Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘trauma

End of February Mega-Links!

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* I had a little deleted scene on a recent episode of The Gribcast, cut out from the earlier episode I was on where I talked about Parable of the Talents.

* The Cambridge History of Science Fiction made Locus’s Recommended Reading List for 2019. Thanks to all who voted!

* Behold! SFRA Review 50.1!

* CFP: SFRA 2020: Forms of Fabulation. CFP: PopMeC. CFP: Transnational Equivalences and Inequalities. CFP: 20/20 Vision: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada. CFP: Teaching About Capitalism, War, and Empire. CFP: “The Infrastructure of Emergency.” CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures. CFP: OEB Third Biennial Conference September 11-13, 2020. CFP: ‘Walls and Barriers: Science Fiction in the age of Brexit.’ CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 10th Anniversary Conference (CRSF 2020). CFP: The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities. CFP: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction. CFP: Write about Bojack Horseman for @AtPost45!

Three Californias, Infinite Futures.

Utopias are like blueprints and novels are like soap operas. What kind of art comes out of that? Sometimes I’ve experienced this as intensely stressful. In the domestic realist tradition of the English novel, what you value is, This is what real life is like. Like Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet—in theory I would aspire to write a novel like that. Yet here I am trying these utopian efforts time after time. So at a certain point along the way I got over it and just regarded it as a literary problem and an opportunity. My books are unusual, but so what? That’s a nice thing to be.

* A Sci-Fi Author’s Boldest Vision of Climate Change: Surviving It.

The New Generation of Self-Created Utopias.

* This is relatable content: Did Tolkien Write The Lord of the Rings Because He Was Avoiding His Academic Work?

* Watch a Haunting Teaser for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Adaptation of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men.

Empathy in John Ira Jennings and Damian Duffy’s “Parable of the Sower.”

The Shell Game: From “Get Out” to “Parasite.” Reading Colonialism in “Parasite.” Subtitles Can’t Capture the Full Class Critique in ‘Parasite.’

* All eyes on the Johns Hopkins dashboard. Amid coronavirus scare, US colleges cancel study abroad programs. Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics.

* Bernie and #MUnion. Bernie Sanders’s Multiracial, Working-Class Base Was On Display In Iowa. How Bernie’s Iowa Campaign Organized Immigrant Workers at the Factory Gates. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wows Iowa, Probably Not for the Last Time. The Delegate Math Now Favors Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders leads Donald Trump in polls, even when you remind people he’s a socialist. Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys — but it could be a mirage. The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition. An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter. The Millennial/Gen-Z Strategy. Bernie Sanders and the climate.

* Wisconsin, Swing State. How Milwaukee Could Decide the Next President.

Heard but Not Seen: Black music in white spaces.

* It worked for me!

* Joanna Russ, The Science Fiction Writer Who Said No.

* What Happened to Science Fiction? Something is broken in our science fiction.

Exploring some of the key tenets of neoliberal American culture, this article examines the historical forces behind the meteoric rise of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) children’s books in the 1980s.

* The Tulsa Massacre will now be part of the Oklahoma standard curriculum.

The Transformation of Adam Johnson. A shooting happened in his classroom. Could his expertise help him make sense of it?

* Striking UC Santa Cruz Graduate Students Hold Picket Lines After Police Arrest 17. UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage. UC Santa Cruz Strikers to Lose TA Jobs. The UCSC Strike Is Working. The UC Santa Cruz Wildcat Strike and the Shape of What’s To Come.

Off-The-Record Advice for Graduate Students.

Serfs of Academe.

* The Job Market Is Killing Me.

* NFM: Ensuring that Adjunct Faculty Have Access to Unemployment Insurance.

* I volunteer to consult.

* The part I was born to play!

* Today, upon request of the division chair, I’m giving a short, data-based presentation to the faculty in the Humanities division meeting. The subject is career prospects for our majors. Here are the key points…

* Pedagogy corner: Against Cop Shit.

* The father of a former student at Sarah Lawrence College –accused of manipulating her school friends, extorting nearly $1 million from them, and profiting from their work as prostitutes – was charged with sex trafficking, forced labor and extortion, in a federal indictment released today.

How the central administration has consolidated power and deflected dissent at the University of Chicago.

Their findings suggest college closings won’t be as frequent as some soothsayers have predicted. No more than one out of 10 of the country’s colleges and universities face “substantial market risk,” and closings are likely to affect “relatively few students.” Six in 10 institutions face little to no risk.

* In graduate school I wrote a paper on Heaven’s Gate and it remains one of the most upsetting thing I’ve ever worked on. Haunted by Cybersects.

* Obsessing over the environmental impacts of food gone unconsumed eclipses more interesting questions we might ask of food production that don’t take for granted the ecological devastation seemingly inherent to contemporary U.S. agriculture. Wasting less food in a shitty food system won’t make that system any less shitty, and yet rarely does that realization rear its head. Like the out-of-fashion concept of food miles that launched a locavore movement, taking stock of food waste’s supposed environmental impacts appears to be more rhetorically useful than it is a reliable reflection of where and how those harms come about and who is culpable for them.

* Can we have prosperity without growth? The toxic legacy of old oil wells: California’s multibillion-dollar problem. Florida Climate Outlook 2020. Climate emergency declared in Barcelona. ‘Splatometer’ Study Finds Huge Insect Die-Off. Measuring the Carbon-Dioxide Cost of Last Year’s Worldwide Wildfires. Greta and Anti-Greta. These photo of a Bengal Tiger is composed of only 2500 pixels. That’s the number of Bengal Tigers that are still alive. Never tell me the odds!

