Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘The Last Jedi

After a Quiet Month in Which Absolutely Nothing Happened: The Return of Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: Grad School Vonnegut #5! Harrison Bergeron! It’s also bad! Next week is Bluebeard, and then Sirens of Titan, so we’re back to Good Vonnegut for a bit…

* And once you’re done with that, listen to Octavia’s Parables!

* I also had a review essay in the latest American Literature on some of the new work being done in comics studies: “Comics Grow Up.”

* Someone made a YouTube explainer essay of my Snowpiercer necrocapitalism essay, weirdly sponsored by a luxury watch change…

* It’s been a bit since I’ve recommended anything, so let me give two very quick game recommendations for those with ears to hear: Ori and the Blind Forest is a terrific Metroidvania game for the Nintendo Switch (among other platforms), and Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a terrific DM-less D&D engine for your meatspace tabletop. More recommendations will emerge as circumstances warrant.

* Proposals invited! 2021 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Science Fiction Studies.

* CFP: Decolonising Science Fiction. CFP: Taco Bell Quarterly. CFP: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour.

* In light of the mass protests across the United States and around the world, the executive committee of the Science Fiction Research Association asserts unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. IAFA Statement on BLM.

* The kids are all right: Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion.

An Open Letter to Marquette University. Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not.

* Aware that the gatekeepers will never agree, this admirer of George Saunders, Michael Chabon, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Lethem, Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, and Jonathan Franzen who’s been less impressed by, for instance, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, and Jennifer Egan has come to regard Kim Stanley Robinson as the greatest living American novelist.

* Ten Minutes with Kim Stanley Robinson. Is This A Unique Time for Science? We Ask Sci-fi Writer Kim Stanley Robinson. The Climate Case for a Jobs Guarantee. Imagining American Utopia.

* Penguin Classics Launches Science Fiction Series. Zones of Possibility: Science Fiction and the Coronavirus. This American Life on Afrofuturism. We Are Living in the Retrofuture. Announcing the 2019 Nebula Awards Winners.

* Academic Publishing: An Odyssey.

* Read it and weep, my friend.

Minneapolis Had This Coming. The Minneapolis Uprising in Context. America is a tinderbox. When Police View Citizens as Enemies. The Thick Blue Line. Tribute to Breonna Taylor. Scenes from the struggle in Philadelphia. If you’re not getting any fouls, you’re not working hard enough. Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop. Just weeks after the shooting, Weirton and the Police Department did something almost unheard-of in America’s long and troubled history of police shootings: They quickly fired one of the officers for his actions in the fatal encounter. From the archives: On Social Sadism. Then: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Protesting in Chile. Now: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Being a Journalist in America. The American Nightmare. Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America. US police fail to meet basic human rights standards. The Deep Amnesia of Our National Conscience. The Black Lives Matter movement could be the vaccine the country needs. The End of White Supremacy, An American Romance. Neoliberal Capitalism Depends on White Supremacy. This is fascism. The liberal attachment to previous movements as peaceful, nonviolent, and respectable obscures the historical efficacy of riots, blockades, and looting as legitimate forms of revolt. Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police. Abolish these police departments. Imagining the nonviolent state. The Supreme Court Broke Police Accountability. Now It Has the Chance to Fix It. Why Was a Grim Report on Police-Involved Deaths Never Released? Policing and the English Language. The Pandemic Is the Right Time to Defund the Police. The president of the Minneapolis City Council says the city’s Police Dept. will be dismantled and replaced with a “transformative new model of public safety.”

 

Cop Shows Are Undergoing a Reckoning—With One Big Exception. Amid George Floyd protests, is it time for cop TV shows to be canceled for good? Video Games Have To Reckon With How They Depict The Police.

Black Bereavement, White Condolences. How Moderate Teachers Perpetuate Educational Oppression. #ImagineBlackFreedom.

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide. The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It. Police turn more aggressive against protesters and bystanders alike, adding to disorder. Cops Love to Falsely Claim People Have Messed With Their Food. Cops and the Culture War. Vehicle Attacks Rise As Extremists Target Protesters. Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War. How The Antifa Fantasy Spread In Small Towns Across The US. The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism. Something terrible is happening.

* A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic. The unluckiest generation in U.S. history.

* Sorry Roosevelt — ya cancelled.

When Will Capitalism End?

* Sometimes the mask slips right off. We Need a Class War, Not a Culture War. The Insecurity Machine. How the Criminal Justice System Preys on the Poor. Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19. An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters. A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Is Coming. Warning signs of the coming catastrophe. The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August. Another Crash Is Coming. Weird coincidence.

* Welcome to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. “A Political Form Built Out of Struggle”: An Interview on the Seattle Occupied Protest. Get In The Zone: A Report From The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone In Seattle. CHOP Residents Are Working Out a New Footprint With the City.

* It’s not obesity. It’s slavery. COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the US. ‘All the psychoses of US history’: how America is victim-blaming the coronavirus dead.

* Now they tell us: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic. America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further. The world is putting America in quarantine. The Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection. Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 in 153 patients. Some things mankind was not meant to know. The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable. Ah, memories. How the Virus Won. The coronavirus surge is real, and it’s everywhere. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic.

* Market Logic Is Literally Killing Us. 100% facemask use could crush second, third coronavirus waves. Reopening too soon: Lessons from the deadly second wave of the 1918 flu pandemic. What past disasters can teach us about how to deal with covid-19. Who Are We Reopening For? Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell. I miss restaurants. That Office AC System Is Great — at Recirculating Viruses. How the coronavirus spreads in those everyday places we visit. C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices. People Don’t Trust Public-Health Experts Because Public-Health Experts Don’t Trust People. Parties — Not Protests — Are Causing Spikes In Coronavirus. These 20-Somethings Survived Coronavirus, But Their Symptoms Won’t Go Away. Social Distancing Is Not Enough. Humans are not meant to be alone. The Coronavirus Is On Track to Be the Fastest Ever Developed. Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine. We Don’t Even Have a COVID-19 Vaccine, and Yet the Conspiracies Are Here. The U.S. Has Officially Unflattened the Curve With Its Worst Day of the Coronavirus Pandemic Yet. The next 100 days.

Masculinity As Radical Selfishness: Rebecca Solnit on the Maskless Men of the Pandemic.

The best COVID-19 response in the world.

* Covid-19 Makes Things Tricky For Haunted Houses.

* Žižek vs. the virus.

* From the no-such-thing-as-good-news files.

* Meanwhile: In Some States This Fall, Masks at Public Colleges Will Be ‘Encouraged’ but Not Required. Text games that simulate the fall semester from the perspective of students and faculty. Large number of LSU football players placed in quarantine. Simulations of classrooms don’t bode well.

* Unions are once again anti-doctrinal. Massive cuts at U Alaska. Colleges say campuses can reopen safely. Students and faculty aren’t convinced. How the Pandemic Will Change Teaching on Campus. Principles for a Post-COVID University. The Existential Threat to Higher Education is Not What You Think. Faculty Are Not Cannon Fodder. University Leaders Are Failing. Zoom and Gloom: Universities in the Age of COVID-19. Welcome to the Socially Distanced Campus. Off campus. A coalition of unions representing 20,000 workers is organizing to reject Rutgers’s austerity response to the pandemic. Disaster capitalism on campus. Extinction Event. The Case for Liberal Arts Education in a Time of Crisis. How to stop the cuts. And just to stick the knife in.

The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work.

What Is College Worth?

For Colleges, Protests Over Racism May Put Everything On the Line.

Principal warns NYC parents about potential chaos next school year. U.S. schools lay off hundreds of thousands, setting up lasting harm to kids. Student Trauma Won’t Just Disappear In the Fall, Counselors Warn. 70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after reopening. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction releases guidelines for reopening schools in the fall. Wisconsin schools should expect coronavirus threat for next 18 months, according to new state guidance. We’re homemakers, stay-at-home parents and paid workers. All at the same time. This Summer Will Scar Young Americans for Life. Pandemic Reveal: Heterosexual Motherhood is a Hostage Situation. The Next Pandemic: Homesickness. Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It.

John Chisholm is the district attorney for Milwaukee, where homicides were double the normal rate during the first five months of 2020; Chisholm estimates that a quarter of these were related to domestic violence, including an incident on April 30th in which a man with a history of domestic abuse killed five members of his family, four of them teen-agers. Chisholm told me that there’s no set date for when courts will be fully operational again. “The backlog concerns me the most,” he said. “It’s going to stretch our protective services, and we will have more people with unresolved cases still circulating in close proximity to the victims.”

* Bosses in the US Have Far Too Much Power to Lay Off Workers Whenever They Feel Like It. The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt. The Looming Bank Collapse.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic Changed Literature More Than You Think.

* Before the End.

J.K. Rowling and the Echo Chamber of TERFs. The Harry Potter book series helped me realize I’m nonbinary. Now I know that had nothing to do with J.K. Rowling. I’m A Trans Harry Potter Fan, And There Are A Few Things I Want J.K. Rowling To Know. Generation X and Trans Lives.

* All the signs were there.

* Meanwhile: Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration.

* ‘She just started blooming’: the trans kids helped by a pioneering project.

Biden’s Disability Policy Plan Is Surprisingly Good.

Mail-in Voting Triggers an Unhinged Trump Rant. House adopts bill to make DC 51st state; Senate GOP opposes. Will he go? And a little bit of old eve-stakes speculation: Famed Democratic pollster: Warren as VP would lead to Biden victory.

* The Prophecies of Q.

* Facebook researched the affect of its own platform on polarization and found that “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” and then largely shelved its study, the WSJ reports.

The authors found that the 6-hour-forecast errors were smaller for the revised model than for a version of the model without the cloud-microphysics revisions. Hence, instead of being able to discount estimates of high sensitivity, as Rodwell and I had done, their result provides some of the best current evidence that climate sensitivity could indeed be 5 °C or greater. Climate change and redlining. Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market. Gulp.

* Facebook markets their Slack alternative by showing how it can suppress unionization.

* Profiles in Things That Almost Look Like Courage: Mad Dog Denounces Trump.

How Bill De Blasio Lost New York City.

* U.S. Border Patrol migrant camp from above.

* Turns out if you give people money then they aren’t as poor anymore.

Disney fans say Splash Mountain, a ride inspired by ‘Song of the South,’ should be re-themed. And Disney agrees!

* The end of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt.

* The queerness of Bruce Springsteen.

* Rumors of Goonies 2.

