Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘marginality

Weekend Links 2: Even Weekendier!

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A beard, said Whitman, is preferable in a man as “a great sanitary protection to the throat.” Walt Whitman’s lost advice to America’s men: meat, beards and not too much sex.

If defendants had well-funded, effective representation, our adversarial system would do what it is intended to do. What we have right now, however, simply is not adversarial: relatively well-funded, well-staffed prosecutor offices square off against public defenders whose caseloads defy imagination.

Hell’s Kitchens: Privatized Prison Mess Halls.

* The end of Howard University.

Everyone poops, and everyone pees, but no one should be stigmatized or criminalized when they answer nature’s call.

* Bring on the climate trials: When kids sue the government for failing to protect future generations against climate change, it’s a long shot. But on Friday, in King County, Wash., Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill ruled in favor of eight Seattle-area youth petitioners: The Washington State Department of Ecology must deliver an emissions reduction rule by the end of this year.

Living at the Edges of Capitalism.

The best podcasts, Ted Talks and academic papers about Beyoncé.

The PhDictionary: A Glossary of Things You Don’t Know (But Should) About Doctoral and Faculty Life.

Oddly enough, the late novelist David Foster Wallace, a friend of Franzen’s, appears to cast a shadow over the portrayal of Andreas, whom Franzen endows with personality traits he saw in Wallace — especially the idea that he was “unworthy” of love. Over his lifetime, Wallace suffered from various addictions and struggled with depression for years; like Andreas, he ultimately committed suicide. In his essay “Farther Away: ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ David Foster Wallace, and the island of solitude,” Franzen says that he “loved a person who was mentally ill.” Franzen attributes Wallace’s suicide, in large part, to the fact that Wallace felt there was something wrong with him and he was unworthy of love; “[a]nd this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide.” Inaccessible on his private island of self-laceration, believing there was something wrong with him, Wallace could never reach a farther shore, and nobody could reach him. Ultimately, Franzen speculates, his suicide was designed “[t]o prove once and for all that he truly didn’t deserve to be loved.”

* Lake Chad in the Anthropocene.

* Yahoo, when looked at in a certain way, is worth approximately -$8 billion.

* Who owns Klingon?

* Life in the 21st century: Fearing a nuclear terror attack, Belgium is giving iodine pills to its entire population. Creeps Are Using a Neural Network to Dox Porn Actresses. Black Teenage Boy Charged With Possession of Child Porn for Sexting With White Girlfriend. Julia Ioffe profiled Melania Trump. Then she started getting calls from Hitler.

The Untold Story of Canadian Super Heroes.

* A Japanese Map of European Stereotypes.

We must mine redheads for the secret of their immortality gene.

* That’ll solve it: “Crisis-hit Venezuela to push clocks forward to save power.”

* How many friends can a person have?

For the first three decades of the film industry’s existence, American “courts were not yet ready to consider motions pictures as speech worthy of constitutional protection.” And local and state governments were not ready to give up censorship as a form of good government. “In addition to the moral uplift, the logistics of film regulation were attractive. Regulation was a revenue generator; boards charged distributors for examination and approval and charged theaters for permitted exhibitions.”

Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94.

* dontbepartoftheproblem.tumblr.com

Friday Morning!

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Friday morning links!

* Daddy, where do lies come from? The New York Times reports. Via Steve Benen.

* Never forget: xkcd remembers Oregon.

* Overthinking It on the transdimensionality of Fraggles.

* Conversing with Marginalised People for Dummies. (via MeFi)

* And Amanda Marcotte celebrates Mad Men and its interrogation of the consumerist origins of the American sense of self.

On Mad Men, the ad executives believe that they possess the power of illusion. In the series pilot, Don woos a client and potential lover by replying, when she states that she believes in love, “What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.” Let’s hope Mad Men continues its brave path and goes into season three exploring the possibility that the ’60s youth culture was also created by ad executives looking to sell coffee and miniskirts.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm

‘The Squandered Promise of Science Fiction’

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Jonathan Lethem on the squandered promise of science fiction. Here’s a taste:

Other obstacles to acceptance remain hidden in the culture of SF, ambushes on a road no one’s taking. Along with being a literary genre or mode, SF is also an ideological site. Anyone who’s visited is familiar with the home truths: that the colonization of space is desirable; that rationalism will prevail over superstition; that cyberspace has the potential to transform individual and collective consciousness. Tangling with this inheritance has resulted in work of genius – Barry Malzberg tarnishing the allure of astronautics, J. G. Ballard gleefully unraveling the presumption that technology extends from rationalism, James Tiptree Jr. (nee Alice Sheldon) replacing the body and its instincts in an all too disembodied discourse. But the pressure against heresy can be surprisingly strong, reflecting the emotional hunger for solidarity in marginalized groups. For SF can also function as a clubhouse, where members share the resentments of the excluded and a defensive fondness for stories which thrived in 12-year-old imaginations but shrivel on first contact with adult brains. In its unqualified love for its own junk stratum, SF may be as postmodern as Frederic Jameson’s dreams, but it’s also as sentimental about itself as an Elks lodge or a family.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm