Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Tolkien

Where Is Your Labor Day Now Links

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* Great local event alert: George Lipsitz (Black Studies, UCSB) will be speaking at UWM’S Golda Meir on Wednesday (September 9) at 4:30pm on “The Ferguson Conjuncture: Why the Humanities Matter Now.”

* One of Jaimee’s poems was on Lake Effect on Friday; her full interview on the program is coming soon.

* After meeting my class and talking a bit with them about their familiarity with Tolkien I’ve updated my syllabus with a few supplementary readings.

There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. A pre-post-mortem from editor Sherman Alexie.

@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment.

Wikipedia Editors Uncover Extortion Scam And Extensive Cybercrime Syndicate.

Iowa’s New President Is Choice Faculty Opposed. Unpopular pick. On the Suborning of Free Speech and Shared Governance at the University of Iowa.

UH shifts millions from academics to sports.

* Harvard as tax-free hedge fund.

* Speaking for the humanities.

Instead of hoping that higher education should be the solution to all of our economic problems, we should follow Cassidy’s advice and return to the notion that college is a public good and an end in itself: “Being more realistic about the role that college degrees play would help families and politicians make better choices. It could also help us appreciate the actual merits of a traditional broad-based education, often called a liberal-arts education, rather than trying to reduce everything to an economic cost-benefit analysis.” If we focus on making higher education more accessible and affordable as we enhance its quality, we can at least make sure that it does not enhance inequality and decrease social mobility.  The first step is to stop believing that college degrees produce good jobs. 

Meant to keep academics compliant, obedient, and domesticated, audit culture comes to Canadian universities at an otherwise exciting moment for research. Indigenous epistemologies and publicly engaged, participatory, and open forms of research are asserting their places in the academic landscape today. In response to rich debates about what constitutes knowledge, universities are being called to feature relationally and community oriented research outcomes. But with audit culture’s narrow benchmarks and retrograde understandings of what counts as real research, there is little breathing room in the academy for public engagement, community-based research, and Indigenous forms of knowing, since these methodologies can’t be easily captured in the audit forms. Indeed, academics are driven away from socially engaged scholarly activities in part because they are more difficult to measure, assess, and judge.

Daniels seems mildly indignant at the extent to which he has been monitored by Disney, now the home of the Star Wars franchise. As well he might. He didn’t just step off the first space-cruiser from Mos Eisley: he is 69 years old and has been playing C-3PO since before many of his current paymasters were born. “The secrecy has been beyond ludicrous,” he sighs. “For heaven’s sake, it’s a movie. When I got the script, it was typed in black on paper of the deepest red so you couldn’t photocopy it. I got a hangover just reading it.” He was censured by the studio recently for mentioning on Twitter a fellow actor from The Force Awakens.

* Obamaism distilled: In Alaska, Obama warns against climate change but OKs drilling.

Scientists Calculated How Much Lembas Bread Would be Needed to Walk to Mordor.

The Privatization of Childhood: Childhood has become a period of high-stakes preparation for life in a stratified economy.

The oceans are full of bodies. The things they carry. Migrants welcome.

* TNI, on the counterfeit.

* Assessing the Legacy of That Thing That Happened After Poststructuralism.

* Jacobin on Radical America and on the Ashley Madison bots.

* The earning power of philosophy majors.


Paid Leave for Fathers Is Good for Everybody.

The experience will be disheartening, but remember: it is you who chose to play Adjunct Sudoku.

* The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional. Someone tell Wisconsin!

Deaf Culture and Sign Language: A Reading List.

After all the media fawning over the nonprofit Teach for America, there are some veterans of the program who are now telling a different story. “Teach for America Counter-Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out” contains 20 essays with anecdotes that seem too crazy to make up.

10,000 zines and counting: a library’s quest to save the history of fandom.

* The end of overparenting. The end of workplace friendships.

* Wake up and smell the weird.

* “Stonehenge II: Archaeologists uncover true scale of ‘superhenge’ – discovered just a few miles from famous prehistoric monument.”

* The total surveillance society, but with a human face.

* Toronto’s parking ticket jubilee.

* Alzheimer’s at 38.

* PC Comedy and Paul Revere vs. Putting Out Fire with Gasoline.

* Free your mind; start high school later in the morning.

* Course List for Rupert Giles, Master of Library Sciences Candidate, Michaelmas Term 1982.

* And of course you had me at The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

Tuesday Night Links!

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* In case you missed it, last night I put up my syllabi for the fall, on J.R.R. Tolkien and American Literature after the American Century.

* Mark your calendars, East Coasters: Jaimee Hills reads from her award-winning book How to Avoid Speaking at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC on October 26. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that preorders are available now at Amazon and Waywiser Press.

* The world’s most popular academic article: “Fuck Nuance.”