* Who Framed Roger Rabbit: An Oral History. Street Fighter: The Movie — What Went Wrong. Queer Empire: On the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. How to Miss What Isn’t Gone: Thoughts on Modern Nostalgias While Watching “The Office.”

* Humanity against Cards against Humanity.

* Racism and the porn industry.

* How Deadpool Found His Way Into a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural.

D&D is trying to move away from racial stereotypes. America is going to recognize the common humanity of orc and drow before it does black people.

* Deeply unpleasant Lord of the Rings character combination chart.

* Never ask questions about Animal Crossing lore. Ever.

“What’s Actually Happening”: Looking for History in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”

Comics Are for Everyone: Rethinking Histories of Comics Fandom.

Warren Ellis Accused of Grooming Young Women for Decades.

‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Black Superheroes & The Tulsa Massacre. ‘Watchmen’ Writer on Trump in Tulsa, Bad Cops, and America’s White Supremacy Problem.

John Boyega is doing what Star Wars wouldn’t.

* How racist was Flannery O’Connor?

* The Long Battle Over ‘Gone With the Wind.’

* The arc of history is long, but NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag.

Berlin authorities placed children with pedophiles for 30 years.

* She Gets Calls And Texts Meant For Elon Musk. Some Are Pretty Weird.

There Is No Writer Quite Like Arundhati Roy.

I think during the discussions about The Last Jedi I pointed out that the Holdo Maneuver is such a radical reconsideration of how physics works in Star Wars that it will necessarily become a preoccupation of all future entries in the series, and, well: The Inciting Incident of Star Wars‘ High Republic Is a Horrifying Technological Disaster.

Boots Riley’s ‘Dark, Absurd’ Next Project Will Star Jharrel Jerome as a 13-Foot-Tall Man.

* How Coronavirus Will Change Board Games (7 Guesses).

*  I figured out the precise chronological order of all the MCU movies (so far) by scene.

* Forty years for me but still I’m putting up huge numbers.

* The Case against Mars.

Recreating the ‘Left Behind’ Books From Memory.

* fMRIs (still) don’t work.

* Hitler’s alligator escapes justice.

* What-Is-Genre Hedgehog sees his shadow, another six years of “What is genre?”

* US states but every state is named like West Virginia.

When UCB Tried To Pay Workers In Money They Could Only Spend At UCB.

* Civil War ends.

* Scientists say most likely number of contactable alien civilisations is 36. I can call the first six if someone else can take over the phone tree from there.

* My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem.”

* This is how you get Skynet.

* And 2020, man, I just don’t know.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Star Wars Eve, One… Last… Time

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Not that anybody has asked, but if I had to come up with a definitive ranking of all the “Star Wars” episodes — leaving out sidebars like the animated “Clone Wars,” the young Han Solo movie and the latest “Mandalorian” Baby Yoda memes — the result could only be a nine-way tie for fourth place. A dismal farewell to the trilogy. Even Solo got a better reception. The Rise of Skywalker—and the Fall of Fun. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is what happens when a franchise gives up. ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Is A Convoluted And Clumsy End To The Star Wars Saga. The Rise of Skywalker Is So Bad It Actually Makes the Trilogy Worse. The Most Incoherent Star Wars Movie Ever Made. watching the rise of skywalker is like telling an acquaintance you ate potato salad once and enjoyed it, and then having that acquaintance break into your home in the middle of the night, tie you to a chair, and mash potato salad into your face and eyes for 2+ hours

* Of course the real content of Episode 9 discourse is The Last Jedi nostalgia.

How ‘Watchmen’s’ misunderstanding of Vietnam undercuts its vision of racism.

* Don’t Hold Your Breath for That Quentin Tarantino Star Trek Movie. “In a strange way, it seems like [‘Hollywood’] would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement,” Tarantino told Consequence of Sound. “I mean to such a degree there was a moment when I was writing and went, ‘Should I do this now? Should I do something else? Is this the 10th one?’ No, no don’t stop the planets from aligning, what are you, Galactus? If the Earth is saying do it, do it…But in a weird way, it actually kind of freed me up. I mean, I have no idea what the story of the next one’s going to be. I don’t even have a clue.” Kill Bill 3 confirmed.

* Netflix and the monoculture.

Click Here to Kill: The dark world of online murder markets.

Living through the era of school shootings, one drill at a time.

* Why did my sweet 5-year-old become so stormy when she started kindergarten? The Miseducation of the American Boy.

* A New (Jesuit) Model for Community Colleges.

You Shouldn’t Have to Be Good at Your Job.

The World The Economist Made.

Why Naomi Klein Has Been Right.

Eco-eugenics demands that the people who are least responsible for environmental degradation “solve” the problem with their lives.

The Oil Age Is Coming to a Close.

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health.

Regardless, the point is obviously not to get out of depression so that we can get back to the work that caused the depression to begin with. The point must be, rather, to destroy the material conditions that make us sick, the capitalist system that destroys people’s lives, the inequalities that kill. Thus, creating another world together. But to do that, to get to where that becomes possible, what is called for is not competition among the sick, but alliances of care that will make people feel less alone and less morally responsible for their illness. In alliance with each other, people might eventually be able to get up and throw some bricks.

The 2010s Killed Off the Polite Climate Change Conversation.

Trump’s Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape. Police officer admits he told homeless man to lick public urinal to avoid arrest.

* How Families Cope with the Hidden Costs of Incarceration for the Holidays.

Devin Nunes lives on a congressman’s salary. How is he funding so many lawsuits?

* Memo: the Senate is an irredeemable institution.

* Insulin prices double since 2012.

* Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver. For an extra $50,000 it’ll kill a poor person every time you turn it on just because.

* 15 major cities around the world that are starting to ban cars.

* Life at Away Luggage.

* America is still innovating.

My Last Day As An Adjunct.

* Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani got jacked as all hell, admits he couldn’t have done it without Marvel’s resources.

An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad.

John Mulaney Made a Kids’ Special. We Sent a 10-Year-Old to Interview Him About It.

* ‘Civilization’ and Strategy Games’ Progress Delusion: How strategy games have held on to one of colonialism’s most toxic narratives, and how they might finally be letting it go.

* And Papa, am I odd?

Monday Monday Links!

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* The EdgeEffects year in review includes my interview with Kim Stanley Robinson from last spring. Check it out if you missed it then!

* Well, the reviews are in! Jaimee’s latest published poem, “The Utopologist’s Wife.”

I have covered sports in New Jersey for a decade, crisscrossing the state for as many incredible stories as I can find. But for all the tales that made their way into my notebook, one stayed elusive, even though it seemed to stand above all the others. The 1990 Montclair-Randolph game.

* Very extremely cool site: The Deep Sea.

Keynes was wrong. Gen Z will have it worse.

* CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations Beyond the Anglocentric Fantastic, 28th-29th May 2020. CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on Archives and Special Collections. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: Hindsight is 20/20: How Popular Culture Writes, Rewrites, and Unwrites History.

Ghosts of the future. What Green Costs. Congressional Democrats’ last, long-shot attempt at climate progress this year. Greenland’s ice losses have septupled and are now in line with its highest sea-level scenario, scientists say. Last Remaining Glaciers in the Pacific Will Soon Melt Away. The Arctic didn’t used to emit carbon. Something like 14% of public housing in this country is at risk from sea level rise. Young people can’t remember how much more wildlife there used to be. Climate change and depression. Irreversible Shift. Even Greta Isn’t Radical Enough. Just ask Goldman Sachs.

* It’s 2071, and We Have Bioengineered Our Own Extinction.

Scientists Are Contemplating a 1,000-Year Space Mission to Save Humanity. Would be nice if someone look at the next 25 years, too.

* U.S. Army Worries Humanity is Biased Against Deadly Cyborg Soldiers Because of Movies Like Terminator.

* How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real.

* San Francisco’s Sci-Fi Renaissance.

* The allure of science fiction.

* Beyond Gender.

* What was one work of speculative fiction—book, game, movie, tv show, whatever—that profoundly imagined a new future during the last decade and that is likely to have a lasting impact?

This Professor Was Accused of Bullying Grad Students. Now He’s Being Banned From Teaching. Followup on ‘I Was Sick to My Stomach’: A Scholar’s Bullying Reputation Goes Under the Microscope.

Harvard Faculty Have a Rare Chance to Act in Solidarity With Striking Student Workers. ‘The Administration Is Assuming That We Are Going to Do Their Dirty Work.’

Grad school is worse for public health than STDs.

No, Humanities Degrees Don’t Mean Low Salaries. The Humanities Must Go on the Offensive.

* These Students Want to Create a Required K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum.

* Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline.

* Against Critical Thinking.

‘Adulting’ is hard. UC Berkeley has a class for that.

* One-book classes have been some of the best I’ve taught. I love it as a model and it works so much better than the cram-it-all-in method I started out using.

* Perhaps the greatest free speech mystery of them all: Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses.

* The Decade Comic Book Nerds Became Our Cultural Overlords. Why do they have to be such sore winners?

* Speaking of Disney there’s a pretty good discussion on this episode of Podcast: The Ride about Disney claiming all cinema in a way I haven’t seen discussed anywhere — literally going back and rebranding Fox properties like Miracle on 34th Street as Disney’s Miracle on 34th Street.

* What’s Up With J.J. Abrams Seemingly Shading The Last Jedi? The Last Jedi didn’t break Star Wars. It Saved It. John Boyega just having an incredible week.

* A People’s History of Lube Man. If HBO makes a second season of ‘Watchmen,’ it should be about Vietnam.

So, when thinking about “Blue Monday” in context of the genre/format New Order basically helped found (i.e., post-punk and modern rock), the sixteenth-note/machine gun trope recalls the fact of lots of bad, imperialist things the U.S. did in the 80s and early 90s. But the whole point of this trailer is to provide audiences with the image or feeling of an American-ness that is actually grounded in something like truth and justice. Setting up a not-at-all-thinly-veiled ersatz Donald Trump as the film’s villain, this trailer gives audiences a scapegoat for the nation’s present and past wrongs: then as now, the problem lies in a really dastardly bad apple, not the system itself. 

* Pete Buttigieg makes his Jacobin debut.

How consulting companies like McKinsey optimized American inequality.

Joe Biden Still Can’t Answer Basic Questions About Hunter and Burisma.

* Self-help gurus all the way down: on Elizabeth Warren.

Why Trump’s path to reelection is totally plausible. On Depoliticization. Et Tu, U.K.? I’m Crying, You’re Crying. But Our Day Will Come. No False Consolations.

Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world.

Trump’s children must undergo mandatory training to learn how to avoid defrauding charities.

* People in the U.S. Are Buying Fish Antibiotics Online and Taking Them Themselves. Congress can’t get its act together on lowering drug prices or eliminating surprise medical bills. Insurance companies aren’t doctors. So why do we keep letting them practice medicine? AOC compares average paid family leave in US to time dogs stay with puppies. And this is a little on the nose.

* You’d think after a story like this the adults involved would simply die of shame.

These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018.

House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You.

* Always money in the banana stand.

These moderators help keep Google and YouTube free of violent extremism — and now some of them have PTSD. TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators. Artificial intelligence will help determine if you get your next job.

Understanding The U.S. Economy: Lots Of Rotten Jobs.

People in Japan are wearing exoskeletons to keep working as they age.

* Stealing the election in plain sight: 234,000 voter registrations get tossed in Wisconsin after Republican lawsuit, overwhelmingly in Milwaukee and Madison. Whatever shall I do with this power?

* You don’t know Bernie.

* Mario Maker is a blessing we never deserved.

Perhaps the best example of how radical and reactionary horror tropes sprout from one another is John Carpenter’s 1988 classic They Live. In the movie, John Nada (Roddy Piper), a virtuous, optimistic, working-class protagonist, discovers that cadaverous aliens are living among us, controlling us with television messages that turn us into obedient, consuming drones. The movie is widely considered a critique of Reagan-era neoliberalism, and it is that. But it’s also a story about the virtues of genocide. A white guy discovers aliens who don’t look like him living in his town, and his first impulse is to murder them. Foreign shape-shifting immigrants, like vampires, are a standard anti-Semitic stand-in for Jews, and They Live can be read as a fascist conspiracy theory, in which brave working Americans finally recognize their racial oppressors, and respond with righteous cleansing violence.

Boots Riley Critiques ‘Joker:’ “These Superhero Movies are Cop Movies.”

* Another trainwreck behind the scenes of American Gods.

* Millennials Are Leaving Religion And Not Coming Back. False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump. The Evangelical Mind.

* Shocking slander of a female reporter in the Richard Jewell movie.

* Second verse same as the first.

* Second verse same as the first but in a good way.

* UNC’s self-inflicted humiliation just gets worse.

Stephen Miller is a white supremacist. I know, I was one too.

* No one could have predicted: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought.

* The age of Instagram face.

* Ectopic Pregnancies Are Not Viable Pregnancies, Period.

* Hardt and Negri: Empire, Twenty Years On.

What we know about you when you click on this article.

* U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.

52 Things Learned in 2019.

I’m Honestly Fed Up With All The Bad News, So I Illustrated 50 Of The Best Ones From 2019.

* You like doing this?

* Focus on a different kid every time you watch.

* And The Atlantic presents The Year in Volcanoes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* ST: TNG: TNG: Patrick Stewart to Return as Capt. Picard in New ‘Star Trek’ Series for CBS All Access. Well, that’s something! CBS All Access Is Laying the Groundwork for Non-Stop Star Trek.

* I’m about a thousand times more excited for the Untitled Captain Picard Project than this Star Wars thing.

Celebrating Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and black creativity at the first-ever Wakandacon.

* Draft schedule for the Worlding SF conference I’ll be keynoting at this December. Looking forward to it!

* Poem of the day: “A Metaphor.”

* Pedagogy flashback: Basic Needs Security and the Syllabus.

* How to Prepare for Class. Against the Grade. The Rise of the Promotional Intellectual.

* Another list of 10 of the best words in the world (that don’t translate into English).

* That rare thing, a good Twitter thread: What is the most interesting and revealing and hard-to-believe/understand statistic you know?

* Gasp, shock: Data shows a surprising campus free speech problem: left-wingers being fired for their opinions.

What You Need To Know About Democratic Socialism.

* “But Tikopia is an *insanely abundant* place by the standards of space. You can breathe, for starters. The seas teem with fish. Throw a pawpaw seed in the ground and you’ll have a food tree in a few years.”

Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not “Human Nature.” How Not to Talk About Climate Change. No, we didn’t almost s­olve the climate crisis in the 1980s. When Will Capitalism Answer For Its Crimes?

* 2018 Was Probably Already Doomed, But We Might Have Saved 2030.

The apocalyptic tone of heatwave-reporting doesn’t go far enough – not when the issue is human extinction.

* ‘Many parts of Earth could become uninhabitable’: Study’s grim warning.

These 360 Drone Photos of the California Wildfires Are Devastating.

* ‘Capitalism, The Sole Culprit of the Destructive Exploitation of Nature’ by Alain Badiou.

* Brexit continues to give Trump a run for his money in the deliberate-national-suicide-Olympics.

* Conspiracy theories are for losers. QAnon is no exception. The rise of QAnon Is a Sign That Trumpism Might Not Be Primarily About Trump at All. After mainstream exposure, QAnon is starting to fracture.

* Twilight of Alex Jones.

* Trump just keeps confessing to crimes and it just keeps not mattering.

Alejandra ultimately decided to “self-deport” to Mexico, rather than turn herself in to be detained and then deported. After 20 years in the United States, she no longer has family or friends in the country, so she chose Merida, a city in the Yucatan where a small community of deported military spouses might help her. U.S. historians are rallying to stop federal immigration agencies from destroying records of their treatment towards immigrants. Worker Charged With Sexually Molesting Eight Children at Immigrant Shelter. Man Detained by ICE Claims He Went Blind in One Eye After Agent Didn’t Believe He Had Diabetes. How Trump Radicalized ICE. Border family separation isn’t “zero tolerance” – CBP looked for parents to charge so they could kidnap kids. New Jersey Jail is Holding Nearly Triple its Capacity in ICE Detainees. What happens after ICE tears your family apart: ‘The storm descended.’ Now the Trump administration wants to limit citizenship for legal immigrants. Judge upholds ruling that DACA must be restored. The Power of Abolish ICE.

* The Idea of Children.

* “We Need to Fight for Aloha”: Hawaii congressional candidate and democratic socialist Kaniela Ing on taking on Hawaii’s biggest corporations, a bold climate change agenda, and the necessity of opposing US imperialism.

I’m a WNBA player. Men won’t stop challenging me to play one-on-one.

* Markets in everything: More Schools Are Buying ‘Active-Shooter’ Insurance Policies.

* The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Isn’t What You Think it Is: It’s not all bottles and straws—the patch is mostly abandoned fishing gear.

* Meanwhile, in serious environmentalism: Trump Accuses California Of Causing Wildfires By ‘Diverting’ Water To Pacific.

* Fields medal stolen moments after it was awarded.

* There’s so much corruption in the federal government at this point it’s impossible to keep track of.

A mother orca’s dead calf and the grief felt around the world.

The Trader Who Made a Massive Short Bet Against Nintendo.

* NRA Legal Strategy / Fundraising Appeal Goes Viral.

A criminal justice expert says Avoyelles Parish law officers who wrestled a Marksville man off a tractor while serving an arrest warrant last year used too much force, needlessly escalating a confrontation that ended with the man’s death. A second expert said he doesn’t agree the officers used excessive force, but said they may have acted negligently by failing to administer aid once Armando Frank was unconscious. His crime was calmly asking what he was being charged with.

* How the NYPD recriminalized marijuana after the state decriminalized it. Internal documents reveal how Bronx prosecutors are taught to slow down cases.

* Democrats do the darnedest things.

* ‘The most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of’: Trump panel found no widespread voter fraud, ex-member says.

1 In 4 Foster Kids In Missouri Are Taking Strong Psychoactive Drugs And The State’s Not Keeping Track, Lawsuit Says.

How the Cold War Created Astrobiology.

* A small-town couple left behind a stolen painting worth over $100 million — and a big mystery.

These The Last Jedi Fans Put on a Mock Court Martial for Poe Dameron.

* Missing the point is the point: Pre-reading Young Aragorn.

* You Bet Your Life: ‘Death Bonds,’ the Investments That Want You Dead.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to “post-hospital syndrome,” some experts believe, and that may be why so many patients return.

Amazing arbitrage opportunity.

* Reading the Rock’s body.

Sexuality and gender in science fiction games.

* Somebody get me Michel Foucault on the phone: Open Office Plans Increase Employee Stress, Reduce Productivity.

* Ask your doctor if R’lhygrex is right for you.

* Facebook getting pretty brazen even by Facebook standards.

Anti-Vaccine Activists Have Taken Vaccine Science Hostage.

* The Great Recession Never Ended.

* Well, if they’re really sorry.

* Potemkin AI.

* The end of the writers’ room.

* The next stage of the Tesla scam.

Chilling Testimony in a Tennessee Trial Exposes Lethal Injection as Court-Sanctioned Torture.

* Mom Says Doctors Performed ‘Horrifying’ C-Section Without Anesthesia, Gets $25 Gift Certificate for Her Trouble.

* Women More Likely to Survive Heart Attacks If Treated by Female Doctors.

* Here comes Captain Tripps.

* And now they tell me! Why punishing your children doesn’t work.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just 300 or So of the Most Important Links for This Friday Morning

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SFFTV 11.2 is out, a special issue on Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and women and sf, guest-edited by up-and-comers Mark Bould and Sherryl Vint! Check it out.

CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* Spencer Ackerman explains Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.

* Inside the (ultimately successful) campaign to recall the judge of the Brock Turner trial.

* Another report from the looting of Toys R Us.

Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI.

* Water missing opportunity not to be wet.

Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education.

My research suggests that those concerns are real, and millennials really are building wealth more slowly than the other working generations. But they are not insurmountable—as long as millennials are willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did. Great can’t wait.

A Professor Brought His Guns to Protect Protesters at White-Supremacist Rallies. Then His Troubles Started.

Solo: A Star Wars Story & The Problem With Prequels. We need to talk about the woke droid. I Have No Mouth and I Must Solo. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves. What Solo could have learned from My Friend Dahmer. Disney manages to learn $50M on a Star Wars movie. Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all the posts off her Instagram due to months of harassment she has received for her character Rose in The Last Jedi. Racism, Misogyny & Death Threats: How Star Wars Fans Turned to the Dark Side. What if Star Wars never happened?

Colonial Hottie: Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman and Brand Israel.

