Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘District 9

Surprise Friday Night Links for a Day You’re Probably Surprised Is Actually Friday

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* Don’t sleep on Grad School Vonnegut’s Jailbird episode! Next week: Deadeye Dick, (genuinely) my sleeper hit of the summer…

* One of my better citations: “Fitness Fanatics: Exercise as Answer to Pending Zombie Apocalypse in Contemporary America.”

* I’ve got book chapters in two new books: Monsters: A Companion (talking about District 9) and Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century (talking about Black Panther).

* Also out now: SFRA Review 50.2-3!

* Octavia Butler just made the NY Times Bestseller List for the first time ever — 14 years after her death.

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.

“The daily blitzkrieg of the news,” bemoans Tom Barnard in leftist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1990 novel, Pacific Edge. “Every day everything a little worse.”

* A Message from Future Generations.

* Announcing the Ancillary Review of Books.

* “Can we talk abt the fact that Liu Cixin supports internment camps for minorities?”

* Post45 kicks off the academic year with a stunner: The 7 Neoliberal Arts.

After emotional gathering, Marquette agrees to Black students’ demand for cultural center, scholarships, other support. This comes after some occupations and street closures last week. Update from president and provost following meeting with Black student leaders.

* Which doesn’t count the die-in.

* One of the things I’ve had go most viral on Twitter was a simple call to be kind to students.

* Elsewhere in my social media empire: On Voting Twice. On the Wisconsin gerrymander. On firing university administrators. On self-dealing boards of trustees. On that same thing. On Duke. On running the government like a glitch-exploiting speed-run. It’s happening here. Private insurance. UI. If you want a vision of the future. And when Kurt Vonnegut tells the future, he simply does not fuck around.

* We are calling for a Scholar strike #Scholarstrike on September 8-9 2020 to protest ongoing police violence and murders in America.

Unsurprisingly, this is shaping up as the worst year ever on the academic history job market; less than half as many TT jobs listed through August 31 than even in 2009, and a quarter what there were last year.

* Tenured GWU professor reveals she has been pretending to be Black her entire career. (It’s GW’s second case of this this year.) Why Did Jessica Krug Create The Jess La Bombera Persona? The view from her students.

Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment.

* CFP: The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures is an annual journal of scholarly work and creative non-fiction by undergraduate and graduate students. Our first issue, on Harry Potter, will be published in Spring 2021. Submissions for this issue are now open until December 2020, but they are limited to UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS. CFP: “Race and Science Fiction: The 5th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium.”

* Stop them before they kill again! Game of Thrones’ Benioff and Weiss to adapt sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem at Netflix.

* Sports come to a halt: NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS postpone games as players protest Jacob Blake shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers Strike for Racial Justice.

The Social Fabric of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling. We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. The RNC Makes a Compelling Case for America’s Imminent Collapse. For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job.

* Today in the Wisconsin gerrymander. Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails. Wisconsin’s record of brutality against people of color. Wisconsin is a window into how Republicans who once rejected Trump now cheer him on. Nine people arrested by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for allegedly being outside agitators were in town city to distribute food to protesters, a director of the nonprofit kitchen says.

* A 17-Year-Old Aspiring Cop Has Been Charged With Murder In Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse is America’s future. Could A Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Hurt Biden? The Two Don’t Appear Linked So Far. Alleged Kenosha Killer Loved Cops, Guns, Trump, and ‘Triggering the Libs,’ Former Classmates Say.

* Meanwhile: A fascist manifesto is gaining fans on the right, including state Sen. Roger Chamberlain. “When Violence Is Necessary To Defend Civil Society.” Right-wing extremists have killed 329 victims in the last 25 years, while antifa members haven’t killed any, according to a new study. Missouri lawmakers pass bill making it legal to give guns to kids without parents’ permission.

* Teen who held BLM event gets $2500 bill for police overtime. Encounter with Phoenix police leaves teenage girl with permanent burn scars. The Police Are Pretty Sure They’re Going to Get Away With It. Cops admit vandalizing cars of man who filed complaint against them, prosecutor says. What Can Stop Cops In Cities Like Kenosha From Brutalizing Black People Like Jacob Blake? Precrime in Florida. The Terrible History of the NYPD’s Challenge Coins. The Abolition moment.

* QAnon explained. QAnon is a collective delusion, and that’s what BuzzFeed News will be calling it from now on. How QAnon, a fringe online movement, is drawing followers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. with a stew of conspiracies.

