Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘science fiction studies

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.

Lost in January Links

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* Out now: Extrapolation Volume 62.3 explores the representation of cyborgs in Pat Cadigan’s Synners, care in Gen Urobuchi’s science-fiction, and the critique of Western technoscience in Welcome to Night Vale.
* CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: Neurodiversity and Disability. CFP: Push: Childbirth in Global Screen Culture.
* Is there a dominant mode of current science fiction? Notes on Squeecore. Portrait of the Author As a Component of a “Punk-Or-Core” Formulation. Science Fiction Is Never Evenly Distributed. The sci-fi genre offering radical hope for living better.

* Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature.
* Notes on the Forum of the Simulacra.

* How To Develop A Planetary Consciousness.
* How climate catastrophe has consumed popular culture. Ride or Die? Mark Bould and the Fast-and-Furiocene.
* Is Geoengineering the Only Solution?: Exploring Climate Crisis in Neal Stephenson’s “Termination Shock.” Neal Stephenson Thinks Greed Might Be the Thing That Saves Us. Coming back from a time of illness: how finance can learn from climate change fiction. Melancholy Utopianism: The Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. We Can’t Just Grow Our Way Out of This Climate Mess.
* Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise.
* Pop culture can no longer ignore our climate reality.
* Marvel Movies Made 30% Of The Total Box Office.
* Nnedi Okorafor on SF through an African Lens.
* The Matrix Resurrections and trans life (and death). Unpacking the Hidden Meanings in The Matrix Resurrections. A Muddle instead of a Movie.

* Games Studies Studies Buddies is such a good podcast and this is an exemplary episode. Like and subscribe!
* Joss Whedon fully burns down what’s left of his career. The Joss Whedon Era: A Look Back.
* Why so much Obama-era pop culture feels so cringe now.
* Have We Forgotten How to Read Critically?
* From lynchings to the Capitol: Racism and the violence of revelry.
* California’s Forever Fire.
* California, Arizona and Nevada agree to take less water from ailing Colorado River.
* The heat stays on: Earth hits 6th warmest year on record. The Oceans Are Now Hotter Than At Any Point in Human History, Scientists Warn. Here’s how hot Earth has been since you were born. The Supreme Court Case That Could Upend Efforts to Protect the Environment. US hit by 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters in 2021, Noaa report says.
* As Tax Credit Expires, “Huge Increase” in Child Poverty Feared Amid Omicron Wave. How Did We Go From Stimulus Checks to “Go to Work With COVID”?

* The Ticking Bomb of Crypto Fascism. Tech Startup Wants To Gamify Suing People Using Crypto Tokens.
* Family Capitalism and the Small Business Insurrection: The growing militancy of the Republican right is less about an alliance of small business against big business than it is an insurrection of one form of capitalism against another: the private, unincorporated, and family-based versus the corporate, publicly traded, and shareholder-owned.
* Ultras.
* Democrats will have to do more to save democracy from Trump. The January Sixers Have Their Own Unit at the DC Jail. Here’s What Life Is Like Inside. The January 6th Republicans (from Jonah Goldberg no less). Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Isn’t it pretty to think so?
* The Rise and Fall of Latinx.
* Don’t Look Up Is a Terrible Movie. Really bad. I ranted.
* The Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’. Why ‘Star Trek’ made San Francisco the center of the universe.
* A Grieving Family Wonders: What if They Had Known the Medical History of Sperm Donor 1558?
* Percentage that would visit the Moon as a tourist, if money were not a factor.
* On the Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo Journalism.
* The end of the pandemic? Study: Omicron associated with 91% reduction in risk of death compared to Delta. Hospitals Are in Serious Trouble. America’s COVID Rules Are a Dumpster Fire. We are the 3.2%.

* School Closures Led to More Sleep and Better Quality of Life for Adolescents. After last year’s learning loss, we need a plan for students with disabilities. Ideology and school closings. Who is this gentleman, Dude?