That is the kudzu of nuance. It makes us shy away from the riskier aspects of abstraction and theory-building generally, especially if it is the rst and most frequent response we hear. Instead of pushing some abstraction or argument along for a while to see where it goes, there is a tendency to start hedging theory with particulars. People complain that you’re leaving some level or dimension out, and tell you to bring it back in. Crucially, “accounting for”, “addressing”, or “dealing” with the missing item is an unconstrained process. at is, the question is not how a theory can handle this or that issue internally, but rather the suggestion to expand it with this new term or terms. Class, Institutions, Emotions, Structure, Culture, Interaction—all of them are taken generically to “matter”, and you must acknowledge that they matter by incorporating them. Incorporation is the reintroduction of particularizing elements, even though those particulars were what you had to throw away in order to make your concept a theoretically useful abstraction in the first place.

See also: nuance trolling as academic filibuster.

* More ACLA CFPs: Utopia Renewed: Locating a New Utopian Praxis. Innovation, Creativity, and Capitalist Culture.

* Trying to figure out what percentage of instructors are adjuncts is the world’s most dangerous game.

But Thrun and other MOOC founders seem less than concerned about living up to their earlier, lofty rhetoric or continuing that tradition of bringing education to an underserved population. True, they haven’t entirely abandoned their rhetoric about equal access to educational opportunities. But they’ve shifted to what’s becoming a more familiar Silicon Valley narrative about the future of employability: a cheap and precarious labor force. That’s the unfortunate reality of “Uber for Education.”

* Artisanal college. Cruelty free, cage free, farm-fresh.

Aggrieved students find books dangerous; neoliberal administrators say they’re useless. I’d take the former any day.

From Corporate Leader to Flagship President?

Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers.

Literary magazines for socialists funded by the CIA, ranked.

* The strategic value of summer.

* Forty years of Born to Run. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

* Fun Home at Duke: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile, in today’s exciting new anti-academic moral panic: UNC’s The Literature of 9/11.

As Murray Pomerance points out, plagiarism is a form of theft, and we don’t steal our own work. On the contrary, we expand its reach, and build on it, thereby making it more relevant as the contexts that produce it change.

UT Knoxville encourages students to use ‘gender-neutral pronouns.’ Washington State University disavows syllabus with ban on certain words.

The Largest-Ever U.S. Gallery Of Jack Kirby’s Comic Art Heads To California.

* And no one talks about it: Barack Obama will leave his party in its worst shape since the Great Depression—even if Hillary wins. More here. I’m an outlier on the progressive side of the fence insofar as I think Clinton might really have to pull out of the race over the emails — so it’s even worse than it seems.

* The cartoon bodies of Mad Max: Fury Road.

How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly?

* The FBI’s surveillance of Ray Bradbury. And the Sad Puppies.

Cold Opening: The Publicity Campaign for Go Set a Watchman.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina serves as a reminder that resilience is a function of the strength of a community. Gentrification’s Ground Zero: In the ten years since Katrina, New Orleans has been remade into a neoliberal playground for young entrepreneurs. The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover.

* Incredible essay by Lili Loofbourrow on her sister’s death by suicide this summer.

* Psychology is bunk.

Žižek Says Thing.

* Against the Anthropocene.

* Whatever happened to DC Comics?

* Being Stephen Colbert.

* The free encyclopedia anyone can edit.

* Tinder as video game.

* Another Samuel Delany interview.

Janelle Monáe Vows To ‘Speak Up’ On #BlackLivesMatter.

* I love dumb stuff like this, when the corrupt screw up and lose: Business owners try to remove all voters from business district, but they forgot one college student.

Cancer cells programmed back to normal by US scientists.

British Library declines Taliban archive over terror law fears.

Upstate New York Secessionists Demand Freedom From City They Mooch Off Of.

* I told you that if there were something beyond the grave, I would contact you.

* RIP, Oliver Sacks.

* Inside Wisconsin’s Slender Man stabbing.

* I confess I am totally stunned by the Jared Fogle case. I thought I was cynical enough.

* The arc of history is long, but at least that Coach reboot has already been cancelled.

* The Racial Politics of Disney Animals.

* Mars by 2039?

* Renaming Denali.

* Why Dolphins Are Deep Thinkers.

Fall In Love with Your Job, Get Ripped Off by Your Boss. Related: workers shouldn’t work for free.

Firstborn Girls Are the Best at Life. Any Zoey could have told you that!

* The law, in its majestic equality, allows rich and poor alike not to clean up their billion-dollar toxic oil spills.

* The New Servility.

* Militarized drones are now legal in North Dakota.

Future Jails May Look and Function More Like Colleges. And, you know, vice versa…

* Never say “unfilmable”: The BBC is going to try to make a show out of The City and the City.

* Declare victory and go home to your panic room: America Has Lost The War Against Guns.

* And some things mankind was just never meant to know: See how easily a rat can wriggle up your toilet.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Syllabus #1: J.R.R. Tolkien! (UPDATED!)