* Cases Spike at Universities Nationally. UNC-Chapel Hill Reports 31.3 Percent of Students Tested Have COVID—And There Are Probably More. NC State students ordered to leave university housing after ‘rapid spread’ of COVID-19. In North Carolina and Around the US, Neoliberal Universities Are Sending Students Into Hell. University of Miami Reports Nearly 100 Positive COVID Tests in One-Week Period. Wisconsin Universities Begin Reporting Cases Of COVID-19. Higher Ed’s Hottest Hot Spot? Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned. JMU shifting to online classes, asking students to leave campus after 500 coronavirus cases. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Colleges Lost the Moral Authority to Blame Students. The influencer twins I’m weirdly obsessed with just tested positive for COVID while on campus at Baylor. My college reopened. Now I’ve got COVID-19, along with nearly 500 other students. The University of Alabama reports 566 coronavirus cases after just a week of classes. University of Alabama to Profs: Don’t Tell Students About COVID-Infected Classmates. OU Interim provost instructs professors not to hold in-person classes online, notify classes of students’ positive COVID-19 cases. Frustrated with fall reopening, faculty members consider vote of no confidence in administration. Trump White House Warns Colleges: Don’t Send Your COVID-Infected Students Home! University COVID Model.

Teaching this fall is not glorified Skype. The University We’re Losing. Between f**ked and a hard place. The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students.

University of Oregon Will Charge Students for a Full Year of Dorm Housing Even if They Can’t Enter the Classroom.

* Why New Jersey’s Plan for In-Person Schooling Is Falling Apart. State report shows hundreds test positive for COVID-19 at Florida schools in August. Here’s what happened when students went to school during the 1918 pandemic.

Our Faculty Union Exposed the University’s Debt—And Who’s Paying for It.

* Deeply unappreciated fact: the most “impactful” person in science right now is this Kazakhstani hacker queen. She is the one-woman bridge to the largest repository of scientific knowledge ever collected.

* Biden campaign desperate for digital access to students as college campuses remain closed and students don’t know where they’ll be on Election Day.

* Legionnaire’s Disease pathogen found in water at some schools reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns.

* Damn you, Oberlin undergrads! The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason.

Eugene Debs Believed in Socialism Because He Believed in Democracy. The Young Eugene V. Debs.

* Bernie Sanders’s Five-Year War: How he lost and where we go from here.

* The Radicalism of Woody Guthrie.

* Republicans already boobytrapping 2021. Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on the U.S. Shhhh, we’re not talking about a government shutdown, are we? ‘We shouldn’t have to beg’: Americans struggle without unemployment aid as Congress stalls on extending benefits. As permanent economic damage piles up, the Covid Crisis is looking more like the Great Recession.

* Jessamyn Ward: Grief in the Time of Coronavirus. How COVID-19 Led To Soaring Divorce Rates In The US, Visualized. Surge in calls from male domestic violence victims during Covid-19. I thought I was a master doomscroller but “pregnant schoolteacher dies of coronavirus three days after surprise baby shower” actually made me wince in pain.

55% of coronavirus patients still have neurological problems three months later. New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials. Drug cocktail touted by Trump to treat coronavirus increases chance of death by 27%, study shows. COVID-19 Might Mean Humanity Has Entered An Age Of Pandemics, Tony Fauci Warned.

* Active shooter drills correlate with a 42% increase in anxiety and stress and a 39% increase in depression among those in the school community, new report finds. Teens’ anxiety levels dropped during pandemic, study finds.

* Black men in D.C. are expected to die 17 years earlier than White men. Here’s why. Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals. Woman, 105, leads lawsuit seeking reparations for 1921 Tulsa massacre. Black Former N.F.L. Players Say Racial Bias Skews Concussion Payouts.

* Trials by Whiteness: Definitions of Whiteness and Eurocentrism, and Their Relevance Post-Racefail.

* The Literature of White Liberalism.

* Kentucky Man Accused Of Breaking Canada’s COVID-19 Rules Faces $569,000 Fine.

* Bruce Wayne Gives Up Being Batman After Three Therapy Sessions.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Sights, sounds, reactions from historic landfall, recovery across Louisiana.

Why climate change is a civil rights battle. I do think Pelosi, Trump, Biden, Schumer, and McConnell are the last generation of politicians who are correct in wagering that they can spend the rest of their careers downplaying climate change and not suffer personally from it. A second Trump term would mean severe and irreversible changes in the climate.

Watchmen director Stephen Williams on uncovering the series’ real American hero story. Watchmen screenwriter Cord Jefferson on Hooded Justice and the privilege of nostalgia.

Why Uber’s business model is doomed.

Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season.

Union-Busting and Quakerism Collide at Brooklyn Friends School.

* Chadwick Boseman. David Graeber. Charles R. Saunders (back in May).

* Never too early: Disney Grapples With How to Proceed on ‘Black Panther’ Without Chadwick Boseman.