* The Mangle of Federalism.
* Book bans in schools are catching fire. Black authors say uproar isn’t about students.
* Becoming Martian.
* Last Year’s Longest Strike Just Ended in Victory.
* Yale, Georgetown, Other Top Schools Illegally Collude to Limit Student Financial Aid, Lawsuit Alleges.

* Dismissive Incomprehension: A Use of Purported Ignorance to Undermine Others.
* This Is the Way the Humanities End.
* A professor welcomed students to class by calling them ‘vectors of disease to me.’ He has been suspended.
* These Tenured Professors Were Laid Off. Here’s How They Got Their Jobs Back.
* So you want to work in academic publishing.
* As Afghanistan’s harsh winter sets in, many are forced to choose between food and warmth.
* US inflation reached 7% in December as prices rise at rates unseen in decades.
* Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing: ‘The party has turned its back on the working class.’
* A simple plan to solve all of America’s problem.
* Sea Power, ‘Disco Elysium’, and the importance of being miserable.
* HBO’s Station Eleven Surpasses the Novel.
* Oh boy, they’re finally rebooting Quantum Leap.
* I’d never known this: Schrödinger, the Father of Quantum Physics, Was a Pedophile.
* Wes Anderson’s next sounds like another mistake.
* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly.
* ‘Invincible’ Animated Series Sparks Profits Suit Against Robert Kirkman.
* What Elmo’s Viral Moment Tells Us About How Parents Watch Kids’ TV.
* A people’s history of the Beatles logo.
* If you want a vision of the future.
* Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park Is a Terrible Masterpiece.
* The Wire as copraganda.
* BEHOLD! MEGA-MANHATTAN!

* The Strange Literary Puzzle Only Four People Have Ever Solved. And welcome to the Wordle century.

Lost Semester Linkblogging!

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For a variety of reasons, this was an extremely busy semester, and I simply wasn’t able to keep up with my open tabs (I had several hundred open at one point!). An irrecoverable browser crash killed any possibility of ever doing even an omnibus record of what I’ve been reading and thinking about — but I do have a tiny number of highlights from the semester that I will link here just to close the book on it. I’m hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, that I can get back to a more regular update schedule in the spring…

Apologies!

The podcast will also be coming back too for the end of the Achebe season! Stay tuned.

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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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.

Ceremonial End of the Semester Tab Purge and Semi-Annual Apology for Being So Busy

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Between my research, service obligations, Zoom teaching, the kids’ virtual schooling, and getting a new puppy, I’ve been just incredibly busy. Another man might say: hey, this is the perfect opportunity to let the blog you’ve been updating continuously since 2004 die! But I am no ordinary man...

First, just a few things I’ve been doing:

And a carefully curated, deliberately and self-consciously incomplete list of some things I’ve been reading this spring:

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

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

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March Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2021 at 9:04 am

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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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It’s Been a Minute: Links!

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Saturday Night Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Friday Night Links!

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UPDATE: oof.

* ICYMI: Grad School Vonnegut #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June! This one is Aaron’s “Vonnegut and Africa” episode.

* CFP: Utopia and Tabletop Games. CFP: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session, “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse.”

* Two core pieces of Watchmen criticism from my Watchmen class this week: “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore” and “The Forgotten Story of Watchmen’s Unsung Hero.” The second one comes via my pal Jacob Brogan, who was kind enough to shoot some ideas about Watchmen, Higgins, and auteurship with me back and forth the other day.

When I ask Damon Lindelof, showrunner for the upcoming HBO series Watchmen, about John Higgins, his mind goes straight to the Beatles. “John Higgins remains one of the unsung heroes of Watchmen,” he says. “Certainly Moore and Gibbons were John and Paul, but Higgins was George and Ringo combined, and his striking colors reinvented the genre every bit as much as Alan’s words and Dave’s pencils.”

Higgins was indeed a hero of the graphic novel that Lindelof’s show riffs on, having been the man who did the coloring for the book. That makes him one of only three collaborators who created the Watchmen comic, along with writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, and he is indeed underappreciated, even by the book’s supporters. But even that bold analogy isn’t enough: It’s more as if Beatles fans assumed the band consisted only of John and Paul and didn’t even know George and Ringo existed, much less that they created music of their own.

