Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘imperialism

A Few Quick Thoughts on BLACK PANTHER I Haven’t Already Seen Elsewhere

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(1) I haven’t seen anyone point out that this was the MCU’s take on a Bond movie, right down to M, Q, a Bond girl, an extraneous mission in Korea, and even a Felix Leiter.

(Updated.)

(2) I loved pretty much everything about the Wakandan world-building; pretty much my only minor quibble there was a slight over-reliance on American idioms (like Shuri giving the finger, or the General saying someone “did not get the memo”). It’s a small thing but it fits into point (4) below about the inability of Marvel to imagine a Wakanda that was genuinely independent from Western hegemony, much less the hegemon of the world that it would actually be.

(2a) I do feel a bit like I want to rewatch the T’Challa scenes from Civil War though because I think there was quite a bit of retconning and reimagining happening here; the later scenes with Cap seem not to have happened, and the earlier position of Wakanda in the United Nations seems a bit hard to square with the treatment here.

(2b) Shuri was awesome, incidentally. I demand a Shuri spinoff.

(3) I’ll leave it to others to say “Killmonger was right” but you really do feel your heart sink in the third act as the Wakandans begin to fight each other. For me the real “heart sink” moment was when the planes started exploding over the Wakandan capital; perhaps it was the presence and participation of Everett Ross but you really feel the gut-wrenching rupture of the Wakandan Afrofuturist utopia in that moment.

(3a) Killmonger was right though.

(4) I also had an unhappy moment of clarity about the prominence of Wakanda in the Infinity War trailer. As some of you know I’ve written a chapter on “Wakanda as Nation” for an upcoming collection called Afrofuturism in Time and Space.

Not to belabor the point, but a few more quick quotes from the chapter:

With regard to Wakanda specifically, this problem of interpretation has only compounded over decades of Marvel comics, which frequently upend Wakanda’s historic inviolability in the name of giving individual Black Panther stories sufficient emotional stakes. Thus an African nation that was never colonized historically becomes, over the long run of Marvel stories, the site of repeated meta-imperial11 incursion, from the U.S., from alien invaders, from supervillains like Dr. Doom, from the Atlantean king Namor the Sub-Mariner… As Ta-Nehisi Coates notes in an interview with the science fiction news website io9, part of his task when he took over Black Panther in 2016 was precisely to reestablish Wakanda as the undefeatable global superpower it was always intended as, but never quite was allowed to be.

[…]

We see a similar contradiction in the depiction of Wakandan trade, which has the effect of eroding and destroying Wakandan traditions through Western influence even as Wakanda is ostensibly the more powerful trading partner in this equation—replicating the colonial narrative but with an ahistorical logic that takes the superiority of Western values as axiomatic (and totally untied to the West’s brutal practices of invasion and domination). Already by the 1970s, Black Panther is unsure whether he has done the right thing in entering foreign markets at all, wondering if the reforms he and his father have instituted in opening Wakanda to the world have actually doomed the country—as are many of his countrymen. It is relatively late in the game that Marvel writers even begin to interrogate the techno-progressivist, secular assumptions behind the foundation of the Wakanda story: that a monarch would actually strip-mine a “sacred” site, the Mound, instrumentalizing its special properties for technological gadgetry and even selling parts of it to the West in the name of economic development, all without any cultural struggle or resistance from the population—much less the nearly magical faith that doing so would make things in Wakanda better rather than worse.

Indeed, by the “Doomwar” storyline of the 2010s, the presence of the vibranium within Wakanda has proved to be such a “resource curse” that the heroic resolution of the story sees T’Challa activate a process he has invented that renders all the vibranium in the world (both inside and outside Wakanda) inert, in order to protect it both from foreign invaders like Dr. Doom but also to break the country’s cruel-optimistic dependence on the resource.

[…]

Here, as always, we see the fundamental tension in Wakanda as both/and/neither/nor, as it has been reproduced again and again across its fictional history: an Afrofuturist vision of African superiority that nonetheless must always be disciplined by final subordination to the West…

So, look back at that Infinity War trailer. Based on my study of fifty years of Black Panther stories for my chapter, I’m feeling very confident that white supremacy will reassert itself here again precisely as it always does in Wakanda stories; we’ll never get to see Wakanda become the global hegemon it by all rights ought to be because it’s going to get catastrophically smashed up beyond all recognition before it gets the chance. Count on it.

