Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’
* Your poem of the day: Tracy K. Smith, “Sci-Fi.”
* If you want a vision of the future: Tenure-track jobs in YA lit and science fiction studies at the University of Calgary.
* This is not to diminish the exuberant commitment of the participants. At the same time, we must reckon with the fact that pop culture really likes to be agreeable along with its thrills. It likes to say yes, and makes endless conciliations to do so. It is safer to say yes. Yes can be deeply pleasurable. History is made by those who say no. Extinction Pop.
* David Graeber has published the piece comparing Rojava to the Spanish Civil War that he and I argued about on Twitter the other day. I have to say I find Richard Seymour’s take much more persuasive.
So if we have no way to make the slogan effective, what is it for? If it is genuinely intended to pressure imperialist states to “arm the Kurds”, then it is at best unthinking sentimentality. At its most sophisticated, though, the idea could be to ‘intervene’ in an argument taking place in imperialist countries around the region’s uprisings and military intervention, to attack the weak points in the dominant ideology and open a space in which a leftist argument can be made to a popular audience. In this view, Kobane represents both the most progressive front of struggle in the region at the moment, and the weakest point ideologically for imperialist ruling classes who have no desire to see the PYD/PKK prevail. In this sense, the demand to “arm the Kurds” is a sort of feint, akin to a ‘transitional demand’ in that it is both seemingly ‘reasonable’ in light of the dominant ideology and also impossible for the ruling class to deliver.
“Post-post-colonial” — and that’s just because I can’t think of something wittier right now — I think is a new generation of, well, new-ish generation of writers, where we’re not driven by our dialogue with the former mother country [the United Kingdom]. The hovering power for us when growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was not the U.K. It was the States, it was America. And it wasn’t an imperialistic power, it was just a cultural influence. I’m sure if this book was written in the ’70s or the ’60s, the characters would have ended up in London. They wouldn’t have ended up in the Bronx.
For us [as opposed to the post-colonial writers], for example, identity is not necessarily how to define ourselves in the relation of colonial power, colonial oppressor — so now it’s a matter of defining who you are as opposed to who you’re not.
* Remember: Obama cannot fail, he can only be failed.
* BREAKING: Wall Street is still looting the whole country.
* Big news for a small number of academic writers and artists: Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions.
* Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Sinatoro follows a necronaut who is sent into the afterlife to save Earth from destruction. It draws influences from the western genre and the classic American highway Route 66. It’s something Morrison considers his magnum opus of sorts, and we’re glad he’ll finally get a chance to tell it.
* This is literally unbelievable: Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure.” I find it difficult to even conceive of anything more absurd than this.
* And judging from the resounding crickets that followed this announcement this feels like a year that maybe I really could have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
* If you’ve been following Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, there’s a new chapter out.
* A One-Item List For Tenure-Track Faculty: Do the job you were hired to do.
* Even the liberal George Will: “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will implored. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”
* If you want to know how I do it. More links below the image!
* A friend said it best: Ricky Gervais is scripting Congress now.
* Star Fleet uniforms: not OSHA-compliant.
* The mask slips: Tax agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity.
* This is horrible: First case of ebola reported in Africa’s most populous city Lagos.
* A lawsuit may determine whether “Happy Birthday” is really still under copyright, which is a bananas notion to begin with.
* The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. And now the Liberian government has confirmed that a senior doctor working to fight the disease, Samuel Brisbane, has died, the Associated Press reports. That makes him the first Liberian doctor to die of Ebola in the current outbreak.
In addition, an American doctor has been infected. Keith Brantly, a 33-year-old working for American aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, has been treated and is in stable condition, according to USA Today.
This news comes just days after an announcement that the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, had been infected.
* Today at Marquette: Today (Tuesday the 8th) from 5-6 PM in Lalumiere 208 we’ll be having our last Pop Culture Lunch Dinner of the semester, on music’s British Invasions. There will be pizza! Come out!
* Tomorrow at Marquette: Tomorrow (Wednesday the 9th) is Marquette English’s annual celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, which this year takes the form of a “Sonnet Slam.”
* This Weekend in Milwaukee: All weekend the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee is hosting a very exciting conference on “Anthropocene Feminism.”
* 4/22 in Cleveland: On April 22 I’ll be giving a talk at my beloved alma mater, Case Western, titled “Science Fiction and/as Philosophy.” More details to come!
* 4/26 at Marquette: The weekend of April 26th Marquette graduate students are hosting a conference on “Representing the Natural,” which also promises to be excellent.
* 5/2 in Chicago: I’ll also be giving a brief talk and participating in a roundtable at the Joss Whedon celebration at DePaul, reprising my role as snake-in-the-garden perfected at last year’s Doctor Who celebration.
* And, finally, 5/23 in Madison: I’ll be giving a paper at SFRA/WisCon on the great stuff I found in the Octavia Butler archives, especially the various unfinished drafts of Parable of the Trickster.
See you at all of these!
* What we’re talking about in my cultural preservation class today: Jyotsna Kapur’s “Capital limits on creativity: neoliberalism and its uses of art.” I’d actually suggest the adjunct herself functions as “the model worker of the new economy” alongside the freelancer.
The results of the Creative Culture Industry policy have already started to come in. Kate Oakley, among others, has shown that in the case of Britain these policies have exacerbated rather than eliminated inequality. They have led to gentrification and pockets of wealth in the midst of disintegrating social infrastructure. At the same time, work in the creative industries has become increasingly precarious — that is, temporary, project-based, and competitive, putting artists and media people in a constant in search of work (2006). As Richard Shearmur has indicated, calling upon local governments to modify their policies, planning, and budgets in order to respond to the preferences of the creative class boils down to reinforcing and subsidizing elites to a kind of ‘talent welfare’ that is reminiscent of ‘corporate welfare’ (2006-7, 37). In the process, art’s entire social role is undergoing a profound transformation. From being considered an imaginative and critical outsider or a participant in social transformation, the artist is now presented as the model worker of the new economy.
* The bad conscience of empire: Historic papers about the slave trade are among the enormous cache of public documents that the Foreign Office has unlawfully hoarded in a secret archive, the Guardian has learned.
* The chemical spill that contaminated water for hundreds of thousands in West Virginia was only the latest and most high-profile case of coal sullying the nation’s waters.
Connersville, Indiana police chief David Counceller’s most recent self-inflicted wound occurred when his sweatshirt jammed against his 40-caliber Glock’s trigger as he attempted to holster the weapon. He was examining a new Glock at a gun shop at the time.
* “To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children’s characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence,” he wrote to Ó Méalóid. “It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite ‘universes’ presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.”
* The headline reads, “Pubic Hair Grooming Injuries Have Quintupled.”