I, Miss Peace

The Strange Case of Sarah Manlove
I, Miss Peace
by Saab Lofton

“Don’t be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies.”
–Mary “Mother” Jones

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power … The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
–William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman

April 4th, 2009

The statistical probability of winning at gambling is remote, at best, and yet, people from across the country and around the world continue to stream into Las Vegas nevertheless. This constant flow of foot traffic was one of the reasons Sarah Manlove chose Vegas as her base of operations …

… another reason was Sin City’s perpetually sunny weather, which made it all the easier to wear what she often did: A superheroic bodystocking complete with a mask, gloves and sock-like boots. Sky blue with white highlights, Sarah’s skin-tight outfit had a dove on its chest and a wreath adorning her collar/shoulder — all of this accounted for why a particularly paranoid militia member once said she looked like trade show model for the United Nations.

While dressed this way, Sarah only answered to Mistress Peace (though sometimes she’ll accept Miss Peace, for short), and while in character, her voice took on a sense of purpose far too few find in life. “If you’re wondering why the economy is in dire straits, look no further than the mansions paid for by the sale of nuclear missiles,” Mistress Peace would call out to passerby from the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, “there are over 25,000 nuclear missiles worldwide and each one is more powerful than the bomb America dropped on Hiroshima! That’s not defense, nor is it deterrence, that’s just nonsense!”

Inbetween similar sermons, Mistress Peace would pass out flyers and ask for donations. On a good day, the sight of her slim, petite and sensual figure poured into that Spandex could coax a male tourist into donating as much as a hundred dollars (over the years, Mistress Peace has singlehandedly raised almost $50,000 for organizations such as Greenpeace, Code Pink, Food Not Bombs and A.N.S.W.E.R.). She hated to occasionally alienate the wives/girlfriends of those men who donated, but sex does in fact sell, and what better cause could there possibly be than saving the world?

For as long as she could remember, the coy and snide seemed drawn to her — and on this particular day, a textbook example of said attraction occurred: Two superficial women who’re between shopping malls glanced at Mistress Peace and they simultaneously turned their noses up. “Halloween isn’t for another six months!” One woman quipped.

“Maybe there’s a Star Trek convention in town!” The other woman chimed in.

“Funny you should mention Star Trek, because I AM fighting for Humanity’s future,” Mistress Peace fired back, “and instead of buying even more overly expensive shoes, why don’t you two donate to a good cause?”

“You must WANT to be a lonely old maid …” One of the women spat venomously as she took her fellow shopper by the arm and stormed off. Meanwhile, i t took a great degree of superhuman effort, but Mistress Peace somehow managed to sublimate her righteous rage and kept from beating those two bitches to a bloody pulp.

Aside from Elvis impersonators, Mistress Peace was one of Vegas’ most photographed icons. She lost count of how many men leaned next to her in order to pose for pictures (and steal a brief kiss/embrace in the process). Fortunately, Mistress Peace rarely had to slap a man who made the mistake of pinching her behind. No pun intended, but she only dealt with this a handful of times …

… and then there’s that drunken frat boy, who was a bit too proud to hail from the house of Alpha Beta. “You should come back with me, honey, we’re having a kegger tonight.”

“I’m not your ‘honey,'” at that moment, Mistress Peace caught the frat boy’s inebriant scent, “and you probably shouldn’t have anything else to drink either.”

“Go to HELL!” With an abrupt gesture, the frat boy scattered dozens of flyers into what little wind the Las Vegas desert had. “You’re probably a damn commie anyway!”

Rather than attempt to retrieve her flyers, Mistress Peace grabbed and held the donation can (containing nearly $75 in bills/change by this point) the way a wide receiver on the gridiron would. She then anticipated that frat boy’s next menacing move and countered it with a spinning roundhouse kick to the torso, which sent him sprawling into a casino’s nearby flower bed. Upon angrily acknowledging how muddy he suddenly became, the pride of Alpha Beta House retreated but swore vengeance under his breath.

To her credit, Mistress Peace didn’t call it a day after such an ordeal. Unfortunately, that frat boy returned an hour later with several of his “brothers” — each one seemingly larger and more intimidating than the last …

As the Nevada sun began to set on the western horizon, Mistress Peace immediately packed her things and bolted into the darkening east. She eventually ran far enough ahead of the Alpha Betas until a suitable hiding place was found — inside a dumpster behind a supermarket. Every few minutes, Mistress Peace peaked through a crack to see if it was safe to emerge and restrained the sounds she made weeping by covering her mouth. While shedding the tears which ran down that mask, she inwardly chastised herself for not bringing a cell phone, but even worse were the uncharacteristic thoughts of regret and the painful recollection of what created Mistress Peace in the first place.

