Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Utopia

Friday Links!

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Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

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As Tolkien observed in an essay of the late 1950s, even Sauron’s motive was initially to attain a form of political utopianism: “He loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.”46 As many characters are hopeful utopians in their political orientation, any opposition to this standard soon becomes a radical alternative: “It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”47 In this scheme, the utopian-political becomes the conventional, while the utopian-ontological becomes the radical; indeed, the latter’s radicality derives not from making different political choices but different personal ones. This is no clearer than in the case of Faramir who, unlike his brother Boromir and father Denethor, will not allow himself to be tempted by the Ring:

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.

In these positive characterisations, with their exemplary portrayal of heroic subjective values, we can identify aspects of Levitas’s argument for a utopianism of the wholeness of being and human flourishing. As Levitas suggests, many utopias do their work by advocating better ways of being rather than by illustrating better forms of social organisation.

GSV21: PLAYER PIANO!

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What’s that? There, in the back, behind the Christmas tree? Why, it’s a very special, two-hour episode of Grad School Vonnegut, guest-starring Matt Hauske & Hilary Strang from the Marooned! on Mars podcast! We talk Player Piano, automation, capitalism, revolution, utopia, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ministry for the Future, failsons, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, the Ghost Dance, and so much more…

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December 29, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Could This Be the Last of the Great American Linkposts?

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This has been a really difficult month/semester/year/decade and it’s causing me to rethink the way I do these linkposts. For the next bit of time, at least, I’m really going to pull back and try to highlight only those things that I really think deserve attention; for this one in particular that means tossing out basically everything going on with Trump and Biden and the political situation of the United States more generally. Suffice it to say: everything is very bad! And now, this:

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October 30, 2020 at 4:29 pm

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THE MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE Wants You!

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I wrote a bit about Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel and ecoterrorism over at LARB:

If you truly claim to represent the people of the future, Frank asks — people who have the exact same right to a livable planet that we do — doesn’t that mean you should be willing to kill in their defense? Not as a first choice, not as the only choice — but can you really take it off the table? “If your organization represents the people who will be born after us, well, that’s a heavy burden! It’s a real responsibility! You have to think like them! You have to do what they would do if they were here,” Frank argues. “I don’t think they would countenance murder,” retorts Mary, to which Frank replies, “Of course they would!”

The Ministry for the Future is thus a novel about bureaucracy, but it’s also about the possibility of a wide diversity of tactics in the name of a livable future that include fighting both inside and outside the system. Characters in the novel contemplate targeted assassination of politicians and CEOs, industrial sabotage of coal plants, intentionally bringing down airliners in the name of destroying commercial air travel, bioterrorism against industrial slaughterhouses — and they do more than contemplate them. How does it change what’s possible when we stop worrying so much about losing in the right way, and start thinking about winning in the wrong ways?

Friday Night Links!

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UPDATE: oof.

* ICYMI: Grad School Vonnegut #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June! This one is Aaron’s “Vonnegut and Africa” episode.

* CFP: Utopia and Tabletop Games. CFP: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session, “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse.”

* Two core pieces of Watchmen criticism from my Watchmen class this week: “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore” and “The Forgotten Story of Watchmen’s Unsung Hero.” The second one comes via my pal Jacob Brogan, who was kind enough to shoot some ideas about Watchmen, Higgins, and auteurship with me back and forth the other day.

When I ask Damon Lindelof, showrunner for the upcoming HBO series Watchmen, about John Higgins, his mind goes straight to the Beatles. “John Higgins remains one of the unsung heroes of Watchmen,” he says. “Certainly Moore and Gibbons were John and Paul, but Higgins was George and Ringo combined, and his striking colors reinvented the genre every bit as much as Alan’s words and Dave’s pencils.”

Higgins was indeed a hero of the graphic novel that Lindelof’s show riffs on, having been the man who did the coloring for the book. That makes him one of only three collaborators who created the Watchmen comic, along with writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, and he is indeed underappreciated, even by the book’s supporters. But even that bold analogy isn’t enough: It’s more as if Beatles fans assumed the band consisted only of John and Paul and didn’t even know George and Ringo existed, much less that they created music of their own.

Let’s Stop with the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate.

Wisconsin’s daily COVID-19 case count breaks record again, tops 2,500. They had to rescale Marquette’s COVID Dashboard today. Outbreak Stresses Town-Gown Relations in Wisconsin. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus—but not because of parties and bars. Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey. Skippin’ and a-jumpin’.

