Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘my media empire

612 Frozen Hellscape Links for All Your Frozen Hellscape Needs

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* In case you missed it, I posted my syllabi for the spring last week: Classics of Science Fiction, Game Studies, and Methods of Inquiry: The Mind. And just in time for my games course: Marquette announces that esports — competitive video gaming — will be a varsity sport next year.

* Another just-in-case-you-missed-it: I was on the most recent episode of Random Trek talking about Voyager episode 7.18, “Human Error.”

* I was interviewed for this Octavia E. Butler audio documentary at the BBC, though it’s geolocked at the moment and even I can’t listen to it…

* Polygraph 22 (“Ecology and Ideology”), coedited by me, Lisa Klarr, and Ryan Vu in 2010, has been put up in its entirety at the Polygraph site. Some sort of retrospective involving the three of us is coming in Polygraph 25 on Marxism and climate change…

* And you can read our introduction to The Cambridge History of Science Fiction for free at CUP! Put in a purchase order with your institutional library today!

* CFP: Marxism and Pornography.

* CFP: Canadian Science Fiction.

* CFP: After Fantastika.

* Science Fiction and Social Justice: An Overview.

* Special issue: Queerness and Video Games.

Speculative Anthropologies.

* Absolutely worst week of weather since we moved to Wisconsin. Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. Sea levels could rise by metres amid record Antarctic ice melt, scientists warn. And meanwhile, in Australia.

* For and against hopepunk.

* The hope in dystopia.

* The radical hope of Octavia E. Butler.

* Snowpiercer was a documentary.

Fantastic Beasts and Muggles: Antihumanism in Rowling’s Wizarding World.

* The next Cixin Liu: Supernova Era.

Red Moon, Red Earth: the radical science fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson.

* A year-end (oops) roundup post about great science fiction stories from 2018.

The Largest J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit in Generations Is Coming to the U.S.: Original Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps & More.

* At its core was an algorithm so powerful that you could give it the rules of humanity’s richest and most studied games and, later that day, it would become the best player there has ever been.

* What’s a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?

* The University in Ruins: Colleges Lose a ‘Stunning’ 651 Foreign-Language Programs in 3 Years. The life and death and life? of the English major. Getting Students to Study Literature.

Proceedings Start Against ‘Sokal Squared’ Hoax Professor. Landmark controversy could determine once and for all whether journal editors are people.

* The MSU autopsy.

Being Poor in America’s Most Prestigious M.F.A. Program.

The median salary for a full-time writer in America is $20,300.

* When you kill the humanities, you kill the sciences’ revenue stream.

4. The real analogy to make here is how many monuments do you see to, say the “genocidal regime” in Germany? Are there statues of Hitler at the University of Berlin? Of course not. There are “historical remnants” across Germany. But that is different than erecting monuments.

Racism and the Wisconsin Idea. And while we’re beating up on Wisconsin: Mandela Barnes Is First African-American In Decades To Hold Statewide Office In Wisconsin.

How Ph.D.s Romanticize the ‘Regular’ Job Market. Okay, y’all, let’s talk quick about what my experience was getting an #altac job. And from the archives: Alt-Ac Isn’t Always the Answer.

* Federal judge allows to proceed a suit in which white student says an admissions officer told her she might improve her odds of getting into medical school by discovering Native American or African American lineage.

* Baby Boomers to steal college from their grandchildren, again.

* Hampshire College struggles to stay afloat.

* College of Theseus.

* The university at the end of the world.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation. Generation Layoff.

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job.

Not lazy, not faking: teaching and learning experiences of university students with disabilities.

In this context, diversity banners are not evidence of Maoism on the march. They are evidence of an institution whose ideals are at odds with its social function. Few in higher education want to work in a laundering operation that exchanges parental capital for students’ social capital so that they can turn it back into material capital again.And yet…

The Data Colleges Collect on Applicants. Chinese schools are using ‘smart uniforms’ to track their students’ locations.

