Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘noir

Wednesday Lunchtime Links!

leave a comment »

* Sean Guynes has your deep dive into Fall 2019 university press catalogues. Kim Stanley Robinson and Joanna Russ both coming from Modern Masters of Science Fiction, which couldn’t make me happier.

* Strike at Uber and Lyft today. Call a cab instead!

* A 9-Year Quest for Carbon Neutrality Took Middlebury to Forests and a Dairy Farm.

* The psychology of inequality.

But one thing that struck me while reading the valiant efforts of journalists attempting to convey the gravity of the scale of the U.N. report (a 1,500-page document that its authors distilled into a 40-page summary, which reporters had to distill into a normal-size news story), is the sheer impossibility of that task. “Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded,” Brad Plumer’s Times story begins. Where do you even go from there?

Superheroes Starring in Children’s Books.

* Johns Hopkins Calls in the Police to Arrest Protesters, Ending Student Occupation.

Facial recognition wrongly identifies public as potential criminals 96% of time, figures reveal.

CBS Censors a ‘Good Fight’ Segment. Its Topic Was Chinese Censorship.

In the Era of Teen$ploitation.

It’s worth remembering that young people online are supposed to be shielded by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which puts limits on what can be done with the data of kids aged twelve and under. Websites directed at children, and websites that are popular with children, are required to take special precautions with children’s data—in fact, parental permission is required before that data can be collected at all. Corporations like YouTube and Facebook, however, knowingly evade these regulations by claiming that their products are meant for users aged thirteen and over.

* One imagines that, with time, the intricate web linking the movies will get more frayed and insubstantial, and the new films will seem increasingly inessential. And yet, after a certain point, following a story for a long time becomes a story in itself. After watching nearly thirty hours of Marvel adventures, Alex McLevy, the A.V. Club writer, concluded that “the experience overtakes the nature of the content.” This is true of the M.C.U. more generally. When watching any individual movie, a kind of pattern recognition—an intellectual interest in how each new story evokes or departs from the others—replaces narrative pleasure. The narrative worth caring about becomes the story of one’s own interaction with the M.C.U. Just as people ask, about historical events, “Where were you when it happened?,” so fans ask where they were when “Iron Man” came out, when the Avengers first assembled, when heroes and villains battled in Wakanda. This is the story that’s truly limitless.

* Impossibly, Far from Home really is going to try to get into the minutiae of the post-Snap MCU.

That was one of the most fun things — just talking through what the most mundane implications would be. Like, your birthday on your driver’s license or passport would say that you are five years older than you technically are. Those sorts of questions are just so fascinating to me, and I really wanted to get into the minutiae of it and really explore that.

* ecopoetics

* Could it be true? The Real Monster in “Game of Thrones” Is Its Hidden Reactionary Ideology.

In its final episodes, the series has resorted to making excuses for its own bad choices.

* Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses. 5 Takeaways From 10 Years of Trump Tax Figures.

* The muddled message from Pelosi—Trump is obstructing justice every day, but we’ll show him by not impeaching—is a byproduct of the corner she’s occupying: Impeach the president and risk a catastrophic backfire that secures him another term, or don’t impeach him, and allow Donald Trump to operate in a space where the credible threat of impeachment is off the table. The 2020 Election’s Approach Is No Reason to Avoid Impeachment.

* Meanwhile, Trump continues to use his pardons to send the message that if you kill for him there will be no consequences.

* Today in the richest country in the human history.

* Walt Disney and the Space Race.

* Milwaukee Noir. Read the introduction!

* Podcasts and intimacy.

Above all, podcasts make us feel less lonely. We tell ourselves offer codes in order to live. They simulate intimacy just enough to make us feel like we’re in a room with other people, or at least near the room... definitely in the same city as the room. But these people with podcasts are so much sharper than us, so at home in their corners of the world, with easy command of their respective bodies of pop-culture knowledge. The appropriate response is fandom. Coughing up $5 on Patreon feels like paying the cover at a dive for our local band, and we’re pleased to be part of something. Some podcasts even do live appearances, for which we might buy tickets. Listening to our heroes’ once intimate voices on a booming sound system, though, surrounded by a thousand fanboys, feels like a betrayal. We thought we had something special, with their voices so close to our ears. Podcasts were the first medium designed to be listened to primarily on headphones, by a single person. Hell is other listeners.

* Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research.

* Nightmare abortion ban in Georgia bans abortion after six weeks (so two weeks after a missed period) and criminalizes miscarriage, among other atrocities.

* On knotweed, the invasive plant that drives homeowners to madness.

* And the kids are all right: Tucson high school students walk out after Border Patrol detains classmate.

Tuesday Links!

leave a comment »

* In case you missed it / in case you’re interested: syllabi for my courses for this fall, Postmodern American Fiction and 21st Century Science Fiction.

* Stylish bulletproof whiteboards for today’s academic-on-the-go. Available in pink, blue, and green!

* Mothers are not ‘opting out’ – they are out of options.

* What would happen if, at long last, women and especially mothers were paid the market rate for their services? To begin with, it might buoy the baseline value of such work above zero, so that rank-and-file nurses, cleaners, and child care workers moiling in the waged economy wouldn’t get such lousy pay. Rosler and Federici belong to a generation of leftists largely suspicious of economic rationality, but to extend it, rather than battle to incrementally reduce its influence, could do women good. Put a price on women’s work, they say. If that work suddenly seems too expensive, it should. Perhaps men — increasingly the sex without work — might just do “women’s work” at lower pay, as women have done men’s since the Industrial Revolution. And perhaps women, as studies have shown they do, will use their wealth to improve the quality of life of entire households, entire societies.

tumblr_lzhczqOOaQ1qz9zmqo1_500* Coffee bad for you again. Stay safe, academics!

* Patriarchy by the numbers.

Big Smart Objects: Drone Culture and Elysium.

* Springsteen noir film series in Asbury Park.

* Simon Pegg, Marxist theorist.

Is it true that you wrote your undergraduate thesis on a Marxist overview of popular 1970s cinema and hegemonic discourses?

I did. The piece was actually called Base and Super Sucker which was a play on the phrase “Basic Super Structure”, which is a Marxist proposition, hegemony and consent in Star Wars and related works. Basically I was using Marxist modes of critical theory to address Star Wars. And the main thrust of it was that if you watch any kind of television or theatre or film that has certain kind of themes or opinions and you don’t critically recognize them, then you consent with them. So very simply put, if you watch a racist comedian and you laugh, then you are a racist. And there are various preoccupations and concerns that flow through popular cinema that reflect things that are going on in society, certain ideas and certain fears. The thesis suggested that by watching films like those you are participating in those fears and preoccupations.

He talked a little bit about this on WTF the other week.

* “In previous papers, ‘Financing the University – Parts 12-14’, I have demonstrated that there is a much larger constellation of management bureaucracy throughout UC, which has grown enormously over the past decade and is now estimated to waste some $600 million per year. The Senior Management Group, which you talk about here, is just the tip of that iceberg.”