Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe

Saturday Night Links!

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* CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* CFP: Darkness.

Never Tell Them Your True Name: Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Demanding, Essential Work of Samuel Delany: The Atheist in the Attic.

* Games for a Fallen World: On the Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene.

Why we march: a then and now look at Marquette student’s involvement in protests.

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think. Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability. The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.

* A grim new angle on the intergenerational struggle: Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors.

Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

Is Your University Racist?

Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger.

The Criminalization of Knowledge.

* A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student. Niall Ferguson, amazingly. Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails.

It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed.

Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football.

Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty.

Here’s every Star Wars movie, ranked by female screen time. Should Donald Glover Have Played Han Solo? Disney and Star Wars: An Empire in Peril? The growing emptiness of the Star Wars universe. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves.

* Isaac Cates on Infinity War‘s False Conclusions.

* How Tolkien created Middle-earth.

Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls. White Americans abandoned democracy and embraced authoritarianism when they realized brown people would soon outvote them. TMZ Goes MAGA. Can the Rule of Law Survive Trump?

* Three tweets on impeachment from Corey Robin.

thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news. 

Trump’s ‘Forced Separation’ of Migrant Families Is Both Illegal and Immoral. Separated at the border: A mother’s story.

Why Dictators Write.

* After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back. Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back. Southwest wouldn’t let mixed-race family fly until mom “proved” parenthood. This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.

Symbolic Threats.

American flag-waving obfuscates these and other abuses of power; reveals the state’s protection and definition of a white, hetero socioeconomic class as the legitimate citizen class at the expense of black, brown, Muslim, trans, disabled, or immigrant lives; and is our traditional response to a sense of foreign impingement on “normal American life” (white suburban families). The message goes: Don’t think about the President’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, don’t think about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and, now, Reality Winner, don’t think about the dependence of all power on a disenfranchised, exploited class. Think instead of the firefighters at ground zero, who were certain that America would endure. Think of ordinary citizens, like those depicted in the “Main Street USA” ad, and their faith in this city on a hill. Think instead, “Make America Great Again!” Don’t ask: Who suffers in this society when the state makes better security and freedom for its populace a goal? Freedom for whom? Who does a Muslim ban serve? Who do police serve? On which caskets do we lay the flag?

* In the richest country in the history of the world: Nine year old raises thousands of dollars at lemonade stand to help pay brother’s medical bills.

* Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself agreeing with David Brooks.

Bear’s Dairy Queen ice cream treat earns zoo $500 fine.

Archaeologists uncover remains of man crushed as he fled Pompeii.

* Why Isn’t Asbestos Banned in the US?

Choose-Your-Own-Security-Disclosure-Adventure.

* Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide.

Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All. Tenant and Squatters’ Rights in Oakland.

* We compared Milwaukee police reports on Sterling Brown’s arrest with the video. They don’t match.

Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy, Along With Many Questions.

* LARB reviews Dirty Computer.

How to Tell a Realistic Fictional Language From a Terrible One. How to Build a World.

Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a “residential” zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard, but I assume the rivers of meat blood come later.

* A weather report from an alternate universe, in which science is real and people aren’t idiots.

* Climate grief in the classroom.

* Banning straws won’t save the oceans.

* Bet this won’t either: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants.

* Summah. Don’t kill your wife with work. If these trends continue. Teach the controversy. Dads & grads. When you’re almost forty.

I Am A Recently Divorced And Laid-Off Middle-Aged Man With A Lot Of Health Problems, And Everything I Say Is Incredibly Depressing. Ask Questions At Me.

* “Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.”

How #MeToo Impacts Viewers’ Decisions on What to Watch.

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters.

How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking.

* The art of the grift in 21st century Manhattan.

* Google jury nullification.

* Shockingly, ‘impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all.

* Best travel photos 2018.

* New podcast watch: Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes. The Good Place: The Podcast.

* An oral history of the Muppets.

A research question I’ve been pondering for awhile: When, exactly, did the idea that the President — and only the President — was in charge of the decision to use nuclear weapons get turned into real policy? Answer seems to be September 1948, with NSC-30.

* We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming.