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I’m really excited about this one. Here’s the day-by-day schedule…

Big thanks to Ben Robertson, Robert Tally, and Tim McMahon for sharing their Tolkien syllabus, and to Brian Kenna for talking a few things through with me when I needed it. (UPDATE: Thanks also to Robin Reid, who had some great ideas for additions.)









W Sep. 2 “On Fairy Stories” [D2L]
F Sep. 4 “Leaf by Niggle” [D2L]
W Sep. 9 Brian Attebery, “Is Fantasy Literature? Tolkien and the Theorists”
F Sep. 11 Guest lecturer Brian Kenna on Tolkien’s biography and war service
M Sep. 14 The Hobbit, chapters 1-4
W Sep. 16 The Hobbit, chapters 5-6

original “Riddles in the Dark” chapter (D2L)

F Sep. 18 The Hobbit, chapters 7-9
M Sep. 21 The Hobbit, chapters 10-14
W Sep. 23 The Hobbit, chapters 15-19
F Sep. 25 The Hobbit (whole book, plus film adaptations)

J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Quest for Erebor”

John D. Rateliff, “The 1960 Hobbit”

M Sep. 28 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, foreword, prologue, and chapters 1-3
W Sep. 30 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, chapters 4-7
F Oct. 2 Tom Bombadil

The Encyclopedia of Arda: “Tom Bombadil” [Web]

Lord of the Rings Wiki: “Theories about Tom Bombadil” and linked pages [Web]

M Oct. 5 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, chapters 8-12


W Oct. 7 Library Day #1—Meet at Raynor Library
F Oct. 9 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, chapters 1-5
M Oct. 12 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, chapters 6-8
W Oct. 14 Galadriel

Unfinished Tales: “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn” [D2L]

Robert Tally, “Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien” [Web]

F Oct. 16 The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, chapters 9-10
M Oct. 19 The Two Towers, Book Three, chapters 1-4
W Oct. 21 The Two Towers, Book Three, chapters 5-7
W Oct. 28 The Two Towers, Book Three, chapters 8-11

Robert Tally, “Song of Saruman” [Web]

F Oct. 30 The Two Towers, Book Four, chapters 1-4
M Nov. 2 The Two Towers, Book Four, chapters 5-10
W Nov. 4 Orcs

Robert Tally, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Orcs” [D2L]

Richard K. Morgan, “The Real Fantastic Stuff” [Web]

N.K. Jemisin, “The Unbearable Baggage of Orcing” [Web]

F Nov. 6 Library Day #2—Meet at Raynor Library
M Nov. 9 The Return of the King, Book Five, chapters 1-6
W Nov. 11 The Return of the King, Book Five, chapters 7-10

Robin Reid, “Light (noun, 1) or Light (adjective, 14b)? Female Bodies and Femininities in The Lord of the Rings



M Nov. 16 The Return of the King, Book Six, chapters 1-3

Sean Crist, “Could the Eagles Have Flown Frodo into Mordor?” and responses

W Nov. 18 The Return of the King, Book Six, chapters 4-7
F Nov. 20 The Return of the King, Book Six, chapters 8-9

David M. Craig, “ ‘Queer Lodgings’: Gender and Sexuality in Lord of the Rings.

M Nov. 23 The Return of the King, appendices

J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Epilogue” [D2L]

J.R.R. Tolkien, “The New Shadow” [D2L]

M Nov. 30 The Silmarillion: “Ainulindalë,” “Valaquenta,” and Quenta Silmarillion, chapters 1-5
W Dec. 2 The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, chapters 6-12
F Dec. 4 The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, chapters 13-19
M Dec. 7 The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, chapters 20-24

J.R.R. Tolkien, “Notes on Motives in The Silmarillion” [Web]

W Dec. 9 The Silmarillion: “Akallabêth” and “On the Rings of Power and the Third Age”
F Dec. 11 Michael Saler, “The Middle Positions of Middle Earth”



Written by gerrycanavan

August 31, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Tuesday Links!

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The Madison Journal of Literary Criticism interviews my friend Ramzi Fawaz about his exciting new book on the X-Men in the 1970s: The New Mutants.

* David Foster Wallace’s blurbspeak.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Story of Kullervo Will Be Published In October.

Scientist studies Diplomacy game to reveal early signs of betrayal.

* US Education Reform and the Maintenance of White Supremacy through Structural Violence.

* Whatever happened to Gary Cooper: You’ve heard of women’s studies, right? Well, this is men’s studies: the academic pursuit of what it means to be male in today’s world. Dr. Kimmel is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York system, which will soon start the first master’s degree program in “masculinities studies.”

* The fire next time: The Pension Crisis at Public Universities.

* The Clinton plan for college. This summary leaves out all the awful disruptivation and neoliberalization stuff that will be part of any actual plan, so it sounds great.

Widespread use of private email revealed a day after Wise resigns. The Revelations in Phyllis Wise’s Emails. Legal experts react. It’s so bad the board is going to vote on whether to pull her $400,000 golden parachute.

