Posts Tagged ‘my media empire’
* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.
* And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.
But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.
* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.
* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.
* If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.
* “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”
* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.
* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.
At io9, Annalee Newitz has a brief writeup on my Octavia Butler research, including some of my scattered notes about what the Fledgling sequel might have been like.
* After long neglect I’ve updated the “online articles” page on my Professional Website, if you’re interested.
* Jacobin‘s brief history of neoliberalism is quite good, though the claim that the Tea Party is irrelevant or that the GOP is on the ropes seems especially odd after last night’s wonderfully improbable defeat of Eric Cantor.
* You’d think at the “legacy project” point of his presidency Obama might want to avoid phrases like “misspent years” and “talking your way through” things.
* Pizzeria Boss Fined $334K Because You Can’t Pay Workers In Pizza And Soda. Why not let the free market decide if pizza is currency?
* The Mental-Health Consequences of Unemployment. The jobs with the highest incidence of depression. Both cases seem like prime candidates for the left critique of the medicalization of depression, which is that sometimes you’re depressed because your circumstances are bad, not because your brain is misfiring.
* Headlines you don’t want to read about your new city: “Getting Milwaukee’s rivers to meet state water quality standards won’t be easy.”
* Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack. I have to believe this is a significant undercount.
* My “but it could actually be good” fantasy script for Batman vs. Superman get less and less likely by the day. Alas.
* And could we finally see another Star Trek TV series courtesy of Netflix? Only if you promise it’s not Captain Worf.
* Meanwhile, my new best friend Levar Burton says Octavia Butler is the writer he most wishes he’d met.
* An itinerary is by no means the only thing required for setting out on a trip. And the itinerary will change along the way. But for a deliberate departure from capitalism, rather than a blind flight, a preliminary itinerary will be necessary. Whatever we think of the term communism, the crossroads Marx and Engels glimpsed in the Manifesto is coming more clearly into view: either a left alternative to capitalism or “the common ruin of the contending classes”.
* As horrific as recent mass killings have been, the idea of a slide into ongoing domestic terrorism is just nightmarish.
* Meanwhile: War Gear Flows to Police Departments.
* Temple University is investigating an ethics complaint that two of its professors did not properly disclose funding from the private prison industry for their research on the cost of incarceration.
* Grad Students Could Win Big as Obama Slashes Debt Payments. Understanding the CBO’s bullshitting about how the government doesn’t make money on student loans. Lawsuits and the end of the NCAA. College’s inequality disgrace: Millionaire university presidents and indebted students. In the Near Future, Only Very Wealthy Colleges Will Have English Departments. Yes, the Humanities Are Struggling, but They Will Endure. And Now We Know I’ll Never Be MLA President.
* Emily Bazelon covers the Title IX crisis in American colleges. Taekwondo Is Great but Not the Solution to Campus Rape. U. of Oregon Student Who Alleged Rape by Athletes Writes Open Letter. And then there’s George.
* Jezebel covers Wikipedia’s internal fighting over #YesAllWomen.
* I thought this was genuinely stunning even by Fox’s already low standards: Fox News Guest Launches Race-Based Attack On Neil deGrasse Tyson.
* The media warns readers about violent pimps stealing girls from malls, but most victims’ stories are very different. I know this because I was a teen trafficking victim, and my experience reflects much of the research that’s been done with trafficking victims.
Last December I had the improbable privilege to be the very first scholar to open the boxes at the Huntington that contain what Butler had written of Trickster before her death.What I found were dozens upon dozens of false starts for the novel, some petering out after twenty or thirty pages, others after just two or three; this cycle of narrative failure is recorded over hundreds of pages of discarded drafts. Frustrated by writer’s block, frustrated by blood pressure medication that she felt inhibited her creativity and vitality, and frustrated by the sense that she had no story for Trickster, only a “situation,” Butler started and stopped the novel over and over again from 1989 until her death, never getting far from the beginning…
The second part of my Octavia Butler piece is up at Los Angeles Review of Books, all about Parable of the Trickster!
