Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Frankenstein

Sunday Night Closing All My Tabs

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* My review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s (excellent!) New York 2140 is finally up at the Los Angeles Review of Books: Utopia in the Time of Trump.

Where most contemporary histories of the future imagine climate change as either an annoying irritation or else the end of history — the disaster that will end civilization — in New York 2140 Robinson cuts more of a middle path. Climate change does indeed prove utterly catastrophic in this novel, laying waste to the coastal cities where a startling percentage of the world’s population currently lives, and devastating a huge amount of infrastructure and fixed capital, costing trillions of dollars — but humans are incredibly versatile problem-solvers, and we adapt. Technical solutions like sea walls and skybridges are really only the start of what would be necessary in a flooded Manhattan. Think of the immense social changes, the legal, economic, and architectural structures that would need to be innovated when huge areas of major cities are permanently underwater, or indeed become part of the intertidal zone. Even by 2140, nearly 100 years after the start of the crisis, the long work of retrofitting civilization to rising sea levels goes on, and not all of it is even that unhappy; it’s no secret that the capitalists use the same phrase to denote both crisis and opportunity, creative destruction….

* Don’t worry, kids, it’s just a story.

* More Hugos lists! Octavia E. Butler is actually listed on a few of these! Keeping my silly Hugo dream alive.

* Also at LARB: A Mark Fisher memoriam and a review of his last book, The Weird and the Eerie.

* Getting ready for Marquette’s big Buffy at 20 conference: Every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ranked. Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games, ranked from best to worst. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including Anthony Stewart Head. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest show in the history of television. The Enduring Legacy. Genocide of the Vampires. How Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Most Hated Season Became Its Most Important. On “The Body.” Twenty years later, the world needs Buffy more than ever. A few more at MeFi. And from the archives, David Graeber.

* CFPs at Science Fiction Studies on climate change fiction and Frankenstein.

* And don’t sleep on the CFP for SFRA 2017, due at the end of the month.

* Marquette: a university on the… grow?

* Want To Know About Racially Motivated Policing? Ask Literally Any Person of Color in Milwaukee.

Data Draws Link Between Metro Milwaukee’s Segregation and Poverty.

* 50th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches.

* #4.

* This isn’t a complete picture — it is too nostalgic for a lost age of exclusion, and misses completely the despair caused by the total collapse of the profession — but all the same I found it a powerful critique of the university today: Our Hallways Are Too Quiet.

* Probably the best piece of art criticism ever written: Appraising the Brady Bunch’s Art Collection.

* More Lovercraft from the great Ali Sperling! H.P. Lovecraft’s Weird Body.

* The New York Times reviews Lower Ed by the great Tressie McMillan Cottom.

* Sold! Wild New Theory Suggests Radio Bursts Beyond Our Galaxy Are Powering Alien Starships.

Think Twice About Escaping Earth to an Exoplanet. Trappist-1 is already ruined.

In Arctic Siberia, Russian scientists are trying to stave off catastrophic climate change—by resurrecting an Ice Age biome complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths.

* On zeitgeist: Ozymandias statue found in mud.

* What will the 25th Century Call the 21st?

The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump.

* The Hamilton Hustle.

* Stop grading and testing.

* A Women’s Strike Syllabus. And another.

U.S. Colleges: Where Does The Money Go?

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams.

* Gotta spend money to explain why you aren’t spending money.

* Bodies on the Gears at Middleburg. And from the right: Middlebury Reckons With a Protest Gone Wrong. From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America.

* Ideology of the March for Science.

* Are the Democrats totally screwed? The Democratic Party Seems to Have No Earthly Idea Why It Is So Damn Unpopular. Outsmarted: on the Liberal Cult of the Cognitive Elite. There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble. The SEIU at the end of the world.

* Trump can’t even do a standard thing like firing all the US Attorneys without turning it into a train wreck. But here’s how he can turn it around. Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media. Descent into Liberalism. Fantasizing about President Pence. Of no fixed address. Here’s How Much ‘Trumpcare’ Fucks You, Based On How You Get Your Insurance Now. Who wins and who loses under the Republicans’ health care plan. A Trumpcare flashback. Truly, freedom isn’t free.

Then, before you know it, the Wall Street Journal is an oracle of truth. You’re rooting for Cold War II. The FBI is your BFF. You’re a Democrat.

* This is so evil: Bill Would Let Employers Demand Workers’ Genetic Tests.

* In the future, everyone will publicly beg for health care for 15 minutes.

* If you want a vision of the future.

The Perils of the New, Shiny George W. Bush.

The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi.

Enemies of the People: How hatred of the masses bridges our partisan divide.

* Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies!

* The Great Lakes Are Sicker Than You Think. Editorial: Don’t slash funding for the Great Lakes.

It is long past time to save this world; the task now is to end it. To begin anew seems like the only realistic way out.

* Towards a Unified Theory of Why Men Send Dick Pics. Obviously, more research is required.

* Neonazis! I hate these guys. Indiana Jones and the Okay Fine We’ll Try Again.

Why Dentistry Is Separate From Medicine.

* Twenty-First Century Headlines: Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home.

* Our Miserable 21st Century.

Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.

* West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis.

* Scholars behind bars.

* Today in the massive screwed-uppedness of American democracy.

* George Republicans Pass Mid-Decade Re-Gerrymander Just in Case.

Purple America Has All But Disappeared.

Every semi-competent male hero has a more talented female sidekick. Why isn’t she the hero instead?

* Star Trek: Discovery announces exciting “the captain is probably evil and in any event will die at the end of the season” arc.

* Knives out for Marvel: they finally made a mistake big enough to be noticed. More from Noah Berlatsky.

Study: Hillary Clinton’s TV ads were almost entirely policy-free.

Officials with Alberta’s environment agency inspected the water lines on Tuesday afternoon and proclaimed it safe, while the town completed the required repairs by the end of day. Town’s Water Turns Pink In Horrifying Ghostbusters Throwback. 

* Requiem for a Dil. We’re Looking for People with Management Potential. An Experiment to Determine if Rats Can Be Made to Hate Thanksgiving. It’s Not So Bad. Sad Truths: Mythological Creatures Edition. I wish human beings were as peaceful and loving as bonobos. We all have our struggles.

Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

* Review is back, thank heaven.

* Nostalgia for the childhood you never had: The Japanese opening for the X-Men Animated Series.

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created.

* The arc of history is long, but Rookie Doctors Will Soon Be Allowed To Work Up To 28 Hours Straight.

* The Psychedelic Miracle: How some doctors are risking everything to unleash the healing power of MDMA, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens.

Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia.

“King Kong” and American Cultural History.

20 million at risk of starvation in world’s largest crisis since 1945, UN says.

* Interesting: The New Avatar Theme Park Is a Giant Spoiler.

In an interview conducted inside the park, Cameron said that the park is set in a timeline after the five movies. A time when the war between humans and Na’vi is over. A time when the Na’vi have begun to welcome humans onto their planet with opens arms.

Eighteen hundred former NFL players say their teams had them popping addictive painkillers like candy, to keep them from being sidelined by injuries.

How the 20,699-word iTunes T&Cs became this year’s hottest graphic novel.

Should California lower its voting age to 17? Yes.

* And dibs on the screenplay: Right now, in a vault controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. This gem is the size of a minifridge. It weighs as much as two sumo wrestlers. Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million. Over the past 10 years, four lawsuits have been filed over the Bahia emerald. Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the rock is theirs. A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Permanent addition to the sidebar: Resources for planning a trip to the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington. Send me anything I’ve missed!

* CFPs I have going: Women and Science Fiction Media (SFFTV Special Issue). Buffy at 20 (April conference at Marquette).

* My friend and colleague Dan Hassler-Forest has been composing a Trump Film Studies Syllabus: 1, 2, 3, 4.

* Political Economy of Fascism Syllabus.

* So you think you elected an autocrat.

* Dr. Strange and the Trump Presidency. 

Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office. Not even the same scandal: Donald Trump Pauses Transition Work to Meet with Indian Business Partners.

* Electoral College fan fiction getting good now.

* This seems fine. Disabled People Will Die Under Trump. Trumpwatch. Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap. Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi Have a Plan to Make President Trump Popular. @EveryTrumpDonor. Trump vs. neoliberalism, #whoeverwinswelose. Racism with No Racists. Garbage In, Garbage Out. The Man in the High Castle. After Trump. Being Mike Pence.

* It can’t happen here. It probably can’t happen here. It probably won’t happen here. Okay but that was a long time ago. George Takei.

Successful propaganda, O’Shaughnessy argues, does not traffic in outright falsehoods, but trades on half-truths and innuendos and depends on “people’s ability to perform a great deal of selective perception, and to edit out the unpleasant.” So propaganda is bullshit — in the philosophical sense.

* Don’t normalize this. Don’t ever, ever normalize this.

* We’ll be talking about this question for a long time, whether we like it or not: The End of Identity Liberalism. Why Social Media Is Terrible for Multiethnic Democracies. And yet: Blame Trump’s Victory on College-Educated Whites, Not the Working Class.