* Huge, if true: The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn.

* Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election. The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it plans to block downloads of the Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, beginning on Sunday. “The Trump administration argued against a challenge to its 2020 census plans by saying the Constitution requires a count but does not say it must be accurate.” Bill Barr’s Titanic Lack of Self-Awareness. Independently of Trump and this presidency, William Barr, his henchmen, and his Federalist Society supporters represent a powerful threat to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. The Department of Education as Right-Wing Troll.

* Only going to get worse: NYPD Crushes Tiny Anti-ICE Protest With Overwhelming Force And Bloody Arrests.

* The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction.

Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare.” It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news. The Toxic Slime Will End Us.

Where Is Biden’s Ground Game?

* All roads lead to 269-269.

* Ugh, Tatiana Maslany is great casting for She-Hulk. I thought I was done with these!

* Academic freedom in action: U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire human-rights scholar after pressure from sitting judge. Search for new director of U of T law faculty’s International Human Rights Program leads to resignations, allegations of interference.

* On Quitting Academia.

* BLM and the University of Chicago English department. I had some thoughts about this (blessedly left out of the article) the other day (and again the next morning).

Big Ten announces football returning Oct. 23-24. No confidence at the University of Michigan.

The Black Community in Indianapolis has been left reeling — as shocking and disturbing details released in the last 24 hours have emerged regarding a disgraced activist exposed for posing as a Black Woman. This one has exciting estate fraud on the side.

* Restaurants need a bailout. The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save. Inequality Robs $2.5B from American Workers Each Year.

Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet.” Quick, someone wake up Rachel Maddow!

* When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin: Tony Evers firing DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman over unemployment claim backlog.

The battle over dyslexia.

* Pedagogy corner! The Moment Is Primed for Asynchronous Learning.

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as ‘hero.’

* Anti-maskers and whiteness.

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun.

The Boys confronts real American Nazis better than most comic-book stories.

* Songs of Love and Hate: “Layla” and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas.’

* Patrick Blanchfield goes deep into the Call of Duty storyworld in my menchies.

What happened when I decided to bet against the Dow—and the financial services industry tried to stop me.

* And it’s not all bad news: the sequel to one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve played in years is out on the Switch. And I’ve been loving Baba Is You, too! It’s a golden age for video games. AND NOTHING ELSE.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

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Thursday Morning Links!

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* Hey, this is finally out! Imagining Apocalypse Now with Mark Soderstrom & Gerry Canavan.

* And the BBC has re-released its Afterwords: Octavia E. Butler series, but it’s still not available to listen to in the US.

* Presenting The Ancillary Review of Books.

* CFP: Journal of Science Fiction Special Issue on Middle Eastern Science Fiction.

Come Unstuck in Time with Ryan North & “Slaughterhouse Five.” Everything about the new Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

* Wildfires Bring New Devastation Across the West. 500,000 people in Oregon forced to flee wildfires. 7 People Die in West Coast Wildfires. California blaze caused by firework at gender-reveal party. Your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. Nothing to see here, folks. I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire. Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts see worse in future. Nature sends us a wake-up call. When the Sky Is Orange. It’s Ecosocialism or Barbarism. The coming climate migration.

* Torrential rain triggers widespread flooding in D.C. area, inundating roads, stranding motorists. Floods Washed Away More Than 25% of Nigeria’s Rice Harvest. Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years, new report says. Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse. How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled. 10 Years Ago, World Leaders Set Biodiversity Goals. They Haven’t Met a Single One.

* The end of the university. House of cards: can the American university be saved? The Necroliberal University. Strike at Michigan. “We are striking as an act of community care.” What a strike is for. Graduate employees reach deal with University of Michigan to end strike. As Colleges Open During a Pandemic, Student Life Remains Closed. How Colleges Became the New Covid Hot Spots. Tracking Covid at U.S. Colleges and Universities. Marquette University orders all students at Schroeder Hall to quarantine for 2 weeks. Some students heading home, after Marquette University enforces Schroeder Hall quarantine. Some Marquette students are leaving campus after being ordered to quarantine, while those stuck in their rooms wonder: ‘Is this hell?’ Marquette students scramble to quarantine, grad workers union blames university. Marquette University leaders draft checklist to prepare for possible online transition. No Wifi, No AC: Inside the Chaos of 1,400 COVID Cases at One College. Twenty-three Greek houses at Michigan State University were ordered by the county to quarantine for two weeks. Notre Dame and Michigan State Shifting Online as Campus Outbreaks Grow. UA official says ‘nothing wrong’ with school’s COVID-19 measures. UW students describe chaos as COVID-19 raged through residence halls, leading to lockdown. College Football Player Dies at 20. Shaming and blaming students can make it worse, experts say. Nice work if you can get it. What if Everyone on Campus Understood the Money? Class Of COVID-19: The Horrifying Sadness Of Sending My Kids To College During A Pandemic. Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers.

