Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘irony

End of February Mega-Links!

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* I had a little deleted scene on a recent episode of The Gribcast, cut out from the earlier episode I was on where I talked about Parable of the Talents.

* The Cambridge History of Science Fiction made Locus’s Recommended Reading List for 2019. Thanks to all who voted!

* Behold! SFRA Review 50.1!

* CFP: SFRA 2020: Forms of Fabulation. CFP: PopMeC. CFP: Transnational Equivalences and Inequalities. CFP: 20/20 Vision: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada. CFP: Teaching About Capitalism, War, and Empire. CFP: “The Infrastructure of Emergency.” CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures. CFP: OEB Third Biennial Conference September 11-13, 2020. CFP: ‘Walls and Barriers: Science Fiction in the age of Brexit.’ CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 10th Anniversary Conference (CRSF 2020). CFP: The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities. CFP: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction. CFP: Write about Bojack Horseman for @AtPost45!

Three Californias, Infinite Futures.

Utopias are like blueprints and novels are like soap operas. What kind of art comes out of that? Sometimes I’ve experienced this as intensely stressful. In the domestic realist tradition of the English novel, what you value is, This is what real life is like. Like Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet—in theory I would aspire to write a novel like that. Yet here I am trying these utopian efforts time after time. So at a certain point along the way I got over it and just regarded it as a literary problem and an opportunity. My books are unusual, but so what? That’s a nice thing to be.

* A Sci-Fi Author’s Boldest Vision of Climate Change: Surviving It.

The New Generation of Self-Created Utopias.

* This is relatable content: Did Tolkien Write The Lord of the Rings Because He Was Avoiding His Academic Work?

* Watch a Haunting Teaser for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Adaptation of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men.

Empathy in John Ira Jennings and Damian Duffy’s “Parable of the Sower.”

The Shell Game: From “Get Out” to “Parasite.” Reading Colonialism in “Parasite.” Subtitles Can’t Capture the Full Class Critique in ‘Parasite.’

* All eyes on the Johns Hopkins dashboard. Amid coronavirus scare, US colleges cancel study abroad programs. Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics.

* Bernie and #MUnion. Bernie Sanders’s Multiracial, Working-Class Base Was On Display In Iowa. How Bernie’s Iowa Campaign Organized Immigrant Workers at the Factory Gates. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wows Iowa, Probably Not for the Last Time. The Delegate Math Now Favors Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders leads Donald Trump in polls, even when you remind people he’s a socialist. Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys — but it could be a mirage. The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition. An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter. The Millennial/Gen-Z Strategy. Bernie Sanders and the climate.

* Wisconsin, Swing State. How Milwaukee Could Decide the Next President.

Heard but Not Seen: Black music in white spaces.

* It worked for me!

* Joanna Russ, The Science Fiction Writer Who Said No.

* What Happened to Science Fiction? Something is broken in our science fiction.

Exploring some of the key tenets of neoliberal American culture, this article examines the historical forces behind the meteoric rise of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) children’s books in the 1980s.

* The Tulsa Massacre will now be part of the Oklahoma standard curriculum.

The Transformation of Adam Johnson. A shooting happened in his classroom. Could his expertise help him make sense of it?

* Striking UC Santa Cruz Graduate Students Hold Picket Lines After Police Arrest 17. UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage. UC Santa Cruz Strikers to Lose TA Jobs. The UCSC Strike Is Working. The UC Santa Cruz Wildcat Strike and the Shape of What’s To Come.

Off-The-Record Advice for Graduate Students.

Serfs of Academe.

* The Job Market Is Killing Me.

* NFM: Ensuring that Adjunct Faculty Have Access to Unemployment Insurance.

* I volunteer to consult.

* The part I was born to play!

* Today, upon request of the division chair, I’m giving a short, data-based presentation to the faculty in the Humanities division meeting. The subject is career prospects for our majors. Here are the key points…

* Pedagogy corner: Against Cop Shit.

