Posts Tagged ‘demographics’
* Anyway, I have no solution to this. It just really struck me at the symposium, because the whole thing felt good. It was rich and exciting and fun. And we were talking about ideas, in much the same way that scholars talk about ideas (four of us teach at universities for goodness’ sake!). So you tell me. Why do scholars have to be so miserable? What is it about our culture–let’s say US academic culture, to keep it simple–that creates this desire for the downtrodden, humiliated, suffering (humanities) scholar? Of course we like suffering artists as well… hmm. But artists suffer and are adored, while scholars suffer and are despised. Artists, when they suffer, are ritual sacrifices; scholars are the meanest sort of criminals.
* A new survey shows that Americans, on average, think that Santa Claus should make $140,000 / year. “Perhaps more interesting is that 29% think Santa should make nothing at all whereas 29% think he should make $1.8 billion.”
* You Can’t Make a Living: Digital Media, the End of TV’s Golden Age, and the Death Scene of the American Playwright. The author, Alena Smith, has been making waves in an entirely different context today.
* In a creditocracy, the goal is to keep debtors on the hook for as long as possible, wrapping debt around every possible asset and income stream to generate profit. Figuring out which debts we can legitimately refuse may turn out to be the only way of salvaging popular democracy. Education is the best place to start. Though it is supposed to serve as the incubator for a free-thinking, active citizenry, it is fast becoming its opposite—a chop shop where the life choices and optional political imagination of young people are downsized to fit the lifelong demands of financial contracts.
* This city where sidewalks burn and sewers fill with oily ooze is a city built here almost specifically for that very reason; Los Angeles, in many ways, is a settlement founded on petroleum byproducts, and the oil industry for which the city was once known never actually left. It just got better at hiding itself.
* Luke Cage was created in 1972. Four years earlier, in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed. Five years before that, in 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed. Eight years before that, in 1955, a young Black man named Emmett Till was tortured, then shot and killed. These events, and numerous others with frightening similarity, happened in a line, and in the early years of the first decade to reap the social benefits of the Civil Rights Movement, Marvel Comics gives the fans (and the world) a Black male superhero whose primary superhuman aspect… is that he’s bulletproof.
My defense was simple but impassioned: Tolkien explicitly stated in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings that he was merely translating the Red Book of Westmarch, not writing an original story. Since Tolkien claimed the Red Book is over 6,000 years old, it must be in the public domain and so open to everyone to reinterpret and repurpose as they see fit. The Red Book didn’t belong to the Tolkien Estate, it belonged to the world.
* “Are your parents upset by your liberal-arts degree? Show them this chart.”
* Weird, wild coincidence: Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities.
* Exactly the headline you want to wake up to when you’ve got a transatlantic flight in a few hours: Eruption under ice-cap sparks red alert. Luckily I seem to have snuck out of Europe in time…
* If they don’t shape up soon they could have a blue-ribbon commission on their hands: Jolted by images of protesters clashing with heavily armed police officers in Missouri, President Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the government’s decade-old strategy of outfitting local police departmentswith military-grade body armor, mine-resistant trucks, silencers and automatic rifles, senior officials say.
* Ferguson’s Schools Are Just as Troubling as Its Police Force. Of course the wealth transfer dreams behind “school choice” politics miraculously get “waived” when it comes time to apply it to nonwhite and urban poor populations:
Michael Brown graduated from Normandy High School, which was located, until recently, in the Normandy School District. The facts here are a bit complex, but note that I said “until recently.” That is because the Normandy School district lost its accreditation in 2012 due to dismal standardized test scores. (Normandy was one of only three out of 500 school districts in Missouri to lose its accreditation.) The state school board took over the Normandy School District and renamed it the “Normandy School Collaborative.” By 2013, though, the new district also had lost its accreditation. Missouri law allows students of failed districts to transfer to higher-performing schools in surrounding suburbs, but the failing school district has to pay tuition and transportation costs to get the kids to their new schools. The 1,000 transfer students of Normandy obviously had no desire to remain in the “new” failed district, but the cost was high, so, incredibly, the state board voted to waive accreditation of the Collaborative rather than classify the new district as unaccredited. Ferguson’s teenagers were therefore trapped in a failed school because state politicians didn’t want to pay for them to transfer out.
* How Do We Get Our Students to Become Cops?, asks the Chronicle. How? How?
* Shit and Curses, and Other Updates on the Steven Salaita Affair. Return of the blacklist? Cowardice and censorship at the University of Illinois. Academic Freedom, Except When I Disagree. Bérubé on Salaita. The national AAUP’s statement. Cary Nelson, the AAUP, and the privilege of bestowing academic freedom. Cary Nelson’s Case. John K. Wilson. The definition of academic freedom, for many, does not accommodate dissent. The University of Illinois Is Not an Island. A Love Letter to Twitter. A New Birth of Academic Freedom.
* One of the ironies of college is that the impossibility of reading your way out of the modern predicament is something you learn about, as a student, by reading. Part of the value of a humanistic education has to do with a consciousness of, and a familiarity with, the limits that you’ll spend the rest of your life talking about and pushing against. So it’s probably natural for college students to be a little ironic, a little unsettled. It’s time, meanwhile, to admit that the college years aren’t for figuring out some improvised “sense of purpose.” They’re more like a period of acclimatization—a time when realizations can dawn. If you’re feeling uneasy about life, then you’re doing the reading.
* Matthew Cheney has a call to read Survivor over Octavia Butler’s objections, inspired in part by my recent series at LARoB.
* The University of Colorado is moving to fire a tenured faculty member after the Boulder campus paid $825,000 this week to settle a graduate student’s allegations that the philosophy professor retaliated against her for reporting she was sexually assault by a fellow student.