The Tragedy of the Worker: Towards the Proletarocene.

After Carbon Democracy.

* Actually existing media bias.

* Among the Post-Liberals.

* British Photographer Remodels World Famous Architecture Using Paper Cutouts and Forced Perspective.

* The search for new words to make us care about the climate crisis.

The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America. How $98 trillion of household wealth in America is distributed: “It’s very depressing.”

* Is there any scam like health insurance? Just so many angles.

* Adrienne Miller’s memoir of her relationship with David Foster Wallace is part of an emerging genre of women coming of age via an older, powerful man. This one actually lets DFW off easy.

Designed as a bucolic working-class suburb of St. Louis, the nearly all-black town of Centreville now floods with raw sewage every time it rains. “Bring us back some help,” residents say, living through an environmental horror that evokes centuries of official disinterest in black suffering, as well as a future in which the poor are left to suffer in areas made uninhabitable by climate change.

* In contrast, the judge has exhibited antipathy for Donziger, according to his former lawyer, John Keker, who saw the case as a “Dickensian farce,” in which “Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush defendants and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker withdrew from the case in 2013 after noting that “Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that the court will use it to hurt Donziger.”

* Truly, depravity in everything.

Hmong Leaders Say Reported Trump Deportation Plans Would Put People At Risk. Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities. How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family. The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases. Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE.  Federal Judge Reverses Conviction of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic.” How Stephen Miller Manipulates Trump.

What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World.

* Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times.

* #MeToo and the Post-Traumatic Novel.

* Mr. Peanut Devouring His Son.

End the GOP.

* The 53-State Solution.

Michael Bloomberg’s Polite Authoritarianism. When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out. The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I’ve worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook… Bloomberg and Trump: alike in dignity and almost everything else.

* Big yikes.

Kasy we’re counting on ya.

* Toba catastrophe watch: Stone Tools Suggest Supervolcano Eruption Didn’t Decimate Humanity 74,000 Years Ago.

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President. Target’s Delivery App Workers Describe a Culture of Retaliation and Fear. Donald Trump ads will take over YouTube for Election Day. How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk. ‘Every Single Person Is Losing Money’: Shipt Is the Latest Gig Platform to Screw Its Workers. Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell. The Future of Housing May Be $2,000 Dorm Rooms for Grownups. Here Are the Most Common Airbnb Scams Worldwide. Uber and Lyft generate 70 percent more pollution than trips they displace: study. Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph. Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists. Draining the Risk Pool: Insurance companies are using new surveillance tech to discipline customers. Health Records Company Pushed Opioids to Doctors in Secret Deal. Pornhub doesn’t care.

* But it’s not all bad news: Kickstarter has unionized.

* Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet.

* Canada is fake.

* you: trauma me, an intellectual:

Artificial Wombs Aren’t a Sci-Fi Horror Story.

* It’s always amazing when something like the “woman tax” moves from ludicrous, laughable nonsense to explicit policy instantaneously.

Founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods transfers business to employees.

* ‘The Scream’ Is Fading. New Research Reveals Why.

* Twilight of GameStop.

* Dungeons & Dragons & Therapy.

* Animal Crossing and Needing Therapy.

* Universe Sandbox.

* A brief history of orcs in video games. A history of farts in video games. He gave us so many lives, but he had only one.

* Behind the scenes at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Rise of the blur.

The best $500 I ever spent: My autism diagnosis.

How libel law is being turned against MeToo accusers.

How The Good Place taught moral philosophy to its characters — and its creators.

The Quest for the Best Amusement Park Is Ever-Changing and Never-Ending.

* Next year, in Jerusalem: Star Wars Will ‘Absolutely’ Have a Future Film Directed by a Woman, Kathleen Kennedy Says.

* He Was ‘Star Wars’ ‘ Secret Weapon, So Why Was He Forgotten?

* Here comes Star Wars: The High Republic.

Disney Didn’t Just Buy ‘Hamilton’ for $75 Million; It Bought a Potential Franchise.

* Could it be that capitalism is… bad?

* Free speech and eating meat.

* Science corner! People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia. Exploding the “Separated-at-Birth” Twin Study Myth. How Lifesaving Organs For Transplant Go Missing In Transit. The Hope And Hype Of Diabetic Alert Dogs. Most BMW drivers are jerks, according to science. Here are a couple of ways of starting a fire in the wilderness using found materials.

* The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist.

Crypto Ponzi scheme took Major League Baseball players and their families for millions.

* Of course you had me at “literary Ponzi scheme.”

* Basketball in North Korea is absolute chaos.

* A whatchamacallit by any other name.

* Map of Europe: Agario Style.

How to Make Billions in E-Sports. ‘Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it’: Adderall presents esports with an enigma.

* @ me next time

* The arc of history is long, but…

* And The French Dispatch has a trailer for me to get very nervous about. Wes Anderson, I’m begging you to get a new gimmick.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* My Octavia Butler book is free all this month from University of Illinois Press. Their new Kim Stanley Robinson book is also very good.

* Africanfuturism Defined.

* J.R.R. Tolkien crowds drive Paris staff to go on strike. Marquette helped make it happen.

Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist.

* Promissory futures.

* I’ve been deep in edits for SFFTV’s special issue on Blade Runner and its legacy, so of course I had to check out this oral history of its Los Angeles.

* Amy Rose grew up loving Star Trek in a way no one else did… she thought it was real.

