Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘politics

Carefully Curated Spring Break Links! Definitely Not Too Many!

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Why, I say, oh why, is it so hard to simply serve the concept and write the adventures of a smart, creative and kind-hearted teenage girl with superpowers? What purpose earthly or unearthly is served by making this character an embittered space tyrant?

… I questioned the desire to attribute the worst aspects of human behaviour to characters whose only useful function, as I see it, aside from simply entertaining young people and anyone else who fancies an uplifting holiday in a storybook world far from the grinding monotony of pessimism and disillusion, is to provide a primary-coloured cartoon taste of how we all might be if we had the wit and the will and the self-sacrifice it takes to privilege our best selves and loftiest aspirations over our base instincts. While that great day is unlikely to happen any time soon in any halfway familiar real world, why not let comic book universes be playgrounds for the kind of utopian impulses that have in the past brought out the best in us?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Reading!

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* CFP: Folk Horror. CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2022.
* Four Tiny Essays on SF/F.
* The Future Is Black, Not Bleak: On Afrofuturist Poetry.

* Notes on Contemporary University Struggles: A Dossier.
* The Great Faculty Disengagement: Faculty members aren’t leaving in droves, but they are increasingly pulling away.
* Hustling to get by: side jobs in grad school. Great Books, Graduate Students, and the Value of Fun in Higher Education.
* Microsyllabus: The History of Campus Policing.
* They fought critical race theory. Now they’re focusing on ‘curriculum transparency.’

* Two years since Covid was first confirmed in U.S., the pandemic is worse than anyone imagined. America’s second pandemic winter: More virus, less death. Parents and caregivers of young children say they’ve hit pandemic rock bottom. Students are protesting covid policies — and the adults who won’t listen to them. America’s youth turn left.
* Families are in distress after the first month without the expanded child tax credit.
* ‘If I Die, I Die’: Meat Loaf Spurned COVID Rules Before Death. Inside Meat Loaf’s Health Troubles, Including Vocal Strain, Alcoholism and Onstage Collapses. Meat Loaf Was My Softball Coach.

* America’s shift to the right in 2021 is worse news for Democrats than it seems. The long slide: Inside Biden’s declining popularity as he struggles with multiple crises. ‘The Lowest Point in My Lifetime’: How 14 Independent Voters Feel About America. Joe Biden Promised Change. He Hasn’t Delivered.

* What Does It Mean If Republicans Won’t Debate?
* Read the never-issued Trump order that would have seized voting machines. Georgia Has a Very Strong Case Against Trump. Would Trump Throw His Own Kids Under the Bus to Save Himself? We May Soon Find Out.
* Florida Advances Bill That Would Ban Making White People Feel Bad about Racism, and No, That’s Not a Joke.
* Scientists Warn that Sixth Mass Extinction Has ‘Probably Started’. How to Prepare for Climate Change’s Most Immediate Impacts. Don’t Look Up Is Missing What We Really Need From Climate Change Movies.
* Scientists Are Racing to Understand the Fury of Tonga’s Volcano. Tonga volcano: islands covered in ash as three deaths confirmed.
* “When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule,” said Yankovic in a statement. “And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
* The Moon Knight moment.
* The Star Trek century.
* Do you know what’s cooler than One Ring?

* Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Looks Absolutely Incredible, But… Crunch and TT Games.
* Men Are Creating AI Girlfriends and Then Verbally Abusing Them.
* Smedley Butler Helped Build American Empire. Then He Turned Against It.
* The Fall of NC Mutual.
* Mother sues Meta and Snap over daughter’s suicide.
* Where’s the snow? Milwaukee is nearly 15 inches below its average this season.
* At-will employment in Wisconsin apparently means that you can be fired at any time for any reason but you need your boss’s permission to take a new job.
* Acting Mayor Johnson announces public safety plan to tackle gun violence, car thefts and reckless driving in Milwaukee.
* Discrimination has cost Black home owners of billions of dollars of generational wealth. What can change that?
* Huge, if true: Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme.
* Shakespeare Noir. The Tragedy of Macbeth Is a Cinematic Feast for Starving Film Lovers.
* 6 Dysfunctional Family Roles and Their Characteristics.
* New Bad Art Friend / West End Caleb mashup just dropped.
* Alcohol consumption can directly cause cancer, new genetic study finds.
* The Medieval Vegetarian.
* The Battle over Howard the Duck.
* This is your only friend in the world right now. It’s gonna be a long night.
* tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life
* They stan.
* We stan.
* What are the most compelling and readable “plotless” novels you’ve ever read? My answer.
* And it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be better with the pizza in hand.

