Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Thanksgiving Links!

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* It’s been a time: Health experts monitor ‘tri-demic’ as respiratory viruses spread around US. Colorado River conditions are worsening quicker than expected. Competition between respiratory viruses may hold off a ‘tripledemic’ this winter. Children’s hospitals call on Biden to declare emergency in response to ‘unprecedented’ RSV surge. How long COVID ruined my life, from crushing fatigue to brain fog. About 37% of small businesses, which between them employ almost half of all Americans working in the private sector, were unable to pay their rent in full in October. Parents are buying fewer baby clothes, a sign of deep financial distress. The world’s baby shortfall is so bad that the labor shortage will last for years, major employment firms predict. Chris Hemsworth ‘Taking Time Off,’ Discovered Genetic Predisposition for Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘I’m Going to Just Simplify.’ Et tu, Coca-Cola? Massive flock of sheep has been walking in a circle for 12 days straight in China. The Problem With Letting Therapy-Speak Invade Everything. Inside the violent, misogynistic world of TikTok’s new star, Andrew Tate. A Quarter of Americans at Risk of Winter Power Blackouts, Grid Emergencies. Stock up on bottled water and canned food, official tells Germans. What if We Cancel the Apocalypse? this comic is almost 14 years old and could have been made yesterday

* I’m giving the last “Tolkien Tuesdays” talk at the Haggerty on next Tuesday, November 28, on Tolkien and pop culture.

* A truly obscene trend in higher ed: How Colleges and Sports-Betting Companies ‘Caesarized’ Campus Life.

* ‘A Culture of Disposability’: New School Part-Time Faculty Go On Strike. Never Cross a Picket Line: A Primer for Solidarity in the Academic Workplace. The Academic Wheel of Privilege. The Cruelty of Faculty Churn. The Deadline Dilemma. The gutting of the liberal arts continues.

* Vulture had a nice Octavia Butler cluster this week: The Spectacular Life of Octavia Butler. Misreading Octavia Butler. How to Write Like Octavia E. Butler. The Butler Journal Entry I Always Return To. This one at the Times was beautiful, too, in more ways than one: The Visions of Octavia Butler. And just a few weeks away: ‘Kindred’ Trailer: Octavia Butler’s Time Travel Novel Comes to Terrifying Life.

* The new Science Fiction Film and Television is out, with articles on steampunk, cryonics, domestic violence in Tau and Upstream Color, and Marvel’s Agent Carter. I can’t tell for sure, but from where I am access to all issues of SFFTV is free right now. And so is the fall issue of SFRA Review! And Uneven Futures is almost here!

* Marxist Literary Criticism: An Introductory Reading Guide.

* One of last year’s student papers is already out in Games and Culture: “Go. Just take him.”: PTSD and the Player-Character Relationship in The Last of Us Part II.

* Marvel got trolled into losing one of its best assets to DC permanently. You hate to see it.

* I Don’t Worry About My Oeuvre: A Conversation with John Carpenter.

* I want Picardo back as the Doctor and I don’t really care how they do it. Just don’t let the Picard showrunners anywhere near it and we’re good to go.

* Online Speed Chess as Self-Soothing, Tetris, or Collaborative Troll Art.

* Middle schoolers tackle climate change in a new alternate reality game.

* The Dirt on Pig-Pen.

* The Incredibly Stupid Catastrophe Caused by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. Tumblr Blog Linked to Ex-Alameda CEO Explored Race Science, ‘Imperial Chinese Harem’ Polyamory. Queen Caroline. Every Shady Thing Sam Bankman-Fried Has Confessed or Pseudo-Confessed to Since FTX Collapsed. Effective altruism gave rise to Sam Bankman-Fried. Now it’s facing a moral reckoning. Crypto Bro Sam Bankman-Fried Was the Perfect Liberal Hero. Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself.

