Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘metafiction

Weekend Links!

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tumblr_ol5we0t6ty1romv9co1_500* Are you at AWP? Or in DC generally? Jaimee is! She’ll be doing a book signing at the Waywiser Table at 12:30 Saturday and then reading at the Waywiser reading at 7:30 PM at the Den.

* I’ll be giving a short workshop on Octavia Butler and Kindred at the Stanford Humanities Center next Thursday, if that’s convenient to you!

This is so outrageous. 21 years in the US, arrived at 14, two US citizen children, arrested at a scheduled check-in with ICE. You could hardly find more compelling proof that this is entirely and exclusively about cruelty.

* “Pentagon journal explores what could happen if a president called for Muslim internment camps.” Gee, I wonder.

Meanwhile, in another classic authoritarian maneuver, the outsized ego at the heart of the Trumpist seizure of power has surrounded himself with an obliging retinue of enablers and quisling yes-men. Trump likes to divide people between “haters and losers”—a cheap shot that is actually a fairly useful way to categorize his own team. It’s Already Happened Here. How to Stop an Autocracy. Profiles in Courage: Rand Paul, Civil Libertarian.

* Every day. Something crazy happens every day.

* The history of this era is going to be so, so unbelievable.

* Neither Nordstrom nor Ivanka but International Socialism.

* Of course…

* It’s getting to the point where you can’t even call for the wanton slaughter of students without some PC SJW raising a stink about it.

tumblr_ol51udr3fd1romv9co1_500How Political Fear Works. Beware of Self-Censorship. Who Benefits From Trump’s Chaos? What’s in it For The Collaborators? There Are No Good Reasons Not To Fight.

* Obama’s Lost Army: When Obama Killed OFA.

* I liked this: The Meitheal Manifesto: Thirteen Agreements to Save the World.

* Some rare good news on the climate.

* Darkest thing I’ve ever seen, first for one the one reason and then for the other.

* The arc of history is long, but Mac malware is slowly catching up to its Windows rivals.

Solitary Confinement Is a Great American Shame.

* Remembering Richard Rorty on Trump (and the reformist left) (again).

* No one is reading those reference letters. “Truly, this is the single easiest fix in academic culture.”

* Science education in the time of Trump.

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* You can’t argue with facts, little brother.

* Bees aren’t endangered anymore! Surprisingly easy fix actually.

Everything is hot now and getting hotter. Everything seems off or wrong and it is hard to get your bearings because so few of the old landmarks remain. It is hard to believe that some things ever happened, that certain places ever existed. Sometimes I am convinced my memory is wrong or fooling me. The idea that there might be a United States. The idea that this vast and unruly countryside, these ruined cities, these endless refugee camps, might have once been something else. If no one invades us now and only some countries send food and aid, it is only because they too are under stress. Or because we are so fucked up and so many of us have so many weapons. Somewhere in the lost places, there are still nukes, too. Jeff VanderMeer’s “Trump Land.”

* SF Cities Beyond Blade Runner.

* Graverobbing the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Source map from the first great comic book crossover.

* TGIF!

* Oh, this was so brutal to read. There but for the grace of God go I at least for now.

Here are my vitals: I have more than $200,000 in student loans and $46,000 in credit card debt—all accumulated during my B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., and then search for a tenure-track job. My annual salary translates to a little more than $3,000 in monthly take-home pay. I pay $800 a month in rent, $1,100 in credit card bills (paying only the monthly minimums), $350 in student loans, and have $285 a month car payment. I also pay the usual insurances, utilities, groceries, gas, et al. I don’t have cable. Or a kitchen table. Or blinds on any of my windows. I’ve cancelled all magazine and newspaper subscriptions—an actual dilemma for a journalism professor. For my first year in Bangor I didn’t even have a bed. Instead I slept on a Target air mattress until it lost its breath; then I moved to the couch (which I had purchased on credit), until my back finally demanded I buy a bed (credit, again).

* And of course you had me at A New Deep Space Nine Documentary Reveals What Would Have Happened in Season Eight. Here’s another good writeup.

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It’s Week One of Year Zero and I’m Declaring Total Tab Bankruptcy

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gauld-declutteringvertical-panel_-1-010617* CFP: SFRA 2017. CFP: 14th Annual Tolkien at UVM Conference. CFP: Toxic Fans. CFP: Whiteness and the American Superhero. CFP: The Gibson Critics Don’t See. Call for Applications: R.D. Mullen Fellowships. CFP for MLA 2018: Creative Economies of Science Fiction. And also at MLA 18, the science fiction panel I’ll be chairing: Satire and Science Fiction in Dystopian Times.

