Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘David Foster Wallace

Last Weekend Before the Semester Links!

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* ICYMI: My new syllabi for the fall! Infinite Jest and Alternate History. There’s also a new version of my “Video Game Culture” class, set for a new eleven-meeting schedule and with a “Capitalism” week added centered on Pokémon Go (what? oh, that thing). Relatedly: Milwaukee County Parks are trying to remove Pokemon Go from Lake Park.

* The NLRB has ruled that graduate students at private universities can unionize. How letting grad students unionize could change the labor movement and college sports. The NLRB Columbia Decision and the Future of Academic Labor Struggles. The Union Libel: On the Argument against Collective Bargaining in Higher Ed. But elsewhere in academic labor news: Adjuncts in Religious Studies May Be Excluded From Religious College Unions.

* Are PhD Students Irrational? Well, you don’t have to be, but it helps…

The point, then, is that a rational choice theory of PhD pursuit is self-sealing: by allowing the job market, and the job market only, to police our understanding of what’s rational, we’re ignoring that doctoral study is a way of accomplishing what the market typically cannot — a long-term, self-directed research project.

* Colleges hire more minority and female professors, but most jobs filled are adjunct, not tenure track, study finds.

* This morning everyone’s fighting about academic freedom and trigger warnings at the University of Chicago.

* I thought I was the only prof who didn’t really care about deadlines. But apparently there are dozens of us!

* That’ll solve it: Replace college instruction with Ken Burns movies.

A New Academic Year Brings Fresh Anxiety at Illinois’s Public Colleges.

Poor and Uneducated: The South’s Cycle of Failing Higher Education.

* Actually, I’m teaching these kids way more than they’re teaching me.

* I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid: An Epochal Discovery: A Habitable Planet Orbits Our Neighboring Star. Time to teach The Sparrow again…

* Philosophical SF.

* CFP: Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity, University of Florida.

Cuban science-fiction redefines the future in the ruins of a socialist utopia.

Puppies, Slates, and the Leftover Shape of “Victory.” On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti.

It was a long time before anyone realized there was something not the same about her.

From all indications, the next X-Men movie will hew closer to Claremont’s original Dark Phoenix story than the previous cinematic effort. But any sense of authenticity it achieves will only arouse and prolong the desire for closure of the loss not only of a treasured character who might have lived endlessly in the floating timeline, but also of the very narrative finitude in which this loss could only happen once. Comic Book Melancholia.

* Bingewatching vs. plot.

* A new book series at Rowman and Littlefield explores Remakes, Reboots, and Adaptations.

Hot Tomorrow: The Urgency and Beauty of Cli-Fi.

Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF.

* The real questions: How Long Would It Actually Take to Fall Through the Earth?

How did an EpiPen get to costing $600? Earned every penny. A Case Study in Health System Dysfunction. But, you know, it’s all better now.

* Amazing study at Duke: Virtual Reality and Exoskeleton Help Paraplegics Partially Recover, Study Finds.

The Epidemic Archives Of The Future Will Be Born Digital.

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar.

* Becoming Eleven. Concept Art Reveals Barb’s Original Stranger Things Fate and It Will Depress You. We Will Get ‘Justice for Barb’ in a Second Season of Stranger Things. This Stranger Things fan theory changes the game.

Arkansas City Accused Of Jailing Poor People For Bouncing Checks As Small As $15. An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks.

* And elsewhere: Drug Court Participants Allegedly Forced To Become Police Informers.

The times of year you’re most likely to get divorced. Keep scrolling! We’re not done yet.

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Are these the best films of the 21st century? I’m not sure I enjoyed or still think about any film on this list more than I enjoyed and think about The Grand Budapest Hotel, though There Will Be Blood, Memento, Caché, and Children of Men might all be close.

CBS is bound and determined to make sure Star Trek: Discovery bombs.

Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus.

* An Instagram account can index depression.

* After neoliberalism?

* Parenting and moral panic.

How Screen Addiction Is Damaging Kids’ Brains.

The technical language obscured an arresting truth: Basis, which I had ordered online without a prescription, paying $60 for a month’s supply, was either the most sophisticated fountain-of-youth scam ever to come to market or the first fountain-of-youth pill ever to work.