* Journalism in ruins. What will Google and Facebook do when they’ve killed off every industry they’re parasitic on? BuzzFeed’s Unpaid 19-Year-Old Quiz Genius on Her Tricks, the Layoffs, and Jonah Peretti. Do You Still Have A Job At BuzzFeed?

* How to build a Medicare-for-all plan, explained by somebody who’s thought about it for 20 years.

* The Foxconn deal just gets worse and worse.

Whiteness in 21st century America has an endgame, and it is this: to divest itself from the shame of its power, while working to revive the fear it needs in which to thrive.

In the face of climate apocalypse, the rich have been devising escape plans. What happens when they opt out of democratic preparation for emergencies? Call me crazy but the horse may have left the barn on this one.

Our national amnesia and insouciance is so advanced (sort of like those of our president) that we have already forgotten that Malibu burned down this fall and the celebrities had to flee, many losing their multimillion-dollar mansions. Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds. Billionaire Miami Beach Developer Dismisses Rising Sea Levels as ‘Paranoia.’ Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. The Democrats are climate deniers. What It’s Like to Be a High School Senior and Lose Everything in the Worst Fire in California History. Managed retreat. This is what extinction feels like from the inside. Everything is not going to be okay.

* Consider de-extinction.

Soy boom devours Brazil’s tropical savanna.

* The end of the monarch butterfly.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, would have to pay $4.1 billion in the first year under U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, based on his current net worth of $137.1 billion. Article never quite gets around to mentioning that that’s about three weeks of Bezos’s earnings.

* Meanwhile: Hospitals Are Asking Their Own Patients to Donate Money. The wallet biopsy.

* Politicians have caused a pay ‘collapse’ for the bottom 90 percent of workers, researchers say.

* Joe Manchin’s Daughter Was Responsible For Increasing EpiPen Prices By 400%.

* “If True, This Could Be One of the Greatest Discoveries in Human History”: The head of Harvard’s astronomy department says what others are afraid to say about a peculiar object that entered the solar system.

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected.

Surely You’re a Creep, Mr. Feynman.

* Surviving R. Kelly.

The Bulletproof Coffee Founder Has Spent $1 Million in His Quest to Live to 180.

J’Accuse…! Why Jeanne Calment’s 122-year old longevity record may be fake.

CBS All Access playing with fire with my precious baby wants to create the next generation of Trekkies with multiple animated Star Trek series. On the plus side, Michelle Yeoh is good. On the down side, she will be playing a fascist, and the show will be poorly lit.” Star Trek 4.

* Trump scandal watch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

* What even is Fox News?

* The ACLU made the Border Patrol reveal its terrifying legal theories.

* Face it, tiger, you just need a new Constitution.

* Twilight of the UCB.

* Bandersnatch stats. The Illusion of Free Will: On “Bandersnatch” and Interactive Fiction. The biggest thing missing from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’s horror story about a career in games. Paging the Reddit detectives.

* Ainehi Edoro on the New Image of Africa in Black Panther.

* I have a problem with Black Panther: Anyone committed to an expansive concept of Pan-African liberation must regard ‘Black Panther’ as a counterrevolutionary film.

Was Jane Jetson a Child Bride?

Dozens of college-age men dead from ‘accidental’ drownings—but a team of retired detectives say the boys were drugged and killed by a shadowy gang with a sinister symbol.

The year was 2005. That same year, National Book Award-winning author George Saunders traveled to Kathmandu to meet Bomjon, or “Buddha Boy” as the Western press had dubbed him. Saunders trekked deep into the unruly jungle that’s shadowed by the distant Himalayas and recalled his adventure for GQ, reporting back that he felt as though he’d experienced a miracle. A divine presence. Dark Secrets of Nepal’s Famous Buddha Boy.

‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You.’ How is Bryan Singer still working?

* Sex after Chernobyl.

Winners of the 2018 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest. There’s more posts after the links, I just liked a bunch of these.

* Uber and Lyft singlehandedly wipe out US transit gains.

* AAVE and court stenography.

General Strike: Fierce Urgency of Now.

