bragged that she “won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product”—that is, the places that had been successful in the era of globalization. This, Sandel writes, “displayed the meritocratic hubris that contributed to her defeat.” The Democratic Party “once stood for farmers and working people against the privileged. Now, in a meritocratic age, its defeated standard bearer boasted that the prosperous, enlightened parts of the country had voted for her.”


But Sandel is right to probe the dark things that can come from embracing meritocracy. Liberals have been overemphasizing their credentials and the economic success of their cosmopolitan metropolises. In doing so, they’ve forgotten that these markers are not good indicators of worth. The ability to obtain post-secondary degrees, particularly from elite institutions, is at least as much a reflection of one’s class and race as it is of one’s deservedness. The wealth and success of more liberal places has as much to do with an unequal system that allows existing wealth to concentrate as it does with the merit of those cities.


The term meritocracy, almost universally praised today, was coined in the 1950s by the British sociologist Michael Young to describe a dystopia. In contrast to an aristocracy, where people on top know they are just lucky and people on the bottom know they are merely unfortunate, in a meritocracy a small minority of winners feel enormous pride in their accomplishments and the majority feel humiliated by their low position. Young’s book predicted a revolt against meritocratic elites in 2034. “In 2016, as Britain voted for Brexit and America for Trump, that revolt arrived eighteen years ahead of schedule,” Sandel writes.


As a result, embracing meritocracy too tightly can be politically disastrous. In 2016, some working-class people were left with “the galling sense that those who stood astride the hierarchy of merit looked down with disdain on those they considered less accomplished than themselves.” The disdain was made explicit in 2016 when Hillary Clinton, speaking at fund-raisers in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, labeled millions of working-class Americans as “deplorables.”


Trump brilliantly exploited the idea that well-educated progressives looked down on those with less education (and, sometimes relatedly, those who are deeply religious). He rarely spoke of opportunity and upward mobility. A candidate “keenly alive to the politics of humiliation,” Sandel says, Trump feigned respect for working-class people. “l love the poorly educated,” Trump famously said after one primary victory. The gambit worked. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won college-educated voters, but Trump won voters without a college degree—a larger share of the electorate—by seven percentage points.

Liberals, of course, tend to have policies that are far more helpful to those without college educations than do conservatives. But Democratic governments stacked with well-educated elites have little real understanding of working-class struggles, and, just like Republicans, they can cause problems for the poor. For example, the mostly Ivy League status of Obama’s cabinet helped inform “a Wall Street–friendly response to the financial crisis,” Sandel writes, one that failed to comprehend “seething public anger.” Instead, the too-big-to-jail philosophy seemed to exonerate well-educated Wall Street bankers who engaged in selfish behavior that did grave damage to the country. Timothy Geithner and Rahm Emanuel were happier to bail out financial executives—who shared their pedigrees (and in some cases their former jobs)—than they were to rescue average Americans. In other words, a belief that wealth and education equal merit helped lead to stunning inequality.

From this review, and the policy prescriptions in the book, it seems to me that they have missed the point:  Many of the problems of “Meritocracy” do not come from a disdain for those less educated, though this is clearly a problem, much of it comes from the replacement of actual merit with credentialism.

There is no reasons that jobs which a decade ago required nothing beyond a high-school diploma a generation (or 2) ago now require a college degree, and possibly a post graduate degree.

Teachers entering schools in the 1950s needed an associated degree in education, or a bachelors in some other subject, while now all teachers need a masters degree in education.

Unfortunately there has been a whole infrastructure of credentialed people doing the bullsh%$ job of creating credentials, verifying credentials, and ranking credentials for other people.

Interestingly enough it is not the US that has the most extremely credentialed society on earth, it is likely India, where credentials, they call it caste there, completely permeate their society.

Edgar Allen Poe, Not Stephen King

A group of people ignore a beloved woman’s dying wish and rush to take advantage of her death.

They hold an event to announce their corrupt plan…

…and then one by one they start falling ill.

Gotta admit, it’s all very Stephen King.

— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) October 3, 2020

Surely, I cannot be the only one who thinks that the entire scenario more closely resembles Edgar Allen Poe’s Masque of the Red Death.

With his retinue at the center of an expanding Covid-19 outbreak, the parallels are striking.


And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

My Bizarre Take on the Veepstakes

While she is a long shot to be Joe Biden’s choice for running mate, I consider Stacy Abrams to be the worst of all the candiates whose names have been mooted thus far.

I find Stacy Abrams is completely unacceptable because of her choices in literature.

