Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘kids today

Thursday Doesn’t Even Start Links

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* Free issues of Extrapolation and Science Fiction Film and Television at LUP include the suburbs, the superheroes, utopia, dystopia, Octavia Butler, my piece on the Lorax and apocalypse as children’s entertainment, and more! Sarah Schaefer also reminded me today of the piece I wrote on Hogarth, The World’s End, and China Mieville’s apocalyptic take on Utopia for a recent Haggerty Museum exhibition, so check that out as well…

* Three PhD positions + One Postdoc in Science Fiction & Contemporary Futurisms (CoFutures & Science Fictionality).

* “Speaking of Chip Delany, yesterday on his Facebook page he posted video of this amazing event with Octavia E. Butler. It was held at the Smithsonian in D.C. on November 19, 2004.”

Record 6.6 Million Americans Sought Unemployment Benefits Last Week. Online Unemployment Benefits Systems Are Buckling Under a Wave of Applications. Unemployment benefits for gig and self-employed workers stalled by confusion, delays. The list of those who won’t get a $1,200 stimulus check is growing — and includes some surprising groups. Nearly 60 Percent of U.S. Workers Won’t Be Able to Meet Their Basic Financial Needs Under One-Month Coronavirus Quarantine, Survey Shows. Coronavirus job losses could total 47 million, unemployment rate may hit 32%, Fed estimates. CBO Does Not Assume a V-Shaped Recovery.  It’s time for a massive wartime mobilization to save the economy. A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs. General Electric Workers Walk Off the Job, Demand to Make Ventilators. Whole Foods Employees Are Staging a Nationwide ‘Sick-Out.’ The long reach of insecure gig work in America. There’s Never Been a Better Time for Us to End Private Health Insurance Than Right Now. Our Health Insurance System Was Not Built for a Plague. Imagining a Better Life After the Coronavirus. How a debt jubilee could help the U.S. avert economic depression. Notes towards a general strike.

Why is the US so exceptionally vulnerable to Covid-19?

Why has the American response to COVID-19 been so exceptionally bad? Because American capitalism uses the withholding of care to workers as a growth sector in an otherwise stagnant economy.

* Governors plead for medical equipment from federal stockpile plagued by shortages and confusion.

* In other words: 166,000 people are being put in solitary confinement for the next two weeks.

* This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For. Why We Need Utopian Fiction Now More Than Ever. No, xkcd, I simply refuse to look on the bright side of this. Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In. This almost could have been my list: The Best Books to Last You Through Social Distancing.

* The One with the Coronavirus.

* Thousands of emergency medical technicians in New York City have been enlisted in the fight against the new coronavirus. Granted anonymity, one of them shares the frustrations and fears, the tough decisions, and the devastating realities of a single tour. A crying doctor, patients gasping for air and limited coronavirus tests: A look inside a triage tent in Chicago.

* Ports around the globe are turning cruise ships away en masse amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving thousands of passengers stranded even as some make desperate pleas for help while sickness spreads aboard. The coronavirus may sink the cruise-ship business.

* The sea of blue mats is part of a temporary shelter for the homeless, who will be spaced at least six feet apart.

Army Warned in Early February That Coronavirus Could Kill 150,000 Americans. Covid vs. US Daily Average Cause of Death. Bleak figures from Western Europe may offer a preview of what coronavirus death tallies will look like in the United States. Mortality data suggest that much of the world is undercounting the true toll of covid-19. How Does the Coronavirus Behave Inside a Patient? Outside the box solutions. I know the day we got it.

The Internet Archive Chooses Readers. Divorce, co-parenting, and the coronavirus. What Happens When Both Parents Get COVID-19. A Couple Drove 5,000 KM to Yukon to Escape Coronavirus. Locals Were Furious. Loneliness and coronavirus.

* Ain’t that America?

* College after COVID-19. What’s lost in the rush to online learning. Time to teach teaching the virus. Zoom is malware. The university in a moment of intersecting crises. Cash Flow and Financial Exigency in Post-Pandemic Higher Ed. The show must go on.

Remote learning is turning out to be a burden for parents.

* For victims of domestic violence, stay-at-home orders are a worst-case scenario.

* You think you’re going nuts during quarantine? Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up nose while inventing coronavirus device.

Why Games Have Always Obsessed Over Pandemic Authoritarianism.

* So much of reading journalism critically is finding out where the outlet is saying to its smug readers “ha ha aren’t other people stupid” and then trying to uncover the reason why that’s wrong. This time it’s about the toilet paper.