Research shows that encouraging all women to breastfeed comes with serious risks. Will our perception of it ever catch up?

* The end of forever: what happens when an adoption fails?

* When Isaac Asimov predicted 2019.

* The United States of Rage.

Facebook knowingly duped game-playing kids and their parents out of money.

How The Lord of the Rings Changed Publishing Forever.

* Maybe fixing schools isn’t actually about cutting budgets down to nothing and calling it a day.

* Automation at Amazon. Automation everywhere.

* The future is here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed: Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars.

The Fascinating ’80s Public Access Films Produced by a California UFO Cult.

“Black babies in the United States die at just over two times the rate of white babies in the first year of their life,” says Arthur James, an OB-GYN at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus. When my daughter died, she and I became statistics.

How Sears Was Gutted By Its Own CEO. Sears bankruptcy court OKs $25 million in bonuses for top execs.

Math against crimes against humanity: Using rigorous statistics to prove genocide when the dead cannot speak for themselves.

* The Future of the Great Lakes.

The Owner of One of the Biggest Comedy Clubs in the Country Tells Us Why She Said No to Booking Louis CK. Walking away from Louis C.K.The end.

* Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target.’

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

2018: The Year In Ideas: A Review Of Ideas. What Will History Books Say About 2018?

* The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

* 538 really covering its bases: How Kamala Harris Could Win The 2020 Democratic Primary. How Pete Buttigieg Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination.

* This Is What Happens When You Try to Sue Your Boss.

Tesla chief Elon Musk’s corporate jet flew more than 150,000 miles last year, or more than six times around the Earth, as he raced between the outposts of his futuristic empire during what he has called “the most difficult and painful year” of his career, according to flight records obtained by The Washington Post.

In the time it has taken for a child to grow up in Chicago, city leaders have either closed or radically shaken up some 200 public schools — nearly a third of the entire district — a comprehensive new tally by WBEZ finds. Boston’s economy is booming, but schools seem cash poor. Why? Hidden crisis: D.C.-area students owe nearly half a million in K-12 school lunch debt.

* Yes, there are online preschools. And early childhood experts say they stink.

Gym Class Is So Bad Kids Are Skipping School to Avoid It.

* The end of tag.

* The generation gap in the age of blogs.

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in Her Teeth.

AI Algorithm Can Detect Alzheimer’s Earlier Than Doctors.

* The secret of my success: A small literature demonstrates that names are economically relevant. However, this is the first paper to examine the relationship between surname initial rank and male life outcomes, including human capital investments and labor market experiences. Surnames with initials farther from the beginning of the alphabet were associated with less distinction and satisfaction in high school, lower educational attainment, more military service and less attractive first jobs. These effects were concentrated among men who were undistinguished by cognitive ability or appearance, and, for them, may have persisted into middle age. They suggest that ordering is important and that over-reliance on alphabetical orderings can be harmful.

Waukesha college helps answer ‘What’s next?’ for people with autism.

* Today in dark, dark headlines: Female veterinarians committing suicide in record numbers.

We’re Working Nurses to Death.

* Grifts in everything: GoFundMe Provides Refunds To Donors Duped By Viral Campaign.

* The DNA grift.

* “Look, a lot of Twitter is bad. No question. But only Twitter can take you on a journey like this. What a website.”

It is one of the neoliberal commandments that innovation in markets can always rectify any perceived problems thrown up by markets in the first place. Thus, whenever opponents on the nominal left have sought to ameliorate some perceived political problem through direct regulation or taxation, the Russian doll of the [neoliberal] thought collective quickly roused itself, mobilized to invent and promote some new market device to supposedly achieve the ‘same’ result. But what has often been overlooked is that, once the stipulated market solution becomes established as a live policy option, the very same Russian doll then also rapidly produces a harsh critique of that specific market device, usually along the lines that it insufficiently respects full market efficiency. This seemingly irrational trashing of neoliberal policy device that had earlier been emitted from the bowls of the [neoliberal thought collective] is not evidence of an unfortunate propensity for self-subversion or unfocused rage against government, but instead an amazingly effective tactic for shifting the universe of political possibility further to the right.