* Watch NJ cop go rogue: Since Obama ‘doesn’t follow Constitution, we don’t have to.’
* Oh, there’s your problem, your culture produces monsters: Telling white people the criminal justice system is racist makes them like it more.
* On not being cynical enough: LeBron James just leapt from one carefully constructed superteam to another. Of course I’m talking about you; I was always cynical about this. #cynicprivilege
* The painting refers to the old custom of punishing insubordinates by shoving them off a ship and onto an island. But these days, you can also view “Marooned” as a curiously precise description of the Delaware Art Museum. It, too, has been ostracized by its peers. In June, it was formally sanctioned by the Association of Art Museum Directors, which has asked its members not to lend artwork to Delaware or assist with its exhibitions.
* An interview on death and mourning with Thomas Laqueur, from the great TNI issue on mourning I was hyping the other day.
* “Ole Miss Struggles to Be a New Miss.” On trying to rebrand.
* “Punk archaeologists” explain why they dug out the Atari landfill. I should have been a punk archaeologist.
* Lost in Lost in La Mancha: Terry Gilliam trying to make Don Quixote again, which is now about trying to make Don Quixote.
* There’s only one thing Disney/Marvel loves more than money, and that’s not making inclusive superhero movies.
* Perhaps most importantly to everyone outside of Broadway, this production basically puts the kibosh on any new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm—at least until it’s over. David said he “hadn’t ruled out” doing more Curb, but that he’s “not going to mentally do that to myself right now.” Also, if he did do another season, “this play would push that schedule back.” So we’d say that if he did do a ninth season, it could be about how Larry David starring in a Broadway show ends up irritating everyone else. But of course, he already did that.
* The arc of history is long, but bends towards justice: Cops no longer desire photo of teenager’s erection.
* The headline reads, “Experts Split If Robots Will Usurp Human Workers By 2025.”
* Google Saved by the Bell Truth. Wake up sheeple.
* And SMBC presents: The Darwinist!
* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.
* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.
* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.
* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.
* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.
* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.
* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.
* Attention, Milwaukee-, Chicago-, and Madison-area graduate students! The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference deadline is November 20. The theme this year is “Animacy.”
* Executives Collect $2 Billion Running U.S. For-Profit Colleges. Disruptive! Innovation! Immanentize the eschaton!
* Meanwhile, the federal government is poised to OK pension-looting. How can this be remotely legal? Pensions are delayed compensation. Can your employer give you a “haircut” on your monthly paycheck because they’ve decided they want the money after all?
* Also really good at self-assessment: Last Year President Obama Reportedly Told His Aides That He’s ‘Really Good At Killing People.’ Some instant nostalgia for the 2012 election, Romney-side and Obama-side.
* What was supposed to be a secret letter authored by all sixteen of the current Democratic female senators urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 became public this week when Sen. Kay Hagan apparently accidentally mentioned it at an EMILY’s List event.
* The demographics of the NBA. Really interesting stuff.
* I just went and checked the last “lactation station” from the list. Most are locking bathrooms and/or public lounges, but this one is a locked asbestos-containing closet.
* Hottest September On Record, Fastest Pacific Warming In 10,000 Years, Warmest Arctic In 120,000 Years. Probably nothing though.
* You can now order the special Paradoxa issue on “Africa SF.” The testimonials indicate that Samuel Delany has at least heard of something I’ve written, so there’s that…
* Those who do not study history will have their wise decision ratified by bean-counting administrators: One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. If you read that sentence and thought to yourself, “gee, I bet that’s a historically black college,” give yourself a prize!
-Half the population would be white men.
-Five percent of the population would be black men.
-Just 1.9 percent of the world would be Asian or Latino men.
-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.
-34 percent of the world would be white women
-3.8 percent would be African-American women
-And 3.8 percent would be Latino or Asian women
-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.
-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.
-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.
-1.9 percent would be supernatural creatures or robots.
* What they are defending is a system in which wealth is passed off as merit, in which credentials are not earned but bought. Aptitude is a quality measured by how much money you can spend on its continual reassessment.
Students whose parents pay tens of thousands for SAT tutors to help their child take the test over and over compete against students who struggle to pay the fee to take the test once. Students who spend afternoons on “enrichment” activities compete against students working service jobs to pay bills – jobs which don’t “count” in the admissions process. Students who shell out for exotic volunteer trips abroad compete with students of what C Z Nnaemeka termed “the un-exotic underclass” – the poor who have “the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting”, the poor who make up most of the US today.
* …a recent Twitter thread started by a popular feminist blogger examines a dark side of that cliché in real-life academe, one in which professors’ advances – intellectual and otherwise – feed a need for validation and flattery, and at times cross the line into sexual harassment.
* Obama’s going to be super-mad when he finds out about the nonsensical security state procedures his administration has been using in lieu of actual oversight. And breaking into Yahoo! and Google? Why didn’t anyone tell him!
* Ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick! Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist.
* The Chronicle follows up on last year’s PhD-on-food-stamps, who is now in a TT position at Martin Methodist College.
* The richest country in history: The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record.
* They’re marketing the Veronica Mars movie as a love triangle. This is my skeptical face.
* What’s W.R.O.N.G. with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? A.L.M.O.S.T. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
* No accidents, comrade: The New Inquiry considers Cold War nostalgia and Twilight Struggle.
* Matt Zoller Seitz completes his series on video essays on Wes Anderson films. Bring on The Grand Budapest Hotel!
* PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 27: Princeton’s freshmen again have chosen Adolf Hitler as “the greatest living person” in the annual poll of their class conducted by The Daily Princetonian.
* And it looks like they’ve finally (almost) proved that Darth Vader wasn’t always going to be Luke Skywalker’s father. Gotcha Lucas! You can run but you can’t hide.