Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘rock 'n' roll

Wednesday Links!

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* Cura personalis: Whereas Arnold hoped culture would replace religion, Deresiewicz, though not religious himself, wonders if religion might rescue culture: Students are no longer “equipped to address the larger questions of meaning and purpose … that come so inevitably in young adulthood. Religious colleges, quite frankly—even obscure, regional schools that no one’s ever heard of on the coasts—often do a much better job in that respect.”

* Catholic Colleges Greet an Unchurched Generation.

* Alien vs. Predator: Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices.

Video Gamers Are Having A Bizarre Debate Over Whether Sending Death Threats To Women Is A Serious Issue Or Not. #Gamergate Trolls Aren’t Ethics Crusaders; They’re a Hate Group. The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate. Anita Sarkeesian has canceled a planned talk at Utah State University after university officials refused to secure the venue following a mass shooting threat. In which gamers yell at a dumb chat bot from 1966 that someone wired up to twitter, because they think it’s a woman.

* Another Obama triumph: Since 2008, the District’s homeless population has increased 73%.

* The Americas in 1491. 9 reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel. The Real Christopher Columbus. And it gets worse: The Sopranos only ever made one bad episode and it was all Christopher Columbus’s fault.

* It’s Columbus Day. Let’s talk about geography (and Ebola).

* Ebola threatens world chocolate supply.

What if Columbus had sailed off the edge of the world? How would that have affected U.S. history and economic growth?

* White People Are Unironically Talking About the White Experience in New PBS Documentary.

For Indigenous nations to live, capitalism must die. And for capitalism to die, we must actively participate in the construction of Indigenous alternatives to it.

Where Should We Bury the Dead Racist Literary Giants?

* Quick, everybody switch positions about civility and academic freedom.

* The Gates Foundation has a plan to save higher education through creating artificial enrollment crises exciting new efficiency metrics!

* The For-Profit College That’s Too Big to Fail.

George Mason Grad Students Release Adjunct Study.

* The National Science Foundation has awarded grants of $4.8 million to several prominent research universities to advance the use of Big Data in the schools. Your dystopian term of art is “LearnSphere.”

Uber Calls Woman’s 20-Mile Nightmare Abduction an “Inefficient Route.”

What Do We Do With All These Empty Prisons? Oh, I’m sure we’ll think of something.

Cops Charge 10-Year-Old Boy as Adult in Slaying of 90-Year-Old Woman. Accused of Stealing a Backpack, High School Student Jailed for Nearly Three Years Without Trial. South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence. Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools?

* There’s always money for murder and torture, but we need to crowdfund Ebola research.

* Jimmy John’s has noncompete clauses. Jimmy John’s.

Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men.

* SF short of the night: Forever War.

* The Kids These Days Know More Than You Probably Think. The meat of the post is about a bogus “declining vocabulary” test that is used to fuel critics of schools.

* The nation’s largest union of flight attendants took the Federal Aviation Administration to court on Friday, arguing that the agency should have upheld a ban on the use of smartphones and tablets during takeoff and landing. Lawyers for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argued that the devices distracted passengers from safety instructions and could fly out of their hands, becoming dangerous projectiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

* Freddie de Boer against carceral feminism: The burden of expanding the police state’s power to prosecute sex crimes will fall on the poor and the black.

* Meanwhile, in utterly inexplicable results that will probably always be a mystery: Income is more predictive than race for early college success.

* We don’t even know which way solar panels should be facing.

* Naughty Marvel: It’s Tragic and Disappointing That Marvel Is Canceling Fantastic Four.

* Nice Marvel: And with Robert Downey Jr. signing on it sounds like Captain America 3 will be Civil War. I’d never have guessed that the Captain America movies would be the ones that really connected with me, but here we go…

* David Lynch’s Los Angeles.

* We are become old.

* Milwaukee’s incredible shrinking art scene.

* Karen Russell on the greatness of The Martian Chronicles.

[Stephanie Palumbo]: How does Bradbury use human activity on Mars as a metaphor?

KR: He’s writing against patriotism during the Cold War. Humans land on Mars and then destroy it. Not much time elapses between landfall on Mars and the annihilation of all Martians.

SP: There’s a haunting image in one story, where a little boy is playing with a white xylophone that turns out to be a Martian ribcage.

KR: The planet is basically wiped clean of its indigenous people. I was shocked by the descriptions of these ancient, bone-white cities on Mars, and it took me an embarrassing length of time to recollect that people can visit ruins anywhere on our planet, too. It’s a case where sci-fi holds up a funhouse mirror to our own history. In case we have amnesia about the horror of the frontier, here we see another frontier and xenophobia, paranoia, aggression, madness. But we see people be really good to each other too. Bradbury seemed to be such a humanist at the same time that he is calling us out on our most despicable qualities.

* And being the indispensable shining city on the hill is confusing. If you ask me we should just let the biker gangs handle this.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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None Dare Call It Sunday Reading

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* How is copyright ruining your fun today? Well, for one thing, it’s keeping you from reading The Last Ringbearer. Via an Atlantic piece on technology in Tolkien, via MetaFilter.

* In the L.A. Times: The human race at 7,000,000,000.

* This won’t go well: science perfects the 3D-printed gun.

* Esquire goes to Altamount, 1970.

* The New York Times interviews the great Alison Bechdel.

* Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution.