Part one of my two-part writeup on the Octavia Butler papers, “Knowing No One’s Listening: Octavia E. Butler’s Unexpected Stories,“ has gone up at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Part two, on Parable of the Trickster, goes up on Monday!
* The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.
* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.
* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.
* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.
* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.
* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.
* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.
* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!
* Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.
* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.
* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?
* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.
* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.
* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.
* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.
* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.
* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
* Commencement speech bingo. More links below!
* Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries. Well, yes, I’m definitely worried. That’s madness.
* “Hood disease.” My God, don’t call it that.
* It places the United States in the top spot, ahead of Sweden and Canada, which come in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Yet when the scores are adjusted for national levels of income, the United States drops to 15th place, behind such developing countries as China and Serbia.
* If you want to help low-income students succeed, it’s not enough to deal with their academic and financial obstacles. You also need to address their doubts and misconceptions and fears.
* The proposed rule would cut off student aid to career-focused programs at for-profit and nonprofit colleges if the program’s student-loan default rate reached 30 percent or if half of its graduates failed two student-loan debt standards.
* MRA city councilman files Title IX complaint on behalf of U Oregon players arbitrarily kicked off team after DA slow-walks the process to protect their eligibility for March Madness and then declines to bring charges, thereby completing the circle of shitshow.
* According to faculty accounts, deans received an email from the administration on the evening of May 5, alerting them to a meeting the next day about staffing issues. At that meeting, deans in certain colleges were told they needed to cut a prescribed number of full-time faculty positions. Of 16 total cuts, 11 were to come from the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty members said. Deans were given two days – until Thursday – to consult with their department chairs about which faculty members to terminate. Affected instructors were notified that day.
* The best way to think of the dilemma is keeping in mind the three things Obama wants his regulations to accomplish: He wants them to effectively reduce carbon pollution, he wants them not to cost consumers too much, and he wants to be sure they can survive legal challenge. The trouble is that he can only pick two of these. And the primary question weighing on administration regulators as they make their decision will be how to read the mind of Anthony Kennedy.
The voluntariat performs skilled work that might still command a wage without compensation, allegedly for the sake of the public good, regardless of the fact that it also contributes directly and unambiguously to the profitability of a corporation. Like the proletariat, then, the voluntariat permits the extraction of surplus value through its labor.
But unlike the proletariat’s labor, the voluntariat’s has become untethered from wages. The voluntariat’s labor is every bit as alienable as the proletariat’s — Coursera’s Translator Contract leaves no doubt about that — but it must be experienced by the voluntariat as a spontaneous, non-alienated gift.
* Medical nightmare of the week: Morgellons disease.
* Speculative genetic explanations for social phenomena have an old and undistinguished history, some of which Wade reviews superficially, presumably to demonstrate his skill at reviewing topics superficially. The common thread, though, is that such explanations have always been (1) put forward to establish a bio-political point, to draw imaginary limits around the social progress of certain human groups; (2) accompanied by the dissimulation that they are not political statements, but merely value-neutral science; and (3) false.
* The Bay Area author of an upcoming book shatters the image of California’s historic missions as idyllic sites where Franciscan friars and Indians lived in harmony. Speaking before about 100 people Saturday at the American Indian Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz, Elias Castillo, author of “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions,” said in reality the missions were “death camps.”
* He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun. What could possibly go wrong?
What is the political charge of an eco-apocalypse like climate change, or ocean acidification, or Peak Oil? How are we to understand these visions of bad futures as they come to us from scientific projections and risk calculation spreadsheets? Is the coming catastrophe the dystopian clarion that warns us we must change-or is it the anti-utopian proof that we will refuse to change, even at the cost of civilization, or the planet itself?