Academic Freedom at UIUC: Freedom to Pursue Viewpoints and Positions That Reflect the Values of the State.

* More on Duquesne’s proposition that adjunct unions would interfere with its Catholic mission.

SeaWorld sees profits plunge 84% as customers desert controversial park.

The Making of the American Police State.

* The Socrates of the National Security Agency.

Police Union In Missouri Declares ‘Darren Wilson Day’ On Shooting Anniversary. Yankees’ Minor League Affiliate Holds ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Event On Anniversary Of Michael Brown’s Death.

One Holdout Juror Was Likely Why James Holmes Avoided Death Penalty.

This Woman Was Awarded $685,737 After Learning Her Boyfriend (And Father of Her Child!) Was an Undercover Cop Sent to Spy on Her.

* Comic book movies and the forgotten art of the ending. You heard it here first!

* Astro Boy and the atom.

* The big Superman reveal (from the pre-52 DC Universe) that DC never got around to revealing.

Always a Lighthouse: Video Games and Radical Politics.

No girl wins: three ways women unlearn their love of video games.

Netflix’s Dystopian Show 3% To Be Developed Entirely In Brazil.

3% takes place in a world where most of the population lives in “Hither”: a decadent, miserable, corrupt place. When people reach 20 years of age, they go through the “Process”, the only chance to get to “Thither” – the better place, with opportunities and promises of a dignified life. Only three percent of the applicants are approved by the Process that will take the applicants to their limit, putting them in terrifying, dangerous situations and testing their convictions through moral dilemmas.

* More incredibly bad behavior in SF fandom. A little more context here.

* Judge Faults University for Requiring Student to Prove He Was Innocent of Sexual Misconduct. Colleges Under Investigation for Sexual Assault Wonder What Getting It Right Looks Like.

* Peter Thiel, übermensch.

* Here come the automated trucks. Kids today don’t even want to drive anymore (or their helicopter parents won’t let them)!

* The Amazonization of Everything.

* On Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon.

* Point: Please don’t have sex with robots. Counterpoint: Humans should be able to marry robots.

* Point: They clearly should have let Max Landis write Fantastic Four. Counterpoint: The Fantastic Four Are Jerks.

* Two interesting essays on sex work and sugar daddies from TNI’s “Daddy” issue: “Letter to a Young Baby” and “You Deserve It, Sweetie.”

* Atlas Shrugs Google Rebrands.

Natalia’s tweet became a whole great blog post on modernism, childhood, and tech.

* When Shakespeare toked.

* Why do hotels have ice machines?

* Why do pro wrestlers die so young?

* Did they find Croatoan?

* Prison-industrial-wildfire complex: Nearly half the people fighting wildfires wreaking havoc across California are prison inmates.

Sandernistas would do well to reflect on one thing.  In a few months’ time, Sanders’s campaign will be gone. He will not win. … But Black Lives Matter, or rather the movement with which it has become synonymous, isn’t going to go away.  And it is far more important to America’s long-term future. A useful corrective, I think, though my intuition remains that this is one brand of underpantsgnomism competing with another for underpants-gnome supremacy.

* Diseases of the twenty-first century: Foot Orgasm Syndrome.

* This could actually be interesting: Harvard Professor Larry Lessig To Explore Democratic Presidential Run.

* Because you demanded it: Werner Herzog’s Ant-Man.

* Science has discovered a new pentagon.

* And while the lion still remains at large, Milwaukee remembers its polar bear.


Written by gerrycanavan

August 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So Many Weekend Links!

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* I’ve seen this movie: Marquette working with firm to humanely manage seagulls.

* Best game I’ve played in a really long time: Rymdkapsel.

* The Milwaukee Experiment: What can one prosecutor do about the mass incarceration of African-Americans?

* The academic community has talked itself into a very strange corner with regards to adjunctification. “Respect” is just not a good rallying point: unquantifiable, unsatisfiable, turns political struggle into emotional one. The focus should stay on the system that produces adjunct jobs instead of full-time permanent ones.

* This report that administration and construction are not significant factors in rising tuition seems totally off to me. You’re dividing by different denominators in 2001 and 2011; that masks the magnitude of the change, but also hides new spending in real terms. The last student you add should be your cheapest student: all the infrastructure is in place, you’re just adding one more. But these numbers show the opposite trend: spending at colleges is increasing even given efficiencies gained by adding more students.

* CFP: The Superhero Project.

‘The Game Done Changed’: Reconsidering ‘The Wire’ Amidst the Baltimore Uprising.

* If you, like us, lusted after the art deco tiling and rose-colored lighting of the Grand Budapest Hotel lobby, or drooled over the yellow Parisian hotel room in Hotel Chevalier, here’s some enchanting news: Wes Anderson has designed a bar.

Bardolatry as Idolatry.

NSA mass phone surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal.

* Andrew Cuomo, pretty corrupt.

* So are the Patriots.

An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty.

