Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Philip Roth

Thursday Links!

leave a comment »

* The gritty reality of this world: Marquette University student commencement address from Ben Zellmer, MU Health Sciences ’18.

* The people who buy into the idea of eugenics and racial supremacy—the alt-right and their fellow travellers—will sooner or later have to come to terms with the inevitability of anthropogenic climate change. Right now climate denialism is a touchstone of the American right, but the evidence is almost impossible to argue against right now and it’s increasingly obvious that many of the people who espouse disbelief are faking it—virtue signalling on the hard right. Sooner or later they’ll flip. When they do so, they will inevitably come to the sincere, deeply held belief that culling the bottom 50% to 90% of the planetary population will give them a shot at survival in the post-greenhouse world. Charlie Stross predicts the 21st century.

* My colleague C.J. Hribal’s essay “Do I Look Sick To You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)” has won a Pushcart Prize.

* Sure! Why not.

* We did it! Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation, Federal Reserve Study Concludes.

* CFP: Indiana Jones and the Edited Collection. CFP: Blackness and Disability. CFP: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop Role-Playing, and Fandom.

WISCON 42! “Doing Justice To The Archive: The Octavia E. Butler Papers.”

* There is only one Trump scandal.

* Stolen election pays big dividends.

* No one could have predicted this shocking turn of events.

* I’ll belabor a few other issues that reduce philanthropy’s net returns to the University.  Fund-raising cost indices suggest that the overhead for raising a dollar is about 20 cents, so initial net is perhaps 80 percent of the gross figures we publish.  Many gifts leverage matching funds from the University, so the true net after costs is quite a bit less than that, or even negative (UCLA’s Luskin Center received a generous donation of $40 million for a project with overall costs of $162 million).   There are other subtractions: the doubling of UC fundraising needs to cover nearly 30 percent more students with inflation lowering the take another 20 percent over that ten year period.   There are institutional burdens: the donor model has spawned hundreds of school, program, and department-level fundraising programs across the UC system, whose costs in time, money, and loss of resources for the educational core have not been calculated.  More indirectly, talking up private funding may encourage the state not to rebuild public funding to 21st century requirements.  (This is a feedback loop that, given years of inadequate annual general fund increases, UC officials should consider seriously.)  And this is not an exhaustive list of issues.

* Profession: The Sky Is Falling.

Scandal after scandal focuses scrutiny on USC leadership, culture.

* Against teaching evals.

This Professor Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment For Years. Then An Anonymous Online Letter Did What Whispers Couldn’t.

The Best Question To Ask on the Last Day of Class.

* Why does the head of a NY labor studies center get no job protections? SUNY has some explaining to do.

‘Jesus never charged a leper a co-pay’: the rise of the religious left.

* Traditional Disobedience: Renewing the Legacy of Catholic Activism.

After decades of dwarfs and elves, writers of color redefine fantasy.

* Magic: The Gathering and capitalism.

* Killing All Humans: A Flowchart.

David Foster Wallace was terrible to women.

The Two Crucial Filmmaking Elements Causing All Your Movie Feuds.

* Arrested Development season five has been managed so badly by Hurwitz and Netflix that it’s practically begging to be boycotted. More here.

* Marvel and the End of Counterprogramming.

* HBO’s Watchmen series sounds worse than I imagined.

What Deadpool 2’s fridging controversy says about comics culture’s gender gap.

* Two Americans were detained by a Border Patrol agent after he heard them speaking Spanish. Gay Army chaplain struggles to save husband from deportation. Trump Gang Dragnet Caught a Teen Who ICE Said Looked Like He Was in MS-13. He Wasn’t. “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”

* Breaking #MAGA: A man posed for months as an ICE agent. A traffic stop led his girlfriend to unravel the truth.

* Jordan Peterson, The Intellectual We Deserve.

* Shock: 2013 Chicago School Closings Failed To Help Students.

The Privacy Scandal That Should Be Bigger Than Cambridge Analytica. Amazon is selling police departments a real-time facial recognition system.