* The father of a former student at Sarah Lawrence College –accused of manipulating her school friends, extorting nearly $1 million from them, and profiting from their work as prostitutes – was charged with sex trafficking, forced labor and extortion, in a federal indictment released today.

How the central administration has consolidated power and deflected dissent at the University of Chicago.

Their findings suggest college closings won’t be as frequent as some soothsayers have predicted. No more than one out of 10 of the country’s colleges and universities face “substantial market risk,” and closings are likely to affect “relatively few students.” Six in 10 institutions face little to no risk.

* In graduate school I wrote a paper on Heaven’s Gate and it remains one of the most upsetting thing I’ve ever worked on. Haunted by Cybersects.

* Obsessing over the environmental impacts of food gone unconsumed eclipses more interesting questions we might ask of food production that don’t take for granted the ecological devastation seemingly inherent to contemporary U.S. agriculture. Wasting less food in a shitty food system won’t make that system any less shitty, and yet rarely does that realization rear its head. Like the out-of-fashion concept of food miles that launched a locavore movement, taking stock of food waste’s supposed environmental impacts appears to be more rhetorically useful than it is a reliable reflection of where and how those harms come about and who is culpable for them.

* Can we have prosperity without growth? The toxic legacy of old oil wells: California’s multibillion-dollar problem. Florida Climate Outlook 2020. Climate emergency declared in Barcelona. ‘Splatometer’ Study Finds Huge Insect Die-Off. Measuring the Carbon-Dioxide Cost of Last Year’s Worldwide Wildfires. Greta and Anti-Greta. These photo of a Bengal Tiger is composed of only 2500 pixels. That’s the number of Bengal Tigers that are still alive. Never tell me the odds!

The Tragedy of the Worker: Towards the Proletarocene.

After Carbon Democracy.

* Actually existing media bias.

* Among the Post-Liberals.

* British Photographer Remodels World Famous Architecture Using Paper Cutouts and Forced Perspective.

* The search for new words to make us care about the climate crisis.

The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America. How $98 trillion of household wealth in America is distributed: “It’s very depressing.”

* Is there any scam like health insurance? Just so many angles.

* Adrienne Miller’s memoir of her relationship with David Foster Wallace is part of an emerging genre of women coming of age via an older, powerful man. This one actually lets DFW off easy.

Designed as a bucolic working-class suburb of St. Louis, the nearly all-black town of Centreville now floods with raw sewage every time it rains. “Bring us back some help,” residents say, living through an environmental horror that evokes centuries of official disinterest in black suffering, as well as a future in which the poor are left to suffer in areas made uninhabitable by climate change.

* In contrast, the judge has exhibited antipathy for Donziger, according to his former lawyer, John Keker, who saw the case as a “Dickensian farce,” in which “Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush defendants and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker withdrew from the case in 2013 after noting that “Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that the court will use it to hurt Donziger.”

* Truly, depravity in everything.

Hmong Leaders Say Reported Trump Deportation Plans Would Put People At Risk. Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities. How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family. The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases. Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE.  Federal Judge Reverses Conviction of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic.” How Stephen Miller Manipulates Trump.

What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World.

* Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times.

* #MeToo and the Post-Traumatic Novel.

* Mr. Peanut Devouring His Son.

End the GOP.

* The 53-State Solution.

Michael Bloomberg’s Polite Authoritarianism. When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out. The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I’ve worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook… Bloomberg and Trump: alike in dignity and almost everything else.

* Big yikes.

Kasy we’re counting on ya.

* Toba catastrophe watch: Stone Tools Suggest Supervolcano Eruption Didn’t Decimate Humanity 74,000 Years Ago.

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President. Target’s Delivery App Workers Describe a Culture of Retaliation and Fear. Donald Trump ads will take over YouTube for Election Day. How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk. ‘Every Single Person Is Losing Money’: Shipt Is the Latest Gig Platform to Screw Its Workers. Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell. The Future of Housing May Be $2,000 Dorm Rooms for Grownups. Here Are the Most Common Airbnb Scams Worldwide. Uber and Lyft generate 70 percent more pollution than trips they displace: study. Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph. Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists. Draining the Risk Pool: Insurance companies are using new surveillance tech to discipline customers. Health Records Company Pushed Opioids to Doctors in Secret Deal. Pornhub doesn’t care.