Trump keeps making it harder for people to seek asylum legally. The Awful Spectacle of 200 Immigration Officers Raiding a Couple of Garden Stores. Former DACA recipient murdered in Mexico after deportation. The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father. Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US. Cops are called when a senator tries to see kids taken from their immigrant parents. Yet another nightmare child separation story from the Chris Hayes podcast. ICE Agent Decides He Wants Kids After Seeing Incredible Love And Devotion Of Parents Begging Him Not To Take Their Child. Feds Deport Uncle of Six Orphans Whose Parents Died Fleeing ICE. UN office calls on US to stop separating families at border. U.S. sending 1,600 immigration detainees to federal prisons. Pizza Delivery Man Arrested By ICE Is Scheduled to Be Deported This Monday. A GoFundMe for Pablo and His Family.

* Jordan Peterson isn’t a good psychologist, either.

University tutor died after ‘silently struggling’ with workload. Content warning: suicide.

Taxi-Driver Suicides Are a Warning.

* How the media covers celebrity suicides can have life-or-death consequences.

* Death of a gig worker.

What gets muddled in this telling of the gig economy is the idea of control. An Uber driver can pick her hours, yes. But is she really her own boss, or is the boss the company’s algorithm? The algorithm, after all, determines where the driver will head next, who she’ll pick up, and how much she’ll be paid for that trip. In other words, many important features of the job are outside the driver’s control.

* Trump administration tells court it won’t defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration believes Obamacare’s preexisting conditions protections are now unconstitutional.

Down With the Copay.

Justice Department Secretly Accessed New York Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records to Find Government Leaker.

* Literally just letting coal barons write the laws.

* Huge, if true: America Is a Spiraling Corporate Contract Dystopia.

* Trump’s Right-Hand Troll.

* Gaming it out: Would a Former President Get Secret Service Protection in Prison? Just kidding, Democrats are on the case. Meanwhile.

* David Hogg SWATted.

* Questions on Michigan’s Investment Tactics.

Recent scrutiny of investment practices by the University of Michigan is raising concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical lapses at colleges and universities seeking to increase their endowments.

Questions about Michigan’s investment practices were prompted by an investigation by the Detroit Free Press, which found that a large portion of the university’s nearly $11 billion endowment is invested in private equity, hedge and venture capital funds, and real estate investment firms run by top university donors and alumni investment advisers.

Dystopian Bodies: Barbara Ehrenreich Attacks the Epidemic of Wellness.

* Scott Pruitt, GOAT.

Poor road conditions cost Wisconsin drivers $637 each year.

The Post has mapped more than 52,000 homicides in major American cities over the past decade and found that across the country, there are areas where murder is common but arrests are rare.

‘Clear-sky’ flooding worsens across U.S. as sea levels rise, report says.

* Below are the two main written versions of Sojourner’s speech, the original, on the left, was delivered at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851. The full text of each speech follows the synopsis below so you can see the differences line by line. I have highlighted overt similarities between the two versions. While Frances Gage changed most of the wording and added the southern slave dialect to her 1863 version, it is clear the origin of Gage’s speech comes from Sojourner’s original 1851 speech.

* Hard pass: Howard Schultz steps down at Starbucks, may consider run for president.

* Without Interpreters, California’s Deaf Prisoners Are Getting Stuck Behind Bars.

* A major physics experiment just detected a particle that shouldn’t exist.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don’t exist at all.

The Enlightenment’s Dark Side.

Rebuilding the Antinuclear Movement. How a little “working group” stopped Oakland from becoming a mini-fusion center for the Department of Homeland Security. Tech Workers Versus the Pentagon.

The District of Columbia is considering legislation to lower the voting age to 16 (something some localities already allow for local elections only). Bills are pending in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico to lower the voting age to 17 for primary or general elections.

Your schedule could be killing you.

Nazis brauchen keinen Badespaß.

* Schopenhauer, come on. You promised to keep it together.

Time’s Up, Bill.

Volkswagen Vows to End Experiments on Animals.

Marvel’s Women Problem: Not A Single MCU Film Has Female Characters on Screen for More Than 40 Percent of Runtime.

* Drones taught to spot violent behavior in crowds using AI. “The work has questionable accuracy rates, but it shows how AI is being used to automate surveillance.”

* Ways brands can celebrate Pride Month.

Hacked: 92 Million Account Details for DNA Testing Service MyHeritage.

It’s Ulysses! No, it’s Finnegans Wake! Who Can Tell?!

* Books Just for Grownups.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part II: A Conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, Zaria Forman, and Gleb Raygorodetsky.

* Lovely Twitter thread on Dr. Apgar, who probably saved my daughter’s life, and maybe yours too.

Body Positivity Is a Scam. “How a movement intended to lift up women really just limits their acceptable emotions. Again.”

* It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right; I hope you had the time of your life.

And these recently declassified NSA posters make our authoritarian dystopia seem fun.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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The Terrible Serenity of a Browser with Every Tab Closed

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What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today.

We Reversed Our Declining English Enrollments. Here’s How.

* CFP: Exhaustion: Tired Bodies, Tired Worlds. Graduate conference at the Department of English, University of Chicago, this November.

* When machine learning is astonishing – I collected some highlights from a paper on algorithmic creativity. Great Twitter thread.

* Butler Mons honours Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship, and whose Xenogenesis trilogy describes humankind’s departure from Earth and subsequent return. And on the second season finale of Levar Burton reads: “Childfinder.”

‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.

* The Prequel Boom.

Climate Change, Revolution And ‘New York 2140.’

* Dic Lit.

* Dictators are always afraid of poets. This seems kind of weird to a lot of Americans to whom poets are not political beings, but it doesn’t seem a bit weird in South America or in any dictatorship, really.

* Post-Soviet science fiction and the war in Ukraine.

* Eighty Years of the Futurians’ Vision.

* A Radical Idea about Adjuncting.

* I didn’t really understand how unjust the academic system was for career advancement for women until I had children. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy.

* The 2018 Hugo Finalists.

* Teach the controversy, Hell edition.

What It’s Like to Watch Isle of Dogs As a Japanese Speaker. Orientalism Is Alive And Well In American Cinema.

* Junot Díaz on the legacy of childhood trauma.

* The Breakfast Club in the age of #MeToo.

* Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is not a video-game-centered dystopian teen adventure but a horror film, a movie of spiritual zombies whose souls have been consumed by the makers of generations of official cultural product and regurgitated in the form of pop nostalgia. The movie, framed as a story of resistance to corporate tyranny, is actually a tale of tyranny perpetuated by a cheerfully totalitarian predator who indoctrinates his victims by amusing them to death—and the movie’s stifled horror is doubled by Spielberg’s obliviousness to it.

Milwaukee students of color say it’s time to talk about the school-to-prison pipeline.

* A Syrian man has been trapped in a Malaysian airport for 37 days.

The Fog of War and the Case for Knee-jerk Anti-Interventionism.

15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.

* America should just stop all bombing.

* ‘Star Wars’ and the Fantasy of American Violence.

* Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention. Amid deportations, those in U.S. without authorization shy away from medical care. ICE Won’t Deport the Last Nazi War Criminal in America.

* This proposal, requiring worker seats on corporate boards, is commonly referred to as “codetermination.” A number of European countries require worker representatives to be included in corporate boards, or for councils of workers to be consulted in appointing board members. The emerging plan to save the American labor movement.

* Liberals and the strike.

* Eviction in America.

* There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, carers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. Trump is gambling that Americans will embrace the brutal version, as they’ve done so many times in the past. If they do, will we be enough to stop them? Liberals constantly rediscover the violence at the heart of their politics, but can never learn a thing from it.

* Zombie liberalism.

* When an algorithm cuts your health care.

How the American economy conspires to keep wages down.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Uncle Sam’s largest asset.

Universities Use the Specter of ICE to Try to Scare Foreign Grad Students Away From Unionizing.

Why Your Advice for Ph.D.s Leaving Academe Might Be Making Things Worse.

* King Of Kong’s Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all his high scores, banned from competitive gaming.

* The definitive explanation of why Bitcoin is stupid.

* The new debt colonies.

* Faces of Auschwitz.

* Wisconsin in the news: Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs.

* I predicted this: Apple orders its most ambitious TV series yet: An adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation.

* More than half your body is not human.

* Learning styles as a myth.

* Stan Lee needs a hero. Sounds like the sooner the better.

* Neanderthals cared for each other and survived into old age.

* Star Wars is RUINED.

* The oceans’ circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years. That’s bad news. Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist. Greenland Ice Sheet is Melting at its Fastest Rate in 400 years.

The greatest environmentalist of postwar America wasn’t a scientist or a wonk. He didn’t even finish high school.

* Atheism and the alt-right.

* Amazon and/against Tolkien.

Tony Gilroy on ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots: They Were in “Terrible Trouble.”

* Catholic Colleges and Basketball.

* A people’s history of the Undertaker.

* John Carpenter: The First Fifteen Years.

* Only young people do revolutionary mathematics.

* Political correctness strikes again! MIT cuts ties with company promising to provide digital immortality after killing you.

The Working Person’s Guide to the Industry That Might Kill Your Company.

* I was going to watch it anyway, but: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 Casts Tig Notaro.

* A Jar, a Blouse, a Letter: The story of Julia Kristeva.

Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement. Mark Zuckerberg’s 15-year apology tour.

Why several trainloads of New Yorkers’ poop has been stranded for months in Alabama.

Unusual forms of ‘nightmare’ antibiotic-resistant bacteria detected in 27 states.

* The best news I’ve heard in years: Fireball Island is coming back.

* That’s a relief! Don’t worry, the US would win a nuclear war with Russia.

* And no one’s hands are clean.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning After ICFA Links!

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* Two poems from the great Jaimee Hills: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* ICYMI: My #ICFA39 talk, “Star Trek after Discovery.” Building on my AUFS post from last week, and it’s already inspired an expansion at r/DaystromInstitute.

* Have you played this new gritty realistic fantasy game?

* How does Neil Gaiman work?

* How vulture capitalists ate Toys R Us.

* The constitutional crisis is always arriving and never arrived. It’s been here at least twenty years.

* The market can’t solve a massacre.

And so in schools across the country, Americans make their children participate in Active Shooter drills. These drills, which can involve children as young as kindergartners hiding in closets and toilet stalls, and can even include simulated shootings, are not just traumatic and of dubious value. They are also an educational enterprise in their own right, a sort of pedagogical initiation into what is normal and to be expected. Very literally, Americans teach their children to understand the intrusion of rampaging killers with assault rifles as a random force of nature analogous to a fire or an earthquake. This seems designed to foster in children a consciousness that is at once hypervigilant and desperate, but also morbid and resigned—in other words, to mold them into perfectly docile citizen-consumers. And if children reject this position and try to take action, some educational authorities will attempt to discipline their resistance out of them, as in Texas, where one school district has threatened to penalize students who walk out in anti-gun violence actions, weaponizing the language of “choices” and “consequences” to literally quash “any type of protest or awareness.”