If you think that I am joking, I am NOT joking, as Abrams is a big fan of Ayn Rand’s allegorical novel Atlas Shrugged, which I consider to be a major red flag:

One other unexpected detail: In an interview with Womenetics, a B2B services firm that specializes in helping women professionals, Ms. Abrams named three favorite books: The Institutionist, Ender’s Game and… Atlas Shrugged, not exactly a book at the top of most Democrat reading lists. Womenetics called her a “serial entrepreneur” and clearly she has a passion for business. As to how does that translate to the tough business of navigating the politics of Georgia as a Democrat legislator, she seems to have found quick success.

See also here:

When Abrams was little, visiting her grandmother, with her some 16 first cousins running around, she was the one in the corner, holed up with a book. She loved Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, The Count of Monte Cristo, Silas Marner, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Ender’s Game, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Atlas Shrugged (“But not for the Paul Ryan reasons. . . . There was something about how [Ayn Rand] highlighted the capacity of a person to be more than.”) She loved mythology. “Greek, Norse, Roman, Cherokee. If I could reach it, I would read it,” Abrams says.

Being a fan of Atlas Shrugged is on a par with taking Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal as a serious policy proposal.

It is a sign that you are a psychopath.

Tweet of the Day

Say what you like about Marvel Comics but this remains the best explanation for why Bloomberg just spent all that money on something other than, you know, helping people. pic.twitter.com/3zaHN4oVBo

— Joe Macaré (@joemacare) March 5, 2020

You will never convince me that this is not an intentional metaphor for self-entitled wealth, and an unintentional metaphor Mike Bloomberg’s Presidential campaign.

Going There

Over at the Gray Lady, columnist Jamelle Bouie manages to invoke the writings H.P. Lovecraft to describe Donald Trump.

This is not something that I expected to see in the New York Times, but I approve:

Much of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, an American horror and science fiction writer who worked during the first decades of the 20th century, is defined by individual encounters with the incomprehensible, with sights, sounds and ideas that undermine and disturb reality as his characters understand it. Faced with things too monstrous to be real, but which exist nonetheless, Lovecraftian protagonists either reject their senses or descend into madness, unable to live with what they’ve learned.

It feels, at times, that when it comes to Donald Trump, our political class is this Lovecraftian protagonist, struggling to understand an incomprehensibly abnormal president. The reality of Donald Trump — an amoral narcissist with no capacity for reflection or personal growth — is evident from his decades in public life. But rather than face this, too many people have rejected the facts in front of them, choosing an illusion instead of the disturbing truth.


I think most observers know this. But the implications are terrifying. They suggest a much more dangerous world than the one we already believe we live in, where in a fit of pique, a single action taken by a single man could have catastrophic consequences for millions of people. This isn’t a new observation. When he was still a rival — and not one of Trump’s most reliable allies — Senator Marco Rubio of Florida warned Republicans that they shouldn’t give “the nuclear codes of the United States” to an “erratic individual.” Hillary Clinton said Trump was “temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility” and that “a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

 One is an incomprehensible evil without the even smallest portion of humanity, the other is Cthulhu.

What’s with the “†” in the Times Best Seller List

You may have noticed that Donald Trump’s idiot son ……… Does not narrow it down enough, I mean Don, Jr., not Eric, this time ……… has written a book on the New York Times bestseller list.

You may have also noted that there is a “†” next to the notation.

It’s there for a reason for this tag. It indicates that the listing is the likely result of fraud by the author or publisher, specifically, the author, the publisher, or some other entity, in this case the Republican Party, has generated the numbers through mass purchases.

So it’s a fraud.

Don, Jr. is really a chip off the old block.

A Pox on Architects

It’s Also Ugly as Sin

The New York City Public Library spend $41,500,000.00 on its Hunters Point Library in Queens, which, in addition to being hideous, cannot function as a library, with severely restricted disabled access, insufficient elevator service, and significant portions of the building being too dangerous to be used in it’s intended manner.

This is what happens when you allow architects to design buildings according to their own masturbatory inclinations, as opposed to the actual needs of the people who will have to function in this space:

It has been heralded as an architectural triumph: A new $41.5 million public library in Long Island City that ascends over multiple landings and terraces, providing stunning Manhattan views to patrons as they browse books and explore.

But several of the terraces at the Hunters Point Library are inaccessible to people who cannot climb to them. A staircase and bleacher seating in the children’s section, judged too risky for small children, has been closed off. And the five-story, vertically designed building only has one elevator, creating bottlenecks at times.


It has also raised the question of how the pricey public building, nearly two decades in the works, made it through the lengthy planning process without more consideration for accessibility.


Some of the accessibility problems, though, are rooted in the design itself.

The placement of the adult fiction section on three terracelike levels between the library’s first and second floors was the first issue patrons noticed. A few complained that they couldn’t access the fiction books, because those levels were only accessible by stairs, Gothamist reported.


