Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ahmed Best

Wednesday Links!

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* Great episode of I Was There Too today starring Ahmed “Jar Jar Binks” Best, a genuinely fascinating figure in the Star Wars culture industry. I link this great EW profile of Best every few years. They talk about the Aftermath scene I didn’t like, and Best gives a nice explanation of why the treatment of Jar Jar as a character is so regrettable from a storytelling perspective in the context of defending the otherwise execrable Darth Jar Jar Theory.

* There’s an unexpected bonus episode of the Hello from the Magic Tavern spinoff Offices and Bosses out today, too. Truly, nothing can stop me now.

* A nice writeup of Buffy at 20 from the Marquette Tribune.

* Also at Marquette Wire: Marquette’s Live Poets Society breaks the silence with their poems on mental illness and suicide.

* Strange Horizons on “Kirk Drift.”

* Margaret Atwood, The Prophet of Dystopia.

I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.

* How to tell if you’re a pervert.

* United’s stock falls 1.1%, wipes out $255 million off the airline’s market cap. Maybe they should have offered people $2000 to give up their ticket? Just a crazy thought. Now they’re sorry. Does The Fine Print In United’s Contract Prevent Kicked-Off Passenger From Suing Airline? The Corporation Does Not Always Have To Win. And from the archives: The black art of overbooking. The Landing: Fascists without Fascism.

* Jeff Sessions Prepares DOJ For Crackdown On Unauthorized Border-Crossers.

Sessions painted the matter in stark terms, saying that gangs and cartels “turn cities and suburbs into war zones, that rape and kill innocent citizens, and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders.”

“Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings,” Sessions said in prepared remarks. “It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth.”

When he delivered the speech, Sessions did not use the word “filth,” saying only “where we first take our stand.”

Sounds like the rivers will be running red with the blood of the unclean soon. #MAGA!

Another Day, Another Charter Scandal.

* The rule is you don’t talk about politics on the trail. The truth is you can’t talk about diversity in the outdoors without talking about politics, since politics is a big reason why the outdoors look the way they do. From the park system’s inception, Jim Crow laws and Native American removal campaigns limited access to recreation by race. From the mountains to the beaches, outdoor leisure was often accompanied by the words whites only. The repercussions for disobedience were grave. Hiking the Appalachian Trial while Black.

* Superbabies don’t cry.

We want a SuperRace because we want to eradicate absolutely everything that terrifies us. We want SuperHumans so we can transcend that thing we are: human. But a SuperHuman would lack that crack in everything through which, as Leonard Cohen sang, the light gets in. There’s something in our suffering that we need. We’ve known this for millennia, and we make it clear in the stories we keep telling. The Buddha gave up his palace and meditated beneath a tree for a week. Jesus of Nazareth said yes to a cross. Our ache is our unfortunate, undeniable doorway. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, says the copper lady with the torch. When we walk into our pain, we sometimes find ourselves on the other side, freed of what we once thought we needed to feel free.

* They saved MST3K’s brain.

* The ACLU filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of Maplewood, Missouri, over a policy that allegedly evicts domestic violence victims and banishes them from the St. Louis suburb if they call police for help more than twice in six months.

* Laurie Penny says The Expanse is perfect…ly fine. I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm a lot of other people seem to have for the series, though I liked the first season well enough; I haven’t even started the second season yet.

* The DC Cinematic Universe turns to the only hero who could possibly save it: The Rock. The Rock can make anything good, but there are limits. There are limits.

Let’s scrape together The Shining epilogue that Stanley Kubrick destroyed.

* And Some Math Problems for English Majors.

An English major explains his career options to three mechanical engineers for fifteen minutes. How many beers will the English major drink in explaining that, really, he has it figured out as he’s applying to eighteen grad schools, and after the PhD, maybe become a professor, or go for a post-doc, maybe? What if he’s trying to impress someone? What if that someone’s also a mechanical engineer?

Getting into the Real Good Procrastination Now Links

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* Bush-era flashback and general-election-2016 flashforward, courtesy of Chris Hayes: George Saunders’s The Braindead Megaphone.

* Today in stadium boondoggles: St. Louis has stadium debt, but doesn’t have a team.