The Poverty Capitalism Creates.

As investigation enters fifth month, Tamir Rice’s mother has moved into a homeless shelter. Online activists raised $60K for Tamir Rice’s family — so where did all that money go?

* The End of LSU.

* If you want a vision of the future.

Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

The Secret Lives of Homeless Students.

Ten percent of you were meant to be police officers. You have it in your blood and bones and you will excel in this profession. For 80% of you, this is a job. It’s a job you will do well and honorably for your career with the NYPD. Ten percent of you should never have made it this far. You are too dumb, too damaged, or too criminal to be police officers and you very well will be hurt, killed, or arrested in the years to come.

The Hater’s Guide To Avengers: Age of Ultron. Are you Over the Avengers Yet? Ultron Has Always Been a Dumb Character, and That’s Okay. Even Whedon isn’t into it.

Leaked Email From Marvel CEO Is A Listicle About Why Women Can’t Be Superheroes.

* Reading the Black Captain America (both of them).

Joss Whedon Didn’t Quit Twitter Because of All the Mean Feminists.

In defense of the Mommy Track.

Urban fiction, or street lit, has been snubbed by the publishing industry and scorned by black intellectuals. Yet these authors may just be the most successful literary couple in America.

‘Comedy Bang-Bang’s’ Scott Aukerman: From ‘Screwing Around’ to a Podcast Empire.

Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book; it backfires predictably.

The Pink and Blue Projects: Exploring the Genderization of Color.

* I really liked TNI’s “Trash” issue, though it gets Oscar the Grouch all wrong.

* Did a study find men’s beards are filled with poop?

We Accidentally Turned The Entire Statue Of Liberty Into A Battery.

Halo Players Spent Five Years Trying To Get Into An Empty Room.

* I’m glad that Facebook is choosing to publish such findings, but I cannot but shake my head about how the real findings are buried, and irrelevant comparisons take up the conclusion.

* A comics Kickstarter some of you might be interested in: Bizarre New World.

Lawmakers drop Walker’s plan to spin off UW governance.

Art Institute of Wisconsin to stop enrolling new students.

Remember when Gerber tried to market “baby food for teens?”

* What Was the Venus de Milo Doing With Her Arms?

Joan Would Have Lost Her Sexual Harassment Suit Against McCann Erickson. Assholes of Mad Men’s McCann pay dividends for real-life McCann.

Q: What do the US, Somalia, and South Sudan have in common? A: It’s totally cool to put kids in jail forever.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Health Insurance Companies Are Illegally Charging for Birth Control.

Report: Most College Football Concussions Happen in Practice.

* Nothing gold can stay be allowed to just be a good thing that happened one time.

Essential Reading: “I Am Error” Brings New Insight to the History of the NES.

From graduation to garbage job (literally): One twentysomething’s struggle.

The source of strange radio signals that have left astronomers at Australia’s most famous radio telescope scratching their heads for 17 years has finally been discovered. It turns out that it was a microwave oven.

“My father felt the U.S.S.R. treated him better than America,” said Tynes-Mensah, a former university chemistry instructor who was born in the Russian town of Krasnodar and now lives mainly in the United States, spending summers in Russia. “He was happy here.”

* How to lie with statistics, Nicholas Kristof edition.

* Portrait of a suicide at UPenn.

* You Oughta Know Dave Coulier Will Be On Fuller House.

Woman Who Tweeted ‘2 Drunk 2 Care’ Before Fatal Crash Gets 24 Years.

Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien.

In “Let Us Now Praise Famous Orcs,” I suggested that the basic humanity of Tolkien’s inhuman creatures proved them to be more worthy of our sympathy than the elves, “whose near-perfection marks them with a profound otherness.” As immortals, elves are always playing a long game in which we finite beings cannot ever hope to be much more than pawns. The characters who seem most aware of this fact in The Lord of the Rings are, in fact, the orcs, as is tellingly revealed in the dialogue between Gorbag and Shagrat. They lament having to work for “Big Bosses,” remember the “bad old times” when elves besieged them, and make hopeful plans for a postwar future in which there are “no big bosses.” In their fear and loathing of aristocrats and high powers, these orcs express thoroughly modern, even vaguely democratic sentiments. The Witch-Queen of Lórien, much like the dark Lord of Mordor, champions a different social order entirely. I am not entirely sure that Galadriel’s vision for how the world system should be organized is necessarily the better one. For those of us who are in favor of changing the world, Galadriel and her coterie of hereditary aristocrats represent the enemy, a power to be overcome, and her “long defeat” cannot come soon enough.

* The Magicians is coming to SyFy.

Sheriffs Threaten Retaliation If The Price Of Prisoner Phone Calls Is Regulated.

* Starving the beast: The UNC system in 2015.

* There are no tough choices.

Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness.

* Meet the original patent troll.

* The vanishing of Molly Norris.

* Empty, Lonely Nothingness. Forever: Understanding the Fermi Paradox.

