Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Chuck E. Cheese

Tuesday Night Links!

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* I have another review at LARB this week, this time on Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. Check it out!

Now, the humans in Liu’s fictions are not saints: there are always dire moments of backlash, too, moments of denial and cowardice and greed and the familiar madness of crowds refusing to face unpleasant truths. All of his major apocalyptic works thus far translated into English face this sort of ordinary and expected human failing as well. But what reads as genuinely, horrifyingly utopian for us in this moment is Liu’s insistence, across his career, that humanity does in fact want to survive — that, faced with a crisis that upends everything we know and threatens to impoverish and immiserate every human being alive and who will ever be alive, the human race will choose collective life over species death. This remains the most fantastic novum in anything Liu has written, an almost inconceivable shift in the priorities of our elites who, like the traitorous Escapers fleeing the invading Trisolarians in The Three-Body Problem, won’t even pretend to try and save the rest of us. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear,” a defiant, furious Greta Thunberg recently challenged the United Nations. “How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” The adults of Supernova Era got it done in one. In a moment of intergenerational struggle defined by environmental protest groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, and by the school climate strikes sparked by Thunberg and other young people around the globe, Supernova Era offers a tantalizing glimpse into another universe with an entirely different field of ecological politics, one where parents and grandparents won’t simply let their children and grandchildren suffer and die without a fight.

* And if you thought *I* was hard on The Testaments The Booker Prize — what happened?

* Help make Milwaukee socialist again!

* Do you hear the people sing? Chile’s people have had enough.

* Are Baby Boomers A ‘Generation Of Sociopaths’? Suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death, and it’s a worse epidemic than anything millennials faced at that age. ‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations.

Image and Text #33 is all about Black Panther. Wakanda, Worldbuilding and Afrofuturism for a World Without Violence.

CFP – “Reading Comics at the Threshold.”

The world’s top economists just made the case for why we still need English majors.

Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?

* CUNY Contract Deal Means Big Raise for Adjuncts.

Maryland’s Giant Global Campus Is Restructuring. And Professors Were Asked to ‘Recompete’ for Jobs.

* How Swarthmore shut down the frats.

Trump Education Official to Resign and Call for Mass Student-Loan Forgiveness.

Fredric Jameson: How to adapt to cultural change.

* The rise of eco-horror.

* Every prediction that has been made about climate change has turned out to be a drastic undershoot of the true severity of the crisis. Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows.

* Hundred-year wildfires two or three times every week. A ‘high-end and dangerous’ Santa Ana wind event will dramatically escalate California’s fire risk starting Tuesday night. PG&E CEO Says It Could Impose Blackouts in California for a Decade.

* Zeitgeisty!

* The return of MOOCs, this time for climate change. Or because of incredibly poor planning, whatever, the point is MOOCs.

The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report Was Too Optimistic. Images reveal Iceland’s glacier melt. An unprecedented climate change lawsuit against American oil giant Exxon Mobil is set to go ahead in New York. Kentucky’s Leaders Are Siding With the Coal Industry, and Its Poorest Residents Are Paying a Price. Amazon rainforest ‘close to irreversible tipping point.’ Humans are rapidly turning oceans into warm, acidifying basins hostile to life. US air quality dropped during Trump presidency after years of improvement, leading to thousands of premature deaths. Climate Activism Will Have ‘Terrible Consequences,’ Warn Richest People Alive. ‘Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse. A New Video Game Tests Whether You Can Survive the Climate Apocalypse. How to Halt Global Warming for $300 Billion.

* The end of the Internet. The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump.

* Coca-Cola, no!

* The Great Unraveling.

* No one working at Newsweek can tell me why it still exists.

* Why lowering the voting age would make for a better democracy.

* Today in the scooter scam. You Lost How Much on Scooters? The madness of WeWork. San Francisco is losing residents because it’s too expensive for nearly everyone. Life in a dayspa — with 95 roommates. admin/admin.

Disability activist sues Minneapolis, scooter companies over sidewalk access. A report from the street.

Poor kids spend nearly 2 hours more on screens each day than rich kids.

* School surveillance.

On the Origins of the Professional-Managerial Class: An Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich.

* Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

* UWM study finds over half of gun violence perpetrators and victims had elevated blood lead levels as children. The final five percent.

* How aristocrats ate prestige TV.

* “Bulletproof Emmett Till Memorial Unveiled After Repeated Vandalism.”

* CA 1, NCAA 0.

* An oral history of the Chuck E. Cheese robots.

Hollywood’s New Self-Censorship Mess in China. Quentin Tarantino Holds Firm, Won’t Recut ‘Once Upon a Time’ for China.

* Biden’s just so bad at this. So bad at this! Bartenders for Bernie. Can Elizabeth Warren win it all?

* This is fine: In court hearing, Trump lawyer argues a sitting president would be immune from prosecution even if he were to shoot someone. Impeachment is too important to leave to Congress — it’s going to take mass mobilization. John Roberts will save us!

* Being President Supervillain.

Criminal misconduct by US border officers has reached a 5-year high.

* Taking the fight to every state.

* The recession returns to Wisconsin, which it never really left in the first place. Save me, Foxconn!

HUD officials knowingly failed ‘to comply with the law,’ stalled Puerto Rico hurricane relief funds.

* In the richest country in human history.

* Life in occupied Kashmir.

The Empire of Patrolmen.

* Orcs, Britons, And The Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built For Racial Terror. I have an entire day in my Tolkien class devoted to this question, around the Gorbag/Shagrat passages in TTT and ROTK, just because it’s such a threat to the pleasure of the fantasy by the end of the semester.

* Tolkien’s lessons for Trump.

* Of course Mordor would be in Florida.

* The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History.

* The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman.

* Fantasy literature alignment chart.

* Benioff and Weiss explain at length how they don’t know anything about making shows. Five seconds later: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Are No Longer Making Star Wars Movies.

* The Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Transgender People. Its ignorance could lead to a legal catastrophe.

* Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!

* There’s a very good chance the government isn’t hiding aliens. I can’t believe they even got to Snowden.

Mass. Dem’s Bill Would Make It Illegal To Call Someone ‘Bitch.’

Hunt told the Boston Herald that he filed the bill after being asked to do so by a constituent. “Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” he said. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”

I think I’ve found the one flaw in your legislative strategy.

* Can’t get good help these days: Hitman hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who hires hitman who tells police.

Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

* How YouTube radicalization works.

* We Are All Clowns: A Defense of Joker.

Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That’s Worrying.

* In honor of the return of Homestuck: How ‘Homestuck’ Defined What It Means to Be a Fan Online.

* The Evil Dead Cabin (Morristown, TN).

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day.

* If we can put a man on the moon. Media and and social class: a guide. Scams. Dreams.

* One-page dungeon.

* Which words were first recorded in print the year you were born?

The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time.

* Ian Bogost wants that goose off his lawn.

* The origins of Kirby.

* We did it! U.S. Military Will Stop Using Floppy Disks to Operate Its Nuclear Weapons System.

* 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

* Nothing gold can stay.

* And imagine going back in time.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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