* And a tiny fraction of the genius Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has been laying down day after day after day while I’ve been gone: When sociologists make movies. Pickup lines. I couldn’t live without you. Domestication. Can video games be art? Honestly, Frank, that sounds like conspiracy theory territory. On Framing. I come from the future. Econ 101. Do you think humans are capable of suffering? Machine ethics.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Train Ride Links!

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* I accidentally said something that went viral and now Twitter is absolutely useless to me.

Seven-year-old Guatemalan girl dies of dehydration after being arrested by US Border Patrol. ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails. Trump is pushing Vietnam to accept deportees who have lived in the US for over 20 years.

The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women.

Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?

* ‘Carbon removal is now a thing’: Radical fixes get a boost at climate talks. Earth on course to match climate from 3 million years ago by 2030, UW study says. You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change. 40 million Americans depend on the Colorado River. It’s drying up. Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath. Urban Flooding Is Worryingly Widespread in the U.S., But Under-Studied. Welcome to the Eocene, where ice sheets turn into swamps. ”You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children.”

* University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?

* Can the liberal arts survive neoliberalism? Serving at Cross’s Purposes.

* Wall is good. Build wall!

* We can’t pull down statues of slaveowners, while out there they’re pulling down statues of Gandhi.

* Got to have some mixed feelings.

* Over the last decade or so it seems like very police forensic technology has been revealed to be complete and utter bullshit, which people believe in simply because they believe whatever cops say.

* Nice work if you can get it: insider trading is legal when you’re in Congress.

* Employers should have to bear the costs of at-will employment if they want to reap the benefits, so to the extent that this “ghosting” is actually happening that is very, very good.

* Elsewhere in hyperexploitation: Uncompensated Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (one-year term).

How The US Left Failed Brasil. You’re not going to pin this on me!

* Teach the controversy: It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.

* Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist.

There’s some wild shit going on in the far corners of the Game Of Thrones map.

* Totally normal.

* Fossils of the 21st century.

* Union solutions / management solutions.

* Twilight of Netflix.

* We did it!

* And it was 20 years ago (yesterday).

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 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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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.

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.

Thursday Night Links!

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(Slight format change: with the return to teaching, increased professional responsibilities, and my kids getting older [too fast!] I’m having real trouble keeping up with the level of linkblogging I’ve previously done. I’m not hanging up the blog, quite yet, but it’s definitely going to continue to be more irregular and more tightly focused on stuff I find particularly interesting and/or might someday need for research. Sorry! Please simply take it as read that Trump sucks, everything he does sucks, and everyone who supports him sucks.)

* This week I have a review of John Scalzi’s newest book, The Collapsing Empire, up at LARB: “No, Speed Limit.” Buy it! It’s good!

* For the more academic minded among you I’ve also got a review of Anthony Lioi’s Nerd Ecology up at ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. I tweeted an excerpt from it too not long ago:

* Must have: Monograph by Chris Ware.

* Humanitarian catastrophe in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are living climate change right now. Here’s how they describe it. He rattled off a list of what he could not find: bottles of water, gas canisters to light stoves, food.

* Isle of Dogs looking like a strong contender for the first Wes Anderson movie I don’t like.

* Harrowing read: Student survives three days in a cave after college spelunking group leaves him behind.

* Futurism’s blind spot.

* Revolutionary Possibility: Henry Farrell on China Miéville’s October.

* Farah Mendlesohn is crowdfunding her Robert Heinlein book, which proved too long for its original publisher.

* Great review of the (excellent) Star Trek: Discovery pilot from Aaron Body at LARB. I’m very pleased, and a little shocked, by how good it is! Star Trek Spec Scripts That Never Saw the Light of Day. And yes, of course it is.

Humanities, universities and sustainability. Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars. And doing my part: Amid Professors’ ‘Doom-and-Gloom Talk,’ Humanities Ph.D. Applications Drop.