Blackademic Lives Matter: An Interview with Lavelle Porter.

* The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges.

* What could go wrong in formalizing relationships between a multi-billion dollar industry where fortunes change hands in seconds, and a multi-billion dollar enterprise where the actual workers are paid nothing and could lose their entire futures in a single play

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral. The Pandemic Is an Intuition Nightmare. The Pandemic Is a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Parents. The Crushing Reality of Zoom School. US daily death toll from COVID-19 shoots back up over 1,000. New Cases Have Reached Record Levels in the Midwest. What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear from COVID-19. How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain. Obesity and the coronavirus. Maine wedding ‘superspreader’ event is now linked to seven deaths. None of those people attended. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases. Signs of depression have tripled in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic got underway. A Dentist Sees More Cracked Teeth. What’s Going On? Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year.

* The stock market is now so decoupled from the real economy that no one can see the economy is in absolute freefall. A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future. Two kids, no support system and $167 in unemployment benefits: One single mom’s plight in the age of Covid-19. 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Half of out-of-work Americans were unable to cover basic expenses in August. The Unemployed States of America. Why the real unemployment rate is likely over 11%. 52% of young adults in the US are living with their parents. That’s the highest share since the Great Depression. Billionaires won corona. ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%.

* Baltimore schools estimate only 65% of students are logging on every day. Children with disabilities are falling behind in school. School in the Time of Coronavirus.

* Darko Suvin: Thoughts within the Coronising siege: a work in progress.

* Some real Ministry of Truth shit at DOJ and HHS.

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center. Exclusive: Georgia doctor who forcibly sterilized detained women has been identified.

* Cancel culture strikes again: National U Holds Off on Name Change to Honor Donor Investigated for Child Porn.

* The pandemic and UBI.

Benford’s Law and COVID-19 reporting.

* Sometimes you just know.

* As a delusion, “transgender Black Marxists are seeking the overthrow of the United States” is almost charmingly retro. How Conspiracy Theories Are Shaping the 2020 Election—and Shaking the Foundation of American Democracy. QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded. QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law. No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia. Trump lands likely endorsement. What If Trump Loses and Won’t Leave? Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition. Bill Barr Pushes ‘Wild’ and ‘Fanciful’ Felonious Postman Hypothetical. Don’t miss what Kayleigh McEnany just said about election night. I don’t think they should have told Trump about the heat ray.

* The Whitelash Next Time.

* What happened in Georgia was a crime. Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream. Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say. Another story that would have been a major scandal a few years ago and is now just seen as perfectly ordinary politics.

https://twitter.com/PatBlanchfield/status/1305894015062216705

* What’s the big deal? He’s not like he’s gonna lose Michigan.

* “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation. Facebook is allowing a campaign to ditch face masks en masse to spread.

* Man obsessed with drinking the blood of the young to stay healthy turns out to have some questionable political beliefs.

* The Senate is bad, yes, but we could always make it worse.

* At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

* New York’s homeless students.

Why Screen Time Can Actually Be Good for Your Kids.

12-year-old suspended in Colorado over toy gun seen in virtual class.

* Dozens of Black former franchisees sue McDonald’s over alleged discrimination.

* Unions threaten work stoppages amid calls for racial justice. White House directs federal agencies to cancel race-related training sessions it calls ‘un-American propaganda.’

* Parents vs the childless! Whoever wins, the bosses win a whole lot more!

* Serial killer at Ft. Hood? It’s up over 23 deaths. What on Earth is happening there?

The OAS Accusation of Electoral Fraud Against Evo Morales Is Bullshit — And Now We Have the Data to Prove It.

* When does a model own her own image?

* Dune as anti-white-savior narrative.

* Civil War generals as Muppets: a definitive thread.

* “Safety driver” as “moral crumple zone.”

