Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Letterman

Thursday Forever

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* Thursday at C21: Christopher Newfield, “The Humanities in the Post-Capitalist University.” Then, this weekend, elsewhere at UWM: After Capitalism.

* I have a short piece on “WALL-E and Utopia,” pulled from the Green Planets intro, up today for In Media Res’s Pixar week. I also owe SF Signal a post that should go up … eventually that’s also in conversation with the Green Planets stuff (though not cribbed quite so directly).

* The humanities and citation.

* White House petition: abolish the capitalist mode of production.

More acutely, when you consider the math that McKibben, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all lay out, you must confront the fact that the climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition. Great piece from Chris Hayes.

* College towns and income inequality.

* But, clearly, if we can afford such a massive increase in professional staff, as well as such an increase in executives whose salaries have been escalating very dramatically, the sharp decrease in the percentage of all instructional faculty who are tenured or on tenure tracks is a matter of a dramatic shift in priorities—in the conception of the university.

* Gasp! At Elite Colleges, Legacy Status May Count More Than Was Previously Thought.

* On the disinvestment/reinvestment cycle. Returns to university endowments 1980-2010. The Soul of Student Debt. Against anonymous student evaluation.

* Vice interviews Matt Taibbi on his new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

* Understanding Wonder Woman, at LARoB.

* When Spider-Man fought misleading sex education.

* Could Mystery Science Theater return?

* The public pension scam.

* How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.

* Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort finance investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveaways.

* Capitalism and Nazism: Now It Can Be Told.

* The school, called Explore + Discover, will be available to children between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. Tuition is $2,791/month for kids who attend five days a week. You can also pay $1,990 for three days a week or $1,399 for two days but don’t you love your child?

In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.

For men, having children is a career advantage. For women, it’s a career killer. University managers believe women themselves are primarily responsible for the gender imbalance in higher education, according to research published today.

There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances.

“Faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.” Reviewers will find more spelling errors in your writing if they think you’re black.

David Foster Wallace Estate Comes Out Against the Jason Segel Biopic. Meanwhile, this insane Lifehacker piece suggests we bracket the whole “suicide” bummer and take David Foster Wallace as our lifecoach.

* Atheist lawsuit claims ‘under God’ in NJ school’s daily pledge recital harms children. I guess I’m just another survivor.

* Wired goes inside Captain Marvel fandom.

* Woman writes about something traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all, her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is getting in the way.

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy? 

* What That Game of Thrones Scene Says About Rape Culture. George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to talk about it.

* Aaron Sorkin Wants To Apologize To Everyone About The Newsroom.

* Does world government have a future?

* Mars or die.

Texas Prisons Are Hot Enough to Kill You.

* #MyNYPD.

* The great Colbert rebranding begins.

Netflix and Mitch Hurwitz Joining Forces Again.

Nichelle Nichols Talks with Janelle Monae.

* Game of the night: solar system simulator Super Planet Crash.

* Joss Whedon’s New Film Isn’t in Theaters, But You Can Watch It Online for $5.

Gabriel García Márquez on Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union, and creating “a government which would make the poor happy.”

* Forrest Gump, as directed by Wes Anderson.

“The only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

* Horrific, tragic story out of Rutgers.

Risk of New York City coastal flooding has surged by factor of 20, says study.

* The latest on the big animal personhood case in New York. Dolphins as alien intelligence.

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued.

* CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation.’ Facial recognition and the end of freedom. The end of net neutrality and the end of the Internet. Late capitalist subjectivity and the sharing economy.

Bullied Kids at Risk for Mental Health Problems 40 Years Later.

* And/but/so the kids are all right.

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April 24, 2014 at 7:00 am

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Saturday Night Links!

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* Chris Ware: The Story of a Penny.

* There’s nothing sweet in life: Daytime Napping Linked to Increased Risk of Death.

* So it’s come to this: the University of California is now arresting striking workers, their leaders and supporters for legally sanctioned labor activity.

* On the gender gap in academia.