* An ecological argument sure to catch fire: What we can do is learn to offer each other patience, compassion, courage, and love. We can learn to accept that just as every human life has its natural end, so too does every civilization. Contrary to what Purdy argues, we don’t need more politics. We need more hospice. We need to learn how to die.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While neoliberal capitalism has been remarkably successful at laying claim to the future, it used to belong to the left — to the party of utopia. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’s Inventing the Future argues that the contemporary left must revive its historically central mission of imaginative engagement with futurity. It must refuse the all-too-easy trap of dismissing visions of technological and social progress as neoliberal fantasies. It must seize the contemporary moment of increasing technological sophistication to demand a post-scarcity future where people are no longer obliged to be workers; where production and distribution are democratically delegated to a largely automated infrastructure; where people are free to fish in the afternoon and criticize after dinner. It must combine a utopian imagination with the patient organizational work necessary to wrest the future from the clutches of hegemonic neoliberalism.

tumblr_nzx16hOyNR1qap9gno1_500* Eugene V. Debs, accelerationist.

Keep your scythe, the real green future is high-tech, democratic, and radical.

Inside the Police-Industrial Complex.

* Sesame Street has heard your gentrification jokes, and they have decided they are really into it.

* From my friend James Tate Hill: On Being a Writer Who Can’t Read.

* On the Run on trial.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 25: Competencies.

Before I Can Fix This Tractor, We Have to Fix Copyright Law.

* Relax, nerds: It Turns Out the Next Game of Thrones Book Isn’t Late at All.

* The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland. A counterpoint.

* My favorite little bit of fan fiction/overthinking from The Force Awakens, I think. Elsewhere on the Star Wars front: The 13 Most Nonsensical Theories About The Identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.

* The end of Mad Max?

MST3K is that for me. It saved my life, at least twice.

* An interview with Ahmed Best. From the archives.

* Successful squirrel cyber attacks as of January 2016.

Angry Militia Leader: Stop Mailing Us Dildos.

* Life in Wisconsin: Was it a ‘frostquake’ or an Air Force sonic boom? And then there’s the education beat.

* If left-liberal people don’t stop embarrassing themselves with this Ted Cruz eligibility stuff I might vote for Cruz in protest. Okay, no, but seriously this is embarrassing.

More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name.

This Professor Fell In Love With His Grad Student — Then Fired Her For It. And you’ll never guess what Caltech did next!

* I’m considered adding a running closer to these link posts that’s just headlines from the day’s Journal-Sentinel that amuse me. Today, that’s Shorewood man pursues insanity defense in voter fraud case.

* But for now, nothing gold can stay: Mysterious Wow! Signal Came From Comets, Not Aliens, Claims Scientist.

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Star Wars Day! Yay! Episode III Procrastination of the Procrastination

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(episode one, the procrastination menace) (episode two, attack of the procrastination)

* Secrets of a lonely childhood revealed!

* A Brief Visual History of People Waiting in Line for Star Wars.

* The Tides of Lust: Samuel Delany reviews the first Star Wars movie, 1977. In the Butler archives there’s a ton of her thoughts on the Star Wars franchise, including her class notes for the Clarion classes where she discussed it. Really interesting stuff.

* And speaking of which: a CFP for a Butler essay collection.

* Evacuate? In my moment of triumph? J.J. Abrams also apologizes for Star Trek Into Darkness.

* Apropos of this New Yorker cartoon, this profile of Ahmed Best is one of the best things I’ve read about Phantom Menace.

12360359_10153376574063869_4285188336294404539_n* People are still arguing in the mentions of this Tumblr post on jury nullification, over two years later.

There’s No College P.C. Crisis: In Defense of Student Protesters.

* Rewind: How the U.S. Military Turned Santa Claus Into a Cold War Icon.

* Out today: Adam Roberts’s The Thing Itself.

* Low Pay, Long Commutes: The Plight Of The Adjunct Professor.

I expected to find at least a couple prisons within a mile of a toxic site — after all 89 percent of all New Jersey residents live within a mile of a toxic site. What I didn’t expect is that over half of New Jersey’s state prisons would be toxic sites. The WNYC map, using information from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website, identifies seven out of the 13 New Jersey state prisons as toxic sites. Plus, these toxic prison sites are often surrounded by more contaminated sites.

In US, poverty dampens genetic influence on IQ.

The Silent Collapse Of The Death Penalty In The United States.

The Convoluted Profits of Academic Publishing.

The Disaster Most Likely to Cause Global Famine Is Not an Earthquake, Storm, Tsunami, or Flood. I knew it, it’s capitali–oh, no, drought, it’s drought.

And Streaming TV Isn’t Just a New Way to Watch. It’s a New Genre.