November 21st, 1984

An eleven year old Sarah Manlove simply couldn’t stand still while in line; she giddily danced about as her father paid their way into Seattle’s Cinerama for the premiere of Helen Slater’s Supergirl. Gratuitously sarcastic critics had already, heavily panned the film, but John Manlove knew his only child couldn’t care less about some smug analysis of plot and pacing. Since Sarah’s earliest memories consisted of Lynda Carter’s portrayal of Wonder Woman, the next logical step in his daughter’s pop cultural evolution was for her to watch an even more powerful, positive female role model.

Some wondered and worried about Sarah since her mother’s absence all but ensured that the girl would be raised by the fairly macho John to become a total tomboy, but she seemed happy enough …

… or at least should would be, until the truth about Mrs. Manlove stood revealed years later …

During the first third of the movie, Supergirl easily dispatched a couple of would be rapists (one is blown through a wooden fence with superbreath while the other has his switchblade scalded by heat vision) and an uncomfortable John found himself lying to Sarah afterwards; claiming they merely wanted to mug the maid of steel. “Uh, the reason the fat one peaked under Supergirl’s skirt is because he was looking for her wallet,” and so forth.

June 12th, 1991

Much as she wanted to fly like Kara (Supergirl’s Kryptonian name), Sarah settled for those moments of being airborne that acrobatics briefly allowed her. Sarah’s school system in Seattle had been spared the ravages of Reaganomics, so free access to decent gymnasium wasn’t an issue.

However, there was another reason Sarah had become an Olympic-level tumbler: Early on, the conclusion had been reached that the only way to truly emulate her childhood heroines was to combat injustice — and since Human/mortal characters such as Batgirl had mastered the martial arts, she decided to do the same.

Initially, John went along with this because of an understandable desire to know his daughter would be safe from harm, but once prom night had come and gone without Sarah being the slightest bit interested, a red flag went up, which is why he inquired, “So … Your major will be criminal justice, right?”

“That’s what it says on my college application,” Sarah answered indifferently, “you should know, you’re paying for it.”

“And you’re NOT going to hit the streets with a mask and a cape and beat up muggers, right?” John was visibly taken aback by the fiery glare his inquiry garnered, but continued just the same, “you’re going to be a lawyer or a police officer or maybe (God forbid) a bounty hunter, right?”

“Jesus, dad!” Sarah shot to her feet from the forms she was filling out at the dinner table and paced around. “It’s bad enough I get this kind of grief at school, I don’t need it from you too! I’m not crazy!”

“Yeah, well …” John’s eyes wandered as he shrugged and nervously rubbed the back of his neck. “… the problem is your mother just happens to BE crazy and I’m afraid it may run in the genes.”

Time itself appeared to freeze — upon retrospect, Sarah could’ve sworn she saw the wings of a wayward housefly flap in slow motion at that moment, but such heighthened awareness quickly passed. “W-What ..?”

“I know I’ve always said ‘mom is sick’ and that’s why she hasn’t been around,” John blushed, “well, that ain’t too far from the truth.”

“It’s far enough from the truth to be a LiE!” Sarah raised her voice. “So, whenever you said ‘hospital’ you REALLY meant ‘lunatic asylum,’ is that it?! Is she in a straitjacket in a padded cell too?”

“Watch your tone, young lady!” John attempted to reassert his authority. “I’m still the only father you have!”

“Not any more!” Pure angst propelled Sarah upstairs with breakneck speed. Slamming the door to her room shut, she threw herself onto the bed and sobbed profusely. Hearing his daughter’s heartbreaking tears from outside in the hall, John debated with himself over whether the rest of the story should be told; about how HE was personally responsible for Martha Manlove’s psychotic break.

No, John decided. If Sarah ever learned that an act of adultery on his part — which led to Martha catching an incurable venereal disease — drove her mother clinically insane, she’d never forgive him.