* America’s total newsroom workforce dropped 17,000, from 55,000 in 2006 to 38,000 in 2012, according to the Pew Research Journalism Project.

* “D.C.’s homeless children deserve a great play space. Let’s build one.” End homelessness.

* Tasers out of schools, out of everywhere.

The NSA has exploited Heartbleed bug for years, Bloomberg reports. The NSA denies it.

EFF seeks student activists for campus network.

* Great moments in arbitrary government nonsense.

Social Security officials say that if children indirectly received assistance from public dollars paid to a parent, the children’s money can be taken, no matter how long ago any overpayment occurred.

* And then, as always, there’s the LAPD.

* Albuquerque police have ‘pattern’ of excessive, deadly force, report says.

* Blogs to watch: http://carceralfeminism.wordpress.com/

* PETA unable to make cannibal Dahmer’s home a vegan restaurant.

* Science is amazing.

* “May I play devil’s advocate?”

* Go on….

* Special bonus Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal!

* The Second Colbert Decade.

* Muppet mash-ups.

Climate Change Drying Out Southwest Now, With Worse To Come For A Third Of The Planet. Extreme Weather Has Driven A Ten-Fold Increase In Power Outages Over The Last Two Decades. If We Don’t Stop Now, We’ll Surpass 2°C Global Warming.

* Jed Whedon explains why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been so bad all this time.

* Kickstarter of the night: Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction & Fantasy Plays.

* And of course you had me at “Game of Thrones in Space.”

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Lettermania

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Tough show last night for David Letterman.

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October 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm

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Tuesday Night

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Tuesday night.

* I’ve had to remove the Amazon ads from the sidebar due to Amazon Associates now being taxed in North Carolina. I don’t know yet if I’ll bother replacing them with anything—they weren’t bringing in that much money. Direct donations still of course accepted.

* After something of a slow start with too many hi-I’m-reading-because posts, Infinite Summer is finally starting to heat up with good posts today on IJ and the Kenyon Commencement at Infinite Summer and Infinite Zombies.

* Promo for Dollhouse episode 13. Remember how I said Fred was now positioned to be either the show’s new lead or else next season’s Big Bad?

* Did the failed Watchmen adaptation hurt book sales? Occasional Fish has gathered some links suggesting it might have.

* Letterman couldn’t resist some jokes at Palin’s expense last night.

* New B-movie, coming this fall: They Saved Jackson’s Brain!

* Things you may not have known about the late Robert McNamara: he was the one who told the world about the hydrogen bomb buried in the swamp outside Goldsboro, NC. (Via Dave F.)

* The New Organizing Institute is having a mock election running superheroes for DC mayor. Of course I’ll be voting for Superman, but the Green Lantern‘s wholesale ripoff of the Obama aesthetic gives me pause.

* Also in superhero news: You’re a fun-loving, high-maintenance girl that grew up in a New Jersey suburb. You live close enough to New York City to want the clothes and the cosmopolitan lifestyle, but you’re not brave enough to move away from you over protective parents. What’s a girl to do? If you’re Zoe, you marry the first God of War that crash lands in town during a life or death struggle with his evil adversary! But, what happens when even an all-powerful God can’t exactly measure up to your elevated expectations? Jersey Gods.

* ASCII Portal.

‘Anti-Letterman Rally Draws Dozens’

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June 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

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Rise Up, Sheeple!

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Rise up, sheeple! David Letterman must be stopped!

UPDATE: Read The Plank. I disagree with the sentiment expressed in the last section; Bristol, while arguably some level of “public figure” now, only came to national prominence as part of a deeply inappropriate personal attack on her family during the election and I think TV comedians should respect her privacy. But Zengerle’s right about this:

Letterman has said that he wasn’t joking about Palin’s 14-year-old daughter, Willow, but her 18-year-old daughter, Bristol; and, frankly, I believe him. Why? Because the jokes make no sense if they’re not about Bristol. First, Bristol is far and away the most famous of the Palin children; late night comics generally don’t tell jokes about people who are obscure, for the simple reason that their audience won’t get the jokes. Second, Bristol is famous for her sex life, having had an out-of-wedlock child and now, more recently, becoming a spokesperson for teen abstinence–which is why, for better or worse, any joke about her is likely to be one laced with sexual innuendo.

