Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Christmas Eve Links!

with 2 comments

* My article about Battle: Los Angeles is finally up at Democratic Communiqué: “I’d Rather Be in Afghanistan”: Antinomies of Battle: Los Angeles. It’s part of a special issue on “Media, Technology, and the Culture of Militarism: Watching, Playing and Resisting the War Society.”

* John McAdams’s lawyer has made public his letter to the Marquette administration protesting his suspension.

* A horrid, horrifying story of an organized campaign to harass a random Brandeis undergraduate for her tweets.

UIUC Report Condemns Dismissal of Steven Salaita. I said this on Twitter, but “It was wrong to arbitrarily break the rules then to fire Salaita, but we should arbitrarily break the rules now to reconsider his hiring” is a bullshit conclusion. Either he was hired or he wasn’t.

* Santa’s magic, children’s wisdom, and inequality.

* Are Parents Obliged to Pay for College?

* Today’s police killing non-indictment comes to us form Houston, Texas.

Former Buffalo Police officer Cariol Horne in a battle to get her pension. She was fired for trying to stop a fellow officer she says was abusing a suspect.

* In the face of the NYPD, it’s not just that New York City’s leaders are spineless. They’re frightened, which is far more dangerous.

* When White Men Love Black Women on TV.

* Fast-Food Consumption Linked to Lower Test Score Gains in 8th Graders.

The numbers are shocking: In the United States, according to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013. This year, according to the latest numbers obtained by Scene, only about 55,000 have passed nationally. That is a 90-percent drop off from last year.

Creditonormativity: Asserts that participation in the credit system of finance is the norm and is therefore the only and expected financial orientation. This orientation is then used to legitimate participation in a range of otherwise exclusionary social exchanges and relations. A creditonormative society is compulsory and involves the alignment of body, mind, and wallet with the biopolitical governance of financialization.

* Against the idea of bystander intervention as a solution to rape culture.

Do #BlackLivesMatter In Academia?

* Giuliani’s claim is an outlandish distortion of what Obama actually said. We rate this Pants on Fire.

* An oral history of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

* On sneaking a lesbian relationship past the censors in an anime in 2014.

We have created a public education system designed to assess our students and teachers on measures we perpetually keep just out of reach, so that the most successful students, teachers, and schools have nothing to worry about while the least successful among us must worry constantly about whether we’re smart or not, under review or not, employed or not — worth something or not. We demand that the people we fail define self-worth as judged by us. Other kinds of literacy (or even last year’s literacy) simply need not apply.

* Seeing this part of my family always introduces me to new Christian alternative media I’ve never heard of before. This time it was Bibleman and the “Unwind Dystology,” a sort of pro-life Divergent.

* Meanwhile, from the annals of my very serious research.

Coming to Terms With My Father’s Racism.

* Panspermia in the 19th century.

* The arc of history is long, but The Interview will play in 200 theaters this Christmas after all.

* And I thought this was supposed to be Christmas: Ohio homeowner told to take down his zombie nativity scene.

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2 Responses

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  1. “‘It was wrong to arbitrarily break the rules then to fire Salaita, but we should arbitrarily break the rules now to reconsider his hiring’ is a bullshit conclusion. Either he was hired or he wasn’t.” According to the AAUP (http://aaup.org/file/AAUPLetterChancellorWise.pdf), Salaita was hired and this was a dismissal. However, even if you disagree, you’re still wrong. The Board of Trustees reconsidering his hiring is not a violation of any rule (show me the rule!). Salaita was approved through the normal academic process and remains the selection of that academic process for the position. If the Board of Trustees decided to change course and approve Salaita, nothing about that violates any rules. Now, if there was a settlement years down the road to hire Salaita, it would be proper to go back to a faculty committee to ensure that Salaita is still the best candidate for the position. But obviously there’s no arbitrary breaking of rules in hiring Salaita, only in the decision to fire him.

    John K. Wilson

    December 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

  2. I’m going off what it says in the very short summary at the link:

    Statements made by the Chancellor, President, and Trustees asserting that the incivility of a candidate’s utterances may constitute sufficient grounds for rejecting his appointment should be renounced. We conclude, however, that the Chancellor has raised legitimate questions about Dr. Salaita’s professional fitness that must be addressed. In light of the irregular circumstances leading up to the Board of Trustees’ disapproval of an appointment for Dr. Salaita, the Committee recommends that Dr. Salaita’s candidacy be remanded to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for reconsideration by a committee of qualified academic experts.

    Whether the Chancellor, or the Board, or this special ad hoc committee gets a second bite at the apple to arbitrarily fire/de-hire/un-hire/whatever Salaita is all the same to me. He was hired, he was arbitrarily fired by admin, that’s not legitimate and so he should be rehired full stop. “Reconsideration” will either do what should be done (rehire) or else be a slow-walk, manufactured way to make the arbitrary firing seem measured and procedural when it wasn’t and could never be. This special “reconsideration” is also a violation of his academic freedom and his department’s shared governance, just one that takes a lot longer and isn’t automatically a firing.

    gerrycanavan

    December 24, 2014 at 9:41 am


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