* Elon Musk, ridiculous clown.

* All the Democrats, ridiculous clowns. But for real. But for real. For real.

* Democrats postpone presidential convention until Aug. 17.

* Seconded.

Free Comrade Britney!

* Did not see that coming: Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions.

That one time Felix Guattari tried to sell a script in Hollywood.

* Nisi Shawl’s crash course in black science fiction.

How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environmental calamity a secret for decades. While you were busy.

Looming Global Condom Shortage Spurs Thai Firm to Ramp Up Output.

America’s political dysfunction is rooted not in ideological polarization, but in the Republican Party’s conviction that it alone should be allowed to govern. They don’t even think we should be allowed to vote, unless of course voting might kill some of us.

* Originalism was bullshit! The whole time! Who could have seen this coming!

* Policing and the English language.

* Great to see my old MFA pal Dan getting the last-name-only treatment for this quarantine-friendly poem: “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale.”

* A thousand r/DaystromInstitute posts are blooming in the wake of the failure of S1 of Picard; I liked this one as a possible alternative character motivation for Admiral Picard.

* Computer, on screen.

* Being Greta Thunberg.

* Even Lab-Grown Meat Won’t Save Us From a ‘Terrible Reckoning.’

* Francis Ford Coppola Is Ready to Make His Dream Sci-Fi Project.

* Nailed it.

* Coming soon to the Switch: Star Wars Episode I: Racer and a whole truckload of Mario games.

* The return of Rick and Morty.

* And Polygon rightly hypes Gloomhaven after the Frosthaven Kickstarter crosses $5M in a single day.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 2, 2020 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Feeling a Little Coronavirusty — Links

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* This Twitter thread on the Imperial College modeling calling for 18 months or more of suppressive action was some of the most bracing reading on coronavirus I’ve seen yet. (This Buzzfeed article has a summary if that’s more your speed.) We are living through a nightmare. We’re not going back to normal. (UDPATE: Here’s a critique of the Imperial College study that got a lot of people spooked, including me, arguing that a few weeks of lockdown plus contact tracing and monitoring *can* prevent reemergence of the outbreak.)

How long will social distancing for coronavirus have to last? Deciphering the pandemic: a guide to understanding the coronavirus numbers. How the US stacks up to other countries in confirmed coronavirus cases. The Single Most Important Lesson From the 1918 Influenza.

* 18% have lost jobs or hours in the last month. You Should Be Absolutely Terrified About the Economy. A Frantic Few Days for Restaurants Is Only the Beginning. Baseball Shutdown Sends Minor Leaguers Into Uncertain Future. The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future. Amazon’s Supply Chain Is Breaking and Small Businesses Are Screwed. There’s no one to pick the fruit. As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread. It Has All Gone to Hell. Coronavirus is an indictment of our way of life. America is a sham. Big Pharma is ready.

* To stop a coronavirus quarantine recession, economists say send everyone cash—now. Romney! Dem Senators! Bernie Sanders Proposal for $2 Trillion Coronavirus Emergency Plan Includes $2,000 Direct Monthly Payments to Every American. He’ll just have to beat the Democrats to do it.

First confirmed patient in R.I. talks about surviving coronavirus. A Frontline Physician Speaks Out on the Coronavirus.

* Evers orders bars, restaurants closed; schools closed indefinitely. Vegas shuts down. Then: Spring breakers pack Florida beach despite coronavirus pandemic. Now: $6 flights to Fort Lauderdale.

New York Is Now the Epicenter of the Coronavirus Crisis in the U.S. New York Will Be The Next Italy, But Doesn’t Have to Be.

* They Went Off the Grid. They Came Back to the Coronavirus.

* COVID-19 and Collective Childcare.

Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918.’ How Trump snapped out of coronavirus delusion mode. The Mar-a-Lago hot zone. Priorities. With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California coronavirus lockdown.

* Some good news: Ventilator Maker: We Can Ramp Up Production Five-Fold. Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses. New cases and deaths in Italy may have reached their plateau.

Isis issues coronavirus travel advice: terrorists should avoid Europe.

Student advocates say coronavirus-related directives to move off campus threaten to reinforce existing inequalities and put disproportionate burdens on low-income and international students, among others. Why not simply make your online courses as human as possible? Coronavirus and the ruptured narrative of campus life.

Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices. Coronavirus Is Changing Podcasting, Fast.

* Now is the time to overreact.

