Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Simon Pegg

Weekend Links!

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The link post yesterday went up only partially finished by mistake, so here’s the other half and then quite a bit more…

* Science Fiction Film and Television 9.2 is out, with articles on First on the Moon, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Orphan Black/Extant, and even a review of Kingsman: The Secret Service by yours truly.

The crew of the Enterprise going back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination? Check. Some “mildly erotic, midlife-crisis stuff”? Check. Time travel that results in Spock being the reason that Vulcans turn to logic? Check! Jesus? Check. Elsewhere on the Star Trek beat: Being Simon Pegg. Sulu Is Gay in Star Trek Beyond and It’s Not a Big Deal, unless you’re George Takei.

Why is Hollywood ignoring this incredible black science fiction writer? They certainly haven’t had any problem  ripping her off without attribution.

* The Only Good Tarzan Is a Bad Tarzan.

The Many Faces of Strangelove, or, The Grand Incineration.

The Night Of will turn your love of Serial against you.

* The Moon Is An Even Harsher CEO.

Farewell to Pnin: The End of the Comp Lit Era.

* Social Media as Liturgy.

* Dialectics of the Clinton Tuition-Free-College Plan. Meanwhile, I predict this will be framed by the right as an illegitimate direct payout to her constituents, regardless of the merits.

“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” a letter from that agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

* Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. San Diego. Dallas. A truly terrible few days in America.

* Alongside the tragedy in Dallas, new debates: Using a Bomb Robot to Kill a Suspect Is an Unprecedented Shift in Policing.

As professions go, ethnography and espionage are, if not siblings, at least distant cousins with a strong resemblance.

The Future of Archaeology Is ‘Spacejunk.’

* Nailing it: “Psychologists recommend children be bored in the summer.”

* This Man Keeps Getting Killed in Terrorist Attacks. Dibs on the screenplay but in my version it’s a glitch in the Matrix.

* Clinton’s emails today, Clinton’s emails tomorrow, Clinton’s emails forever.

* George Saunders: Who Are All These Trump Supporters? Inevitably, this nasty but essential explanation of Trump’s appeal will annoy supporters and enemies alike, who insist on ascribing purely economic motives to those who have lifted him so shockingly high in American political life. Sorry, but I don’t think uncontrollable rage at having to “press 1 for English” or say “Happy Holidays” can be explained by displaced anger over wage stagnation or the decline of the American manufacturing sector.

* Syllabus as Terms of Service, Syllabus as Manifesto.

Ah, the life of the mind.

Ah, the pure knowledge of the sciences.

* Life on emergency funding.

* The Myth of the English Major Barista?

When we accept as commonplace the idea that the study of art, especially art that appeals to the masses — television, video games, comics — is less important than the study of much-fetishized STEM subjects, when we claim that the objective and the concrete requires expertise but the subjective and the abstract do not, then we are making a dangerous assumption. We are assuming that because something is made for everyone, and accessible to everyone, that its existence is somehow simple and straightforward — a vehicle for testing out theories without an aura of its own. But, art, especially art that seems to require the least amount of scholarly attention — reality TV, video games, comics — is precisely the art that most needs history, context, and deep study. Media matters and media has consequences.

* What Game of Thrones characters look like in the books. Game of Thrones Season Seven May Be Delayed Due to Inclement Weather.

Corey Feldman has some bad news about that supposed Goonies sequel.

Pottermore problems: Scholars and writers call foul on J.K. Rowling’s North American magic.

* Underwritten Female Character: The Movie.

* Return of the Great Lakes Avengers. A 15-Year-Old Black Girl Is Going to Replace Tony Stark As Iron Man.

The Center for Communal Studies promotes the study of historic and contemporary communal groups, intentional communities and utopias. Established in 1976 at the University of Southern Indiana, the Center encourages and facilitates meetings, classes, scholarships, publications, networking and public interest in communal groups past and present, here and abroad.

The Strange Perils of Running a Novelty Item Empire.

New legal filings detail reporting of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape story.

* Neoliberalism and the end of roads. Judge Orders Macy’s to Quit Fining, Detaining Suspected Shoplifters in In-Store Jail.

400 athletes vie for US Paralympics Team spots.

African Union launches an all-Africa passport. Against globalization, for internationalism.

* The violence of eviction.

Here’s How That Wild Lawsuit Accusing Trump of Raping a 13-Year-Old Girl Hit The Headlines. Sounds like most major media outlets are staying away from the story for a reason. When your campaign should share images from social media: A flowchart. Only 75 times. “Trump Campaign Departures Suggest That Perhaps This Is a Highly Dysfunctional Enterprise.” A White, Male Reporter Goes to a Trump Rally.

