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7. Here Comes A Candle To Light You To Bed !!HOT!!

While we're going to have a lot of "Random Thoughts" to throw your way in a minute, one of the key themes of note we wanted to mention for this episode is just how much a shitty father or father figure in one's life can cause some serious collateral damage. And "Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed" punches us in the face with that reminder, reminding us of how the roots of what we're seeing now began with a lot of adults doing some truly horrible things to kids and then leaving them to deal with it on their own when they're older. From Butcher's nightmare mental loop of what happened between him, his dad, and his late brother; and MM's (Laz Alonso) confrontation with Todd (Matthew Gorman) over his daughter being exposed to Homelander's misinformation, to the episode-ending revelation that Soldier Boy is Homelander's father, we got to see the "origin stories" that got us to where we are now- never once asking us to sympathize or feel bad for them, but for us to understand where their darkness comes from.

7. Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed

Frenchie and Kimiko reunite with MM and Starlight to try and figure out what thing the Russians used to overpower Soldier Boy. Kimiko asks Starlight to get her Compound V so that she can have her powers back. At first, Starlight refuses, but after some convincing, she decides to visit the Vought Tower. While looking for Compound V, she comes across the notes of the scientists in the lab and discovers that after 3-5 doses, V-24 becomes fatal for the user. She also comes face to face with Homelander, but her presence of mind saves her from being killed on the spot. Homelander also meets with Maeve, who is ecstatic to discover that not only does the unkillable Supe have a bruise, but he is also scared.

"It's an interesting conundrum for both characters, but particularly for Homelander," the actor says. "He's always been looking for love and connection, and the revelation that he has a father really resurfaces that craving that he has for family... We tried to make it like Homelander really goes off in his own head. He becomes very mentally fractured and goes off on a bit of a fantasy of family and having the three generations all together. He's going to have a very male [family], but he's going to have a family. There's going to be this intergenerational bonding experience."

The lighting industry has never been short on making dramatic claims about what lighting can do. It's a storied tradition dating all the way back to our first salesman, Thomas Edison. The most popular flavor of sales claims in the industry today is that of improved health outcomes. Lighting can help you sleep better, shorten hospital stays, help you concentrate, and darkness at night can even help prevent breast cancer.

I'm not saying every manufacturer's claims are categorically true, far from it, there are many that are outlandish, right on their face. But there is enough aggregate science that we can start from the premise that the quantity and quality of light people live and work with can either increase or decrease their quality of life. We know we need bright days and dark nights. We know some light sources reveal colors better than others. We know that light changes how we sleep and good sleep is a keystone of quality health. Properly applied light can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer's symptoms, light can prevent car accidents, and improve educational outcomes. To be sure many of these topics require further study, (quick plug for the Light and Health Research Center), but we're past the point of guessing. We know that good light makes things better.

With this definition in mind, we can think about how light might contribute to the concept of health equity. The easiest place to conjure an example is probably sleep. If you live in subsidized housing there is a very good chance that you never experience dark nights even in your own bedroom. Security and area lighting blast light into your windows all night long detracting from the quality of your sleep. We know lack of good sleep contributes to countless secondary health effects.

Another example is K-12 education. We know that access to natural light, a combination of sources, and a higher quality of light source all contribute to better energy and attentiveness. If we know lighting can improve education and health outcomes in younger students isn't it imperative that *ALL* students have access to that kind of quality lighting?

It's at this point that the tide of idealism slams into the shore of economics. The argument here goes "better light is more expensive and there isn't money in the budget." My response to that is that budgets reflect priorities. I believe children in school should be a priority. If the pandemic taught us anything it's just how vital schools are to the daily lives of so many children. You might argue, that they deserve better meals, more educational tools, more staffing, and so many other things. I don't argue with any of that, but my field is lighting and so my primary focus is on how we can use light to bring more equity to our society. So many segments of our population can have their lives improved with light. From premature babies in the NICU to senior citizens in group homes, we can make people healthier if we design lighting situations that are advantageous.