* Milwaukee cops abuse NBA star Sterling Brown. New York Jets chairman, brother of Trump ambassador, says he’ll pay fines for team players who protest during anthem.

He went to an in-network emergency room. He still ended up with a $7,924 bill.

* Immortality. Statement of teaching philosophy. Can YOU hit the bullseye?

* And huge, if true: America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy.

Good Morning, It’s Monday Links

leave a comment »

* TNG and the limits of liberalism (and, not incidentally, why I always recommend The Culture novels to Star Trek fans). And one more Trek link I missed yesterday: An oral history of “The Inner Light.”

* Your obligatory 9/11 flashback this year was all about Air Force One. And if you need more there’s always Tom Junod’s “The Falling Man.”

Sofia Samatar: Risk Is Our Business.

Who’s Afraid of AAARG?

We are, after all, rigged for gratification, conditioned to want to “feel good.” We seek pleasure, not pain; happiness, not misery; validation, not defeat. Our primary motivators are what I have previously called the “Neuro P5”: pleasure, pride, permanency, power, and profit — however these may be translated across socio-cultural contexts. Whenever technologies that enhance these motivators become available, we are likely to pursue them.

The layered geologic past of Mars is revealed in stunning detail in new color images returned by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which is currently exploring the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp. The new images arguably rival photos taken in U.S. National Parks.

* “Why a forgotten 1930s critique of capitalism is back in fashion.” The Frankfurt School, forgotten?

* CFP: “Activism and the Academy.”

* Your MLA JIL Minute: Assistant Professor of Science Fiction/Fantasy Studies at Florida Atlantic University.

Rereading Stephen King’s It on Its 30th Anniversary.

* Rereading The Plot Against America in the Age of Trump.

How ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Built Modern Conservatism.

* Weird temporality in It Follows, by way of The Shining.

* States vs. localities at Slate. Wisconsin vs. Milwaukee is the example in the lede.

Donald Trump and the Fall of Atlantic City. Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign.

* And just in case you’re wondering: What happens if a presidential candidate dies at the last second?

* Once again: A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found 10 cases of voter impersonation — the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.

* 21st Century Headlines: “Airlines and airports are beginning to crack down on explosive Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.”

* Rebranding watch: Lab-Grown Meat Doesn’t Want to Be Called Lab-Grown Meat.

Passing My Disability On to My Children. Facing the possibility of passing on a very different genetic condition — which, as it turned out, I wasn’t a carrier of– I was very much on the other side of this before we had our children.

* Addiction and rehabilitation, a minority report.

Why Do Tourists Visit Ancient Ruins Everywhere Except the United States?

* Oh, now he’s sorry!

* Jason Brennan (and, in the comments, Phil Magness) talk at Bleeding Heart Libertarians about their followup paper on adjunctification, “Are Adjuncts Exploited?: Some Grounds for Skepticism.”

Why Do Americans Find Cuba Sexy — but Not Puerto Rico?

* This Friday at C21: Brian Price on Remakes and Regret.

* From the archives: Some Rules for Teachers.

* And we’ll never see prices this insane again.

Monday Night Links

with one comment

Accreditor Recommends Probation for University of Phoenix.

* The Oscar’s Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night. Why Seth MacFarlane’s Misogyny Matters. Fantasy Fans: Where’s Your Outrage? There are no three-way mirrors in Hollywood. Seth MacFarlane, misogynistic Oscar host. The End of Men Oscars. The thing about being a little black girl in the world. The long death of the middle-brow. The Onion offers a rare apology.

* State of the Industry, Part II: And the Winner Is… The State!

* College Rape Survivor Faces Potential Expulsion For ‘Intimidating’ Her Rapist.

* Art Spiegelman offers up a secret history of Garbage Pail Kids.

Django Unchained: A White Revenge Fantasy. Django Unchained, or, The Help: How “Cultural Politics” Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why.

* More on AMC’s planned adaptation of The Sparrow.

Bork: Nixon Offered Me SCOTUS Seat for Firing Archibald Cox.

Arrested Development Not Getting Second Netflix Season.

* Post-work: A guide for the perplexed.

* The academic jobs beat: The Cost of The Job Application Process.