* Not all heroes wear pantaloons: Usher Who Keeps Colossal ‘Hamilton’ Bathroom Line Moving Becomes Viral Star.

* My Friend, Mr. Rogers.

Halloween and Stranger Danger.

 

* Let’s transform the city with scooters! *five seconds later* oh right

* 😬😬😬😬😬.

* Hate crime horror in Milwaukee. Hate in the Trump era.

* We’re really just going to sit around and pretend they’re not going to do this in three states in November 2020, I guess?

Stivers said he thought Bevin’s speech declining to concede to Beshear was “appropriate.” He said believes most of the votes that went to Libertarian John Hicks, who received about 2% of the total vote, would have gone to Bevin and made him the clear winner.

This is sub-“illegal immigrants stole the vote in California” bullshit and there’s no guarantee it won’t work.

* Bernie finds religion on immigration.

* The metapolitics of Medicare-for-all.

* Having exhausted all other options for profit, a health insurance company tries actually giving people the care they need. How One Employer Stuck a New Mom With a $898,984 Bill for Her Premature Baby.

* “OK Boomer”: not okay?

* OK Adorno.

* Lean in, white supremacist ladies!

* First I’m hearing of it, but it sounds bad: Scientists Declare A Climate Emergency, Warn Of ‘Untold Human Suffering.’

Robust evidence of declines in insect abundance and biodiversity. Forged in Fire: California’s Lessons for a Green New Deal. California is experiencing an almost existential crisis. Has the climate crisis made California too dangerous to live in? What It Means to Evacuate. California Is Burning—Nationalize PG&E. Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest. The world is stuck with decades of new plastic it can’t recycle. How The Affair Turned to Climate Change and Science Fiction in Its Final Season.  Reflections on the Green New Deal. The Oregon Trail for a new — oh no. Lessons in survival.

“Really cheap powerful computing is great,” Goodman said, “but it also allows us to be racist faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

* Stanford still trying to murder Stanford University Press.

* Behind the scenes at Disney U.

* Harvard Just Discovered that PowerPoint is Worse Than Useless. I could have told you that!

* Of course they kept this one behind the paywall: Can You Get Students Interested in the Humanities Again? These Colleges May Have It Figured Out.

How Applying to Grad School Becomes a Display of Trauma for People of Color.

* Redlining the humanities.

* The Williams English Boycott.

* Key elements of the campus panic narrative are drawn not just from unrepresentative anecdotes but from stories that are basically fake.

* Just the pettiest shit. It’s incredible.

* Clinton! Bloomberg! All your favorites!

We Don’t Need Longer School Days, We Need a Shorter Work Week.

* The culture of policing is deeply sick.

Privacy experts say a warrant granted in Florida could set a precedent, opening up all consumer DNA sites to law enforcement agencies across the country.

* The only election result I need.

The U.S. Only Pretends to Have Free Markets. The Tyranny of Economists. Liberalism according to The Economist. Neoliberalism? Never Heard of It.

* Could it be that Amazon … is bad?

‘It’s Time To Break Up Disney,’ Says Author Of New Book On Monopoly Power In America.

* Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.

* All you people who are telling me this show is good are messing with me, right.

* Terminal whiteness.

* Funny, I have the exact opposite problem.

* With a Laser, Researchers Say They Can Hack Alexa, Google Home or Siri. New York Times writer is shocked to see how much a social trust scoring system knows about her. Grand Theft Auto maker hasn’t paid corporation tax in 10 years. I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb. In an often barren media landscape, Deadspin was an oasis of editorial independence and irreverence. So its ultra-rich owners killed it. Adam Neumann and the Art of Failing Up. Uber’s first homicide (that we know of). Screen time might be physically changing kids’ brains.

* Friends? I’ll give you friends!

* Scenes from the class struggle in America.

The Company That Branded Your Millennial Life Is Pivoting To Burnout.

* Ady Barkan Is Running Out of Time to Speak: As his ALS intensifies, the prominent single-payer activist is finding new ways to influence the politics of health care.

* My Year of Concussions.

* When the company that made your prosthetic feet won’t repair them.

* Don’t break up without reading this! A ton of people received text messages overnight that were originally sent on Valentine’s Day.

* When child abuse is a personal branding strategy.

McDonald’s apologises for ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’ promotion.

* RIP, Hollywood Superman.

* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s a huge unforced error to try to replicate “Let It Go.”

* Animals and sports! Now I like sports.

If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This.

* I can never resist brutalist ruins.

* Watch how the 11foot8 bridge is being raised by 8 inches.

* Hey Satan. Burying some fossils again?

Buckle up, motherpastas, because I’m gonna blow the lid off the tin of lies that is SpaghettiO’s.

* Some things are forbidden for a reason.

* And if we’re still alive then, we’ll be seeing Into the Spider-Verse 2 in April 2020.

Jul 24, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; A cat disrupts play in the second half between Tigres UANL and the Real Salt Lake during their Leagues Cup game at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – 13095176

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2019 at 10:23 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* CFP: A special issue of Science Fiction Film and Television on gaming.

* Happening today at Duke: Whose Crisis? Whose University? Abolitionist Study in and beyond Global Higher Education.

* You’ve heard of the gig economy, but what about the gig academy?

* While an economic downturn is on the horizon, this is happening *before* the recession has begun.

* One small victory: Update: UC Irvine Grants Lecturer Paid Leave.

* Drunk with power in Wisconsin: State Assembly Approves Gubernatorial Veto Change.

