Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

GSV17: Timequake!

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

Just Some Normal Friday Night Links on a Perfectly Normal Friday Night

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And a Very Merry Election’s Night’s Eve To You Too

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GSV16: Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel!

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In a very special two-hour mega-episode extravaganza, Gerry and Aaron talk with ML Kejera (@KejeraL) about the new comic adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five by Ryan North and Albert Monteys! We sneak in some nice Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware talk too, and even talk a bit about the film. All this AND viewer mail!

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October 31, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Could This Be the Last of the Great American Linkposts?

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This has been a really difficult month/semester/year/decade and it’s causing me to rethink the way I do these linkposts. For the next bit of time, at least, I’m really going to pull back and try to highlight only those things that I really think deserve attention; for this one in particular that means tossing out basically everything going on with Trump and Biden and the political situation of the United States more generally. Suffice it to say: everything is very bad! And now, this:

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October 30, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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THE MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE Wants You!

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I wrote a bit about Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel and ecoterrorism over at LARB:

If you truly claim to represent the people of the future, Frank asks — people who have the exact same right to a livable planet that we do — doesn’t that mean you should be willing to kill in their defense? Not as a first choice, not as the only choice — but can you really take it off the table? “If your organization represents the people who will be born after us, well, that’s a heavy burden! It’s a real responsibility! You have to think like them! You have to do what they would do if they were here,” Frank argues. “I don’t think they would countenance murder,” retorts Mary, to which Frank replies, “Of course they would!”

The Ministry for the Future is thus a novel about bureaucracy, but it’s also about the possibility of a wide diversity of tactics in the name of a livable future that include fighting both inside and outside the system. Characters in the novel contemplate targeted assassination of politicians and CEOs, industrial sabotage of coal plants, intentionally bringing down airliners in the name of destroying commercial air travel, bioterrorism against industrial slaughterhouses — and they do more than contemplate them. How does it change what’s possible when we stop worrying so much about losing in the right way, and start thinking about winning in the wrong ways?

GSV 15: Mother Night!

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After a brief hiatus, Gerry and Aaron are back, talking Mother Night with Matthew Cheney, Assistant Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State University and author of Modernist Crisis and the Pedagogy of Form and Blood: Stories! We are what we pretend to podcast, so we must be careful what we pretend to podcast…

Huge thanks to Matt for coming on and putting up with us! Editing it I thought this might be our smartest episode, but also the Vonnegut book that most aggressively confounded and defeated us.

We are regrettably coming very close to the end of the podcast: after Mother Night we have only four novels left. Here’s something like the final schedule, if you’re interested in keeping up:

16*. Ryan North’s Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel (we talked for so long on this one this might honestly be a two-part episode)

17. Timequake

18. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

19. Hocus Pocus

20. “All the King’s Men”

21. Player Piano

22. “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”

23. Galápagos

24. Final Episode Snake Draft, Deathmatch, and Celebratory Clambake

We specifically designed the podcast to fill time during the pandemic, so take heart that there’s only about nine or ten weeks left of this thing.

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October 16, 2020 at 8:20 am

Spring 2021 Course Descriptions on Tolkien and Contemporary Literature!

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ENGLISH 4612/5612: J.R.R. TOLKIEN
DISCOVERY TIER: INDIVIDUALS & COMMUNITIES
ENGLISH PERIODIZATION REQ: POST-1900
MODALITY: FULLY ONLINE

The last decade has seen the hundredth anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s earliest writings on Middle-Earth (The Book of Lost Tales, begun in 1917) alongside the completion of Peter Jackson’s career-defining twenty-year project to adapt The Lord of the Rings for film (1995-2015). This course asks the question: Who is J.R.R. Tolkien, looking backward from the perspective of the twenty-first century? Why have his works, and the genre of heroic fantasy which he remade so completely in his image, remained so intensely popular, even as the world has transformed around them? Our study will primarily trace the history, development, and reception of Tolkien’s incredible magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings (written 1937-1949, published 1954-1956)—but we will also take up Tolkien’s contested place in the literary canon of the twentieth century, the uses and abuses of Tolkien in Jackson’s blockbuster films, the special appeal of Tolkien in politically troubled times, and the ongoing critical interests and investments of Tolkien fandom today. As Tolkien scholars we will also have the privilege of drawing upon the remarkable J.R.R. Tolkien Collection at Raynor Library, which contains the original manuscripts for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Farmer Giles of Ham.

Note: No prior knowledge of Tolkien is required. The course is designed for a mix of first-time readers, frequent re-readers, and people who are returning to the books for the first time as adults after many years away.

Readings: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and selected additional readings

Assignments: final critical paper or creative project; weekly sandbox posts on D2L; two “thinkpiece”-style mini-papers; enthusiastic and informed class participation

ENGLISH 4563/5363: LITERATURES OF THE 21st CENTURY
THEMATIC TITLE: CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE
DISCOVERY TIER: none
ENGLISH PERIODIZATION REQ: POST-1900
MODALITY: FULLY ONLINE

Giorgio Agamben writes: “The poet—the contemporary—must firmly hold his gaze on his own time. But what does he who sees his time actually see? What is this demented grin on the face of his century? … The contemporary is he who firmly holds his gaze on his own time so as to perceive not its light but rather its darkness.” This course takes up major literary and mass-media works of the twenty-first century, including short stories, comics, novels, films, music videos, and games, with an eye towards understanding Agamben’s future-facing call “to perceive, in the darkness of the present, this light that strives to reach us but cannot.” The book list is still in flux (and suggestions are welcome!) but focuses on works published in the last ten years; major texts will likely include Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown, Vol. 1 (2019), Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2014), N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season (2015), and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun (2021).

Assignments: final critical paper or creative project; weekly sandbox posts on D2L; two “thinkpiece”-style mini-papers; enthusiastic and informed class participation

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October 4, 2020 at 3:48 pm

Saturday Night Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Friday Night Links!

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UPDATE: oof.

* ICYMI: Grad School Vonnegut #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June! This one is Aaron’s “Vonnegut and Africa” episode.

* CFP: Utopia and Tabletop Games. CFP: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session, “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse.”

* Two core pieces of Watchmen criticism from my Watchmen class this week: “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore” and “The Forgotten Story of Watchmen’s Unsung Hero.” The second one comes via my pal Jacob Brogan, who was kind enough to shoot some ideas about Watchmen, Higgins, and auteurship with me back and forth the other day.

When I ask Damon Lindelof, showrunner for the upcoming HBO series Watchmen, about John Higgins, his mind goes straight to the Beatles. “John Higgins remains one of the unsung heroes of Watchmen,” he says. “Certainly Moore and Gibbons were John and Paul, but Higgins was George and Ringo combined, and his striking colors reinvented the genre every bit as much as Alan’s words and Dave’s pencils.”

Higgins was indeed a hero of the graphic novel that Lindelof’s show riffs on, having been the man who did the coloring for the book. That makes him one of only three collaborators who created the Watchmen comic, along with writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, and he is indeed underappreciated, even by the book’s supporters. But even that bold analogy isn’t enough: It’s more as if Beatles fans assumed the band consisted only of John and Paul and didn’t even know George and Ringo existed, much less that they created music of their own.

Let’s Stop with the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate.

Wisconsin’s daily COVID-19 case count breaks record again, tops 2,500. They had to rescale Marquette’s COVID Dashboard today. Outbreak Stresses Town-Gown Relations in Wisconsin. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus—but not because of parties and bars. Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey. Skippin’ and a-jumpin’.

* Huge, if true: The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn.

* Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election. The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it plans to block downloads of the Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, beginning on Sunday. “The Trump administration argued against a challenge to its 2020 census plans by saying the Constitution requires a count but does not say it must be accurate.” Bill Barr’s Titanic Lack of Self-Awareness. Independently of Trump and this presidency, William Barr, his henchmen, and his Federalist Society supporters represent a powerful threat to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. The Department of Education as Right-Wing Troll.