New Year, New Pandemic Links

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* Brace for Omicron. Wisconsin COVID-19 case counts matching levels not seen since November 2020. Omicron is spreading at lightning speed. Scientists are trying to figure out why. Where are hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients? Look up your state. After Vaccines: Where Covid Death Rates Have Risen. Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown. “Things will likely get worse, experts warn.” As Omicron Looms, These Colleges Will Start Their January Classes Online. Junior year. You don’t say. In this Midwestern diner, patrons are sticking with coronavirus.

* The pandemic killed so many dialysis patients that their total number shrunk for the first time in nearly half a century.
* Flood of Creative Works Enter the Public Domain on Jan. 1.

* Absolutely beautiful, don’t even care if it’s true.

* How Will the History Books Remember 2021?
* Retired general recommends wargaming potential coup scenarios. That’s just prudent!
* America’s Electoral Future. What elections?
* Redistricting is Going Surprisingly Well for Democrats. Oh, honey.
* The Twitter Putsch. The Big Lie.
* John Roberts, Democratic hero. Joe Biden Has Been Very Good for the Military-Industrial Complex.
* Milwaukee ranks 2nd in poverty level among top 50 most-populated cities in U.S.
* Non-Mortgage Household Debt in the United States, 2003-2022.
* Fast-Moving Wildfires Burn Hundreds of Homes in Denver Area. ‘We Are in a Climate Emergency.’
* ‘The Fuse Has Been Blown,’ and the Doomsday Glacier Is Coming for Us All. The climate apocalypse is real, and it is coming. The trap of climate optimism.

* We stan.
* We’re preparing for apocalypse wrong — and that could make things even worse. What The Marvel Movies Don’t Say About The End Of The World.

But taken together, at the 100,000-foot level, the fact that each property is basically about someone doing what they were doing anyway, then having to deal with some new iteration of surreal but familiar external forces invading, and never having any time to really think about what it all means because the next thing is already happening, as it turns out — now that we really do live in a notable historical period of continual surreal events that could make you question the foundations of society — everyone has to continue doing what they were doing anyway when the world is ending, and you’ll never have that much time to think about what it all means because the demands of the next thing will be upon you.

What does it feel like when the world ends? It just feels like aliens invading until something else happens.

* The Subversive Playfulness of the ‘The Matrix.’The Matrix Resurrections’ captures the real crisis of our post-truth era. ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Is the Anti-sequel Sequel. The Matrix Resurrections is a messy triumph. Too many movies right now are “about trauma.” The Matrix Resurrections actually does the work. Why trans fans connect to ‘The Matrix’. On the Matrix Resurrections. Blank Check. Even Neo Can’t Log Off.

* Another person discovers the terrible truth about jazz in the Star Wars universe.
* The case against the trauma plot.
* Placement games were 2021’s most calming trend. Black Games Studies.
* LARB’s top-ten most-read of 2021.
* The Radical James Baldwin.
* The End of Neoliberalism in Chile?
* Space Colonists Will Likely Resort to Cannibalism, Scientist Says. Henry Kissinger: AI Will Prompt Consideration of What it Means to Be Human.
* Routine Maintenance: Embracing habit in an automated world.
* Why am I being hurt?
* The Judge Rotenberg Center, a Massachusetts school, still uses electric shock therapy to punish disabled students. How can an entire field of mental health accept this as fine?
* Death Drive Nation.
* I’m older than Frasier. I’m older than Cliff Claven.
* Behold: Star Trek: Coda.
* What are you doing? Listen to Man Bites Dog.
* And the news just gets worse: Exercise necessary for older people later in life, study says.

Just Another Monday Morning, Just Another Set of Monday Morning Links

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Monday Morning Links!

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Friday Links!

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A Whole Summer’s Worth of Links Crammed into a Two-Weeks-Sized Bag

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Wednesday Night Links!

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* Somehow, Grad School Vonnegut has returned.

* I’ll be giving a talk at UCSB next Tuesday as part of my ongoing Aurora project. Email me for details if you want them!

* What Is It Like to Be a Robot Fish Man? A Conversation with Ted Chiang.

* The Personal Works of Samuel R. Delany.

* She’s appeared in over 100 Star Trek episodes and three films — meet Tracee Cocco.

* The Planet after Geoengineering, at Biennale Architettura 2021.

* ‘A Watershed Moment’ for Shared Governance. AAUP Report: Survey Data on the Impact of the Pandemic on Shared Governance. Austerity Pedagogy and Unilateral Leadership Decisions. University of California Lecturers Unanimously Authorize Potential Strike. Why does college cost so much? Don’t save the university — transform it.