First Day of School Links!

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* Some late but very nice press for my Octavia Butler book: I was on an episode of the nationally syndicated radio show Viewpoints Radio this week, and the book had a lovely review in LARB!

CFP: Artificial Life: Debating Medical Modernity (April 19-21, UC Riverside).

* $75 million dollars to philosophy at Johns Hopkins.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

12 People Face Misdemeanor Charges for Giving Food to The Homeless in El Cajon.

A girl-power moment for Medieval Times, where a woman has the lead for the first time. I have wanted to take my kids to Medieval Times ever since listening to the Doughboys episode about it a few months ago.

* Like the story about the sexual assaults of the US gymnastics team, there is something about Eliza Dushku’s story of being abused as a child by adults who were trusted with her care that is just so heartbreaking.

* Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney is facing a $100,000 for violating her NDA with USA Gymnastics.

A list of the teen-sex movies that I grew up on in the late 1970s/ 1980s. Keep in mind: Every one of these was considered a *comedy.*

‘Every day I am crushed’: the stateless man held without trial by Australia for eight years.

* ICE Keeps Raiding Hospitals and Mistreating Disabled Children. Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws. DHS and DOJ Want to Arrest Mayors of Sanctuary Cities.

How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic. America’s emergency notification systems were first built for war, and then rebuilt for peace. A false alarm in Hawaii shows that they didn’t anticipate how media works in the smartphone era. These are fascinating but I still have every confidence that the explanation we have been given for this event is bullshit and that the truth will come out in a decade or so. Pandemonium and Rage in Hawaii.

* “Wisconsin school apologizes for slavery homework assignment.”

* Foxconn boondoggle nearing $4.5 billion.

* “Almost 35 years ago, she let a stranger hold her newborn. It has haunted her ever since.”

Activists charged with Confederate statue toppling no longer face felonies.

Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland.

The True History of Luke Skywalker’s Monastic Retreat.

Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea.

How the Female Stars of The Breakfast ClubFought to Remove a Sexist Scene, and Won.

* Tired of winning. So tired.

* And of course you had me at “Gorgeous Images of the Planet Jupiter.”

Monday Morning Links!

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* Noah Berlatsky isn’t done talking about the Oankali.

Is Tony Stark the Real Villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming? I think Marvel owes China Miéville a writing credits.

The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise.

* Medievalism and white supremacy.

* Ban noncompetes.

By June 2011, only 49 of the 3,000 long-term seats had been sold. By December, the school said that they were $113 million short of their goal. Kansas tried a similar long-term seat plan and they abandoned it after it failed spectacularly. Cal tried to pivot away from the seat selling plan by 2013, but by that point, a gaping budget shortfall was staring them in the face, and that was just from paying off the debt. The Bears now owe at least $18 million per year in interest-only payments on the stadium debt, and that number will balloon to at least$26 million per year in 2032 when Berkeley starts paying off the principal stadium cost. Payments will increase until they peak at $37 million per year in 2039, then subside again in 2051 before Berkeley will owe $81 million in 2053. After that, the school is on the hook for $75 million more and will have six decades to pay it off. The stadium might not get paid off until 2113, by which time, who knows, an earthquake could send the stadium back into the earth or football as we know it might be dead.

* Easily one of the worst academic job ads I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.

* Teens Discover The Boston Garden Has Ignored Law For Decades, May Owe State Millions.

Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill. The Cruz amendment. One vote away.

* Team Trump Excuses for the Don Jr. Meeting Go From Bad to Worse. The Bob Mueller century. Was it a setup? Everything old is new again.

* Trump’s wall vs. the drug trebuchet.

After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Asylum in Canada. Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by the Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation. Trump administration weighs expanding the expedited deportation powers of DHS. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency.

* US approves oil drilling in Alaska waters, prompting fears for marine life.

* President Trump’s Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day.

* FBI spent decades searching for mobster wanted in cop killing. Then they found his secret room.