A Cancer Survivor Designs the Cards She Wishes She’d Received From Friends and Family.

* Get my checkbook! Original drawings depicting iconic Martians from HG Wells’s sci-fi masterpiece The War of the Worlds are on sale for £350,000.

Edit of the Day: Footloose Without the Music Turns Kevin Bacon Into a Maniac.

* Deleted Scenes of Women in Disaster Movies Written by Men.

* Get me Thomas Pynchon: Aide to Kamala Harris arrested for pretending to run 3,000-year-old rogue police force.

* Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water. More North Carolina Residents Warned Of Contaminated Drinking Water. Horribly bleak study sees ‘empty landscape’ as large herbivores vanish at startling rate. A future without chocolate.

* Only the super-rich can save us now.

McDonald’s to reverse declining sales with more attractive Hamburglar.

These Suburban Preppers Are Ready for Anything.

* Bill Clinton has an exciting new greatest regret of his presidency.

Someone made Game of Thrones into a Google map, and it’s amazing.

Native Americans Say This Man Enslaved Them. Pope Francis Wants To Call Him A Saint.

Which President Greenlit A Trip To The Center Of The Earth?

* The LEGO sublime.

* And a dark, gritty Sliders I wish had gone to series: Parallels. By one of the creators of The Lost Room, which I also wish had gone to series!

Written by gerrycanavan

May 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Playing Monday Catch-Up Links

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* Jaimee finally has a webpage! You can see all her online poems here.

Announcing the Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities.

* Reminder: Mullen fellowship applications are due April 1.

Relativism: The spontaneous ideology of the undergraduate.

* The trolley and the psychopath.

Tired of the same old dystopias? Randomized Dystopia suggests a right that your fictional tyranny could deny its citizens!

What if we educated and designed for resistance, through iterative performance and play?

* A good start: The University of Phoenix has lost half its students in the last five years.

I began pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan in the Fall of 2006. My incoming cohort had nine students–seven in English Language and Literature, two in English and Women’s Studies. When we entered the program, all of us aspired to the tenure-track. The last of us just defended her dissertation this January, making ours the first cohort in several years with a 100% completion rate. Nine years out, only one of us has a tenure track professorship.

* #altac: Northeastern University seeks an intellectually nimble, entrepreneurial, explode-the-boundaries thinker to join the Office of the President as Special Assistant for Presidential Strategy & Initiatives. This job ad truly is a transcendent parody of our age, down to the shameless sucking up to the president of the university that constitutes 2/3 of the text.

* Budget cuts kill The Dictionary of American Regional English.

The Long, Ugly History of Racism at American Universities.

I Saw My Admissions Files Before Yale Destroyed Them.

Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper.

The Unmanageable University.

What NYU Pays Its Top Earners, And What Most Of Your Professors Make.

“There is no point in having that chat as long as the system is mismanaged,” said Steven Cohen, president of the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges, which represents most faculty. Cohen pointed to central office costs that are rising as faculty numbers decline.

Letter from Amsterdam.

The war against humanities at Britain’s universities.

On NYU and the future of graduate student unionism.

I teach philosophy at Columbia. But some of my best students are inmates.

Why Is So Much of Our Discussion of Higher Ed Driven by Elite Institutions?

It’s Time to End Tuition at Public Universities—and Abolish Student Debt.

* Following up on the future of rhetoric and composition. I also liked this one from Freddie: “It’s that mass contigency– the dramatic rise of at-risk academic labor like adjuncts and grad students– that creates the conditions that Cooke laments on campus. In the past, when a far higher portion of college courses were taught by tenured professors, those who taught college courses had much less reason to fear reprisals from undergraduates.”

There is certainly an important and urgent conversation to be had about academic freedom and whether that is being constrained by trigger warnings and the like, but the discourse of students’ self-infantilization misdirects us from the larger picture. That, I think, is definitely not a story of student-initiated “cocooning,” but rather the transformation of the category of “student” into “consumer” and “future donor.”

How Sweet Briar’s Board Decided to Close the College. But don’t worry, there’s a plan: Faculty Propose Sweet Briar Shift Focus to STEM.

Law School Dean Average Tenure Is 2.78 Years, An All-Time Low.

* #disrupt morality: “America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.”

3 Cops Caught On Tape Brutally Beating Unarmed Michigan Man With No Apparent Provocation. Private Prison Operator Set To Rake In $17 Million With New 400-Bed Detention Center. Teen Was Kept In Solitary Confinement For 143 Days Before Even Facing Trial. Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison.

* What are your chances of going to prison?

Dollars, Death and the LAPD.

The officers sued the LAPD for discrimination for keeping them in desk jobs. Last week a jury awarded them $4 million. In other words, the refusal to let them go back to the streets to shoot more people is, in the eyes of our court system, worth more than four times as much as the life of an innocent man. Much more than that when you consider that they drew and continue to draw near six figure salaries for sitting at a desk.

* Tolkien and surveillance.