After calming herself down, Sarah picked up her phone and dialed the closest approximation to a friend she had, Polly Trout. “You’re not going to believe what my dad just told me …”

Sadly, approximations of friends were all a nerd like Sarah Manlove had, given her lifelong quest for justice in an unjust world. And since Polly couldn’t be trusted to keep the attic of Anne Frank a secret, all of Paul Robeson High knew about “Sarah’s crazy mom” in time for graduation.

“Well, it certainly explains a lot.”

“Every other girl orders their clothes from a Sears catalog, she orders hers from a comic book — now we know why.”

“No wonder she can’t find a man to love, get it ..? What? Her weird last name? HELLO?!”

Sarah was so thoroughly humiliated, she stayed at home during commencement and insisted that her diploma be mailed.

May 1st, 1992

The University of Washington proved to be as lonesome for Sarah Manlove as middle and high school until the criminal justice department asked her to be its representative in a debate with a radical firebrand from the black student union known only as Lumumba. The L.A. Riots were in their third day, and though Rodney King rhetorically queried if everyone could all just get along, no one was willing or able to take his advice.

Sarah only had hours to study for this largely impromptu challenge, but nothing could’ve prepared her for how handsome Lumumba was. Originally, Sarah assumed Lumumba was a female name, but that notion was dispelled the minute she laid eyes on the afrocentric adonis who stood ready to prove any statement of hers wrong.

“It’s ironic that the final episode of The Cosby Show aired last night,” Lumumba’s voice practically ignited the air around him, “because this marks the beginning of a new era; when white folks will finally stop seeing the world in general and blacks in particular through rose-colored glasses! Sure, some of us are doctors and lawyers like the Huxtables, but MOST of us are victims of poverty and police brutality!”

Cheers erupted throughout the dozens in attendance. An American flag had already been burnt to a crisp by someone in the crowd and Sarah began to wonder whether she’d make it back to her dorm room in one piece.

“How do I know they have rose-colored glasses?” Lumumba’s arms flayed about wildly. “How else do you explain those pigs being acquitted even though what they did was caught ON VIDEO? Clearly, SOMETHING kept whites from seeing what everyone else saw! ”

When Lumumba’s time on the mike ran out, a room full of angry eyes turned to Sarah — who blushed so much her face resembled a stop light. She knew there was no way to even attempt a win without being torn limb from limb, which is why a forfeiture was in order: “Mister Lumumba here is absolutely correct. We white people are as dumb as a box of rocks and I can only hope that we’ll be forgiven someday. On behalf of the criminal justice department and the United States of America, I hereby concede this debate to Lumumba. Congratulations; well done, sir.” After stepping towards Lumumba, Sarah shook her stunned opponent’s hand and briskly/gingerly walked away. However, t he pace of Sarah’s walking quickened when she looked behind her and saw that Lumumba was in hot pursuit.

“Hold it!” Lumumba took a moment to catch his breath after he caught up with Sarah. “I’m good but I’m not that good. You gave up on me, didn’t you?”

“No, I saw the logic of your argument, and–”

“Really, now?” A skeptical Lumumba stood with his arms akimbo. “OK. If you’re serious about whites being forgiven someday, let’s talk about how that forgiveness can be earned …”

The summer of 1992 brought her more joy than she ever thought possible, for opposites do sometimes attract, and it wasn’t long before Sarah and Lumumba had fallen deeply in love with each other. Sarah even allowed Lumumba to be the one who deflowered her (amidst the fireworks of Independence Day, no less), and afterwards, they talked until dawn while snuggling together. “My God — and to think something that feels THIS good would’ve gotten us lynched only a few decades ago …”

“Excuse me, honey: It would’ve gotten ME lynched,” Lumumba corrected, “you would’ve been, at the most, an outcast.”

“Well, that’s why I want to be a cop,” once Sarah saw how sour Lumumba’s expression had become, she added, “a GOOD cop, like Serpico, so that things keep getting better over time as they have been.”

“If you’re serious about that, you should forget about the law and teach,” Lumumba yawned, “poverty is the number one cause of crime and poverty is caused by ignorance — the poor are too ignorant to know how to LEGALLY make money and the rich are too ignorant to realize you can invest in your community without repeating the mistakes of the commies. It all boils down to ignorance.”

Sarah then lapsed into silence — thinking long and hard about what she just heard — before eventually falling asleep in her lover’s ebony embrace.

