Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe

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

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

(Updated.)

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

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

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

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

(3a) Killmonger was right though.

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

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

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

[…]

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

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

[…]

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

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

Tuesday Links!

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* A Political History of the Future: Black Panther. Does the film ask its audience to root for the wrong character? Black Panther’s Right Thing.

Directly following from the notion that life is often boring and annoying, comes the consequence that our characters cannot always be wrapped up in galactic struggles to save existence. Sometimes it just has to be a day at the office, and we keep watching simply because a Federation starship is a more interesting and inspiring office than ours. That thought motivated me to portray the communist future not as a magical resolution of the human condition but, to follow Freud by way of Corey Robin, the conversion of hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness. To Boringly Go.

* deadmall80s.tumblr.com.

If science fiction, for example, satisfactorily addresses the challenges of narrating the Anthropocene, why should we care whether the mainstream novel does or not?

According to a new study, we might be locked in this deadly embrace. Research by an international team of scientists recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters says that the cooling effect of aerosols is so large that it has masked as much as half of the warming effect from greenhouse gases. So aerosols can’t be wiped out. Take them away and temperatures would soar overnight. Turns out we have been unwittingly geoengineering for decades, and just like in the movies, it’s gone off the rails.

We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years.

The Cardinals will become the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

* The Real Threat To Campuses Isn’t ‘PC Culture.’ It’s Racism.

* Why the media can’t report the truth about John Kelly.

In many instances, the people forming that early narrative about Kelly — the reporters writing the profiles and the sources they quoted — were white. That’s not a determinative fact, but it was likely a factor in which parts of Kelly’s resume were focused on, and which aspects of his personality were prioritized.

I’m autistic. I just turned 36 — the average age when people like me die.

Michael: So one day, we were taping, and Fred comes in, and starts singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day … ” puts the shoes down here, goes to hang up the sweater in the closet. And he’s singing, and he opens the door — and there’s his floor manager, Nick, this big guy with his long goatee, pierced ears, hair all over the place, totally nude, just standing there naked in the closet. Well, Fred just fell down; it was the most hysterical thing you’ve ever seen. He was totally cool.

Why Do Star Wars Fans Want the New Han Solo Movie to Flop? Rey is the new Anakin.

Challenging new reading of Garfield reframes canonical “anti-Mondays” stance.

Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (alothian@umd.edu).

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.

* ImOscar.com.

* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

Fall Break Links! Every Tab I Had Open Is Closed!

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* New open-access scholarship: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. My contribution is on Rogue One and the crisis of authority that seems to have plagued all the post-Lucas Star Wars productions. Check it out!

* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.3 is also available, a special issue all about Mad Max and guest-edited by Dan Hassler-Forest, including a great piece by one of my former graduate students, Dr. Bonnie McLean!

* My book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement! That’s wild. There’s a really nice review coming in the next issue of Science Fiction Studies, too, though I don’t think its online yet…

* By far the absolute best thing I’ve found on the Internet in years: Decision Problem: Paperclips.

* Call for Papers: Critical Disaster Studies.

* It’s been so long since I’ve posted that it’s still news Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize. With all due apologies to Margaret Atwood.

* Tom Petty was still alive then. Puerto Rico wasn’t in ruins, then. The worst mass shooting in American history perpetrated by a single individual hadn’t happened then. California wasn’t on fire quite to the apocalyptic extent that it is now then. I still had hope for The Last Jedi. And the GOP wasn’t all-in for Roy Moore.

* There are no natural disasters. The Left Needs Its Own Shock Doctrine for Puerto Rico. Disaster socialism. Many Trump voters who got hurricane relief in Texas aren’t sure Puerto Ricans should. After the Hurricane. Someday we’ll look back on the storms from this year’s horrific hurricane season with nostalgia.

* Page of a Calvin and Hobbes comic found in the wreckage of Santa Rosa, California.