* The TSA Checklist.

The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison.

UN erects memorial to victims of transatlantic slave trade.

* Inside Firefly.

* World’s most honest headline watch: Wall Street welcomes expected Chuck Schumer promotion.

Antarctica Recorded Hotter Temperatures Than They’ve Ever Seen This Week.

Framing China as an environmental villain only serves to excuse American inaction.

Even with California deep in drought, the federal agency hasn’t assessed the impacts of the bottled water business on springs and streams in two watersheds that sustain sensitive habitats in the national forest. The lack of oversight is symptomatic of a Forest Service limited by tight budgets and focused on other issues, and of a regulatory system in California that allows the bottled water industry to operate with little independent tracking of the potential toll on the environment.

Too Bad, That Rumor About A New Star Trek TV Show Is Absolutely False. But it’s not all bad news: they may have tricked Idris Elba into playing a Klingon.

The True Story of Pretty Woman’s Original Dark Ending.

* The Deadly Global War for Sand.

* SMBC vs. the Rebus. And vs. modernity.

I Started Milwaukee’s Epic Bloody Mary Garnish Wars.

* Photographer Johan Bävman documents the world of dads and their babies in a country where fathers are encouraged to take a generous amount of paternity leave.

Dean Smith Willed $200 to Each of His Former Players to ‘Enjoy a Dinner Out.’ You’ll never believe what happened next. But!

* Teaching human evolution at the University of Kentucky.

* Being Jason Shiga.

Scientists Discover the Reason That Indian Food Tastes So Good and How It Differs From Western Cuisine.

We Should Be Able To Detect Spaceships Moving Near The Speed Of Light.

* Snowpiercer forever: Russia unveils plan for superhighway from London to Alaska.

Kapow! Attack of the feminist superheroes.

* The future is now: Miles Morales and Kamala Khan join the female Thor and Captain “The Falcon” America as Avengers post-Secret Wars.

Things Marvel Needs to Think About for the Black Panther Movie.

Marxists Internet Archive: Subjects: Arts: Literature: Children’s Literature.

Ruins found in remote Argentinian jungle ‘may be secret Nazi hideout.’

15 Secrets Hiding in the World of Game of Thrones.

Listen to part of Carlin’s Summerfest 1972 show — before he got arrested.

This 19th Century ‘Stench Map’ Shows How Smells Reshaped New York City.

* The ethics of playing to lose.

* Today in ultimate selfies.

* And make mine del Toro:

You say horror is inherently political. How so?

Much like fairy tales, there are two facets of horror. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of fairy tale: Don’t wander into the woods, and always obey your parents. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment.


Written by gerrycanavan

March 30, 2015 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Spring! Break! Forever! Links!

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* The Department of Special Collections and University Archives will host an upcoming talk by Tolkien scholar Janet Brennan Croft March 26, at 4:30 p.m. in the Raynor Memorial Libraries Beaumier Suites. Croft is the author of “Barrel Rides and She-Elves: Audience and ‘Anticipation’ in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy,” and has written on film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. The talk will explore Tolkien’s “Hobbit Trilogy” in regards to audience expectations, the difficulties of filming a prequel after a sequel, and issues of anticipation in relation to character development.

The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google.

In Amsterdam, a revolt against the neoliberal university.

* Make School a Democracy.

* The persistence of inequality.

How A Traveling Consultant Helps America Hide The Homeless.

Working-Class Women at the MLA Interview.

* Checking flights now: Kim Stanley Robinson Week at Ralahine.

Using Science Fiction to Re-Envision Justice.

Arab Sci-Fi: The future is here.

‘House of Cards’ is the worst show about American politics. Ever. On the perfunctoriness of House of Cards.

* Unarmed teenager shot by police in Madison. Students march.

* Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s sheriff wants attention.

* The Unfortunate Fate of Sweet Briar’s Professors. This headline really buries the lede:

Of course, faculty members aren’t the only employees who are taking a hit. Rainville suggested that nearly a third of the college’s hourly workers are descendants of the Fletcher plantation’s original slave community. Some of the staff members have worked at Sweet Briar their entire adult lives.

* Detenuring and its discontents.

Marina Warner on the disfiguring of higher education.

What Obama’s ‘Student Aid Bill of Rights’ Will — and Won’t — Do. Student Loans Viewed Differently Than Other Debt, Study Finds.

* Fear of a Muslim Planet. From TNI #38: “Futures.”

* Did somebody say FUTURE!

Islamophobic Bus Ads In San Francisco Are Being Defaced With Kamala Khan.

* Finally, a technological solution to the problem of taking attendance!

LARPing Hamlet at Castle Elsinore.

* These Photos Beautifully Capture the Complex Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters. These are really amazing. Many more links after the photo.

Soraya and Tala, Yarze Lebanon 2014.

* The 1 percent’s white privilege con: Elites hold “conversations” about race, while resegregating our schools.