The disputed shelves are now bare; the library, responding to the criticism, has moved the 2,900 adult fiction books to an accessible area on the second floor, and is now figuring out how to use the vacated space.

Chris McVoy, a senior partner at Steven Holl Architects, the firm that designed the building, said that too much emphasis was being placed on the inaccessibility of the terraces, which he called a “small wrinkle in an incredibly successful project.” Concepts of accessibility, he added, have changed in the years since the building was designed in 2010.

So the response of the architect is that the peasants don’t appreciate their genius, and so don’t deserve to browse books.


But the decision to build only a single elevator is also causing grumbles. The congestion is compounded by the placement of the main stroller parking area on a second floor landing, which is insufficient for the dozens of strollers sometimes seeking a spot.

The closure of the children’s wing stairs is adding congestion to the elevator. Patrons who want to travel between the children’s levels must now either use the elevator, or take a circuitous route around the library, up and down flights of stairs.

In his 2010 renderings for the children’s wing, Steven Holl, the project’s lead architect, had sketched images of children reading on bleacher-like seats that spanned from the lower level of the wing to the upper one, adjoined by an interior staircase.

But library officials, in a walk-through before the building opened, instead saw a potential liability for small children who could jump and fall on them. They have closed off the stairs and the top five bleachers until fixes can be made, said Elisabeth de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Queens Library.

Wood panels now block the staircase entrances and protective glass barriers have been added to the tallest bleachers. The bottom three bleachers remain open, however, and a security guard who usually stands there keeps an eye on them.

Seriously, architects need adult supervision.

The Stupid, It Burns!

No, it’s not a joke:

A private Catholic school in Nashville has removed the Harry Potter books from its library, saying they include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits”.

Local paper the Tennessean reported that the pastor at St Edward Catholic school, which teaches children of pre-kindergarten age through to 8th grade, had emailed parents about JK Rowling’s series to tell them that he had been in contact with “several” exorcists who had recommended removing the books from the library.

“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev Dan Reehil wrote. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”

Curses and spells included in the bestselling books, which were published between 1997 and 2007, include “avada kedavra”, the “killing” curse; “crucio”, the torture curse; and “imperio”, which allows the wizards to control others’ actions.

Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Nashville, told the Tennessean that Reehil had sent the email after an inquiry from a parent. She added that “he’s well within his authority to act in that manner”, because “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school”.

 I weep for humanity.

Not Feeling the Pain Here, Peter Parker is Free Now

As you may, or may not, be aware, Spider-Man’s movie rights are owned by Sony, while much of the rest of the Marvel universe is owned by the Rodent Borg, aka Disney.

There has been some coordination between the two studios to sync the characters to fit into the Marvel universe, but now, some sort of corporate dispute will cleave the two apart.

Some people are losing their sh%$, but I think that this would be a good thing.

Spider-Man has always been one of the most solitary of super-heroes out of marvel, and unlike the normal run of Marvel spandex clad warriors, more of a working-class bloke from Queens.

The occasional cross over is one thing, but his playing Skywalker to Tony Stark’s Yoda has never rung true to me.

I really do like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man’s interpretation of the role too:

Interviews with the filmmakers behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost always get around to what seems to be the studio’s core creative ethos: paint yourself into a corner, then find a creative way to get out of it. That mission statement inspired the snap in Avengers: Infinity War and the big secret-identity reveal that ends Spider-Man: Far From Home. And while creative inspiration probably wasn’t at the top of anyone’s mind during the business impasse that reportedly dissolved the partnership between Sony (which owns the current film rights to Spider-Man and his rogues’ gallery) and the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, that unexpected split could inadvertently inspire Sony to adopt exactly the sort of creative problem-solving that has fueled some of the MCU’s greatest moments.

First things first: No, this doesn’t mean we’re in for another Spider-Man reboot. According to current reports, Sony is planning to make more Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland, with conflicting reports saying that he’s currently contracted for either one or two more solo films. The only difference is that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won’t produce those films. The deal will also likely prevent Holland’s Spider-Man from appearing in future MCU movies, although that aspect seems to be slightly more in flux. (It’s also possible this whole deal could change, especially as both companies examine the public reaction to their confrontation. Entertainment Weekly reports that negotiations are still ongoing.)

I’m for letting the high-schooler from Queens stay a high-schooler  from Queens.

Today in Self-Ownership

Evangelicals have have organized a letter writing campaign to convince Netflix to cancel the show Good Omens.

