Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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

Teaching PARASITE!

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I’d solicited Parasite readings on Twitter and Facebook, and there was some interest in the results, so I figured I’d consolidate what i’m doing on the blog for anyone who wants to see what I’ll be doing.

This is for the course on the “hypercontemporary,” all texts that were either created or rose to prominence between 2019 and 2021. It’s one of two films the students chose for the film sequence in the course; the other one they picked is Soul, which makes for a nicely odd one-two punch.

I landed on a two-day structure. Day one is politics:

Day two is devoted to matters of form, both with respect to the way Bong puts the film together but also the complicated way we read Parasite as Westerners encountering a subtitled film from an Asian nation whose politics and culture are not especially well-known to the US and European audience:

The sandbox post is wide open this week but I do invite their thoughts about what the rumored HBO adaptation might do differently.

As I noted on Twitter, Parasite was the last film I saw in a movie theater before the world ended so this is very much a “nature is healing” moment for me personally. I can’t wait to talk about it.

I got a good question on Twitter: “Did you come across any pieces critical of the film?” Here’s the answer, such as it is…

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March 27, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Friday Links!

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March Links!

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March 6, 2021 at 9:04 am

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GSV24: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”!

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Marquette English Has Podcast Fever!

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Marquette English has podcast fever! In addition to the world-famous Grad School Vonnegut (new episode coming this week!), there’s Sub Titles (substituting each entry on Spin and AFI “Best of” lists), The Annotated 80s (turning a scholarly lens on 80s pop culture), and the brand new, very fun Mismatched Texts (talking about two texts you wouldn’t normally talk about together, together). And these are just the ones I know about…

Have a listen!

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February 17, 2021 at 2:39 pm

GSV23: GALÁPAGOS!

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This is the one the podcast has always been building towards: Gerry, Aaron, and special guest Brian Thill take on Galápagos. Does it hold up? Is it secretly the best Vonnegut novel? Can Kurt wriggle out of being canceled one last time? Only our big brains know for sure…

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February 9, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

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As Tolkien observed in an essay of the late 1950s, even Sauron’s motive was initially to attain a form of political utopianism: “He loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.”46 As many characters are hopeful utopians in their political orientation, any opposition to this standard soon becomes a radical alternative: “It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”47 In this scheme, the utopian-political becomes the conventional, while the utopian-ontological becomes the radical; indeed, the latter’s radicality derives not from making different political choices but different personal ones. This is no clearer than in the case of Faramir who, unlike his brother Boromir and father Denethor, will not allow himself to be tempted by the Ring:

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.

In these positive characterisations, with their exemplary portrayal of heroic subjective values, we can identify aspects of Levitas’s argument for a utopianism of the wholeness of being and human flourishing. As Levitas suggests, many utopias do their work by advocating better ways of being rather than by illustrating better forms of social organisation.

GSV22: “EPICAC”!

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Gerry and Aaron return for a discussion of “EPICAC” (1950)! Join us for a meandering tour of automation, machine learning, feminism, suicide, the war machine, masculinity, STEM, and so much more…

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January 15, 2021 at 3:34 pm

GSV21: PLAYER PIANO!

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What’s that? There, in the back, behind the Christmas tree? Why, it’s a very special, two-hour episode of Grad School Vonnegut, guest-starring Matt Hauske & Hilary Strang from the Marooned! on Mars podcast! We talk Player Piano, automation, capitalism, revolution, utopia, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ministry for the Future, failsons, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, the Ghost Dance, and so much more…

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December 29, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Ye Old Link Roundup!

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GSV20: “All the King’s Horses”

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This week Gerry and Aaron’s guest is Cameron Kunzelman of the “Just King Things” and “Game Studies Study Buddies” podcasts! We talk Vonnegut’s 1951 short story “All the King’s Horses,” adaptation, chess, Go, games, game theory, the Cold War, the 90s, Stephen King, The Queen’s Gambit, esports, Pikmin 3, and finally taking down the Vonnegut Library! #FreetheGame #FreetheVonnegutBoardGame

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December 20, 2020 at 7:36 pm

It’s Been a Minute: Links!

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GSV 19: GOD BLESS YOU, DR. KEVORKIAN!

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Gerry and Aaron’s whirlwind tour of the late Vonnegut reaches a resounding anti-climax in 1999’s God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, based on Vonnegut’s recurring WNYC segment Reports on the Afterlife! Our next novel is the very first one, Player Piano (1952)…

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December 12, 2020 at 1:08 pm

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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