Let’s Stop with the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate.

Wisconsin’s daily COVID-19 case count breaks record again, tops 2,500. They had to rescale Marquette’s COVID Dashboard today. Outbreak Stresses Town-Gown Relations in Wisconsin. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus—but not because of parties and bars. Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey. Skippin’ and a-jumpin’.

* Huge, if true: The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn.

* Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election. The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it plans to block downloads of the Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, beginning on Sunday. “The Trump administration argued against a challenge to its 2020 census plans by saying the Constitution requires a count but does not say it must be accurate.” Bill Barr’s Titanic Lack of Self-Awareness. Independently of Trump and this presidency, William Barr, his henchmen, and his Federalist Society supporters represent a powerful threat to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. The Department of Education as Right-Wing Troll.

* Only going to get worse: NYPD Crushes Tiny Anti-ICE Protest With Overwhelming Force And Bloody Arrests.

* The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction.

Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare.” It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news. The Toxic Slime Will End Us.

Where Is Biden’s Ground Game?

* All roads lead to 269-269.

* Ugh, Tatiana Maslany is great casting for She-Hulk. I thought I was done with these!

* Academic freedom in action: U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire human-rights scholar after pressure from sitting judge. Search for new director of U of T law faculty’s International Human Rights Program leads to resignations, allegations of interference.

* On Quitting Academia.

* BLM and the University of Chicago English department. I had some thoughts about this (blessedly left out of the article) the other day (and again the next morning).

Big Ten announces football returning Oct. 23-24. No confidence at the University of Michigan.

The Black Community in Indianapolis has been left reeling — as shocking and disturbing details released in the last 24 hours have emerged regarding a disgraced activist exposed for posing as a Black Woman. This one has exciting estate fraud on the side.

* Restaurants need a bailout. The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save. Inequality Robs $2.5B from American Workers Each Year.

Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet.” Quick, someone wake up Rachel Maddow!

* When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin: Tony Evers firing DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman over unemployment claim backlog.

The battle over dyslexia.

* Pedagogy corner! The Moment Is Primed for Asynchronous Learning.

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as ‘hero.’

* Anti-maskers and whiteness.

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun.

The Boys confronts real American Nazis better than most comic-book stories.

* Songs of Love and Hate: “Layla” and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas.’

* Patrick Blanchfield goes deep into the Call of Duty storyworld in my menchies.

What happened when I decided to bet against the Dow—and the financial services industry tried to stop me.

* And it’s not all bad news: the sequel to one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve played in years is out on the Switch. And I’ve been loving Baba Is You, too! It’s a golden age for video games. AND NOTHING ELSE.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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* Released yesterday: Grad School Vonnegut #11, Cat’s Cradle with Patrick Iber! We had some minor but annoying audio problems with this one, so the editing took a bit longer than usual — so please enjoy, and look forward to, well…

* Apocalypse Now: Covid-19 and the SF Imaginary: Gerry Canavan, Jennifer Cooke and Caroline Edwards in conversation with Paul March-Russell.

* Registration for the “Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions” conference is now open. Call for Papers: Journal of Posthumanism. And ICYMI: SFFTV’s Call for Reviewers.

* Polygraph has a new issue! Marxism and Climate Change.

USPS changes blamed for deliveries of thousands of dead chicks: ‘We’ve never had a problem like this before.’ ‘Like Armageddon’: Rotting food, dead animals and chaos at postal facilities amid cutbacks. Washington Postal Workers Defy USPS Orders And Reinstall Mail Sorting Machines. How a viral photo of USPS collection boxes became a lesson in misinformation. The barn door will now be closed.

* Starting to regret my vote for Trump: In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him.’ Senate committee made criminal referral of Trump Jr., Bannon, Kushner, two others to federal prosecutors. Inside the chaotic, desperate, last-minute Trump 2020 reboot. What happens if when Donald Trump fights the election results? We Shouldn’t Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President.

