Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Swamp Thing

Wednesday Morning Links!

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I see this kind of entrapment everywhere in the neoliberal order. In my own field of academia, I think of how we tell students that college is the only path to a liveable life, leading them to ‘freely choose’ to take on impossible debt loads that they can never escape. We recognize that an injustice has happened here, but a lot of people find it hard to resist saying, essentially, ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you took out the loans….’ They chose it, therefore they should bear the consequences.

And that is one of the least sinister cases – for instance, think about how blacks are entrapped into criminality and then punished disproportionately. Again, we recognize an injustice, but in the mainstream discourse the instinctive reaction is: ‘Well, they had a choice.’ Under neoliberalism, our free choice doesn’t exist to give us room for creativity and exploration – we can seemingly only ever choose wrongly. Free will is a means to generate blameworthiness, to tell us that we deserve what we get.

* The Future of Work, at Wired.

Common Good, Not Common Despair.

We don’t often talk of the formative nature of debt in the same way we do in regard to other educational experiences. But just as education is about more than funneling information into students’ brains, indebtedness is about more than the transfer of money. Universities rarely address the aspect of higher education that may most powerfully shape students’ futures: the debt they take on to finance it. A Debt to Education: Universities can shape their students for life – in more ways than one.

But we can do better. As educators, we need to lead the way and design our pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had. This requires approaches that are responsive, inclusive, adaptive, challenging, and compassionate. And it requires that institutions find more creative ways to support teachers and prepare them for the work of teaching. This is not a theoretical exercise — it is a practical one.

* Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation.

Professor hired mercenaries to rescue student from ISIS in Iraq after he said he wouldn’t finish his thesis.

Citizenship v. The Surveillance State.

I now conceptualize the society I came from and the war to which I went as part of the same grotesque amusement park ride. If I have discovered anything since my homecoming, it is not that I never came home. It is not that my soul resides in Afghanistan. It is that my home has lost its peaceful veneer, stripped bare, like Twentynine Palms. An American who leaves for war never leaves America. The war that is America, rather, comes to the American. The war is the society and the society is the war, and one who sees that war sees America.

Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death.

* What I Learned from Reading 1,182 Emergency Room Bills.

A Father’s Version Of A Guatemalan Girl’s Trip To The US Raises Questions About The Border Patrol’s Account. Guatemalan girl likely died of ‘sepsis shock’ after crossing border, hospital officials said. Medical Help Was Hours Away for Migrant Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody. “I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there.”

* “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation. Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit. How Donald Trump Got Caught in a Legal Vise. Quick thread on the only recorded criminal arrest of a sitting U.S. president—made by a D.C. Police offering for speeding, a century and a half ago.

* The Future of Ultrahigh-End Space Travel.

* The UNC shitshow continues.

How Scandal and Severance Enrich Private-College Presidents.

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book. A Brief, Depressing Compendium of Alice Walker’s Apparent Conspiratorial Beliefs.

* On Tolkien and race.

* The Brexit Breaking Point. Government gives Britain’s 6 million businesses 101 days to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

* After Kavanaugh.

* Here’s the list of workout clothes you should buy if you don’t want to be complicit in global slavery.

* Everything old is new again! Forever and ever amen.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job.

* I’ve polled Twitter and it’s officially okay to take pleasure in the suffering of these Trump voters whose property is going to wind up on the wrong side of the wall.

* Some superstitious divination rituals may have spread because they functioned as adaptive randomization devices in contexts where people otherwise would have used decision procedures worse than chance.

The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”

* The PewDiePie century.

* Facebook has abused your data and your trust in literally every way it is possible for them to do so.

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate.

* Basically every actress you liked in the early 2000s who disappeared by 2010 was blackballed for speaking out against powerful abusive men.

* A method for creating extremely convincing fake faces.

Trans Teenager Claims Teacher Demanded He ‘Prove’ He Was a Boy In Bathroom.

As an intellectual historian, I’ve found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat’s writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there’s some pretty good stuff.

“We have six people on board,” one pilot said a few minutes later, according to an audio recording available via LiveATC.net. “Airplane is completely uncontrollable.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.

* Are we living with the Chickenocene?

* When you fit the description.

* Ambient cruelty.

* Well you tell me how you’d make baby powder without asbestos.

* Well you tell me how they’re supposed to attract top-flight talent to a company that no longer exists.