* Only going to get worse: NYPD Crushes Tiny Anti-ICE Protest With Overwhelming Force And Bloody Arrests.

* The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction.

Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare.” It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news. The Toxic Slime Will End Us.

Where Is Biden’s Ground Game?

* All roads lead to 269-269.

* Ugh, Tatiana Maslany is great casting for She-Hulk. I thought I was done with these!

* Academic freedom in action: U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire human-rights scholar after pressure from sitting judge. Search for new director of U of T law faculty’s International Human Rights Program leads to resignations, allegations of interference.

* On Quitting Academia.

* BLM and the University of Chicago English department. I had some thoughts about this (blessedly left out of the article) the other day (and again the next morning).

Big Ten announces football returning Oct. 23-24. No confidence at the University of Michigan.

The Black Community in Indianapolis has been left reeling — as shocking and disturbing details released in the last 24 hours have emerged regarding a disgraced activist exposed for posing as a Black Woman. This one has exciting estate fraud on the side.

* Restaurants need a bailout. The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save. Inequality Robs $2.5B from American Workers Each Year.

Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet.” Quick, someone wake up Rachel Maddow!

* When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin: Tony Evers firing DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman over unemployment claim backlog.

The battle over dyslexia.

* Pedagogy corner! The Moment Is Primed for Asynchronous Learning.

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as ‘hero.’

* Anti-maskers and whiteness.

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun.

The Boys confronts real American Nazis better than most comic-book stories.

* Songs of Love and Hate: “Layla” and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas.’

* Patrick Blanchfield goes deep into the Call of Duty storyworld in my menchies.

What happened when I decided to bet against the Dow—and the financial services industry tried to stop me.

* And it’s not all bad news: the sequel to one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve played in years is out on the Switch. And I’ve been loving Baba Is You, too! It’s a golden age for video games. AND NOTHING ELSE.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

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GSV #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June!

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Gerry and Aaron tackle Vonnegut’s 1971 play Happy Birthday, Wanda June in their most dramatic episode ever! Come for the Theatre of the Absurd, stay for snippets from Aaron’s dissertation on American fantasies of Africa…

If, like me, you’d never touched the play, gaze upon it!

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September 18, 2020 at 8:27 am

Thursday Morning Links!

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* Hey, this is finally out! Imagining Apocalypse Now with Mark Soderstrom & Gerry Canavan.

* And the BBC has re-released its Afterwords: Octavia E. Butler series, but it’s still not available to listen to in the US.

* Presenting The Ancillary Review of Books.

* CFP: Journal of Science Fiction Special Issue on Middle Eastern Science Fiction.

Come Unstuck in Time with Ryan North & “Slaughterhouse Five.” Everything about the new Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

* Wildfires Bring New Devastation Across the West. 500,000 people in Oregon forced to flee wildfires. 7 People Die in West Coast Wildfires. California blaze caused by firework at gender-reveal party. Your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. Nothing to see here, folks. I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire. Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts see worse in future. Nature sends us a wake-up call. When the Sky Is Orange. It’s Ecosocialism or Barbarism. The coming climate migration.

* Torrential rain triggers widespread flooding in D.C. area, inundating roads, stranding motorists. Floods Washed Away More Than 25% of Nigeria’s Rice Harvest. Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years, new report says. Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse. How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled. 10 Years Ago, World Leaders Set Biodiversity Goals. They Haven’t Met a Single One.