It was nothing short of cosmic cruelty for Sarah and Lumumba to have suffered the travesty of justice which came next. Right before school resumed that fall, Lumumba took Sarah to his native Tacoma for a family barbeque, but before the house he was raised in could be reached, the police pulled Sarah’s car over and falsely accused him of “fitting the description.”

An infuriated Lumumba resisted arrest and was shot dead before Sarah’s very eyes — by the time the sun set on that tragic day, the true culprit had been apprehended across town. Yes, he bore a vague, passing resemblance to Lumumba, but it wasn’t nearly enough to justify the atrocity that had been committed.

Ignorance caused another death but it also gained an enemy-for-life. Upon returning to the University of Washington (and after a long, grieving process mended a shattered spirit), Sarah changed her major from criminal justice to education.

February 28th, 1998

The following is a phone conversation between Sarah Manlove and her best friend, Matt Goad …

Matt: I’m just saying, girlfriend, you ought to give Vegas a try. I mean, that overcast, sub-arctic weather up there is only making you more depressed than usual.

Sarah: You know I still have another semester before I get my master’s …

Matt: And like I said, they’re DESPERATE for teachers down here! Hell, more folks move to Vegas every day, and if you’re stupid enough to gamble, you wind up stuck here after you’ve lost it all. So there are even more families with children, and for teachers, that means mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money!

Sarah: Fine, you’ve sold me. Besides, I have something else in mind you might be able to help me with … You still sew, right?

Matt: So long as there’s a chorus line full of showgirls on The Strip! It’s how I can afford this two bedroom house, which by the way is half yours should you decide to come down here.

Sarah: I appreciate that, thanks. Listen, I don’t know if you heard about this, but Kofi Annan — the secretary general of the United Nations — just stopped a war that could’ve consumed the whole world before it even started. He proved one man can make a difference.

Matt: Well, good for him, honey, but what does that have to do with moi?

Sarah: People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Sarah Manlove. As a woman I’m flesh and blood; I can be ignored I can be destroyed, but as a symbol — as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting … Matt, you used to work in Hollywood before you moved to Vegas — have you ever worked on a superhero costume ..?

August 9th, 2004

Usually, it’s an unruly student and not a teacher who sits in dread outside the principal’s office, and yet there Sarah was …

Earlier that year, she had gone toe-to-toe with the PTA over teaching that the CIA killed JFK in her history class, but now it was a matter of whether Whitney High would let Professor Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States be the standard that said class went by.

It took an hour of cursing out the principal and threatening to organize a strike a week before the first day of school, but a deal was struck: Sarah could order copies of Zinn’s A People’s History, but only if …

a) A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Patrick Allen was simultaneously cited in class, in the name of being “fair and balanced”

b) she paid for BOTH sets of books out of her own pocket

… Sarah reluctantly agreed — even though it’d mean twice as much work and flirting with bankruptcy. And while most other educators would’ve considered that enough for one day, Sarah subsequently ducked into the nearest ladies room and emerged as Mistress Peace. Disregarding the looks such a change of attire garnered from the staff of Whitney High, she strode with pride to her car (which would soon have to be sold in order to pay for those history books) and drove to The Strip — the boulevard in Las Vegas where most of its casnios are.

For the next few hours, Mistress Peace stood in all her glory on a street corner, raised dozens of dollars, and she even managed to slam then-presidential candidate, John Kerry, in a speech: “Today, Kerry said he would’ve invaded Iraq regardless of whether any weapons of mass destruction actually existed (which they don’t)! In the name of all that is holy and sacred! This means Kerry didn’t need to be lied to! This means Kerry will bend over backwards to appeal to the lowest common denominator; who evidently watched Patrick Swayze’s Red Dawn one time too many,” that comment brought smiles to some and shame to others, “this means he’s more dangerous than Bush! That’s why I’m voting for Nader, and before you falsely accuse me of spoiling an already-spoiled election, keep in mind that Nader got less than a hundred thousand votes in Florida whereas ONE MILLION black voters were kept from voting there at all! But does the Democratic Party blame the racism of Florida? No! It continues to scapegoat Nader! Further proof of just how worthless it is!”

Because Mistress Peace had to fend off a rabid “Anybody But Bush” Democrat incensed over any support for Ralph Nader, she was too distracted to say or do anything about the young man who stared at her from afar with disturbing intensity.