* Even Pee-Wee is spooked.

* …a properly dialectical critique does not criticise the reality of capitalism for failing to live up to its ideals; it criticises the ideals of capitalism for their, more or less hidden, reflection of that reality. What a dialectical critique shows is that better things aren’t possible, if we index possibilities to what appears possible according to the world as it is. But what it also shows is that better things are not only necessary, but real: a better world does not exist in the thwarted ideals of the present, but in the real processes that might abolish that present.

* Planet Plastic: How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environmental calamity a secret for decades. The Mad Men of Climate Denial. Coronavirus Lockdown May Save More Lives By Preventing Pollution Than By Preventing Infection. Welcome to the LEGOpocene.

* Chindogu are inventions that defy concise explanation. They aren’t useful. But they aren’t completely useless either. Their creator, Kenji Kawakami, describes them as “un-useless.” The Ten Tenets of Chindogu.

* The Rise of Impossibly Cute and Wholesome Games.

Joe Biden has now essentially won the Democratic nomination. Ugh.

* Wrestlemania in a time of coronavirus.

* And Friday can’t get here fast enough. Save us, Nintendo!

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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Monday Links!

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* Just came across this card game as part of an editing project I’m working on: The Quiet Year.

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a community living after the collapse of civilization, and attempt to build something good within their quiet year. Every decision and every action is set against a backdrop of dwindling time and rising concern.

The fact is that there is no excess in teaching critical analysis – in an era of increasing political propaganda and weakening democratic bonds it’s estimably necessary. We teach how to critically read culture – including movies, comics, and television – not because we don’t acknowledge the technical greatness of a Shakespeare, but in addition to it. Contrary to Douthat’s stereotypes, there’s not an English professor alive who doesn’t understand Shakespeare’s technical achievements when compared to lesser texts, but we understand that anything made by people is worthy of being studied because it tells us something about people. That is the creed of Terrence when he wrote that “I am human and I let nothing which is human be alien to me” – no doubt Douthat knows the line. Did I mention that he went to Harvard?

How College Became a Commodity.

* Price of admission to Johns Hopkins just went up.

William Gibson: We Are All Science Fiction Writers Now.

* The View from Milwaukee.

* Danger.

Most people think capitalism does more harm than good, survey shows.

* Tech Companies Want to Run Our Cities. A Georgia town welcomed America’s largest coal plant. Now, residents worry it’s contaminating their water. Rich people live longer and have 9 more healthy years than poor people, according to new research. The Economic Origins of Mass Incarceration. Climate change won’t result in a new normal but in constant, horrifying new disasters.

* The Vanishing Executive Assistant: The erosion of jobs that gave women without college degrees a career path happened in dribs and drabs but is as dramatic as the manufacturing decline.

* Virginia Braces for Arrival of Pro-Gun Militias Amid State of Emergency.

* Hunger Striker Nearing Death in ICE Custody: “I Just Want Freedom.”

* A giant kettle of vultures has encrusted a CBP radio tower at the US-Mexico border in feces and vomit.

* The trouble with crime statistics.

* Fractal white nationalism.

There’s a reason why the royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it.

* Yet the politically engaged have also taken to believing that electability is a stable and perhaps even measurable quality innate to the candidates themselves. This belief persists despite the victory, in that election, of a man who was widely considered one of the most unelectable candidates ever to seek the presidency. Now many of the sages who rendered that judgment have reconvened to tell us Donald Trump can only be beaten by someone matching a profile—white, male, moderate—that has not won Democrats the presidency in 24 years.

* If you’re going to listen to the endorsement of a neoliberal with terrible opinions, at least make it Matt Yglesias!

* I’m continually amazed that Hollywood as been so slow to adapt Vaughn’s comics, but Ex Machina is a good one and Oscar Isaacs will give it some real juice. Time to reread!

* Any sufficiently long-running fantasy system (Tolkien, Buffy, most recently Star Wars) eventually considers whether it’s actually ok for the heroes to just exterminate enemy soldiers without feeling bad about it, and then has to find some way to cram that worry back into the box.

All fan theories about TNG must begin from the proposition that Troi does not have either psionic powers or therapeutic training, everyone on the ship is aware of it, and plays along with her delusions for reasons not yet explored in canon.

* News you can use: the forever war between “come” and “cum.”

* Real life horror stories: Symphysiotomy – Ireland’s brutal alternative to caesareans.

Panicking About Your Kids’ Phones? New Research Says Don’t.

* I was way ahead of the game on this: Lego sets its sights on a growing market: Stressed-out adults.

* And a new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

Happy Star Wars Eve, One… Last… Time

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Not that anybody has asked, but if I had to come up with a definitive ranking of all the “Star Wars” episodes — leaving out sidebars like the animated “Clone Wars,” the young Han Solo movie and the latest “Mandalorian” Baby Yoda memes — the result could only be a nine-way tie for fourth place. A dismal farewell to the trilogy. Even Solo got a better reception. The Rise of Skywalker—and the Fall of Fun. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is what happens when a franchise gives up. ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Is A Convoluted And Clumsy End To The Star Wars Saga. The Rise of Skywalker Is So Bad It Actually Makes the Trilogy Worse. The Most Incoherent Star Wars Movie Ever Made. watching the rise of skywalker is like telling an acquaintance you ate potato salad once and enjoyed it, and then having that acquaintance break into your home in the middle of the night, tie you to a chair, and mash potato salad into your face and eyes for 2+ hours

* Of course the real content of Episode 9 discourse is The Last Jedi nostalgia.

How ‘Watchmen’s’ misunderstanding of Vietnam undercuts its vision of racism.

* Don’t Hold Your Breath for That Quentin Tarantino Star Trek Movie. “In a strange way, it seems like [‘Hollywood’] would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement,” Tarantino told Consequence of Sound. “I mean to such a degree there was a moment when I was writing and went, ‘Should I do this now? Should I do something else? Is this the 10th one?’ No, no don’t stop the planets from aligning, what are you, Galactus? If the Earth is saying do it, do it…But in a weird way, it actually kind of freed me up. I mean, I have no idea what the story of the next one’s going to be. I don’t even have a clue.” Kill Bill 3 confirmed.

* Netflix and the monoculture.

Click Here to Kill: The dark world of online murder markets.

Living through the era of school shootings, one drill at a time.

* Why did my sweet 5-year-old become so stormy when she started kindergarten? The Miseducation of the American Boy.

* A New (Jesuit) Model for Community Colleges.

You Shouldn’t Have to Be Good at Your Job.

The World The Economist Made.

Why Naomi Klein Has Been Right.

Eco-eugenics demands that the people who are least responsible for environmental degradation “solve” the problem with their lives.

The Oil Age Is Coming to a Close.

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health.

Regardless, the point is obviously not to get out of depression so that we can get back to the work that caused the depression to begin with. The point must be, rather, to destroy the material conditions that make us sick, the capitalist system that destroys people’s lives, the inequalities that kill. Thus, creating another world together. But to do that, to get to where that becomes possible, what is called for is not competition among the sick, but alliances of care that will make people feel less alone and less morally responsible for their illness. In alliance with each other, people might eventually be able to get up and throw some bricks.

The 2010s Killed Off the Polite Climate Change Conversation.

Trump’s Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape. Police officer admits he told homeless man to lick public urinal to avoid arrest.

* How Families Cope with the Hidden Costs of Incarceration for the Holidays.

Devin Nunes lives on a congressman’s salary. How is he funding so many lawsuits?

* Memo: the Senate is an irredeemable institution.

* Insulin prices double since 2012.

* Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver. For an extra $50,000 it’ll kill a poor person every time you turn it on just because.

* 15 major cities around the world that are starting to ban cars.

* Life at Away Luggage.

* America is still innovating.

My Last Day As An Adjunct.

* Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani got jacked as all hell, admits he couldn’t have done it without Marvel’s resources.

An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad.

John Mulaney Made a Kids’ Special. We Sent a 10-Year-Old to Interview Him About It.

* ‘Civilization’ and Strategy Games’ Progress Delusion: How strategy games have held on to one of colonialism’s most toxic narratives, and how they might finally be letting it go.

* And Papa, am I odd?

Monday Monday Links!

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* The EdgeEffects year in review includes my interview with Kim Stanley Robinson from last spring. Check it out if you missed it then!

* Well, the reviews are in! Jaimee’s latest published poem, “The Utopologist’s Wife.”

I have covered sports in New Jersey for a decade, crisscrossing the state for as many incredible stories as I can find. But for all the tales that made their way into my notebook, one stayed elusive, even though it seemed to stand above all the others. The 1990 Montclair-Randolph game.

* Very extremely cool site: The Deep Sea.

Keynes was wrong. Gen Z will have it worse.

* CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations Beyond the Anglocentric Fantastic, 28th-29th May 2020. CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on Archives and Special Collections. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: Hindsight is 20/20: How Popular Culture Writes, Rewrites, and Unwrites History.

Ghosts of the future. What Green Costs. Congressional Democrats’ last, long-shot attempt at climate progress this year. Greenland’s ice losses have septupled and are now in line with its highest sea-level scenario, scientists say. Last Remaining Glaciers in the Pacific Will Soon Melt Away. The Arctic didn’t used to emit carbon. Something like 14% of public housing in this country is at risk from sea level rise. Young people can’t remember how much more wildlife there used to be. Climate change and depression. Irreversible Shift. Even Greta Isn’t Radical Enough. Just ask Goldman Sachs.

* It’s 2071, and We Have Bioengineered Our Own Extinction.

Scientists Are Contemplating a 1,000-Year Space Mission to Save Humanity. Would be nice if someone look at the next 25 years, too.

* U.S. Army Worries Humanity is Biased Against Deadly Cyborg Soldiers Because of Movies Like Terminator.

* How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real.

* San Francisco’s Sci-Fi Renaissance.

* The allure of science fiction.

* Beyond Gender.

* What was one work of speculative fiction—book, game, movie, tv show, whatever—that profoundly imagined a new future during the last decade and that is likely to have a lasting impact?

This Professor Was Accused of Bullying Grad Students. Now He’s Being Banned From Teaching. Followup on ‘I Was Sick to My Stomach’: A Scholar’s Bullying Reputation Goes Under the Microscope.

Harvard Faculty Have a Rare Chance to Act in Solidarity With Striking Student Workers. ‘The Administration Is Assuming That We Are Going to Do Their Dirty Work.’

Grad school is worse for public health than STDs.

No, Humanities Degrees Don’t Mean Low Salaries. The Humanities Must Go on the Offensive.

* These Students Want to Create a Required K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum.

* Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline.

* Against Critical Thinking.

‘Adulting’ is hard. UC Berkeley has a class for that.

* One-book classes have been some of the best I’ve taught. I love it as a model and it works so much better than the cram-it-all-in method I started out using.

* Perhaps the greatest free speech mystery of them all: Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses.

* The Decade Comic Book Nerds Became Our Cultural Overlords. Why do they have to be such sore winners?

* Speaking of Disney there’s a pretty good discussion on this episode of Podcast: The Ride about Disney claiming all cinema in a way I haven’t seen discussed anywhere — literally going back and rebranding Fox properties like Miracle on 34th Street as Disney’s Miracle on 34th Street.

* What’s Up With J.J. Abrams Seemingly Shading The Last Jedi? The Last Jedi didn’t break Star Wars. It Saved It. John Boyega just having an incredible week.

* A People’s History of Lube Man. If HBO makes a second season of ‘Watchmen,’ it should be about Vietnam.

So, when thinking about “Blue Monday” in context of the genre/format New Order basically helped found (i.e., post-punk and modern rock), the sixteenth-note/machine gun trope recalls the fact of lots of bad, imperialist things the U.S. did in the 80s and early 90s. But the whole point of this trailer is to provide audiences with the image or feeling of an American-ness that is actually grounded in something like truth and justice. Setting up a not-at-all-thinly-veiled ersatz Donald Trump as the film’s villain, this trailer gives audiences a scapegoat for the nation’s present and past wrongs: then as now, the problem lies in a really dastardly bad apple, not the system itself. 

* Pete Buttigieg makes his Jacobin debut.

How consulting companies like McKinsey optimized American inequality.

Joe Biden Still Can’t Answer Basic Questions About Hunter and Burisma.

* Self-help gurus all the way down: on Elizabeth Warren.

Why Trump’s path to reelection is totally plausible. On Depoliticization. Et Tu, U.K.? I’m Crying, You’re Crying. But Our Day Will Come. No False Consolations.

Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world.

Trump’s children must undergo mandatory training to learn how to avoid defrauding charities.

* People in the U.S. Are Buying Fish Antibiotics Online and Taking Them Themselves. Congress can’t get its act together on lowering drug prices or eliminating surprise medical bills. Insurance companies aren’t doctors. So why do we keep letting them practice medicine? AOC compares average paid family leave in US to time dogs stay with puppies. And this is a little on the nose.

* You’d think after a story like this the adults involved would simply die of shame.

These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018.

House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You.

* Always money in the banana stand.

These moderators help keep Google and YouTube free of violent extremism — and now some of them have PTSD. TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators. Artificial intelligence will help determine if you get your next job.