The 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in Literature go to Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke. 1 out of 2 ain’t bad…

* Next year, Greta!

* Phillip Pullman: Philip Pullman on Children’s Literature and the Critics Who Disdain It.

Since the 2016 election, the American press has fixated on rural communities and created a dubious new genre: the Trump Country Safari.

* The moment of constitutional crisis always approaches but never arrives. This is the constitutional crisis we feared. The Final Demise of “Adults in the Room.” Two Giuliani Associates Who Helped Him on Ukraine Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations. Alas, Rudy!

Joe Biden’s Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That.

Joe Biden’s Case for the Presidency Is Collapsing. Elizabeth Warren is now leading the 2020 polls.

* What if the world treated the U.S. like a rogue state?

How a Jim Crow law still shapes Mississippi’s elections.

* The nightmare of class society is that it turns even the most generous human impulse — to find something common across difference — into a machine for reproducing hierarchy and injustice. Ruling Class Superfriends.

* The Radical Guidebook Embraced by Google Workers and Uber Drivers.

The Making of the American Gulag.

10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki.

* The Day Our Galaxy Exploded.

* News from the Anthropocene: Massive power shut-off to hit 800,000 customers, could extend nearly a week. PG&E diverted safety money for profit, bonuses. PG&E power shut-offs leave ill and disabled struggling. Power Shutoffs Can’t Save California From Wildfire Hell. Fire breaks out anyway.

Lonely, burned out, and depressed: The state of millennials’ mental health in 2019.

* Today in the nightmare society.

How Antarctica is melting from above and below. Tornado Alley has moved 500 miles east in the last few decades. Temperatures in Denver dropped 64 degrees in less than 24 hours, setting a record.

Beware the climate pragmatists.

Google’s core business is misinforming people, but sometimes they do it on a pro bono basis.

A lost decade and $200,000: one dad’s crusade to save his daughters from addiction.

* Understanding the professional-managerial class.

* A reporter went undercover as a Facebook moderator and was trained not to delete certain racist memes and images of child abuse.

Historian Gavriel D. Rosenfeld’s new book, The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present, presents the actual history of one of those possible branches. It traces the development of the idea of the Fourth Reich—a resurgent, Nazi-like regime based in apocalyptic visions and quasi-religious ethnonationalism. Though the Fourth Reich never actually took power in Germany or elsewhere, Rosenfeld shows how the idea itself has been influential. His account helps us to understand why the Fourth Reich never came to fruition—and what we can do to make sure it remains a counterfactual.

* From the archives: Tribal Map of America Shows Whose Land You’re Actually Living On.

Research finds uranium in Navajo women, babies.

Study: a nuclear war between India and Pakistan could lead to a mini-nuclear winter.

* Fairly certain that crude oil is a genuine eldritch horror.

* A tale of two Arthurs. Why We Shouldn’t Fear Joker.

* The Real Threat of ‘Joker’ Is Hiding in Plain Sight: What the film wants to say — about mental illness or class divisions in society — is not as interesting as what it accidentally says about whiteness.

Rewatching Taxi Driver in the Age of Joker.

* So I do know what it’s like to be a bat.

Wednesday Night Links!

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Readers in a frenzy as Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments released early. Why It Matters That Amazon Shipped Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” a Week Early. Look for my review of The Testaments in LARB soon!

* Maybe the aliens are already tired of us.

The coming death of just about every rock legend.

* CFP: Extrapolating Nostalgia: Special issue of Science Fiction Studies.

* The job so nice they posted it twice: Assistant Professor of Fantasy/Science Fiction Literature.

Author Walter Mosley Quits ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ After Using N-Word in Writers Room. Why I Quit the Writers’ Room.

* The real Dickinson scandal appears only at the margins of Wild Nights with Emily, at the start and at the end. The movie begins with a disclaimer: “The poems and letters of Emily Dickinson are used in this film with permission of Harvard University Press.” But why does anyone need permission from Harvard to make a movie about Emily Dickinson? The answer involves theft, adulterous affairs, a land deal gone wrong, a feud between families, two elite colleges, and some of the most famous poems in American literature.

* As of today there are no longer any children who were alive on 9/11. Never forget the worst comics page in history.

* “The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society’s most powerful people—as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab.”

* Liberalism can’t defend itself.

* Whose Apollo Program?

* Another world is possible.

* Shock of shocks: Administration Within UW System Grew While Faculty Numbers Declined.

* The great enrollment crash.

* California to force NCAA to pay athletes. More at the MetaFilter thread.

* Ronan Farrow exposes MIT. The Epstein scandal at MIT shows the moral bankruptcy of techno-elites. The Moral Rot of the MIT Media Lab.

Her University Publicly Accused Her of Using Meth. Here’s How It Came to That, and Here’s What Happened Next.

* Another trip inside Cheating, Inc.

* The WSJ takes aim at the English major, again. Some college major data from the Center on Education and the Workforce.

* Hard not to think we’ve grown obsolete.

* Another free speech exception.

* Inside Liberty University.

“We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”

Ah, they’ve got nothing on Columbia or NYU.

Elite schools say they’re looking for academic excellence and diversity. But their thirst for tuition revenue means that wealth trumps all.

* I worked at a website that rated professors for political bias. This is what I learned.

* ‘UVA has ruined us’: Health system sues thousands of patients, seizing paychecks and putting liens on homes. “Johns Hopkins deliberately puts poor people who seek its care into medical debt so they lose their homes so Johns Hopkins can buy the land for its expansion.”