This is the horror of mass shootings. Not just death that comes from nowhere, intruding upon the status quo—but a death that doesn’t change that status quo, that continues to sail on unchanged by it. You may be a toddler in a preschool in one of the richest zip codes in the country; a congressman playing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia; a white-collar office worker in a business park; a college student or professor on some leafy campus; a doctor making your rounds in a ward in the Bronx; a country music fan enjoying a concert in a city built as a mecca for relaxation and pleasure: the bullet that comes for you will not discriminate. It knows no racial bias, imposes no political litmus test, checks no credit score, heeds no common wisdom of whose life should or shouldn’t matter. It will pierce your skin, perforate your organs, shatter your bones, and blow apart the gray matter inside your skull faster than your brain tissue can tear. And then, after the token thoughts and prayers, nothing. No revolutionary legislation or sudden sea change in cultural attitudes will mark your passing. The bloody cruelty of your murder will be matched only by the sanguine absence of any substantive national response. Our democracy is riven by inequality in so many ways, but in this domain, and perhaps in this domain alone, all American lives are treated as equally disposable.

Having achieved so many conservative goals — a labor movement in terminal decline, curtailed abortion rights, the deregulation of multiple industries, economic inequality reminiscent of the Gilded Age, and racial resegregation — the right can now afford the luxury of irresponsibility. Or so it believes. As we have seen in the opening months of the Trump presidency, the conservative regime, despite its command of all three elected branches of the national government and a majority of state governments, is extraordinarily unstable and even weak, thanks to a number of self-inflicted wounds. That weakness, however, is a symptom not of its failures, but of its success.

* Freedom of speech means professors get fired for their tweets while universities rent their facilities to open Nazis for $600,000 below cost. Meanwhile, college administrations continue to look to Trump to save them from their graduate students.

The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics.

Death at a Penn State Fraternity.

* UPenn humiliates itself.

* Octavia Butler: The Brutalities of the Past Are All Around Us.

* African Science Fiction, at LARB.

* The new issue of Slayage has a “Twenty Years of Buffy” roundtable.

Image Journal Exclusively Publishes Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal.

* Honestly, I prefer it when the NCAA doesn’t even bother to pretend.

* One of the classic signs of a failing state is the manipulation of data, including its suppression.

* Internal emails show ICE agents struggling to substantiate Trump’s lies about immigrants.

* ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low Wage Labor.

This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors.

A 2-year-old’s kidney transplant was put on hold — after his donor father’s probation violation.

* The arc of history is long, but Federal Judge Rules Handcuffing Little Kids Above Their Elbows Is Unconstitutional.

Body cameras and more training aren’t enough. We need to divert funding for police into funding for human needs.

“Childhood trauma is a huge factor within the criminal justice system,” said Christopher Wildeman, a sociologist at Cornell University and co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. “It is among the most important things that shapes addictive and criminal behavior in adulthood.”

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.

When Colleges Use Their Own Students to Catch Drug Dealers.

* The Democratic district attorney of Manhattan openly takes bribes, and he’s running unopposed.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream.

How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets.

What DNA Testing Companies’ Terrifying Privacy Policies Actually Mean.

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump. Counterpoint: The case that voter ID laws won Wisconsin for Trump is weaker than it looks.

* Conflict in literature.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia. Close that barn door, boys!

Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence. The stats are clear: the gun debate should be one mostly about how to prevent gun suicides. 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days.

* The secretive family making billions from the opioid crisis.

* University of Hawaii’s creepy email subject line to students: “In the event of a nuclear attack.”

* Marvel’s movie timeline is incoherent nonsense, too.

We have a pretty good idea of when humans will go extinct. No spoilers!

* Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’

* Cape Coral, Florida, was built on total lies. One big storm could wipe it off the map. Oh, and it’s also the fastest-growing city in the United States.

An Oral History of Batman: The Animated Series.

* Why is Blade Runner called Blade Runner?

* How free porn enriched the tech industry — and ruined the lives of actors.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Is the Bleakest Lord of the Rings Fan Fic I’ve Ever Seen.The best way to beat Shadow Of War’s final act is not to play it. Are Orcs People Too? And a trip down memory lane: How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism.

* The Digital Humanities Bust.

We can’t eliminate the profit motive in health care without eliminating copays.

* Twitter as hate machine.

* They’re good dogs, Brent.

* Burn the Constitution.

* Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up. Collective action is the best avenue to fight sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein. Will Fury Over Harvey Weinstein Allegations Change Academe’s Handling of Harassment?