All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth.

* Rethinking dehumanization.

There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia.

On misogynoir: citation, erasure, and plagiarism.

ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration.

* The U.S. separates a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Congo.

James Mattis is linked to a massive corporate fraud and nobody wants to talk about it.

* Amazing that Trump’s personal aide was fired by the White House while being investigated and then immediately rehired by the campaign and it’s like a C story at best.

* The A story.

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic.

* The rise of the prison state.

Trump administration studies seeking the death penalty for drug dealers.

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement.

* Oconomowoc schools impose limits on ‘privilege’ discussions after parents complain.

* With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable.

America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning.

* The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children.

* The missing Obama millions.

* What America looked like before the EPA.

Supreme Court Can’t Wait to Kill Youth Climate Lawsuit.

Rapid Arctic warming and melting ice are increasing the frequency of blizzards in the Northeast, study finds.

* YouTube mini-lecture from Adam Kotsko: Trump as mutation, or parody, of neoliberalism. And some more Kotsko content: Superheroes, Science Fiction, and Social Transformation.

The Rise of Dismal Science Fiction.

* The Science Fiction of Roe v. Wade.

* Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures. A response.

* Against popular culture.

David Foster Wallace and the Horror of Neuroscience.

* Neither utopia nor apocalypse? Somedays I feel like both is the most likely outcome of all, a heaven for them and a hell for the rest of us.

Who Owns the Robots? Automation and Class Struggle in the 21st Century.

* Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. His last goodbye.

* Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework.

‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee.

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther.

PSA: Marvel’s Black Panther Animated Series is Streaming for Free on YouTube.

* Hate spree killings in Austin.

* Wakanda Forever.

* Thus Spake Black Bolt.

* To Catch a Predator. You know it’s a bleak story when the NYPD are the good guys.

The radical vision of Wages for Housework.

* Happy International Women’s Day.

* Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists.

If NYT printed the *actual, real-life* sentiments of today’s conservative masses, it would print a bunch of paranoid, Fox-generated fairy tales and belligerent expressions of xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and proud, anti-intellectual ignorance. 

* Surveillance in everything: A US university is tracking students’ locations to predict future dropouts.

* Dialectics of the superhero: 1, 2.

* #MAaEEoOGFwNCBA.

* Pew pew.

* Huge, if true: Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity.

* From the archives: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports.

* Podcast minute: Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about Spider-Man and The Beatles. The first is new and the second is old but both are worth checking out.

* Goodbye, cruel world.

* And I’m not a lazy home owner. I’m a goddamn hero.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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#ICFA39 Talk: “STAR TREK after DISCOVERY”

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(One of the nice things about my recent promotion is that I can perhaps start to think a little differently about the way I publish. With that in mind here’s my ICFA 2018 talk, delivered earlier this morning on the Star Wars and Star Trek panel, which builds on some recent writing I’ve been doing on franchise SF but which doesn’t really have a natural home in any of my current writing projects. As you can see it winds up in a similar place to my “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” post but takes a somewhat different path to get there.)

Hello, and thanks for coming out to this early morning panel. I did indeed just find out that I’ve been promoted — this is actually the first official thing I’m doing since I found out, which is nice because I really think of ICFA as my “home” conference. I’ve been coming here since the very start of my career and many of my earliest and best opportunities (my first publication, my first book contract, in various ways most of the editing projects I’ve done) have come out of my association with ICFA. It’s a very good place.

That said, I also like SFRA, where I am the outgoing vice-president, and one of the organizers of the upcoming SFRA18 conference to be held on the campus of Marquette University July 1-4, 2018. I have a few flyers, which I’ve also been secreting to various locations on the conference tables when no one is looking—I hope to see some of you there! Please email me with any questions or for any additional details.

I’ll be talking today about Star Trek (and Star Wars just a little bit), which is coming out of some pieces on franchise SF I’ve been doing over the last couple years, including a piece I was proud of that was shortlisted for the Pioneer Award this year (“Hokey Religions: Star Wars and Star Trek in the Age of Reboots”), popular criticism at The Los Angeles Review of Books and Sight and Sound, Dan Hassler-Forest and Sean Guynes’s Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling book, and even a blog post for the recent An und für such blog event on Discovery that went up this Tuesday night. So if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook some of this might be familiar to you, though I think most of it will be new.

Since this is a Star Wars and Star Trek panel I wanted to start off my remarks with an observation of the intriguing convergence that has been happening between these two in recent years. People who’ve been attending ICFA for awhile may find this convergence somewhat unexpected, as Star Wars and Star Trek have long been understood here as doing significantly different things, and perhaps as not even properly belonging to the same genre at all. This critical distinction was matched by or, more likely, produced by a parallel divide in SF fandom of the 1980s and 1990s; people who are old enough to have been active on the early Internet will recall that Star Wars vs. Star Trek was a banned topic on many forums, especially in its more fannish varieties (like the infamous question “Who would win in a fight, a Star Destroyer or the Enterprise D?”).

Now, this all may seem a little strange—of course the Enterprise D would win that fight, as the military applications of transporter technology alone far surpass any of the known tactical capabilities of the Empire, much less their sad devotion to the ancient Jedi religion.

But it’s also a bit strange to see fandom elevate the at-times rather slim distinctions between these two mass cultural corporate megabrands to the level of political or even moral principle, especially as those distinctions are largely originating on the level of affective response (what kind of person does watching Star Trek make me feel like I am, what kind of person does their watching Star Wars make me feel like they are, and so on), rather than any particularly rigorous distinction on the level of either form or content.

The thin line dividing the two properties has only grown thinner in recent years,as the J.J. Abrams reboot timeline expressly bringing a Star Wars action-comedy sensibility to Trek (with J.J. openly trumpeting that he wasn’t a Star Trek fan in his promotion of the first reboot film)

and the J.J. Abrams “sequel trilogy” bringing a dyspeptic, 80s-Trek-movies sensibility to Star Wars (where the once-carefree franchise becomes, in its 2010s formulation, an extended and grim meditation on the unfulfilled promises of youth, the roads not taken, the disappointments of parenting, and the sadness of growing old).

In 2016-2017 we saw each property embark full-throatedly on a project of metanarrative revision, directing their attention not only to telling new stories about categories of people they had previously ignored but also interrogating the assumptions that had previously undergirded appreciation of each franchise. I’ll talk most about Star Trek: Discovery in what follows but I hope this produces an immediate glimmer of recognition as a description of both Rogue One and The Last Jedi, which both not only center on women as central protagonists, and which both proliferate new points of audience identification beyond just “Bad Empire” and “Good Rebellion,” but which also give us new ways of understanding the mythic logic that structures the Holy Trilogy of episodes IV, V, and VI. Rogue One shows us “Star War is hell” after all, recentering our attention on the nameless extras in the background who need to die, anonymous and unmourned, so Luke Skywalker can be the Chosen One — while The Last Jedi shows us that being the Chosen One isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be either, and that the fantasy we thought we wanted (“You think what? I’m gonna walk out with a laser sword and face down the whole First Order?”) is infantile and embarrassing, and in any event when it does come produces not “new hope” but a new world of death that has the same no-future in the end (Kylo doesn’t turn Good; to a rounding error the Resistance doesn’t escape; Luke doesn’t save the day, and in fact, Luke dies).

For the rest of my talk I’ll be elaborating on what Discovery does to Star Trek, in the opposite direction, but my central claim can be summarized in a variation on a recent tweet of mine: Today Star Wars wants to be Star Trek and Star Trek wants to be Star Wars, and everyone is sad.

Have people been watching Star Trek: Discovery? Who’s seen all the way to the end?

I really hope I’ve pitched the paper at a level where everyone can enjoy what I’m about to say whether you’ve seen the series or not.

Because this is an academic talk I will have to break the spoiler seal, so I apologize if you were planning on going back to the room to watch some CBS All Access tonight. (That goes for you, too, Internet.) And it’s strange in a way to even have to worry about, as Star Trek has historically been a primarily episodic concern, with season and series arcs existing only at the margins of the franchise, especially in its paradigmatic formulations of TOS/TNG. It hasn’t previously hinged on “spoilers.” But Discovery is nearly all arc, nearly all mythology episodes: there is only one properly standalone episode in the series after the pilot, episode 7, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” and even that one is nominally a sequel. (I’ll return to the subject of that episode a little bit in a moment). The other fourteen episodes are almost nothing but series arc, each episode feeding directly into the next, and sadly comprised of mostly “shocking” plot twists.

I feel as though I should also apologize the way Steve did yesterday, too, for this being all a little bit fannish. But this is ICFA, after all.

The initial arc of Discovery, which is set approximately a decade before the adventures depicted in the original season of Star Trek (1966), concerns Cmdr. Michael Burnham, who in the pilot has served on the Shenzhou under Captain Phillippa Georgiou (most recently as the first officer) for seven years. (That’s no arbitrary number; seven years is the typical run of a modern Star Trek series, so we are essentially being introduced to these characters in the context of the series finale of the TNG-style series Star Trek: Shenzhou, which of course never actually aired.) Burnham is a human orphan, her parents having been murdered in a raid by Klingon marauders; afterwards she was raised on Vulcan as a Vulcan by her adopted parent, long-running Star Trek secondary character Sarek (Spock’s father). She is therefore the adopted human sister of Spock, whom he just never happened to have mentioned on camera in any context before now.

Encountering a massive Klingon installation at the edge of space, Burnham becomes convinced that the Shenzhou needs to fire on the Klingons or the Shenzhou will be destroyed. Georgiou refuses on the basis that Starfleet does not fire first — so Burnham disables her with a Vulcan neck pinch in her ready room and gives the order as if it came from Georgiou, becoming Starfleet’s first-ever mutineer. Georgiou recovers quickly and belays the order, and in the ensuing battle the Shenzhou is lost, Georgiou is killed, and the Federation plunges into a cataclysmic war with a newly reunited and newly dangerous Klingon Empire that soon threatens its very survival.

(I should say here the series never exactly commits to whether Burnham’s impulse was correct, whether it could have stopped the war or saved the Shenzhou if she’d been allowed to see it through. That’s deliberate: in Discovery we aren’t in a place where we can simply trust our heroes implicitly anymore, and nobody knows what’s actually right or what’s best.)