* The K-Shaped Recovery. Coronavirus stimulus: Loss of extra $600 unemployment benefits leads to 44% drop in spending. Economists foresee an unemployment “tsunami” coming. The COVID economy means millions of Americans are at risk of food insecurity. Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week. Evictions are expected to skyrocket as pandemic protections come to an end.

* New York lays off hundreds of EMTs amidst historic budget crisis.

* Joe Biden’s Campaign Is Making It Very Clear: They Will Push Austerity in the White House. Biden to ABC’s Robin Roberts: ‘I don’t want to defund’ the police, but Trump does. Joe Biden: An Old Man Trying to Lead a Young Country. Prepare yourself for the Biden century.

* Wisconsin lacks ideal coronavirus testing capacity for reopening of college campuses, schools, top health official says. Trending the wrong way. Wisconsin unemployment rate drops, still double last year. ‘The system is not built for problems:’ Attorneys point to Gov. Walker reforms amid unemployment delays. Wisconsin Is a Microcosm of America’s Democratic Decline.

* But it’s not all bad news! Sculpture Milwaukee 2020 works now on display. A Brief History of Frozen Custard, Wisconsin’s Favorite Dessert.

* University Staff Are Worried Their Recorded Lectures Will Be Used Against Them. The Neoliberal University Is Failing on Coronavirus. How Covid-19 United the Higher-Ed Work Force. Company that builds and maintains student housing sent letters to public universities in at least two states in May as they weighed in-person fall classes, reminding them of hundreds of millions of debt. Deserted College Dorms Sow Trouble for $14 Billion in Muni Bonds. Records from before reopening show experts warned UNC of COVID-19 outbreaks. UNC fiasco reveals truth about reopening colleges. Early Movers to Online Don’t Regret Decision. Will Shame Make Students Stop Socializing? News from the Daily Tarheel. Don’t make us write obituaries. Blaming students at Syracuse, UNC, NC State. University of Michigan professors have ‘no confidence’ in administration’s plan to contain coronavirus. Michigan State, Notre Dame Back Off From Fall Reopening Plans. Detroit Teachers Authorize ‘Safety’ Strike Over School Reopening Fears. ‘I just can’t do this’: UI student who tested positive for COVID-19 recounts school response. Alabama goes from 1% positivity to as high as 29% in one week. NYU students use TikTok to expose the school’s bleak quarantine meal plan. Inside the Slow-Moving Disaster of Students Returning to College Campuses. ‘They put us all in danger.’ Georgia State QB Mikele Colasurdo diagnosed with heart condition linked to COVID-19. Marquette in-person class decision detrimental to non-tenure faculty, TAs. Marquette University’s reopening plan draws backlash. Faculty, Students Protest at MU President’s House. “Christian Colleges Ask: Would God Want Us to Reopen?” The New College Drop-Off. Remote learning: a poem. True shamelessness. This is everyone’s fault but mine.

* Ghouls, ghouls, ghouls.

* Andrew Cuomo, Leader.

Study suggests ‘horrifying’ rise in domestic violence during pandemic. Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19.

* Evidence grows that children may play a larger role in transmission than previously believed.

9 reasons you can be optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available in 2021.

* Are You Overpraising Your Child?

* America’s Terrible Internet Is Making Quarantine Worse. Blow up plans for the school year and get creative, you fools. Understatement of the year: Working parents face tough decisions as schools reopen. Scientists warn it may be years before students can return to school without masks, social distancing.

* The Lesson Americans Never Learn.

* What Happens If the 2020 Census Fails?

* “Fears about Peak Oil are gone. Now we plan for Peak Demand.”

* Millennial Futures Are Bleak. Incarceration Is to Blame.

* Looking for Solace and Solidarity in a Broken-Hearted World.

Black newborns more likely to die when looked after by White doctors.

* California is burning, again. The state is suffering from a severe lack of firefighters due to the COVID-19 depleting the ranks of prisoners who normally do the work for $3/day (and then are barred from being firefighters after release). Severe inhumanity.

