Posts Tagged ‘mortality’
101 Early American Euphemisms for Death. From the blog of the day, Vast Public Indifference.
* An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to “challenge” his/her students to “formulate a persuasive argument” tasked them with writing an essay about why “Jews are evil,” as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty.
* I’m afraid you’ll find the Daleks are already here.
* The actual rendezvous and lassoing of an asteroid, which NASA characterizes as the “most technically challenging aspect of the mission,” could begin as soon as 2019 and result in the asteroid arriving in the vicinity of the moon in 2021.
* Actually existing media bias: Al Gore is fat edition.
* The New Yorker remembers radical feminist Shulamith Firestone.
* Syllabus minute: I have W.H. Auden envy.
Some projections showed Athletics might not be able to make payments starting in the 2030s when the debt service balloons. The debt is structured so that for the next 20 years, Cal only needs to make interest payments on the debt. The principal kicks in in the early 2030s, resulting in payments between $24 million and $37 million per year.
Look, if it’s good enough for an idea man who settled out of court on securities fraud, it’s good enough for me.
* What If? on The Twitter Archive of Babel. The Twitter Archive of Babel contains the true story of your life, as well as all the stories of all the lives you didn’t lead….
* You and I are gonna live forever: 72 is the new 30.
* Settling nerd fights of the 1990s today: Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?
* The Star Wars Heresies: Star Wars and William Blake. Tim Morton’s essay in Green Planets has a similar impulse with respect to Avatar.
* And in even more insane mashup news: WWE Keeps Pressure On Glenn Beck.
* My piece on ecological science fiction and pessimistic despair from the “Weather” issue of The New Inquiry is online: Après Nous, le Déluge. Don’t let the title fool you; it’s in English!
Perhaps Lear would have thought it all a bit too on-the-nose—but now our suicidal urges and our selfishness and our sickening disregard for the future come back to us as hurricanes and heat-waves. Let a thousand science fictional panoramas bloom: the Statue of Liberty frozen over, toppled in the sand, neck-deep in water. Hollywood on fire. Texas cracked with drought. Hundred-year storms every other year. Après nous, la glace, le feu, le désert, le déluge.
* In case you missed it last night, my course this semester: “Thrill and Dread in the American Century.”
* Profhacker has a writeup from the people behind the Occupy MLA hoax for people who are still curious just what was going on there. If my Twitter timeline is any indication, it’s fair to say this was not well-received. Personally I think it’s very hard to argue this was about advancing cause of adjuncts and NTT faculty in any meaningful way, though I can see why they want to say so now. Nothing about the portrayal of the Occupy MLA participants either this year or last year cast critics of academic labor in a good light. Bérubé agrees! For a somewhat more nuanced take, see Noel Jackson’s timeline.
MOOCs are designed to impose, not improved learning, but a new business model on higher education, which opens the door for wide-scale profiteering. Public institutions of higher education then become shells for private interests who will offer small grants on the front end and reap larger profits on the back end.
* But, in fact, we’ve got two grand experiments of her theory,” he said. “The first is the American South, where teachers unions are weak and the schools are not lighting the world on fire. The other is charter schools, which are 88 percent non-unionized. In charters, you can do everything that Michelle Rhee wants to do — fire bad teachers, pay good teachers more. And yet, the most comprehensive studies looking at charter schools nationally find mediocre results.”
2. Call me Ishmael. I was a young man of military age. I was immolated at my wedding. My parents are inconsolable.
* Supreme Court Justice Death Calculator. I’ll save you the trouble:
The probability of at least 1 conservative justice dying by 2017: 46.62%.
* While popular culture has for centuries reflected an older form of law and justice, its capacity to undermine the very pluralist and discursive openness which are its well-spring, demonstrates the dangers to which the rhetoric of urgency and the emotional power of medium and message are prone. In a world shorn of its faith in the traditional structures which sustained the moral economy and the moral legality, the appeal to simply trust in an inarticulable justice sustained by an emotional pitch which is in ‘24’ at every moment apparent, opens the prospect of legal terrorism.
* And a public service announcement: Harmontown comes to Wisconsin next week…
Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States.
* Confirmed: US planned to nuke the moon. Not a Mr. Show link, not an imaginary story…
Questions like “how did things get the way they are?” or “how far back do we have to go to find the roots of this problem?” are usually more interesting—and more recognizable as historical problems—than questions like “what happened next?”
* This guide provides an introduction to a handful of the strange spatial typologies found within the “cold chain,” that linked network of atmospheric regulation on which our entire way of life depends.
* In “North by Northwest” and other movies, Grant — for all his good looks — represented the triumph of the sexual meritocracy — a sex appeal won by experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have. Oh man. How did this ever see print?
* Last Year’s Debt Ceiling Debacle Cost Taxpayers $18.9 Billion. We can beat that.
