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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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A competitor for Gotham City

From Agatha Jadwiszczok, New York, NY:

Where you joking with that piece on New York City claiming to be the original Gotham City? Or do you really get this angry about a politician discussing the hometown of a fictional bat? Holy hell, the last Rob Schneider movie didn't inspire that kind of language from you! Have you been to talking to John Rocker lately?

If you're interested, New York City actually was Batman's hometown in the early comics but Gotham City was envisioned and created later on and intended to emulate a generic American city. And, for your information, "Gotham" is one of many nicknames that New York City already has! It goes back to the 19th century and was first used by Washington Irving, who lived way before either Bob Kane or Christopher Nolan. You, sir, have it backwards and Chicago is the one stealing it.

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As for "The Big Apple", the first recorded instance of New York City being called so was in the 1920s. Your supermarket may have been there since "time immemorial" but I highly doubt it has been there for more than eighty years.

Now, being a life-long New Yorker, I'm used to this sort of nonsense. I won't try to convince you it's a great place to live but I'll say this: even if we give you Batman, we'd still have Spider-Man, Superman, the Hulk, several X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

Incidentally, I've been to Chicago once, when I was 15 years old and happened to like it very much. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and a great city and although I was there only two days, look forward to visiting some day.

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