* The end of the university. House of cards: can the American university be saved? The Necroliberal University. Strike at Michigan. “We are striking as an act of community care.” What a strike is for. Graduate employees reach deal with University of Michigan to end strike. As Colleges Open During a Pandemic, Student Life Remains Closed. How Colleges Became the New Covid Hot Spots. Tracking Covid at U.S. Colleges and Universities. Marquette University orders all students at Schroeder Hall to quarantine for 2 weeks. Some students heading home, after Marquette University enforces Schroeder Hall quarantine. Some Marquette students are leaving campus after being ordered to quarantine, while those stuck in their rooms wonder: ‘Is this hell?’ Marquette students scramble to quarantine, grad workers union blames university. Marquette University leaders draft checklist to prepare for possible online transition. No Wifi, No AC: Inside the Chaos of 1,400 COVID Cases at One College. Twenty-three Greek houses at Michigan State University were ordered by the county to quarantine for two weeks. Notre Dame and Michigan State Shifting Online as Campus Outbreaks Grow. UA official says ‘nothing wrong’ with school’s COVID-19 measures. UW students describe chaos as COVID-19 raged through residence halls, leading to lockdown. College Football Player Dies at 20. Shaming and blaming students can make it worse, experts say. Nice work if you can get it. What if Everyone on Campus Understood the Money? Class Of COVID-19: The Horrifying Sadness Of Sending My Kids To College During A Pandemic. Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers.

Blackademic Lives Matter: An Interview with Lavelle Porter.

* The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges.

* What could go wrong in formalizing relationships between a multi-billion dollar industry where fortunes change hands in seconds, and a multi-billion dollar enterprise where the actual workers are paid nothing and could lose their entire futures in a single play

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral. The Pandemic Is an Intuition Nightmare. The Pandemic Is a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Parents. The Crushing Reality of Zoom School. US daily death toll from COVID-19 shoots back up over 1,000. New Cases Have Reached Record Levels in the Midwest. What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear from COVID-19. How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain. Obesity and the coronavirus. Maine wedding ‘superspreader’ event is now linked to seven deaths. None of those people attended. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases. Signs of depression have tripled in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic got underway. A Dentist Sees More Cracked Teeth. What’s Going On? Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year.

* The stock market is now so decoupled from the real economy that no one can see the economy is in absolute freefall. A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future. Two kids, no support system and $167 in unemployment benefits: One single mom’s plight in the age of Covid-19. 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Half of out-of-work Americans were unable to cover basic expenses in August. The Unemployed States of America. Why the real unemployment rate is likely over 11%. 52% of young adults in the US are living with their parents. That’s the highest share since the Great Depression. Billionaires won corona. ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%.

* Baltimore schools estimate only 65% of students are logging on every day. Children with disabilities are falling behind in school. School in the Time of Coronavirus.

* Darko Suvin: Thoughts within the Coronising siege: a work in progress.

* Some real Ministry of Truth shit at DOJ and HHS.

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center. Exclusive: Georgia doctor who forcibly sterilized detained women has been identified.

* Cancel culture strikes again: National U Holds Off on Name Change to Honor Donor Investigated for Child Porn.

* The pandemic and UBI.

Benford’s Law and COVID-19 reporting.

* Sometimes you just know.

* As a delusion, “transgender Black Marxists are seeking the overthrow of the United States” is almost charmingly retro. How Conspiracy Theories Are Shaping the 2020 Election—and Shaking the Foundation of American Democracy. QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded. QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law. No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia. Trump lands likely endorsement. What If Trump Loses and Won’t Leave? Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition. Bill Barr Pushes ‘Wild’ and ‘Fanciful’ Felonious Postman Hypothetical. Don’t miss what Kayleigh McEnany just said about election night. I don’t think they should have told Trump about the heat ray.

* The Whitelash Next Time.

* What happened in Georgia was a crime. Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream. Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say. Another story that would have been a major scandal a few years ago and is now just seen as perfectly ordinary politics.

https://twitter.com/PatBlanchfield/status/1305894015062216705

* What’s the big deal? He’s not like he’s gonna lose Michigan.

* “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation. Facebook is allowing a campaign to ditch face masks en masse to spread.

* Man obsessed with drinking the blood of the young to stay healthy turns out to have some questionable political beliefs.

* The Senate is bad, yes, but we could always make it worse.

* At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

* New York’s homeless students.