* We’ve all been there: Ann Arbor man punched during literary argument. But this story buries the lede: what book were they arguing about?
* And You Are Most Likely to Die at 11 a.m. If you’re in the Midwest, that’s about forty-five minutes from now, so you’d better get moving…
“The purpose would not be to exterminate programs or keep students from pursuing them. There will always be a need for them,” said Dale Brill, who chairs the task force. “But you better really want to do it, because you may have to pay more.”
* But wait, there’s more! As unmanned aerial vehicles start crossing over from military to civilian use, Hinds Community College is starting Mississippi’s first program to train drone pilots and technicians.
* If you studied the liberal arts in an American college anytime after 1980, you were likely exposed to what is universally called Theory. Perhaps you still possess some recognizable talismans: that copy of The Foucault Reader, with the master’s bald head and piercing eyes emblematic of pure intellection; A Thousand Plateaus with its Escher-lite line-drawing promising the thrills of disorientation; the stark, sickly-gray spine of Adorno’s Negative Dialectics; a stack of little Semiotext(e) volumes bought over time from the now-defunct video rental place. Maybe they still carry a faint whiff of rebellion or awakening, or (at least) late-adolescent disaffection. Maybe they evoke shame (for having lost touch with them, or having never really read them); maybe they evoke disdain (for their preciousness, or their inability to solve tedious adult dilemmas); maybe they’re mute. But chances are that, of those studies, they are what remain. And you can walk into the homes of friends and experience the recognition, wanly amusing or embarrassing, of finding the very same books.
* Look, guys, I grew up in New Jersey. It always snow-hurricanes on Halloween there. Climate change is a myth.
* Rick Moody reviews Building Stories.
This book is a masterpiece. What would it mean for this book to be a masterpiece? First we would have to address on what basis, in a review of Building Stories, we would be able to use the word “book.” Chris Ware, as an artist of “comics” is not initially a maker of “books.” Not at first. In fact, Building Stories, having been assembled (or amassed, or compiled) from pieces made for Nest, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere, would itself appear to be something quite different from a book. It would look, in fact, like something more ephemeral, more contemporary, perhaps like something closer to a “magazine” or a “comic strip” than to a book.
* Why Democrats probably won’t take back the House. Obama: The Rolling Stone Interview. Tina Fey Says She’s on the Verge of Losing Her Mind Over Ridiculous GOP Rape Remarks. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to End Political Endorsements.
* Science proves men and women can’t just be friends. Sorry, all my female friends! But science.
* Ladies and gentlemen, your headline of the year: Feds Charge NYPD Cop with Cannibal Conspiracy.
* DAVID BROOKS: Okay, so our act starts with us inflating a giant internet bubble. Then that collapses, taking the country’s economy with it, just as we massively cut taxes on millionaires because, we say, if we don’t the government will have too much money. Right after that we blow off warnings about terrorism and let 3,000 Americans get slaughtered. We use that as a chance to lie the U.S. into invading a country that had nothing to do with the attack, killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees. In the middle of all that we borrow torture techniques from the Inquisition and use them on people in secret sites around the planet. Then we make billions off another financial bubble, the biggest in human history, and do nothing as it collapses, plunging the world into the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. To fix that we open up the national bank vault and shovel out money as fast as possible to all the criminals who made it happen in the first place. Then—as the amazing finale—we refuse to prosecute anyone for that, for the war, or for torture, and we start killing U.S. citizens with flying death robots.
AGENT: …That’s a hell of an act. What do you call it?
DAVID BROOKS: The Aristocrats!
* Male privilege watch: For anyone who’s unfamiliar with her plight, Sarkeesian wanted to start a project to cover a subject that’s not exactly radical: the portrayal of women in video games. Her YouTube account, in which she explains the project, was flooded with comments equating her to the KKK, calling her a “fucking hypocrite slut,” comparing the project to an act of war, and flagging the video as promoting hatred or violence. Her Wikipedia page was vandalized, her picture replaced with pornographic images, and people tried to get the Kickstarter proposal Sarkeesian was using to raise money to support the project shut down. More from MeFi.
* To whit.
“The ability to see him as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear,” he said. “He literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building him up and just when he gets confident, we break him down again.”
In the new Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones will suffer. His best friend will be kidnapped. He’ll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape him.
“He is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in his evolution: he’s forced to either fight back or die.”
* People say M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” is an impossible space, but nothing is impossible with LEGO.
* First as farce, then as…?: Romney Touts Presidential Salary Plan That Was Literally A Saturday Night Live Skit.
* Goodfellas‘s famously ambiguous ending finally resolves: Henry Hill has died.
* Someone in the New York Times is stealing my ideas: How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death.
* I’m already deeply nostalgic for Cavendish bananas. The Goldfingers look terrible.
* Academic freedom watch: Jammie Price, a tenured professor of sociology at Appalachian State University, was suspended last month after showing a documentary about pornography in her introductory sociology class.
