Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Archive for the ‘Look at what I found on the Internet’ Category

Friday Night Links!

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* All is proceeding as I have foreseen: Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Armed Militias Threaten to Storm the Capitol.

* How Science Fiction Imagined the 2020s.

* Watchmen’s future unsure at HBO as Lindleof bows out.

* And just for fun, one last time.

* A brand-new Zodiac where the signs are the Muppets.

* The latest anti-grad-student-labor nonsense at the University of Chicago.

 

* The West focuses only on slavery, but the history of Africa is so much more than a footnote to European imperialism.

* Trump’s America may be declining in global soft power—but US empire rolls on. Our Frightening Moment Was Years in the Making.

* Run, Monica, run.

* …the most passionate opposition to Corbynism came from men and women in their forties, fifties, and sixties. They represented the last generation in which any significant number of young radicals even had the option of selling out, in the sense of becoming secure property-owning bastions of the status quo. Not only had that door closed behind them; they were the ones largely responsible for having closed it. They were, for instance, products of what was once the finest free higher education system in the world—having attended schools like Oxford and Cambridge plush with generous state-provided stipends—who had decided their own children and grandchildren would be better off attending university while moonlighting as baristas or sex workers, then starting their professional lives weighted by tens of thousands of pounds in student debt. If the Corbynistas were right, and none of this had really been necessary, were these politicians not guilty of historic crimes? It’s hard to understand the bizarre obsession with the idea that left Labour youth groups like Momentum—about the most mild-mannered batch of revolutionaries one could imagine—would somehow end up marching them all off to the gulag, without the possibility that in the back of their minds, many secretly suspected that show trials might not be entirely inappropriate.

* Shocker: Health care spending decreases under single-payer systems.

* How Many Kids of ‘Millionaires And Billionaires’ Would Actually Benefit from Free College?

* Sex abuse crisis in Amish Country.

* When the movie is so bad you can really let your hair down: Dolittle Is One of the Worst Movies in Years.

* Not the worst map projection I’ve ever seen.

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Airplane Sleeping Positions.

* And the automoted utopia can never fail; it can only be failed.

2020 Links for 2020

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* I had another short book review at Los Angeles Review of Books the other week, on Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown, a book of this arbitrary amount of time if ever there was one: “Does Chris Ware Still Hate Fun?” When you’re done with that, check out these: “Bedlam and Baby: Parables of Creation in Jack Kirby and Chris Ware” and “’Red People for a Red Planet’: Acme Novelty Library #19, Color, and the Red Leitmotif.”

* And just yesterday at this very site I was hyping the CFP for the relaunch of the World Science Fiction Studies series at Peter Lang, which I am now co-series-editing!

* CFP: SFFTV Call for Reviewers 2020. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: English and American Studies in the Age of Post-Truth and Alternative Reality. CFP: Current Research in Science Fiction 2020. CFP: Imagining Alternatives.

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future.

Public Domain Day 2020.

* The 2010s, the decade of sore winners. Will the 2020s Be the Decade of Eugenics?

The most insightful vision of the future at CES came from HBO’s ‘Westworld.’

* The only word on the coming Iran war. Stop the War. Stop US Empire.

I Read Airbnb Magazine So You Don’t Have To.

The Subterranean Press edition of Unexpected Stories will be its first print edition, with a newly-commissioned introduction by Nisi Shawl, and an afterword by Butler’s longtime agent and literary executor, Merrilee Heifetz.

* Visual art and film and TV list from the World Science Fiction course at Bowdoin. A climate fiction syllabus. Rain, Rivers, Resources & Ruin: A Critical Analysis of the Treatment of Resources​ in Ecocritical Science Fiction [cli-fi] Works from 1965 to 2015.

Dr. Manhattan is a Cop: “Watchmen” and Frantz Fanon. Black, White, Blue: To Understand Where HBO’s Watchmen Succeeded, We Need to Understand How Moore’s Watchmen Failed. Project for the TV Criticism of the Future.

Read an English translation of new Cixin Liu short story, 2018-04-01.

* The problem with bringing back blogs is.