* All roads lead back to All My Children.

* John Boyega vs. Disney, and it’s about time.

* Stan Lee’s American pantheon.

On Age and Desire and Willy Wonka.

* More from MetaFilter on Go after AI.

An Instagram Account Is Waging War on Sexual Assault at Case Western Reserve University.

* Today in dystopia: According to Amazon, how you speak is a useful indicator of your wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Consequently, the Halo Band will monitor your tone to determine if you’re feeling positive enough to get through your day.

* Amazon Is Hiring an Intelligence Analyst to Track ‘Labor Organizing Threats.’

* Understanding Batman.

* Understanding Tasha’s Hideous Laughter.

* Attention nerds: Gloomhaven May Be One Of The Best-Selling Comic Books (Or Not).

Development ceases on Amazon Prime’s CULTURE TV series, at the request of the Iain Banks Estate.

* Ah dinnae ken this: I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person – an American teenager who can’t speak Scots.

* One Community, Burnout, and That One Scene from Deep Space Nine. Star Trek: Discovery’s third season to introduce franchise’s first transgender, non-binary characters.

* Not today, Satan: Expert says invasive ‘jumping’ earthworms with destructive potential appearing in Western New York.

* I said the world would end before New Mutants was a #1 movie — and I was right!

* Fuck The Next Call Of Duty Game.

* And we may live in hell, but Nintendo just announced a whole boatload of Mario games and rereleases.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Syllabus #1: Afrofuturism!

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By luck, I’m able to teach the Africana literatures class this semester — a class I’ve always wanted to do but would be four or five back in the priority list in a normal semester. The theme (of course) is “Afrofuturism,” and spends about a third of its time in America, about a third of its time in America thinking about Africa, and about a third of its time in Africa. I’m excited! Here’s the description and schedule; full syllabus with policies and assignments here…

Greg Tate has said that “Black people live the estrangement that science fiction writers imagine.” This course takes up the nexus of intersections between black history and the radical black imagination that is commonly called Afrofuturism, focusing in particular of figurations of Africa as a space of science fictional possibility from both sides of the Atlantic. If Afrofuturism has been, as Kodwo Eshun has said, “a program for recovering the histories of counter-futures created in a century hostile to Afrodiasporic projection,” how does the rise of Africa as a global economic powerhouse in the twenty-first-century transform our understanding of black futurity? 2018’s smash hit Black Panther is only the most vivid registration of the ongoing global importance of the Afrofuturist imagination; from comics to film and television to literature to music videos to social media we will trace Afrofuturism across the twenty-first century cultural landscape.

T Aug 28 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
What Is Afrofuturism?
film (in class): Sun Ra, Space Is the Place (1974) (excerpts)
Th Aug 30 Mark Bould, “The Ships Landed Long Ago” [D2L]
film (in class): John Akomfrah, The Last Angel of History(1996)
T Sep 4 Sable Elyse Smith, “Ordinary Violence” [museum]
MEET AT THE HAGGERTY        
Th Sep 6 film (in-class): Get Out(2017)
T Sep 11 film: Jordan Peele, Get Out (2017) (discussion)
Th Sep 13 Get Out (2017)(discussion continues)
Steven Thrasher, Get Out thinkpiece #1 [Web]
Aisha Harris, Get Out thinkpiece #2 [Web]
T Sep 18 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (viewing and initial thoughts)
Th Sep 20 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (extended discussion)
Aja Romano, “Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction” [Web]
Brittany Spanos, “Janelle Monáe Frees Herself” [Web]
Christopher Lebron, “Janelle Monáe for President” [Web]
T Sep 25 film: Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (2018) (discussion)
Th Sep 27 Black Panther (2018) (discussion continues)
Gerry Canavan, “The Limits of Black Panther’sAfrofuturism” [Web]
FIRST PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 2 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 1
Evan Narcisse, “Ta-Nehisi Coates Explains How He’s Turning Black Panther into a Superhero Again” [web]
Th Oct 4 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 2
FIRST PAPER DUE
T Oct 9 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 3
Kodwo Eshun, “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism” [D2L]
Th Oct 11 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book I (“Covenant, 1690”)
T Oct 16 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book II (“Lot’s Children, 1741”)
Th Oct 18 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
T Oct 23 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book III (“Canaan, 1840”)
Th Oct 25 film: Wanuri Kahiu, “Pumzi” (2009) (in-class viewing and discussion)
SECOND PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 30 film (in class): District 9 (2009)
Th Nov 1 film: Neill Blomkamp, District 9 (2009) (in-class viewing continues and discussion)
SECOND PAPER DUE
T Nov 6 District 9 (2009) discussion continues
District 10 (forthcoming eventually?) discussion
Octavia E. Butler, “The Monophobic Response” [D2L]
Th Nov 8 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, first half)
T Nov 13 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, second half)
Th Nov 15 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act II)
T Nov 20 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act III)
Th Nov 22 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
T Nov 27 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
Th Nov 29 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)
FINAL PROJECTS/PAPERS MINI-WORKSHOP
T Dec 4 Film: Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You(2018)
Chip Gibbons, “In the World of Film, We’ve Edited Out All Rebellion: An Interview with Boots Riley” [Web]
LAST DAY OF CLASS
Th Dec 6 CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO INSTRUCTOR TRAVEL
F Dec 14 FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS DUE BY 5:30 PM VIA D2L DROPBOX