* Larry David, Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Other Celebs Sued Over FTX Crypto Exchange Collapse. Larry David was telling you not to buy, you just didn’t listen…

* Billionaires like Elon Musk want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids. Inside the movement to take ‘control of human evolution.’ Jeff Bezos pledges to donate majority of his $124 billion fortune to fight climate change and unify humanity.

* In the end, Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, just couldn’t run fast enough.

* Are Trees Talking Underground? For Scientists, It’s in Dispute.

* If you’re keeping score, a guy made a homemade shotgun out of plumbing parts and iced a former PM with it in broad daylight and the Japanese govt is giving him everything he demanded because they realize he had a point. Utterly wild story.

* Federal judge strikes down Biden student debt relief program. What Went Wrong With Biden’s Student Loan Cancellation Plan— And How He Can Make It Right. Joe Biden Is Finally Moving Toward Allowing Bankruptcy to Eliminate Student Debt. Biden Administration Caves To Pressure On Student Debt Bankruptcy.

* ‘A World Cup Built on Modern Slavery’: Stadium Workers Blow the Whistle on Qatar’s ‘Coverup’ of Migrant Deaths and Suffering.

* Thousands were released from prison during covid. The results are shocking.

* The Bike Thieves of Burlington, Vermont.

* Abortion, Every Day.

* New Rules for a New Game.

* Welcome to the Infinite Conversation: an AI generated, never-ending discussion between Werner Herzog and Slavoj Žižek.

* ‘I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to be there’: Milwaukee student’s poetry takes her to the White House.

* Elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: The Landlord & the Tenant.

* The Race to Save Fanfiction History Before It’s Lost Forever.

* what is the crime for which the turkey was sentenced to death & the sentence nullified by the US President? & what guarantee do we have that the turkey won’t be executed anyway, as soon as the cameras are gone.

* It’s that time of year. How to avoid gender bias when writing recommendation letters.

* How ‘Andor’ Drew from… Joseph Stalin? I Can’t Fucking Believe How Good ‘Andor’ Is.

* Multiculturalism in Middle-earth: On Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

* Yes, but: the comic.

* ‘Doing Nothing’ course helps students build skills to unplug, think deeply.

* Indy’s going to the Moon folks.

* ‘How Did This Man Think He Had the Right to Adopt This Baby?’

* Words Added to the Scrabble Dictionary.

* Might not make my traditional Thanksgiving post this year, so here it is a few days early.

* From the archives: “Utopia, LOL?”

* And in honor of the end of Twitter: one last Twitter roundup.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 22, 2022 at 11:35 am

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Fall Break Links? In This Economy?

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I’ve been very busy! It might not get better anytime soon! But at least I’ve closed all my tabs...

Baldwin: The defunding of public education has accelerated all the public universities’ forays into the realm of what they call “becoming entrepreneurial,” which I described above—land grabs, leveraging tax-free real estate, public-private partnerships, capturing intellectual property, and more. This story has to begin with the Higher Education Act of 1965. That legislation failed to directly fund higher education and instead offered indirect funding in the form of “student assistance” for tuition—a few grants but mostly loans, most of them private. Only through tuition, paid by most students through loans and debt, could institutions receive federal funds. This prompted a drive toward skyrocketing tuitions, the competition for higher-paying out-of-state and international students, and the debt financing of amenities to draw those students, which has created the massive national student-debt crisis. But even more, this strategy of raising tuition, funded through debt, wasn’t enough to offset decreases in public spending. So, at the same time, colleges and universities ramped up their participation in revenue-generating, community-destroying practices.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 24, 2022 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall 2022 Syllabi! “J.R.R. Tolkien” and “Histories of Anti-Capitalism”!