This is just the pilot and we are already quite far afield of our expectations of a Star Trek series: mutiny, war, death, blowing up the ship and killing the captain and then not undoing it by the end of the episode. But things only get worse from here.

Burnham is found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to life imprisonment on a Federation work colony; however, sometime later, while being transferred with some other prisoners, there is an accident with her shuttle and she is brought aboard the science vessel U.S.S. Discovery, captained by Gabriel Lorca.

The Discovery has been retrofitted for the war, and in fact soon becomes the key tactical asset of the Federation, as it possesses a unique “spore drive” that taps into a fungal substratum of the universe, allowing the Discovery to appear and reappear anywhere it likes instantaneously. Lorca—a disabled, traumatized veteran of the war who has already lost one ship to Klingon attack, its only survivor—runs the ship not in the loose, avuncular style of previous captains but as a warship, an actual military vessel, with strict military discipline, unquestioning obedience, and a shoot-first-and-take-no-prisoners attitude towards the prosecution of the war. Indeed, our early episodes on the Discovery indicate that a decidedly un-Starfleet cult of personality has developed around Lorca on the Discovery, with some officers utterly worshipful of his leadership and others (especially the Discovery’s initial science complement, who have now found themselves conscripted as soldiers) deeply skeptical of his attitudes and decisions. One of Burnham’s compatriots from the Shenzhou, Lt. Saru, from an evolved prey species called the Kelpians, has been promoted and is now Lorca’s first officer, though he seems weirdly out of the loop compared to earlier first officers we’ve known.

And if you were at the Trek/Star Wars/Mass Effect worldbuilding panel yesterday, and heard Steve Rabitsch say he doesn’t like any of the DIS characters yet: I defy anyone not to like Saru.

Lorca doesn’t stand on ceremony with Burnham; he knows her past but also her ingenuity and incredible usefulness, and offers to allow her to resume service in Starfleet despite her crime as a non-commissioned enlistee, under his broad wartime legal authority.

The first arc thus details Burnham’s reintegration into Starfleet under the unusual Discovery command structure, as the Discovery first perfects the spore drive and then uses it to singlehandedly turn the tide of the war.

Until, that is, the last episode of the first arc, when Lorca uses the now-perfected spore drive to teleport the Discovery not home to Earth, where it can win the war, but to the Mirror Universe, first seen in the classic TOS episode “Mirror, Mirror,” home of the infamous Evil Goateed Crew.

In an extremely Star Wars twist, it turns out Lorca is not our father; he is not the affable, dad-joke Kirk, nor the dignified and distant but he-really-loves-you-on-the-inside Picard, nor the bombastic, affectionate Sisko. He’s actually the Mirror Universe Lorca, who was marooned in our universe after a transportation accident years before and who has successfully impersonated a proper Starfleet captain ever since (actually rising to extreme prominence in the fleet as an incredibly effective, brilliant war hero, due to his merging of Starfleet’s collectivist organizational ethos with brutal Mirror-Universe tactics). Lorca has done all this in a convoluted plan to return to the Mirror Universe and overthrow the Mirror Universe’s “Terran empire” and put himself at its head, with the Prime Burnham ruling by his side (the consequence of a creepy obsession he has with her, due to his having groomed the Mirror Burnham for a likely sexual relationship while acting as a literal father figure towards her in her childhood).

Luckily, in a Star-Wars-style, Throne-Room-fight high-speed resolution, Lorca is dispatched almost immediately after revealing himself as a bad guy, falling through a hole in the floor into the spore drive, presumably never to be heard from again.

Problem solved, the Discovery then goes back to the Prime Universe, where it arrives nine months late to find a Federation at the brink of defeat. But, through another extremely convoluted plan and a very high-speed resolution, they solve that problem too, and give a quick speech affirming the superiority of the Federation’s values that has not been borne at all out by any the events we have witnessed over the course of the season, while they all give each other medals—the end.

I write in last month’s LARB piece about Discovery about the way the series is unwilling to fully commit to its revisionist narrative (much moreso than either Rogue One and The Last Jedi, in fact), and instead characteristically uses its moments of “shocking revelation” as an opportunity to eject the suspect element from the series and start the narrative over.

And I write in this week’s AUFS piece about the way these attempt to eject these non-Trekian elements of the series—many of them the undead remnants of the original Bryan Fuller conception of Discovery that proved problematic during actual production, especially after he left the series—has itself proved failed. I don’t have time to talk about the whole post here or, indeed, to explain the entire time-travel conceit of “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”—I advise you to carefully study my blog post on your own time—so in the time remaining to me today allow me to simply summarize the essential problem I found there: like most of the early episodes of Discovery, “Magic,” ostensibly a standalone episode with a happy, we-beat-the-bad-guy ending, is no longer standalone at all, and in fact now almost impossible to watch without constantly thinking about the Mirror Universe twist. To make a long story short:

…having exposed and then immediately ejected Lorca from the series has not “solved the problem” of Lorca but retroactively turned rewatching the series into an exercise of trying to read Jason Isaacs’s exquisitely opaque facial expressions for some slight dropping of Lorca’s mask. On rewatch the whole series is now even more about Lorca than it was before.

Discovery has thus produced a perverse situation where it is primarily—indeed, nearly entirely—about something it has since decided it doesn’t want to be about—and that thing is unfortunately not “Star Trek,” at least not as we have ever understood the concept before. I’ll quote again from that piece:

As of yet we know very little about Star Trek: Discovery season two. But I think it’s fair for us, in this off season, to ask what elements of season one will extend to season two that will reward repeated rewatching by obsessive fans. Lorca is gone; Culber is gone; Tyler is gone; the war is over; Burnham is reinstated; Stamets is a plot device; Sarek is boring; Tilly is extremely inconsistently written, and by the end almost exclusively for laughs. What from the perspective of season two and beyond—from the perspective of the whole series as we will come to recognize it retrospectively years from now—will look like the must-see episodes of season one?

At the moment I think this is still very hard to say.

The last shot of the season, a cliffhanger, has the Discovery literally face-to-face with the Enterprise (still Pike’s, not Kirk’s), a place where Burnham’s adopted sibling Spock is currently serving as science officer. The series, that is, true to form, ends precisely on yet another image of imperfect, failed, mirroring: Discovery and the original Enterprise are clearly two versions of one another, in some sense or another, but the image is oddly composed, tilted and asymmetrical, and the twinned questions of (1) continuity and difference and (2) priority and subordination between the two ships remain very open-ended. Discovery seems unable to either replicate the past or to break free of it; even armed with the incredible power of the spore drive, it lacks direction or destination.

Star Trek after Discovery is thus facing a deep crisis of narrative coherence, condemned to be neither “Star Trek” nor “after”; indeed, having tossed out nearly everything that constituted the first season, there is very little sense of what if anything can extend from this initial season into a future, seven-or-more-year Trek arc like the ones we have been habituated to expect post-TNG. To coin a phrase: What are the spores here? What sort of life can grow on Discovery now, post-season-one? And will the thing this show grows into truly be “Trek,” whatever that means?

I am of course speculating here, but if any such through-line exists I suspect the key figure will actually be Saru, a key character I have spoken very little about here who is sidelined for much of the first season due to the breakdown of his prior relationship with Burnham and his effective nonpresence in Lorca’s inner circle. With the possible, arguable exception of Deep Space Nine, no Trek series has ever managed to be a true ensemble show: a pair or trio of characters always rises to the top to provide the primary locus of narrative interest. Picard and Data; Kirk and Spock (and McCoy); Janeway and Seven (and maybe the Doctor); Archer and T’Pol (and Trip). While Lorca dominates season one—so thoroughly that it is hard for me to imagine what the series will look like without him, and episodes 1.14 and 1.15 don’t exactly fill me with confidence—it seems hard to imagine that Discovery as a multi-season, unified totality can be anything but Burnham and Saru. Their fraught, delicate, but genuine friendship is the last remaining source of compelling interpersonal drama that hasn’t been jettisoned from the series by the end of season one; if seasons two (and beyond) are to feel like an extension of season one, rather than a complete reboot, Burnham and Saru will have to be their foundation.

In short, I argue, to survive as a coherent narrative project rather than an exercise in rebranding, Star Trek after Discovery will first and foremost need to find its way back to being Star Trek—and the fertile ground of the Burnham-Saru friendship is only path I see from where we are now towards that goal. If there’s hope for the series, it starts there. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday Links!

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* A Political History of the Future: Black Panther. Does the film ask its audience to root for the wrong character? Black Panther’s Right Thing.

Directly following from the notion that life is often boring and annoying, comes the consequence that our characters cannot always be wrapped up in galactic struggles to save existence. Sometimes it just has to be a day at the office, and we keep watching simply because a Federation starship is a more interesting and inspiring office than ours. That thought motivated me to portray the communist future not as a magical resolution of the human condition but, to follow Freud by way of Corey Robin, the conversion of hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness. To Boringly Go.

* deadmall80s.tumblr.com.

If science fiction, for example, satisfactorily addresses the challenges of narrating the Anthropocene, why should we care whether the mainstream novel does or not?

According to a new study, we might be locked in this deadly embrace. Research by an international team of scientists recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters says that the cooling effect of aerosols is so large that it has masked as much as half of the warming effect from greenhouse gases. So aerosols can’t be wiped out. Take them away and temperatures would soar overnight. Turns out we have been unwittingly geoengineering for decades, and just like in the movies, it’s gone off the rails.

We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years.

The Cardinals will become the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

* The Real Threat To Campuses Isn’t ‘PC Culture.’ It’s Racism.

* Why the media can’t report the truth about John Kelly.

In many instances, the people forming that early narrative about Kelly — the reporters writing the profiles and the sources they quoted — were white. That’s not a determinative fact, but it was likely a factor in which parts of Kelly’s resume were focused on, and which aspects of his personality were prioritized.

I’m autistic. I just turned 36 — the average age when people like me die.

Michael: So one day, we were taping, and Fred comes in, and starts singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day … ” puts the shoes down here, goes to hang up the sweater in the closet. And he’s singing, and he opens the door — and there’s his floor manager, Nick, this big guy with his long goatee, pierced ears, hair all over the place, totally nude, just standing there naked in the closet. Well, Fred just fell down; it was the most hysterical thing you’ve ever seen. He was totally cool.

Why Do Star Wars Fans Want the New Han Solo Movie to Flop? Rey is the new Anakin.