* The past five years are the five warmest years on record, the past six the warmest six, the past nine the warmest nine. Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second. Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red (Video). Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning. The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make. This is fine.

* Maybe we should look at doing something about the rest of the air, too.

* Meet the Obamog(ho)uls.

Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP. Finlands Sanna Marin: 4-day-week and 6-hour-day could be the next step. Taiwan’s single-payer success story — and its lessons for America.

* Meanwhile: the High Cost of Having a Baby in America.

* …one of the strongest cases for Bernie isn’t just what he’ll be able to achieve, it’s what he’ll refuse to do (cannot imagine him signing a grand bargain weakening Social Security, for instance).

* One Year in Washington.

* The Palace of the Future Is Nearly Complete.

* By itself, fascist infotainment might just be the hobby of millions, alone together, silently despairing of their lives, sporadically generating ‘lone wolf’ murders and occasional armed shitstorms. “We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover.” NPR’s sanitizing of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media.

* Three shifts at the Scrabble factory.

* Take a look at F-Stop, the Portal sequel you’ll never play.

* The Walking Sim Is a Genuinely New Genre, And No One Fully Understands It.

Inside the College Football Game-Day Housing Boom.

Higher Ed’s Dirty-Money Problem.

The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade.

The MLA Started Publishing Job-Searching Advice More Than 50 Years Ago. Here’s How Things Have Changed.

* Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run: A liberal arts education may not have the highest returns in the short run, but a study finds that after 40 years, liberal arts institutions bring a higher return than most colleges.

University of Iowa associate dean appointed weeks after arrest.

Student debt increased by 107% this decade, Federal Reserve data shows.

* Fresh from its laundering pedophile money scandal, MIT welcomes ICE.

* Being black at UW.

* The Catholic Church as organized crime family.

* The rise of the permanent protest.

* This is probably dumb — though maybe 1919 had a lot of bonus fraud in it, would be cool to study — but I have immediately and permanently internalized its lessons nonetheless.

Gen Zers vs. Millennials in the Workplace. Why an internet that never forgets is especially bad for young people. Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves? Falling without a net. Baby boomers face more risks to their retirement than previous generations. Almost none of the S&P 500’s blockbuster rally in 2019 can be pegged to rising earnings, and that’s a problem.

* When your abuser is a cop.

Med Students Are Doing Vaginal Exams on Unconscious, Non-Consenting Patients.

* Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall.

* Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9 script is better in some ways and worse in others, as you might expect. Star Wars Fans Furious JJ Abrams Gave Role to Dominic Monaghan Over a Soccer Bet. Star Wars: What Went Wrong?

* Jeri Ryan’s latest Picard interview makes me worried that I accidentally wrote the Picard series bible.

* When AI runs the entertainment industry.

* When business people run the Olympics.

* DC and Marvel vs politics.

* The Okorafor century! ‘Binti’ Adaptation From Michael Ellenberg in the Works at Hulu (Exclusive).

* Bad news y’all, seven more years of winter.

* Being Larry David.

* Slaughterhouse-Five is getting a graphic adaptation, and Sami Schalk has been reading the new Parables graphic novel on Twitter.

* Time travel baby. Coffee baby. Babies baby. Memory baby.

* Asimov, groper.

How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship. Come for the life advice, stay for the weirdly unethical psychological research!

* The decolonization of Miles Morales.

* Despite Scorsese’s attacks on superhero films, what links his film (and Tarantino’s) with the various superhero movies is a certain mood: nostalgia. As the theorist Svetlana Boym once put it, “nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy.” This is true of all of these films. Boym continues, noting that, “nostalgia appears to be a longing for a place, but it is actually a yearning for a different time — the time of our childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams.” Tarantino has explicitly mentioned that the year 1969 — when he was six — was the year that “formed” him; Tarantino sees his latest film as a sort of “love letter” to the year (for another, quite different, perspective on this period, see The Stooges classic “1969”). The yearning for childhood should require no explanation in the case of superhero films, but it might require a bit more explanation in the case of The Irishman. Turning to that film allows me also to frame the exact way in which I want to pursue my discussion of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

* Lord of the Rings appendices alignment chart. Alignment chart alignment chart.

