Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Chuck E. Cheese

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: Embodiment in Science Fiction and Fantasy Interdisciplinary Conference, May 2018. CFP: The Future of Fandom. CFP: J. G. Ballard and the Sciences.

The Rise of Brittle Paper: The Village Square of African Literature.

* The Library of America’s Story of the Week is an Ursula K. Le Guin classic, “The Day Before the Revolution.”

Four book series that are shaping the future of science fiction on television. Butler! Okorafor! Jemisin!

* The next eclipse.

We all know it is ending.

Trump is not an aberration. There will be no “return to normal.” The damage has been done. America is over.

For years, Richard Florida preached the gospel of the creative class. His new book is a mea culpa.

* Something has gone wrong with our atheists.

The Ludicrous Prepper Plans of the Super Rich.

* Today’s “dominant cultural elite”—those Currid-Halkett has labeled “the aspirational class”— “reveal their class position through cultural signifiers” instead of material possessions, as was the custom during the golden age of conspicuous consumption. Ownership of relatively luxurious products (large electronics, SUVs) is now so widely accessible that the new elites eschew material things not because they’re reluctant to publicly display their affluence but because material goods no longer offer enough distinction. The hottest commodity for this group, whose members range from “partner[s] in a law firm” to “unemployed screenwriter[s],” is participation in a value system with the imprimatur of moral excellence: the conviction that they are living in the best (most responsible, most mindful, most objectively right) ways. These consumers are united by “shared cultural capital” as opposed to similar financial standing. “This new elite,” she contends, “is not defined by economics.”  

How Mic.com exploited social justice for clicks, and then abandoned a staff that believed in it.

Soviet Pseudoscience: The History of Mind Control.

The Mind-Set List, Faculty Edition.

* What is antifa? Who are the antifa?

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.

* Down the Breitbart hole.

* Now you can see what Donald Trump sees every time he opens Twitter. Inside Trump’s obsession with cable TV. A bizarre memo by an administration official suggests why Trump was so hesitant to blame white nationalists for the fatal violence in Charlottesville. Trump and his party continue to creep ever closer to a destination that once seemed unthinkable. And three and a half years of his term remain. Optimist. McConnell, in Private, Doubts if Trump Can Save Presidency. The President of Blank Sucking Nullity. “We tried to stop him.” Losing Mitt. If you want a vision of the future.

7 things Republicans could do to check Trump without ditching conservative policy.

* Was it worth it, America? Was it?

* No thanks.

* Forever and ever amen. How the Forever War Brought Us Donald Trump. Trump’s Afghanistan buildup is revealing a rift among Democrats.

* Whose heritage? Lee comes down at Duke.

How Trump Ruined My Relationship With My White Mother.

Catholic priest steps down after revealing he was a Ku Klux Klan member decades ago.

I Used To Be a Neo-Nazi. Charlottesville Terrifies Me.

* If you’re one of the more than 140,000 people doing time in a Texas state prison, you’re not allowed to read books by Bob Dole, Harriet Beecher Stowe or Sojourner Truth. But you’re more than welcome to dig into Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” or David Duke’s “My Awakening.”

Leaving town at rush hour? Here’s how far you’re likely to get from America’s largest cities.

* “Buffy at 20″ will have to find some way to reckon with Joss Whedon at 53. Joss Whedon was never a feminist. Joss Whedon and the Feminist Pedestal: A Reading List.

* Infographic of the far future.

* Machine learning and misogyny.

* Afrofuturism has finally been gentrified.

The CEOs Won’t Save Us.

* This deal is getting worse all the time. Because you demanded it.

* Not to be outdone.

Marvel’s Black Panther Has Been Fighting White Supremacists For Decades and He’s Not About To Stop.

Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked.

* In the future every franchise will be revived for fifteen minutes.

* Game of Thrones is definitely collapsing under its own weight. Bady and Mesle. Game of Thrones has become a terrible show. “Straining plausibility.” Game of Thrones‘ “Instantaneous Westeros Travel” Fallacy Is Driving Me Insane. Game of Thrones’ Drive to the Finish Line Is Crippling Its Ability to Tell a Story.

Dogs Are Turning Blue in India for the Saddest Reason.

Astronaut Pee and Sweat Could Be the Key to Getting Humans to Mars.

* RIP, Village Voice.

* RIP, Brian Aldiss.

The Moana syllabus.

A Future of Genetically Engineered Children Is Closer Than You’d Think.

Family Jumps Rising Drawbridge in Car, Lands on Other Side.

* A bonus episode of Thor: The Lightning and the Storm for your listening pleasure.

* These are grim times.

* And the arc of history is long, but Chuck E. Cheese is phasing out its animatronic bands.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2017 at 8:15 am