* Nazis were even creeps about their horses.

tumblr_nc27oekkA11t3cxt2o1_500* The Republicans were right!

* Mapping the Stephen King meganarrative.

* Good news for Dr. Strange: Dan Harmon wrote on the reshoots.

* My colleague Jodi Melamed writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on white Milwaukee’s responsibility.

The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. Translated from the Icelandic.

* Saddest postjournalism story yet: “Vote on the topic for a future Washington Post editorial.”

Katherine Johnson, the human computer.

* I arrived at my friend’s party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

* Uber loses a mere 1.2 billion dollars in the first half of 2016. Can there be any doubt they are just a stalking horse for the robots?

* It’s been interesting watching this one circulate virally: Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.

William Shatner Is Sorry Paramount Didn’t Stop Him From Ruining Star Trek V. Apology not accepted.

Hillary Clinton will likely have a unique chance to remake the federal judiciary. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America.

Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State. You don’t say… 4 experts make the case that the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising was troubling.

* Does he want a few of mine? Donald Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy $55,000 of His Own Book.

Curt Schilling Is the Next Donald Trump. Hey, that was my bit!

* Oh, so now the imperial presidency is bad.

* Good news, everyone!

At least Democrats are currently on track to retake the Senate.

* Scenes from the richest country in the history of the world: Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds. Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore’s harbor for five days, city says. It appears aquatic life — the moss that grows on rocks, the bacteria that live in the water and the bugs that hatch there — are the unexpected victims of Americans’ struggle with drug addiction. Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds.

No Man’s Sky is like real space exploration: dull, except when it’s sublime.

A.J. Daulerio, bloodied but unbowed. How Peter Thiel Killed Gawker. Never Mind Peter Thiel. Gawker Killed Itself. Gawker Was Killed by Gaslight. And if you want a vision of the future: A Startup Is Automating the Lawsuit Strategy Peter Thiel Used to Kill Gawker.

* Greenlit for five seasons and a spinoff: The astonishing story of how two wrestling teammates from Miami came to oppose each other in the cocaine wars — one as a drug smuggler, the other as a DEA agent.

* Also greenlighting this one.

* The legacy board games revolution.

25 1/2 gimmicky DVD commentary tracks.

The millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income because of climate change. The children of millennials will lose tens of trillions.

* When Icon fought Superman.

* Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks.

An Exciting History of Drywall.

* Title IX: still under serious threat.

* And it’s not a competition, but Some Turtles See Red Better Than You Do.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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New Fall Syllabus #2: INFINITE JEST!

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And here’s the Infinite Jest syllabus. This one turned out to be a surprisingly difficult puzzle to put together, just because I felt strongly that the book absolutely had to be finished by the class period before the class period before Thanksgiving (and later determined that we really needed a whole week to talk about the book just as a whole) — while I also felt (after the experience of the Tolkien class was so great) that it would be really good to have a slow start where we talked a bit about Wallace as a thinker and read some of his other work. This seemed especially urgent to me because of the fact of the suicide, which really does seem to risk retrospectively poisoning some aspects of the book and Wallace’s larger career (I’ve included the MLA panel we’re doing explicitly in the course as a last-day exercise, though I realized yesterday while prepping the course that I seem to have completely cryptomnesically ripped off Tom Bissell in my panel abstract — very embarrassing).

I decided early on that “beginning with the end” was the way to do this course, discussing the suicide openly and concretely at length at the very start of the class. My workshopmates in my Jesuit pedagogy seminar last semester very helpfully suggested some strategies for making the course a comfortable place to talk about some very uncomfortable things, and strongly suggested that I include an explicit content note in the syllabus (which as you can see, I did, a fairly lengthy one; I don’t think I’ve ever done one before, except in briefly offering the possibility of an alternate assignment for Lolita in a sophomore-level survey).