Congress Promised Student Borrowers A Break. Education Dept. Rejected 99% Of Them.

Over 60, and Crushed by Student Loan Debt.

The administrators who handle sexual-misconduct investigations aren’t sticking around for long. That’s because they have one of the toughest jobs on campus.

* Inside the cuts at Marquette. Under the circumstances I feel overly relieved that we’ve moved up in the US News rankings.

* When Active-Shooter Drills Scare the Children They Hope to Protect.

* Daughter should have been armed, it’s the only way to prevent these things unfortunately.

* Richest Could Lose Hundreds of Billions Under Warren’s Wealth Tax. They wouldn’t even notice it missing.

UBI Already Exists, We Just Need to Redistribute It.

* Climate change is here. Climate change isn’t an intangible future risk. It’s here now, and it’s killing us. Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world. The heat is on. James Cameron says “people need to wake the fuck up” about climate change. Invest $1.8 trillion to adapt. Climate change also means retreat. In an era of climate change, everything feels strange. Even the places we call home. Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For 2 Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore. Tired: The Anthropocene. Wired: The Carnivalocene. The novel in the Anthropocene. Winter Isn’t Coming. Prepare for the Pyrocene.

Island of 50,000 People in the Bahamas Is 70% Under Water. Hurricane Dorian Survivors Were Turned Away & That’s A Chilling Look At Our Future.

NOAA staff warned in Sept. 1 directive against contradicting Trump. I knew he’d slip up eventually!

* Hope in the Midst of Ecological Dystopia: Cli-fi books for the young-adult reader.

Agribusiness against the Amazon.

* “When I say state’s rights,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

* From the mixed-up files of the top Republican gerrymanderer.

* Today in the wisdom of markets.

* For every grift, a mark: Meet The Hyperloop’s Truest Believers.

When the State Enforces “Straight Pride.”

What’s Missing From “White Fragility”: Robin DiAngelo’s idea changed how white progressives talk about themselves—and little else.

* And speaking of white fragility.

Indigenous Women in Canada Are Still Being Sterilized Without Their Consent.

TWO MONTHS BEFORE my operation, I dreamed I was a character in a video game. As sometimes happens in video games, I died. When I respawned, I had a new face, the face of another woman altogether. Upon discovering this in the dream, I collapsed into my companion’s arms and told her, through tears, that all I had ever wanted was to become unrecognizable to myself.

* The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained.

Care Work Is the Next Feminist Frontier.

In Chicago, more than 16,000 students are homeless.

* The Center for American Progress Is a Disgrace.

* Don’t Be Fooled — Kamala Harris’s “Criminal Justice” Plan Is Not Progressive.

* Baby Boomers are charmed by his rose-tinted revisionism. Younger Democrats see the past more clearly. The Historical Amnesia of Joe Biden’s Candidacy.

* Joe Biden can’t stop lying. He lies for popularity, he lies to protect billionaires’ profits, and he lies to cover his own misdeeds. If he were to quit lying, Biden would be exposed for who he actually is: a happy stooge of industry trying to squash the rising demand for a better world.

* Imagine if we had a democracy.

* Trump’s already cancelling elections.

* Corey Robin on Clarence Thomas’s theory of race.

* The case for changing the voting age to zero.

The Fall of the Meritocracy.

Yes, GamerGate Was a Misogynist Hate Campaign.

* Rethinking cities, from the ground up. Cars are pushing out bikes and pedestrians to the applause of the influential and powerful.

* Ex-lawyer who stole from clients in part to finance his ‘Excuseman’ character given 3 years in prison.

* sometimes I just get overwhelmed by how regular and normal our country is

* extremely normal very normal

Document reveals the FBI is tracking border protest groups as extremist organizations. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has accidentally revealed the whereabouts of a future “urban warfare” training facility that is expected to include “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes, hotels and commercial buildings in Chicago and Arizona. The Capricious Use of Solitary Confinement Against Detained Immigrants.

Made In America: For $9.50 An Hour, They Brew Tear Gas For Hong Kong.

* California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees. UPDATE: Uber already refusing to comply.

* Republicans Republicaning, part 7998.

How We Shut Down the Nation’s Largest Child Detention Center.

* The US military may have spent millions to help prop up a Trump resort. Gee, I hope someone was fired over that blunder!

* TSA PreCheck: It absolutely shouldn’t exist, and is absolutely an incredible value.

* Frenchest news item of all time: man dies having “adulterous relationship with a perfect stranger” on business trip; court rules it was a work accident.

* The struggle to save Day-Glo.

* Whatever happened to Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar?

* The original Civilization, running inside an Excel spreadsheet.

* A history of Tetris randomizers.

* How we became nostalgic for Minecraft.

* 44 African Architectural Styles.

* Where there were more than 2,000 staff cartoonists at work a century ago, and 180 as recently as the 1980s, contemporary estimates are grim: a 2011 survey by The Herb Block Foundation, an educational nonprofit, estimated that fewer than 40 such jobs still exist.

* Harry Potter Fandom in an Illiberal Democracy.

Woman Shares 18th Century Student Disciplinary Records In Response To ‘Millennials Are The Worst’ Claim.

* A people’s history of labor history.

* They solved the Geedis mystery.

The Lost Issue of Grant Morrison and Chas Truog’s Animal Man From 1988 – “Dominion.”

* Maid of honor shows up to wedding in T. rex costume after being told she could wear anything.

* Cheese can’t fake the funk.

* Every culture tells a different story about why it cages animals, which nearly all of them do. The stories evolve, and the cages do too.

Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks.

Occupations by frequency as mentioned in the lyrics of David Bowie.

* The art of the Anthropocene: @LegoLostatSea.

* Disney still innovating ways to ruin the Muppets faster and faster; now the series don’t even need to be made to be bad.

* A thread/sincere plea: if you a member of the mainstream/popular press and are writing an article about fandom, you can officially nix any of the following, as it has already been written in 20+ other “101” style articles about fans/fan culture…

We were creating space for ourselves, centering our own positive stories.

* And, once again, Star Trek by the numbers.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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July 3 Links! Accept No Substitutes!

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(an addendum)

* CFP for ICFA 2020: Expanding the Archive.

* Forgot to link this yesterday: If The Democratic Primary Field Was a University History Department.

* Cory Doctorow: What is it that makes some people vulnerable to anti-vax messages?

I think it’s the trauma of living in a world where there is ample evidence that our truth-seeking exer­cises can’t be trusted. That’s a genuinely scary idea, because if the truth is open to the highest bidder, then we are facing a future of chaos and terror, where you can’t trust the food on your plate, the roof over your head, or the school your child attends.

Fake news is an instrument for measuring trauma, and the epistemological incoherence that trauma creates – the justifiable mistrust of the establishment that has nearly murdered our planet and that insists that making the richest among us much, much richer will benefit everyone, eventually.

* ‘They Set Us Up to Fail’: Black Directors of the ’90s Speak Out.

* Medievalism goes to war with itself.

* Milwaukee County absolutely determined to destroy itself.

* In the world’s northernmost town, temperatures have risen by 4C, devastating homes, wildlife and even the cemetery. Will the rest of the planet heed its warning? Welcome to the fastest-heating place on Earth.

Amazon destruction accelerates 60% to one and a half soccer fields every minute. Bolsonaro is the greatest crisis on the planet right now and everyone has agreed to just let it happen.

‘Families belong together’: Hundreds gather in Milwaukee to protest migrant detention centers.

Watchdog Slams ‘Overcrowding’ At DHS Detention Centers.

Trump’s Apparent Decision to Drop the Citizenship Question Is the Biggest Legal Defeat of His Presidency.

* Another ICE detainee has died in custody.

* Whatever the merits of her criticism, when those in power are caught abusing that power in ways that are morally indefensible and politically unpopular, they will always seek to turn an argument about oppression into a dispute about manners.

‘Unprecedented in Our History’: One State Is on the Verge of Slashing Higher-Ed Funding, Leaving Public Colleges in a Panic. Alaska Governor’s “Unprecedented” Higher Education Cuts Could Shutter Entire Departments.

* Will Donald Trump’s Fourth of July Parade Break the Law?

* Must have absolutely broken their hearts: FBI claims it lost file on neo-Nazi website Stormfront ‘after a reasonable search.’

The Single Most Reliable Recession Indicator of the Past 50 Years Has Officially Started Blaring.

* The madness of factchecking. The hits against Sanders this week are especially incredible even by factchecking’s already low standards.

Teenager Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency Because He’s From a ‘Good Family,’ Judge Says.

The Democrats Aren’t a Left-Wing Party — They Just Play One on TV. And a truly evergreen tweet.

 

* We had our time. The world belongs to the humanzees now.

* Sympathy for the devil.

* Why did octopuses become smart?

* Couldn’t hurt.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn.

* At least Discovery season three starts filming in two weeks, which means I should be good and disappointed by the end of the year.

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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All Your Friday Links!

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* The itself.blog Star Trek: Discovery event is underway! Star Trek: Discovery Is Optimism, But Not for Us. “Can you bury your heart”? Having feelings about Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery as the End of Next Generation Triumphalism.

* CFP: Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction (MLA 19).

* Jaimee Hills is officially a dangerous woman.

* The Male Glance.

* The university in ruins: UW Stevens Point. The administration clearly doesn’t even understand what it’s proposing:

When releasing the plan, university officials said that English majors for teacher certification would continue. But Williams said that under the state Department of Public Instruction’s certification criteria, a person looking to become an English teacher has to have been an English major.

“They just both have to exist, or both have to be eliminated,” Williams said. “One depends directly on the other.”

Professors earn about 15 percent less than others with advanced degrees, finds a study circulated Tuesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Though perhaps some of us make it up in job satisfaction (really).

* It’s gotten so bad in the humanities even the Yale grads don’t get jobs handed to them as soon as they graduate.

Why Creative-Writing Programs Have Been Havens for Harassment.

It has taken me two and a half decades to recognize that my experience of having a senior male nominal adviser and a female (usually more junior) actual adviser is common throughout academe. On Ghost Advising.

* Abusers and enablers in faculty culture.

* 5% raises in West Virginia. Onward to Oklahoma.

* Marquette vs. Trauma.

Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ — and is in fact a VICTIM.

On the Blackness of the Panther.

* Loved this from Barbara Ehrenreich: Body Work: The curiously self-punishing rites of fitness culture.

If anything, the culture of fitness has grown more combative than when I first got involved. It is no longer enough to “have a good workout,” as the receptionist at the gym advises every day; you should “crush your workout.” Health and strength are tedious goals compared to my gym’s new theme of “explosive strength,” achieved, as far I can see, through repeated whole-body swinging of a kettleball. If your gym isn’t sufficiently challenging, you might want to try an “ultra-extreme warrior workout” or buy a “home fitness system” from P90X, which in 2016 tweeted a poster of an ultra-cut male upper body, head bowed as if in prayer, with the caption “A moment of silence please for my body has no idea of what I’m about to put it through.” Or you could join CrossFit, the fastest-growing type of gym in the world, and also allegedly the most physically punishing. The program “prepares trainees for any physical contingency,” the company boasts, “not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing,” and the latter category includes the zombie apocalypse. The mind’s stuggle for mastery over the body has become a kind of mortal combat.

