Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘anti-imperialism

Thursday Morning Links

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* Your poem of the day: Tracy K. Smith, “Sci-Fi.”

* Philosophical science fiction, 1, 2, 3. Via MeFi.

* Science fiction as white supremacist fantasy.

* Charlie Stross on why he thinks he’ll be writing more urban fantasy than science fiction in the coming years.

* If you want a vision of the future: Tenure-track jobs in YA lit and science fiction studies at the University of Calgary.

Feces on the Philosophy of History! A Manifesto of the MLA Subconference.

* For Safety’s Sake, Get Rid of Campus Cops.

* This is not to diminish the exuberant commitment of the participants. At the same time, we must reckon with the fact that pop culture really likes to be agreeable along with its thrills. It likes to say yes, and makes endless conciliations to do so. It is safer to say yes. Yes can be deeply pleasurable. History is made by those who say no. Extinction Pop.

* David Graeber has published the piece comparing Rojava to the Spanish Civil War that he and I argued about on Twitter the other day. I have to say I find Richard Seymour’s take much more persuasive.

So if we have no way to make the slogan effective, what is it for?  If it is genuinely intended to pressure imperialist states to “arm the Kurds”, then it is at best unthinking sentimentality.  At its most sophisticated, though, the idea could be to ‘intervene’ in an argument taking place in imperialist countries around the region’s uprisings and military intervention, to attack the weak points in the dominant ideology and open a space in which a leftist argument can be made to a popular audience.  In this view, Kobane represents both the most progressive front of struggle in the region at the moment, and the weakest point ideologically for imperialist ruling classes who have no desire to see the PYD/PKK prevail.  In this sense, the demand to “arm the Kurds” is a sort of feint, akin to a ‘transitional demand’ in that it is both seemingly ‘reasonable’ in light of the dominant ideology and also impossible for the ruling class to deliver.

* Malcolm Harris remembers the Milgram experiments.

* Who Why How are trolls?

* On the post-post-colonial.

“Post-post-colonial” — and that’s just because I can’t think of something wittier right now — I think is a new generation of, well, new-ish generation of writers, where we’re not driven by our dialogue with the former mother country [the United Kingdom]. The hovering power for us when growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was not the U.K. It was the States, it was America. And it wasn’t an imperialistic power, it was just a cultural influence. I’m sure if this book was written in the ’70s or the ’60s, the characters would have ended up in London. They wouldn’t have ended up in the Bronx.

For us [as opposed to the post-colonial writers], for example, identity is not necessarily how to define ourselves in the relation of colonial power, colonial oppressor — so now it’s a matter of defining who you are as opposed to who you’re not.

* Remember: Obama cannot fail, he can only be failed.

* BREAKING: Wall Street is still looting the whole country.

* Big news for a small number of academic writers and artists: Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions.

Open-Carrying Guy Has His Brand-New Pistol Stolen at Gunpoint.

* One high school’s insane quest to make students print “Redskins.”

* Football is a death cult.

* Ebola is the CNN of CNN.

* Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay.

* The battle to make Tommy the chimp a person.

* Here’s exactly how much monetary damage Calvin and Hobbes did together.

* Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Sinatoro follows a necronaut who is sent into the afterlife to save Earth from destruction. It draws influences from the western genre and the classic American highway Route 66. It’s something Morrison considers his magnum opus of sorts, and we’re glad he’ll finally get a chance to tell it.

* Thomas Friedman is paid an incredible amount of money to write this dreck.

* This is literally unbelievable: Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure.” I find it difficult to even conceive of anything more absurd than this.

* And judging from the resounding crickets that followed this announcement this feels like a year that maybe I really could have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Monday 2

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* Kenyan anti-colonial behavior: On Oct. 5, a British high court ruled that three elderly Kenyans who were tortured and abused by colonial authorities in Kenya in the 1950s can proceed with their case against the British government.

* Early voting starts today in Wisconsin.

* Longitudinal study of 1,000 Wisconsin high school graduates from the class of 1957 proves that the popular kids really were just better.

The data show that over the entire 345 years, 22 percent of all authors were female. (Even though few papers in the JSTOR archive originated in the first 100 years, the researchers still felt that examining the entire data set was worthwhile.) The data also show that women were slightly less likely than that to be first author: About 19 percent of first authors in the study were female. Women were more likely to appear as third, fourth, or fifth authors.

According to the data in just the most recent time period, it is clear that the proportion of female authors over all is rising. From 1990 to 2010, the percentage of female authors went up to 27 percent. In 2010 alone, the last year for which full figures are available, the proportion had inched up to 30 percent. “The results show us what a lot of people have been saying and many of my female colleagues have been feeling,” says Ms. Jacquet. “Things are getting better for women in academia.”

Women still are not publishing, though, in the same proportion as they are present in academe as professors. The same year that the share of female authors in the study reached 30 percent, women made up 42 percent of all full-time professors in academe and about 34 percent of all those at the most senior levels of associate and full professor, according to the American Association of University Professors.

The Left must not only defeat austerity and preserve the social safety net; it must do so in such a way that assembles the forces necessary for more fundamental transformations in the future.

* Why your uncles believe crazy things: this guy.

Mainstream election experts say that Spakovsky has had an improbably large impact. Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine, and the author of a recent book, “The Voting Wars,” says, “Before 2000, there were some rumblings about Democratic voter fraud, but it really wasn’t part of the main discourse. But thanks to von Spakovsky and the flame-fanning of a few others, the myth that Democratic voter fraud is common, and that it helps Democrats win elections, has become part of the Republican orthodoxy.” In December, Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wrote, “Election fraud is a real and persistent threat to our electoral system.” He accused Democrats of “standing up for potential fraud—presumably because ending it would disenfranchise at least two of its core constituencies: the deceased and double-voters.” Hasen believes that Democrats, for their part, have made exaggerated claims about the number of voters who may be disenfranchised by Republican election-security measures. But he regards the conservative alarmists as more successful. “Their job is really done,” Hasen says. “It’s common now to assert that there is a need for voter I.D.s, even without any evidence.”

World’s Oldest Known Auschwitz Survivor Dies at 108.

* This year is the first year the presidential debates have ignored climate change since 1984. That’s right, friends, we’re doomed!

* And scientists are on the hunt for the Forest Moon of Endor. God, I hope they find it.