Posts Tagged ‘transgender issues’
* Man tragically unable to remember saying Barack Obama would make a great president says Hillary Clinton will make a great president. Meanwhile, the rest of us are reduced to talking about Obama’s secret achievements.
* Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth? The dream remains alive.
“We do not agree with her assertions that she suffered retaliation or was otherwise treated unfairly,” URS said, adding Busche was fired for reasons unrelated to the safety concerns. “Ms. Busche’s allegations will not withstand scrutiny.”
Busche is the second Hanford whistle-blower to be fired by URS in recent months. Walter Tamosaitis, who also raised safety concerns about the plant, was fired in October after 44 years of employment.
* A world of horrors: There is no such thing as a child prostitute.
* In the same way that certain styles of dance simulate sex, the Winter Olympics simulates scraping one’s February-chapped nostrils against the surface of a Kleenex whose aloe content is useless and reaching out for the warm escape of death. It’s an art of failed suicide attempts.
* A preliminary sketch of the data reveals, of course, that by 2050 films will be reviewing us.
* Grace Kerr sometimes jokes with her family that “Amanda was not that great. Zach is awesome.” What she means is that her son is finally happy, and is helping others.
* News You Can Use: Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo.
* And our long national nightmare is over: Obama apologizes for disparaging art historians.
* What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it.
* Accreditation Standards Should Include Treatment of Adjuncts, Report Says. This has been my revolutionary scheme for a while, glad to see it could actually be feasible…
* “I wouldn’t go so far,” writes Horton of Kincaid’s central thesis that short science fiction exhibits all the signs of exhaustion. “I don’t think that ‘all meaning has been drained from’ the tropes we use, but I do think they are becoming overfamiliar. And I do think that the field of science fiction has to a considerable extent become enamoured with explicitly backward-looking ideas.”
* “These findings suggest that potential harm to faculty-student relationships and academic freedom should not continue to serve as bases for the denial of collective bargaining rights to graduate student employees.”
* Boom: A Journal of California interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.
* My friend Jack Hamilton eulogizes Pete Seeger.
* Stradivarius violin stolen in armed robbery in Milwaukee. Said to be the biggest heist in city history.
* And The State reunites (for a segment anyway)…
* 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.”
* Slate has a memo from MLK following the desegregation of Montgomery’s bus lines.
* The problem, Berger concluded, was that “the Cubists imagined the world transformed but not the process of transformation.” It is that larger question – the process of actually getting to another world — that takes us beyond the artist and challenges the Left as a whole to cope with what can be done in this current moment of widespread disillusionment. Art in the Age of Fatalism.
* If we don’t greatly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, or completely eliminate them, a major city is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. It’s remarkable—it’s incredible!—that a major city hasn’t been destroyed since Nagasaki. We can confront this problem or we can accept that hundreds of thousands or more will be killed.
* About 100 demonstrators rallied Friday outside the Safety Building to denounce Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for his decision not to issue charges in the death of Corey Stingley.
* “The world does not understand the settlements,” Livni said in a Channel 2 TV news interview. “The peace negotiations are the wall stopping the wave [of international boycott pressure]. If there is a crisis [in the talks, that wave] will crash through.”
* Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007. If the people here weren’t 98.5 percent white, we’d call it a reservation. The National Review visits Appalachia, and somehow manages to blame welfare.
* Meanwhile: Heroin gains a deadly foothold in Vermont.
* The headline reads, “Thief drops urn containing Sigmund Freud’s ashes during break-in attempt.”
* Ultimate Slate Pitch? I Would Rather Lick a Toilet Seat Than a Cellphone.
* Isn’t it pretty to think so? As Presently Constructed, GOP Cannot Win White House. More here. They say the Democrats can’t lose. I say give them a chance.
* Adjuncts exist, and the New York Times is ON IT.
* During World War Two, conscientious objectors in the US and the UK were asked to volunteer for medical research. In one project in the US, young men were starved for six months to help experts decide how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe.
* We are ruled by fools: The amount of airtime granted to climate change on both the Sunday shows and the nightly news was up, too — to a total of 27 minutes, and an hour and 42 minutes, respectively, for the entire year.