So in the short-term, Britain is likely to be an increasingly nasty and hateful place to live, thanks in no small part to Farage’s accomplishments as a politician; in the long-term, Farage was very much a product of his moment, that spasm of backlash on the part of declining socio-demographic layers still steeped in a colonial culture, which is unlikely to be repeated. With Farage at its helm, Ukip operated adroitly on the accumulating dysfunctions and crises of British politics, finally convoking a popular bulwark that pulled Britain further to the right than it has been since the 1970s. And in the next few years, the reactionaries will seek to use their victory to achieve maximum damage, maximum reversal on all fronts. And there will be other sources of reaction in the coming decades. Yet, Farage’s resignation signals the looming end of this end of the pier show. Even if Britain survives as such, this Britain is finished.

* This is a genuinely scary time: The newly elected Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, urged a crowd of about 500 people on Thursday to kill drug addicts, according to the Guardian.

Hardly Any Former Felons Have Registered to Vote in Virginia Since It Was Made Legal.

Why 13-year-olds can no longer marry in Virginia.

Why Title IX Has Failed Everyone On Campus Rape.

You Shouldn’t Have to Crowdfund Your Wheelchair.

The marathon-running Luik sisters of Estonia are believed to be the first triplets to have qualified for an Olympics.

Condoms Don’t Necessarily Help Teen Girls Avoid Pregnancy.

Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds. Shock finding.

Great white sharks congregate every year to party in the middle of the Pacific. This new camera tag might help us understand why.

A new theory seeks two explain childhood disintegrative disorder.

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

Inside the Deadly World of Private Prisoner Transport. As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying the Price. Police Shootings Won’t Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People.

Sometimes the world really can get together and avert a major ecological catastrophe before it’s too late. Case in point: A new study in Science finds evidence that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing — all thanks to global efforts in the 1980s to phase out CFCs and other destructive chemicals.

* That’s a hell of an act: “As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession.”

* “Intelligent robot that ‘remembers and learns’ could be scrapped after escaping a lab for a second time.”

* Requiem for Mrs. White.

* Real talk: should I be more worried about snails?

* Nice try, US Navy, but Batman had shark-repellent technology decades ago.

* A watched pot never boils. Self-driving car ethics. Why humanity is doomed.

* Is there life after capitalism?

* The $80M Bomb Detector Scam.

* This answers a lot of questions for me actually.

* And I could watch this GIF forever.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

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Christmas Eve Eve Links

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* I was on On Point on NPR last week to talk about Star Wars. How to tell if someone read the EU novels. What We Talk About When We Talk about Star Wars. Medieval Star Wars. Smash the Force. Humorless Marxist Reviews: The Force Awakens. Starkiller Base: The Contractor Memos. Star Wars as Pastiche. “We now have something like proof that life for the average citizen in the Star Wars universe would have been better off if the rebellion had failed.” The Force Awakens as Jedi rewrite. Star Wars and the monomyth of Silicon Valley. George Lucas’s Secret Weapon. The only element that actually got me excited about what another galaxy might look and feel like was Rey’s instant bread. We Need to Make Room For This Gingerbread Darth Vader in the Smithsonian. This Lifesize BB-8 Cake Is Almost Too Beautiful To Eat. ‘Star Wars,’ if it were directed by Ken Burns. #WheresRey. An inversion of stakes so monstrous that it makes the film actually despicable. Please Stop Spreading This Nonsense that Rey From Star Wars Is a “Mary Sue.” Anyway, it did okay. And from the archives: “Hobbits in Space,” 1977.

* Another classic 1980s property gets a dark, gritty reboot.

* MLA Watch: 10 Years Gone But Change Goes On: Octavia E. Butler’s Public Legacy.

* A nine-month, non-tenure position teaching “What Is The Good Life?” to up to six hundred students. I’m not sure I know what the good life is but I think I can rule out at least one thing.

Here’s Why the SpaceX Rocket Landing Is Such a Big Deal.

What It’s Like to Be Noam Chomsky’s Assistant.

The case for determinism has two basic parts, material affordances and ideological construction (also called social construction).

In short, Orcs aren’t monsters. We are.

Better Management Through Belles Lettres.

* Pete Seeger’s FBI File.

Simon Pegg ‘Didn’t Love’ the ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Trailer, Asks Fans to ‘Hang in There.’