 

 

Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (alothian@umd.edu).

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.

* ImOscar.com.

* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

Saturday Night Links!

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* Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends.

* CFP: The Handmaid’s Tale: Gender, Genre Adaptation – a one-day symposium. Race and The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood Annotates Season 1 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

* A Dangerous Business: Being a Female Professor.

* Two Americas: Those Who Leave Home, and Those Who Stay.

A Brief History of Violence Against Members of Congress. The start of a disturbing new chapter.

But now we have legislation that will change the lives of millions, and they haven’t even summoned the usual suspects to explain what a great idea it is. If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, Republicans have decided that even that’s too much; they’re going to try to pass legislation that takes from the poor and gives to the rich without even trying to offer a justification. More at Vox.

American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding.

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to anew analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers. Don’t stop working those phones.

* Trump buckles on the Dreamers. But: Border Patrol Arrests Immigrants Seeking Medical Care During Desert Heat Wave. Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry. ICE nabs teenager hours before his senior prom, days before his graduation ceremony.

Trump is likely to get much, much worse. Here are a few big things to watch for.  A Very, Very Dangerous Situation. The WaPo Obstruction Blockbuster and the World of Hurt To Come. Robert Mueller chooses his investigatory dream team. Here we go.

Donald Trump’s Cabinet members, ranked by their over-the-top praise of Trump.

* Now That’s What I Call #TheResistance.

* It’s very slowly happening here.

That’s part of a far broader story: Republicans have a coherent and awful vision, while Democrats have a better but confused vision. Republicans want to cut taxes all the time; Democrats want to sometimes cut some taxes and certainly aren’t committed to raising taxes on principle. Republicans want to ban all abortions; many Democrats favor certain restrictions on abortion, depending. The ur-Democratic legislation is Obamacare, which undoubtedly improved the status quo but which is a tangled mishmash of public and private and which does not offer anything like a simple and coherent policy like “Medicare for all.” Republicans are the party of small government; Democrats are the party of jury-rigged quasi-entitlements via convoluted tax credits. Is it any wonder conservatives win so often? An evil but directly and unapologetically stated policy platform beats a better but cowardly and convoluted one any day, politically.

If social compacts without any leeway for idiosyncrasy or dissent tend toward dictatorship, untrammeled individualism tends toward nihilism. The once-again great America Trump envisages is a fusion of the worst of both, and you can’t say our movies didn’t predict him. Wherever America’s right stuff now elusively resides, its wrong stuff in right-stuff disguise is on display for all the world to see—at multiplexes everywhere, not just on Fox News.

* This is fine.

* This though I’m not crazy about: Brain-Eating Parasites Thrive As Global Warming Heats Up U.S. Lakes.

“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get there if we all just chip in.

Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says.

US credit card debt to surpass $1 trillion this year, report says.

* A scholar of the Ku Kux Klan explains how the KKK used the same trolling tactics as the alt-right.

Five officials will face manslaughter charges for Flint water crisis. PA supreme court: was illegal to steal elderly woman’s home because her son sold $140 of weed. Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory.

Robot puts all of humanity to shame by achieving perfect score in Ms. Pac-Man.

This New Museum Imagines a World Where Capitalism Is Dead.

* If there is no real economic recovery forthcoming—and there is not—and if the university cannot be restored without one, do any possibilities remain? They do. We would have to imagine a world that did not peg public funds to private profits. Our current understanding of “public” presupposes a thoroughgoing privatization of the world that shortly preceded the appearance of the modern university. There is no going back. But if there is to be something ahead, an emancipation of learning, it will not be discovered in the hearts and minds of administrators and legislators persuaded to see the error of their ways, but in a transformation of the society beyond the edges of campus. Who Can Save the University?

For graduate students fighting to unionize, time is running out.

* Salvage on Corbyn.

Today’s horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

* Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Winner.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cars R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Ok, I’ll try this: 1 like = 1 unusual condition for killing the big baddy at the end of your book/movie/game.

