Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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

GSV24: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”!

leave a comment »

Marquette English Has Podcast Fever!

leave a comment »

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!

Written by gerrycanavan

February 17, 2021 at 2:39 pm

GSV23: GALÁPAGOS!

leave a comment »

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…

Written by gerrycanavan

February 9, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

with one comment

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”!

leave a comment »

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…

Written by gerrycanavan

January 15, 2021 at 3:34 pm

GSV21: PLAYER PIANO!

leave a comment »

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…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Ye Old Link Roundup!

leave a comment »

GSV20: “All the King’s Horses”

leave a comment »

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

Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2020 at 7:36 pm

It’s Been a Minute: Links!

leave a comment »

GSV 19: GOD BLESS YOU, DR. KEVORKIAN!

leave a comment »

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)…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 12, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Just Some Normal Friday Night Links on a Perfectly Normal Friday Night

leave a comment »

And a Very Merry Election’s Night’s Eve To You Too

leave a comment »

GSV16: Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel!

leave a comment »

In a very special two-hour mega-episode extravaganza, Gerry and Aaron talk with ML Kejera (@KejeraL) about the new comic adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five by Ryan North and Albert Monteys! We sneak in some nice Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware talk too, and even talk a bit about the film. All this AND viewer mail!

Written by gerrycanavan

October 31, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Could This Be the Last of the Great American Linkposts?

with 2 comments

This has been a really difficult month/semester/year/decade and it’s causing me to rethink the way I do these linkposts. For the next bit of time, at least, I’m really going to pull back and try to highlight only those things that I really think deserve attention; for this one in particular that means tossing out basically everything going on with Trump and Biden and the political situation of the United States more generally. Suffice it to say: everything is very bad! And now, this:

Written by gerrycanavan

October 30, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE Wants You!

with 7 comments

I wrote a bit about Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel and ecoterrorism over at LARB:

If you truly claim to represent the people of the future, Frank asks — people who have the exact same right to a livable planet that we do — doesn’t that mean you should be willing to kill in their defense? Not as a first choice, not as the only choice — but can you really take it off the table? “If your organization represents the people who will be born after us, well, that’s a heavy burden! It’s a real responsibility! You have to think like them! You have to do what they would do if they were here,” Frank argues. “I don’t think they would countenance murder,” retorts Mary, to which Frank replies, “Of course they would!”

The Ministry for the Future is thus a novel about bureaucracy, but it’s also about the possibility of a wide diversity of tactics in the name of a livable future that include fighting both inside and outside the system. Characters in the novel contemplate targeted assassination of politicians and CEOs, industrial sabotage of coal plants, intentionally bringing down airliners in the name of destroying commercial air travel, bioterrorism against industrial slaughterhouses — and they do more than contemplate them. How does it change what’s possible when we stop worrying so much about losing in the right way, and start thinking about winning in the wrong ways?