* Documentarians who later wished they’d intervened.

* Perry Anderson on democracy in India.

* Meanwhile, in American democracy:

Probably the first post I ever wrote that got actual attention was this one, figuring out just how badly you could lose the popular vote and still win the presidency. (I made a couple minor mistakes, so for the sake of correctness the actual answer is that up to 78.05% of the population can vote for the losing candidate.)

I’d note in particular two things: 1) during the last two months of the 2008 election, just four states got more than half of the time and money from the candidates, at the expense of the rest of the country, and thirty-two states got no visits at all! And 2) the electoral college has failed for more than 5 percent of presidential elections! That’s preposterous. A great nation shouldn’t pick its leader by some goofy hairbrained scheme that breaks down one time in twenty.

That said, the proposed solution (the National Popular Vote compact) is also a goofy, hairbrained scheme that would collapse into crisis the second it ever made a difference. Perhaps a “great nation” shouldn’t be hopelessly bound by two-hundred-year-old political compromises whose terms are effectively impossible to alter or amend.

* Also at Washington Monthly: inflation is really not our problem right now.

We find that electorates punish presidents and governors for severe weather damage. However, we find that these effects are dwarfed by the response of attentive electorates to the actions of their officials.

* The headline reads, “There will be no more professional writers in the future.”

* And just for fun: Miniature People Living in a World of Giant Food by Christopher Boffoli.

And A Few More Still

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Thursday Night

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* 10 words you need to stop misspelling.

* Why you can’t discuss health care with the GOP. Related: “A guide to debunking Republican talking points at the health care summit.”

* David Simon on the mythos behind his new show, Treme: What is it about Americans that makes us Americans? The one thing we have unarguably given the world is African-American music. If you walk into a shebeen in South Africa, or whatever version of a bar they have in Kathmandu, if they have a jukebox, you’re going to find some Michael Jackson, some Otis Redding, some John Coltrane. It has gone around the world. That is the essential American contribution to worldwide culture. The combination of African rhythms and the pentatonic scale and European instrumentation and arrangement. That collision of the two happened in a 12-square block area of a city called New Orleans that had a near-death experience in 2005. Via Alyssa Rosenberg.

* Yet another reason I need an iPhone: they now play Final Fantasy I & II.

* Two from Gawker’s “Science Fact Is Stranger Than Science Fiction” round-up: cities that will likely be destroyed by earthquake in the next century and genetic link discovered between misery and death.

To confirm the biochemical link between misery and death, and the genetic variation that breaks it, the researchers turned to epidemiological studies to prove that carriers of that specific genetic variation were less susceptible to death due to inflammation-related mortality causes under adverse social-environmental conditions.
They found that people with the most common type of the IL6 gene showed an increased risk of death for approximately 11 years after they had been exposed to adverse life events that were strong enough to trigger depression. However, people with the rarer variant of the IL6 gene appeared to be immune to those effects and showed no increase in mortality risk in the aftermath of significant life adversity.

* And rest in peace, Boner Stabone.

Sunday Night

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Sunday night.

* Patton Oswalt says if you didn’t like The Watchmen you should just shut up. Fair enough, but you know, that’s not really the title… (via Bill, who promises via Twitter both a blog post and a Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast on this soon)

* We all want to flee to the Cleve: a new Bruce Springsteen exhibit opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 1. (Thanks, Brent!)

* Science fiction set in 2009. The Postman and Dark Angel are legit picks—but when your list needs three movies from the last two years, Family Matters, and an episode of Charmed to work, it’s time to rethink.

* Is the global economy a Ponzi scheme, are we all Bernie Madoffs, and what comes next?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuce

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I’m hoping to write something short for the Indy about Bruce this week, so I’m outsourcing my morning-after report entirely to the very good people at backstreets.com:

Charging out of the gate, they set the tone for a high-energy performance, the best of this Southern swing so far.

Well, all right! If I’d had my druthers, I might have been to the Charlotte show on Sunday night instead, if only to have seen that encore: Thunder Road, Kitty’s Back, Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark. But still, our setlist was pretty crazy awesome itself:

Roulette
Don’t Look Back
Radio Nowhere
Out in the Street
The Promised Land
Magic
Gypsy Biker
It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Trapped
Because the Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
She’s the One
Livin’ in the Future
Mary’s Place
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Devil’s Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands

ENCORE:
Backstreets
Bobby Jean
Born to Run
Ramrod
American Land

I don’t see any video yet, but there’s some video from Charlotte up at YouTube. If you say your prayers and eat your vitamins and squint your eyes you can just make out my buddy Shankar in the Pit losing his mind and saving his soul (keep your eyes above the YouTube logo):

He’s right at the right edge of the screen—a woman bumps into him at the 2:40 mark, but you can see it doesn’t faze him a bit.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 29, 2008 at 1:14 pm

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‘Utopianism betrayed by commerce’

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‘Utopianism betrayed by commerce’: Rock ‘n’ roll in the ’60s and ’70s.

In December 1969, on the same day that police arrested some “nude hippies” – members of Charles Manson’s murderous “family” – in Death Valley, California, Mick Jagger held a meeting in London with the Rolling Stones’ business adviser, Prince Rupert Lowenstein. They were trying to find ways to keep the revenue from hits such as Street Fighting Man from the taxman.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 6, 2007 at 1:41 pm

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