‘We are not alone’: Confirmation of alien life ‘imminent and inevitable.’ Top-Secret UFO Files Could ‘Gravely Damage’ US National Security if Released, Navy Says. A list of solutions to the Fermi paradox.

* @ me next time

* One of my favorite archives to think about and teach: nuclear semiotics.

* Lord Byron used to call William Wordsworth “Turdsworth,” and yes, this is a real historical fact.

* And Christopher Tolkien departs for the Grey Havens.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 16, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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CFP for the relaunch of the World Science Fiction Studies book series (Peter Lang)

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World Science Fiction Studies
Edited By Sonja Fritzsche and Gerry Canavan
https://www.peterlang.com/view/serial/WSFS

World Science Fiction Studies understands science fiction to be an inherently global phenomenon. Proposals are invited for monographs and edited collections that celebrate the tremendous reach of a genre that continues to be interpreted and transformed by a variety of cultures and linguistic communities around the world. The series embraces this global vision of the genre but also supports the articulation of each community’s unique approach to the challenges of science, technology and society. The series encourages the use of contemporary theoretical approaches (e.g. postcolonialism, posthumanism, feminisms, ecocriticism) as well as engagement with positionalities understood through critical race and ethnicity studies, gender studies, queer theory, disability studies, class analysis, and beyond. Interdisciplinary work and research on any media (e.g. print, film, television, visual arts, video games, new media) is welcome. The language of the series is English.

Contact gerry.canavan@marquette.edu with any questions, or to let us know what you’re working on!

Written by gerrycanavan

January 14, 2020 at 11:32 am

SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND TELEVISION Call for Reviews 2020!

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The academic journal Science Fiction Film and Television (Liverpool University Press) is seeking reviewers of recent SF visual media (still primarily film and television, though we remain interested in expanding into video games).
 
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 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 SF media from 2018-2020 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

January 6, 2020 at 11:31 am

End of Month, End of Year, End of Decade Links

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* Holiday plans.

* Steve Shaviro has his favorite science fiction of 2019. I can definitely endorse the Chiang, Hurley, and Tchaikovsky entries, and hope to report in on some of the rest soon… Meanwhile Sean Guynes has a roundup of the best books of the decade in science fiction studies, fantasy studies, American studies, and comics studies.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: “What the Hell Do We Write Now?”

* Tolkien, Lewis, and The Enchantments of Escape.

* Abigail Nussbaum has some questions for The Rise of Skywalker. I thought the Blank Check episode was terrific, too.

* I wanted more ‘Star Wars.’ I got my wish, and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ made me regret it. The Rise of Skywalker: Memorabilia without Memory, a Misunderstanding of Hope. Welcome to the Star Wars zoo. We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore. Will “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” rebalance Disney’s universe? I’ve heard worse ideas. Improv. Disney produced an unprecedented 80 percent of the top box office hits this year. The Decade Disney Won. And one last time, for old time’s sake: The 10 Best Stories In the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Huh: They’re gonna make a movie out of “Coyote vs. ACME.”

* Ed Solomon reflects on the greatest work of science fiction he’s been associated with, the profit statement for Men in Black (1997).

The Outer Worlds isn’t quite a socialist video game. But it’s close. Class War on the Final Frontier. Coming to the Switch in 2020! Meanwhile, on the nostalgia front: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary has so much to teach modern games.

* Watchmen, season two: Americans are retiring to Vietnam, for cheap healthcare and a decent standard of living. The article even offers up a point of view character perfectly sociopathic for prestige tv:

After his military career, Rockhold worked as a defense contractor, operating mostly in Africa. He first returned to Vietnam in 1992 to work on a program to help economic refugees. He settled in Vietnam in 1995, the same year the United States and Vietnam normalized relations. He married a Vietnamese woman in 2009.

“The Vietnamese were extremely nice to me, especially compared to my own country after I came back from the war,” Rockhold said at a coffee shop recently inside a polished, air-conditioned office tower that also houses a restaurant and cinema.

* The New Yorker on Watchmen. Whitewashing ‘Watchmen.’ Who’s Watching HBO’s Watchmen? (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

* Kill Your TV.