Challenging new reading of Garfield reframes canonical “anti-Mondays” stance.

Happy Valentine’s Day Links!

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* Very excited to welcome Adam Kotsko to Marquette later this week for his talk “Animated Nihilism: Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* There was a nice interview with me at the ArchivesAWARE! site, kicking off a new series on Archives and Audiences.

* SFRA Review #323 is out! Check out the details on the upcoming SFRA conference in Milwaukee.

* CFP: The Journal of Dracula Studies. CFP: Žižek Studies special issue on “Žižek: What Went Wrong?”

* The Simpsons: What Went Wrong?

* A science-fiction narrative imagining an alternate universe in which Donald Trump never became President: he’s just a regular guy in New York City.

The Problem With Annihilation’s Messy Release.

Fantastic Beasts and What Could Have Been. They’re really not nailing this.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: The Radical Philosophy Interview.

KSR: Capitalism is still very feudal in its distribution of wealth. One of the great triumphs of Marxist historiography is to describe accurately the transition from feudalism to capitalism, why it happened and the differences. At a presentation I once gave with Jameson, I said something like capitalism is just feudalism liquidified. In the break he said, ‘Kim, it’s actually a big accomplishment for Marxists to be able to describe the change from feudalism to capitalism.’ I then brought up something he had taught me, Raymond Williams’s concept of the residual and the emergent, and said, ‘but there’s a lot more residual than people have imagined.’ That’s one of the only times I saw Fred startled by something I said. Although I think there’s an exchange of ideas between us, mainly he’s the teacher, I’m the student. He’s explained things that I never would have understood, and I treasure him for that. So it was nice to see him think, ‘Mmm, that’s an interesting thought.’

The residuals out of feudalism would be the power gradient and the actual concentration of wealth per se. In the feudal period, kings might not even have been as proportionally rich as top executives are now in relation to the poor. And if peasants weren’t murdered by passing soldiers, they were living with their food source at hand and working a somewhat decent human life. That isn’t largely true now of the dispossessed. So, capitalism is like feudalism in that, but worse.

* The Good Place and Divine Justice. Meet the Philosophers Who Give ‘The Good Place’ Its Scholarly Bona Fides. TV’s Dystopia Boom. Breakfast and Groundhog Day. Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner. Why the Culture wins. Netflix created a monster with its Cloverfield stunt, and Altered Carbon won’t be the last victim. Reproductive Futurism and Its (Dis)contents. Why I barely read SF these days. Against dystopia.

* My Butch Lesbian Mom, Bruce Springsteen.

* The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind. How Academe Breeds Resentment. International Grad Students’ Interest in American Higher Ed Marks First Decline in 14 Years. Columbia University Gets In Bed with Trump. I’m a Stanford professor accused of being a terrorist. McCarthyism is back. How Hard Do Professors Work? Shameless and Hypocrisy at the MLA. And meanwhile, on the Singularity beat: Teaching assistant robots will reinvent academia. Universities in the Age of AI.

Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy.

White Supremacists Are Targeting College Students ‘Like Never Before.’

* The Olympic hero for our time.

* To U.S. Border Patrol, the Canadian border is 100 miles wide. A good overview of how Trump’s ICE differs, and doesn’t, from Obama’s; the major distinction seems to be empowering street-level officer to make policy-level determinations about enforcement. A Short, Brutal History of ICE. ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump. ICE Grants Stay To Arizona Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling Cancer. Kansas chemistry instructor arrested by ICE while taking his daughter to school. ICE detains man at traffic court after DACA status expires, then frees him after outcry. Public Defenders Walk Out Of Bronx Courthouse After College Student Detained By ICE. Cuban immigrant awaiting removal dies in ICE custody. Green card veteran facing deportation starts hunger strike. Trump administration considered testing “abortion reversal” on unwilling prisoner. Give all immigrants the right to vote.

* Know your police rape loopholes.

* How not to die in America. I Had to Bury My 26-Year-Old Son Because He Couldn’t Afford Insulin. Texas Woman Dies Because She Couldn’t Afford $116 Copay. What Aetna did here might not even be illegal.

* America: (Still) Not a Democracy. That’s not to say things still can’t get worse.

* In the richest country in human history.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

* Even the Democrats (still) won’t talk about climate change. Democrats’ ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding, and So Are Their Poll Numbers. What Happened To The Democratic Wave?

A map of the world after four degrees of warming. There’s even more good news below the map!

An Urgent Crisis of Leadership, Climate, and Water is Unfolding in South Africa.

* And in Kentucky: Sometimes they get no water. Other times just a trickle. Often, they say, their water is so discolored it resembles milk or Kool-Aid or beer.

The African Anthropocene.

* Floods and pollution.

* Just six months from victory in Afghanistan.

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases. Podcast listeners are the advertising holy grail. A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy. slavery.amazon.com. Whole Foods as Amazon Hell. What Amazon Does to Poor Cities.

I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. Concussion Protocol.

Here’s Everything We Used to Know About Han Solo’s Early Years. A Primer on All Things Wakanda.

* Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Arizona Man Sells His $6.5 Million Ranch Because Of Constant, Violent Alien Attacks.

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés. Photos of Total Strangers Pretending to Be in Serious Relationships.

Why is Civilization 5 still more popular than Civilization 6?

* The arc of history is long, but Hot sauce king Billy Mitchell is in danger of having his Donkey Kong records stripped away.

Why Woody Allen hasn’t been toppled by the #MeToo reckoning — yet. This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry.

* Suicide and the opioid epidemic.

* Cancel student debt and grow the economy. Let’s Stop Normalizing Student Debt.

* College compiles first-ever index of slaves and their enslavers in NY. Slavery and the American University.

* Nation of Second Changes: Stories of people who received a pardon from Barack Obama.

* The Alt-Right Is Killing People.

The Median Young Family Has Nearly Zero Wealth.

* #NeverTweet.

Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times.

* I call it my brand: Marxism as Organized Sarcasm.

Worf’s Dad Is Repeatedly Disgraced When Predictive Text Writes Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nintendo’s new cardboard extensions for Switch are blowing users away.

* Case Western in the news!

* Can’t stop the signal: here come the Firefly novels.

* Pets allowed.

‘Speaking’ orca is further proof they shouldn’t be kept captive.

* The mutant crayfish that ate Europe.

* And this guy gets it: Nigel, the world’s loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 13, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.

First Day of School Links!

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* Some late but very nice press for my Octavia Butler book: I was on an episode of the nationally syndicated radio show Viewpoints Radio this week, and the book had a lovely review in LARB!

CFP: Artificial Life: Debating Medical Modernity (April 19-21, UC Riverside).

* $75 million dollars to philosophy at Johns Hopkins.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

12 People Face Misdemeanor Charges for Giving Food to The Homeless in El Cajon.

A girl-power moment for Medieval Times, where a woman has the lead for the first time. I have wanted to take my kids to Medieval Times ever since listening to the Doughboys episode about it a few months ago.

* Like the story about the sexual assaults of the US gymnastics team, there is something about Eliza Dushku’s story of being abused as a child by adults who were trusted with her care that is just so heartbreaking.

* Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney is facing a $100,000 for violating her NDA with USA Gymnastics.

A list of the teen-sex movies that I grew up on in the late 1970s/ 1980s. Keep in mind: Every one of these was considered a *comedy.*

‘Every day I am crushed’: the stateless man held without trial by Australia for eight years.

* ICE Keeps Raiding Hospitals and Mistreating Disabled Children. Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws. DHS and DOJ Want to Arrest Mayors of Sanctuary Cities.

How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic. America’s emergency notification systems were first built for war, and then rebuilt for peace. A false alarm in Hawaii shows that they didn’t anticipate how media works in the smartphone era. These are fascinating but I still have every confidence that the explanation we have been given for this event is bullshit and that the truth will come out in a decade or so. Pandemonium and Rage in Hawaii.

* “Wisconsin school apologizes for slavery homework assignment.”

* Foxconn boondoggle nearing $4.5 billion.

* “Almost 35 years ago, she let a stranger hold her newborn. It has haunted her ever since.”

Activists charged with Confederate statue toppling no longer face felonies.

Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland.

The True History of Luke Skywalker’s Monastic Retreat.

Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea.

How the Female Stars of The Breakfast ClubFought to Remove a Sexist Scene, and Won.

* Tired of winning. So tired.

* And of course you had me at “Gorgeous Images of the Planet Jupiter.”

Last Weekend Before Classes Links!

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* CFP: Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Gathering. MLA 2019 CFP: Stephen King at 45. Call for applications: The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship.

* A special issue of Palimpsest on The Life and Work of Octavia E. Butler.

* Staging Octavia Butler in Abu Dhabi. Parable of the Butler as an opera.

Syllabus: Good Grief: Humor and Tragedy in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature.

There has not in living memory been a better time to be a fascist. We live in a utopia: it just isn’t ours.

American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Very nice long read in the Guardian on what depression is and isn’t.

Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance.

* Black Mirror did this one already: Future biotechnology could be used to trick a prisoner’s mind into thinking they have served a 1,000 year sentence, a group of scientists have claimed.

* The 90s, World War II, and the War on Terror. Great little bit of cultural analysis in comic form, derived from a Chris Hayes essay from 2006.

* Tiny books of the resistance.

* Can the humanities be defended? Well, it depends.

The best way to remember 2017 will surely be through the stories it told about what might come after.

The Fierce Urgency of “How.”

Trump’s offshore drilling plan defies ‘wishes of every coastal state, city and county.’ Insurance after climate change. Welcome to West Port Arthur, Texas, Ground Zero in the Fight for Climate Justice. Climate change and the global south. A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise.

UBI already exists for the 1%. A Simple Fix for Our Massive Inequality Problem.

5 things to know about Puerto Rico 100 days after Hurricane Maria.

But the most notable difference in the table is political: no public institution with a Democratic governor chose Vance; only one public institution with a Republican governor chose Coates (the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga). Hillbilly Elegy is the kind of book you want parents and politicians to know students are reading to persuade white, Midwestern Republicans to feel good about releasing funds to support higher education. If you are running a flagship state university campus like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and your Republican governor and legislature have come after funding and tenure, you are more than happy to choose Vance’s book.

* The woman behind the “Shitty Men in Media” list. How I Learned to Look Believable. Why Dan Harmon’s sexual-misconduct confession is actually worth listening to.

* “Every single neighbor I’ve had has died of cancer.” This Town Is So Toxic, They Want It Wiped off the Map.