I have a not-exactly-an-excerpt from Green Planets over at SF Signal, pontificating on the distinctions between utopia, anti-utopia, dystopia, and anti-dystopia…
The essays in Green Planets are predicated on the proposition that two hundred years of SF can help us collectively “think” this leap into futurity in the context of the epochal mass-extinction event called the Anthropocene (which the literary theorists more simply call “modernity”). SF is our culture’s vast, shared, polyvocal archive of the possible; from techno-utopias to apocalypses to ecotopian fortunate falls, it is thetransmedia genre of SF that has first attempted to articulate the sorts of systemic global changes that are imminent, or already happening, and begins to imagine what our transformed planet might eventually be like for those who will come to live on it. Especially taken in the context of escalating ecological catastrophe, in which each new season seems to bring with it some new and heretofore-unseen spectacular disaster, my coeditor’s well-known declaration that in the contemporary moment “the world has become a science fiction novel” has never seemed more true or more frightening. Indeed, such a notion suggests both politics and “realism” are now always “inside” science fiction, insofar as the world, as we experience its vertiginous technological and ecological flux, now more closely resembles SF than it does any historical realism…
I’ll try not to be too aggressive about self-promotional spam, but I’m very excited to formally announce that the edited collection I put together with Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, comes out next month from Wesleyan University Press in paperback, hardback, and on Kindle. I just got my advance copy yesterday; we’re very proud of the book and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Here’s a table of contents:
Preface by Gerry Canavan
Introduction: “If This Goes On” also by Gerry Canavan
Part 1 Arcadias and New Jerusalems
1 ► “Extinction, Extermination, and the Ecological Optimism
of H. G. Wells” by Christina Alt
2 ► “Evolution and Apocalypse in the Golden Age” by Michael Page
3 ► “Daoism, Ecology, and World Reduction in Le Guin’s Utopian Fictions” by Gib Prettyman
4 ► “Biotic Invasions: Ecological Imperialism in New Wave Science Fiction” by Rob Latham
Part 2 Brave New Worlds and Lands of the Flies
5 ► “‘The Real Problem of a Spaceship Is Its People': Spaceship Earth as Ecological Science Fiction” by Sabine Höhler
6 ► “The Sea and Eternal Summer: An Australian Apocalypse” by Andrew Milner
7 ► “Care, Gender, and the Climate-Changed Future: Maggie Gee’s The Ice People“ by Adeline Johns-Putra
8 ► “Future Ecologies, Current Crisis: Ecological Concern in South African Speculative Fiction” by Elzette Steenkamp
9 ► “Ordinary Catastrophes: Paradoxes and Problems in Some Recent Post-Apocalypse Fictions” by Christopher Palmer
Part 3 Quiet Earths, Junk Cities, and the Cultures of the Afternoon
10 ► “‘The Rain Feels New': Ecotopian Strategies in the Short Fiction of Paolo Bacigalupi” by Eric C. Oto
11 ► “Life after People: Science Faction and Ecological Futures” by Brent Bellamy and Imre Szeman
12 ► “Pandora’s Box: Avatar, Ecology, Thought” by Timothy Morton
13 ► “Churning Up the Depths: Nonhuman Ecologies of Metaphor in Solaris and ‘Oceanic'” by Melody Jue
Afterword: “Still, I’m Reluctant to Call This Pessimism” by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson
There’s also a lengthy “Of Further Interest” appendix that’s an annotated list of some key texts in the subgenre of ecological science fiction.
Thanks to all the contributors, and to everyone at Wesleyan, for all their hard work. I hope you’ll check it out.
* Reviews of Disability in Science Fiction at Tor and wordgathering focus on my chapter in particular, each taking up a different half of it; read them together and you get a pretty good sense of what I was on about.
* Confirm your suspicions about who the worst people at Gawker are: What Should Be Done About Detroit? A Gawker Internal Debate.
* Boy with Asthma Dies After School Confiscates His Inhaler. “Zero tolerance policy against asthma inhalers.”
* That’s not what the Left wants. We want to give people the chance to do something else with their lives, something besides merely tending to it, without having to take a 30-year detour on Wall Street to get there. The way to do that is not to immerse people even more in the ways and means of the market, but to give them time and space to get out of it. That’s what a good welfare state, real social democracy, does: rather than being consumed by life, it allows you to make your life. Freely. One less bell to answer, not one more.
* This won’t be the last time you hear about it, but Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction finally has a pre-order page.
* In a post-employment economy ridden with arbitrary credentialism, a résumé is often not a reflection of achievement but a document sanctioning its erasure. One is not judged on what one has accomplished, but on one’s ability to walk a path untouched by the incongruities of market forces.