Yes, it’s true (as Hanson emphasizes) that it was Willow, not Bristol, who attended the Yankees game with her mom. But my guess is Letterman was simply confused about which daughter was in attendance. More importantly, I can’t imagine many people watching Letterman even knew which Palin daughter was at the Yankee game (it wasn’t exactly national news), and, therefore, when they heard the joke, they just assumed the unnamed Palin daughter whom Letterman was joking about was Bristol–since Bristol is the Palin daughter who’s not only famous but is famous for the very thing Letterman was joking about.

Indeed, if it weren’t for Palin and Hanson and other conservatives making such a big stink about this, no one would be talking about the”statutory rape of . . . Willow”–as Palin herself did on the “Today Show” this morning. I once wondered how Palin, as a mother, could have accepted McCain’s offer to be his running mate when she knew that, by doing so, she would subject her pregnant teenage daughter to national attention (and, with that attention, criticism and ridicule). But I’m even more baffled by her behavior here. Even if she does think Letterman was making inappropriate jokes about her 14-year-old daughter, how does it help her 14-year-old daughter to continue to fan the flames this controversy and just call more attention to the jokes? If I was a 14-year-old girl, I sure as hell wouldn’t want my mother going on national TV to keep on talking about my hypothetical statutory rape. Contrast Palin’s behavior, for instance, with that of Bill Clinton’s after Rush Limbaugh and John McCain made nasty jokes about the attractiveness (or lack thereof) of his teenage daughter Chelsea. Clinton was reportedly furious about the jokes, as any father would be, but he didn’t make a public spectacle of his anger or try to score political points from the episode. In fact, so far as I can tell, he (and the White House) refused to make any public comment on Limbaugh and McCain’s jokes–presumably because doing so would make things even worse for Chelsea. Bill Clinton’s name isn’t exactly synonymous with family values, but, on this one, I think Palin could definitely stand to follow his example.

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June 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm

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Thursday Night

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Thursday night, how I love you.

* Jason Zengerle at the Plank undertakes a much more full-throated defense of Letterman than the one I offered last night, reminding us about Bristol Palin’s recent publicity tour (which I guess I’d blocked out) and questioning the logic of the Palins making their own joke about their daughter being assaulted. For what it’s worth, I still think the joke was borderline and shouldn’t have been told, but it was plainly not about the fourteen-year-old.

* The headline reads: ‘Tiny chance’ of planet collision.

* Game theory and Batman villains. Isn’t it well-established by now that the Joker would never kill Batman?

* New element added to the periodic table. Canavanium?

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June 12, 2009 at 12:33 am

Letterman v. Conan v. Palin

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Letterman beat Conan’s Tonight Show in the ratings on Tuesday, but that’s been lost in the controversy over a pair of borderline Palin family jokes from Monday night. The “slutty flight attendant” line, though certainly uncalled for, seems to me equivalent to the sorts of things that are said about the Clintons and the Kennedys—uncool, that is to say, but roughly commensurate with the price of fame. The “knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” thing strikes me as significantly worse because celebrity children who are underage or don’t seek the spotlight should, I think, be left alone, even in the otherwise unrestrained pursuit of comedy. (I think I’d probably feel differently in Letterman had been in a comedy club or on a college campus somewhere; the Chelseas and Bristols of the world shouldn’t have to see themselves mocked on TV.)

The idea currently shooting around the right-wing blogs that this was a joke about raping a fourteen-year-old girl, though, strikes me as a completely hysterical overreaction. There’s no remotely charitable reading of the situation that suggests the phrase “her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” would ever be intended to trigger thoughts of Willow Palin. (To whit: Instapundit.) That it was Willow and not Bristol at the game is certainly bad luck for Dave, and I wouldn’t have blamed Sarah Palin for getting in a jibe or two about it, but that fact is not something either the audience or Dave himself can reasonably be believed to have been thinking of. You can call Letterman out for crossing the line without turning things all the way to 11.

