Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Eduardo Galeano

Tuesday Links!

leave a comment »

* One last bit of self-promotion for my Octavia Butler series at LARoB, reviewing the forthcoming eBook Unexpected Stories and the never-to-be-a-book Parable of the Trickster.

* Meanwhile, my new best friend Levar Burton says Octavia Butler is the writer he most wishes he’d met.

* John Oliver for/against the World Cup. Five Thirty Eight’s World Cup Predictions. How to Nerd Out about Soccer. The World Cup and the Corporatization of Soccer.

An itinerary is by no means the only thing required for setting out on a trip. And the itinerary will change along the way. But for a deliberate departure from capitalism, rather than a blind flight, a preliminary itinerary will be necessary. Whatever we think of the term communism, the crossroads Marx and Engels glimpsed in the Manifesto is coming more clearly into view: either a left alternative to capitalism or “the common ruin of the contending classes”.

* The Church of Science Fiction.

* Heinlein and the Right.

* As horrific as recent mass killings have been, the idea of a slide into ongoing domestic terrorism is just  nightmarish.

* Meanwhile: War Gear Flows to Police Departments.

Dads Want To Spend Time With Their New Children, If Only We’d Give Them Paid Leave.

Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051.

We’re not giving moms credit when we pose them as the decisive factor in a child’s development, we’re sticking them with the bill.

* The Prison-Industrial Complex and Orange Is the New Black.

Temple University is investigating an ethics complaint that two of its professors did not properly disclose funding from the private prison industry for their research on the cost of incarceration.

* Grad Students Could Win Big as Obama Slashes Debt Payments. Understanding the CBO’s bullshitting about how the government doesn’t make money on student loans. Lawsuits and the end of the NCAA. College’s inequality disgrace: Millionaire university presidents and indebted students. In the Near Future, Only Very Wealthy Colleges Will Have English Departments. Yes, the Humanities Are Struggling, but They Will Endure. And Now We Know I’ll Never Be MLA President.

* Emily Bazelon covers the Title IX crisis in American colleges. Taekwondo Is Great but Not the Solution to Campus Rape. U. of Oregon Student Who Alleged Rape by Athletes Writes Open Letter. And then there’s George.

* Jezebel covers Wikipedia’s internal fighting over #YesAllWomen.

* Towards a theory of jerks.

* The case against sharing.

How to drive through all 48 of the contiguous United States in 113 hours.

* The unbearable sadness of Milwaukee tourism videos.

* I thought this was genuinely stunning even by Fox’s already low standards: Fox News Guest Launches Race-Based Attack On Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Waffle House Forces Waitress To Return $1,000 Tip.

* “The way US immigration laws operate is absurd.”

The media warns readers about violent pimps stealing girls from malls, but most victims’ stories are very different. I know this because I was a teen trafficking victim, and my experience reflects much of the research that’s been done with trafficking victims.

* The rise of the noncompete clause.

* A Brief History of the Gendered Pronoun in English. In defense of the singular “they.”

* Yes, Nixon Scuttled the Vietnam Peace Talks.

If We’re Lucky, There’s Going to Be a Clone High Movie–IN MY PANTS.

* Review getting picked up: five stars.

* And 4°C only sounds like no big deal.

4_5_degrees

Dystopia

leave a comment »

I’ve got a review of Sarah Hall’s Atwoodesque dystopia Daughters of the North in this week’s Independent. This review sort of skirts the line of what’s acceptably graphic for print and what isn’t, and frankly I’m a little amazed that I wasn’t asked to rewrite the second paragraph—but I wasn’t, and I mean it when I say the scene really stuck with me in a visceral way.

Here’s the kernel:

It’s this hope that may seem very far away in our moment of extraordinary rendition, emergency powers and unrestricted executive authority, a moment that isn’t at all hard to connect with Hall’s dystopia—which is why it’s a little strange, and yet somehow at the same time absolutely necessary, to set out to read a book that you know will deliberately toy with and then destroy any hope you have for a better tomorrow. It’s something like picking at a scab. Many of us have read Atwood and George Orwell, after all—and even those who haven’t will learn all they need to know about what sort of book this is if they pay careful attention to the italicized words on the book’s first page: English Authority Penal System Archive—record no. 498: Transcript recovered from site of Lancaster holding dock. Statement of female prisoner detained under Section 4(b) of the Insurgency Prevention (Unrestricted Powers) Act. We know what sort of book we’re in. We know this can’t end well.

I’m reminded a bit of the words of the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano: “Let’s save pessimism for better times.” And yet Hall’s dystopian story of resistance and struggle, even in its inevitable defeat, must be read at the same time as a kind of optimism, striking in its final pages a defiant chord that reminds us power can sometimes be defeated, if not always, and if always at great cost.