* Imagine the absolute blessing of waking up one morning to find that someone who treated you this way was trending on Twitter.

* J.K. Rowling’s new book imagines a fantasy world where she is right about trans people.

David Graeber, 1961–2020. A Jewish Goodbye to David Graeber. Remembering My Friend, David Graeber. That Was David Graeber.

* capitalism.jpg

* Semenya loses at Swiss supreme court over testosterone rules.

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years.

* Movies were great. I’m sad about movies.

* For a topic about which American society seems to have a conversation quite frequently (particularly when celebrities are involved), “depression” is bewildering territory. Where does it come from, and why would evolution preserve something so disabling and agonizing as a feature of the species? Can it be driven off? What kind of documentation of it can be made? Is it possible to narrate and interpret, or does it defeat exegesis? What do you say to someone in its grip? In his new book, How To Be Depressed, the renowned journalist and critic George Scialabba observes that “[t]he pain of a severe clinical depression is the worst thing in the world.” This, it turns out, is both pretty much all you can ever say about the topic and a door opening onto the vast field of what we might call depression humanism.

* We stan.

Time Travel as White Privilege.

* Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds.

The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network.

* Are aliens hiding in plain sight?

* Eugenics, sperm donation, and the law.

* Rules & Roberts.

* Of course you had me at a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Switch game.

* And I volunteer.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

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Saturday Morning Links! Twice the Nonsense! Half the Links!

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* Everyone’s been talking about David Graeber, so here are two pieces of his that haven’t been in the conversation as much that I really like: “Army of Altruists” and “ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF GIANT PUPPETS: broken windows, imaginary jars of urine, and the cosmological role of the police in American culture.”

How David Graeber Changed the Way We See Money.

* Pray for r/DaystromInstitute, the Star Trek canonicity subreddit, going mad in the face of the Lower Decks cartoon.

As a result there’s no reason not to believe that in the Star Trek universe, the universe is (and always has been) resting on the back of a koala.

* Northeastern dismisses eleven first-year students for partying. “Their $36,500 tuition for the semester will not be refunded.” Indiana University sees ‘alarming’ spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses. Immediate all-student quarantine at Gettysburg. Hundreds of Tulane students are placed under quarantine after coronavirus cases jump. University of Alabama reported on Friday another 846 students tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, bringing total number infected since classes began to almost 1,900. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Back on campus, UW students make up a quarter of Dane County COVID cases. Argentina Professor with Covid-19 Symptoms Dies After Gasping for Air in The Middle of Zoom Lecture.

Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now.

* Covid-19’s painful, lingering legacy. ‘Carnage’ in a lab dish shows how the coronavirus may damage the heart. 3 deaths, 147 coronavirus cases now tied to Maine wedding. “The three people who died as a result of the outbreak did not attend the wedding.”

* GW History: Our Statement on Jessica Krug. Jessica Krug’s former students speak out. A White Woman Admits She’s Been Rachel Dolezal-ing Us for Years—and I Feel Fine.

* Showcasing… @MarquetteU! This campus WELL KNOWN for the St. Joan of Arc Chapel! Keeping on with the religious theme, The Gesu Church is a MASTERPIECE! Check out how STUNNING the campus city is! WOW!

* This is important. And no one is talking about it.

* “Past perspectives on the present era of abrupt Arctic climate change.”

We find that warming rates similar to or higher than modern trends have only occurred during past abrupt glacial episodes. We argue that the Arctic is currently experiencing an abrupt climate change event, and that climate models underestimate this ongoing warming.

* Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy.

If looting and rioting have no place in a well-functioning democracy, then perhaps we should pause to consider that these are signs that Americans are not, in fact, in a functioning democracy.

* this is why it is so vitally important that we attack and dethrone god

* the fucking wheelers man

* This class is really fun and I don’t see how what I do is work exactly.

* And I know she’s a complete wackadoo, but seriously, imagine it.

Sunday Morning Links!

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* Released yesterday: Grad School Vonnegut #11, Cat’s Cradle with Patrick Iber! We had some minor but annoying audio problems with this one, so the editing took a bit longer than usual — so please enjoy, and look forward to, well…

* Apocalypse Now: Covid-19 and the SF Imaginary: Gerry Canavan, Jennifer Cooke and Caroline Edwards in conversation with Paul March-Russell.

* Registration for the “Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions” conference is now open. Call for Papers: Journal of Posthumanism. And ICYMI: SFFTV’s Call for Reviewers.