Why is TV awash in afterlives, hells, and purgatories?

* There’s just one story, and we tell it over and over.

Witchcraft and dueling are now legal in Canada.

Meet the First Woman to Draw Wonder Woman: “I Never Ever Gave Her Breasts That Were Bigger Than Her Head.”

* Abolish Netflix.

* Abolish the trucking industry.

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s.

* Estimated Number of Injuries and Reported Deaths Associated with Inflatable Amusements, 2003-2013.

* Retconning Guardians.

* Duck Tales, woo ooh.

Bruce Springsteen is headed to Broadway.

* I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand the objection.

* Presenting the best of Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Salo University is a friendly cloud space for thinking about Kurt Vonnegut and why his writing matters today.

* What real words are actually valid CSS HEX colors?

Alarm clock dropped inside wall still going off daily after 13 years.

* Why Bill Cosby Walked Free.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop.

* “Rakka” is the first sci-fi short film by Oats Studios, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Chappie), featuring the aftermath of an alien invasion that has enslaved millions of humans. The free 22-minute film, which features the amazing Sigourney Weaver, is available to stream for free on Steam, YouTube and the Oats Studios website.

* And guys, it’s official: I’m a bestseller.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Night Linkdump

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* The future’s already here, it’s just not evenly distributed: “Dizzy and sick”: McDonald’s workers strike after enduring 110 degree heat.

Richest 300 Persons on Earth Have More Money Than Poorest 3 Billion.

* Neill Blomkamp hypes Elysium.

Jimmy Carter Says NSA Scandal Shows America Has No Functioning Democracy.

* Detroit declares bankruptcy. The U.S. cities that have filed for bankruptcy, in one map. Only Wall Street Wins in Detroit Crisis Reaping $474 Million Fee. Race and ethnicity 2010: Detroit.Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%. Dirty tricks from Governor Snyder.But not so fast.

After Trayvon: Will There Be Justice for Florida’s Other Stand Your Ground Victim?

On Twitter, Jim Henley suggested that we view these laws as a variation on deputization — but it’s a weirdly open-ended form, a kind of freelance self-deputization. It’s recruiting potentially every white male (along with everyone who identifies culturally with the white male power structure over against minority groups) to appoint himself a police deputy and join in the ongoing war on minorities that we euphemistically call “law enforcement” in this country.

* Obama speaks.

* More details on San Jose State’s rejection of MOOCs: University Suspends Online Classes After More Than Half the Students Fail.

* Tufts adjuncts file for union. 6 Current Players Join Antitrust Lawsuit Against The NCAA.

* Megan Erickson in Jacobin against unschooling. Gary Cohn at Firedoglake against colocation.

Sequestration Cuts To Research ‘Like A Slowly Growing Cancer.’

* Texas Monthly profiles Wendy Davis and the Democrats’ fight to flip Texas.

* Five-year-old shoots two-year-old sister dead with “My First Rifle.”

* Scientists have found the biggest viruses known, and these pandoraviruses have opened up entirely new questions in science—even suggesting a fourth domain of life, a new study says.

* Death and dying in America: 1, 2.

 * Collapse, 1200 BC.

* Save the Cat! Why Every Hollywood Movie is Exactly the Same.

Thursday Night Links

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All the Midweek Links There Are

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* My media empire: I have a piece on climate change and science fiction in the new New Inquiry issue on weather, which has gone out to subscribers but isn’t online yet. I’ll let you know when you can read it, though for a mere $2 you could read it this very minute.

* “It’s one of those situations where everybody says it’s an issue but the people who have the most influence and the most ability to do something about it are not acting on it,” said Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education, a virtual think tank supported by faculty and labor groups. He called the adjunct issue a “widely acknowledged challenge” with deep, interwoven roots – many of which pit administrative prerogatives against labor concerns and educational outcomes.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours. What if the adjuncts shrugged?

* Yesterday marked the 202th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in US history.

* Game of the day: run from Michel Foucault. Do not become enamored of power.

* Another great rundown of science fiction in China. Via io9.

* zunguzungu is gathering notes towards a canon of post-9/11 literature. I contributed Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” as well as the inevitable science fictional treatments: Battlestar Galactica, District 9, Nolan’s Batman…

* Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage. It’s so hot in Australia they’ve had to add a new color to the weather map.

* This paper uses annual variation in temperature and precipitation over the past 50 years to examine the impact of climatic changes on economic activity throughout the world. We find three primary results. First, higher temperatures substantially reduce economic growth in poor countries but have little effect in rich countries. Second, higher temperatures appear to reduce growth rates in poor countries, rather than just the level of output. Third, higher temperatures have wide-ranging effects in poor nations, reducing agricultural output, industrial output, and aggregate investment, and increasing political instability. Analysis of decade or longer climate shifts also shows substantial negative effects on growth in poor countries. Should future impacts of climate change mirror these historical effects, the negative impact on poor countries may be substantial.