The result of all this is a syllabus that I’m pretty happy with and that I hope won’t be too demanding. I’ve thought a lot about not just trying to generate buy-in and a spirit of shared endeavor, but also how to make sure I don’t lose a ton of people along the way. In the end, with a MW class meeting trying to read a 1,079-page novel in nine weeks while leaving space at the beginning and end for other conversations about Infinite Jest, I decided I just couldn’t do much better than around 50-70 pages per class period for the long haul, especially in the back half. I hope the assignments and the structure of the course pull them through, and give them space to get something valuable out of it, even if (as seems inevitable) some number of them completely hate both the book and me by the end…

As before, full syllabus with course procedures and all assignments at the link, but here’s the day-by-day schedule:

M Aug 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

 

audiobook: “This Is Water” (Commencement Address to the Kenyon College Class of 2005) (in class)

W Aug 31 “Alas, Poor Yorick” monologue from Hamlet, Act V, sc. i [D2L]

 

George Saunders, “Informal Remarks from the David Foster Wallace Memorial Service in New York on October 23, 2008” [D2L]

Jonathan Franzen, “Informal Remarks from the David Foster Wallace Memorial Service in New York on October 23, 2008” [D2L]

 

roundtable discussion: How to Talk About Sad Things, Together

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #1

M Sep 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 7 David Foster Wallace, “The Planet Trillaphon as It Stands in Relation to the Bad Thing” (1984) and Afterword by Kevin J. H. Dettmar (2016)
M Sep 12 David Foster Wallace, “Octet” (1997/1999)

Guest Lecture: Tom Moore

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #2

W Sep 14 David Foster Wallace, “Octet” discussion continues

 

Infinite Jest forewords by Dave Eggers (2006) and Tom Bissell (2016) [D2L]

 

roundtable discussion: How to Talk About Literature, Art, Artists, Genius, Greatness, Pretension, Ambition, “Trying Too Hard,” Success, Failure, Annoyance, Fondness, Commitment, Honesty, Community, Solitude, Work, Intellectual Experiences That Might (or Might Not) Change Your Life, &c.

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #3

 

INFINITE JEST

IJPPD(A)(NCF)*
M Sep 19 Infinite Jest through p. 17

 

brief primer: How to Read Infinite Jest [in class]

14
W Sep 21 Infinite Jest through p. 63 46
 
M Sep 26 Infinite Jest through p. 127 64
W Sep 28 Infinite Jest through p. 171 44
M Oct 3 Infinite Jest through p. 226 55
W Oct 5 Infinite Jest through p. 283 57
 
M Oct 10 Infinite Jest through p. 342 59
W Oct 12 Infinite Jest through p. 398 56
 
M Oct 17 Infinite Jest through p. 450 52
W Oct 19 Infinite Jest through p. 503 53
 
FALL BREAK
 
M Oct 24 Infinite Jest through p. 589 86
W Oct 26 Infinite Jest through p. 648 59
 
M Oct 31 Infinite Jest through p. 711 63
W Nov 2 Infinite Jest through p. 775 64
 
M Nov 7 Infinite Jest through p. 845 70
W Nov 9 Infinite Jest through p. 911 66
 
M Nov 14 Infinite Jest through p. 981

“CONVERGENCE” DUE

70
W Nov 16 Samuel Cohen, “To Wish to Try to Sing to the Next Generation: Infinite Jest’s History”

N. Katherine Hayles, “The Illusion of Autonomy and the Fact of Recursivity: Virtual Ecologies, Entertainment, and Infinite Jest

OPTION #3 PROSPECTUS DUE BY TODAY

 
M Nov 21 Research Workshop with Heather James (Raynor)

Bring in the general topic you think you might want to write about, as well as some useful research questions.

     
    THANKSGIVING BREAK

* Infinite Jest pages per day (approximate) (not counting footnotes)

 

CODA: AFTERLIVES

M Nov 28 OPTION #1 and #2 PROSPECTUS DUE TO ME ON D2L

 

Michael Pietsch, editor’s note, The Pale King (2011) [D2L]

David Foster Wallace, “Good Old Neon” (2001) [D2L]

W Nov 30 Lee Konstantinou, “No Bull: David Foster Wallace and Postironic Belief” [D2L]

Adam Kelly, “David Foster Wallace and the New Sincerity in American Fiction” [D2L]

M Dec 5 Ed Finn, “Becoming Yourself: The Afterlife of Reception” [D2L]

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, “Infinite Summer: Reading, Empathy, and the Social Network” [D2L]

MetaFilter.com, “RIP, DFW” [Web]

The Howling Fantods, Wallace-L, etc.