Why Screen Time Can Actually Be Good for Your Kids.

12-year-old suspended in Colorado over toy gun seen in virtual class.

* Dozens of Black former franchisees sue McDonald’s over alleged discrimination.

* Unions threaten work stoppages amid calls for racial justice. White House directs federal agencies to cancel race-related training sessions it calls ‘un-American propaganda.’

* Parents vs the childless! Whoever wins, the bosses win a whole lot more!

* Serial killer at Ft. Hood? It’s up over 23 deaths. What on Earth is happening there?

The OAS Accusation of Electoral Fraud Against Evo Morales Is Bullshit — And Now We Have the Data to Prove It.

* When does a model own her own image?

* Dune as anti-white-savior narrative.

* Civil War generals as Muppets: a definitive thread.

* “Safety driver” as “moral crumple zone.”

* Imagine the absolute blessing of waking up one morning to find that someone who treated you this way was trending on Twitter.

* J.K. Rowling’s new book imagines a fantasy world where she is right about trans people.

David Graeber, 1961–2020. A Jewish Goodbye to David Graeber. Remembering My Friend, David Graeber. That Was David Graeber.

* capitalism.jpg

* Semenya loses at Swiss supreme court over testosterone rules.

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years.

* Movies were great. I’m sad about movies.

* For a topic about which American society seems to have a conversation quite frequently (particularly when celebrities are involved), “depression” is bewildering territory. Where does it come from, and why would evolution preserve something so disabling and agonizing as a feature of the species? Can it be driven off? What kind of documentation of it can be made? Is it possible to narrate and interpret, or does it defeat exegesis? What do you say to someone in its grip? In his new book, How To Be Depressed, the renowned journalist and critic George Scialabba observes that “[t]he pain of a severe clinical depression is the worst thing in the world.” This, it turns out, is both pretty much all you can ever say about the topic and a door opening onto the vast field of what we might call depression humanism.

* We stan.

Time Travel as White Privilege.

* Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds.

The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network.

* Are aliens hiding in plain sight?

* Eugenics, sperm donation, and the law.

* Rules & Roberts.

* Of course you had me at a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Switch game.

* And I volunteer.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Grad School Vonnegut Lucky Thirteen: DEADEYE DICK!

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This week, on Grad School Vonnegut: After Dark, Aaron and Gerry talk Deadeye Dick with Bee Gabriel! Check out Bee’s Twitter! Check out their Patreon! Sorry about the audio in just a few places; we were working with a truly messed-up record on one of the tracks and did our best…

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2020 at 9:12 am

Saturday Morning Links! Twice the Nonsense! Half the Links!

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* Everyone’s been talking about David Graeber, so here are two pieces of his that haven’t been in the conversation as much that I really like: “Army of Altruists” and “ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF GIANT PUPPETS: broken windows, imaginary jars of urine, and the cosmological role of the police in American culture.”

How David Graeber Changed the Way We See Money.

* Pray for r/DaystromInstitute, the Star Trek canonicity subreddit, going mad in the face of the Lower Decks cartoon.

As a result there’s no reason not to believe that in the Star Trek universe, the universe is (and always has been) resting on the back of a koala.

* Northeastern dismisses eleven first-year students for partying. “Their $36,500 tuition for the semester will not be refunded.” Indiana University sees ‘alarming’ spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses. Immediate all-student quarantine at Gettysburg. Hundreds of Tulane students are placed under quarantine after coronavirus cases jump. University of Alabama reported on Friday another 846 students tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, bringing total number infected since classes began to almost 1,900. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Back on campus, UW students make up a quarter of Dane County COVID cases. Argentina Professor with Covid-19 Symptoms Dies After Gasping for Air in The Middle of Zoom Lecture.

Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now.

* Covid-19’s painful, lingering legacy. ‘Carnage’ in a lab dish shows how the coronavirus may damage the heart. 3 deaths, 147 coronavirus cases now tied to Maine wedding. “The three people who died as a result of the outbreak did not attend the wedding.”