Certainly, it's easy for me to make impassioned commentary, but taking the actions necessary to bring equity to design will take more than blog posts. Fortunately, we have good models for how to bring more equitable design to our built environments. We already know that IES lighting recommendations are the standard that municipalities use to set light levels for various functions. We know that fire and safety codes can radically improve the safety of our buildings. The Americans with Disabilities Act has improved accessibility. The energy codes of California have moved the nation forward when it comes to better sustainability. We can do the same thing when it comes to defining and codifying best practices for everything from schools to senior citizen homes. Not everything needs to be a code, but if the basics are elevated from "35 foot-candles at the desk" to "35 foot-candles at the desk horizontally and 50 foot-candles at the eye vertically" we would have made a huge leap in our thinking. If we changed our city ordinances to allow for darker nights in all residential areas, we'll be improving sleep. If we write procedures for natural light exposure and light therapy for seniors we will improve lives.

"I'll pick up her clothes and essentials in a day or two. You go to bed." "We'll both wait." Divorced six years, Beth and I have run out of things to say to each other. I pulled a chair up alongside the door. She sat over in a dark corner of the living room, smoking. Three-thirty a.m. Grace flounces into the apartment, sees me sitting in the hallway, and lets out a laugh. "Dad, what are you doing here?" "Leave your coat on." She takes it off and begins looking about the room for her mother. A fifteen-year-old in a woman's skin dressed like her mother when I first met her in a dance hall back in Ashtabula. Grace, who'd been drinking, is attempting to humor me while insinuating her mother's betrayal. "What did you call Dad for, Ma?" Beth slouched farther down into the sofa. I hand Grace her coat. "Take yours off," she responds. "Nice of you to visit. Little early in the morning though, don't you agree, Ma?" she sneered. "Put your goddamn coat on, Grace." It's now lying on the floor between us. "I'm not putting my coat on for you or anybody else." A summer earlier she'd played league softball, and before her attitude had begun to shift, shot-putted at high school. I grabbed her arm. "Oh no!" she said. "Uh-huh . . ." We were on the floor, she struggling to break free of my grip. "You're coming with me, girl. This no-accountability life of yours is all over. Changing of the fucking guard!" I'd never seriously wrestled with a woman before-let alone my daughter. Grace and I rose and fell several times before she finally succumbed. I'd pinned her arms above her head and straddled her chest. She turned sullenly to Beth . . . who glided nervously back and forth before the picture window. "Don't touch one goddamn thing of mine! I'll be back tomorrow." My International Harvester Scout sat under the streetlight. Grace lit up a cigarette as we drove off. So far so good, I thought. Over the six years of separation we'd seen each other at least twice a week. The three girls initially. Then when they grew older, it made more sense to see them individually. So we'd rotate weeks. (Neither Beth nor I had remarried.) My visits with the girls were always phrenetic-a forced "happy hour" that they learned to endure and I couldn't have done without. Until a year ago when they abruptly stopped. Each girl asked separately, "Dad, can't we just visit you on a more casual basis?" They were growing up. I crossed the Spyten Dyvil bridge and drove onto Westside Drive. Grace hadn't spoken a word until the Dyckman Street exit in the Bronx. "Turn off here!" she ordered. "But that's not the way downtown." "Do it!" she cried. And grabbed the steering wheel, forcing us off the road. "Grace!" "Trust me." I exited and pulled the car over to the curb. "What's this all about?" "I'll tell you later." She wasn't attempting to jump out of the car, so I dropped it and took Broadway south. Periodically she'd look to either side of the car as vehicles passed, or out the back window to see if we were being followed. In the Fifties she visibly relaxed. "What's going on, Grace?" "Nothing now." "Then?" "You were about to be ambushed." She lit another cigarette. "I don't get it." "We saw your car." "Who?" "Me and my friends. 'He's here to take me away,' I told them. 'Get ready.'" "Is this some kind of story, Grace?" "They were going to force you off the road down along 125th Street, one of those turn-offs near the river. Then pull me loose. It was all planned." "And me?" She didn't respond. Neither of us spoke to each other until we got to my apartment. At the door, I asked: "These boys you're talking about ambushing me?" "Yeah?" "Tell me." "Ralph's an ex-con out of Wallkill. He ain't been a boy for some time." She ascended the stairs first. Built just like her mother. I couldn't tell them apart from the rear. The high heels with rhinestone shooting-star clasps, the shimmering pantyhose in the hallway amber light, roan hair that fell to her shoulders-and a scent that any man penned in a cage could never forget. 041b061a72


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