W Dec 7 FINAL THOUGHTS: MLA 2017 panel: “Infinite Jest at 20” [D2L]

 

PROJECT WORKSHOPS

Bring in four copies of the prospectus for your final project.

 

LAST DAY OF CLASS

W Dec 14 FINAL PROJECT DUE BY 12:30 PM

Thursday Links, Just for You

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tumblr_nz7vbeDGSf1tjrwu3o9_r1_5408 Characters I Created To Teach My Kid About Dental Hygiene That Have Unfortunately Come To Life.

* There’s organized crime, and then there’s organized crime.

Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

It’s called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.

Here’s how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.

This is literally highway robbery.

In Rochester, a paid informant went undercover and drove a man suspected of being an Islamic extremist, Emanuel Lutchman, to a Walmart in December to buy a machete, ski masks, zip ties and other supplies for a would-be terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve. Because Mr. Lutchman, a mentally ill panhandler, had no money, the informant covered the $40 cost.

* Even The National Review thinks Cuomo’s anti-BDS executive order is trouble.

Having a child is like rereading your own childhood.

On Eve of Graduation, University of Chicago Student President Faces Expulsion.

Inside the growing movement against campus militarization.

* Five eye-opening figures from the U.S. Education Department’s latest civil rights data dump.

1. In the 2013-2014 school year, 6.5 million children were chronically absent from school, missing 15 or more days of school.

2. 850,000 high school students didn’t have access to a school counselor.

3. 1.6 million students went to a school that employed a sworn law-enforcement officer, but no counselor.

4. Nearly 800,000 students were enrolled in schools where more than 20 percent of teachers hadn’t met state licensure requirements.

5. Racial disparities in suspensions reach all the way down into preschool: Black children represent 19 percent of all preschoolers, and 47 percent of all those who were suspended.

Everyone has celebrated how Beyoncé’s celebrity power has elevated Warsan Shire’s work to global attention. But African literature should not only attain universal value when endorsed by the west, argues Ainehi Edoro.

Dry Taps and Lagoons of Sewage: What America’s Water Crisis Looks Like.

* OrderOfBooks.com: Complete List of All Book Series in Order.

Talk grows of replacing Trump at GOP convention. Talk of a convention coup rattles Republican politics. Walker Agonistes. Advisors Fear Trump Will Suddenly Announce VP Pick on Twitter. Google GOP Dot Com Truth. Trump is really bad at this. Calm Down, Trump Won’t Be President. Trump and Weimar America. “For what it’s worth, however, I would suggest that the least bad option is for all career lawyers in the Justice Department—and career officials in other agencies—to stay put and serve in a Trump administration.”

* The Anointed One, or the Comeback Kid? It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician. Here Comes Hillary the Hawk.

The 11 states that will determine the 2016 election.

The general problem is that the modern liberal nation-state and its characteristic institutions are simply no longer capable of delivering on their baseline promises and possibilities to any national population anywhere. Even in nations that appear by most measures to be successful, the state withers due its lack of vision. Liberalism cannot handle the extension of its rights to all who are entitled, and its major alleged champions increasingly endorse depraved forms of military and economic illiberalism in the name of its defense. The brief moment of reform in which capital seemed to be harnessed to social democracy is very nearly over, and the difference between illicit and licit economies now seems paper-thin at best. Very little policy gets made because it’s the right thing to do; most policy is about transfer-seeking. Every dollar is spoken for. Every play is a scrum in the middle that moves the ball inches, never yards. Political elites around the world either speak in laughably dishonest ways about hope and aspiration or stick to grey, cramped horizons of plausibly incremental managerialism. Young people all around the world recognize that there is little hope of living in a better or more comfortable or more just world than their parents did, and their grandparents must often live every day with the possibility of losing whatever they’ve gained, that they are one lost job or sickness away from falling without a safety net. In the United States, what this all means in a more immediate sense is that Donald J. Trump is only the beginning.