The Environmental Toll of a Netflix Binge: The data centers that support the Internet use a huge amount of energy.

* “yes Virginia, there is a left-wing reform movement.”

* World’s largest Star Wars cosplay association says new Star Wars villains are not evil enough.

* Marquette falls behind its peer institutions.

As part of their early schooling, Indonesians in the Soeharto era were deliberately traumatized by the state.

That’s right. The same educational policies that are pushing academic goals down to ever earlier levels seem to be contributing to—while at the same time obscuring—the fact that young children are gaining fewer skills, not more.

* Against The Hateful Eight.

Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?

* Racebending Hermione, now canon.

Historians often undermine the hopes that activists live on.

* SNL: Meet Your Second Wife.

The Star Wars Holiday Special Was The Worst Thing on Television Ever. Look for it on How Did This Get Made? this week.

* Immediately greenlit: Quentin Tarantino Almost Made A Luke Cage Movie And Wants To Create His Own Superhero.

* And I say teach the controversy: ‘Bleeding’ Communion Wafer Caused By Mold, Not A Miracle.


All Your Tuesday Morning Links

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If You Leave Open A Million Tabs, ‘The Great Suspender’ Chrome Extension Is For You. Gamechanger.

* When Birds Squak, Other Species Seem to Listen.

Two-Thirds of Risk Managers Say Frats Are Major Liability. The other third are on vacation, check back next week.

This sort of thing is a problem in academia too. If a male prof refuses to mentor female students, that’s also bad.

* “Neoliberalism is the real affront to higher education — not Kanye West’s honorary doctorate.”

The idea of using “drive-up advising” to reach these students started as a joke, Murray said, but it quickly turned into a reality.

Low cost college isn’t enough. I’ve tried to argue that plans like #FreeCommunityCollege will actually be a strong accelerant to some of the other problems David is talking about, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

* The humane and the anti-humane.

What matters more is the loose agglomeration of practices, institutions and perspectives that view human experience and human subjectivity as a managerial problem, a cost burden and an intellectual disruption. I would not call such views inhumane: more anti-humane: they do not believe that a humane approach to the problems of a technologically advanced global society is effective or fair, that we need rules and instrumments and systems of knowing that overrule intersubjective, experiential perspectives and slippery rhetorical and cultural ways of communicating what we know about the world.

Academic Freedom versus Academic Legitimacy.

Vote No on Every Fee.

Public universities are using non-need-based aid to recruit out-of-state students, at the expense of low-income and in-state students.

Three New Jersey colleges are appearing to be more competitive than they are in admissions by counting incomplete applications, reported.

* Race and Duke redux.

* Hamburger U: As more firms have set up their own “corporate universities”, they have become less willing to pay for their managers to go to business school.

The best historical model for the transition from the WWIII-devastated Earth to the post-First Contact regime may be the rise of the Soviet Union.

* Strange result, what could explain it? Students Who Attend Class Outperform Those Online, Study Says.

* Like Dylan plugging in, Simon Pegg Worries The Love Of Science Fiction Is Making Us “Childish.”

* “Keep Foreskin and State Separate”: Battle Over Florida Boy’s Circumcision Heads To Federal Court.

N.C. Senate bill would criminalize, fire teachers for having political views.

* Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public.

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF.

Canada Approves Nuclear Waste Site on Great Lakes Shore.

Texas Elementary School Accused of Locking Boy up in a “Focus Room.” Why did we turn all our schools into torture chambers?

Homework is a Social Justice Issue.

Obama to Limit Military-Style Equipment for Police Forces.

Washington State Is In A Drought ‘Unlike Any We’ve Ever Experienced.’

Sure it looks as if things are getting more peaceful. But, looking at the mathematics, that’s exactly what we should expect to see, even if we’re most likely due for a much more violent future.

* Spies, they’re just like us.

* In fan fiction, even the Dursleys can potentially be redeemed.

* Counterpoint: Republicans Are Not on the Edge of Extinction.

The White House Is Archiving Every Tweet Begging @POTUS for Sex.

The truth about poo: we’re doing it wrong.

Scientists examine why men even exist.

* Like Uber, but for stopping this from happening all the time.

* Great moments in spin: “New Jersey voters say they don’t think I would be a good president because they want me to stay.” It might just be because they’re jealous.

* “That’s an extraordinarily high number of medications in a state with less than 2 million people.”

* Generation gibberish. I think a version of this sort of thinking organized around the penetration of consumer technology is probably viable, but a lot harder to wrangle than assigning arbitrary birth years.