* A tough thread on ethical compromise under conditions of precarity and hyperexploitation. I think many academics will relate.

* Major study confirms the clinical definition of death is wildly inadequate.

Death just became even more scary: scientists say people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life.

That means that, theoretically, someone may even hear their own death being announced by medics.

Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time.

Here Are the Best Wildlife Photos of 2017.

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report.

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

In A Post-Weinstein World, Louis CK’s Movie Is a Total Disaster.

Let this battle herald a return to our roots: tax the rich so much that they aren’t rich anymore — only then can the rest of us live in a decent world.

* Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular.

Every Rick and Morty Universe So Far.

* Ready for #Vexit.

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone.

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You.

* They’re bound and determined to ruin Go.

I think I’m on my way. I’ve deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year’s pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. On Vonnegut’s “Complete Stories.”

An Anatomy of the Worst Game in ‘Jeopardy!’ History.

* Is your D&D character rare?

* Tolkien’s Map and the Perplexing River Systems of Middle-earth.

The Worst Loss In The History Of U.S. Men’s Soccer.

The Rise And Rise Of America’s Best-Kept Secret: Milwaukee!

* Galaxy brain.

* And RIP, John Couture. A tremendous loss for Marquette English.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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

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

The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise.

* Medievalism and white supremacy.

* Ban noncompetes.

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

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

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

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

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

* Trump’s wall vs. the drug trebuchet.

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

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

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

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

* When Is Speech Violence?

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

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

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

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

* Like Star Wars, but too much.

* Linguistic drift and Facebook bots.

* Where are they? They’re aestivating.

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

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

* Dialetics of universal basic income.

* Juking the stats, Nielsens edition.

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

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

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

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

* Kids and trampolines.

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

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

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

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

#SFRA2017 Links for All Your #SFRA2017 Needs!

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* Watch #SFRA2017 for all the tweets from SFRA2017! I’ll be presenting this afternoon in the 4 PM session: “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene,” mostly talking about John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire but also hitting Octavia Butler, Cixin Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, H.G. Wells, and others.

* And just in time for #SFRA2017, SFFTV 10.2 is now available! A special issue on the SF films of Stephen King.

* From Canavan’s Razor to Kotsko’s Hammer: If you believe that you have caught your enemy in a contradiction, you are mistaken. At best, you have misjudged their real priorities and goals. At worst, you have fallen for a deliberate smokescreen, designed to confuse and distract you.

* CFP: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200 (Science Fiction Studies, Special Issue).

Emma Watson has been hiding copies of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale around Paris, with a handwritten note inside each one.

The City University of New York picked the worst time to raise the salaries of its top administrators to as much as $402,700 — the same day it cut the operating budgets of its four-year colleges and raised tuition.

* Can’t you see? Star Wars needs mediocrity.

* Return of the travel ban. Return of the lawsuits. The travel ban going into effect would have saved zero lives from terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. It’s going to get worse.

* This seems normal and fine.

Gun Sales Are Plummeting and Trump Wants to Help.

GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn.

Republican Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid 24 Percent By 2036. Trumpworld’s push to get a Senate health deal. Senate GOP Health Care Surrender Watch.

* “California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth”: The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.

The Case for Paying Less Attention to Donald Trump. And Now the Trump Presidency Begins to Fail for Real. MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski say President Trump and his White House used the possibility of a hit piece in the National Enquirer to threaten them and change their news coverage.

* Hell yes, Rep. Barbara Lee.

* Normally I’d say “teach the controversy,” but these allegations are simply too serious to treat flippantly: NASA Denies That It’s Running a Child Slave Colony on Mars.

* Cyberattack attacks Chernobyl radiation monitoring station.

* On desistance and detransition.

* Global warming will intensify regional inequality in the United States, according to a revolutionary new economic assessment of the phenomenon.

* Two brothers, two deaths.

Illinois Approaches 3rd Year Without Budget.

US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup.

SCP-3008-1 is a space resembling the inside of an IKEA furniture store, extending far beyond the limits of what could physically be contained within the dimensions of the retail unit. Current measurements indicate an area of at least 10km2 with no visible external terminators detected in any direction. Inconclusive results from the use of laser rangefinders has lead to the speculation that the space may be infinite. SCP-3008-1 is inhabited by an unknown number of civilians trapped within prior to containment. Gathered data suggests they have formed a rudimentary civilisation within SCP-3008-1, including the construction of settlements and fortifications for the purpose of defending against SCP-3008-2.