* Close Reading Hamilton: “What’d I Miss?” I only did two days on Hamilton in my class this time around and wound up focusing a lot on these two songs myself.

* Obviously I’m still a Kanye supporter but he’s going to have to find a way to right the ship before the 2020 debates begin next fall.

* Abolish Chuck Schumer. Abolish the Presidency.

More than 100 campus leaders urge Trump to take more forceful stand against “harassment, hate and acts of violence.” Campuses Confront Hostile Acts Against Minorities After Donald Trump’s Election. Wesleyan declared sanctuary campus.

* It doesn’t matter how effective a deterrent it is — it’s cruel and unusual and we need to act.

* Only the superrich can save us… oh forget it.

Meet the Professor Who’s Trying to Help You Steer Clear of Clickbait.

Michigan fights court order to give Flint residents bottled water.

* Keep an eye on North Carolina.

* A Brief History of Fascism in the Pacific Northwest.

When a Sibling Goes to Prison.

* The Limits of Gossip: Informal system of warning colleagues about senior scholars who engage in inappropriate behavior doesn’t really protect anyone, study finds.

The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing.

* A Mere 12,000 US Schools Are Within a Mile of a Hazardous Chemical Facility.

* Science proves the rich really are different.

* The four types of writing.

* We might be done with climate change, but climate change is not done with us.

It’s official: NASA’s peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published.

* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.

* What Was the Nerd?

Though sports culture continues to be a domain of intense patriarchal production and violence — rape jokes are just locker room talk, after all — these days jocks in the news are just as likely to be taking a knee against American racism in the image of Colin Kaepernick. The nerds, on the other hand, are shit-posting for a new American Reich. The nerd/jock distinction has always been a myth designed to hide social conflict and culturally re-center white male subjectivity. Now that the nerds have fully arrived, their revenge looks uglier than anything the jocks ever dreamed.

* And because you demanded it…

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 21, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* ICYMI: A CFP for an upcoming issue of SFFTV devoted to Women in SF, keyed to the Frankenstein bicentennial.

We, the Undercommoning Collective, invite all those over whom the neoliberal, neocolonial university casts its shadow, all those who struggle within, against and beyond the university-as-such, to join us the weekend of October 14-16, 2016 for a global coordinated decentralized day of radical study and action.

* LARB reviews The Year 200, which I immediately bought.

* The end of the Republicans? How Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Movement (And My Heart). Trump’s Appetite for Destruction: How Disastrous Convention Doomed GOP. A 2% Convention Bump, It Looks Like.

* Not to be outdone, the Democrats are hard at work turning their convention into a debacle too.

* The Case for Tim KazzZZZZZzzzzzZZZz. Tim Kaine, and Other Faith-Based Politics. And here’s a piece from NRO that purports to explain why Tim Kaine wasn’t picked in 2008, which long-time readers may remember I’ve always wondered about. It’s pretty hard to make an electoral map where Trump wins without winning Virginia. And if you need it: My Official List of Approved Clinton-Kaine Puns.

* Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

Neoliberalism Is a Political Project.

* “Trump and Putin: Yes, It’s Really a Thing.”

70 Years Ago, the U.S. Military Set Off a Nuke Underwater, And It Went Very Badly. Then they tried it four more times.

* “Ancient bottom wipers yield evidence of diseases carried along the Silk Road.”

* Science Corner: It Would Take a Lot of THC to Contaminate a Water Supply.

* An evolutionary history of menstruation.

Evolution Is Happening Faster Than We Thought.

* Precrime algorithms, coming soon.

How NYers Endured Unbearable Summers Before A.C.

* Parents, You’re Doing Summer Wrong. Elsewhere on the parenting beat: The Right Way to Bribe Your Kids to Read.

How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process.

Scientists Assert That Earth is Really Made of Two Different Planets.

This Is What Humans Would Look Like If They Evolved to Survive Car Crashes.

* English departments in 2016, if we’re being totally honest.

* And the arc of history is long, but Star Trek: Discovery Officially Takes Place in the Prime Universe. Here’s the ship.

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CFP: Women and Science Fiction Media (SFFTV)

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Science Fiction Film and Television is seeking articles for a special issue on Women & Science Fiction Media, intended to mark the 200th year anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Although sf was once stereotyped as a male genre, more recently women’s contributions as authors, fans, editors, and more have become more widely acknowledged. Central to this new understanding of women’s contributions to sf has been the realization that women have always been a part of the genre, resisting another stereotype that links women’s emergence in the field to the feminist fiction of the 1960s and 1970s. In recognition of the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley, arguably the first sf novel, we seek essays that recognize, interrogate, respond to and celebrate women’s contributions to media sf. We are interested in reviewing any work that explores this topic, but we are particularly interested in contributions on the following topics:

  • Female directors of sf film and television
  • Female sf showrunners
  • Female scriptwriters in sf
  • Gender and Mary Shelley’s legacy in sf’s imagination of created beings
  • Frankenstein remakes, adaptations, reboots and reinventions
  • Gender and casting, and character arc in media sf
  • Gender in sf fandom and criticism

Articles should be 7000 to 9000 words in length, including footnotes and bibliography. Submissions (in word or rtf, following MLA style) should be made via our website at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/lup-sfftv.