* But it’s not all bad news: Kickstarter has unionized.

* Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet.

* Canada is fake.

* you: trauma me, an intellectual:

Artificial Wombs Aren’t a Sci-Fi Horror Story.

* It’s always amazing when something like the “woman tax” moves from ludicrous, laughable nonsense to explicit policy instantaneously.

Founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods transfers business to employees.

* ‘The Scream’ Is Fading. New Research Reveals Why.

* Twilight of GameStop.

* Dungeons & Dragons & Therapy.

* Animal Crossing and Needing Therapy.

* Universe Sandbox.

* A brief history of orcs in video games. A history of farts in video games. He gave us so many lives, but he had only one.

* Behind the scenes at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Rise of the blur.

The best $500 I ever spent: My autism diagnosis.

How libel law is being turned against MeToo accusers.

How The Good Place taught moral philosophy to its characters — and its creators.

The Quest for the Best Amusement Park Is Ever-Changing and Never-Ending.

* Next year, in Jerusalem: Star Wars Will ‘Absolutely’ Have a Future Film Directed by a Woman, Kathleen Kennedy Says.

* He Was ‘Star Wars’ ‘ Secret Weapon, So Why Was He Forgotten?

* Here comes Star Wars: The High Republic.

Disney Didn’t Just Buy ‘Hamilton’ for $75 Million; It Bought a Potential Franchise.

* Could it be that capitalism is… bad?

* Free speech and eating meat.

* Science corner! People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia. Exploding the “Separated-at-Birth” Twin Study Myth. How Lifesaving Organs For Transplant Go Missing In Transit. The Hope And Hype Of Diabetic Alert Dogs. Most BMW drivers are jerks, according to science. Here are a couple of ways of starting a fire in the wilderness using found materials.

* The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist.

Crypto Ponzi scheme took Major League Baseball players and their families for millions.

* Of course you had me at “literary Ponzi scheme.”

* Basketball in North Korea is absolute chaos.

* A whatchamacallit by any other name.

* Map of Europe: Agario Style.

How to Make Billions in E-Sports. ‘Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it’: Adderall presents esports with an enigma.

* @ me next time

* The arc of history is long, but…

* And The French Dispatch has a trailer for me to get very nervous about. Wes Anderson, I’m begging you to get a new gimmick.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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I’ve pointed out before that even as academic institutions are more and more distrusted, professors oddly retain a good deal of public respect. We have it because we’re free: free to say the unpopular thing, free to teach the passionate course, free to study what we think needs studying. To be free means we have to occupy the whole possibility space that waits for our explorations, and take not just our students but our publics along for the ride. We have to keep a trust as well as walk the paths we see before us.

Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activist.

* On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles.

At least 60 institutions have acquired M-16s through the program. Arizona State University holds the most, with 70 in its arsenal, followed by Florida International University and the University of Maryland with 50 M-16s each. Central Florida received its grenade launcher in 2008; Hinds acquired its in 2006.

* In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA director discussed the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.

The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction.

Here’s How Global Warming Is Already Worsening Extreme Deluges In The U.S. Trees Are Dying From ‘No Obvious Cause’ In Rocky Mountains, Report Says. A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change.

* On ISIS: Where Is Obama’s Exit Strategy?

Once again our country is invited to support the “long war” described by key Pentagon officials as lasting as long as 50 to 80 years. It’s probably both unwinnable and unaffordable, but no president and few politicians have the political ability to acknowledge failure and end it.

So they escalate enough to pass it along to their successor. War on an installment plan.

Every American President in the past quarter century has now gone on television during prime time to tell the nation and the world that he has decided to bomb Iraq. Last night was Barack Obama’s turn, and it was a vexing performance.

* What Do We Save When We Save the Internet? We cannot champion Network Neutrality without admitting that the Internet is no Utopia.

* Reddit made over $100,000 off stolen celebrity nudes.