* A New Hire, a Koch Grant, and a Department in Crisis. A Poisonous Atmosphere at the County College of Morris. What Do You Do with a BA in English? The Native Scholar Who Wasn’t. How Many Black Women Have Tenure on Your Campus? On Decolonisation and the University. Academic Freedom on the Ropes.

* COVID-19 left college students depressed and anxious. Who will pay for their therapy?

* Oklahoma teacher says summer class canceled due to bill that bans teaching critical race theory. Why Social Justice Triggers Conservatives. Words That Mean Nothing. The Republican Party, Racial Hypocrisy, and The 1619 Project. Nikole Hannah Jones, A Mega-Donor, and the Future of Journalism. Behind Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Tenure Case. “Cancel Culture,” Hypocrisy, and Double Standards. Cancel culture telephone. Wild.

* Imani Perry: Ok, here’s some of the CRT books that I’ve taught and read over the years.

* We’ll Innovate Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis or Die Trying. Prayer for a Just War: Finding meaning in the climate fight. Why two women sacrificed everything to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Eight children and an octogenarian nun took the Australian Minister for the Environment to court, to establish whether there is a ‘duty of care’ to future generations. What’s Worse Than Climate Catastrophe? Climate Catastrophe Plus Fascism.

* Gymnastics, fresh from its nightmarish decades-long rape scandal, wants to make it so being one of the greatest gymnasts of all time doesn’t get you any points.

* We’re Not Ready for the Next Pandemic. The End IS Near. No, Seriously. The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people. New Mask Guidelines Don’t Take a Huge Number of Americans Into Account. Necrosecurity, Immunosupremacy, and Survivorship in the Political Imagination of COVID-19. How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible. If the Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis is true, expect a political earthquake.

* We Should Applaud the Cuban Health System — and Learn From It.

* Queer Girls in The Wilds: Refusing White Feminism’s Settler Colonial Fantasy.

* An Elementary School Teacher’s Secret Life As A White Nationalist Writer.

* 500+ Biden/Dem staffers call on Biden “to end the…occupation, blockade, and settlement expansion that led to this exceptionally destructive period in a 73-year history of dispossession and ethnic cleansing. The resulting status quo is…apartheid.” Biden Steps Back On Student Loan Debt Forgiveness, Leading To Major Criticism.

* The neoliberal order seems to be collapsing. A generation of young activists is trying to insure that it’s replaced by progressive populism, not by the fascist right.

* Crisis at the AP.

* Small Businesses Have Surged in Black Communities. Was It the Stimulus? What happened to the $45 billion in rent relief? Hospitality Workers Struggle to Find Reliable, Affordable Ways Home. Giving people money makes them happier and safer.

* The Graveyard Doesn’t Like: The Texas Winter Storm And Power Outages Killed Hundreds More People Than The State Says.

* We’re Being Worked to Death by Capital. Work Isn’t Fulfilling Because Capitalism Is a Death March. Bosses are acting like the pandemic never happened. The Luddites Were Right. The Blue Welfare State. On Chandler Bing’s Job.

* After 150 years of technological innovation, the problems facing the United States Postal Service are only getting harder.

* ‘No One’s Ever Talked to Me About This Before’: Social media creators are helping women and people of color identify possible symptoms of A.D.H.D., a disorder most often diagnosed in white boys.

* Hard to Read: How American schools fail kids with dyslexia.

* Wisconsin Republicans advance ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports.

* The Professor Who Became a Cop. The Lies Cops Tell and the Lies We Tell About Cops. And on the carceral futurism beat: How Will Radical Life Extension Transform Punishment?

* U.S. Soldiers Accidentally Leaked Nuclear Weapons Secrets Online: Report. Let’s hope the Russians haven’t heard about flashcards.

* The Spacefaring Paradox: Deep-space human travel is a lose-lose proposition.

* Crowdfunding is killing board game expansions. Video games have turned my kids into wage slaves – but without the wages. The Shortest Possible Game of Monopoly.

* Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie.

* Question time: my life as a quiz obsessive.

* How many American children have cut contact with their parents?

* Disaster patriarchy: how the pandemic has unleashed a war on women.

* RIP, Eric Carle.

* When Watchmen Were Klansmen. Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood found prosperity after the 1921 massacre. Then the highways arrived. Tulsa and the Myth of Objectivity.

* Let’s review how Bill and Melinda Gates spent billions of dollars to change public education.

* “Effective Altruism” and Disability Rights Are Incompatible.

