Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Umberto Eco

Please Enjoy Weekend Links!

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* Get your abstracts in! CFP: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. And a CFP for a special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies on “The Intersections of Disability and Science Fiction.”

* The schedule of classes for Marquette English is up at Spring 2017. I’ll be on research leave, if you’re wondering why I’m not listed…

* Best Tumblr in forever: Sad Chairs of Academia.

* How to Live Less Anxiously in Academe.

How Skin-Deep Judgments of Professors Might Influence Student Success.

“There are many things I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it.”

* The extent to which Trump is floating absolute gibberish cannot be undersold. Even Costanza is superseded in his time. Once more with feeling: On Bullshit.

america-is-already-great-3-8ad19eWhat did Trump lie about at the debate, mondo-hugeo chart edition. Donald Trump’s first presidential debate confirmed he has no idea what he’s talking about. Prince Georging, Meflection, and Gobbing: A brief guide to Trump’s rhetorical tricks. A Trump Glossary. You’ll get ’em next time, buddy. What It’s Like to Be a Female Reporter Covering Donald Trump. This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes. When Trump said that not paying taxes ‘makes me smart,’ undecided voters in N.C. gasped. How Donald Trump Set Off a Civil War Within the Right-Wing Media. How to bait Donald Trump. Gray’s. Sports. Almanac. How to evade your taxes the Trump way. More. Even more! Trump Foundation lacks the certification required for charities that solicit money. Cuba! I sold Trump $100,000 worth of pianos. Then he stiffed me. Donald Trump and the truth about race and real estate in America. America is already great. There’s still heroes in the world. And then there’s what happened just this morning.

 

 

* The most American-democracy thing that’s ever happened: But Republicans said the White House didn’t make a forceful case, putting themselves in the awkward position of blaming the president for a bill they enacted into law over Obama’s veto.

Beyond Clinton or Trump: Nuclear Weapons and Democracy.

Wisconsin Is Systematically Failing to Provide the Photo IDs Required to Vote in November. What a shocking and unexpected consequence of these well-intentioned, commonsense laws.

Note: The original headline for this piece was “George W. Bush is Not Your Cuddly Grandpa. George W. Bush can rot in hell.”

Five questions we need to answer before colonizing Mars. Elon Musk’s spectacular plan to colonise Mars lacks substance. Fun and exciting, not boring and cramped! Is Elon Musk’s Crazy Mars Plan Even Legal?

* What could possibly go wrong? UVM Medical College to Eliminate Lectures.

No Punishment for ‘Run Them Down’ Tweet.

Baltimore vs. Marilyn Mosby.

Why New Jersey’s Trains Aren’t Safer.

* Nicholson Baker goes to school. Reader, I bought it.

* In Praise of Bob Ross.

* Has Pope Francis Failed?

* Another review of Alice Kaplan’s book on The Stranger.

* “Liberalism is working”: Teen accused of stealing 65-cent carton of milk at middle school to face trial.

Measles are gone from the Americas.

Silicon Valley’s rhetoric of magical innovation relies on a hidden abode of rare earth mining and hydro-cooled server farms.

* On Premier League Fantasy Football.

How ‘Daycare’ Became ‘School.’

* The 25 Best Superpowers in the Superpowers Wiki.

*Wonder Woman Writer Greg Rucka Says Diana Has ‘Obviously’ Had Relationships With Women. She was on an island of only women for millennia! So yeah.

* One effect of superhero culture: a proliferation of fan events where Marvel movie heroes and ‘Walking Dead’ stars walk away with six figures (more than most get paid for their real jobs) for a weekend’s work.

The world passes 400ppm carbon dioxide threshold. Permanently.

And yet, looking back at The Jetsons intro sequence today, I wonder where the icecaps are in that little illustration of earth. Is some land missing from Central America? Has the North gained land mass? Such questions become more troubling in the context of current concerns about global warming and, once asked, open the floodgates for similar observations. In the intro sequence, flying cars convey the Jetsons and other families from their floating bungalow to other floating buildings like The Little Dipper School, Orbit High School, Shopping Centre, and Spacely Space Rockets Inc. What was once a cute innovation—why not live in floating cities?—becomes troubled by its energy costs and its purpose. Why do the Jetsons and other families live in orbit? What has happened below to force them into the skies?

* Today in on-the-nose metaphors: NASA Is Sinking Into the Ocean.

Every society gets the post-apocalypse it deserves.

* Big as horror movie.

There were no casualties in the landslide which occurred earlier this month, but the facility’s new rock climbing facility was completely wiped out. Yes, I suppose they would be.

Codex Silenda, A Handcrafted Puzzle Book With Pages That Must Be Solved to Unlock the Next One.

* The ADA at Disney.

* Cheating in school as communism.

* Today in neoliberal consumerism: Want to Make Ethical Purchases? Stop Buying Illegal Drugs.

* The Dark, Gritty Tick goes to series. Spoon! But like a dirty, chipped spoon, a spoon that really reflects the darkness of our society and our souls.

Emulator lets you turn NES games 3D.

U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel.

Striking Prisoners Say Their Guards Have Joined In.

* The Longreads Reading List on Utopias.

* Die a hero, or… Has Whedon Changed, Or Have We Done Changed?

It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave. I wonder how many are actually caring for or financially supporting un-, under-, and unable-to-be-employed parents and siblings.

Let’s Stop Talking About Stranger Things Season Two Before We Ruin It. Friends, I have some terrible news.

* Leave the hot moms alone.

* There’s bad luck, and then there’s: Man Bitten On Penis By Spider For The Second Time This Year.