A quirky exploration of sci-fi and masculinity. Science Fiction’s Wonderful Mistakes. And some more hot Shaviro sf content: “Defining Speculation: Speculative Fiction, Speculative Philosophy, and Speculative Finance.”

* Can you racebend Little Women? I imagine the next adaptation will, or at least will try too.

What happened to Dudley Heinsbergen?

* ‘Streaming has killed the mainstream’: the decade that broke popular culture.

* Meme formalism. Secularization and the death of the humanities. And Christopher Newfield reviews the book giving everyone who works for a college nightmares, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. The disgusting new campus novel. Radical academics for the status quo. Can literary studies survive?

* Arundhati Roy: India: Intimations of an Ending.

* What the Prison-Abolition Movement Wants.

* The invention of ethical AI: how Big Tech manipulates academia to avoid regulation.

One of Amazon’s first employees says the company should be broken up.

* The system works: The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence. Must be nice!

We Should Recapture the Optimism of the 1960s.

* James Harris Jackson went to New York with a Roman sword and an apocalyptic ideology. He stabbed a stranger in the back and left him to die. Iowa woman admits she hit 14-year-old with SUV because the girl ‘is Mexican.’ Senate removes phrase ‘white nationalist’ from measure intended to screen military enlistees.

Washington state lawmaker accused of “domestic terrorism” refuses to resign.

Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US. Under secret Stephen Miller plan, ICE to use data on migrant children to expand deportation efforts. Trump’s Tent Cities Are on the Verge of Killing Immigrant Children. The Pacific Northwest vs. ICE.

More than simple racism or discrimination, the destructive premise at the core of the American settler narrative is that freedom is built upon violent elimination.

* America’s self-destructive love affair with electronic voting machines, continued.

* So you automated your coworkers out of a job.

* On pretty privilege.

* Trade war with Wakanda lol

* MetaFilter has your oral history of Y2K. The New Republic has your recap of the decade from hell. National Geographic has your top twenty scientific discoveries of the decade. The 84 Biggest Flops, Fails, and Dead Dreams of the Decade in Tech. The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. The 15 most awe-inspiring space images of the decade. How Did This Get Played’s Top 10 Games of 2019.

* Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt.

* The geoengineering question. “The three hottest days on record in Australia are now Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.”

* Yer cancelled, Harry.

Pete Buttigieg’s Wikipedia Page Has a Very Attentive Editor.

Democratic insiders: Bernie could win the nomination. What Would the Bernie Presidency Really Look Like?

* The Obama Years, or, A Decade of Liberal Delusion and Failure.

* Why Trump’s Second Term Will Be Worse.

Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy.

* Women are filing more harassment claims in the #MeToo era. They’re also facing more retaliation.

* But there is another kind of memory that develops considerably later in human children, and never (as far as we know) in nonhuman animals. This is called autobiographical memory. What is the difference between episodic and autobiographical memory? In autobiographical memory, you appear in the frame of the memory. Not only do you remember how you felt on the first day of school, you see yourself going to school and having those feelings. It’s not just a matter of what happened, as with episodic memory; it’s a matter of what happened to me.

* The truth about PAW Patrol.

* Chaos at the Romance Writers of America. The Implosion of the RWA.

* Hallmark Movies Are Fascist Propaganda.

* Home Alone 14.

* Promise me I’ll never forget this moment as long as I live. It’s bad, Zeus. Welcome to hell. Santa. Soulmates. Superintelligence. Policy. Physics. Doom.

* Oracle, how can I live forever?

21 Gravity-Defying Sculptures That Messed With Our Heads.

* When Salvador Dalí Created Christmas Cards That Were Too Avant Garde for Hallmark (1960).

* Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men: To Make Girl Who Is Deaf Feel At Home, Dozens Of Neighbors Learn Sign Language.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Submitted for Your Approval, A Spoiler-Free Star Wars Hot Take Accidentally Composed on Twitter

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With Episode 9 Star Wars is finally unveiled as a multigenerational, nearly century-long saga of every major character trying to kill themselves with one grand gesture that solves all their problems. There are so many characters trying to kill themselves in the final third of The Rise of Skywalker it’s actually hard to keep track of which are the good suicides and which are the bad ones. (This might seem like a joke, but it’s truly a description of the last two acts of the film.) Just like Infinity War/Endgame was about there being too many Marvel movies now, TROS is very much about Star Wars as a franchise wanting to, but being unable to, die.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2019 at 10:06 am

Happy Star Wars Eve, One… Last… Time

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Not that anybody has asked, but if I had to come up with a definitive ranking of all the “Star Wars” episodes — leaving out sidebars like the animated “Clone Wars,” the young Han Solo movie and the latest “Mandalorian” Baby Yoda memes — the result could only be a nine-way tie for fourth place. A dismal farewell to the trilogy. Even Solo got a better reception. The Rise of Skywalker—and the Fall of Fun. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is what happens when a franchise gives up. ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Is A Convoluted And Clumsy End To The Star Wars Saga. The Rise of Skywalker Is So Bad It Actually Makes the Trilogy Worse. The Most Incoherent Star Wars Movie Ever Made. watching the rise of skywalker is like telling an acquaintance you ate potato salad once and enjoyed it, and then having that acquaintance break into your home in the middle of the night, tie you to a chair, and mash potato salad into your face and eyes for 2+ hours

* Of course the real content of Episode 9 discourse is The Last Jedi nostalgia.

How ‘Watchmen’s’ misunderstanding of Vietnam undercuts its vision of racism.

* Don’t Hold Your Breath for That Quentin Tarantino Star Trek Movie. “In a strange way, it seems like [‘Hollywood’] would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement,” Tarantino told Consequence of Sound. “I mean to such a degree there was a moment when I was writing and went, ‘Should I do this now? Should I do something else? Is this the 10th one?’ No, no don’t stop the planets from aligning, what are you, Galactus? If the Earth is saying do it, do it…But in a weird way, it actually kind of freed me up. I mean, I have no idea what the story of the next one’s going to be. I don’t even have a clue.” Kill Bill 3 confirmed.

* Netflix and the monoculture.

Click Here to Kill: The dark world of online murder markets.

Living through the era of school shootings, one drill at a time.

* Why did my sweet 5-year-old become so stormy when she started kindergarten? The Miseducation of the American Boy.

* A New (Jesuit) Model for Community Colleges.

You Shouldn’t Have to Be Good at Your Job.

The World The Economist Made.

Why Naomi Klein Has Been Right.

Eco-eugenics demands that the people who are least responsible for environmental degradation “solve” the problem with their lives.

The Oil Age Is Coming to a Close.

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health.

Regardless, the point is obviously not to get out of depression so that we can get back to the work that caused the depression to begin with. The point must be, rather, to destroy the material conditions that make us sick, the capitalist system that destroys people’s lives, the inequalities that kill. Thus, creating another world together. But to do that, to get to where that becomes possible, what is called for is not competition among the sick, but alliances of care that will make people feel less alone and less morally responsible for their illness. In alliance with each other, people might eventually be able to get up and throw some bricks.

The 2010s Killed Off the Polite Climate Change Conversation.

Trump’s Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape. Police officer admits he told homeless man to lick public urinal to avoid arrest.

* How Families Cope with the Hidden Costs of Incarceration for the Holidays.

Devin Nunes lives on a congressman’s salary. How is he funding so many lawsuits?

* Memo: the Senate is an irredeemable institution.

* Insulin prices double since 2012.

* Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver. For an extra $50,000 it’ll kill a poor person every time you turn it on just because.

* 15 major cities around the world that are starting to ban cars.

* Life at Away Luggage.

* America is still innovating.

My Last Day As An Adjunct.

* Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani got jacked as all hell, admits he couldn’t have done it without Marvel’s resources.

An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad.

John Mulaney Made a Kids’ Special. We Sent a 10-Year-Old to Interview Him About It.

* ‘Civilization’ and Strategy Games’ Progress Delusion: How strategy games have held on to one of colonialism’s most toxic narratives, and how they might finally be letting it go.

* And Papa, am I odd?