Price said the film, which she checked out from the university library, was graphic at times but academically relevant to that week’s topic of gender and sexuality. A Wheelock College professor who helped make the movie said it was “ludicrous” to discipline an instructor for showing the documentary, noting that interviews with gender studies scholars figure prominently in the film, which is critical of the porn industry but also includes brief explicit scenes of porn.
* Actually existing media bias: The Liberal Media has consistently given more positive coverage to likely Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to President Barack Obama, according to a new survey of media coverage from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project.
* Alas, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Saw The Largest Decrease In Employment In The Last 12 Months.
* 33 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies that Could Rock Your Summer. Spoiler alert: more like five.
* mightygodking: Why the Silver Age Was Better.
* What better way to fulfill Brando’s legacy and promote Native American rights than with a $250 million Lone Ranger remake/reboot about mystical werewolves murdering people? I really can’t on any level believe this is actually being made.
* The regime for the poor and those within the criminal justice system is both policed and punitive and–in accordance with behavior that exists outside natural, market ordered society–heavily regulated and ordered by the state. Welfare and aid programs become a disciplinary mechanism for the working poor, with government monitoring and sanctioning taking an increasing role in guiding behavior. According to law professor William Stuntz, the courtroom has become a factory for processing; 95 percent of criminal convictions now come from a guilty plea, avoiding a trial. Arrests have risen almost sevenfold with only 60 percent more prosecutors needed. Meanwhile, prosecutors have been able to pull off the impressive trick of increasing the number of plea bargains while also raising the average length of imprisonment during this time period. The lived experience of prisons is also more punitive. Our current prison system is characterized by severe overcrowding, inadequate medical care, infection rates for HIV, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and staph far higher than on the outside world, the degradation of the custodial experience, high costs of keeping social ties intact, punitive long-term isolation, and the ever-present threat of violence and rape.
The extensive government regulation of behavior extends after the prison. As UCLA law professor Sharon Dolovich argues in “Creating the Permanent Prisoner,” those leaving prison enter into a dense web of government management, simultaneously punitive and neglectful. People who leave prison face “[b]ans on entry into public housing, restrictions on public-sector employment, limits on access to federal loans for higher education, and restrictions on the receipt of public assistance… The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section recently embarked on a project to catalogue all state and federal statutes and regulations that impose legal consequences on the fact of a felony conviction. As of May 2011, the project had catalogued over 38,000 such provisions, and project advisers estimate that the final number could reach or exceed 50,000.” Together, these create a new kind of subject, someone who exists permanently on the outside of our civilization, never meant or able to reintegrate back into our social spaces.
* And In Focus has your pictures of Earth from above.
* While my cousin was visiting last weekend we saw both Toy Story 3 and Exit Through the Gift Shop, both of which I endorse for entirely different reasons. What I find most interesting about Exit is the possibility that large swaths of the documentary, perhaps even the whole thing, are a high-concept Banksy prank; what I like best about Toy Story 3 is how bravely it faces down the themes of mortality and obsolescence that have always been the subtext of the series. That the toys (spoiler alert) receive their inevitable reprieve is ultimately a small consolation; in the end, we must admit Lotso had it right.
* This short but intriguing post from Crooked Timber compares the Toy Story franchise to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, concluding (as we must) that Stinky Pete is the existential hero of the series, the only character who is genuinely free.
* World Cup supervillain Koman Coulibaly apparently fired.
* If I’m reading this correctly, Matt Yglesias wants to turn Detroit into District 9. More on Detroit and this week’s U.S. Social Forum here and here.
* There’s something about this piece on spiked anti-rape protection in South Africa that gets people talking. I can’t count how many times it’s shown up in my Facebook feed.
* One day late for Father’s Day: “Daddy, could we have our planet back now?”
* Pandagon highlights a study linking sexual aggression and heavy porn use.
It’s easy to see why conservatives would be salivating at the thought of a Hillary primary challenge. Presidents who face serious primary challenges—Ford, Carter, Bush I—almost always lose. The last president who lost re-election without a serious primary challenge, by contrast, was Herbert Hoover. But in truth, the chances that Obama will face a primary challenge are vanishingly slim, and the chances that he will lose re-election only slightly higher. No wonder conservatives are fantasizing about Hillary Clinton taking down Barack Obama. If she doesn’t, it’s unlikely they will.
* No holiday for death: Rest in peace, José Saramago.
* Everyone seems to have forgotten about coal ash.
* Quit your job: Civ V trailer.
* Smurfs 3-D, thy name is abomination.
Life is too short to miss any games to be played this summer in South Africa. A sad fact of human existence is that an average life seldom contains more than 20 World Cups—our games are tragically numbered.
* And if films retained their original casting. It’s a true shame we never got David Bowie as Captain Hook.