* GW History: Our Statement on Jessica Krug. Jessica Krug’s former students speak out. A White Woman Admits She’s Been Rachel Dolezal-ing Us for Years—and I Feel Fine.

* Showcasing… @MarquetteU! This campus WELL KNOWN for the St. Joan of Arc Chapel! Keeping on with the religious theme, The Gesu Church is a MASTERPIECE! Check out how STUNNING the campus city is! WOW!

* This is important. And no one is talking about it.

* “Past perspectives on the present era of abrupt Arctic climate change.”

We find that warming rates similar to or higher than modern trends have only occurred during past abrupt glacial episodes. We argue that the Arctic is currently experiencing an abrupt climate change event, and that climate models underestimate this ongoing warming.

* Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy.

If looting and rioting have no place in a well-functioning democracy, then perhaps we should pause to consider that these are signs that Americans are not, in fact, in a functioning democracy.

* this is why it is so vitally important that we attack and dethrone god

* the fucking wheelers man

* This class is really fun and I don’t see how what I do is work exactly.

* And I know she’s a complete wackadoo, but seriously, imagine it.

Surprise Friday Night Links for a Day You’re Probably Surprised Is Actually Friday

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* Don’t sleep on Grad School Vonnegut’s Jailbird episode! Next week: Deadeye Dick, (genuinely) my sleeper hit of the summer…

* One of my better citations: “Fitness Fanatics: Exercise as Answer to Pending Zombie Apocalypse in Contemporary America.”

* I’ve got book chapters in two new books: Monsters: A Companion (talking about District 9) and Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century (talking about Black Panther).

* Also out now: SFRA Review 50.2-3!

* Octavia Butler just made the NY Times Bestseller List for the first time ever — 14 years after her death.

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.

“The daily blitzkrieg of the news,” bemoans Tom Barnard in leftist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1990 novel, Pacific Edge. “Every day everything a little worse.”

* A Message from Future Generations.

* Announcing the Ancillary Review of Books.

* “Can we talk abt the fact that Liu Cixin supports internment camps for minorities?”

* Post45 kicks off the academic year with a stunner: The 7 Neoliberal Arts.

After emotional gathering, Marquette agrees to Black students’ demand for cultural center, scholarships, other support. This comes after some occupations and street closures last week. Update from president and provost following meeting with Black student leaders.

* Which doesn’t count the die-in.

* One of the things I’ve had go most viral on Twitter was a simple call to be kind to students.

* Elsewhere in my social media empire: On Voting Twice. On the Wisconsin gerrymander. On firing university administrators. On self-dealing boards of trustees. On that same thing. On Duke. On running the government like a glitch-exploiting speed-run. It’s happening here. Private insurance. UI. If you want a vision of the future. And when Kurt Vonnegut tells the future, he simply does not fuck around.

* We are calling for a Scholar strike #Scholarstrike on September 8-9 2020 to protest ongoing police violence and murders in America.

Unsurprisingly, this is shaping up as the worst year ever on the academic history job market; less than half as many TT jobs listed through August 31 than even in 2009, and a quarter what there were last year.

* Tenured GWU professor reveals she has been pretending to be Black her entire career. (It’s GW’s second case of this this year.) Why Did Jessica Krug Create The Jess La Bombera Persona? The view from her students.

Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment.

* CFP: The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures is an annual journal of scholarly work and creative non-fiction by undergraduate and graduate students. Our first issue, on Harry Potter, will be published in Spring 2021. Submissions for this issue are now open until December 2020, but they are limited to UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS. CFP: “Race and Science Fiction: The 5th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium.”

* Stop them before they kill again! Game of Thrones’ Benioff and Weiss to adapt sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem at Netflix.

* Sports come to a halt: NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS postpone games as players protest Jacob Blake shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers Strike for Racial Justice.

The Social Fabric of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling. We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. The RNC Makes a Compelling Case for America’s Imminent Collapse. For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job.