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My syllabi are up for Fall 2022: a slightly revised version of my J.R.R. Tolkien class that utilizes this semester’s Haggery Museum of Art exhibit, and a brand new grad course titled “Histories of Anti-Capitalism.” Here’s the general plan for the anti-capitalism course, which is going to get finalized in consultation with the students who will be leading discussion each week:

WEEK THEMES AND ASSIGNMENTS
WEEK 1 What Is Capitalism? What Is Anti-Capitalism?
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” [marxists.org]
Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism (excerpt) [D2L]
Existential Comics, “Explaining Capitalism to Aliens”
Sep. 5 LABOR DAY
WEEK 2 Four Futures
Peter Frase, Four Futures
WEEK 3 The Luddites and after
Gavin Mueller, Breaking Things at Work
WEEK 4 Critique
Barbara Foley, Marxist Literary Criticism Today
WEEK 5 Utopia
Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture,” “Utopia as Replication,” and An American Utopia [D2L and YouTube]
WEEK 6 Postcolonalism
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
WEEK 7 Black Marxism
C.L.R. James, Cedric Robinson, bell hooks, and Angela Davis [D2L]
WEEK 8 Gender
Silvia Federici (wages for housework), Kathi Weeks (abolition of the family) [D2L]
WEEK 9 20th century text we will choose together
WEEK 10 Queer Marxism
José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia
WEEK 11 Disability
disability rights movements, the ADA, Marta Russell and Ravi Malhorta, Sami Schalk, “Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Mental Health” [D2L]
WEEK 12 Ecology
John Bellamy Foster (ecology against capitalism), André Gorz (“The Social Ideology of the Motorcar”), Kathryn Yusoff (the Anthropocene), Greta Thunberg [D2L and Web]
WEEK 13 The University
How the University Works; student movements; precarious labor and unionization; student debt abolition; state funding [D2L and Web]
  THANKSGIVING BREAK: NO CLASS
WEEK 14 21st century text we will choose together
WEEK 15 PRESENTATIONS
   
Dec. 16 FINAL PAPERS DUE

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2022 at 9:37 am

SFFTV Open Call for Submissions and Special Issue Proposals, as Well as Books for Review

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Science Fiction Film and Television invites article submissions on any topics related to sf and visual media; we especially invite articles related to the production economy of the culture industry and to non-US sf, as well as articles that related to possible upcoming special issues on (1) indigenous sf filmmaking and (2) the career of Taika Waititi. We also invite proposals from potential guest editors for special issues; please write gerry.canavan@marquette.edu for more information on this process.

SFFTV is currently edited by Anindita Banerjee (Cornell University), Gerry Canavan (Marquette University), Dan Hassler-Forest (Utrecht University), and its newest editor, Ida Yoshinaga (George Institute of Technology). Preferred length for articles is approximately 7000-9000 words; all topics related to science fiction film, television, gaming, other visual media will be considered. Typical response time is within three months. Check the journal website at Liverpool University Press for full guidelines for contributors; please direct any individualized queries to gerry.canavan@marquette.edu.

The journal is also seeking reviewers of recent works of sf and sf-adjacent critical theory as well as recent SF visual media. While we accept pitches, we also have the following books available for reviewers:

THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO AMERICAN HORROR (edited by Stephen Shapiro and Mark Storey)

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cambridge-companion-to-american-horror/6112D13AE5342761D59714310C5E54CD

CITIZEN SCIENCE FICTION (Jerome Winter)

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793621481/Citizen-Science-Fiction

CONSTELLATIONS: THE OA (David Sweeney)

https://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/series/series-15365/?sort=vol_desc

THE OUTER LIMITS (Joanne Morreale)

https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/outer-limits

THE ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO STAR TREK (edited By Leimar Garcia-Siino, Sabrina Mittermeier, Stefan Rabitsch)

https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Star-Trek/Garcia-Siino-Mittermeier-Rabitsch/p/book/9780367366674

STAR WARRIORS OF THE MODERN RAJ: MATERIALITY, MYTHOLOGY, AND TECHNOLOGY OF INDIAN SCIENCE FICTION

Sami Ahmad Khan

https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo125520594.html

THE WORLD IS BORN FROM ZERO (Cameron Kunzelman)

https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110719451/html?lang=en

Reviews typically run 1000-2000 words, or 2000-4000 words in our “review essay” format. Samples of both types of review are available upon request.