* U2, Apple and rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail. There’s really only one cure.

Update: All Clear. The suspect has been located and the reported weapon has been identified as an umbrella.

A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark.

* The kids are all right: Millennials Are Reading More Books Than You Think They Are. Why Indie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again.

Congressional Hearing Slams Feasibility Of Commercial Asteroid Mining. “The American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space Act.” You dicks.

Everyone Knows Hedge Funds Are a Ripoff.

* Scientists warn of faulty Wisconsin wolf estimates. Learn to count, wolves!

* “Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires.”

* What Is Hope? Alex Trebek Is Bringing Back His Mustache.

* Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia.

Archaeologists Have Made An Incredible Discovery At Stonehenge.

* The Cold War University is back! The Real Story Behind Canada’s Sudden Interest In Arctic Archaeology.

* The Soviets sent stray dogs to conquer space. This is what happened next.

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders.

What Happens to “Holdouts” Who Refuse to Sell Their Homes to Developers?

* Here’s What’s Becoming Of America’s Dead Shopping Malls.

* Wearable tech as triumph for bosses.

* Interview With a Time Traveler.

So, ironically, if we had done absolutely nothing in response to 9/11 aside from hold funerals and shake our heads in disbelief, we would have been no less safe than we are now after two useless wars, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, and a decade of taking off our shoes for domestic flights.

* Another roundup of all the many things that are more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

* And Comedian Joe Mande remembers brands remembering 9/11. Never forget.

A Few for Friday

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* All Your Nightmares Are Real: Massive Mayfly Emergence in Wisconsin.

So, I would like to suggest the following as a starting point: we should highlight the accomplishments of “high-profile” faculty members at our institutions and then show the relatively (or very) modest impact that those accomplishments have had on their compensation; then we should offer, as a point of comparison, the compensation, including bonuses, of largely anonymous administrators whose “accomplishments” will be next to impossible to describe to a general audience. This sort of messaging will do two things at once: it will undercut the notion that faculty are over-paid while simultaneously undercutting the notion that administrators are simply being paid what “the market demands.”

* I would venture to say that back when societies were structured according to religious principles and everyone basically believed in God, a political or business leader who claimed to be a direct channel for God’s will would’ve been regarded as either insane or dangerously disingenuous. Re-label “God’s will” as “the market” or “the politically feasible,” however, and no one bats an eye.

* It’s been a decade since New Orleans’ post-Katrina charter school experiment began. The results have been devastating.

 

* My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3.

In a four part investigation, MPR News details the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Its Death Throes, For-Profit College Chain Spent Over $100,000 A Month On Lobbying.

 

* …the Education Department has confirmed that it has since awarded two more exemptions to Title IX to Christian colleges that want to discriminate against transgender students.

Among the claims that form part of the case against Thomas Docherty is that he sighed and made “ironic” comments when interviewing job candidates.

* Beyoncé Class Is in Session.

* Burger King Is Run by Children.

* Ban College Bands.

California Man Fatally Shoots Allegedly Pregnant Home Invader. Man Shoots Teenaged Neighbor Three Times Over Argument About Lawnmower.

* David Harvey at LSE: The 17 Contradictions of Capitalism.

* The Committee to Save the World: Climate Change and the Santa Fe Institute.

Perhaps, Kabat concludes, the positivity should be economic incentives, that every new threat creates some business opportunity. To illustrate this, he shows a slide of a giant wave crashing down on a man. Then he shows another slide showing the same wave coming down, but this time it forms the shape of a hand shaking the hand of the man.

Oh, okay, so you’re saying we’re doomed.

* Google still doesn’t pay any taxes.

* Dibs on the screenplay: According to a NASA study, the Earth just missed what would have been not a civilization ending but a truly massive global catastrophe in 2012 because of a huge solar storm.

Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.

* An Elegy for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Philip K. Dick’s cult novel ‘Man in the High Castle’ becoming an Amazon TV pilot.

* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Middle-Aged Sadness.

* A Brief Hiss tory of Autocorrect.

* The inventor of the high-five.

* Is it just me, or does 3 1/2 years in prison for stealing a basically irreplaceable Stradivarious actually seem pretty low by American standards?

* Here’s an Obamacare loophole that actually seems like it will significantly impact the viability of the law.

* Republicans want to impeach; Obama wants to be impeached. Gee, what do you think is going to happen?

* And if Republicans are really so stunningly incompetent why does American politics only move rightward? I guess some things will always be a mystery.

Human Irony Content at Dangerously High Levels

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Five-Sentence Review: ‘The Avengers’ as Lesser Whedona

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Of course I deeply enjoyed The Avengers, but my sense is it’ll be up to The Avengers 2: Avengers Reveng’d! to salvage the series from the scrapheap of Lesser Whedona. Could there be any better confirmation of the kneejerk elitist sensibilities of Internet nerddom than to have this film be Joss’s first genuine mainstream success? Though certainly funny and engaging, and on occasion very clever, The Avengers is more or less superheroes completely by-the-numbers, almost entirely lacking in the deconstructive self-awareness that characterizes more artistically ambitious Whedon creations like Buffy, Firefly, and especially Cabin in the Woods and the too-neglected Dollhouse. The film has zero critical purchase on its genre, and precious little Whedonesque irony about itself.

In short, The Avengers is what Buffy would have been, if it were only fight scenes and quips.

Friday!

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* First, the big news: Casey Affleck has admitted I’m Still Here is a hoax. Shock! Terror!

* Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold “competing” rallies on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to restore sanity and keep fear alive respectively. I think this is a good idea and I’m glad they’re doing it, but it’s frustrating to once again see legitimate criticism of Bush equated with totally insane criticism of Obama in the name of “balance” and “moderation.”

* Our long national nightmare is finally over: Karl Rove has surrendered to Christine O’Donnell.

* Science has proved Facebook causes flu and little kids have been mocking us this whole time.

* Understanding the Tea Party, from Glenn Greenwald. A good pullquote: Given all that, I’d really like to hear what it is about Christine O’Donnell, or Sharron Angle, or any of these other candidates that sets them apart from decades of radical right-wing elected officials who came before them?  They seem far more similar to me than different.  When was this idealized era of GOP Adult Reasonableness?

* The first Earth-like planet orbiting another star will be announced in May next year, if the discovery of extrasolar planets continues at its present rate, say researchers Samuel Arbesman from Harvard Medical School in Boston and Gregory Laughlin at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

* The U.S. poverty rate is at its highest level since 1994. Matt Yglesias:

Melissa Boteach, my colleague who focuses on poverty issues, points out that congress has the opportunity to act before things get even worse:

In just two weeks a job-creation engine known as the TANF Emergency Fund will expire, forcing states to begin shutting down successful partnerships with the private sector that have already created nearly a quarter-million jobs for low-income families. Congress must act before September 30 to extend the TANF Emergency Fund for another year and allow this innovative jobs program to continue.

Unfortunately, congress is typically more interested in the tax burden of millionaires than in the welfare of the poor and near-poor.

* Self-absorbed, self-indulged, and self-loathing, the Baby Boom generation at last has the chance to step out of the so-called Greatest Generation’s historical shadow. Boomers may not have the opportunity to save the world, as their predecessors did, but they can still redeem themselves by saving the American economy from the fiscal mess that they, and their fathers and mothers, are leaving behind. Via the latest MetaFilter post on the ongoing Third-Worldization of America.

* Making puppets with Jim Henson. Also via MetaFilter.

* And All-Star Superman will be made into animated movie. I don’t know why it hasn’t been green-lit for the next live-action Superman yet. Jon Hamm could kill it.

Tabdump #4

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* How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.

* George Costanza’s Frogger Record Shattered.

* ‘Scientists say dolphins should be treated as “non-human persons.”‘

* If you missed it, more on the Californication of America from Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Steve Benen.

* In defense of baby selling? You couldn’t write a better parody of free market ideology if you tried.

* Today’s lesson in irony is especially schadenfreudelicious.

* Behold, chess boxing. More here.