* Polygraph has a new issue! Marxism and Climate Change.

USPS changes blamed for deliveries of thousands of dead chicks: ‘We’ve never had a problem like this before.’ ‘Like Armageddon’: Rotting food, dead animals and chaos at postal facilities amid cutbacks. Washington Postal Workers Defy USPS Orders And Reinstall Mail Sorting Machines. How a viral photo of USPS collection boxes became a lesson in misinformation. The barn door will now be closed.

* Starting to regret my vote for Trump: In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him.’ Senate committee made criminal referral of Trump Jr., Bannon, Kushner, two others to federal prosecutors. Inside the chaotic, desperate, last-minute Trump 2020 reboot. What happens if when Donald Trump fights the election results? We Shouldn’t Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President.

* The K-Shaped Recovery. Coronavirus stimulus: Loss of extra $600 unemployment benefits leads to 44% drop in spending. Economists foresee an unemployment “tsunami” coming. The COVID economy means millions of Americans are at risk of food insecurity. Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week. Evictions are expected to skyrocket as pandemic protections come to an end.

* New York lays off hundreds of EMTs amidst historic budget crisis.

* Joe Biden’s Campaign Is Making It Very Clear: They Will Push Austerity in the White House. Biden to ABC’s Robin Roberts: ‘I don’t want to defund’ the police, but Trump does. Joe Biden: An Old Man Trying to Lead a Young Country. Prepare yourself for the Biden century.

* Wisconsin lacks ideal coronavirus testing capacity for reopening of college campuses, schools, top health official says. Trending the wrong way. Wisconsin unemployment rate drops, still double last year. ‘The system is not built for problems:’ Attorneys point to Gov. Walker reforms amid unemployment delays. Wisconsin Is a Microcosm of America’s Democratic Decline.

* But it’s not all bad news! Sculpture Milwaukee 2020 works now on display. A Brief History of Frozen Custard, Wisconsin’s Favorite Dessert.

* University Staff Are Worried Their Recorded Lectures Will Be Used Against Them. The Neoliberal University Is Failing on Coronavirus. How Covid-19 United the Higher-Ed Work Force. Company that builds and maintains student housing sent letters to public universities in at least two states in May as they weighed in-person fall classes, reminding them of hundreds of millions of debt. Deserted College Dorms Sow Trouble for $14 Billion in Muni Bonds. Records from before reopening show experts warned UNC of COVID-19 outbreaks. UNC fiasco reveals truth about reopening colleges. Early Movers to Online Don’t Regret Decision. Will Shame Make Students Stop Socializing? News from the Daily Tarheel. Don’t make us write obituaries. Blaming students at Syracuse, UNC, NC State. University of Michigan professors have ‘no confidence’ in administration’s plan to contain coronavirus. Michigan State, Notre Dame Back Off From Fall Reopening Plans. Detroit Teachers Authorize ‘Safety’ Strike Over School Reopening Fears. ‘I just can’t do this’: UI student who tested positive for COVID-19 recounts school response. Alabama goes from 1% positivity to as high as 29% in one week. NYU students use TikTok to expose the school’s bleak quarantine meal plan. Inside the Slow-Moving Disaster of Students Returning to College Campuses. ‘They put us all in danger.’ Georgia State QB Mikele Colasurdo diagnosed with heart condition linked to COVID-19. Marquette in-person class decision detrimental to non-tenure faculty, TAs. Marquette University’s reopening plan draws backlash. Faculty, Students Protest at MU President’s House. “Christian Colleges Ask: Would God Want Us to Reopen?” The New College Drop-Off. Remote learning: a poem. True shamelessness. This is everyone’s fault but mine.

* Ghouls, ghouls, ghouls.

* Andrew Cuomo, Leader.

Study suggests ‘horrifying’ rise in domestic violence during pandemic. Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19.

* Evidence grows that children may play a larger role in transmission than previously believed.

9 reasons you can be optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available in 2021.

* Are You Overpraising Your Child?

* America’s Terrible Internet Is Making Quarantine Worse. Blow up plans for the school year and get creative, you fools. Understatement of the year: Working parents face tough decisions as schools reopen. Scientists warn it may be years before students can return to school without masks, social distancing.

* The Lesson Americans Never Learn.

* What Happens If the 2020 Census Fails?

* “Fears about Peak Oil are gone. Now we plan for Peak Demand.”