* So long and thanks for all the fish: Freedom Industries has declared bankruptcy.
* Remember that most of the “steps” any insurance company or pharmacy makes you go through are pretty much nothing but hoops, in the purest sense of the word. These are obstacles being placed in your path in hopes that you will become discouraged and give up—and they won’t have to pay for your medication or treatment. Show them that you are not going away.
* The headline reads, “Six Years After Chemical Ban, Fewer Female Snails Are Growing Penises.”
* BREAKING MUST CREDIT CANAVAN’S RAZOR: The point of the STEM push is to lower STEM wages, not help people get jobs that don’t exist.
* BREAKING: Comedians are
psychopaths psychotics. See comments.
* Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks. Workers will be allowed to “volunteer” for extra work.
* The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.
That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.
* There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart. There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.
* Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!
* The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.
* Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”
* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.
* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.
* By now my students were getting a bit restless. The confidence with which they had gone into this testing situation was beginning to dispel. Just a bit. There were still 102 questions left to answer.
* Exclusive Gyms For Members Of Congress Deemed ‘Essential,’ Remain Open During Shutdown. Amtrak Is in Trouble, But Congress Won’t Care. Government shutdown ends North Carolina WIC benefits. Social Security Warns Benefits Could Get Cut. DC Can’t Spend. Here’s how it’ll mess up higher ed (including freezing student loans). Secession by other means. Back Door Secession. Avenging the surrender of the South.
* The horror: New faculty positions versus new PhDs.
* Using survey data collected from PhD students in five academic disciplines across eight public U.S. universities, the authors compare represented and non-represented graduate student employees in terms of faculty–student relations, academic freedom, and pay. Unionization does not have the presumed negative effect on student outcomes, and in some cases has a positive effect. Union-represented graduate student employees report higher levels of personal and professional support, unionized graduate student employees fare better on pay, and unionized and nonunionized students report similar perceptions of academic freedom. These findings suggest that potential harm to faculty–student relationships and academic freedom should not continue to serve as bases for the denial of collective bargaining rights to graduate student employees.
High fees and black boxes are just part of the story. Some funds also allow their managers to make undisclosed side bets by trading ahead of or opposite to the fund’s trades.
Chicago-based Grant Park Futures Fund LP, which is marketed by Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), says on page 90 of a 180-page, April 2013 prospectus that David Kavanagh, president of the $660.9 million fund’s general partner, may place such personal trades. “Mr. Kavanagh may even be the other party to a trade entered into by Grant Park,” it says.
* Rebecca Solnit, The Age of Inhuman Scale.
* In the days of the Soviet Union, the country boasted that all its citizens shared the wealth equally, but a new report has found that a mere 20 years after the end of Communism, wealth disparity has soared with 35% of the country’s entire wealth now in the hands of just 110 people.
* Within 35 years, even a cold year will be warmer than the hottest year on record, according to research published in Nature on Wednesday. The L.A. Times will no longer publish letters from climate cranks.
* But the kids are all right: Arin Andrews and Katie Hill, Transgender Teenage Couple, Transition Together.
* Run the university like a business! Efficiency! Synergy! Dynamism!
Due to its 2010 renovation of Memorial Stadium, Cal Athletics is obligated to pay annual interest of $18.1 million until principal starts to be paid back in 2032. According to the new financial model within the report by professors from the Haas School of Business, the debt payments may rise to as high as $81.9 million in 2053.
Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league—and to the feudal lords who own its teams.
* As I work to organize adjunct faculty in Ohio and nationally, my own biggest fear is that any successes we have will erase our collective memory of our adjunct experience and desensitize us to the reality of the least advantaged of our students. If our efforts re-gild instead of reclaim the ivory tower, then we will have failed our students and ourselves. Adjuncts, Class, and Fear. Casual Labor and the Future of the Academy. Adjunct professors are the new working poor.
* Tenure nightmare: A cautionary tale for those needing a Green Card to work in the U.S.