* When Is Speech Violence?

* When the White House doxxes its critics. And a novel counterstrategy.

* Rest in peace, George Romero, and no jokes.

All 192 characters who’ve died on “Game of Thrones,” in alphabetical order. Interesting interview with Martin on the process of adaptation.

* A New Yorker profile of Dr. Seuss from 1960.

* Like Star Wars, but too much.

* Linguistic drift and Facebook bots.

* Where are they? They’re aestivating.

* We’re still not sure if it’s legal to laugh at Jeff Sessions.

* Alaska Cops Defend Their ‘Right’ to Sexual Contact With Sex Workers Before Arresting Them.

* Dialetics of universal basic income.

* Juking the stats, Nielsens edition.

* Cheek by jowl with nanotechnology is science fiction’s notion of cyberspace as an abstract space, a giant planetary storehouse for information. (The idea comes from William Gibson’s 1984 novel, Neuromancer.) Is it possible that some part of the Web might become so complicated that it comes to life? Might it be hostile to us? Suppose it’s clever enough to take over machines and build Terminator-like creatures to do us battle? Personally I don’t think that’s very likely, but I do think the problem of the 21st century is going to be the problem of misinformation. And we’d better solve it by the 22nd century, or we will have another reason not to entertain much hope for cities—or, indeed, any kind of civilization a millennium hence. Samuel Delany, 1999.

* Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures.

* What Is Your Mother’s Maiden Name? A Feminist History of Online Security Questions.

* I’d listen to every episode: Welcome to My Podcast, In Which I Do a Feminist Analysis of Thundercats and Sob Quietly.

* Kids and trampolines.

* Might as well go ahead and put this on our nation’s tombstone: America’s Lust for Bacon Is Pushing Pork Belly Prices to Records.

* Imagine being so toxic that even a brand doesn’t feel like it has to pretend to like you.

* And Jodie Whittaker Is Doctor Who‘s Next Doctor, meaning this CFP for a special issue of SFFTV is all the more relevant! Don’t be the last to submit your 9000-word exegesis of the one-minute teaser trailer…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Fall Break Links!

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* CFP: The Fourth Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, June 2017. CFP: The Marxist Reading Group 2017.

* Tolkien news! Beren and Lúthien coming in 2017. Elsewhere in things from my childhood that I’ll almost certainly repurchase: Inside the new D&D Monster Manual.

* “Whoa,” said the gangster/minotaur, awed at how close he’d just come to losing his forearm. He was beginning to understand that this wasn’t the relatively straightforward world of street-level dope dealing anymore; this was Dungeons and Dragons.

* I’m glad somebody finally paged KSR: “Why Elon Musk’s Mars Vision Needs ‘Some Real Imagination.'”

* Forget Mars. Here’s Where We Should Build Our First Off-World Colonies.

“People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they’re too stupid and they’ve already taken over the world.” This is how computer scientist Pedro Domingos sums up the issue in his 2015 book The Master Algorithm. Even the many researchers who reject the prospect of a ‘technological singularity’ — saying the field is too young — support the introduction of relatively untested AI systems into social institutions.

* TFW you cut down a 600-year-old tree.

* On translating Harry Potter. Harry Potter by the Numbers. And did you know Harry Potter was nearly a major cultural phenomenon?

* On The Strange Career of Steve Ditko.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* Mistake on a Lake: In Michigan, privatization and free-market governance has left 100,000 people without water.

* One teaching artist sees it differently. “There will always be bad artists with a lot of money who want to go to art school,” she said. On the Future of the MFA.

* The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job.

2016_1018b_2* The Secret History of Leftist Board Games.

* There’s More to Life Than Being Happy: On Viktor Frankl and Man’s Search for Meaning. Relatedly: The World’s Happiest Man Wishes You Wouldn’t Call Him That.

Degree programs in French, geology, German, philosophy and women’s studies are suspended, effectively immediately. Eight additional majors within existing departments, six teaching programs and four graduate programs have been shut down. The university is planning a teach-out program for currently enrolled students. Tenured faculty members in affected programs will be reassigned to different departments. The future of the campus’s nursing, dental education and medical imaging programs is still under discussion. Degree programs in environmental geology and environmental policy were cut previously, in July.