* Millennial Futures Are Bleak. Incarceration Is to Blame.

* Looking for Solace and Solidarity in a Broken-Hearted World.

Black newborns more likely to die when looked after by White doctors.

* California is burning, again. The state is suffering from a severe lack of firefighters due to the COVID-19 depleting the ranks of prisoners who normally do the work for $3/day (and then are barred from being firefighters after release). Severe inhumanity.

* The Mysterious Life of Birds Who Never Come Down.

* The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime.

* TOS FTW. ‘The Before Time’: A Sci-Fi Idea That Has Made Its Way to Real Life.

* The Evolution of Ransomware.

* This week’s thing we’re supposed to bicker about on Twitter is just absurd. I’m still not over last week’s thing.

* There’s friendship, and then there’s friendship.

* A new theory of historical fantasy from N.K. Jemisin.

* The QAnon Century. A Primer. How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon. Trump’s Cloud of Gossip Has Poisoned America. The Republican Embrace of QAnon Goes Far Beyond Trump.

How UFO culture took over America.

* Never a good thing to star in your own dystopian fiction.

* Twilight of DC Comics. But they’re bringing Milestone back!

* In search of Bombadil.

(Behold?) The Vision’s Penis: The Presence of Absence in Mutant Romance Tales.

* #MLA21 goes virtual.

* What about the bad job offers?

* ‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Fresh Air.

* ‘The mystery is over’: Researchers say they know what happened to ‘Lost Colony.’

* I could listen to anything on eight cellos, it turns out.

* The latest in my recurring series of grad school advice tweets.

* J. G. Ballard’s book for children were not a success.

* And I believe America’s best days are still in front of it.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2020 at 9:55 am

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Monday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Living in the End Times: Utopian and Dystopian Representations of Pandemics, Cappadocia University, Thu, Jan 14, 2021 – Fri, Jan 15, 2021. CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures.

* I have made a table of sixteen general classifications into which it seems to me all science fiction stories written to date can be placed.

* New issue of MOSF Journal of Science Fiction, on Environmental SF.

* ExoTerra is an online collaborative research role-playing game (RPG) community, in which students from all disciplines, from physics to literature, pool their expertise to design a new world. Participating students play the crew of a space colony ship traveling from Earth to a newly-terraformed exoplanet, and must work together to design the new world they will create: its ocean biosphere, its capital city, its educational system, its power grid, its laws.  Over the three quarters of the 2020/21 school year, students will explore the new solar system, unlock its mysteries, and debate and decide the foundations of their new civilization.  All students at the university can participate as an extracurricular, but each quarter a selection of courses in many fields (Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, STEM) will offer ExoTerra as an integrated course component, guiding the class through researching and producing a design for the new world as part of the class itself.

Students, faculty, staff raise concerns about Marquette’s reopening plan. Milwaukee County Currently Suppressing COVID-19. ‘I can’t afford tuition’: College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester. Notre Dame sees spike in COVID-19 cases. Entire OSU sorority house in quarantine after 23 sisters test positive for coronavirus. UNC faculty call special meeting as fourth COVID-19 cluster among students reported.

* People Are Struggling To Cope With The Physical Manifestations Of Their COVID Stress.

* Inside the Prison Where California’s Coronavirus Outbreak Exploded.

* “This is the first Fire Tornado Warning we are aware of in history.” In Derecho’s Wake, More Than 250,000 in Midwest Struggle Without Power. California Braces for More Blackouts as Heat Wave Persists. Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study. Just thinking about how virtually shutting down the entire world economy wasn’t enough to lower carbon emissions by the amount necessary.

* Biden Dems simply cannot wait to screw over their voters. And everybody else.

* Milwaukee’s Lost Mega-Event: ‘It’s the Ghost Convention Now.’

* Truants! Truants!

* The Mayor Is Ready for School to Open. The School Buildings Are Not.

QAnon Promotes Pedo-Ring Conspiracy Theories. Now They’re Stealing Kids.

* Get in on the ground floor of this exciting coronavirus cure.

* Congress finally moving on the USPS crisis. Once more with feeling, Sara Nelson for president.

* Gun Enthusiasts Celebrate Man Who Shot Himself in the Balls as Their King.

* Video games and French fries ftw, again.

* Going viral: NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why.

* Another awesome optical illusion.

* And a chilling vision of things to come.

Fall Syllabus #2: ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America!