* A poorly designed (to my eye) study purporting to show adjunct faculty teaches better than tenured and tenure-track faculty is getting a ton of press today, as you’d expect.
* More than the dress-up or the fabric-inspired mindbeat, fashion compelled me because the field is underwritten. Very little in the way of popular writing considers both the material reality and symbolic worth of fashion and dress, considers the field as we consider other cultural fields as worthy of critical discourse. What crushed me most about my foray into fashion journalism was a Word document I titled “EDITED OUT FUCK” (EOF), where I collected my writing that had been cut due to advertiser conflict. Finding Not Vogue was like discovering a Wikileak of my EOF.
* History’s greatest monster: How Joss Whedon may have accidentally got Angel cancelled.
* Legally blind and completely blind Iowans can obtain permits to carry guns in public due to a 2011 adjustment to state law banning sheriffs from denying permits based on physical ability, the Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
* New van Gogh discovered. Wow.
* And Twitter reminded me that Strange Horizons posted John Rieder’s “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History,” and I’d completely forgotten to link it.
* The University of Arizona is pleased to announce a cluster hire of 4 tenure-track faculty positions in transgender studies over the next two years. Two positions are being offered this year in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), with a start date of fall 2014. Two positions to be based elsewhere in the university will be advertised next year, with a start date of fall 2015. This cluster hire is one element of the University of Arizona’s unprecedented investment in the field of transgender studies. Other elements include support for a new peer-reviewed journal, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, which will be published by Duke University Press starting in 2014, with the editorial office housed at the University of Arizona’s Institute for LGBT Studies; a new interdisciplinary Center for Critical Studies of the Body; and an anticipated graduate degree program in transgender studies.
* Nein! Nein! Nein! Bill seeks to make English official language of Wisconsin.
* The Southern Poverty Law Center and The Bismarck Tribune revealed that the man, Paul Craig Cobb, 61, has been buying up property in this town of 24 people in an effort to transform it into a colony for white supremacists.
* Alabama wants to ban The Bluest Eye? That’s nuts. Makes me wish I were teaching it this semester.
* And RIP, Seamus Heaney. MetaFilter’s been gathering poems and remembrances.
* Ian Bogost has a great piece on MOOCs in an otherwise totally skippable LARoB feature on the subject.
MOOCs are a financial policy for higher education. They exemplify what Naomi Klein has called “disaster capitalism”: policy guilefully initiated in the wake of upheaval. The need to teach more students with fewer resources is a complex situation. It’s partly caused by hubris, especially the blind search for higher institutional status through research programs, and it’s exacerbated by the tax base crises of the ongoing and seemingly permanent Great Recession. MOOCs offer the next logical step in this process of “cost containment.” But those who would call current funding models “unviable” and offer MOOCs as a convenient alternative fail to admit that the very need for an alternative presumes that we want to abandon public education in favor of a corporate-owned infrastructure in the first place.
MOOCs are an academic labor policy. As a consequence of the financial policy just described, MOOCs are amplifying the precarity long experienced by adjuncts and graduate student assistants, and helping to extend that precarity to the professoriate. MOOCs encourage an ad-hoc “freelancing” work regime among tenured faculty, many of whom will find the financial incentives for MOOC creation and deployment difficult to resist. This is particularly true of public institution faculty who have gone years without raises. Many institutions offer tens of thousands of dollars of direct compensation for MOOC development and teaching. And, in some cases, MOOCs offer direct access to student tuition and direct competition among faculty for those new resources, extending the “entrepreneurial” institutional politics of professional schools (and corporate life more generally) to all disciplines.
MOOCs are speculative financial instruments. The purpose of an educational institution is to educate, but the purpose of a startup is to convert itself into a financial instrument.The two major MOOC providers, Udacity and Coursera, are venture capital-funded startups, and therefore they are beholden to high leverage, rapid growth with an interest in a fast flip to a larger technology company or the financial market. The concepts of “disruption” and “innovation,” so commonly applied to MOOCs, come from the world of business. As for EdX, the MOOC consortium started by Harvard and MIT, it’s a non-profit operating under the logic of speculation rather than as a public service. If anything, it will help the for-profits succeed even more by evangelizing their vision as compatible with elite non-profit educational ideals.