* Just what is happening at Disney?

* Rick and Morty season three, at last, by God.

And Jurassic Park but with the dinosaurs from the 90s TV show Dinosaurs, forever and ever amen.

Wednesday Links!

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* People are figuring out that the “anthology” era of Star Wars was a bad idea. And a chilling report from the set of Han Solo: Ron Howard Once Defended Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Calling It “Truly Amazing.”

Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall of Presidents’ Drama.

* The Year of Octavia.

* In the same vein, the proliferating but ever meaningless distinctions between the “bad” Uber and the “good” Lyft have obscured how destructive the rise of ride-sharing has been for workers and the cities they live in. The predatory lawlessness that prevails inside Valley workplaces scales up and out. Both companies entered their markets illegally, without regard to prevailing wages, regulations, or taxes. Like Amazon, which found a way to sell books without sales tax, this turned out to be one of the many illegal boons.

* Democrats and the working class.

Senate postpones health care vote as critical mass of Republicans defect. Keep calling! Tens of thousands per year. Trumpcare kills.

This chart shows the stunning trade-off at the heart of the GOP health plan.

* Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, and Progressives Lose Again.

* Destroying the university in Illinois.

Chaffetz calls for $2,500 legislator/month housing stipend.

* Sometimes ideology critique just writes itself.

And Now Director Jon Watts Claims Peter Parker Was In Iron Man 2.

Someone’s Trying to Adapt Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series Again.

* I say teach the controversy.

* Communism — for kids!

As Lake Chad vanishes, seven million people are on the brink of starvation.

The inside story of how TMZ quietly became America’s most potent pro-Trump media outlet.

* So what is lectureporn? It is the media spectacle of a lecture whose audience is the opponent of the lecture’s intended target.

Trinity Suspends Targeted Professor. And U Delaware. Why can’t free speech advocates ever defend adjunct professors and people of color? Stop firing professors for having controversial views, says academic.

 But as the land enters its 120th year in the family, the Allens are struggling to hold on to it. Because of ambiguities surrounding the land’s title, there is no primary owner of the property; all of the heirs of the original owners—and there are more than 100 known heirs—are legally co-owners. As such, the land is classified as “heirs’ property,” a designation that makes it vulnerable to being sold without the family’s full consent. As the Allens attempt to overcome a stacked legal system—exacerbated by corrupt lawyers and predatory developers—they are at the center of a decades-long fight to retain black-owned land across the South.

* Social media won’t let toxic grudges die.

* Trump’s EPA won’t let toxic pesticides die.

Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize.

* Amazing the stories that don’t even rate as scandals in this trainwreck administration.

* As predicted, the Super Nintendo Classic is on its way.

The Tory-DUP Deal Proves the Magic Money Tree Is Real.

* Lynching and the sick history of the death penalty.

In Sumterville, Florida, in 1902, a black man named Henry Wilson was convicted of murder in a trial that lasted just two hours and forty minutes. To mollify the mob of armed whites that filled the courtroom, the judge promised a death sentence that would be carried out by public hanging—despite state law prohibiting public executions. Even so, when the execution was set for a later date, the enraged mob threatened, “We’ll hang him before sundown, governor or no governor.” In response, Florida officials moved up the date, authorized Wilson to be hanged before the jeering mob, and congratulated themselves on having “avoided” a lynching.

* Huge Star Trek: Discovery scoop: the entire series is a Holodeck program Riker is running during a commercial break.

* When you don’t want your hip retro soundtrack to be scooped.

* “Nuclear power plant faces backlash after choosing interns by way of a bikini competition.” Photos at the link, of course; this is the Internet, after all…

The ‘i before e, except after c’ rule is a giant lie.

* The weird logic of Facebook’s hate speech algorithms.

* SF short of the night: They Will All Die in Space.

* An AI Generates the Inspirational Posters We Need Right Now.

* And because you demanded it, it’s back up at An und für sich: Why remake The Handmaid’s Tale now? Gilead as ISIS.