* Advice for how to use Twitter as an academic. Of course, as everyone knows, the only winning move is not to play.

* From David M. Perry: “My non-verbal son communicates through ‘Hamilton.'”

* From Adam Kotsko: From his rebellious debut to modern day, the devil has always been a political figure.

* Dylan, Christ, and Slow Train Coming. Teaching the controversy: Kurt Vonnegut in 1991: “Bob Dylan Is the Worst Poet Alive.” Imperialism-in-Artistry: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Win Is Proof Adichie Is Right about Beyonce. Local Boy Makes Good. But not too good: The Nobel Prize Committee Have Given Up on Trying to Get in Touch with Bob Dylan.

* Game of Thrones is even whiter than you think.

* The self-driving car, Baudrillard, and America.

* On the history of fantasy scholarship.

* Free speech and the kids.

* David Letterman and his beard.

* My friend Sam.

* The LSAT and class struggle.

* Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks. ‘What Kind of Mother Is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?’ No, There Are No Ninth Month Abortions.

The notion that American literature might have an imperial bent—that it might be anything other than a string of lightly co-influential works of “imaginative power,” and might itself reflect our national desire to dominate—is lost on its critics, both right and left.

* America dreams of rivers.

* Another gerrymandering primer. I’m inclined to make a joke about Obama’s proceduralism even ruining his post-presidency but this really is a major issue worth throwing his weight against.

* Texas?

In The Hollow: The changing face of Appalachia—and its role in the presidential race.

Derek Black, 27, was following in his father’s footsteps as a white nationalist leader until he began to question the movement’s ideology.

* The Anthropocene and Empire.

* How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings.

* Atlas Obscura: The Land of Make Believe.

* A People’s History of John Stewart, Green Lantern.

Fear of a Feminist Future.

* And then there’s this one: Earlier this October, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, London paid its rent to the Queen. The ceremony proceeded much as it had for the past eight centuries. The city handed over a knife, an axe, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails to Barbara Janet Fontaine, the Queen’s Remembrancer, the oldest judicial position in England. The job was created in the 12th century to keep track of all that was owed to the crown.

* Breastfeeding as captivity narrative.

* The Fear of Having a Son.

* Joss supports Spuffy.

* I’ll allow it, but know that you’re all on very thin ice.

By 2050, it’s likely that plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the oceans’ fish. Some reports predict 850-950 million tons of plastic (the equivalent in weight of 4.5 million blue whales).

* Thank god the Mac version isn’t ready yet: Civ VI is out.

* A dark, grittier Captain Planet: Leonardo DiCaprio wants to make a Captain Planet movie.

* Hungerford makes Infinite Jest represent how commercial publishers and their enablers in the mainstream media engineer a novel into a canonizable success. The market is corrupt, she says. But is it any more corrupt or distasteful than the publication and marketing of her university press book? “Post 45” is a scholarly association; Hungerford is one of nine Board members. Two other Board members are the series editors for the “Post 45” imprint. The “Advance Praise” for Making Literature Now includes effusive comments by two people whom Hungerford praises in the book, a blurb by a former colleague at Yale, and other comments so hyperbolic that they appear to have been written under the influence of laughing gas. Hungerford put out a misleading trailer for the book in the Chronicle, excising the misogyny charge that’s essential in her closing chapter, perhaps because she feared anyone who had read Infinite Jest would see through that charge and not order Making Literature Now. Her title is grandiose because her data is extremely limited. Rather than the survey that the title implies, Making Literature Now is literary tourism combined with two takedowns.

* Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference.

* Student writing in the digital age.

* Live long and trick or treat.

* I’m telling you, the simulation is crashing.

* And ours is truly a fallen world.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic, But the Other Way

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An awakening anatomy of the average life’s two years of boredom, 6 months of watching commercials, 67 days of heartbreak, and 14 minutes of pure joy. 14 minutes of joy seems low even for a single day. What are you people doing with yourselves?

* The Voyager records, as art.

* I’m With™ Clinton’s ‘Innovation Agenda’ for Higher Ed.