* Spare a Thought for the Billions of People Who Will Never Exist.

* Oh, you think?

* It has been hard to convey, through anecdotes or data, how bizarre the U.S. housing market has become.

* You can’t outrun a nightmare: The lasting trauma of rape.

* Dangerous Bodies & Dress Codes.

* This Mommy Blogger Is Under Fire For Refusing To Stop Writing About Her 9-Year-Old After The Girl Begged Her To.

* QAnon Now as Popular in U.S. as Some Major Religions, Poll Suggests.

* ‘Greater Idaho’ took one step closer to being a real thing as 5 more counties voted to explore leaving liberal Oregon for conservative Idaho.

* Potatoes exonerated. Cleared of all charges!

* Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health.

* Not great: The Age of Autonomous Killer Robots May Already Be Here. Yikes.

* The world’s riskiest project.

* Neuralink Brain Chip Will End Language in Five to 10 Years, Elon Musk Says. Well, if Elon Musk says it…

* The Oral History of A Different World.

* Spanish Civil War ends.

* And Wes Anderson’s next movie has a release date. Nature is healing.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Paradoxa 32 has a cover.

* Boys don’t read enough.

* The era of high fertility is ending. Every child on their own trampoline. Police-Free Childhoods. The Seismic Generational Shift in Worldview: Millennials Seek a Nation Without God, Bible and Churches.

* Selfies, Surgeries And Self-Loathing: Inside The Facetune Epidemic.

* The Bullshit Jobs Boom.

* The empty brain. Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer.

* My theory, Philip K. Dick style, is that we didn’t survive the Cold War. All the evidence points that way.

* We still know basically knowing about COVID policy.

* Life Under Occupation: The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict.

* An interview with Emily Wilder, recent Stanford grad fired from AP job over criticisms of Israel.

* Science Fiction and Fantasy by Palestinian Authors.

* They tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now they want to run the next one. Republicans Move to Limit a Grass-Roots Tradition of Direct Democracy. 27 possible voter fraud cases in 3 million Wisconsin ballots. What if the Renegade Arizona Audit Declares Trump Won? Republicans Want You To Forget January 6 Ever Happened.

* Some Republicans may talk the talk, but this one walks the walk.

* Linkrot and you.

* How UFO sightings went from joke to national security worry in Washington. How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers.

* California climate refugees. Indigenous Land Management Is The Solution to the Wildfire Crisis. World’s largest iceberg, nearly four times size of New York City, forms in Antarctica. If these trends continue…

* Civilization Battle Royale.

* Makes a biographer’s job a bit easier when they can destroy the primary sources when they’re done with them.

* Indigenous Cinema and the Limits of Auteurism.

* How could anyone doubt it? “Generous” Billionaires Are Part of the Problem.

* Rebellion in the Faculty Lounge. For Colleges, Vaccine Mandates Often Depend on Which Party Is in Power. Why Did a University Suspend Its Mandatory Diversity Course? Conservatives Control Public Higher Education: UNC Chapel Hill Edition. What is at stake with Nikole Hannah-Jones being denied tenure. The Real Reason UNC–Chapel Hill Is Withholding Tenure From Nikole Hannah-Jones. A Statement from the UNC AAUP. Guess Who’s Coming to the Lecture?

* Right-wing media helped usher in the age of “cancel culture,” but now pretend it’s an invention of the left.

* ‘I am seeking justice’: Tulsa massacre survivor, 107, testifies to US Congress.

* Decolonizing Education: A Conversation with Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

* #ReleaseTheSteinbeckWerewolfThing.

* Has science fiction become too serious? Apocalypse movies need to imagine climate solutions, too.

* Bring on the Forgotten Realms!

* Bring on the Summer Slowdown!

* And I think I linked this one before, but we’re in the endgame now.

Thursday Links!

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* Call for Papers: Trans-Indigenous Science Fictions. CFP: Activism and Resistance at the London Science Fiction Research Community. And don’t forget about the mini-ICFA in October!

* In a lousy year, Phil Wegner’s Invoking Hope was something that made me feel really good about the work I do, and gave me hope for the possibilities of the university (despite its managers). Read my review at Ancillary Review of Books!

* On the other side of things: The Hopeless University: Intellectual Work at the end of The End of History.

* The New Republic has another review of the Butler LOA volume.

* Science Fiction & … Economic Crisis! with Sherryl Vint, Hugh O’Connell, and Malka Older.

* While I’m recommending stuff: my 21C students loved Zadie Smith’s 2020 mini-memoir Intimations — it was their favorite book of the semester — and I’ve had great fun playing Clank: Legacy and Scooby Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion with my third-grader lately.