* Wild story from the animal beat: An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.

An Atlas of American Gun Violence.

* Today in the best $____ I ever spent: top surgery.

* What’s the greenest way to travel? We built a sim of world’s climate battle – here’s what happened when delegates played it at COP24. Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning. Weather 2050.

* Starting to think Woody Allen might be a bad guy.

* Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix: The Interview.

* Being Chris Hayes.

Why We Still Don’t Know How Many NFL Players Have CTE.

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.

How To Make Beer With Only What You Can Grow On A Generation Ship.

* Malls of the 21st Century.

* The ‘Weird Events’ That Make Machines Hallucinate.

* Tech and the supernatural.

* Journey of an American Bomb.

* DC must have heard about my Graz talk: they’re making a Swamp Thing show. Meanwhile, another followup from Graz: Aquaman, From Super Friend To Surfer Dude: The Bro-Ification Of A Hero.

* And I know it’s my fault for seeing the double entendre in everything, but sometimes I really think they’re doing it on purpose.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

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Good Writing from Other People

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I have a few projects I’m desperately behind on at the moment, so here in lieu of actual content is good writing from people who aren’t me:

* My friend Lisa on the intellectual proletariat.

* Aaron Bady on Franzen’s Freedom and the project of unfinished realism. (Having actually read Freedom [it’s all right, even pretty good] instead of done the things I was supposed to do I may post about it someday soon myself.)

* Socialism and/or Barbarism on Swamp Thing, scarcity, and “green politics.”

* Easily Distracted on what it might mean to really take responsibility.

* And Crooked Timber, against Malcolm Gladwell, on blogs, bullets, and bullshit.

Tuesday, Tuesday

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Tuesday, I’ll never forget you.

* Precision Hacking: 4chan hacks a Time poll not just at the top but all the way down.

* In the fifth and final installment of his Wes Anderson series, Matt Zoller Seitz annotates the prologue to The Royal Tenenbaums.

* You and I know it’s fair and balanced, but believe it or not there are those who argue that the reporting on Fox may show a slight rightward tilt.

* On the making of Swamp Thing #20.

* And Blographia Literaria calls FAIL on failblog.org.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

‘Monsters, Maniacs, and Moore’

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Monsters, Maniacs, and Moore is a 1987 BBC documentary about “comics messiah” Alan Moore, including a running Q&A sequence in which Moore fields hostile questions from himself. Be sure and stay tuned for the collision of nuclearity, utopia, madness, and apocalypse in Part 4.

One of the things that hangs over everybody is the nuclear issue. For the first time, there is a strong possibility of everybody dying on the same day. And, I think, that it’s not stressing the point too far to say that if every concept you ever loved, if every ideal you ever cherished, every person, every institution, could be completely leveled and wiped away as if it had never been within the next four minutes—then what wouldn’t you do?

When you see the whole world geared up for that sort of act of mass destruction, then a Charles Manson, or a Richard Speck, or a Yorkshire Ripper becomes the merest bumbling out.

It doesn’t even matter whether we ever fire these missiles or not, they are having their effect upon us now, because there are a generation growing up who cannot see beyond the final exclamation mark of a mushroom crowd, there are a generation who can see no moral values that do not end in a crackling crater somewhere.

I’m not saying that nuclear bombs are at the root of all of it—but I think that it’s very very naïve to assume that you can expose the entire population of the world to the threat of being turned to cinders without them starting to act perhaps a little oddly. And during the course of writing [Watchmen] I found myself thinking, if that’s true, if I could be gone, completely gone, within the next two minutes, then I wanted to be very very sure that I felt okay with myself and with the world.

I believe, in some sort of strange fashion, that the presence of the atom bomb might almost be forcing a level of human development that would not have occurred without the presence of the atom bomb. Maybe this degree of terror will force changes in human attitudes that could not have occurred without the presence of these awful, destructive things. Perhaps we are faced with a race between the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in one line and the Seventh Calvary in the other. We have no got an awful lot of mid-ground between Utopia and apocalypse. And if, somehow, our children ever see the day in which it is announced that we do not have these weapons anymore, that we can no longer destroy ourselves and that we have got to come up with something else to do with our time, they will have the right to throw up their arms and let down the streamers and let out a resounding cheer.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

(via Cyn-C)

Written by gerrycanavan

September 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm