Posts Tagged ‘The Wire’
* In case you missed it: the syllabus for my summer science fiction course.
* In this small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data.
* Bérubé and Ruth (and Bousquet) on their plan to convert adjunct positions to teaching tenure.
* Free market watch: Having everyone’s account at a single, central institution allows the authorities to either encourage or discourage people to spend. To boost spending, the bank imposes a negative interest rate on the money in everyone’s account – in effect, a tax on saving.
* In the last academic year, Rutgers athletics generated $40.3 million in revenue, but spent $76.7 million, leaving a deficit of more than $36 million. In other words, revenue barely covered half the department’s expenses.
* The crazy idea was this: The United States Army would design a “deception unit”: a unit that would appear to the enemy as a large armored division with tanks, trucks, artillery, and thousands of soldiers. But this unit would actually be equipped only with fake tanks, fake trucks, fake artillery and manned by just a handful of soldiers.
* I honestly found this a pretty devastating brief, though not everyone on Facebook found it as useful or persuasive as I did: The Progressive Case Against Public Schools, or, What Bleeding Heart Libertarians Should Say.
* Disney Spent $15 Billion To Limit Their Audience. But the news gets worse, friends: Disney under fire for fairytale film based on true story of American dad who claimed African land to make daughter a princess.
* The arc of history is long, but Harry Shearer is quitting The Simpsons.
* Not since Jewel’s A Night without Armor have we seen a poet like James Franco.
* And it’s not all bad news: Telltale Promise Something ‘Major’ From The Walking Dead Franchise This Year.
* 2014 Kinda Sucked: A Look at Our Slow Descent Into Dystopia. I didn’t think it was all that slow.
* That annual tradition: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2015?
* B^F: “Ryan North reviews George Gipe’s insane novelization of Back to the Future, published before the book was released.”
* I say teach the controversy: No matter what vernacular is employed, the time has come for other alternatives to the handcuffs, leg irons and waist chains routinely used on incarcerated youth in the District.
* Carcetti for President: Maryland Governor Will Commute All Remaining Death Sentences To Life Without Parole.
* “DA Who Failed to Indict Killer Cop Now GOP Front Runner for Congress.” 2015 starting out great!
* “Girls from a variety of backgrounds were featured within the campaign, reflecting that anyone can embody the spirit and character of Annie.” Oh, Target.
* Look, I get that the football players are angry. I even get that all the boosters who hadn’t stepped up before are now swearing that they would have donated millions of dollars to keep the program alive if only Watts had asked them. But the Faculty Senate? At a bare minimum, shouldn’t they have had the back of a president who wanted to stop draining money from academics into football, even if no one else did? Yeesh.
* “This book review by 13-year-old Eve Kosofsky (later Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, known for her brilliant work on queer theory) appeared in the January 1964 issue of Seventeen. You’re welcome.”
* White Flint isn’t completely dead, but the outlook is not good. The only stores still in operation are a Lord & Taylor and a P.F. Chang’s. On Jan. 4, the P.F. Chang’s will close. Why I’m Mourning The Death Of A Mall.
* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal rings in the New Year right with the Uncomfortable Truthasaurus.
* Smartly realizing that nothing is going to change on the climate change beat, NPR guts its environmental reporting.
* Epigrams for my research agenda: That’s to say nothing of the fact that the people involved in GamerGate that Grieco defends are, in fact, not poor bullied kids. They are, overwhelmingly, employed, educated, privileged adult men, many of whom work for some of the most powerful and profitable industries in our economy. Their beloved sci fi and comic books and fantasy genres and media– those aren’t reviled and disrespected properties that people are ashamed to like. They’re economically dominant and critically lauded, and given the way the internet makes culture spread more broadly and intensely than ever before, are probably the most powerful force in the history of the arts.
* Spock was right: Concern for equality linked to logic, not emotion.