Austerity won’t collapse under its own contradictions. We’ll need a movement for that.

* Big Sugar vs. your teeth.

It’s a mistake to ask whether this is wealthy people defending their financial interests or wealthy people expressing their ideology, or which motivation is reallyin the driver’s seat. The triumph of modern conservatism is that it has collapsed the distinction. The interests of the wealthy are the ideology. Fossil fuels are the ideology. They’re bubbling in the same ethno-nationalist stew as anti-immigrant sentiment, hawkish foreign policy, hostility toward the social safety net, and fetishism of guns, suburbs, and small towns. It’s all one identity now. The Kochs (and their peers) are convinced that their unfettered freedom is in the best interests of the country. There’s no tension.

* What happens when Queen Elizabeth dies?

* Native language study at UWM.

Judge Says University Failed to Shield Professor From Colleagues’ Retaliation. Yeah, sure sounds like it.

* It is now twelve months to the day that I set myself the task of, for one full year, reading books only by straight, white, middle-class, Anglopone, cis male authors. During that time I read 144 books. The things I learned in my year of selective reading made me pretty glad to have persevered.

* NYU union does good work.

Ph.D. students will receive 4 percent more in total compensation for their work as teaching assistants, bringing the average annual compensation up to approximately $36,600. The agreement also guarantees yearly minimum wage increases of 2.25 to 2.50 percent through 2020. For graduate employees at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, some of whom currently make only $10 an hour, hourly wages will increase to $15 next fall and reach $20 by 2020. Those employees will also receive a $1,500 bonus for work done over the past three semesters.

* Diving into the weeds: Is University of Oklahoma frat’s racist chant protected by 1st Amendment? 5 Ways Fraternities Are Wielding Major Influence Over University Administrations. A decade of bad press hasn’t hurt fraternity membership numbers. A Brief and Recent History of Bigotry at Fraternities.

Where has all the money gone? The decline in faculty salaries at American colleges and universities over the past 40 years.

* Flexible online education can never fail, it can only be failed.

* Small Private College Shuts Down, Donates Campus to the University of Iowa.

* Mass Firings in History at Boise State.

* The eco-optimists.

The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?

Florida Officials Ban The Term ‘Climate Change.’

Climate Change Is Altering Everything About The Way Water Is Provided In Salt Lake City.

* The Desertification of Mongolia. Still not done, more links below.


* Introducing the Gawker Media SecureDrop.

* Buffy is old enough to go through that weird test they make Slayers go through when they turn 18.

White candidates with degrees from less-selective universities can expect to get a response every 9 résumés, while equally qualified black candidates need to submit 15.

* Is Scott Walker the most dangerous man in America?

* The troubled history of the foreskin.

* I’m honestly amazed the insurers were letting Harrison Ford fly small planes to begin with.

* In the U.S., a notary public does unglamorous legal drudge work. But in many Latin American countries, a notario is an ill-defined but powerful figure with broad legal authority, often someone with the connections needed to navigate bureaucracies that, while arcane, are also flexible. Unscrupulous notarios in the U.S. exploit these facts to con immigrants into believing that all it takes to finally get legal is the right person to file the paperwork.

* Emily Yoffe has another piece at Slate arguing against the current approach to sexual assault at colleges, this time framed around The Hunting Ground.

* English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet.

* Dystopia in our time: “Why Buzzfeed Is The Most Important News Organization in the World.”

* The end of cable: HBO is coming to Apple TV.

* I have altered the Expanded Universe. Pray I do not alter it further. But at least progress marches on.

* Gasp! Airbnb Is Making Things Worse for LA Renters.

* Meritocracy watch: Chelsea Clinton Absolutely Open to Running for Office.

How Reddit Became a Worse Black Hole of Violent Racism than Stormfront.

* “A simple design fluke and marketing are afoot here. When Gard accidentally increased her breast size by 150 percent, the creative team insisted it was maintained. The parent company’s marketing team found this to be a boon to breaking through the noise that would buoy their success.”

Porntopia: A trip to the Adult Video News Awards.

* Interview with a Torturer.

In 1923, Daylight Saving Time Was Actually Illegal In Some States. It’s time to make daylight saving time year-round. PFT speaks.

The salary you need to buy a home in 27 U.S. cities.

These maps show where the world’s youngest and oldest people live.

Ottawa doctors behind breakthrough multiple sclerosis study. This sounds amazing. I hope it’s true.

* Coming this October: Back in Time: The Back to the Future documentary.

* You know, like Ghostbusters, but Ph-balanced for a man.

* Scenes from the class struggle at NBC News.

Day-in, day-out, Calvin keeps running into evidence that the world isn’t built to his (and our) specifications. All humor is, in one way or another, about our resistance to that evidence. The Moral Philosophy of Calvin and Hobbes.

Men make their own brackets, but they do not make them as they please. Marx Madness. Via MarxFi.

* And they say our culture is no longer capable of producing great things.


Written by gerrycanavan

March 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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