* Too big to tax.

In this economy you’re either burned out, or you’re boxed out.

* The Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs.

A prosecutor who obtained a wrongful conviction that sent a Houston man to death row for nearly 10 years didn’t just withhold evidence but also denied under oath that he had information that supported Alfred Dewayne Brown’s alibi, court records show.

* Twilight of the cult film.

Could Trump get a White House job if he weren’t president? Didn’t we already know Trump couldn’t get a loan before he was president?

Beware Liberal-Baiting “White House in Chaos” Stories. Trump’s Position Is As Solid As It’s Ever Been.

* Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security. Lying to the immigrant soldiers you promised citizenship.

A Dozen Democrats Want To Help Banks Hide Racial Discrimination In Mortgages.

Guess Who’s Not Coming To America? International Students.

* Kobe Steel’s Chief to Step Down as It Discloses Wider Quality Problems Fifty-Year Conspiracy to Defraud Customers.

* Toddler feelings helpline.

— If you still feel pretty messed up about how they were just going to burn the Velveteen Rabbit, please mash all of the keys but mostly 2.

* White flight remains a reality.

* Liberate our schools.

‘50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150.’

* The grim reality of job hunting in the age of AI.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe only really makes sense when you remember Captain America is a trans man.

Wait, what exactly was Luke Skywalker’s plan in Return Of The Jedi?

* The opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics.” Meanwhile, a new study suggests opioids are no better than Tylenol for treating some kinds of pain.

* Kentucky’s ‘child bride’ bill stalls as groups fight to let 13-year-olds wed.

* U.N. Report On Magical Realism Warns Of Increased Incidences Of Women’s Tears Flooding The Entire World.

False news stories travel faster and farther on Twitter than the truth.

* There’s no idea so terrible there isn’t someone in favor of it.

York University philosophy professor and team submit brief supporting chimpanzee personhood.

* Ok, but you’re on a very short leash.

Her name was Kanga and she was trouble.

* I Am the Very Important Longread Everyone Is Talking About.

* The United States of Middle-earth.

* Understanding Fight Club.

* And the arc of history is long, but.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* The end of UW: Gov. Scott Walker to propose 13 percent cut, more freedom for UW System. UW System predicts layoffs, no campus closings under budget cuts. Layoffs, Building Closures, Slowdown on Admissions. But “few details.”

* But there’s always money in the banana stand.

In praise of zombies. A response to yesterday’s anti-Canavanist IHE polemic.

Giving students access to an important, brilliant, historically significant corpus of art seems to be an entirely appropriate activity for the undergraduate classroom at a university. After you have taken a Zombie Course, you may discover you have actually just taken a Great Books (or in the case of Ware, a Great Box) course without realizing it, and you may also decide that any Great Books course worthy of its name cannot afford to ignore the recent surge of brilliant zombie art. If anything, we need more Zombie Courses than we have, and one hopes — in time — even full-blown Zombie Majors (or at the least Zombie Double-Majors).

* Multiple Choice and Testing Machines: A History.

“What I would say about the university today,” he says, “is that we’re living through an absolutely historic moment – namely the effective end of universities as centres of humane critique, an almost complete capitulation to the philistine and sometimes barbaric values of neo-capitalism.”

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is coming soon.

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape.

The Climate Science Behind New England’s Historic Blizzard. Massive Blizzard Exposes How Decrepit New York City’s Infrastructure Is.

All Our Grievances Are Connected.

* How the Left Won Greece.

* Forget immoral; the latest legal challenge to Obamacare is still nonsense.

Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet. It’s a terrible op-ed that makes an important point badly in the midst of saying a bunch of incorrect things, all in the service of a fundamentally bad framing — so of course it’s all we can talk about.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients.

It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step.

* Associate Dean of What?

Drone, Too Small for Radar to Detect, Rattles the White House.

Defending those accused of unthinkable crimes.

* One aspect of that danger is the “abstract authority” of astrologers, now mirrored by the black-box algorithms of the cloud. The opacity of the analytic method lends forecasts their appearance of authoritative objectivity. In “Astrological Forecasts”, Adorno notes “the mechanics of the astrological system are never divulged and the readers are presented only with the alleged results of astrological reasoning.” “Treated as impersonal and thing-like,” stars appear “entirely abstract, unapproachable, and anonymous” and thus more objective than mere fallible human reason. Similarly, as Kate Crawford pointed out in an essay about fitness trackers for the Atlantic, “analytics companies aren’t required to reveal which data sets they are using and how they are being analyzed.” The inaccessible logic of their proprietary algorithms is imposed on us, and their inscrutability masquerades as proof of their objectivity. As Crawford argues, “Prioritizing data—irregular, unreliable data—over human reporting, means putting power in the hands of an algorithm.” As Adorno puts it, “The cult of God has been replaced by the cult of facts.” 

* America and fractal inequality.

100% of the women of color interviewed in STEM study experienced gender bias.

Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies.

* Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

Today, more U.S. women die in childbirth and from pregnancy-related causes than at almost any point in the last 25 years. The United States is the one of only seven countries in the entire world that has experienced an increase in maternal mortality over the past decade.