* The Mysterious Life of Birds Who Never Come Down.

* The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime.

* TOS FTW. ‘The Before Time’: A Sci-Fi Idea That Has Made Its Way to Real Life.

* The Evolution of Ransomware.

* This week’s thing we’re supposed to bicker about on Twitter is just absurd. I’m still not over last week’s thing.

* There’s friendship, and then there’s friendship.

* A new theory of historical fantasy from N.K. Jemisin.

* The QAnon Century. A Primer. How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon. Trump’s Cloud of Gossip Has Poisoned America. The Republican Embrace of QAnon Goes Far Beyond Trump.

How UFO culture took over America.

* Never a good thing to star in your own dystopian fiction.

* Twilight of DC Comics. But they’re bringing Milestone back!

* In search of Bombadil.

(Behold?) The Vision’s Penis: The Presence of Absence in Mutant Romance Tales.

* #MLA21 goes virtual.

* What about the bad job offers?

* ‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Fresh Air.

* ‘The mystery is over’: Researchers say they know what happened to ‘Lost Colony.’

* I could listen to anything on eight cellos, it turns out.

* The latest in my recurring series of grad school advice tweets.

* J. G. Ballard’s book for children were not a success.

* And I believe America’s best days are still in front of it.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2020 at 9:55 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Living in the End Times: Utopian and Dystopian Representations of Pandemics, Cappadocia University, Thu, Jan 14, 2021 – Fri, Jan 15, 2021. CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures.

* I have made a table of sixteen general classifications into which it seems to me all science fiction stories written to date can be placed.

* New issue of MOSF Journal of Science Fiction, on Environmental SF.

* ExoTerra is an online collaborative research role-playing game (RPG) community, in which students from all disciplines, from physics to literature, pool their expertise to design a new world. Participating students play the crew of a space colony ship traveling from Earth to a newly-terraformed exoplanet, and must work together to design the new world they will create: its ocean biosphere, its capital city, its educational system, its power grid, its laws.  Over the three quarters of the 2020/21 school year, students will explore the new solar system, unlock its mysteries, and debate and decide the foundations of their new civilization.  All students at the university can participate as an extracurricular, but each quarter a selection of courses in many fields (Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, STEM) will offer ExoTerra as an integrated course component, guiding the class through researching and producing a design for the new world as part of the class itself.

Students, faculty, staff raise concerns about Marquette’s reopening plan. Milwaukee County Currently Suppressing COVID-19. ‘I can’t afford tuition’: College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester. Notre Dame sees spike in COVID-19 cases. Entire OSU sorority house in quarantine after 23 sisters test positive for coronavirus. UNC faculty call special meeting as fourth COVID-19 cluster among students reported.

* People Are Struggling To Cope With The Physical Manifestations Of Their COVID Stress.

* Inside the Prison Where California’s Coronavirus Outbreak Exploded.

* “This is the first Fire Tornado Warning we are aware of in history.” In Derecho’s Wake, More Than 250,000 in Midwest Struggle Without Power. California Braces for More Blackouts as Heat Wave Persists. Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study. Just thinking about how virtually shutting down the entire world economy wasn’t enough to lower carbon emissions by the amount necessary.

* Biden Dems simply cannot wait to screw over their voters. And everybody else.

* Milwaukee’s Lost Mega-Event: ‘It’s the Ghost Convention Now.’

* Truants! Truants!

* The Mayor Is Ready for School to Open. The School Buildings Are Not.

QAnon Promotes Pedo-Ring Conspiracy Theories. Now They’re Stealing Kids.

* Get in on the ground floor of this exciting coronavirus cure.

* Congress finally moving on the USPS crisis. Once more with feeling, Sara Nelson for president.

* Gun Enthusiasts Celebrate Man Who Shot Himself in the Balls as Their King.

* Video games and French fries ftw, again.

* Going viral: NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why.

* Another awesome optical illusion.

* And a chilling vision of things to come.