Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘2666

Another Massive Wednesday Linkdump

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* Three-part interview at Hero Complex with Neill Blomkamp.

GB: There can be an interesting freedom in the restrictions, too, even though that sounds contradictory. If you look at “Jaws” and “Alien,” the limitations on the visual effects led to ingenuity and better films. And there are many films today that go wild with visual effects and it leads to entirely forgettable films.

NB: It’s so true. From a pure audience perspective, it may yield a more interesting result. Think of “Alien,” if they made it now you would probably get “Alien vs. Predator.”

Via MeFi, which also links to another Blomkamp short, Tempbot.

* Noah Sheldon photographs the degradation of Biosphere 2. Also via MeFi. More photos at BLDGBLOG.

* China Miéville is blogging a rejectamentalist manifesto.

* “The End of the Detroit Dream.”

* Infinite Summer 2 is coming: 2666 Spring.

* Democrats would gain 10 Senate seats by eliminating the filibuster.

* The Big Bang Theory vs. The Male Gaze.

* New Yorker fiction by the numbers.

The first thing we always look at is if the New Yorker is bringing new writers into the mix or sticking with its old standbys. Just 10 writers account for 82 (or 23%) of the 358 stories to appear over the last seven years. Just 18 writers account for 124 (or 35%) of the stories. The New Yorker is sometimes criticized for featuring the same writers again and again, but it appears to be getting better on this front. The 18 “standbys” noted above and listed below accounted for only 7 of the 49 stories published in 2009 (or 14%). On the flip side of this argument, 15 writers appeared in the New Yorker for the first time in 2009 (at least since 2003).

* Monkeys recognize bad grammar. But they still can’t spell.

* Andrew Sullivan has your charts of the day.

It looks as though traditional economists have a strong optimism bias, which I try to balance with my fervent belief that the economy will catastrophically collapse on any given day.

* io9 considers the inevitable Lost reboot.

* I’m starting the new year with the sinking feeling that important opportunities are slipping from the nation’s grasp. Our collective consciousness tends to obsess indiscriminately over one or two issues — the would-be bomber on the flight into Detroit, the Tiger Woods saga — while enormous problems that should be engaged get short shrift.

….This is a society in deep, deep trouble and the fixes currently in the works are in no way adequate to the enormous challenges we’re facing.

* All about Yemen.

So Yemen’s population has tripled since 1975 and will double again by 2035. Meanwhile, state revenue will decline to zero by 2017 and the capital city of Sanaa will run out of water by 2015 — partly because 40% of Sanaa’s water is pumped illegally in the outskirts to irrigate the qat crop.

* Goal of the week: Dempsey!


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Links for Wednesday.

* First-gen Sierra adventure games in your browser. Your childhood says come back home, all is forgiven.

* The setup for this Flash Forward show seems pretty good, but man do I wish Brannon Braga weren’t involved.

* McSweeney’s has the syllabus for “ENG 371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era.”

* Long-time Republican strategist declares defeat in NY-20, while Norm Coleman presses on in the courts with his unique metaphysical argument that he is the only logically possible winner in the Minnesota Senate race.

* David Simon on Bill Moyers.

* Roberto Bolaño, 2666, and the Ciudad Juárez murders.

* What happens when you “run government like a business.”

* I don’t agree with everything Amanda Marcotte has to say about prostitution here, but she’s certainly right about Eliot Spitzer; it’s completely insane to me that some people actually seem willing to give the guy another chance.

* The best article about the “sexting” crisis you’re likely to read.

He then told the parents and teens to line up if they wanted to view the photos, which were printed out onto index cards. As the 17-year-old who took semi-nude self-portraits waited in line, she realized that Mr. Skumanick and other investigators had viewed the pictures. When the adults began to crowd around Mr. Skumanick, the 17-year-old worried they could see her photo and recalls she said, “I think the worst punishment is knowing that all you old guys saw me naked. I just think you guys are all just perverts.”

If your laws allow people to be charged with distributing child pornography for sending other people naked pictures of themselves, you need some new laws.

* Nate Silver thinks the libertarians are taking over the Republican Party. That would certainly be a huge improvement, as long as we’re not just talking about glibertarians.

* The headline reads, “Obama keeps prosecutions on the table.”

End of the Year Lists

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Jaimee and I both have capsule reviews in the Indy‘s end-of-the-year booklist. I wrote about Bolaño and Jaimee about Aravind Adiga’s Booker-Prize winning The White Tiger, but here’s Jaimee on the book everyone’s talking about.

Goodnight Bush
By Erich Origen and Gan Golan
Little, Brown & Company

Many a child may be fooled by the cover of this “unauthorized parody” of the classic children’s story Goodnight Moon; upon closer inspection, however, the cover of Goodnight Bush, by Erich Origen and Gan Golan, portrays a nightmare world of factory smokestacks, oil drilling and Florida 2000 ballots roasting on an open fire.

Accompanied by a simple text in a rhyming series of good nights (“Goodnight Constitution, goodnight evolution”), it is with a careful eye one must read the pictures full of visual puns. We are led into a child’s room, Little Georgie about to go to bed in his flight-cadet jammies. Lines of cocaine are on one nightstand, My Pet Goat on the other, surrounded by the dollhouse White House, little soldier men, the fox, the rocking chair, the blocks, the ballots and “a quiet Dick Cheney whispering hush.” Is that yellow cake that sits on the bedside table or is that a slice of the American dream in the form of apple pie? As the story progresses, the toys move and change to document another facet of the Bush years: another grievance, another mistake, another disaster.

If this book has a moment in time, it is now. George Bush’s legacy is bandied about on political talk shows and is soon to be stamped into history books, and here is a tiny sardonic snapshot that captures all that went wrong; it is only here, in a child’s world, where we can laugh at the worst that has happened in a kind of catharsis. The book ends with both good and bad goodbyes: “Goodnight Earth? Goodnight heir? Goodnight failures everywhere.” As a large percentage of the country looks forward to a New Year and a new administration, this clever little book is worth a look. —Jaimee Hills

Written by gerrycanavan

December 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm

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