* And you can’t argue with the facts: Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds.

people and nature

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Finely Curated May Fifth Links (Aged to Perfection)

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* I’ve had a couple of short pieces of writing go up in the last few weeks: a piece on the often overlooked epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale at LARB and a followup piece on Infinity War and franchise time at frieze.

* Maybe my favorite Infinity War take. Bady! Nussbuam! Loofburouw! Scalzi! Dreyfuss! We’re the good guys, right? Pop Culture Won’t Save UsHow one movie genre became the guiding myth of neoliberalism.

* There’s also been a couple other good pieces lately pushing on whether Handmaid’s Tale really should have had a second season.

* Two from Jaimee: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* The 2018 Marquette Literary Review is up. And so is SFRA Review #324!

CFP: Third Issue of The New Americanist/ Special Feature Section: “Hobgoblins of Fantasy: American Fantasy Fiction in Theory.”

* CFP: An Anthology on Carrie Fisher.

* CFP: Special Double Issue: Disability Studies and Ecocriticism.

* Wakandacon 2018.

The 2018-2019 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest is open from Spring 2018 through July 31, 2018.

* Twitter thread: we already live in a boring dystopia.

* Most-Liked Tweets of Famous Poets.

* Welcome to Midwestworld.

* Fred Moten in the New Yorker!

* Janelle Monáe in Rolling Stone! 

* Maybe the best “there’s just one story and we tell it over and over” I’ve ever done.

Channeling the anti-Trump #Resistance, a slew of recent books seeks to reduce democracy to a defense of political “norms.” But overcoming today’s crisis will take more political imagination.

* Three Identical Strangers, a dark documentary about identical triplets who were separated-at-birth. Amazing story. I wish I’d waited for the movie before Googling it.

How a tiny protest at the U. of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics.

* Sexism and academia.

* Just in time for my summer syllabi: Junot Diaz #MeToo Accusations Surface. No Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018.

* Michigan State. Michigan State. Michigan Goddamn State. SIU. Columbia. University of Illinois at Chicago. George Mason. UNC. And in some rare good news: Oregon.

* There is no campus free speech crisis: a look at the evidence.

“The root cause of the F.B.I. investigation are the N.C.A.A. rules limiting — actually, prohibiting — compensation for players,” he said. “And none of the recommendations speak to them — none of them.”

What does a non-academic job search look like for a rhet/comp PhD student? I put compiled some numbers to illustrate my experience over the last 3 months.

What Jack Kirby proposed for the plaques on the Pioneer space probes.

* Infiltration into left-wing groups is just the sharp edge of an entire armory of political policing.

Chicago’s drinking water is full of lead, report says. Newark Water Tests Show High Lead Levels, Prompting Threat of Lawsuit.

* Vaccine refusal is contagious — and there’s no cure.

What’s Wrong With Growing Blobs of Brain Tissue?

One of the most worrisome predictions about climate change may be coming true.

* The arc of history is long, but Somehow, Jaxxon the Ridiculous Green Space Rabbit Has Made It to the New Star Wars Canon.

How a Genealogy Site Led to the Front Door of the Golden State Killer Suspect.

New Documents Reveal How ICE Mines Local Police Databases Across the Country.

* ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship.

Is the US Border Patrol Committing Crimes Against Humanity?

Chisholm concluded there was “no basis to conclusively link” the death of Trammell, which occurred in May, to the officers’ actions.

LEGO crime boss busted in Portland. No jury in the world would convict him.

* Escapism and Springsteen.

* Happiness begins at 50.

* AI as alchemy.

$5,751.

Lessons From Rust-Belt Cities That Kept Their Sheen.

The Mighty Thor’s conclusion signals the end of a Marvel Comics era. What an odd comic this was. And meanwhile: This is the Dark Side of the Rainbow of our time.

Enjoy a tarantula burger in Durham, North Carolina.

Six Animal Rights Activists Charged With Felonies for Investigation and Rescue That Led to Punishment of a Utah Turkey Farm.

* In New Jersey, the top lobbying spenders are from the following industries: energy, healthcare, insurance, and… balloons.

A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.

* eFterlife. Batmen and Robins. Natural selection. Good grief.

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Interactive Movie in the Works at Fox.

* Two years old, but who cares: “It smelled like death”: An oral history of the Double Dare obstacle course.