* Alas, Bernie!

Welcome to the Party, America! 11 Muslim women who have been PM or President.

Here are the proposed names for the 4 newest elements on the periodic table.

There are some constraints to naming, however. The IUPAC rules stipulate new elements must be named after either

* “A mythological concept or character (including an astronomical object)”
* “A mineral, or similar substance”
* “A place or geographical region”
* “A property of the element”
* “A scientist”

Scientists Avoid Studying Women’s Bodies Because They Get Periods.

What everyone earns working on a $200m blockbuster.

* A new study produced by Cambridge University statistician David Spiegelhalter suggests the cause of declining sex trends over the past 30 years is Netflix.

What Happened to ‘The Most Liberated Woman in America’?

* Being Dinosaur Comics’s Ryan North.

Snow Crash and Infinite Jest Both Predicted Our Cyberpunk Present.

* Fighting salary compression at the University of Washington. This is such a tough problem everywhere; the situation sounds much worse on every level at Marquette, for instance, than even what the article describes at Washington.

For more than 20 years, actors and crew members stayed silent about mistreatment they suffered at the acclaimed Profiles Theatre. Now they’re speaking up, hoping to protect workers in non-Equity theaters across the country.

* Do Deaf Babies Need to be ‘Fixed’? I’ve found this debate utterly fascinating for years. I have no idea how to solve it.

* From Cleveland: Testing of backlogged rape kits yields new insights into rapists and major implications for how sexual assaults should be investigated.

* Behind Peter Thiel’s Plan to Destroy Gawker.

* Navigating WisCon.

* Of course you had me at “Biologists Have Learned Something Horrifying About Prairie Dogs.”

* Ours is a vale of tears.

* Star Wars stained glass.

And this could be the biggest case of treason involving cheese — ever.

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Close Every Tab from the Semester or Die Trying Links

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* Some nice conference acceptance news: My semester of David Foster Wallace will end with a panel on “Infinite Jest at Twenty” with Lee Konstantinou, Carrie Shanafelt, and Kate Hayles at MLA 2017. I’ve put the full panel description in the comments for anyone interested…

David Foster Wallace’s Famous Commencement Speech Almost Didn’t Happen. Guest appearance from my friend from grad school, Meredith Farmer!

* It’s been such a busy week I haven’t had time to crow about Jaimee’s poem appearing on Verse Daily.

* An obituary for my friend and Marquette colleague Diane Long Hoeveler.

* CFPs from Foundation: The Essay Prize (for graduate students and adjuncts) and a special issue on SF theater.

* Call For Papers: The Precariat & The Professor.

* For World’s Newest Scrabble Stars, SHORT Tops SHORTER: Nigerian players dominate tournaments with the surprising strategy of playing short words even when longer ones are possible.

Want to See Hamilton in a City Near You? Buy a Subscription and Wait Two Years. Okay, maybe I will!

How Hamilton Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Building A Brand For The Ages.

* google d&d player’s handbook truth: The Curious Case of the Weapon that Didn’t Exist.

Burlington College Will Close, Citing Longstanding Financial Woes. What Killed Burlington College?

* Ending HBCUs in North Carolina.

Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students. And on the Harry Potter Social Justice Wizard beat: a genderqueer student comes to hogwarts and…

* How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth.

* More data on learning and laptops — but you’ll never convince me that students benefit more from pen-and-paper notes than from a searchable, permanent archive of their entire academic career Spotlight can access and retrieve instantly.

* Many public universities now rely heavily on parents—particularly those with money, time, and connections—to meet their basic needs.

* Big-Time College Sports Neglect Academics, Deflect Blame.

* Huge, if true: In other words, the rush to embrace entrepreneurship is ideological rather than practical.

* Tenure as earned property.

* Diversity defunded in Tennessee.

UW English Chair Caroline Levine: Enough with Scott Walker and the GOP — I’m leaving.

Texas School District Votes to Build Totally Tasteful $62 Million High School Football Stadium.