* Republicans seem pretty obviously right about this one. I don’t see how there’s any case for its propriety, but here’s a try.

The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes.

Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults.

* For 20 years, the center has blocked off female-only hours to accommodate the area’s large Hasidic population. The pool has no male-only hours, and some Hasidic men swim during the hours that are open to all genders. An anonymous complaint was lodged recently with the city’s Human Rights Commission, which sent a notice to the parks department this spring saying that the policy might violate a city law barring gender discrimination in public accommodations.

Using the budget usually reserved for the committee, they created a program called Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes, or DUDES.

He said he’s glad colleges have found the research useful, but he is cautious about the institutions that are taking it as an absolute. Mr. Sue said his goal had always been to educate people, not punish or shame them, if they engage in microaggressions.

* Boris Johnson and the Cuckoo Nest Plot. Now even Gove says he won’t Brexit before the end of the year. Sanders and Corbyn: The Survivors. Brexit Might Never Happen. Brexit: a disaster decades in the making. So you want to con a country. Based on a close reading of Frank Bruni’s Brexit commentary, “A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love” (reproduced below the question), please describe the bearing of the New York Times op-ed staff on the collapse of serious political argument in American establishment institutions in the early 21st century.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front. Bonus Tolkien! How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book.

A wizard has roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf.

* Westeros Is Poorly Designed. A Followup: It’s Okay That Westeros Is Poorly Designed. Some more nerdery on the subject.

When asked how fast the ships in Babylon 5 travel, creator J. Michael Straczynski replied that they travel “at the speed of plot.”

How big is Westeros? “Plot-sized.” How many people live there? “Plot thousand.” How do they make their living? “Tilling the plot.”

Game of Thrones season 6 was good TV that shows why the series will never be great.

Why did the Stars Wars and Star Trek worlds turn out so differently? Please Stop Marrying Fictional Characters to People They Met as Children, It’s Creepy. I started thinking absently about Steve Rogers’ jogging route during my run today and then i couldn’t STOP thinking about it because there’s literally NO WAY it makes sense unless you accept that he is specifically fucking up his entire morning routine to get another look at the cute boy he clocked on his run.

* How to Get Tenure. Counterpoint: You Probably Won’t Get Tenure.

* How to Give a Conference Paper.

* Elsewhere on the academic beat: Study Finds First-Year Students Who Take 15 Credits Succeed. Why Can’t My New Employees Write? The New McCarthyism. Right-Wing Elites Love Your Abigail Fisher Hot Take.

* Rationalia has already garnered some powerful enemies.

* Amazing, awful: Author Gay Talese disavows his latest book amid credibility questions.

Unprecedented’: Scientists declare ‘global climate emergency’ after jet stream crosses equator. The Window for Avoiding a Dangerous Climate Change Has Closed. The Day After Tomorrow Happened 30,000 Years Ago. Geoengineering at the CIA.

Physicists just confirmed a pear-shaped nucleus, and it could ruin time travel forever. Not if I undiscover it yesterday!

* America is lying about its involvement in Africa: AFRICOM’s reports simply don’t add up.

* Secret History of the AOL Disc Campaign.

* More from the twilight of the law schools.

* “This is the single greatest panel ever published in a Transformers comic.”

* Trumpocalypse watch! Another boondoggle. And another. And another. And another. This one is probably the best yet. 4 Ways Cleveland’s Colleges Are Bracing for the Republican Convention. Who will win the presidency? Why not play along at home! And if you want a vision of the future: imagine Trump’s vice-presidential candidates stomping on a human face, forever.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* CFP: 21st Century Englishes Graduate Student Conference. CFP: Premodern Ecologies. CFP: 41st Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies, “Harbors and Islands: Explorations of Utopia, Past and Present.” CFP: To the Ends of the Earth.

* TGIF: These Are the Most Serious Catastrophic Threats Faced by Humanity.

Toward a New Theory of the Bad Dad and Husband. Next time, Slate, say it to my face!

* I’m adding Professor of Future Crimes to my supervillain flourish, right after “Master of Magnetism.”

* Meanwhile, in crimes against the future: Evidence points to widespread loss of ocean oxygen by 2030s. That’s bad.