* I also wanted to buy every game listed in this fun YouTube study of Tomb of Horrors, because I’m just that game-crazed right now.

* Gloomhaven sequel Frosthaven will change to address cultural bias.

* Teen Vogue: Colleges are right-wing institutions.

Conservatives continually cite statistics suggesting that college professors lean to the left. But those who believe a university’s ideological character can be discerned by surveying the political leanings of its faculty betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how universities work. Partisan political preferences have little to do with the production of academic knowledge or the day-to-day workings of the university — including what happens in classrooms. There is no “Democrat” way to teach calculus, nor is there a “Republican” approach to teaching medieval English literature; anyone who has spent time teaching or studying in a university knows that the majority of instruction and scholarship within cannot fit into narrow partisan categories. Moreover, gauging political preferences of employees is an impoverished way of understanding the ideology of an institution. To actually do so, you must look at who runs it — and in the case of the American university, that is no longer the professoriate.

* To whit. Exhibit B.

* new demographic cliff just dropped

* First the U. of Vermont Announced Cuts. Then Enrollment Spiked. Now What?

* North Carolina schools are re-segregating. A Wisconsin county completely loses its shit at the very idea of equality.

* The shocking MOVE bombing was part of a broader pattern of anti-Black racism.

* Can Climate Fiction Writers Reach People in Ways That Scientists Can’t?

* Cory Doctorow has been having some 🔥🔥🔥 threads on Twitter lately: 1, 2, 3…

* The Secret Life of Deesha Philyaw (or, why we need university presses).

* How Much Money Do Authors Actually Earn?

* Krakoa as libertarian haven. A Clockwork Orange and #MeToo. Fear of a Black Superhero. Putting an animated series on the blockchain seems like a Rick and Morty bit, doesn’t it? Apparently the Brontës all died so early because they spent their lives drinking graveyard water.

* For some Navy pilots, UFO sightings were an ordinary event: ‘Every day for at least a couple years.’

* Ominous: Alien life looks more and more likely. Catholics are ready.

* Africans in Space: The Incredible Story of Zambia’s Afronauts.

* The Strange Story of Dagobert, the “DuckTales” Bandit.

* Colson Whitehead and Margaret Atwood Discuss The Underground RailroadThe Handmaid’s Tale and the Challenges of Adaptation.

* Randall Kennedy and Eugene Volokh have the case for allowing the use of the n-word and other slurs in the classroom.

* they say your first Amazon order defines your future

* Now you’re just being rude.

* Dick Van Dyke at 95.

* When you’re cancelled, you’re cancelled.

* At only $20,000/month, you’d be a fool NOT to rent it.

* Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows.

* How the world missed more than half of all Covid-19 deaths. Is this the end?

* Meet the Nun Who Wants You to Remember You Will Die. No, I don’t think I want to!

* The Darkness.

* Decolonization is not a metaphor. Imperialism: A Syllabus.

* But on the miracles and wonders beat: 1st Group Enrolled in Trial of uniQure’s AMT-130 Gene Therapy for Huntington’s Disease.

Thursday Night Links!

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Drastic as the decision may seem, particularly given that Pokémon cards aren’t the only things people wait in line for hours to buy, it comes days following a fight in a Brookfield, Wisconsin Target’s parking lot in which four people attacked a man, who then pulled his legally-owned gun on his assailants, prompting them to flee before later being arrested by the police. Target’s decision also comes just weeks after the company implemented new policies to curtail people camping out overnight at their stores. Beyond telling people not to line up like this, an alleged note to employees asked them to consider calling the police in order to force people to disperse.

Friday Links!

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March Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2021 at 9:04 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

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As Tolkien observed in an essay of the late 1950s, even Sauron’s motive was initially to attain a form of political utopianism: “He loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.”46 As many characters are hopeful utopians in their political orientation, any opposition to this standard soon becomes a radical alternative: “It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”47 In this scheme, the utopian-political becomes the conventional, while the utopian-ontological becomes the radical; indeed, the latter’s radicality derives not from making different political choices but different personal ones. This is no clearer than in the case of Faramir who, unlike his brother Boromir and father Denethor, will not allow himself to be tempted by the Ring:

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.

In these positive characterisations, with their exemplary portrayal of heroic subjective values, we can identify aspects of Levitas’s argument for a utopianism of the wholeness of being and human flourishing. As Levitas suggests, many utopias do their work by advocating better ways of being rather than by illustrating better forms of social organisation.

Ye Old Link Roundup!

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