We are currently in the process of shifting the format of our media review section. We are now primarily interested in:

* reviewers who are calling attention to things that have gone overlooked in the larger entertainment-media-complex landscape, especially international film;

* reviewers with a specific aesthetic, political, or philosophical “take” on a text, as opposed to a more traditional review that recapitulates the plot at length and advises the potential viewer whether or not they ought to watch it.

This notion of a specific “take” is especially important for blockbuster franchise fare, like the MCU or Star Wars movies; in most cases we would only be interested in a review essay for such a film, discussing it within some larger critical context.

Due to a recent review backlog we have not been actively soliciting reviewers; as a result, much recent SF media is still available for reviewing. If there is a film you are interested in reviewing, please contact gerry.canavan@marquette.edu and let him know the name of the film and what you think you’d like to say about it. Deadlines are quite flexible. We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2022 at 1:24 pm

Summer Online Course: Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism!

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I don’t think I’ve ever put up the syllabus for my asynchronous online course on Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, which was filmed and designed before COVID and is just really well put-together (if I do say so myself). In the first half we study US Afrofuturist texts like Get Out, “Dirty Computer,” Bloodchild and Other Stories, and Black Panther (film and comics); in the second half we study Africanfuturist texts like District 9, “Pumzi,” Lagoon, and In the United States of Africa. Check out the syllabus! I’m really excited to get back to this one when it starts next month.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 28, 2022 at 7:13 pm

new fall course: “Histories of Anti-Capitalism”!

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I’ve got a great schedule lined up for Fall: a special version of my Tolkien course partnering with UWM and linking up with the Haggerty’s “Art of the Manuscript” exhibit, and a grad special topics course called “Histories of Anti-Capitalism.” Here’s a course description — suggestions very welcome!

Other English Fall course descriptions are trickling in here

Course Title: Histories of Anti-Capitalism

Coure Description: “We live in capitalism,” Ursula K. Le Guin once said. “Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” This course will take a long view of anti-capitalist thought, from the Luddite revolt of the early nineteenth century to the ongoing climate strikes of Greta Thunberg—investigating where resistance to capitalism has flourished and where it has failed, as well as where it has intersected with important trends in feminist, antiracist, anticolonial, LGBTQ+, ecological, and disability activism. We will also explore the speculative literary genre of utopia, and explore how its utopian, quasi-utopian, heterotopian, dystopian, and downright anti-utopian figurations have reflected, inspired, and critiqued the left’s centuries-long struggle against capitalist realism.

Readings: We will consider a wide mix of literary, historical, and critical-theoretical documents of anti-capitalist and counter-hegemonic thought from the last two-hundred-plus years. A final reading list is still being constructed (and very open to suggestions!), but major literary authors could include such figures as Edward Bellamy, Samuel Butler, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Chinua Achebe, Gene Roddenberry, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia E. Butler, and Kim Stanley Robinson, and major theorists could include Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Fredric Jameson, Mark Fisher, C.L.R. James, Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, Vandana Shiva, Enrique Dussel, Donna Haraway, David Graeber, and José Esteban Muñoz, among many others.

Assignments: Final critical paper or creative project; symposium presentation; weekly sandbox posts on D2L; enthusiastic and informed class participation

Carefully Curated Spring Break Links! Definitely Not Too Many!

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Why, I say, oh why, is it so hard to simply serve the concept and write the adventures of a smart, creative and kind-hearted teenage girl with superpowers? What purpose earthly or unearthly is served by making this character an embittered space tyrant?