Mother driving down Milwaukee highway is shot dead by two-year-old son in backseat.
Wisconsin Ranks 48th In Nation In Arts Spending.

* Octavia Butler and Beyoncé.

Nintendo’s next console is coming March 2017, and Zelda along with it.

Socialism and Fantasy: China Miéville’s Fables of Race and Class.

Last Year’s Hugo Award Drama Is Not Going Away Any Time Soon.

Imre Szeman: From Petrocultures to Other Cultures.

Mind F*ck Alert: Plants May Have Memories.

* Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Oh My God You’re Terrible: Hastert becomes the single most powerful member of the House. He uses that power to earmark money for a project that vastly increases the value of land he secretly owns. This gives him the millions he will need to buy silence from some he sexually abused as a youth, thus enabling him to stay in power for years.

How To Cheat For 20 Years In The NCAA And (Almost) Get Away With It. Who’s Going to Be Punished for the Worst Academic Scandal Anyone Can Remember?

In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards.

* On being undocumented at Marquette.

* There comes Hamilton: The Movie.

Words are the Weapons, the Weapons Must Go: The Cuban Revolution and the American Left.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi on investigatory leave due to ‘serious questions.’

* Bioviva press release announces Bioviva is great: Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of Bioviva USA Inc. has become the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, after her own company’s experimental therapies reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening.

* “When debating women’s “frailty” was worthy of a ticketed event in the gym: 1929 flyer for MU/ Harvard debate.”

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

* The war on elephants.

How Medicaid forces families like mine to stay poor.

Over 9,000 Years Later, Kennewick Man Will Be Given a Native American Burial.

The First Neoliberals.

LEGO Imperial Star Destroyer: the ISD Tyrant.

Grant Morrison’s Superman Stories: A Reconfigured Reading Order.

Mother’s Day gets the mother of all critical maulings.

When Your Dream Project Is A Financial Failure: Disney’s Treasure Planet.

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Thursday Morning Links!

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voxdotcom_2015-Mar-11* Report: Only 20 Minutes Until Introverted Man Gets To Leave Party.

* Silicon Valley’s “Thunder Lizards” Want to “Hack” America’s Broken Universities. But are they vultures instead?

* Momentum is building to establish a new geological epoch that recognizes humanity’s impact on the planet. But there is fierce debate behind the scenes.

* Wheeeee! Some top Democrats are alarmed about Clinton’s readiness for a campaign.

* A police shooting in Madison, WI, highlighted the city’s alarming racial disparities.

* Twitter Just Banned Revenge Porn and Doxxing. Good, but, uh — they weren’t already banned?

* The situation at UC Irvine just seems totally surreal to me. ROTC standing guard over the flag? Really?

* MORE FLAGS.

* From the archives: U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths.

* Moral panic watch: The bill does, however, make the school liable to any cisgender (nontrans) student who “encounters a person not of the student’s biological sex” in a bathroom, locker room, or shower. Every student who successfully proves the school violated this would-be law “shall be awarded … exemplary damages in the amount of $2,000.” That sum does not include the “actual damages,” which the bill notes includes “damages for mental anguish even if an injury other than mental anguish is not shown.”

* When Tim Morton met Björk.

* Gasp! Welfare drug tests fail to save expected cash.

* The “Blurred Lines” Verdict Is Bad News, Even If You Hate Robin Thicke.

* Video games and breast physics. Potentially NSFW link at Kotaku.

* The headline reads, “Mount Everest’s Poop Situation Is About To Go From Bad To Worse.”

* Vince Gilligan says to quit throwing pizzas on the roof of the Breaking Bad house. You’ve changed, man.

* Unemployment up in all Wisconsin counties, major cities. Chachi shrugged.

* Meanwhile, this exists: Charles in Charge: The Novelization.

* NCAA nearly topped $1 billion in revenue in 2014. Nice work if you can get someone to do it for you without wages.

* Seeking a friend for the end of the world.

* What every state is best at. Take that Vermont, though “longest cat lifespans” remains tantalizingly out of reach…

* And in a world without heroes, there was… Mystery Man Suspected Of Pooping On At Least 19 Cars In Ohio.

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