Since We Last Spoke: Superhero Love and Increasing Social Security Payouts

Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.
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Updates to past Pacific Standard print stories.
The Teutoburg Forest in northwestern Germany. (Photo: Nikater/Wikimedia Commons)

The Teutoburg Forest in northwestern Germany. (Photo: Nikater/Wikimedia Commons)

NOT WITHOUT MY PET
As Kathryn Joyce explained in our last issue, some battered women’s shelters have started allowing clients to bring their pets with them (“Not Without My Cat,” November/December 2013), a policy change prodded in part by the many victims of natural disasters who refused to leave their homes without their animal pals. Super Typhoon Haiyan provided more evidence of the increased attention on our feathered and furry friends in times of crisis. The Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and other groups sent rescue teams to the Philippines to tend to animals. Pets aren’t the only beneficiaries: rescuers also looked into the fate of some of the thousands of farm animals in the area, from pigs and goats to water buffalo.

The actor who plays Loki, Tom Hiddleston, has many Chinese fans who "see him as a dashing, sensitive heartthrob."

SOCIAL SECURITY MEETS REALITY
Self-described “bold progressives” have picked up political blogger Duncan Black’s once quixotic campaign to increase Social Security payouts (“Get Serious,” November/December 2013). Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Tom Harkin of Iowa introduced legislation in November that would increase benefits by about $70 a month—and raise taxes to pay for them. But don’t expect passage soon; The Washington Post, for one, editorializes that the plan shows liberals are redefining “progressivism as opposition to budgetary realism.”

SUPERHERO LOVE
Laura Miller’s piece about fan fiction (“Blurred Lines,” November/December 2013) focused on devotees of movies and TV shows who write fantasized stories about their favorite characters. But never mind words—a fan fic picture had the Internet buzzing after a Shanghai movie theater used a photo doctored to show superhero Thor erotically snuggling with supervillian Loki to promote the opening of the movie Thor: The Dark World. Apparently, according to The Wall Street Journal, the actor who plays Loki, Tom Hiddleston, has many Chinese fans who “see him as a dashing, sensitive heartthrob.”

This post originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issueofPacific Standard as "Since We Last Spoke." For more, consider subscribing to our bimonthly print magazine.

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