* National insanity watch: Students at a Nebraska High School Can Now Pose With Guns in Their Senior Portraits.
* I want to talk about how badly we’re failing the boys who can’t see their way out of a totally lethal, totally toxic distortion of masculinity — the kind that says that if boys aren’t manly, or gentlemanly, they can be gunmanly.
* Forty percent of mass shootings start with the gunman targeting his wife, girlfriend, or ex. And access to firearms makes it seven times more likely that a domestic abuser will kill his partner.
* LARoB interviews David Mitchell.
* Why Google wants to replace Gmail. They should have nationalized Google fifteen years ago.
* Now we see the violence, &c: Wisconsin cops deploy armored vehicle to collect fines from 75-year-old man for messy land.
The Wire extends and elaborates melodrama in remarkable ways. But, as Williams says, melodrama remains a broadly liberal medium — and as Williams doesn’t say, liberalism and neoliberalism are not especially distant cousins. Liberalism can critique neoliberalism for its inequities, its cruelties, and its callousness. But to neoliberalism’s call for data and surveillance, liberalism can only respond with a call for better data and more nuanced surveillance; to neoliberalism’s doctrine of individuality as sameness, liberalism can only offer a deeper individuality subsumed within a deeper sameness. The Wire is undoubtedly one of the greatest melodramas extant, and an object lesson in how powerful the form can be. Its limitations aren’t a failure on the part of its creators so much as an indication that melodrama, having gotten us to this particular liberal democratic impasse, is unlikely, on its own, to get us out.
* And I learned today that Star Trek secondary canon features a running subplot where an unfrozen Wall Street guy slowly takes over the Federation. This is going in the Khan essay for sure…
* David Mitchell on how to write: “Neglect Everything Else.” I’m already doing it!
* Capitalism turned California into a desert. You’ll never believe what happened next.
* The rise of bottled water here in the States shows how a public institution can be demonized and replaced by a much more expensive privatized solution.
* In between the time Shane Morris suffered what seemed to be an obvious concussion and the time he was carted off the field, Brady Hoke made him play football.
* But the broader problem with these optimistic, utopian tales is that they rationalise the pathologies of the current political and economic system, presenting them as our conscious lifestyle choices. Against the Sharing Economy.
We will triangulate innovative paradigms in data-driven schools.
We will mesh hands-on methodologies for our 21st Century learners.
We will aggregate intuitive guiding coalitions through the use of centers.
* Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoarded 40,000 Pieces of Undelivered Mail. The kicker: “Brucato admitted to hoarding the mail since 2005 and has been suspended with pay until the case is settled.”
In view of this, I received your contact through a friend and counselor, an ingenious wizard, who noted you as a Burglar who wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward. And I and my twelve companions have agreed to give you 10% of the total gold and jewels that the dragon Smaug now rests upon if you can join us on our long journey. When you have agreed please tell us the place where you dwell and send one hundred pence so that we might travel to you.
* Google Derek Jeter Truth. Wake up sheeple!
* And lots of smart people didn’t like this piece, but I thought it was bracing: How to abolish labor within 5 years in five simple steps. I think it helps that I read so much SF.
* Ferguson, Missouri, is still the most important story in the country right now; I put up a bunch of links related to the crisis there last night. A letter from David Simon.
* I had a feeling there was more to Robin Williams’s suicide than the initial flurry around depression. It turns out he was suffering from the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
* Nick Kristof defends the humanities. I want to save the humanities more than anyone, but the price is too high. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH.
* Denying tenure to game college rankings. Well, that’s cheery.
* “Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi—It’s Making Us All Fear Technology,” says venture capitalist.
* Wherever there’s a professor worrying over whether their student really deserves an A- or a B+ — that’s where I’ll be. The Professorate and The Grapes of Wrath.
* Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Settlers of Catan. I’m sold.
* And a mother has been arrested for dropping f-bomb in front of her kids. I think I’d better start my legal defense fund now….