* And sure, let’s make ice-nine, at this point why not.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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* 6 minutes 30 seconds. The Parkland Manifesto. Photos.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet.

Toward an Ecologically Based Post-Capitalism: Interview With Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson.

* Green Manhattan.

* Star Trek: Discovery‘s tour through poorly thought-out Trek arcana looks ready to tackle Section 31 next. The biggest shock here is that they may actually be able to get Michelle Yeoh back.

CFP: Context is for Kings – An Edited Collection on Star Trek: Discovery.

* CFP: Utopian Acts.

Britain: Universities on Strike.

Student Evaluations Can’t Be Used to Assess Professors. Our research shows they’re biased against women. That means using them is illegal.

* Amazing how a CHE piece specifically focused on a college president’s flamboyant anti-faculty rhetoric is still totally agnostic as to whether anything he says is true or whether anything he proposes will work.

How Charles Koch Is Helping Neo-Confederates Teach College Students.

In a Historic Vote, Renowned Art School Cooper Union Commits to Bringing Back Free Tuition For All.

Why Relentless Administrative Turnover Makes It Hard for Us to Do Our Jobs.

These Are the 100 Most Militarized Universities in America.

* The reviews for Isle of Dogs are coming in and they’re pretty mixed, with a lot of attention to the film’s aggressive cultural appropriation. Who could have predicted!

* None dare call it genocide: It’s been almost six months since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Ricans are still dying.

Bad Games, Broken-World Playing, and the Scholarship of Repair.

* 1977: Semiocapitalism and the Real Subsumption of Fantasy.

Kurt Vonnegut Festival to Feature Father John Misty, Waxahatchee, and More.

As reported by the Kansas City Star, the indictment—which you can, and should, look through for yourself right here—reads like a slowly mounting horror story, as owner Jeff Henry, park manager Tyler Miles, and ride designer John Schooley (described as lacking “any kind of technical or engineering credential relevant to amusement ride design or safety”) apparently did everything in their power to make Verrückt a tragedy waiting to happen. Los Angeles Times correspondent Matt Pearce highlighted a number of the most chilling moments from the indictment on Twitter, including excerpts showing the ride’s rushed design and construction, secret failed bouts of testing, willful destruction of safety reports, and even an incident in which Miles allegedly sent lawyers in an effort to intimidate teenage employees from blowing the whistle on the park. Nationalize water parks.

* “If you are seeking a sentence of 3 years incarceration, state on the record that the cost to the taxpayer will be $126,000.00 (3 x $42,000.00) if not more and explain why you believe the cost is justified.” Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised a Criminal Justice Revolution. He’s Exceeding Expectations.

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash. I was completely willing to give the automated cars the benefit of the doubt before I saw the video, but it’s clear this technology is not ready and these trials should be suspended until it is.

A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy.

Facebook is enmeshed in another controversy, this time over accusations that the firm Cambridge Analytica abused Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election. But this is a big deal fundamentally because of a larger and more fundamental problem: Facebook is bad.

* White boys who grow up rich are likely to remain that way. Black boys raised at the top, however, are more likely to become poor than to stay wealthy in their own adult households. Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys.

* Five-year relative survival is lower for blacks than whites for most cancers at each stage of diagnosis.

Unarmed black man shot to death in own backyard after police mistake cell phone for weapon.

The Jumpsuit That Will Replace All Clothes Forever. The immediate criticism of this article I saw on Twitter: the outfit requires women to get almost entirely naked to go to the bathroom, change a tampon, or nurse.

An Arbitrary Number of Theses on Donald’s Trump.

* The United States of Amnesia, again and again. 15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.

*  For the first time, we are living in a truly post-cold-war political environment in the United States.

Underground network readies homes to hide undocumented immigrants.

Immigrant mom arrested in front of kids and accused of human smuggling is released without charges.

‘Where’s Mommy?’: A family fled death threats, only to face separation at the border.

Five Manhattan doctors were paid more than $800,000 by a pharmaceutical company to prescribe a spray version of the highly potent and addictive opioid fentanyl to more and more patients whether they needed it or not, according to an indictment handed up Friday in federal court.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches across 617,000 square miles of the northern Pacific Ocean, based on their survey, and plastics make up 99.9 percent of the trash in the patch.

* U.S. Military Is World’s Biggest Polluter.