* Today in the Wisconsin gerrymander. Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails. Wisconsin’s record of brutality against people of color. Wisconsin is a window into how Republicans who once rejected Trump now cheer him on. Nine people arrested by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for allegedly being outside agitators were in town city to distribute food to protesters, a director of the nonprofit kitchen says.

* A 17-Year-Old Aspiring Cop Has Been Charged With Murder In Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse is America’s future. Could A Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Hurt Biden? The Two Don’t Appear Linked So Far. Alleged Kenosha Killer Loved Cops, Guns, Trump, and ‘Triggering the Libs,’ Former Classmates Say.

* Meanwhile: A fascist manifesto is gaining fans on the right, including state Sen. Roger Chamberlain. “When Violence Is Necessary To Defend Civil Society.” Right-wing extremists have killed 329 victims in the last 25 years, while antifa members haven’t killed any, according to a new study. Missouri lawmakers pass bill making it legal to give guns to kids without parents’ permission.

* Teen who held BLM event gets $2500 bill for police overtime. Encounter with Phoenix police leaves teenage girl with permanent burn scars. The Police Are Pretty Sure They’re Going to Get Away With It. Cops admit vandalizing cars of man who filed complaint against them, prosecutor says. What Can Stop Cops In Cities Like Kenosha From Brutalizing Black People Like Jacob Blake? Precrime in Florida. The Terrible History of the NYPD’s Challenge Coins. The Abolition moment.

* QAnon explained. QAnon is a collective delusion, and that’s what BuzzFeed News will be calling it from now on. How QAnon, a fringe online movement, is drawing followers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. with a stew of conspiracies.

* Cases Spike at Universities Nationally. UNC-Chapel Hill Reports 31.3 Percent of Students Tested Have COVID—And There Are Probably More. NC State students ordered to leave university housing after ‘rapid spread’ of COVID-19. In North Carolina and Around the US, Neoliberal Universities Are Sending Students Into Hell. University of Miami Reports Nearly 100 Positive COVID Tests in One-Week Period. Wisconsin Universities Begin Reporting Cases Of COVID-19. Higher Ed’s Hottest Hot Spot? Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned. JMU shifting to online classes, asking students to leave campus after 500 coronavirus cases. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Colleges Lost the Moral Authority to Blame Students. The influencer twins I’m weirdly obsessed with just tested positive for COVID while on campus at Baylor. My college reopened. Now I’ve got COVID-19, along with nearly 500 other students. The University of Alabama reports 566 coronavirus cases after just a week of classes. University of Alabama to Profs: Don’t Tell Students About COVID-Infected Classmates. OU Interim provost instructs professors not to hold in-person classes online, notify classes of students’ positive COVID-19 cases. Frustrated with fall reopening, faculty members consider vote of no confidence in administration. Trump White House Warns Colleges: Don’t Send Your COVID-Infected Students Home! University COVID Model.

Teaching this fall is not glorified Skype. The University We’re Losing. Between f**ked and a hard place. The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students.

University of Oregon Will Charge Students for a Full Year of Dorm Housing Even if They Can’t Enter the Classroom.

* Why New Jersey’s Plan for In-Person Schooling Is Falling Apart. State report shows hundreds test positive for COVID-19 at Florida schools in August. Here’s what happened when students went to school during the 1918 pandemic.

Our Faculty Union Exposed the University’s Debt—And Who’s Paying for It.

* Deeply unappreciated fact: the most “impactful” person in science right now is this Kazakhstani hacker queen. She is the one-woman bridge to the largest repository of scientific knowledge ever collected.

* Biden campaign desperate for digital access to students as college campuses remain closed and students don’t know where they’ll be on Election Day.

* Legionnaire’s Disease pathogen found in water at some schools reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns.

* Damn you, Oberlin undergrads! The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason.

Eugene Debs Believed in Socialism Because He Believed in Democracy. The Young Eugene V. Debs.

* Bernie Sanders’s Five-Year War: How he lost and where we go from here.