* This thread on Gene Roddenberry and Grace Lee Whitney makes some flat assertions that are actually just well-supported speculations, but is nonetheless is a shocking and dispiriting revisionist history of Trek that’s well worth considering.

gauld-declutteringvertical-panel_-4-010617* The part I was born to play.

Race and Zootopia.

* Rick & Morty and theodicy.

* Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.

* The novel in the age of Obama.

* The Life-Changing Magic of Decluttering in a Post-Apocalyptic World.

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries.

* From my colleague Rebecca Nowacek: Don’t Retreat. Teach Citizenship.

* Student evaluations: still bad.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity: Alternative.

* I’m not normally one to defend college admin, but: Trade school fires president after he let homeless student stay in library during sub-zero weather.

* Without communism, there’s something missing from dystopian stories.

* Junot Diaz remembers Octavia Butler.

Legislation in two states seeks to end tenure at public colleges and universities. Missouri Lawmaker Who Wants to Eliminate Tenure Says It’s ‘Un-American.’

* The university as asylum. The university and the class system.

* The Changing English Major. The collapse of history as a discipline. A liberal arts college without English majors? Massive cuts at the University of Alberta.

* MLA Rejects Israel Boycott. MLA by the numbers (from the right).

* When a school hires adjuncts, where does the money go?

UBI already exists for the 1%.

* 26, 171.

* Shockingly enough, legalizing murder means more murders.

Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?

Somali refugee in Milwaukee publishes book.

* When the homeless die, it’s up to forensic investigators to find their families.

* The End of the Rural Hospital.

* Secrets of my success: Cracking a Joke at Work Can Make You Seem More Competent.

* The FBI has been using the Geek Squad as all-purpose informants.

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Trump Promised to Resign From His Companies — But There’s No Record He’s Done So. Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue. Mark Hamill, National Treasure. Searching for Time-Travelers on the Eve of the Trump Inauguration. Donald Trump, David Foster Wallace, and the hobbling of shame. A mere 34. It would be crazy not to impeach him. Keep America Great. Oh, you think? The DeVos Democrats. That’ll solve it. Here’s What You Can Do to Beat Trump. Preventing 2017 America from becoming like 1934 Germany: A watchlist. Philip K. Dick vs the Time of Trump. Here’s what Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About Fascism. Stop making sense, or, writing in the age of Trump. The stories coming out of this White House are bananas. Watch this story. And this one! How jokes won the election. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. UPDATE: This is fine.

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* Seems legit.

* This one too.

* But this one takes the cake.

* Meanwhile, the 2020 Dem frontrunner…

* But Jeet Heer thinks we can do even worse.

* Democrats in the Wilderness. Oh, they’ve got this.

* The Electoral College Is Even Worse Than You Think. But it can always be worse.

tumblr_ojwjs8g2yh1romv9co1_500What Would Happen in the Minutes and Hours After North Korea Nuked the United States?

* The Obama speeches. A politics that surrenders every level of government to its opposition cannot win the future. It has already lost the present. But this was good.

Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (But Their Schools Probably Won’t).

* Teachers who drink and drinkers who teach.

Bumblebee is first bee in continental US to be listed as endangered.

The Suburbanization of the US Working Class.

You Can Write a Best-Seller and Still Go Broke.

Thousands of Skittles end up on an icy road. But that’s not the surprising part.

Forced to watch child porn for their job, Microsoft employees developed PTSD, they say. The people behind the AI curtain.

* Ha ha ha, he’s the sheriff of my county, what a character, this is not frightening at all.

* Lessons from Octavia Butler: Surviving Trump.

* I still think every adult who let this get to trial should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

MST3K is that for me. It saved my life, at least twice. There’s no hyperbole in that declaration.

Sherlock‘s bizarrely self-aware problem with women.

* About that biometric password you’re born with and will never be able to change.

Women only said 27% of the words in 2016’s biggest movies.

Most primate species are now threatened with extinction.

* Neanderthals were people too.

When a Video-Game World Ends.

* Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich.

* Twilight of the cruelty factory circus.

* “We Will Miss Antibiotics When They’re Gone.”

* “Genderless Nipples account frustrates Instagram.”

* Disability and as-seen-on-TV.