… I questioned the desire to attribute the worst aspects of human behaviour to characters whose only useful function, as I see it, aside from simply entertaining young people and anyone else who fancies an uplifting holiday in a storybook world far from the grinding monotony of pessimism and disillusion, is to provide a primary-coloured cartoon taste of how we all might be if we had the wit and the will and the self-sacrifice it takes to privilege our best selves and loftiest aspirations over our base instincts. While that great day is unlikely to happen any time soon in any halfway familiar real world, why not let comic book universes be playgrounds for the kind of utopian impulses that have in the past brought out the best in us?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2022 at 6:38 pm

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Somehow, Spring Semester Returned

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After a week’s reprieve, today is the start of spring semester at Marquette! I have two classes this term and one overload, a one-credit research seminar for the Honors in the Humanities program. Behold!

ENGLISH 4762/5762: Disability and Narrative

ENGLISH 4717/5717: Comics as Literature

HONORS 3954H: Research Seminar

Thanks as always to everyone whose work I draw on to do mine, this time especially Michael Bérubé and Sami Schalk (and also especially Melissa Ganz and Jenn Finn for their incredibly rich models for the Honors seminar!).

Written by gerrycanavan

January 24, 2022 at 8:13 am

Sunday Reading!

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* CFP: Folk Horror. CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2022.
* Four Tiny Essays on SF/F.
* The Future Is Black, Not Bleak: On Afrofuturist Poetry.

* Notes on Contemporary University Struggles: A Dossier.
* The Great Faculty Disengagement: Faculty members aren’t leaving in droves, but they are increasingly pulling away.
* Hustling to get by: side jobs in grad school. Great Books, Graduate Students, and the Value of Fun in Higher Education.
* Microsyllabus: The History of Campus Policing.
* They fought critical race theory. Now they’re focusing on ‘curriculum transparency.’

* Two years since Covid was first confirmed in U.S., the pandemic is worse than anyone imagined. America’s second pandemic winter: More virus, less death. Parents and caregivers of young children say they’ve hit pandemic rock bottom. Students are protesting covid policies — and the adults who won’t listen to them. America’s youth turn left.
* Families are in distress after the first month without the expanded child tax credit.
* ‘If I Die, I Die’: Meat Loaf Spurned COVID Rules Before Death. Inside Meat Loaf’s Health Troubles, Including Vocal Strain, Alcoholism and Onstage Collapses. Meat Loaf Was My Softball Coach.

* America’s shift to the right in 2021 is worse news for Democrats than it seems. The long slide: Inside Biden’s declining popularity as he struggles with multiple crises. ‘The Lowest Point in My Lifetime’: How 14 Independent Voters Feel About America. Joe Biden Promised Change. He Hasn’t Delivered.

* What Does It Mean If Republicans Won’t Debate?
* Read the never-issued Trump order that would have seized voting machines. Georgia Has a Very Strong Case Against Trump. Would Trump Throw His Own Kids Under the Bus to Save Himself? We May Soon Find Out.
* Florida Advances Bill That Would Ban Making White People Feel Bad about Racism, and No, That’s Not a Joke.
* Scientists Warn that Sixth Mass Extinction Has ‘Probably Started’. How to Prepare for Climate Change’s Most Immediate Impacts. Don’t Look Up Is Missing What We Really Need From Climate Change Movies.
* Scientists Are Racing to Understand the Fury of Tonga’s Volcano. Tonga volcano: islands covered in ash as three deaths confirmed.
* “When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule,” said Yankovic in a statement. “And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
* The Moon Knight moment.
* The Star Trek century.
* Do you know what’s cooler than One Ring?

* Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Looks Absolutely Incredible, But… Crunch and TT Games.
* Men Are Creating AI Girlfriends and Then Verbally Abusing Them.
* Smedley Butler Helped Build American Empire. Then He Turned Against It.
* The Fall of NC Mutual.
* Mother sues Meta and Snap over daughter’s suicide.
* Where’s the snow? Milwaukee is nearly 15 inches below its average this season.
* At-will employment in Wisconsin apparently means that you can be fired at any time for any reason but you need your boss’s permission to take a new job.
* Acting Mayor Johnson announces public safety plan to tackle gun violence, car thefts and reckless driving in Milwaukee.
* Discrimination has cost Black home owners of billions of dollars of generational wealth. What can change that?
* Huge, if true: Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme.
* Shakespeare Noir. The Tragedy of Macbeth Is a Cinematic Feast for Starving Film Lovers.
* 6 Dysfunctional Family Roles and Their Characteristics.
* New Bad Art Friend / West End Caleb mashup just dropped.
* Alcohol consumption can directly cause cancer, new genetic study finds.
* The Medieval Vegetarian.
* The Battle over Howard the Duck.
* This is your only friend in the world right now. It’s gonna be a long night.
* tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life
* They stan.
* We stan.
* What are the most compelling and readable “plotless” novels you’ve ever read? My answer.
* And it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be better with the pizza in hand.

Lost in January Links

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* Out now: Extrapolation Volume 62.3 explores the representation of cyborgs in Pat Cadigan’s Synners, care in Gen Urobuchi’s science-fiction, and the critique of Western technoscience in Welcome to Night Vale.
* CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: Neurodiversity and Disability. CFP: Push: Childbirth in Global Screen Culture.
* Is there a dominant mode of current science fiction? Notes on Squeecore. Portrait of the Author As a Component of a “Punk-Or-Core” Formulation. Science Fiction Is Never Evenly Distributed. The sci-fi genre offering radical hope for living better.

* Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature.
* Notes on the Forum of the Simulacra.

* How To Develop A Planetary Consciousness.
* How climate catastrophe has consumed popular culture. Ride or Die? Mark Bould and the Fast-and-Furiocene.
* Is Geoengineering the Only Solution?: Exploring Climate Crisis in Neal Stephenson’s “Termination Shock.” Neal Stephenson Thinks Greed Might Be the Thing That Saves Us. Coming back from a time of illness: how finance can learn from climate change fiction. Melancholy Utopianism: The Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. We Can’t Just Grow Our Way Out of This Climate Mess.
* Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise.
* Pop culture can no longer ignore our climate reality.
* Marvel Movies Made 30% Of The Total Box Office.
* Nnedi Okorafor on SF through an African Lens.
* The Matrix Resurrections and trans life (and death). Unpacking the Hidden Meanings in The Matrix Resurrections. A Muddle instead of a Movie.

* Games Studies Studies Buddies is such a good podcast and this is an exemplary episode. Like and subscribe!
* Joss Whedon fully burns down what’s left of his career. The Joss Whedon Era: A Look Back.
* Why so much Obama-era pop culture feels so cringe now.
* Have We Forgotten How to Read Critically?
* From lynchings to the Capitol: Racism and the violence of revelry.
* California’s Forever Fire.
* California, Arizona and Nevada agree to take less water from ailing Colorado River.
* The heat stays on: Earth hits 6th warmest year on record. The Oceans Are Now Hotter Than At Any Point in Human History, Scientists Warn. Here’s how hot Earth has been since you were born. The Supreme Court Case That Could Upend Efforts to Protect the Environment. US hit by 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters in 2021, Noaa report says.
* As Tax Credit Expires, “Huge Increase” in Child Poverty Feared Amid Omicron Wave. How Did We Go From Stimulus Checks to “Go to Work With COVID”?

* The Ticking Bomb of Crypto Fascism. Tech Startup Wants To Gamify Suing People Using Crypto Tokens.
* Family Capitalism and the Small Business Insurrection: The growing militancy of the Republican right is less about an alliance of small business against big business than it is an insurrection of one form of capitalism against another: the private, unincorporated, and family-based versus the corporate, publicly traded, and shareholder-owned.
* Ultras.
* Democrats will have to do more to save democracy from Trump. The January Sixers Have Their Own Unit at the DC Jail. Here’s What Life Is Like Inside. The January 6th Republicans (from Jonah Goldberg no less). Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Isn’t it pretty to think so?
* The Rise and Fall of Latinx.
* Don’t Look Up Is a Terrible Movie. Really bad. I ranted.
* The Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’. Why ‘Star Trek’ made San Francisco the center of the universe.
* A Grieving Family Wonders: What if They Had Known the Medical History of Sperm Donor 1558?
* Percentage that would visit the Moon as a tourist, if money were not a factor.
* On the Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo Journalism.
* The end of the pandemic? Study: Omicron associated with 91% reduction in risk of death compared to Delta. Hospitals Are in Serious Trouble. America’s COVID Rules Are a Dumpster Fire. We are the 3.2%.

