Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Newsroom

What to a Blogger Is the 5th of July?

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* By request, I made a Storify (my first!) of our conversation about Louie 3.1.

* Next up in the “definitive takedown” series that has made An und für sich so rightly famous and so terribly feared: the ontology of Aaron Sorkin.

One could criticize Sorkin’s ontology for lacking depth and nuance and view the family structure as artificial and forced, but that is not a flaw so much as the entire point. Every Aaron Sorkin show starts from the same radical subtraction and carries the same basic axioms to the same absolutely rigorous conclusion. Sorkin’s universe is one in which a repeated reassertion of a rudimentary structure is the sole alternative to absolute chaos. Given the absolute lack of inherent “character traits” or “motivations,” their stereotyped relationships are the only thing keeping the “characters” from descending into a total — albeit clever — glossolalia.

Pennsylvania looks to disfranchise 10% of its population to prevent voting fraud it can’t prove has ever happened. Why not just have the military install Romney as king and get this over with? It’d be quicker and more honest.

* I’m an academic, I don’t do it for the money: In Defence of Unpaid Academic Positions. Note: not actually a defense!

What this means is that in graduate school we get used to working for nothing, even as we’re expected to invest heavily in expensive professional development activities. By attending conferences, we pay for the opportunity to present our work to our (future) peers, who are the primary “gatekeepers” to academe. This system helps to perpetuate privilege because only “those who have afforded to work for free will get jobs. The vicious circle is maddening” (Ernesto Priego, July 2, 2011, Twitter).

* Of course, there are perks: Drunk professor forces students to sit through 23-hour-long science exam.

* Another study shows for-profit university students earn less, default more.

San Diego accidentally sets off all its fireworks at the same time, creating a wormhole and/or the Eye of Sauron.

* This time our New Four Horsemen–who claim to be market-oriented Republican justices–struck at an approach supported by the market-oriented Republican presidents who appointed them, thought up by market-oriented Republican ideologues to be the market-oriented Republican approach to keeping the market-oriented health insurance system from collapse. Fred Rodell understood that supreme court justices are for the most part moral and political actors first and text- and precedent-oriented legal technicians second. 

Fred Rodell would have been astonished by judges who are for the most part neither precedent- and text-oriented legal technicians nor moral and political actors, but mere partisan weathervanes.

* Here come the new Obamacare challenges.

* Inconceivable! States Bucking ‘Obamacare’ Are Among Those With Highest Rates Of Uninsured.

* And on the actually-existing-media-bias beat: just don’t mention the science.

Weekend Links

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* Science fiction in Africa: Here’s a 23-minute BBC World Service documentary about science fiction in Africa, hosted by Zoo City author Lauren Beukes, who speaks to various luminaries, writers and commentators, including District 9 creator Neill Blomkamp.

* Emily Yoffe: I was sexually assaulted three times before I was 20. Here’s why I never told my family or the police.

* So you’ve decided to make a Sandusky prison rape joke.

* Tim Kreider wants you to like A.I.

* We need to recognize that the tax cutters were snake oil salesmen, the Federal Reserve an enabler of damaging debts and that bilateral trade deals are written of, by and for global financiers, not workers. To paraphrase the Huey Lewis song, we need a new policy.

* Sorkin’s ‘Newsroom’ Is No Place For Optimism.

* When you touch goo, you shouldn’t have gloves on you: science training from the Weyland Corporation.

* And just because it’s Saturday: some recent photos of my daughter, for people who love things that are adorable…

‘Sorkin’s Shows Are the Type That People Who Never Watch TV Are Always Claiming Are Better Than Anything Else on TV’

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Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker on “The Artificial Intelligence of The Newsroom. I’m a bit curious how things will play out this time around; it’s been a long time since those early seasons of The West Wing, and there’s been a lot of great TV since then…

Written by gerrycanavan

June 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

Wednesday

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* Doctor Who: 100% true. Fact.

* On the set of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. I would be very excited about this show if the protagonist weren’t yet another fantasyland Sorkin Republican.

* Connecticut has abolished the death penalty.

* Obama comes to Carolina, never mentions Amendment One.

* Most of what we think about Mexican immigration is wrong. (via)

* The end of the world and the impossibility of an alternative to financial capitalism are not just defining features of contemporary global imagination: they sustain one another. After all, if we might all be radioactive smudges on the tarmac come Tuesday, why not be out for as much as we can grab today? Why build a sustainable growth model if it might be underwater in thirty years? Unrestrained free-market capitalism requires that its vassals live in the moment, borrowing against their own futures, and for the past two generations of neoliberal policymaking, there have been logical reasons for us to do so.

* Obama v. Obama on the drug war.

* Vermont Continues Working Towards A Universal Health Care System.

* And some sad news: Rest in peace, Ernest Callenbach, father of Ecotopia.