Wolf-Sized Otters Prowled the World Six Million Years Ago.

Not all that long ago, as the editor in chief of Gawker.com, Daulerio was among the most influential and feared figures in media. Now the forty-two-year-old is unemployed, his bank has frozen his life savings of $1,500, and a $1,200-per-month one-bedroom is all he can afford. He’s renting here, he says, to be near the counselors and support network he has come to rely on lately.

* I still believe in Arrested Development Season Five.

* Your blast from the past: Prodigy Online’s MadMaze.

* Superheroes and the kids today.

* Episode 8 has a name.

* Autism causes vaccines.

* And RIP, Mark Fisher. A memorial fund for his wife and son. His piece on depression.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning

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* Well, it certainly doesn’t sound very jubilant: A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.

The Wire: The Musical.

* The Watchmen sequel gets meta right off the bat.

André & Maria Jacquemetton talk to Slate about “Commissions & Fees,” while Jared Harris talks to the New York Times. Big spoilers for the most recent episode, naturally.

My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either. 

* Adam Kotsko reviews one of the next books in my increasingly long “free time” reading queue, Red Plenty.

* From the too-good-to-check files: 

A Dutch company has launched a reality television-type project to establish a human settlement on Mars by 2023.

Mars One, as the project is called, aims to bring a total of 40 astronauts to Mars between 2023 and 2033. Organizers say the astronauts will be expected to remain there permanently – “living and working on Mars the rest of their lives.”

Where do we sign up?

* Which Wisconsin? Lorrie Moore in the NYRoB.

 On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way for Detroit voters to determine whether or not marijuana should be legal.

* A new study shows “Women earn 91 cents for every dollar men earn—if you control for life choices.” The whole idea of “life choices” is itself essentially an argument-from-privilege, taking male experiences as neutral and unmarked and female experiences as a deviation from the norm—but women earn ten percent less even when you buy that line.

* ‘No surprise at all: ‘stand your ground’ defendants more likely to prevail if the victim is black.’ No one could have predicted!

You already know how a bill becomes a law. Now let’s take a look at how a secret memo becomes a kill list.

* Pittsburgh, before smoke control.

* “Right of conscience” watch: NJ Doctor Would Reportedly Rather Let Patient Die Than Treat Him For ‘Gay Disease.’

* Special pleading watch: I can’t wait to find out why Minnesota’s big shift towards marriage equality doesn’t count as evidence for the bully pulpit, either.

What happens when psychiatric hospitals disappear.

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal takes an old-school sci-fi glimpse at the future of human evolution.

They Kidnapped the Dean and Replaced Him with a Fake!

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

Big Monday Links

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(some links stolen from the great zunguzungu)

* It’s bad enough that I’ll never be asked to reboot Back to the Future—but it’d be utterly intolerable if the gig goes to two guys I went to high school with. Jon says it’s all a big misunderstanding but you know he’s just trying to throw me off the scent.

* There is no fresh start: The Return of Mad Men and the End of TV’s Golden Age. A metafictional reading of the series. And for fun: The Foreign Language of Mad Men: Do the characters really talk like people from the ’60s?

Let us start with the obvious: in the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on America on September 11th 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist.

* Arundhati Roy: “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.”

* In his novel “2066: Red Star Over America,” Han, China’s premier science-fiction writer, depicts a disturbing future. It is the year 2066. China rules the world while the U.S. festers in financial decline and civil war. A team has been sent to America to disseminate civilization through the traditional Chinese board game Go. But during the critical Go match held at the World Trade Center, terrorists strike. The seas around New York rise, the Twin Towers crumble and the U.S. is plunged into pandemonium. You had me at “Go.” Via io9.

* Do professors get paid too much for too little work? Obviously. More here.

* Related: “College Professors Demand Right to Be Mean.”

* Facebook asserts trademark on word “Book.” Can’t see that being controversial.

* It must be an election year, because suddenly the Obama administration is talking about the environment.

Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change said on Sunday. “Scientists at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming,” Reuters reports. “It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming,” said the study. Why didn’t anybody warn us!

Government spending is good in a recession? Why didn’t anyone tell us!

* Why is horseracing even allowed? Via MeFi.

Rules: This is a very specific contest. Don’t tell us why you like meat, why organic trumps local or why your food is yours to choose. Just tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.

* If They Directed It: The Hunger Games. I don’t think anything I’ve written on Twitter has gotten as many retweets as my brief reading of series as a utopia.