* School Closures Led to More Sleep and Better Quality of Life for Adolescents. After last year’s learning loss, we need a plan for students with disabilities. Ideology and school closings. Who is this gentleman, Dude?

* The Mangle of Federalism.
* Book bans in schools are catching fire. Black authors say uproar isn’t about students.
* Becoming Martian.
* Last Year’s Longest Strike Just Ended in Victory.
* Yale, Georgetown, Other Top Schools Illegally Collude to Limit Student Financial Aid, Lawsuit Alleges.

* Dismissive Incomprehension: A Use of Purported Ignorance to Undermine Others.
* This Is the Way the Humanities End.
* A professor welcomed students to class by calling them ‘vectors of disease to me.’ He has been suspended.
* These Tenured Professors Were Laid Off. Here’s How They Got Their Jobs Back.
* So you want to work in academic publishing.
* As Afghanistan’s harsh winter sets in, many are forced to choose between food and warmth.
* US inflation reached 7% in December as prices rise at rates unseen in decades.
* Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class.’
* A simple plan to solve all of America’s problem.
* Sea Power, ‘Disco Elysium’, and the importance of being miserable.
* HBO’s Station Eleven Surpasses the Novel.
* Oh boy, they’re finally rebooting Quantum Leap.
* I’d never known this: Schrödinger, the Father of Quantum Physics, Was a Pedophile.
* Wes Anderson’s next sounds like another mistake.
* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly.
* ‘Invincible’ Animated Series Sparks Profits Suit Against Robert Kirkman.
* What Elmo’s Viral Moment Tells Us About How Parents Watch Kids’ TV.
* A people’s history of the Beatles logo.
* If you want a vision of the future.
* Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park Is a Terrible Masterpiece.
* The Wire as copraganda.
* BEHOLD! MEGA-MANHATTAN!

* The Strange Literary Puzzle Only Four People Have Ever Solved. And welcome to the Wordle century.

New Year, New Pandemic Links

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* Brace for Omicron. Wisconsin COVID-19 case counts matching levels not seen since November 2020. Omicron is spreading at lightning speed. Scientists are trying to figure out why. Where are hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients? Look up your state. After Vaccines: Where Covid Death Rates Have Risen. Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown. “Things will likely get worse, experts warn.” As Omicron Looms, These Colleges Will Start Their January Classes Online. Junior year. You don’t say. In this Midwestern diner, patrons are sticking with coronavirus.

* The pandemic killed so many dialysis patients that their total number shrunk for the first time in nearly half a century.
* Flood of Creative Works Enter the Public Domain on Jan. 1.

* Absolutely beautiful, don’t even care if it’s true.

* How Will the History Books Remember 2021?
* Retired general recommends wargaming potential coup scenarios. That’s just prudent!
* America’s Electoral Future. What elections?
* Redistricting is Going Surprisingly Well for Democrats. Oh, honey.
* The Twitter Putsch. The Big Lie.
* John Roberts, Democratic hero. Joe Biden Has Been Very Good for the Military-Industrial Complex.
* Milwaukee ranks 2nd in poverty level among top 50 most-populated cities in U.S.
* Non-Mortgage Household Debt in the United States, 2003-2022.
* Fast-Moving Wildfires Burn Hundreds of Homes in Denver Area. ‘We Are in a Climate Emergency.’
* ‘The Fuse Has Been Blown,’ and the Doomsday Glacier Is Coming for Us All. The climate apocalypse is real, and it is coming. The trap of climate optimism.