By sundown, Mistress Peace was already en route to her next stop, Café Roma, where every Monday night, its open mike allowed poets to perform. Though she didn’t actually have a poem, Mistress Peace still hoped the café would listen to her. “I come in here often enough to know that y’all think I’m crazy for wearing this, but what’s REALLY crazy is letting the military-industrial complex get away with mass murder again and again and again. No matter who you are or what you do, everyone can be a part the peace movement — so PLEASE, ask me how you can help. Given the way I dress, I won’t be hard to find.”

That last line did invoke a chuckle amongst Roma’s customers, but much to Mistress Peace’s chagrin, the only people who approached her were a pair of privileged princesses — one of which cradled a pet Chihuahua in a glittery pink sweater. “Sarah–”

“The name is Mistress Peace.”

“Whatever, Sarah,” the prettier of the two dismissively fanned her hand, “this an intervention. A fashion intervention, honey. The mall will be open for another hour, and we’re lucky, that’ll give us just enough time to do something about your — situation.”

Mistress Peace slowly rose from the table she sat at and doing so reminded the spoiled, suburban duo of a hawk spreading its wings before descending upon some hapless prey. “I’m only going to tell you two bitches this one last time: I do NOT need a goddamn makeover,” people in the café who sat within earshot of Mistress Peace began to turn their heads in her direction, “so if you EVER come at me like this again, I’m going to prove that I don’t just look like a superheroine, I fight like one too!”

Everyone in Café Roma went out of their way to avoid Mistress Peace after the aforementioned outburst, but just as she was about to leave, that same young man from the street corner earlier caught her eye. When he wasn’t staring at Mistress Peace, his head hid behind a large drawing pad, which made him seem very creepy indeed. Already in a bad mood, she thundered across the café towards the young man, but was pleasantly surprised to find flattering drawings of her in said pad. “Is this supposed to be me? I’m touched. These are good … I mean, Marvel, DC Comics good. Are you a professional?”

“I wish,” the young man’s face reddened from the attention his work received, “there’s too much competition and corporate censorship out there, so you have to create your own opportunities.” He then nervously extended a hand to be shaken. “I’m Vinnie Frizzelle.”

“Mistress P — Sarah. I’m Sarah Manlove.”

Sarah lived in Las Vegas with her friend Matt Goad in his two bedroom home for five years, and in all that time, she never brought a man back to the house (Matt has, but Sarah hasn’t). However, it’s been a long time since Lumumba and Vinnie did have a certain way about him …

… less than a month later, Sarah beseeched Matt to let Vinnie move in with them. “He doesn’t have much; just his art supplies and a computer. Everything else would stay in his van–”

“Lord have mercy, do you hear yourself?” Matt threw his hands in the air out of frustration. “Don’t you think this is a LITTLE fast? Besides, I got a bad feeling about this one. He has a problem making eye contact with me.”

“Probably because he’s afraid you’ll come on to him.”

“Cute, Sarah, real cute …” Matt folded his arms across the chest in angst “… fine, whatever. Let Michelangelo bunk with you, but at the first sign of trouble or homophobia, he’s out like roller disco.”

As the expression goes, for one brief, shining moment, Camelot: Though Vinnie wasn’t the lover or orator Lumumba had been, he made Sarah feel special. For while she was tantalized by Lumumba’s historical reminders of how black male/white female relationships were once verboten, Vinnie geniunely worshipped her. In a world where Mistress Peace was either a sex object or a freakish pariah, the superheroine felt like a mythic goddess in Vinnie’s presence — such a rare and precious thing stroked a previously untouched ego …

Except Vinnie never let Sarah see what he worked on. There was a lot of vague talk of making Mistress Peace famous but nothing more, and then the day came when curiousity took hold as it did with Eve in the garden of Eden — only this time it was for the best. “What the Hell — VINNIE ..!”

When Vinnie rushed into Sarah’s bedroom, his mouth gaped open upon seeing what she had been doing. “Why are you looking at my laptop? I told you not to–”

“Is this a porn site with Mistress Peace on it?!”

Matt Goad happened to be in the hallway when Sarah shrieked and poked his head in her doorway to eavesdrop . “Here we go …”

“Honey, I’m not done with it yet,” Vinnie implored, “it was going to be a surprise.”

“Well, here’s another surprise, get out! Get out of my room, my house and my life! We’re done!”