Humanity’s Meat and Dairy Intake Must Be Cut in Half by 2050 to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change. Why It’s Time for America to Tax Meat.

Destruction of nature as dangerous as climate change, scientists warn.

The world’s last surviving male northern white rhino has died after months of poor health, his carers say.

* Utah just legalized what parenting was like in the 1980s.

* Behold, the famous efficiency of capitalism.

* Stephen Hawking, socialist.

Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism.

Welcome to Powder Mountain – a utopian club for the millennial elite.

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data.

Jack Kirby’s 1979 concept sketches for “Science Fiction World”, a proposed theme park.

Analyzing the Crazy, Complicated Credits of Avengers: Infinity War.

My estimates regarding the average revenue generated by major-conference football and basketball players are based on varying assumptions, ranging from very conservative to relatively liberal, regarding the effects of big-time college sports on fund raising. Yet even the low-end estimate suggests that, if players were compensated on the model employed by professional sports leagues when they divide revenue, major college football and basketball players should receive an average of $750,000 annually. Note that this figure would still result in these nonprofit — and therefore largely untaxed — universities retaining revenues generated by football and basketball that would equal their entire athletic operating budgets just a decade ago.

* Punishing Women for Being Smart.

So in 2014, the Tampa Bay Times set out to count every officer-involved shooting in Florida during a six-year period. We learned that at least 827 people were shot by police — one every 2½ days.

Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility.

When Police Officers Use Sexual Assault to Terrorize Vulnerable Communities.

A proposal to stop 3D printers from making guns is a perfect parable of everything wrong with information security.

* If it’s anything like the comics, this could be really good: ‘Astro City’ TV Series Based On Comics In Works At FremantleMedia North America.

* Mars, bitches!

* Our nukes, ourselves.

* Not great, Bob.

What in God’s Name Happened to Ricky Gervais?

* I’ll certainly hear the asteroid out.

* The Fermi Paradox and the miracle of life.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* And of course you had me at Dungeons and Dragons creatures, generated by neural network.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 25, 2018 at 9:00 am

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Sunday Morning After ICFA Links!

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* Two poems from the great Jaimee Hills: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* ICYMI: My #ICFA39 talk, “Star Trek after Discovery.” Building on my AUFS post from last week, and it’s already inspired an expansion at r/DaystromInstitute.

* Have you played this new gritty realistic fantasy game?

* How does Neil Gaiman work?

* How vulture capitalists ate Toys R Us.

* The constitutional crisis is always arriving and never arrived. It’s been here at least twenty years.

* The market can’t solve a massacre.

And so in schools across the country, Americans make their children participate in Active Shooter drills. These drills, which can involve children as young as kindergartners hiding in closets and toilet stalls, and can even include simulated shootings, are not just traumatic and of dubious value. They are also an educational enterprise in their own right, a sort of pedagogical initiation into what is normal and to be expected. Very literally, Americans teach their children to understand the intrusion of rampaging killers with assault rifles as a random force of nature analogous to a fire or an earthquake. This seems designed to foster in children a consciousness that is at once hypervigilant and desperate, but also morbid and resigned—in other words, to mold them into perfectly docile citizen-consumers. And if children reject this position and try to take action, some educational authorities will attempt to discipline their resistance out of them, as in Texas, where one school district has threatened to penalize students who walk out in anti-gun violence actions, weaponizing the language of “choices” and “consequences” to literally quash “any type of protest or awareness.”

All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth.

* Rethinking dehumanization.

There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia.

On misogynoir: citation, erasure, and plagiarism.

ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration.

* The U.S. separates a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Congo.

James Mattis is linked to a massive corporate fraud and nobody wants to talk about it.

* Amazing that Trump’s personal aide was fired by the White House while being investigated and then immediately rehired by the campaign and it’s like a C story at best.

* The A story.

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic.

* The rise of the prison state.

Trump administration studies seeking the death penalty for drug dealers.

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement.

* Oconomowoc schools impose limits on ‘privilege’ discussions after parents complain.

* With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable.

America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning.

* The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children.

* The missing Obama millions.

* What America looked like before the EPA.

Supreme Court Can’t Wait to Kill Youth Climate Lawsuit.