I do not expect this to be successful, particularly since the show is produced by Amazon, not Netflix:

More than 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of Good Omens, the television series adapted from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 fantasy novel – unfortunately addressing their petition to Netflix when the series is made by Amazon Prime.


But Christians marshalled by the Return to Order campaign, an offshoot of the US Foundation for a Christian Civilisation, disagree. More than 20,000 supporters have signed a petition in which they say that Good Omens is “another step to make satanism appear normal, light and acceptable”, and “mocks God’s wisdom”. God, they complain, is “voiced by a woman” – Frances McDormand – the antichrist is a “normal kid” and, most importantly, “this type of video makes light of Truth, Error, Good and Evil, and destroys the barriers of horror that society still has for the devil”. They are calling on Netflix to cancel the show.

Gaiman responded to the petition on Twitter, writing: “I love that they are going to write to Netflix to try and get #GoodOmens cancelled. Says it all really. This is so beautiful … Promise me you won’t tell them?”

This may be the best way to honor the memory of Terry Pratchett ever.

Stupid Judge Tricks

I approve of the US Court of Appeals of the 4th circuit’s opinion revoking the permit of a pipeline that crosses the Appalachian Trail, but I’m less sanguine of their invoking Dr. Seuss:

A federal appeals court has thrown out a power company’s permit to build a natural gas pipeline across two national forests and the Appalachian Trail – and slammed the U.S. Forest Service for granting the approvals in the first place.

In a decision filed Thursday by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., a three-judge panel declared the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it issued permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to build through parts of the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests and a right of way across the Appalachian Trail.

“This conclusion,” they wrote in a unanimous judgment, “is particularly informed by the Forest Service’s serious environmental concerns that were suddenly, and mysteriously, assuaged in time to meet a private pipeline company’s deadlines.”

The judges cited Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax: “We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.'”

(emphasis mine)

Seriously, Dr. Seuss?

I know that the law is sometimes dry, but the judges are overcompensating here.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

Scientists have reconstructed an antediluvian creature from fossil, and it looks a lot like something from the mind of HP Lovecraft:

A creature with more than a passing resemblance to HP Lovecraft’s terrifying Chthulu once actually existed, palaeontologists have revealed – although at just three centimetres wide, it was hardly a danger to shipping or buildings.

Not, of course, that there were any human-made structures around when Sollasina cthulhu prowled across the ocean floor some 430 million years ago.

The creature, a very distant ancestor of sea cucumbers and sea slugs, is revealed in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It was found in fossilised form in the UK county of Hereford. A team of researchers led by Imran Rahman from the University of Oxford then spent months painstakingly grinding it away, taking photographs at every stage, resulting in an accurate 3D computer reconstruction.

It has a face only a mother could love:

Find Me a Producer, I’ve Got one F%$# of a Treatment

It is, as the saying goes, ripped from the headlines.

It’s the best heist movie concept, and in this case, the headline is that, in response to Brexit concerns, Cadbury creating a massive stockpile of chocolate:

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union next year, but it still hasn’t reached a deal on how exactly this could happen. If it leaves Europe without a deal, some experts have warned that there may be chaos at the borders and a shortage of key goods.

On Tuesday, the owner of the beloved confectionary brand Cadbury announced that the company has a plan to deal with the threat of this dreaded “no-deal” Brexit: a chocolate stockpile.

Think about the action, think about the adventure, think about the tension, and think about the merch that you could sell.

Before you ask, I am aware that an actual sweet food stockpile has been stolen, the so-called great Canadian maple syrup heist, but that just adds verisimilitude.

And just think about the obligatory love making scene between the mastermind and the cop who has been pursuing them.

Chocolate ……… And Strawberries ……… And Gentle Heat.

I smell razzie!

Peter Parker Weeps

Spiderman co-creator Steve Ditko has died at age 90:

New York police confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that one of Marvel Comics’ legendary staffers, Steve Ditko, was found dead in his apartment this week. Ditko was 90.

The creator of Dr. Strange and the original artist (plus “co-creator,” according to Stan Lee) for Spider-Man had been found days earlier, on June 29, and police told THR that they believed he had been dead for two days when he was found. Reports indicate Ditko left behind no family or survivors.

Ditko’s impact on Marvel Comics may only be rivaled by his reclusive nature in later years. After creating and developing Spider-Man with Lee in 1961, Ditko premiered lasting hero Dr. Strange in 1963, and Ditko would continue to write and draw Dr. Strange stories for Marvel until 1966. Disputes over money and friction with Lee reportedly drove Ditko to leave Marvel in 1966, and Ditko shunned the public spotlight shortly thereafter; he gave his last formal interview in 1968, though he continued contributing comics to other publishers.

Most notably in his later career, he created Squirrel Girl.