Understanding The U.S. Economy: Lots Of Rotten Jobs.

People in Japan are wearing exoskeletons to keep working as they age.

* Stealing the election in plain sight: 234,000 voter registrations get tossed in Wisconsin after Republican lawsuit, overwhelmingly in Milwaukee and Madison. Whatever shall I do with this power?

* You don’t know Bernie.

* Mario Maker is a blessing we never deserved.

Perhaps the best example of how radical and reactionary horror tropes sprout from one another is John Carpenter’s 1988 classic They Live. In the movie, John Nada (Roddy Piper), a virtuous, optimistic, working-class protagonist, discovers that cadaverous aliens are living among us, controlling us with television messages that turn us into obedient, consuming drones. The movie is widely considered a critique of Reagan-era neoliberalism, and it is that. But it’s also a story about the virtues of genocide. A white guy discovers aliens who don’t look like him living in his town, and his first impulse is to murder them. Foreign shape-shifting immigrants, like vampires, are a standard anti-Semitic stand-in for Jews, and They Live can be read as a fascist conspiracy theory, in which brave working Americans finally recognize their racial oppressors, and respond with righteous cleansing violence.

Boots Riley Critiques ‘Joker:’ “These Superhero Movies are Cop Movies.”

* Another trainwreck behind the scenes of American Gods.

* Millennials Are Leaving Religion And Not Coming Back. False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump. The Evangelical Mind.

* Shocking slander of a female reporter in the Richard Jewell movie.

* Second verse same as the first.

* Second verse same as the first but in a good way.

* UNC’s self-inflicted humiliation just gets worse.

Stephen Miller is a white supremacist. I know, I was one too.

* No one could have predicted: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought.

* The age of Instagram face.

* Ectopic Pregnancies Are Not Viable Pregnancies, Period.

* Hardt and Negri: Empire, Twenty Years On.

What we know about you when you click on this article.

* U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.

52 Things Learned in 2019.

I’m Honestly Fed Up With All The Bad News, So I Illustrated 50 Of The Best Ones From 2019.

* You like doing this?

* Focus on a different kid every time you watch.

* And The Atlantic presents The Year in Volcanoes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

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Monday Morning Links That *Will* *Not* *Make* *You* *Sad*

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Caroll Spinney, puppeteer who gave life to Big Bird of ‘Sesame Street,’ dies at 85. My own mini Twitter thread. Meanwhile, in the other universe…

Such was the appeal of Big Bird that NASA asked Mr. Spinney to fly into orbit in costume, to interest young people in space exploration. Mr. Spinney agreed to go, but it was ultimately determined that the space shuttle was too small to accommodate the Big Bird suit. A New Hampshire teacher, Christa McAuliffe, went in his stead and was killed along with the rest of the crew when the Challenger shuttle exploded in 1986.

And from the archives…

* Ali Sperling: On Futurity and Futility: Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

So, what does it mean to fight for a future you know may already be lost? In such a context, questions underlying our relation to futurity become less about whether or not one can maintain hope for a failing planet and its deeply corrupted social and political structures; instead, the novel explores other forms of responses to the problem of the Anthropocene. One could argue that this isn’t a book about any particular future at all; instead, it’s about a present that has already come to pass. For many, there is already no other option but to fight fate, an imperative that suggests the strange paradox that structures both Dead Astronauts and the seemingly impossible political and ecological challenges faced at this moment around the world. The novel suggests that even something broken can be useful: “They had failed in the last City, and the one before that, and the one before that. Sometimes that failure pushed the needle farther. Sometimes that failure changed not a thing. But perhaps one day a certain kind of failure might be enough.”

* CFP: Posthuman Global Symposiums.

* AI Dungeon 2.

* ‘I’m working until I’m 75’: Factory worker describes family’s student debt nightmare.

* The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’: The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.

* Tinder, but for the master race.

* Why US is still bad for working parents.

It’s not thanks to capitalism that we’re living longer, but progressive politics.

* Biden! Biden! Biden! Buttigieg! And my global take on politics, more or less.

* Service, and sacrifice and heritage.

* “Blackness is a superhero origin story.” The Performative Horniness of Dawn of X.

* Counterpoint: every city, town, village, and hamlet in the United States is a universe unto itself.

* Disney warns Episode 9 may have an epilepsy risk.

* And I too just learned about this letter K.A. Applegate wrote to fans about the end of Animorphs, and it is indeed good.