Rapid Arctic warming and melting ice are increasing the frequency of blizzards in the Northeast, study finds.

* YouTube mini-lecture from Adam Kotsko: Trump as mutation, or parody, of neoliberalism. And some more Kotsko content: Superheroes, Science Fiction, and Social Transformation.

The Rise of Dismal Science Fiction.

* The Science Fiction of Roe v. Wade.

* Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures. A response.

* Against popular culture.

David Foster Wallace and the Horror of Neuroscience.

* Neither utopia nor apocalypse? Somedays I feel like both is the most likely outcome of all, a heaven for them and a hell for the rest of us.

Who Owns the Robots? Automation and Class Struggle in the 21st Century.

* Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. His last goodbye.

* Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework.

‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee.

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther.

PSA: Marvel’s Black Panther Animated Series is Streaming for Free on YouTube.

* Hate spree killings in Austin.

* Wakanda Forever.

* Thus Spake Black Bolt.

* To Catch a Predator. You know it’s a bleak story when the NYPD are the good guys.

The radical vision of Wages for Housework.

* Happy International Women’s Day.

* Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists.

If NYT printed the *actual, real-life* sentiments of today’s conservative masses, it would print a bunch of paranoid, Fox-generated fairy tales and belligerent expressions of xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and proud, anti-intellectual ignorance. 

* Surveillance in everything: A US university is tracking students’ locations to predict future dropouts.

* Dialectics of the superhero: 1, 2.

* #MAaEEoOGFwNCBA.

* Pew pew.

* Huge, if true: Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity.

* From the archives: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports.

* Podcast minute: Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about Spider-Man and The Beatles. The first is new and the second is old but both are worth checking out.

* Goodbye, cruel world.

* And I’m not a lazy home owner. I’m a goddamn hero.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All Your Friday Links!

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* The itself.blog Star Trek: Discovery event is underway! Star Trek: Discovery Is Optimism, But Not for Us. “Can you bury your heart”? Having feelings about Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery as the End of Next Generation Triumphalism.

* CFP: Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction (MLA 19).

* Jaimee Hills is officially a dangerous woman.

* The Male Glance.

* The university in ruins: UW Stevens Point. The administration clearly doesn’t even understand what it’s proposing:

When releasing the plan, university officials said that English majors for teacher certification would continue. But Williams said that under the state Department of Public Instruction’s certification criteria, a person looking to become an English teacher has to have been an English major.

“They just both have to exist, or both have to be eliminated,” Williams said. “One depends directly on the other.”

Professors earn about 15 percent less than others with advanced degrees, finds a study circulated Tuesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Though perhaps some of us make it up in job satisfaction (really).

* It’s gotten so bad in the humanities even the Yale grads don’t get jobs handed to them as soon as they graduate.

Why Creative-Writing Programs Have Been Havens for Harassment.

It has taken me two and a half decades to recognize that my experience of having a senior male nominal adviser and a female (usually more junior) actual adviser is common throughout academe. On Ghost Advising.

* Abusers and enablers in faculty culture.

* 5% raises in West Virginia. Onward to Oklahoma.

* Marquette vs. Trauma.

Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ — and is in fact a VICTIM.

On the Blackness of the Panther.

* Loved this from Barbara Ehrenreich: Body Work: The curiously self-punishing rites of fitness culture.

If anything, the culture of fitness has grown more combative than when I first got involved. It is no longer enough to “have a good workout,” as the receptionist at the gym advises every day; you should “crush your workout.” Health and strength are tedious goals compared to my gym’s new theme of “explosive strength,” achieved, as far I can see, through repeated whole-body swinging of a kettleball. If your gym isn’t sufficiently challenging, you might want to try an “ultra-extreme warrior workout” or buy a “home fitness system” from P90X, which in 2016 tweeted a poster of an ultra-cut male upper body, head bowed as if in prayer, with the caption “A moment of silence please for my body has no idea of what I’m about to put it through.” Or you could join CrossFit, the fastest-growing type of gym in the world, and also allegedly the most physically punishing. The program “prepares trainees for any physical contingency,” the company boasts, “not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing,” and the latter category includes the zombie apocalypse. The mind’s stuggle for mastery over the body has become a kind of mortal combat.

* Too big to tax.

