Today’s roundup also includes fresh literary nomenclature like “cinnamon words,” and a look back at the impetus for The Boxcar Children. Welcome to your Daily Blunt!
Not only is Batman one of cinema’s most frequently adapted comic book heroes, he’s also the one we’ve bailed on the most. A new video chronicles all the attempted projects that never came to fruition — some for good reason, and some that would have been pretty darn cool. (We’re still grieving the loss of Darren Aronofsky’s “Batman: Year One” over here.) See the video below!
“To the Bone” is being hailed as Netflix’s followup to the teen sensation “13 Reasons Why,” but mental health experts have a bone to pick with the new series, which they fear glamorizes anorexia nervosa, the very condition it intends to help viewers recover from. The director calls it “a conversation starter about an issue that is too often clouded by secrecy and misconceptions,” but doctors say certain viewers may misinterpret the series’ encouraging message, making eating disorders “seem to be an appealing way to address internal conflict.” Meanwhile, depictions of practices like calorie counting and images of dangerously thin bodies can be psychological triggers for those already struggling to overcome these problems. All told, the show faces a very skeptical reception from the audience Netflix was probably counting on to help circulate it.
Ben Blatt’s statistical analysis of literature continues to take authors by surprise, confronting them with data about the words they’re most fond of using, which are connected to obscure details from their personal lives. His study of Ray Bradbury led Blatt to coin the term “cinnamon word,” since apparently cinnamon ended up creeping into numerous of the famous author’s sentences due to sense memories of his grandmother’s pantry. Blatt recently demonstrated this trick for novelist and Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen, whose use of the word unsmiling — Andersen claims to have no idea why he’s used the word 16 times in his writing, but maybe there’s just something he’s not telling us.
Call it the original “tiny house” craze: Atlas Obscura is looking back on how The Boxcar Children reflected an era’s romanticized idea of hobo living, citing early editions of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s book (these nods to tramp culture were removed in editions printed from 1942 onward). At the time of its original printing, “a kind of nostalgia for the trains and the scrappy, hardened people who rode them” was all the rage, even though the reality faced by migrant workers was far more lonely and dangerous. As the article comments: “They performed hard labor, often for little pay, and built a good part of the train tracks, which then became their homes.”