* It is telling that elite professors and universities who design MOOCs aren’t using them for their own students. Those of us who value education and its role in fostering both literacy and democracy should pass on them too.
* Patton Oswalt: A Closed Letter to Myself about Thievery, Heckling, and Rape Jokes.
* Sarah Kendzior vs. the prestige economy. Good interview.
* The investigation was ongoing, but Undersheriff James Szczesniak said there was no evidence yet that Martino “had any ill intent.” There could be a dozen perfectly legitimate reasons why he’d have 30 to 40 pipe bombs in his apartment.
* What’s more important: a college degree or being born rich? The answer will totally not surprise you!
* A team of scientists led by chemist Richard Kaner had just finished devising an efficient method for producing high-quality sheets of the Nobel-prize winning supermaterial known as graphene — with a consumer-grade DVD drive. That was groundbreaking in and of itself, but the real surprise came when Maher El-Kady, a researcher in Kaner’s lab, wired a small square of their high quality carbon sheets up to a lightbulb.
* More massive profits for banks. I guess the crisis really is over!
* Tennant says he’s starting to ‘give up hope’ for Who 50th return. You bastards. This was a gimme.
* The Center for 21st Century Studies has announced its postdoc theme for 2013-2014: “Changing Climates.” Applications due March 1.
* What’s coming out with this UNC rape case is astounding. UNC’s Former Dean of Students Says She Was Forced to Underreport Sexual Assault Cases. And then this, from the assistant vice underprovost of sickening analogies:
“When I went to report my assault in 2007, I asked an administrator what the process would look like,” Clark said. “Instead, that person told me, ‘Rape is like a football game, Annie. If you look back on the game, and you’re the quarterback and you’re in charge, is there anything that you would have done differently in that situation?’”
* Being Married Helps Professors Get Ahead, but Only if They’re Male: A new study of history professors shows that married men get promoted faster than their single colleagues, while the opposite is true for women.
* The union at Kalamazoo Valley Community College launches a food drive for its own adjuncts.
* “Fear and loathing in academia” and “Some historical notes on the decline of the universities,” from anthropologies issue 16: The Neoliberalized, Debt-plagued, Low Wage, Corporatized University. Also: Passing with Pills: Redefining Performance in the Pharmaceuticalized University.
* As I say, I have no dog in this race, except a belief that no one, in this sea of riches, should have to be poor. But staring dumbfounded at the lessons unlearned in Britain, Europe and the United States, it strikes me that the entire structure of neoliberal thought is a fraud. The demands of the ultra-rich have been dressed up as sophisticated economic theory and applied regardless of the outcome. The complete failure of this world-scale experiment is no impediment to its repetition. This has nothing to do with economics. It has everything to do with power.
* Theater of Pain: Tom Junod on injury in the NFL.
The perspective of pain is what this story is about. For fans, injuries are like commercials, the price of watching the game as well as harrowing advertisements for the humanity of the armored giants who play it. For gamblers and fantasy-football enthusiasts, they are data, a reason to vet the arcane shorthand (knee, doubtful) of the injury report the NFL issues every week; for sportswriters they are kernels of reliable narrative. For players, though, injuries are a day-to-day reality, indeed both the central reality of their lives and an alternate reality that turns life into a theater of pain. Experienced in public and endured almost entirely in private, injuries are what players think about and try to put out of their minds; what they talk about to one another and what they make a point to suffer without complaint; what they’re proud of and what they’re ashamed by; what they are never able to count and always able to remember
* Rules for kids: The book, discovered by a 20-year-old Walmart employee, Raymond Flores, became an Internet sensation after Flores contacted the media to try to find its owner and its touching rules - including the rules “Don’t bite the dentist” and “If you’re going to wet your bed, wear a pull-up” - went viral.
* Two years before his death, legendary science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov kicked off a TV pilot dedicated to exploring the faint and ever-shifting boundary separating science from science fiction.
* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, on robots.