Mad Men and the Coke Jingle Theory. Mad Men and the Movement.

* And from the archives: As good as it gets: Mad Men and neoliberalism. And today’s followup: The commodity is the better Jesus: On the Mad Men finale.

In any case, I regard the genre of television as completed now. The most critically acclaimed, culturally prestigious, artistically ambitious television show of all time — and judging by current trends, I include the future here too — has culminated in a tacky commercial. By doing so, it made us experience its moving utopian qualities and its sinister cult-like qualities. There’s nowhere else to go at this point. That’s “the real thing.” That’s “it.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2015 at 8:34 am

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Thursday Links!

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* I’ll be speaking next Thursday at “Between Activism and Apocalypse: The Work of Margaret Atwood” at Indiana University. The schedule for the symposium is here.

* CFP: Stage The Future 2: The Second International Conference on Science Fiction Theatre.

* SF short-short of the day: Isaac Asimov’s “Silly Asses.”

* Here’s the calendar of events for C21 this semester.

* Cheryl Abbate has a blog post on the vicious hate mail she’s received after being thrust into the media spotlight.

* “Things like computer vision are starting to work; speech recognition is starting to work There’s quite a bit of acceleration in the development of AI systems,” says Bart Selman, a Cornell professor and AI ethicist who was at the event with Musk. “And that’s making it more urgent to look at this issue.” AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World’s Brightest Minds.

* Of course it’s already worse than you think.

* Elsewhere in mad billionaire news: Internet! in! Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

* Gender Differences in the Road to the Doctoral Degree. Less support, more debt, more time to degree.

* Forbidden Planet reviews Richard McGuire’s incredible graphic novel Here.

* Hours After State Of The Union, Senate Targets National Parks. Once again, it’s always worse than you think.

* Saul Goodman, the last difficult man.

* A smart observation from Peter Paik: “Common Core teaches students that there is only one way to read a text (to glean information) but there are many ways to solve a math problem (the target of much outrage on social media).”

* Some Colleges Are Moving Past Eve Ensler’s “Cisnormative” ‘Vagina Monologues’ — And That’s OK.

* Occupy the Syllabus.

* Milestone Media rides again.

* How ‘Harry Potter’ fans won a four-year fight against child slavery.

* English professors combine areas of study for new specialization.

The department, known for its expertise in disability and LGBT studies, is looking to newer faculty to blend the two topics into a common subject area.Robert McRuer, who chairs the English department, said he was the first scholar to combine LGBT studies with disability studies and call it “crip theory.” The theory looks at the histories of and issues within the LGBT and disabled communities, which have both faced marginalization. “Crip” is a term that people with disabilities have “reclaimed,” he said.

Personally I’d send that name back for another round of workshopping, but what do I know.

* Oregon Was Founded As a Racist Utopia.

* I actually always thought Joss should have had a David Boreanaz cameo in the background of the Firefly pilot and then never mention it again.

* Marvel is teasing a big Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths-style reboot, for the first time in its history.

* Simon Pegg is co-writing Star Trek 3. [raises one eyebrow]

* And great news for KSR fans: J. Michael Straczynski To Write Spike TV’s ‘Red Mars’ Drama Series Project.

This is a supercut of all the moments in A New Hope where characters interacted with machines, doors, screens, levers, knobs and buttons.

* Violent crime on college campuses is decreasing, but the number of sworn and armed police officers on campuses continues to rise, according to a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics… Nearly 70 percent of colleges and universities operated full law-enforcement agencies in 2012, and 94 percent of those officers are authorized to use a firearm.

* Meanwhile, on the town and gown beat: NYU decided not to report an attempted murder to the police.

* Abolish college sports watch: Before Gary Andersen goes on, he wants to make one thing clear. A part of his surprising departure from Wisconsin had to do with admission standards.

* When choosing between doing good and doing evil, don’t forget there’s always a third option.

* Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.

* And a reminder that SFFTV is looking for your submission for its Star Trek at 50″ special issue.


Tuesday Links!

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

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

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

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

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

* Patriarchy by the numbers.

Big Smart Objects: Drone Culture and Elysium.

* Springsteen noir film series in Asbury Park.

* Simon Pegg, Marxist theorist.

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

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

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

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


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The full run of classic British sitcom Spaced (from Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame) is now available on Hulu. Jaimee and I Netflixed this a few months ago; it’s a decade old, but I thought it held up really well.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 25, 2009 at 12:58 am

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