From a public relations perspective, accepting the terms of a right-wing narrative about supposedly illiberal campuses by bending over backwards to subsidize an already well-financed right-wing assault on the university may do more to confirm the erroneous claims of that narrative than to change them. That narrative has become a crucial element in the arsenal of weapons used to attack our democracy. Make no mistake: the groups that attacktransgender people, Muslims, people of color, women, legal immigrants as well as undocumented students, are also those that attack science, and feel no obligation to hold their views to academic standards of evidence or coherence. We, therefore, urge the administration to creatively and courageously confront the way free speech is being deployed against our academic freedom, and—in deciding what can take place on our campus — to prioritize the conditions that enable teaching and research.

* Meanwhile, across campus. How Much Is Your College Football Team Worth?

* The nightmare state of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Democrats, for all their self-conception as architects of a progressing world, possess no such singular purpose. Their plan, even when they are in office, consists largely of defending the paltry welfare state already in place against the vastly more disciplined forces of reaction. Their ambition — when they have the opportunity to realize one — is just to tweak. Sometimes they tweak for the better. Sometimes they call their tweaking “welfare reform.”

* The Senate’s Military Spending Increase Alone Is Enough to Make Public College Free. Forever and ever amen.

* centrism.biz.

* How She Lost.

* Wendy Brown on apocalyptic populism.

* Head Geek Is Head Creep.

War With North Korea Starts to Look Inevitable.

* The Madness of Donald Trump.

We’re not going to fix American democracy until we can explain why the GOP went crazy.

The Resegregation of Jefferson County.

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (But Don’t Know It).

* No rights which the white man was bound to respect.

The latest way tech companies have promoted their questionable self-image as the antithesis of old, evil corporations has been to open their offices not to unions, but to dogs. Capitalism with a Fluffy Face.

* Nice work if you can get it.

ICE violates own policy by locking up pregnant women, complaint alleges. ICE Is Using Prostitution Diversion Courts to Stalk Immigrants. The American citizens illegally detained by ICE. Immigrant taken by ICE from Austin courthouse was killed in Mexico. Undocumented Parents Arrested at Children’s Hospital While Awaiting Their Infant Son’s Surgery. Two Women Say They Lost Pregnancies In Immigrant Detention Since July. Government policies funneling illegal immigrants into more dangerous crossing areas have contributed to fatalities. A cancer patient desperately needs a stem-cell transplant. But the U.S. won’t grant the donor a visa. ICE attacks sanctuary cities, arrests 450.

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees.

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan: Converting into private schools — and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.

* In the richest country in human history.

By age 3, inequality is clear: Rich kids attend school. Poor kids stay with a grandparent.

According to a Department of Education report, black students nationally were three times more likely to be suspended than whites in 2012. Suspensions occur most commonly in secondary schools, but black children were more than twice as likely to be suspended from preschool as well.

* When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”

* Today’s don’t-say-climate-change term of art: mega-heat dome. Australia’s record-breaking winter beats average highs by 2C, Climate Council says.

Although the uncertainty of each prediction in Fig. 4 is considerable, all scenarios for cumulative uptake at the century’s end either exceed or are commensurate with the threshold for catastrophic change.

One of the clearest signs of climate change in Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey was the rain.

* What would a flood-proof city look like?

* When Bad DNA Tests Lead to False Convictions.

What happens after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity? Often the answer is involuntary confinement in a state psychiatric hospital—with no end in sight.

* Notes towards a trans reading of Severus Snape.

Gerrymandering on Trial.

* The New York Times reviews N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy.

* Jordan Peele gets it.

* The secret history of Dune.

* A people’s history of Dunkin Donuts.

Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right—From ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ to Newt’s Moon Base to Donald’s Wall.

* It’s officially too late to save Title IX.

* You had me at hello: Each successive video takes on a new video game and goes into incredibly granular detail on the speed-running history associated with it.

* Your time-travel short of the moment: Cradle.

* Is the Pope Catholic?

* This is a beautiful thing.

Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969.

* And finally a reason to start drinking: Arcade games return to Milwaukee bars.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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