* Today in terrible ideas I could not denounce more strongly: Is it time for Star Trek: The Next Generation to go Kelvin?

* And at least the kids get it.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 29, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

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toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

20101112

Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links

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* Call for applications: The 2015-16 postdoc seminar at Rice, “After Biopolitics.”

In the absence of sparrows: the front page story says you’ve been missing since / November 22, 2012. Everything else it doesn’t say. / In the absence of sparrows: you simply wandered off, past the Sunoco, pockets stuffed. / The door to your apartment is open still—

Together, these forums, initiatives, and spy teams constitute a sustained effort to suppress meaningful resistance to the university’s privatization program by placing strict boundaries on dissent. Policing Civility.

* Elsewhere in campus civility: The Pentagon Is Giving Grenade Launchers to Campus Police.

Hence I propose that, roughly speaking, one’s privilege level correlates with the likelihood that expressing anger will make people take your concerns more seriously rather than less — or at the very least, that it will prompt a reaction to you as an individual rather than triggering an immediate generalization about your demographic profile. This is one of the most intimate and insidious things about privilege dynamics: even the right to express perfectly natural and justified human emotions can’t be taken for granted.

* The Paris Review interviews Ray Bradbury.

If I’d lived in the late eighteen hundreds I might have written a story predicting that strange vehicles would soon move across the landscape of the United States and would kill two million people in a period of seventy years. Science fiction is not just the art of the possible, but of the obvious. Once the automobile appeared you could have predicted that it would destroy as many people as it did.

* …and translates Umberto Eco.

They affect us because we realize that if they are monsters it is because we, the adults, have made them so. In them we find everything: Freud, mass culture, digest culture, frustrated struggle for success, craving for affection, loneliness, passive acquiescence, and neurotic protest. But all these elements do not blossom directly, as we know them, from the mouths of a group of children: they are conceived and spoken after passing through the filter of innocence. Schulz’s children are not a sly instrument to handle our adult problems: they experience these problems according to a childish psychology, and for this very reason they seem to us touching and hopeless, as if we were suddenly aware that our ills have polluted everything, at the root.

* God, I wish these J.G. Ballard books for children were real.

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* Previously unknown final chapters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Detroit’s Under-Funded Fire Departments Use a Soda Can For a Fire Alarm.

* Gape in amazement as The New Yorker‘s famous fact-checkers seriously drop the ball.

* Vox gets nostalgic for the 1994 AT&T “You Will” ad campaign.

As fast-food workers demonstrate nationwide for a $15 hourly wage, and congressional Republicans fight off a $10 federal minimum, little SeaTac has something to offer the debate. Its neighbor, Seattle, was the first big city to approve a $15 wage, this spring, but that doesn’t start phasing in until next year. SeaTac did it all at once. And, though there’s nothing definitive, this much is clear: The sky did not fall.

i.chzbgr* The way we live now.

* Profiles in courage: Obama to delay his big move on immigration until after election.

* Saving some time before the next invasion.

* Not really how it’s supposed to work: An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied re-enlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

* Peace activism vs. environmental activism.

* Geographers prove no one likes the Jets.

* “I’ve decided to ignore economic data and assume the challenges facing your generation are the same as those mine faced.”

* A marathon for Milwaukee?

* The gig economy won.

Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem, It’s an Obviously Terrible Idea That No One Would Ever Want.

* Female privilege is real: Sharks nine times more likely to kill men than women, study says.

* The eight white identities. I’m not 100% clear on the daylight between White Traitor and White Abolitionist, but otherwise it seems to taxonomize approaches to white supremacy I see on the Internet all the time.

* Could it be possible that police departments are lying when they say suspects handcuffed behind their backs are shooting themselves in the chest with hidden weapons that were somehow not found when they were searched? Truly, a bold provocation. Perhaps it will always be a mystery.

* Exhausted Noam Chomsky Just Going To Try And Enjoy The Day For Once.

* And: you fools: every day is Bill Murray Day.

20140906

‘And So Skyrim Becomes a Requiem for Our Genitalia’

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The longer one plays, the less urgent these stories become. Each mission giver waits to solicit help with their dire circumstances until you arrive in town and engage them in conversation. Nothing advances without your participation, and the more of these operations you take part in the less critical they begin to seem. Which is not to say that infiltrating a party of aristocratic elves to prove your worth to a society of ancient dragon warriors is without meaning, but rather that as dozens of these conspiratorial ambles pile on one another, they leave you with the impression that the fate of the world doesn’t actually depend on your actions. This thought is beautifully amplified in the moments following the ending of the last story mission to vanquish the legendary dragon Alduin, when the game drops you back onto a snowy mountaintop where you can continue foraging for mushrooms, conspiring with the Thieves Guild, or return to Wizard school as if nothing had happened.

Mike Thomsen on world-reduction in video games, including (and especially) their strange sexlessness. As Umberto Eco showed way back in “The Myth of Superman,” you see this sort of endless, eternal present in superhero comics as well, which are similarly organized around narrative strategies designed to disguise the fact that nothing ever actually happens.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Seems a Bit Monotonous

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal presents the life of Superman. Via @AmandaMarcotte.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

Comics, Time, Death

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Umberto Eco writes in “The Myth of Superman” of the way superhero comics need to suspend time in order to function as consumer goods, perpetually staving off any movement towards the end of the narrative (and, thus, death) by refusing to allow the hero to progress, change, or even begin one story where the last left off. Among the things superheroes cannot do, he says, is marry or have children—and Eco’s not the only one who feels this way.

After sixty years of playing the field, Archie is about to defy this logic.

Thanks, Derek!

How could it be anyone but Betty?

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2009 at 3:28 am