* The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes.

* io9 celebrates the classic tabletop role-playing game Paranoia.

* The American Prospect considers the legal hyperformalism the GOP has embraced in the face of longterm demographic crisis and declining real power.

What all these efforts have in common is that they are all perfectly legal,  and yet they all violate the norms of how American politics had been practiced for decades or even for centuries. All of them exploit some loophole in the law or the Constitution to give Republicans some immediate advantage in the basic ground rules of how political issues are contested.

* National Geographic’s photographs of 2012.

original

* The great moral question of our time: On heckling.

* The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America.

* Television as narcissism.

* Installing the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History.

* Science catches up to what the poets always knew: Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense, opening the way for new forms of treatment, particularly for Parkinson’s disease.

* Debating that rape viral infrographic.

* Great moments in advertising: the UC spends $4.3 million to attract a single student.

* The forever war on women: Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees.

* And Mitch Hurwitz teases the new Arrested Development. I am…optimistic?

Weekend Links

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* Science fiction in Africa: Here’s a 23-minute BBC World Service documentary about science fiction in Africa, hosted by Zoo City author Lauren Beukes, who speaks to various luminaries, writers and commentators, including District 9 creator Neill Blomkamp.

* Emily Yoffe: I was sexually assaulted three times before I was 20. Here’s why I never told my family or the police.

* So you’ve decided to make a Sandusky prison rape joke.

* Tim Kreider wants you to like A.I.

* We need to recognize that the tax cutters were snake oil salesmen, the Federal Reserve an enabler of damaging debts and that bilateral trade deals are written of, by and for global financiers, not workers. To paraphrase the Huey Lewis song, we need a new policy.

* Sorkin’s ‘Newsroom’ Is No Place For Optimism.

* When you touch goo, you shouldn’t have gloves on you: science training from the Weyland Corporation.

* And just because it’s Saturday: some recent photos of my daughter, for people who love things that are adorable…

Post *All* the Links

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A big post, catching up from most of last week:

* With the success of 2009’s “District 9” still fresh in their minds, producers are cherry-picking South African sci-fi properties, making it one of hottest genres this side of Swedish crime fiction.

* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.

Top Five Most Destroyed Canadian Cities in the Marvel Universe.

* News from MLA! Dissing the Dissertation. Anguish Trumps Activism at the MLA.

* News from my childhood: Another new version of Dungeons & Dragons is on the way. MetaFilter agonizes.

* News from the Montana Supreme Court: “Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government…”

* News from the future right now: Record Heat Floods America With Temperatures 40 Degrees Above Normal.

How College Football Bowls Earn Millions In Profits But Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes.

* Colbert vs. Colbert.

* Matt Taibbi vs. Iowa.

And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.

* Learning From The Masters: Level Design In The Legend Of Zelda.

How The Cave of Time taught us to love interactive entertainment.

* Inside the Shel Silverstein archive.

* While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.

* What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955.

* The headline reads, “Quadriplegic Undocumented Immigrant Dies In Mexico After Being Deported From His Hospital Bed.”

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Arkham Asylum.

Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity,” Kant wrote, “no straight thing was ever made.” Not even an iPad.

Obama Openly Asks Nation Why On Earth He Would Want To Serve For Another Term.

* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.

* What if Obama loses?

* How banks and debt collectors are bringing dead debt back to life.

People who stop paying bills earn lousy credit ratings but eventually are freed of old debt under statutes of limitations that vary by state and range from three years to 10 years from the last loan payment.

But if a debtor agrees to make even a single payment on an expired debt, the clock starts anew on some part of the old obligation, a process called “re-aging.”

So if borrowers again fall behind on their payments, debt collectors can turn to their usual tools: letters, phone calls and lawsuits. By restarting a debt’s statute of limitations, the collectors have years to retrieve payments.

* A Q&A with Louis C.K.

* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.

* Epic Doctor Who Timeline. More here.

* Battlestar Galactica: Totally planned. See also.

* How to Get a Nuclear Bomb.

The cast of Community plays pop culture trivia.

* “White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars.”

Classified docs reveal why Tolkien failed to win ’61 Nobel Prize!

* Solve the Fermi Paradox the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal way.

* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.

Three for Saturday

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* Yogi Bear as District 9. Almost makes me want to see it (not really).