* The Radicalism of Woody Guthrie.

* Republicans already boobytrapping 2021. Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on the U.S. Shhhh, we’re not talking about a government shutdown, are we? ‘We shouldn’t have to beg’: Americans struggle without unemployment aid as Congress stalls on extending benefits. As permanent economic damage piles up, the Covid Crisis is looking more like the Great Recession.

* Jessamyn Ward: Grief in the Time of Coronavirus. How COVID-19 Led To Soaring Divorce Rates In The US, Visualized. Surge in calls from male domestic violence victims during Covid-19. I thought I was a master doomscroller but “pregnant schoolteacher dies of coronavirus three days after surprise baby shower” actually made me wince in pain.

55% of coronavirus patients still have neurological problems three months later. New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials. Drug cocktail touted by Trump to treat coronavirus increases chance of death by 27%, study shows. COVID-19 Might Mean Humanity Has Entered An Age Of Pandemics, Tony Fauci Warned.

* Active shooter drills correlate with a 42% increase in anxiety and stress and a 39% increase in depression among those in the school community, new report finds. Teens’ anxiety levels dropped during pandemic, study finds.

* Black men in D.C. are expected to die 17 years earlier than White men. Here’s why. Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals. Woman, 105, leads lawsuit seeking reparations for 1921 Tulsa massacre. Black Former N.F.L. Players Say Racial Bias Skews Concussion Payouts.

* Trials by Whiteness: Definitions of Whiteness and Eurocentrism, and Their Relevance Post-Racefail.

* The Literature of White Liberalism.

* Kentucky Man Accused Of Breaking Canada’s COVID-19 Rules Faces $569,000 Fine.

* Bruce Wayne Gives Up Being Batman After Three Therapy Sessions.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Sights, sounds, reactions from historic landfall, recovery across Louisiana.

Why climate change is a civil rights battle. I do think Pelosi, Trump, Biden, Schumer, and McConnell are the last generation of politicians who are correct in wagering that they can spend the rest of their careers downplaying climate change and not suffer personally from it. A second Trump term would mean severe and irreversible changes in the climate.

Watchmen director Stephen Williams on uncovering the series’ real American hero story. Watchmen screenwriter Cord Jefferson on Hooded Justice and the privilege of nostalgia.

Why Uber’s business model is doomed.

Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season.

Union-Busting and Quakerism Collide at Brooklyn Friends School.

* Chadwick Boseman. David Graeber. Charles R. Saunders (back in May).

* Never too early: Disney Grapples With How to Proceed on ‘Black Panther’ Without Chadwick Boseman.

* All roads lead back to All My Children.

* John Boyega vs. Disney, and it’s about time.

* Stan Lee’s American pantheon.

On Age and Desire and Willy Wonka.

* More from MetaFilter on Go after AI.

An Instagram Account Is Waging War on Sexual Assault at Case Western Reserve University.

* Today in dystopia: According to Amazon, how you speak is a useful indicator of your wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Consequently, the Halo Band will monitor your tone to determine if you’re feeling positive enough to get through your day.

* Amazon Is Hiring an Intelligence Analyst to Track ‘Labor Organizing Threats.’

* Understanding Batman.

* Understanding Tasha’s Hideous Laughter.

* Attention nerds: Gloomhaven May Be One Of The Best-Selling Comic Books (Or Not).

Development ceases on Amazon Prime’s CULTURE TV series, at the request of the Iain Banks Estate.

* Ah dinnae ken this: I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person – an American teenager who can’t speak Scots.

* One Community, Burnout, and That One Scene from Deep Space Nine. Star Trek: Discovery’s third season to introduce franchise’s first transgender, non-binary characters.

* Not today, Satan: Expert says invasive ‘jumping’ earthworms with destructive potential appearing in Western New York.

* I said the world would end before New Mutants was a #1 movie — and I was right!

* Fuck The Next Call Of Duty Game.

* And we may live in hell, but Nintendo just announced a whole boatload of Mario games and rereleases.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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