Saturday, April 20, 2024 -
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Originating in London

Before there were podcasts, there was BBC Radio 4. I was turned onto it when I lived in a houseshare in London. It became part of my morning routine, one I took with me when I moved to Switzerland and then back to the US. In the intervening years podcasts have become all the rage, but Radio 4 has been doing insightful interviews and documentaries for decades.

I was rapt listening to a recent “Archive on 4” that explored the rival universes of DC and Marvel comics. What’s fascinating is that Jewishness is inherent to both, but in radically different ways.

For the Jewish writers of Superman (DC), the superhero is someone who champions the oppressed. One expert describes Superman as Moses, a character who has been exiled, raised by others, and exists in order to save his people. The hero is someone that the people need.

In Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Marvel universe, however, even while the superhero, say Spiderman, is saving others, he is also trying to save himself, avenging wrongs and assuaging guilt. DC is the Jews manifesting a messiah; Marvel is Jews taking their destiny in their own hands — but troubled throughout.

One commentator summed up the difference perfectly: Marvel is about men trying to be gods and DC is about gods trying to be men.

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Speaking of London houses . . . I’ve always loved the two up, two down classic Victorian terrace, housing that was primarily built for an exploding workforce during the Industrial Revolution. This kind of housing stock has become increasingly rare even as it is desperately needed.

During the debate around May’s referred question on the Park Hill Golf Course, many, including the developers, argued that redevelopment was necessary in order to provide much needed affordable housing, specifically for public servants. I opposed the redevelopment even as I believe Denver needs more housing.

Then I landed on an idea: What about institutions like Denver Public Schools building today’s equivalent of a factory town?

DPS already owns large tracts of unused land, not to the mention school closures that have taken place in the past year, with more on the horizon. Why can’t these parcels be developed for workforce housing?
Seems like others have also landed on that idea. Jessica Dominguez, a DPS teacher, Ismael Guerrero, a housing advocate, and Kwame Spearman, candidate for Denver School Board, wrote a joint op-ed in the Denver Post proposing something similar. I would love to see it happen.

Shana Goldberg may be reached at [email protected].

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