In District 9, hundreds of aliens who have no interest in assimilating into human society are tossed in an internment camp. In Yogi, two (2) measly bears who want to be human are given a plot of federal land and forgotten. They receive no acknowledgement and are conferred no rights. Humanity cannot come to grips with a non-human sapience, so the bears are consigned to the woods. In this light, Ranger Smith’s blandness assumes a new depth. His omnipresent guilt saps him of all vitality. He is no park ranger; he is Yogi’s warden, complicit in a system he hates. The film’s utter failure at everything is a metaphor for humanity’s collective failure.

Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security.

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA’s new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.

* And FAO Schwarz wins Christmas forever. Here’s me and my lady, with the caveat that my hastily constructed Muppet self looks like a fairly disreputable character…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Late Night Monday

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* While my cousin was visiting last weekend we saw both Toy Story 3 and Exit Through the Gift Shop, both of which I endorse for entirely different reasons. What I find most interesting about Exit is the possibility that large swaths of the documentary, perhaps even the whole thing, are a high-concept Banksy prank; what I like best about Toy Story 3 is how bravely it faces down the themes of mortality and obsolescence that have always been the subtext of the series. That the toys (spoiler alert) receive their inevitable reprieve is ultimately a small consolation; in the end, we must admit Lotso had it right.

* This short but intriguing post from Crooked Timber compares the Toy Story franchise to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, concluding (as we must) that Stinky Pete is the existential hero of the series, the only character who is genuinely free.

* World Cup supervillain Koman Coulibaly apparently fired.

* Steve Benen and Ezra Klein look at how a utilities-only compromise on cap and trade might work. Here too is Brad Plumer on what EPA regulation can and cannot accomplish.

* If I’m reading this correctly, Matt Yglesias wants to turn Detroit into District 9. More on Detroit and this week’s U.S. Social Forum here and here.

* Speaking of District 9: Will Neill Blomkamp direct The Hobbit?

* There’s something about this piece on spiked anti-rape protection in South Africa that gets people talking. I can’t count how many times it’s shown up in my Facebook feed.

* One day late for Father’s Day: “Daddy, could we have our planet back now?”

* Pandagon highlights a study linking sexual aggression and heavy porn use.

* Why the Right is fantasizing about a 2012 primary challenge.

It’s easy to see why conservatives would be salivating at the thought of a Hillary primary challenge. Presidents who face serious primary challenges—Ford, Carter, Bush I—almost always lose. The last president who lost re-election without a serious primary challenge, by contrast, was Herbert Hoover. But in truth, the chances that Obama will face a primary challenge are vanishingly slim, and the chances that he will lose re-election only slightly higher. No wonder conservatives are fantasizing about Hillary Clinton taking down Barack Obama. If she doesn’t, it’s unlikely they will.

* And so it’s come to this.

Up Too Early Central Timezone Blues

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* The paper on ecological debt I’m giving at the Debt conference at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies today is pretty indebted to Naomi Klein’s recent work on the subject, which can be found at YouTube, Democracy Now, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. I may try to put this talk up as a podcast at some point.

* The oil spill disaster in the Louisiana has turned out to be much, much worse than originally thought: “a river of oil flowing from the bottom of the Gulf at the rate of 210,000 gallons a day that officials say could be running for two months or more.” The final devastation will likely be worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster. The White House says BP will pay the costs of cleanup. Related: Obama Administration Learns That Oil Leads to Oil Spills. At least they’ve quietly reinstated the federal moratorium on offshore drilling as a result of all this. Hope it stays that way.

* Can reconciliation work for climate like it worked for health care? Ezra Klein says not really.

* Ten states, including my beloved North Carolina!, are now considering Arizona-style document laws.

* Speaking of North Carolina, here’s the Independent Weekly voting guide for Durham County. The primary is Tuesday, May 4.

* It turns out the measurement fallacy Cory Doctorow was speaking about in my class’s interview with him has a name: Goodhart’s Law.

* Grad School Necessary To Maintain U.S.’s Global Position. Take that, The Simpsons.

* Republican consultant on Republican 2012 presidential field: “We Have Real [Expletive] Problems.”

* Calling out the real judicial activists.

* Socialphobes of the world unite! Against the telephone.

The telephone was an aberation in human development. It was a 70 year or so period where for some reason humans decided it was socially acceptable to ring a loud bell in someone else’s life and they were expected to come running, like dogs. This was the equivalent of thinking it was okay to walk into someone’s living room and start shouting.

* Books: still greener than e-readers.

* I can’t believe I forgot to celebrate Explicit Legal Pants Day. The rest of the post, on heterosexual privilege in Mississippi, is good too.

Inevitable District 9 sequel coming in two years.

* I’m so old I can remember when the GOP was against involuntary microchip implantation. It was like a week ago.

* And YouTube has the trailer for the feel-good movie of the year.