* This is not to garner pity for sad trannies like me. We have enough roses by our beds. It is rather to say, minimally, that trans women want things too. The deposits of our desire run as deep and fine as any. The richness of our want is staggering. Perhaps this is why coming out can feel like crushing, why a first dress can feel like a first kiss, why dysphoria can feel like heartbreak. The other name for disappointment, after all, is love. On Liking Women.

Justice Department Announces Court Order Revoking Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue. Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9,000 guests. 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection. Trump may deport thousands of Indian H-1B visa holders as they wait for green cards. To fulfill Trump’s vision on immigration, sheriffs are trampling over constitutional principles. The head of ICE is calling for mayors and local city councilmen to be arrested. Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor. ICE to move forward with deportation of paraplegic boy’s caregiver. When Deportation Is a Death Sentence. Trump Puts the Purpose of His Presidency Into Words. And of course.

* The university after Trump.

This is how nuclear war with North Korea would unfold.

If the President Is Uniquely Dangerous, Treat Him That Way.

* Child protective services and artificial intelligence.

* The Dogecoin century.

* The end of computer security. An amazing coincidence.

* How students pay for graduate school.

* Bringing back indentured servitude. Let’s let kids mortgage their social security while they’re at it.

We Finally Know Why People Are Left- Or Right-Handed.

The case for (and against) the tiger living on LSU’s campus.

College football has the money to pay players. The College Football Playoff proves it.

* North Carolina gerrymander ruled illegal, again.

* Living with Slenderman.

You Won’t Live to See the Final Blade Runner Movie.

* #MeToo, Inc.

Uh Oh—CRISPR Might Not Work in Most People.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* Roads to nowhere.

* Police departments nationwide agree: guns officially have more rights than people.

* Solo, oh no. Star Wars fatigue is real. Why So Many Men Hate The Last Jedi But Can’t Agree on Why. The Last Jedi and fandom. The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen. Poe Dameron apologetics.

* Teaching the controversy the Duke way.

* Marxism and Nintendo? I love my Switch, so anything that keeps me from not feeling too bad about owning it… Nintendo’s Resurgence Was the Best Tech Story of 2017. More at MetaFilter.

* Airline travel has become so safe even I’m barely afraid of it anymore.

Southwest Flips on Big Three Airlines in Cartel Case.

* Boomeranging the boomerang effect.

* Web comic of the month: “Three Jumps.”

* The Handmaid’s Tale after Margaret Atwood.

* Fox (TV) after Disney.

* Flight of the Conchords forever.

* The coping economy.

* Stop speculating about Trump’s mental health.

* Segregation today.

* The end of the Mickey Mouse Copyright Era? We’ll see.

* Hamilton in London. Hamilton in Milwaukee. Next up: Saga, the Musical?

As for the bots themselves, #R2DoubleD and #TripleCPU are indeed a very cool sight to behold but (in my opinion) don’t come close to anything ever approaching “arousing.”

* Carrie Fisher’s private philosophy coach.

* google Uno truth

* Updated rules for Settlers of Catan.

* Choose Your Own Adventure, in graph form. Interactive map of every Quantum Leap time jump.

* What happens to the mind under anesthesia?

* Know your airport codes.

* The rise of the machines.

* In fact, it’s cold as hell.

* And you’ve already seen it, but just for the record. Almost been one year. Trump Has Created Dangers We Haven’t Even Imagined Yet. There’s no way out.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Break Links! Every Tab I Had Open Is Closed!

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* New open-access scholarship: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. My contribution is on Rogue One and the crisis of authority that seems to have plagued all the post-Lucas Star Wars productions. Check it out!

* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.3 is also available, a special issue all about Mad Max and guest-edited by Dan Hassler-Forest, including a great piece by one of my former graduate students, Dr. Bonnie McLean!

* My book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement! That’s wild. There’s a really nice review coming in the next issue of Science Fiction Studies, too, though I don’t think its online yet…

* By far the absolute best thing I’ve found on the Internet in years: Decision Problem: Paperclips.

* Call for Papers: Critical Disaster Studies.

* It’s been so long since I’ve posted that it’s still news Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize. With all due apologies to Margaret Atwood.

* Tom Petty was still alive then. Puerto Rico wasn’t in ruins, then. The worst mass shooting in American history perpetrated by a single individual hadn’t happened then. California wasn’t on fire quite to the apocalyptic extent that it is now then. I still had hope for The Last Jedi. And the GOP wasn’t all-in for Roy Moore.

* There are no natural disasters. The Left Needs Its Own Shock Doctrine for Puerto Rico. Disaster socialism. Many Trump voters who got hurricane relief in Texas aren’t sure Puerto Ricans should. After the Hurricane. Someday we’ll look back on the storms from this year’s horrific hurricane season with nostalgia.

* Page of a Calvin and Hobbes comic found in the wreckage of Santa Rosa, California.

This is the horror of mass shootings. Not just death that comes from nowhere, intruding upon the status quo—but a death that doesn’t change that status quo, that continues to sail on unchanged by it. You may be a toddler in a preschool in one of the richest zip codes in the country; a congressman playing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia; a white-collar office worker in a business park; a college student or professor on some leafy campus; a doctor making your rounds in a ward in the Bronx; a country music fan enjoying a concert in a city built as a mecca for relaxation and pleasure: the bullet that comes for you will not discriminate. It knows no racial bias, imposes no political litmus test, checks no credit score, heeds no common wisdom of whose life should or shouldn’t matter. It will pierce your skin, perforate your organs, shatter your bones, and blow apart the gray matter inside your skull faster than your brain tissue can tear. And then, after the token thoughts and prayers, nothing. No revolutionary legislation or sudden sea change in cultural attitudes will mark your passing. The bloody cruelty of your murder will be matched only by the sanguine absence of any substantive national response. Our democracy is riven by inequality in so many ways, but in this domain, and perhaps in this domain alone, all American lives are treated as equally disposable.

Having achieved so many conservative goals — a labor movement in terminal decline, curtailed abortion rights, the deregulation of multiple industries, economic inequality reminiscent of the Gilded Age, and racial resegregation — the right can now afford the luxury of irresponsibility. Or so it believes. As we have seen in the opening months of the Trump presidency, the conservative regime, despite its command of all three elected branches of the national government and a majority of state governments, is extraordinarily unstable and even weak, thanks to a number of self-inflicted wounds. That weakness, however, is a symptom not of its failures, but of its success.

* Freedom of speech means professors get fired for their tweets while universities rent their facilities to open Nazis for $600,000 below cost. Meanwhile, college administrations continue to look to Trump to save them from their graduate students.

The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics.

Death at a Penn State Fraternity.

* UPenn humiliates itself.

* Octavia Butler: The Brutalities of the Past Are All Around Us.

* African Science Fiction, at LARB.

* The new issue of Slayage has a “Twenty Years of Buffy” roundtable.

Image Journal Exclusively Publishes Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal.

* Honestly, I prefer it when the NCAA doesn’t even bother to pretend.

* One of the classic signs of a failing state is the manipulation of data, including its suppression.

* Internal emails show ICE agents struggling to substantiate Trump’s lies about immigrants.

* ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low Wage Labor.

This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors.

A 2-year-old’s kidney transplant was put on hold — after his donor father’s probation violation.

* The arc of history is long, but Federal Judge Rules Handcuffing Little Kids Above Their Elbows Is Unconstitutional.

Body cameras and more training aren’t enough. We need to divert funding for police into funding for human needs.

“Childhood trauma is a huge factor within the criminal justice system,” said Christopher Wildeman, a sociologist at Cornell University and co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. “It is among the most important things that shapes addictive and criminal behavior in adulthood.”

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.

When Colleges Use Their Own Students to Catch Drug Dealers.

* The Democratic district attorney of Manhattan openly takes bribes, and he’s running unopposed.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream.

How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets.

What DNA Testing Companies’ Terrifying Privacy Policies Actually Mean.

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump. Counterpoint: The case that voter ID laws won Wisconsin for Trump is weaker than it looks.

* Conflict in literature.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia. Close that barn door, boys!

Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence. The stats are clear: the gun debate should be one mostly about how to prevent gun suicides. 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days.

* The secretive family making billions from the opioid crisis.

* University of Hawaii’s creepy email subject line to students: “In the event of a nuclear attack.”

* Marvel’s movie timeline is incoherent nonsense, too.

We have a pretty good idea of when humans will go extinct. No spoilers!

* Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’

* Cape Coral, Florida, was built on total lies. One big storm could wipe it off the map. Oh, and it’s also the fastest-growing city in the United States.

An Oral History of Batman: The Animated Series.

* Why is Blade Runner called Blade Runner?

* How free porn enriched the tech industry — and ruined the lives of actors.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Is the Bleakest Lord of the Rings Fan Fic I’ve Ever Seen.The best way to beat Shadow Of War’s final act is not to play it. Are Orcs People Too? And a trip down memory lane: How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism.

* The Digital Humanities Bust.

We can’t eliminate the profit motive in health care without eliminating copays.

* Twitter as hate machine.

* They’re good dogs, Brent.

* Burn the Constitution.

* Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up. Collective action is the best avenue to fight sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein. Will Fury Over Harvey Weinstein Allegations Change Academe’s Handling of Harassment?

* A tough thread on ethical compromise under conditions of precarity and hyperexploitation. I think many academics will relate.

* Major study confirms the clinical definition of death is wildly inadequate.

Death just became even more scary: scientists say people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life.

That means that, theoretically, someone may even hear their own death being announced by medics.

Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time.

Here Are the Best Wildlife Photos of 2017.

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report.

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

In A Post-Weinstein World, Louis CK’s Movie Is a Total Disaster.

Let this battle herald a return to our roots: tax the rich so much that they aren’t rich anymore — only then can the rest of us live in a decent world.

* Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular.

Every Rick and Morty Universe So Far.

* Ready for #Vexit.

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone.

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You.

* They’re bound and determined to ruin Go.

I think I’m on my way. I’ve deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year’s pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. On Vonnegut’s “Complete Stories.”

An Anatomy of the Worst Game in ‘Jeopardy!’ History.

* Is your D&D character rare?

* Tolkien’s Map and the Perplexing River Systems of Middle-earth.

The Worst Loss In The History Of U.S. Men’s Soccer.

The Rise And Rise Of America’s Best-Kept Secret: Milwaukee!

* Galaxy brain.

* And RIP, John Couture. A tremendous loss for Marquette English.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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