* Imagining The Wire Season Six.

* On not calling Rich Santorum “crazy.”

* Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes up his visit to the wonderful conference I was at last weekend, ICFA 2012.

A highlight of ICFA was China Miéville’s talk “On Monsters.” I am a fan of Miéville’s work; The City and the City is one of my favorite books. His narratives are always beautifully written as well as philosophically challenging. Besides possessing an astonishing vocabulary (he sends me to the dictionary, and makes me wonder how they ever gave me a PhD), he is a writer widely read in theory — though his books never turn into allegories for lit crit. They always trace problems, and stay away from anything easy. Miéville brought up Quentin Meillassoux and speculative realism, for example, during his paper (dismissively: he is not a fan of SR or object oriented philosophy, which surprised me). China’s presentation started off as straightforward account of how the uncanny might be broken into various subcategories: the ab-canny, the sur-canny, the sub-canny, the post-canny, the para-canny, and onwards. His account began seriously but spiralled into a proliferative joke. His point was that classification is not analysis, and that such a “taxonomic frenzy” (as he called it) mortifies: “the drive to translate useful constructs into foundations for analysis is deadly,” because it violently takes away the potency and possibility of the terms it organizes. What was interesting to me, though, is that China’s talk performed something, um, para-canny (right beside itself, there but unseen) that I’ve also learned from studying medieval encyclopedists: taxonomic frenzy might produce a desiccated system of emplacement in which everything gets filed into a cabinet and drained of its vitality. Or it might actually be so creative in its proliferative energy and so limned by the necessity of its own failure that it undermines its own rigidity in the very process of articulation, becoming an envitalizing and innovative act — an act of writing — rather than a system of deadening inscription. China’s multiplication of canniness had a power that he walked away from, I think: why abandon your monster like that?

* Honoring the 20th anniversary of Apollo 18 the only possible way: interactive fiction.

* This American Life: What kind of ideology?

* “He Was a Crook”: Longform.org remembers Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

* Haiti: Where did the money go?

* Support for Afghan War falls. Support for NC anti-gay amendment rises.

A recent Elon University poll found that 58 percent of North Carolinians oppose the amendment, with 38 in favor of it. That poll surveys adults statewide, while the WRAL News poll includes the results only of likely voters.

Despite the broad amendment support in the WRAL News poll, only 37 percent of voters said same-sex couples deserve no legal recognition in North Carolina, according to the poll.

So you have no idea what you’re voting for and won’t bother to find out. Got it.

* Because the 2012 campaign hasn’t been tedious enough: 2016.

* Trayvon Martin and the history of lynching. The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free. On Trayvon Martin as innocent victim.

Why Obama’s Healthcare Law Is Constitutional. Absolutely everything you need to know about health reform’s Supreme Court debut. What the Supreme Court Could Do About Obamacare, Explained. Legal experts: Court won’t strike down ‘Obamacare.’

* If I didn’t know better I’d say this little video has some sort of message.

* MLA Job Information List data back to 1965.

* Infographic of the night: Doomsday Predictions Debunked.

* The headline reads, “UC review backs use of pepper spray on protesters.” Huh! I really thought they’d give themselves hell.

Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: “A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes.”

You’re a university, for Christ’s sake. My god.

* What could possibly go wrong? Has Obama put us on a permanent war footing, even in peacetime?

* And what could possibly go wrong? Tacocopter could be the unmanned future of food delivery. Some should have read more Jenny Rhee.

Some Highlights from Best American Comics 2011

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* David Lasky, “The Ultimate Graphic Novel (in Six Panels).”

* K. Beaton, “Great Gatsbys” (already linked previously!)

* Joey Allison Sayers, “Oh No, Pet Cat” (just a taste!)

* Gabrielle Bell, “Manifestation”

Here’s the whole book at Amazon, introduced by Alison Bechdel. Of course it’s got some Chris Ware in there, too…

Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

‘Almost Programmatically Unmemorable’

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‘Almost programmatically unmemorable’: A.O. Scott pans Wolverine. But can’t you see? It’s metafiction.

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” will most likely manage to cash in on the popularity of the earlier episodes, but it is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue. A twist at the end that gives poor Wolverine a bad case of amnesia — turning him into a kind of Jason Bourne with sideburns — is a virtual admission that nothing terribly interesting has been learned about the character. He forgets his origins before the movie devoted to their exposition is even over. It won’t take you much longer.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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