The 11

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Reverse Shot’s 11 Offenses of 2009. (500) Days of Summer and District 9 both make appearances. Via Dan H.

Even if we buy this conceit (derived from The Outer Limits’ episode “The Architects of Fear”), Blomkamp’s usage of brutal, menacing Nigerian gang bangers as secondary villains—gun-runners who antagonize both the country’s “Prawn” population and bumbling Afrikaner pencil pusher turned alien mutant Wikus van der Mewe (Sharto Copley)—suggests he’s not above the propagation of stereotypes. And it would be easier to take Wikus’s symbolically loaded transformation into the Other (which begins when he’s accidentally sprayed by some bug fluid during a ghetto raid) seriously if it wasn’t ultimately a pretense for his being able to operate the aliens’ biochemical weaponry—a development that allows District 9 to abandon its thin veneer of social commentary (and erratically deployed faux-documentary textures) to become the live-action Halo shoot-em-up its creator wanted to make all along.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 8, 2010 at 10:55 am

Another Massive Wednesday Linkdump

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* Three-part interview at Hero Complex with Neill Blomkamp.

GB: There can be an interesting freedom in the restrictions, too, even though that sounds contradictory. If you look at “Jaws” and “Alien,” the limitations on the visual effects led to ingenuity and better films. And there are many films today that go wild with visual effects and it leads to entirely forgettable films.

NB: It’s so true. From a pure audience perspective, it may yield a more interesting result. Think of “Alien,” if they made it now you would probably get “Alien vs. Predator.”

Via MeFi, which also links to another Blomkamp short, Tempbot.

* Noah Sheldon photographs the degradation of Biosphere 2. Also via MeFi. More photos at BLDGBLOG.

* China Miéville is blogging a rejectamentalist manifesto.

* “The End of the Detroit Dream.”

* Infinite Summer 2 is coming: 2666 Spring.

* Democrats would gain 10 Senate seats by eliminating the filibuster.

* The Big Bang Theory vs. The Male Gaze.

* New Yorker fiction by the numbers.

The first thing we always look at is if the New Yorker is bringing new writers into the mix or sticking with its old standbys. Just 10 writers account for 82 (or 23%) of the 358 stories to appear over the last seven years. Just 18 writers account for 124 (or 35%) of the stories. The New Yorker is sometimes criticized for featuring the same writers again and again, but it appears to be getting better on this front. The 18 “standbys” noted above and listed below accounted for only 7 of the 49 stories published in 2009 (or 14%). On the flip side of this argument, 15 writers appeared in the New Yorker for the first time in 2009 (at least since 2003).

* Monkeys recognize bad grammar. But they still can’t spell.

* Andrew Sullivan has your charts of the day.

It looks as though traditional economists have a strong optimism bias, which I try to balance with my fervent belief that the economy will catastrophically collapse on any given day.

* io9 considers the inevitable Lost reboot.

* I’m starting the new year with the sinking feeling that important opportunities are slipping from the nation’s grasp. Our collective consciousness tends to obsess indiscriminately over one or two issues — the would-be bomber on the flight into Detroit, the Tiger Woods saga — while enormous problems that should be engaged get short shrift.

….This is a society in deep, deep trouble and the fixes currently in the works are in no way adequate to the enormous challenges we’re facing.

* All about Yemen.

So Yemen’s population has tripled since 1975 and will double again by 2035. Meanwhile, state revenue will decline to zero by 2017 and the capital city of Sanaa will run out of water by 2015 — partly because 40% of Sanaa’s water is pumped illegally in the outskirts to irrigate the qat crop.

* Goal of the week: Dempsey!

Friday Friday

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Friday!

* The ping-pong match in the press over the public option continues. Nobody can figure out whether or not Pelosi has the votes, whether or not Obama supports an Olympia-Snowe-style trigger, or just what will happen with the cloture vote in the Senate. Ezra Klein compares the likely House and Senate bills, which leads Matt Yglesias to suggest a best-of-both-worlds approach. Meanwhile a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll shows that public support for the public option remains steady at around 60%, which would be important if the Senate were a properly representative body.

* Lots of buzz today about Neill Blomkamp’s next film after District 9, described by SCI FI Wire as a balls-out sci-fi epic.

* ‘A Mid-Atlantic Miracle’: Keeping public university costs down in Maryland.

* A judge has ruled the war crimes case against Blackwater/Xe will go forward.

* ‘Living on $500,000 a Year‘: Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns. John Scalzi compares Fitzgerald’s income and lifestyle to a writer’s today.

* Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for president? This would take “fair and balanced” to a whole new level.

* And your entirely random chart of the day: The Population of Rome Through History. Via Kottke.