Any queries should be directed to the editors, Mark Bould (mark.bould@gmail.com),  Gerry Canavan (gerrycanavan@gmail.com) and Sherryl Vint  (sherryl.vint@gmail.com).

The deadline for submissions for this special issue is March 15, 2017.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

Thursday Links!

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* Some seriously great news for my particular demographic: Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed Mars Trilogy is colonizing TV.

* Flooding risk from climate change, country by country. Meanwhile: World’s Cities All Becoming Teeming Hellscapes.

* A brief history of mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic.

* A History of The Lord of the Rings in Video Games.

* LARoB considers the criminally underrated Chronicles of Pyrdain and the night genre was born.

* Age discrimination and adjuncts. I still think this is a seriously underreported story considering how dramatically it would change the landscape of hiring in higher education if it were to prevail.

While surely a simple economic determinism would be distorting, it should still be clear that the epistemic and cultural divide between the “hard” sciences and the humanities cannot be easily disentangled from a noticeable financial divide.

* How For-Profit Universities Make a Killing By Exploiting College Dreams.

* Udacity has moved on to a new scam: nanodegrees.

* Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror.

* “Reluctant Warrior Bombs Yet Another Country.”

* FSU chooses a politician as its new president despite major opposition from faculty and students. From the archives: FSU to phase out academic operations.

* Head’s up, math geeks: big discovery about prime numbers.

* Chimpanzees Raised by Humans Have Social Difficulties With Other Chimps.

* Listen, it’s about yardage: FiveThirtyEight provides the cheat sheet necessary for me to interact with other Wisconsinites.

* ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for repeating ESPN’s own reporting about the NFL and drawing the only possible conclusion.

* 15.4% growth of Harvard’s endowment brings the total to a cool $36 billion, assuring Harvard’s continued existence for another year. And thank goodness.

* I think I’ve discovered a way to precrastinate my procrastination, which means I’m always so late I never bother to get off the couch.

* Science proves no one is allowed to have any fun: Researcher shows that black holes do not exist.

* Fraternities finally look in the mirror and confront the enemy within: drunk female guests. Should we ban frats?

* What it’s like to be struck by lightning. What it’s like to lose your memory at 22.

* Please don’t ever drive and text.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine Mitt Romney running for president, forever.

Marxism as Science Fiction

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My review of Mark Bould and China Miéville’s Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction is up now at Reviews in Cultural Theory. Another recent review, of John Rieder’s Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction, Elizabeth Young’s Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor, and Matthew Costello’s Secret Identity Crisis: Comic Books and the Unmasking of Cold War America, is in the current issue of American Literature, but this one requires a subscription. (A Duke IP will get you in; don’t know about UNC or other places.)

Sunday Links

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We’re off to sample Detroit today. While we’re waiting for showers to finish here are a few links I never got around to yesterday.

* Dollhouse 2.3, which I haven’t seen yet, ticked upwards in the ratings, managing this week to beat reruns on ABC. Related: Ten TV Spin-offs That Were Better Than the Original Shows includes Angel—I agree in the main—Daria, Xena, DS9, and, The Simpsons. Also related: Flashforward is falling fast, endorsing Bill’s thesis that the show is blowing it. Related and ridiculous: “Is science fiction becoming feminized?” Mary Shelley will be heartbroken.

* Josh Marshall on the Nobel: [T]he unmistakable message of the award is one of the consequences of a period in which the most powerful country in the world, the ‘hyper-power’ as the French have it, became the focus of destabilization and in real if limited ways lawlessness. A harsh judgment, yes. But a dark period. And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it’s a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was ‘normal history’ rather than dark aberration. More from Steve Benen.

* Something, something, something, Detroit.

* The big Moon bombing appears not to have gone so well. Did the aliens step in?

* Iceland, an epicenter of the last financial crisis, looks to recover with data centers that offer free air-side cooling.

* The L.A. Times discusses the Fantastic Mr. Fox directing controversy. (via)

* Some bad news: Universe To End Sooner Than Thought.

* And more bad news: time has not ceased its unrelenting march.