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June 11, 2009 at 3:35 am

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Before My Time

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Jay Leno’s evil twin goes on Late Night with David Letterman c. 1984 to rant about Star Trek and venereal disease. This is so far before my time I can’t even begin to make sense of this clip. More on YouTube.

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June 5, 2009 at 5:52 am

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‘Something Is Hinky’

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Letterman on global warming: “Until we get the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, we’re screwed. We are walking dead people. We are the lost civilization. You’re looking at us, right here, time to go, the cab is coming… “

There can be no other response to the mad decadence of the last thirty years but anger.

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October 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm

More on G.C.S.G. ’08

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More on G.C.S.G. ’08.

* It’s being widely reported now that McCain is threatening to not show up to the debate if a deal hasn’t been reached by Friday. Just who is this supposed to threaten?

* By the way, contrary to reports, Friday’s debate will not focus exclusively on foreign affairs—Jim Lehrer informed the campaigns last week that there would be economic questions too.

* From the Dept. of You’ve Got To Be Shitting Me: Ben Smith reports that the McCain campaign has generously offered to move Friday’s presidential debate to next week’s VP debate, with the VP debate rescheduled to some unknown date in the future.

* Edge of the American West has an exclusive copy of the email McCain sent to Ole Miss asking for an extension.

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 12:00pm, John McCain wrote:

sorry to bother you and i know this request is late but i have been really busy and i want to call an emergency meeting with the president and understanding all the material is taking up a lot of my time so i find myself woefully underprepared and i am throwing myself on your mercy. can i get an extension over the weekend on the debate so i can present my best work to you? or should i get a dean’s excuse?

thanks,

john

* And slightly lost in the midst of all this is the fact that McCain gave Letterman the finger to do it. Letterman’s not happy.

David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy.

Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, “Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?”

Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, “You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his Metamucil.”

“He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second-string quarterback, Sarah Palin. Where is she?”

“What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”

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September 25, 2008 at 12:17 am

Nighttime Links

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Nighttime links.

* Weekly retro illustrations of Mad Men episodes. At right: “Joan and the Xerox.”

* Ten things you didn’t know about the Earth.

* Noise Artists for Obama. (via PClem)

* Obama’s on Letterman tonight. He’ll talk about lipstick and pigs.

“Keep in mind, that technically had I meant it this way she would be the lipstick,” Obama said. “The policies of John McCain would be the pig.”

* John McCain isn’t such a good campaigner without Sarah Palin to hold his hand.

* And the Department of the Interior scandal is the perfect story. It’s got everything: oil, sex, drugs, corruption. Drill, baby, drill.

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September 11, 2008 at 1:43 am

News for a Saturday (UPDATED)

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*Here’s a list of 2008 genre movies to complement the wider list I linked to the other day.

* When Letterman returns next week, he’ll be the only late show on the air with writers—Worldwide Pants made a separate deal with the writers’ union that will allow him to return with union approval. I have to say, this doesn’t help my uneasiness with what John Stewart and Colbert are doing one bit. (UPDATE: The Deadline Hollywood blog has a comprehensive, well-thought-out post about what the Letterman side deal could mean for the WGA, the AMPTP, and for Leno and his writers. Check it out.)

* And in Massive Nerd news, Joe Quesada has finally done what he’s always wanted and eliminated Peter Parker’s marriage from continuity. (Even the story’s own writer thinks it’s stupid.) Now Peter Parker and Mary Jane were never married in the first place, and everyone in the Spider-Man comics has either been de-aged or else we’ve traveled back in time. As is common with these sorts of retcons and reboots, it’s pretty unclear what’s supposed to have happened in the past or what is actually going on now. In other words, Marvel continuity at last is as ugly and convoluted as DC’s. And the nerds are pissed about it.

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December 29, 2007 at 1:11 pm