“Look, I don’t see the big deal,” Vinnie’s tone shifted from atoning to assertive, “you parade around in skin-tight … TIGHTS; you show off how well endowed you are for all the world to see, so why not take it one step further?”

“Because it’s my body and my choice, you prick!” Sarah now stood nose to nose with Vinnie. “YOU NEVER ASKED ME FOR MY PERMISSION! Don’t you think I’ve thought of this myself already? Sure, porn makes tens of billions of dollars every year, and yes, the left-wing would benefit immensely from that much money, but those savage ignoramuses at FOX News would have a fucking field day if it ever came out that the peace movement was being funded by something pornographic! Maybe, one day, yeah, but not now; not when it looks like we’ll have to wade through another four years of that inbred, retarded puppet of the oil industry!”

“Who said anything about funding the movement?” Vinnie’s eyes took on a sinister glimmer. “With as much money as I could make, we could move out of here and get a bigger place; even a mansion.”

“Y-You said you understood and cared about what I’m trying to do, you … ” Sarah’s teeth clenched tightly while both fists balled up and trembled in anticipation by her side.

“If I were you,” Matt intervined at this point, “I’d move out of here and get that bigger place RIGHT NOW, before he strikes you down where you stand.”

“Shut up, fag,” Vinnie didn’t even bother turning his head to smugly address Matt, “nobody’s talking to you.”

And with that, Sarah reached back and slammed a haymaker punch directly onto Vinnie’s glass jaw, knocking the artist out cold for hours. When Vinnie awoke, hastily broken pieces of his computer were strewn about on the pavement around him. After dark, somewhere in the bad part of town, he was also bound, gagged and completely naked with a cardboard sign fastened around the neck, which read, “FRESH MEAT.”

The bad news is, due to the First Amendment, the Get a Piece of Miss Peace’s Ass website is still online and is viewed by hundreds of thousands every other day. The good news is, thanks to some friends of Matt’s in the entertainment industry, Mistress Peace was able to tell her side of the story to tens of millions worldwide on an episode of Oprah. The name of the game is FAME.

April 5th, 2009

Mistress Peace awoke from her rather long flashback immersed in garbage. It was dawn the next morning and the drunken frat boys from Alpha Beta House who intended on gang raping a superheroine had long since forgotten about the act of evil they were going to commit; each were probably mired in a (hopefully very painful) hangover early that Sunday .

That evening, Sarah Manlove spoke before a group of girls who strove to be apprentices, of a sort. “… and that’s why, if you’re going to do this, you HAVE to use the buddy system and you HAVE to have a cell phone on you AT ALL TIMES. I know y’all think what I do is glamorous because you saw me on Oprah, and yes, there is that aspect to it, but always remember this ain’t about you and it certainly ain’t about your vanity or your comfort level. This is about the future of Humanity. Sex sells, this is true, but sex can also be a dangerous weapon, and if you don’t know how to use it — and use it well — it can misfire in your hand just like any malfunctioning gun. Beauty is power, and with great power, must come great responsibility. So whenever you’re out there dressed as superheroines (or other, similar characters) raising funds for good causes, you’re doing battle with the forces of evil — and as is the case with any battle, your weapon can mean the difference between life and death …”

The ladies in their late teens and early twenties studiously took notes while Sarah took a moment to gaze through a window of the room in the library she had reserved for this meeting. Her fingers gently ran along the side of a cheekbone; feeling for the faint wrinkles which were noticed after a long shower earlier. Though Sarah had yet to reach 40, it was best to find successors sooner rather than later. Strength in numbers, and all that.

There are those who believe — usually to rationalize a harsh past — that obstacles in life are necessary in order to strengthen the Human condition. Whenever Sarah hears some variation of this Nietzschean notion, she can’t help but cry and almost did in front of her assembled young charges. Surely, the strange case of Sarah Manlove accounted for some good in this world, but it wasn’t worth all the pain, so she sincerely hoped that those who took her place would be spared what Mistress Peace endured.


“You sit there a slave to fashion, sigh, and say to me, ‘I don’t want to spend my life fighting for a change that may never happen.’ MEANWHILE … as another victim dies from starvation in exchange for your ‘sense of style,’ I hope you wanting to hasten the death of your own life is worth murdering others.”
–from Raw Knowledge’s poem, Fashion Starvation, in the book Molotov Mouths by Manic D Press

“Cautious, careful people — always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing — never can bring about a reform.”
–Susan B. Anthony