* I think I might have done this one already, but regardless: meet the handful of countries Britain’s never invaded.

Keystone XL Decision Will Define Barack Obama’s Climate Legacy.

* Antimonies of Philip Roth.

* And Pynchon’s next.

The novel, set in 2001, takes place in “the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11,” Penguin said in a release announcing its 2012 results.

An Oldsmobile in a World Yearning for a Prius

with 3 comments

Alexander Narzaryan argues American writers just don’t deserve the Nobel Prize. Of the usual list of Americans only Cormac McCarthy strikes me as a genuine contender, and I don’t know that he’ll ever actually win.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

A Few Other Late-Night Links

leave a comment »

A few other late-night links.

* Philip Roth has surrendered to television on behalf of the novel.

“I was being optimistic about 25 years really. I think it’s going to be cultic. I think always people will be reading them but it will be a small group of people. Maybe more people than now read Latin poetry, but somewhere in that range.”

* Chris Ware in the New Yorker.

* If Harry Potter Was Made in the 1980s, and Starred David Bowie.

* ‘Man who threw feces in courtroom draws 31-year sentence for robbery.’ Live and learn.

* The Telegraph covers the laws of internet discourse.

7. Pommer’s Law
Proposed by Rob Pommer on rationalwiki.com in 2007, this states: “A person’s mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.”

* Scientology convicted of fraud in France. See also.

* Will D.C. let J.J. Abrams have a crack at Superman? After the success of the Star Trek reboot this seems like an obvious move—and it would certainly be better than all their other attempts so far.

* Is your city recession-proof?

* Why your dryer sucks. More here.

* And Ezra Klein puts the politics behind the public option very well:

For the real liberals, the public option was already a compromise from single-payer. For the slightly less radical folks, the public option that’s barred from partnering with Medicare to maximize the government’s buying power was a compromise down from a Medicare-like insurance plan. For the folks even less radical than that, the public option that states can “opt out” of is a compromise from the straight public option. Access to the public option will be a political question settled at the state level. It is not a settled matter of national policy.

In many ways, this is a fundamentally conservative approach to a liberal policy experiment. It’s only offered to individuals eligible for the insurance exchanges, which is a small minority of the population. The majority of Americans who rely on employer-based insurance would not be allowed to choose the exchanges. From there, it is only one of many options on the exchange, and only in states that choose to have it. In other words, it has been designed to preserve the status quo and be decided on the state level. Philosophically, these are major compromises liberals have made on this plan. They should get credit for that.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 28, 2009 at 6:20 am

Against Updike

leave a comment »

Against Updike.

Has the reputation of any novelist fallen quite so far and so quickly as that of John Updike? Thirty years ago, he was at least the equal of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, and maybe even a good few notches above Roth. Bellow’s matt-grey seriousness, to be fair, has also fallen quite sharply as a commodity — whereas Roth keeps on rising with every novel, perhaps because his best work has been written since he hit pensionable age. Updike has been prolific of late, for sure, but his novels, for the past quarter of a century, have been greeted by the critics with a sigh and a knowing nod of the head: uh-oh, it’s him again.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

A Few More

leave a comment »

A few more.

* Acephalous explains what it is to write a dissertation.

* Is college a waste of time for most people? Ask Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve! Better yet, read Matt “Harvard” Yglesias on the subject, whose opinions have the advantage of furthering academia as a growth industry and therefore, by extension, my job prospects.

The real answer, of course, has to do with how you define “waste,” “time,” “most people,” and “college.” In the contemporary American context, a college degree by and large is the price of admission to the middle class, and “worth it” on that basis alone—but there are other possible cultural and economic contexts, with no guarantees that ours is either optimal or permanent. College is also, again by and large, a pretty enjoyable way to spend a few years figuring out what sort of person you’re going to want to be. The latter will remain true even if the former subsides, though it does seem to me unlikely that people will be willing to shell out quite so much money just for critical thinking skills and parties on the weekend.

* The works of Philip Roth, Chuck Palahniuk, and Haruki Marukami demonstrate in the New York Times how to tell a book by its cover.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm