Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Monday Morning Links That *Will* *Not* *Make* *You* *Sad*

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Caroll Spinney, puppeteer who gave life to Big Bird of ‘Sesame Street,’ dies at 85. My own mini Twitter thread. Meanwhile, in the other universe…

Such was the appeal of Big Bird that NASA asked Mr. Spinney to fly into orbit in costume, to interest young people in space exploration. Mr. Spinney agreed to go, but it was ultimately determined that the space shuttle was too small to accommodate the Big Bird suit. A New Hampshire teacher, Christa McAuliffe, went in his stead and was killed along with the rest of the crew when the Challenger shuttle exploded in 1986.

And from the archives…

* Ali Sperling: On Futurity and Futility: Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

So, what does it mean to fight for a future you know may already be lost? In such a context, questions underlying our relation to futurity become less about whether or not one can maintain hope for a failing planet and its deeply corrupted social and political structures; instead, the novel explores other forms of responses to the problem of the Anthropocene. One could argue that this isn’t a book about any particular future at all; instead, it’s about a present that has already come to pass. For many, there is already no other option but to fight fate, an imperative that suggests the strange paradox that structures both Dead Astronauts and the seemingly impossible political and ecological challenges faced at this moment around the world. The novel suggests that even something broken can be useful: “They had failed in the last City, and the one before that, and the one before that. Sometimes that failure pushed the needle farther. Sometimes that failure changed not a thing. But perhaps one day a certain kind of failure might be enough.”

* CFP: Posthuman Global Symposiums.

* AI Dungeon 2.

* ‘I’m working until I’m 75’: Factory worker describes family’s student debt nightmare.

* The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’: The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.

* Tinder, but for the master race.

* Why US is still bad for working parents.

It’s not thanks to capitalism that we’re living longer, but progressive politics.

* Biden! Biden! Biden! Buttigieg! And my global take on politics, more or less.

* Service, and sacrifice and heritage.

* “Blackness is a superhero origin story.” The Performative Horniness of Dawn of X.

* Counterpoint: every city, town, village, and hamlet in the United States is a universe unto itself.

* Disney warns Episode 9 may have an epilepsy risk.

* And I too just learned about this letter K.A. Applegate wrote to fans about the end of Animorphs, and it is indeed good.

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