* We stan.
* We’re preparing for apocalypse wrong — and that could make things even worse. What The Marvel Movies Don’t Say About The End Of The World.

But taken together, at the 100,000-foot level, the fact that each property is basically about someone doing what they were doing anyway, then having to deal with some new iteration of surreal but familiar external forces invading, and never having any time to really think about what it all means because the next thing is already happening, as it turns out — now that we really do live in a notable historical period of continual surreal events that could make you question the foundations of society — everyone has to continue doing what they were doing anyway when the world is ending, and you’ll never have that much time to think about what it all means because the demands of the next thing will be upon you.

What does it feel like when the world ends? It just feels like aliens invading until something else happens.

* The Subversive Playfulness of the ‘The Matrix.’The Matrix Resurrections’ captures the real crisis of our post-truth era. ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Is the Anti-sequel Sequel. The Matrix Resurrections is a messy triumph. Too many movies right now are “about trauma.” The Matrix Resurrections actually does the work. Why trans fans connect to ‘The Matrix’. On the Matrix Resurrections. Blank Check. Even Neo Can’t Log Off.

* Another person discovers the terrible truth about jazz in the Star Wars universe.
* The case against the trauma plot.
* Placement games were 2021’s most calming trend. Black Games Studies.
* LARB’s top-ten most-read of 2021.
* The Radical James Baldwin.
* The End of Neoliberalism in Chile?
* Space Colonists Will Likely Resort to Cannibalism, Scientist Says. Henry Kissinger: AI Will Prompt Consideration of What it Means to Be Human.
* Routine Maintenance: Embracing habit in an automated world.
* Why am I being hurt?
* The Judge Rotenberg Center, a Massachusetts school, still uses electric shock therapy to punish disabled students. How can an entire field of mental health accept this as fine?
* Death Drive Nation.
* I’m older than Frasier. I’m older than Cliff Claven.
* Behold: Star Trek: Coda.
* What are you doing? Listen to Man Bites Dog.
* And the news just gets worse: Exercise necessary for older people later in life, study says.

Lost Semester Linkblogging!

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For a variety of reasons, this was an extremely busy semester, and I simply wasn’t able to keep up with my open tabs (I had several hundred open at one point!). An irrecoverable browser crash killed any possibility of ever doing even an omnibus record of what I’ve been reading and thinking about — but I do have a tiny number of highlights from the semester that I will link here just to close the book on it. I’m hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, that I can get back to a more regular update schedule in the spring…

Apologies!

The podcast will also be coming back too for the end of the Achebe season! Stay tuned.

SFFTV Call for Reviewers

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SFFTV is looking for reviewers for a few recent books:


Becky Bartlett’s BADFILM: INCOMPETENCE, INTENTION, FAILUREhttps://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-badfilm.html

Jayna Brown, BLACK UTOPIAS: SPECULATIVE LIFE AND THE MUSIC OF OTHER WORLDShttps://www.dukeupress.edu/black-utopias

Arthur Krker and Marilouise Kroger, TECHNOLOGIES OF THE NEW REAL: VIRAL CONTAGION AND DEATH OF THE SOCIALhttps://utorontopress.com/9781487540227/technologies-of-the-new-real/

Michael Pitts, ALTERNATIVE MASCULINITIES IN FEMINIST SPECULATIVE FICTION
https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793636614/Alternative-Masculinities-in-Feminist-Speculative-Fiction-A-New-Man

Robert Yeates, AMERICAN CITIES IN POST-APOCALYPTIC SCIENCE FICTIONhttps://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/178921

Contact Gerry Canavan (gerrycanavan@gmail.com) if you are interested!

Written by gerrycanavan

November 29, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Grad School Achebe #8: “The Voter”

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The long-anticipated to The Many Saints of Newark bonus episode is finally here: “The Voter”!

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2021 at 9:38 am

GSA #7: A MAN OF THE PEOPLE!

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2021 at 9:24 am