In this economy you’re either burned out, or you’re boxed out.

* The Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs.

A prosecutor who obtained a wrongful conviction that sent a Houston man to death row for nearly 10 years didn’t just withhold evidence but also denied under oath that he had information that supported Alfred Dewayne Brown’s alibi, court records show.

* Twilight of the cult film.

Could Trump get a White House job if he weren’t president? Didn’t we already know Trump couldn’t get a loan before he was president?

Beware Liberal-Baiting “White House in Chaos” Stories. Trump’s Position Is As Solid As It’s Ever Been.

* Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security. Lying to the immigrant soldiers you promised citizenship.

A Dozen Democrats Want To Help Banks Hide Racial Discrimination In Mortgages.

Guess Who’s Not Coming To America? International Students.

* Kobe Steel’s Chief to Step Down as It Discloses Wider Quality Problems Fifty-Year Conspiracy to Defraud Customers.

* Toddler feelings helpline.

— If you still feel pretty messed up about how they were just going to burn the Velveteen Rabbit, please mash all of the keys but mostly 2.

* White flight remains a reality.

* Liberate our schools.

‘50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150.’

* The grim reality of job hunting in the age of AI.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe only really makes sense when you remember Captain America is a trans man.

Wait, what exactly was Luke Skywalker’s plan in Return Of The Jedi?

* The opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics.” Meanwhile, a new study suggests opioids are no better than Tylenol for treating some kinds of pain.

* Kentucky’s ‘child bride’ bill stalls as groups fight to let 13-year-olds wed.

* U.N. Report On Magical Realism Warns Of Increased Incidences Of Women’s Tears Flooding The Entire World.

False news stories travel faster and farther on Twitter than the truth.

* There’s no idea so terrible there isn’t someone in favor of it.

York University philosophy professor and team submit brief supporting chimpanzee personhood.

* Ok, but you’re on a very short leash.

Her name was Kanga and she was trouble.

* I Am the Very Important Longread Everyone Is Talking About.

* The United States of Middle-earth.

* Understanding Fight Club.

* And the arc of history is long, but.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* Clear your calendars for the An und für sich Star Trek: Discovery blog event, beginning Monday!

* A student project from my Tolkien class gets a great writeup at Marquette’s Digital Scholarship Lab.

* KSR’s next book has a cover.

* The MCU vs. America. What Black Panther can teach us about international relations. Weapons of Black Panther. And Žižek shows up two weeks late with a Killmonger-was-right take.

* The science of late sleepers.

* Why I’m Writing Captain America (And Why It Scares the Hell Out of Me).

* Mueller news you can use: almost all the Mueller leaks are from witnesses and tell us little or nothing about the true scope of the investigation or its likely outcomes.

* Hardware Wars: A People’s History.

* Wildcat teachers’ strike in West Virginia (but not on MSNBC). Onward to Oklahoma!

* Phew! Lucky coincidence.

Too Big to Tax?

* Buying a gun around the world. How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled. The Florida legislature’s push to arm teachers, explained.

* “The vast majority of healthcare wonkery is brainstorming new ways to rescue private insurers from collapsing every time they’re asked to do the one thing they exist to do.”

Public schools have been re-segregating for decades.

Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast.

NASA releases time-lapse of the disappearing Arctic polar ice cap. The age of climate migration.

* LEGO in the Anthropocene.

* Homelessness in the Magic Kingdom.

* Hitchhiker’s, back again.

Consumers Are Revolting Against Animal Cruelty — So the Poultry Industry Is Lobbying for Laws to Force Stores to Sell Their Eggs.

* This is you.

* Great story about retirees who cracked the lottery.

Brooklyn man wins nearly $1M lawsuit after NYPD cop tried to frame him on DWI charge.

* I’m Gen X again, maybe for good.

* I predicted this would happen: There is no psychohistory, and there never will be.

* I’ve used this as a hypothetical in class for years; let’s say I’m skeptical.

* The last word in Firefly fan physics: The Ultimate Solar System.

A right-wing online “university” is on track for a billion views in 2018, its professors are some of the best-known conservatives in media, and its founder wants to put it in real schools. So how come you’ve never heard of it?

* Memory is a virus.

* And your micro-game of the week: Post/Capitalism.

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

with 2 comments

(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.