* Marissa Alexander is out of jail after three years.

What has happened before will happen again, subprime auto edition.

Huckabee Complains That Women Can Cuss In The Workplace: ‘That’s Just Trashy.’

Oklahoma GOP wants to restrict marriage to people of faith.

* Corey Robin, against public intellectuals.

* I linked to a story about this the other day, but here’s the resolution: Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Student. Of course the next horrifying story in this wretched, endless series is already queued up.

* American Sniper focuses in tight on one man’s story of trauma, leaving out the complex questions of why Kyle was in Iraq being traumatized in the first place. The Iraqis in the film are villains, caricatures, and targets, and the only real opinion on them the film offers is Kyle’s. The Iraqis are all “savages” who threaten American lives and need to be killed. There’s some truth in this representation, insofar as this is how a lot of American soldiers thought. Yet the film obviates the questions of why any American soldiers were in Iraq, why they stayed there for eight years, why they had to kill thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how we are to understand the long and ongoing bloodbath once called the “war on terror.” It does that precisely by turning a killer into a victim, a war hero into a trauma hero.

Freakishly Old System Of Planets Hint At Ancient Alien Civilizations. Okay, I’m in for three films with an option on a television reboot.

* Vulture says Jason Segel is good as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, but I’ll never accept it.

The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing.

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

* It’s finally happening, and of course it’s starting in Florida: ‘Zombie cat’ crawls out of grave.

* And while this may be of interest only to those whose children have made them watch untold hours of Dora the Explorer, it’s certainly of interest to me: Swiper the Fox has a totally bananas backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

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‘Terror and Mismemory’: On 9/11

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Like the Normandy Invasion, like World War II, as time passes 9/11 is increasingly figured as a lost, Utopian past, a perverse sort of Golden Age which in the same singular instant is both forever lost and always just around the corner.

Several years ago I wrote an article about 9/11 for a book that, due to the whirling speed of academic publishing, is only just now coming out: Portraying 9/11: Essays on Representations in Comics, Literature, Film and Theatre. My piece for the book is titled “Terror and Mismemory: Resignifying September 11 in World Trade Center and United 93” and is about the way the trauma of 9/11 has been reimagined by film and journalistic retrospectives as “a permanent state of emergency from which there is no possible relief or escape.” Instead of allowing time to progress forward, we simply replay the tape over and over again, stuck in the single moment when the Towers were still on fire but before they collapsed.

After discussing briefly my own memories of 9/11, including the myriad reports of phantom attacks from that morning that are now no longer discussed and the long list of “possible” attacks in news reports since then that have similarly never happened, the piece concludes like this:

This feeling of permanent, unmitigated existential threat has begun at last to dissipate, but it has never really left us — a temporal loop caused by that day’s repeated reconsumption as spectacle. Though the attacks lasted only a few hours on one very devastating morning, on the level of spectacle they remain ongoing and unending. This is perhaps one reason why Freedom Tower, the new office complex and memorial long scheduled to be built on the ruins of Ground Zero, has for so long remained unbuilt and perhaps in some real sense unbuildable. We have been frozen in time, unable to move on.

I have never felt this more than I did after opening Twitter and my RSS reader this morning to discover a ubiquitous wall of chatter about 9/11. @ibogost sums it up in a single evocative phrase: “The sad exhaustion of an event named to repeat itself forever.”

Adam Kotsko makes much the same point from a different direction in a blog post he put up last night, “An Isolated Incident: Or, The Day Nothing Changed.” While I disagree in an important sense with Adam’s major conclusion — I do believe 9/11 makes a turning point in the breakdown of the rule of law in the U.S., as well as the attitude of the U.S. towards imperial exercise of its military superpower — I agree with him in nearly all the particulars. 9/11 was a trauma, not a new reality. Constantly reliving that trauma, constantly re-experiencing it over and over to the point where it becomes a strange sort of macabre celebration, is not helping anybody. We need to move on.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2011 at 10:32 am

On Celebrations

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While there’s undeniably something uncomfortable in scenes of jubilation and celebration following the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden—which, of course, will not return a single person back to life—I do think we have to remember that many of the young people who are making up these crowds were very young children on 9/11/2001. (A 21-year-old was eleven on 9/11; an 18-year-old was eight.) Teaching teenagers the last few years in classes titled “The Imagination of Disaster” and “Apocalypse Soon” has made extremely clear to me how vivid their memories of 9/11 are, and how real their fears from that day remain for them. To them it’s a little bit like Obama killed the devil. I don’t feel any urge to dance in the streets, but I’ve read enough of their essays over the last few years to understand why they do.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 2, 2011 at 1:46 am

Sunday Night

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* On the strength of “Plastic Bag” and “Play,” it’s clear that Futurestates is the Twilight Zone of March 2010. Looking forward to having time to watch the rest.

* Indiana Threatened By Giant Poop Bubbles. Stay safe, Hoosiers.

* The most depressing thing you’ll read tonight: A Harvard undergraduate is sick and tired of all this useless diversity. Americans of color have undoubtedly done some things of note, but their “encounters” and “experiences” are not of paramount importance to a university education. The ethnic studies movement is motivated by an attempt to direct more attention to a topic that deserves no more attention than it already gets, and probably a good deal less. Other similarly useless departments, like Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality serve similar purposes—no one would deny that Macbeth’s wife is an interesting study in the construction of femininity, but such occasional instances of relevance do not justify an entire academic field.

* Game of the night: Splitter.

* And there’s nothing that can go wrong with you that Tetris can’t cure.