A new documentary, Agents of Change, describes the five-month SF State protest and a similar strike at Cornell University through the voices of former students like Tascoe who were involved. The film is a gripping case study of the meticulous organizing, community engagement, and careful planning that went into two of the most effective student strikes in American history. Black Studies Matter.

* I was seriously thisclose to writing a #TeamCap blog post to comicsplain Civil War to the confused, but Mightygodking got there first.

* Milwaukee in the ne — oh for fuck’s sake.

Wisconsin communities dominate “Drunkest Cities” report.

Wisconsin woman has confirmed case of Zika virus.

“Rare detailed personal memory a burden, and ultimately a gift.”

* “This 90-Year-Old Lady Seduced and Killed Nazis as a Teenager.”

“Why do all old statues have such small penises?”

* Probably the most honest thing ever said about this election: 87-Year-Old Billionaire Endorses Trump, Says He Doesn’t Care If It’s A Mistake Since He’ll Be Dead. Meanwhile, this is just totally bananas: Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself.

What Would It Take for Donald Trump to Deport 11 Million and Build a Wall?

A First-Person Account of a Texas Artist’s Deportation.

* From what I can tell, the current Sanders campaign is riven between people who are increasingly upset or bewildered by what we might call the resurgent “burn it down” turn of Sanders outlook and others who are fully immersed in the feedback loop of grievance and paranoia that sees all the political events of the last year as a series of large and small scale conspiracies to deny the rectitude and destiny of Bernie Sanders. I’ve seen many, many campaigns. People put everything into it and losing is brutal and punishing. Folks on the losing side frequently go a little nuts, sometimes a lot nuts. The 2008 denouement really was pretty crazy. But it’s not clear that this time we have any countervailing force – adulthood, institutional buy-in, future careers, over-riding pragmatism to rein things in.

Why Pennsylvania Could Decide The 2016 Election.

http://mobile.twitter.com/AlexJamesFitz/status/732583842175975428

* Almost starting to see a pattern here, Disney: Shane Black reveals Iron Man 3 scrapped a female villain because of toy sales. Why Disney needs a gay princess.

From cooperation to black operation: A Conversation with Stefano Harney and Fred Moten on The Undercommons.

* A brief history of the giraffe.

“When you have a child with a life-threatening illness, you have an irrevocably altered existence,” Barbara Sourkes had told the Levys, and Esther feels that is true. She had always felt in control of her fate, but now she believes this to be a fiction. She finds it difficult to reconcile bitterness over the blight of Andrew’s illness with gratitude for the reprieve. “We are the luckiest of the unluckiest people in the world,” she says. “I truly believe that.”

With playdates replacing free childhood play, it’s upper-class families who set the social norms — and working-class families who pay the price.

Can Graduate Students Unionize? The Government Can’t Decide.

* TSA forever and ever amen.

* After all this time, who can say really who sent whom to Robben Island for 27 years.

* I too like to live dangerously: Uber Says Riders Will Pay the Most When Their Phone Battery Is Dying.

Small Beer Press to Publish 400-Year-Old SF Novel.

* On Kim Stanley Robinson and “solarpunk.”

Nate Moore, 37, is the lone African-American producer in the film division at Marvel Studios. And elsewhere in Marvel news: Agents of SHIELD Star Says Marvel Doesn’t Care Enough About Its Own TV Show.

* DC has, to all reports, done something utterly crazy. Big shakeup in their film division to boot. Can Booster Gold save the DC Cinematic Universe?

Not even $100 million can make Daniel Craig give a fuck about James Bond.

* World-famous ethicist isn’t.

* What terrible luck! The CIA has “mistakenly” destroyed the sole copy of a massive Senate torture report in the custody of the agency’s internal watchdog group, Yahoo News reported Monday.

Americans Don’t Miss Manufacturing — They Miss Unions.

* University title and salary generator.

Behind Some Campus Protests, a Team of Paid Professionals.

* The Sochi hoax.

* Attempt no landings etc: Europa Is Even More Earth-Like Than We Suspected.

* Outrageous slander: The Warriors Still Aren’t the Best Team Ever.

Liberal Think Tank Fires Blogger for Rude Tweets. Bruenighazi.

Against the Crowdfunding Economy.

In other words, Zootopia advances a sublimated theory of power that is strangely conservative, and — perhaps not so strangely — fundamentally allied with the project of economic neoliberalization. After a humiliating stint as a traffic cop, Judy Hopps is assigned to the case of a group of predators who have suddenly gone “savage,” which in this anthropomorphized universe means ripping off their clothes, dropping to all fours, and attacking other animals. It turns out that this crisis of respectability was engineered by the unassuming Bellwether, a champion of rabbits and mice who has dosed the predators with a weaponized narcotic that returns them to a “primitive” state of bestial violence. In order to bolster her own political prospects, Bellwether has engineered an interspecies crisis of what 1990s Clintonites called “super-predators” run amok. This is very close — if we pursue the allegory to its political ends — to alleging that the state has manufactured crises of, say, black masculinity in order to whip up the white public-safety vote and secure its own legitimacy. Now that would be an interesting intervention, if the film took us all the way there. And it really almost does.

What Kinds of Difference Do Superheroes Make?: An Interview with Ramzi Fawaz. Part Two.

NCDOT tries something new to thwart Durham’s Can Opener bridge.

The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut.

* The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines.

* Ted Chiang vs. Chinese logograms.

* Fracking comes to England.

An unorthodox anthropologist goes face to face with ISIS. Is the payoff worth the peril?

* CBS All-Access gets a second show. And that’s why The Good Wife had a terrible ending!

Mitch Hurwitz is still confident that another season of Arrested Development will happen.

* I’m feeling pretty on board with Luke Cage, I have to say.

* As with the comic before it, the film version of The Dark Tower will likely detail a different, later iteration of the series’s defining time loop.

“Perfect” Donkey Kong score achieved.

* The only Twitter account you need: @LegoSpaceBot.

No human alive has seen 7 months this hot before. Get with the program, Great Lakes!

What drought? Nestle plans $35 million plant to bottle water in Phoenix.

* Alas, Venezuela: There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor.

* Project Earth is leaving beta.

* In the back room of the morgue.

* But it’s not all bad news: Our Solar System Could Remain Habitable Long After Earth Is Destroyed.

Happy graduation day, Marquette!

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links 2: Even Weekendier!

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A beard, said Whitman, is preferable in a man as “a great sanitary protection to the throat.” Walt Whitman’s lost advice to America’s men: meat, beards and not too much sex.

If defendants had well-funded, effective representation, our adversarial system would do what it is intended to do. What we have right now, however, simply is not adversarial: relatively well-funded, well-staffed prosecutor offices square off against public defenders whose caseloads defy imagination.

Hell’s Kitchens: Privatized Prison Mess Halls.

* The end of Howard University.

Everyone poops, and everyone pees, but no one should be stigmatized or criminalized when they answer nature’s call.

* Bring on the climate trials: When kids sue the government for failing to protect future generations against climate change, it’s a long shot. But on Friday, in King County, Wash., Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill ruled in favor of eight Seattle-area youth petitioners: The Washington State Department of Ecology must deliver an emissions reduction rule by the end of this year.

Living at the Edges of Capitalism.

The best podcasts, Ted Talks and academic papers about Beyoncé.

The PhDictionary: A Glossary of Things You Don’t Know (But Should) About Doctoral and Faculty Life.

Oddly enough, the late novelist David Foster Wallace, a friend of Franzen’s, appears to cast a shadow over the portrayal of Andreas, whom Franzen endows with personality traits he saw in Wallace — especially the idea that he was “unworthy” of love. Over his lifetime, Wallace suffered from various addictions and struggled with depression for years; like Andreas, he ultimately committed suicide. In his essay “Farther Away: ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ David Foster Wallace, and the island of solitude,” Franzen says that he “loved a person who was mentally ill.” Franzen attributes Wallace’s suicide, in large part, to the fact that Wallace felt there was something wrong with him and he was unworthy of love; “[a]nd this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide.” Inaccessible on his private island of self-laceration, believing there was something wrong with him, Wallace could never reach a farther shore, and nobody could reach him. Ultimately, Franzen speculates, his suicide was designed “[t]o prove once and for all that he truly didn’t deserve to be loved.”

* Lake Chad in the Anthropocene.

* Yahoo, when looked at in a certain way, is worth approximately -$8 billion.

* Who owns Klingon?

* Life in the 21st century: Fearing a nuclear terror attack, Belgium is giving iodine pills to its entire population. Creeps Are Using a Neural Network to Dox Porn Actresses. Black Teenage Boy Charged With Possession of Child Porn for Sexting With White Girlfriend. Julia Ioffe profiled Melania Trump. Then she started getting calls from Hitler.

The Untold Story of Canadian Super Heroes.

* A Japanese Map of European Stereotypes.

We must mine redheads for the secret of their immortality gene.

* That’ll solve it: “Crisis-hit Venezuela to push clocks forward to save power.”

* How many friends can a person have?

For the first three decades of the film industry’s existence, American “courts were not yet ready to consider motions pictures as speech worthy of constitutional protection.” And local and state governments were not ready to give up censorship as a form of good government. “In addition to the moral uplift, the logistics of film regulation were attractive. Regulation was a revenue generator; boards charged distributors for examination and approval and charged theaters for permitted exhibitions.”

Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94.

* dontbepartoftheproblem.tumblr.com

New Course Descriptions for Fall 2016: “Alternate History” and “INFINITE JEST”

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So, this is what I’ll be teaching in the fall.

I’m a little swamped this morning so I can’t do the longer post on the Alternate History course I’ve been meaning too, but I wanted to thank the people on Twitter and Facebook who gave me such good ideas for additional texts in the course and really helped me expand my vision of what was possible. I’ll have a post about that sometime in the next couple of weeks, I hope…

ENGLISH 2000: LITERATURE AND GENRE

Course Title: Alternate History
Course Description: What if Hitler had never taken power? What if the United States had never dropped the atomic bomb on Japan? What if the 9/11 terror attacks had been foiled? What if Gore had beat Bush? What if slaves in the American South had successfully revolted, or China had discovered the New World, or the Black Plague had killed 99% of Europeans instead of only 25%? What if cloning had been invented and perfected in the 1970s? What if Superman’s rocket ship had landed in the Ukraine instead of Kansas? Is history made by Great Men, or by social movements, or by technological progress, or by random chance? Does history follow some set of laws or rules, or is it all just a bunch of stuff that happens? This course will explore all these topics and more through dedicated exploration of the literary genre typically called “alternate history”: stories of worlds that are exactly like ours, until some historical event, big or small, goes another way…
Readings: This course will explore the alternate history genre through a wide variety of media forms including prose fiction, film and television, comics, and games, but major readings for the course will include Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Abdourahman Waberi’s In the United States of Africa, Terry Bisson’s Fire on the Mountain, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven, and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, among others.
Assignments: two 4-6-page papers; one 6-8-page final paper; online discussion forum; active class discussion; presentations

 

 

ENGLISH 4615/5615: TEXT IN CONTEXT

Course Title: Infinite Jest
Course Description: I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves.… We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. —David Foster Wallace

This course explores the literary, cultural, and intellectual legacy of David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), widely considered by admirers and detractors alike to be among the most influential and important writers of his generation. In particular we will study his magnum opus, Infinite Jest (1996), twenty years old this year, a book which not only continues to speak with shocking relevance and delightful irreverence to our present, but which seems, in many ways, to have accurately predicted it. Slowly and carefully reading Wallace’s epoch-defining novel together will open up a window on the last twenty years of American life, letters, entertainment, and art, while the unavoidable shadow cast by his 2008 suicide will raise important questions for us about literary celebrity, biographical criticism, and the often troubled relationship between public personae and the real, lived lives of writers and artists.
Readings: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest; coursepack
Assignments: seminar paper (12-15 pages); two “thinkpiece”-length “mini-papers”; online reading journal; active class participation; presentations

“Practical Uses for INFINITE JEST”

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So here’s what I found slipped under my office door this morning, as a kind of warning for the fall, or perhaps even as a threat…

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm

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