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And here’s the other course for this fall, “ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America.” Like the Watchmen class, it will be using a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction to muddle through this weird semester…

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Utopia in America

Course Description: 2020 marks the 505th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, which inaugurated a genre of political and social speculation that continues to structure our imagination of what is possible. This course serves as an entry point for advanced study in the English discipline, using depictions of political utopias from antiquity to the present as a way to explore how both literature and literary criticism do their work. We will study utopia in canonical historical literature, in contemporary pop culture, and in the presidential election, as well as utopian critical theory from major thinkers like Fredric Jameson, China Miéville, Derrick Bell, Toni Morrison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and N.K. Jemisin — but the major task before us will be exploring the role utopian, quasi-utopian, dystopian, and downright anti-utopian figurations have played in the work of major authors of the 20th century, among them Gabriel García Márquez, Vladimir Nabokov, and Octavia E. Butler.

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; discussion posts. Students will also construct their own utopian manifesto.

W Aug 26 S FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Introduction to the Course

What Is Utopia?

F Aug 28 A New Criticism

How to Interpret Literature: “New Criticism”

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall” [D2L]

M Aug 31 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, “Concerning” and Book One
W Sep 2 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, Book Two
F Sep 4 A China Miéville, Introduction to Utopia (2017): “Close to the

Shore” and “The Limits of Utopia”

M Sep 7   LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 9 S Structuralism

How to Interpret Literature: “Structuralism”

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” [D2L]

F Sep 11 A Intertextuality

N.K. Jemisin, reply to Le Guin [Web]

M Sep 14 S Marxism

How to Interpret Literature: “Marxism”

Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” [Web]

Mark Bould, “The Futures Market: American Utopias” [D2L]

W Sep 16 S Utopia

Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture” (first half; second half optional) [D2L]

Black Mirror: “San Junipero” [Netflix]

F Sep 18 A Sandbox: Fredric Jameson, “Utopia as Replication” [D2L]
M Sep 21 S Postcoloniality and Race Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Postcolonial and Race Studies”

Derrick Bell, “The Space Traders” [D2L]

W Sep 23 S Toni Morrison, “Recitatif” [D2L]

Toni Morrison, excerpt from Playing in the Dark [D2L]

F Sep 25 A Sandbox: #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus [Web]
M Sep 28 S Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 1
W Sep 30 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 2-3
F Oct 2 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 4-6
M Oct 5 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 7-9
W Oct 7 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 10-12
F Oct 9 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 13-15
M Oct 12 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 16-18
W Oct 14 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, whole book

Gabriel García Márquez, “The Solitude of Latin America” [Web]

Gregory Lawrence, “Marx in Macondo” [D2L]

F Oct 16   FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct 19 S Feminism

How to Interpret Literature: “Feminism”

Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]

W Oct 21 S Sexuality

How to Interpret Literature: “Queer Studies”

Alice Sheldon as James Tiptree, Jr., “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” [D2L]

F Oct 23 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “Bloodchild
M Oct 26 S Environmental Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Environmental Criticism”

Ramin Bahrani, “Plastic Bag” [YouTube]

W Oct 28 S Disability Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Disability Studies”

Octavia E. Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

Octavia E. Butler, “Speech Sounds”

F Oct 30 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”
M Nov 2 S Historicism and Cultural Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Historicism and Cultural Studies”

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire, “Foreword” and “Pale Fire”

W Nov 4 S Pale Fire, “Foreword and “Pale Fire” continued
F Nov 6 A Sandbox
M Nov 9 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto I
W Nov 11 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto II
F Nov 13 A Sandbox
M Nov 16 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto III
W Nov 18 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto IV (including index)
F Nov 20 A Reader Response

How to Interpret Literature: “Reader Response”

Pale Fire, whole book and interpretations

M Nov 23 S FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP
F Dec 4

5:30 PM

  FINAL PROJECT DUE IN D2L DROPBOX

 

Tuesday Links!

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* Something I wrote a few years back about Black Panther has finally popped up at Mayday: “Some Notes on the Nonexistence of Wakanda.”

* And Grad School Vonnegut #10 is up, on “Report on the Barnhouse Effect” and Watchmen with Adam Kotsko. I’m proud of the tweet hyping it.

* SFRA is seeking a web director. The Huntington has a new Octavia E. Butler research fellowship. World Science Fiction Studies is still seeking proposals for the 2021 book prize.

* CFP: Us in Flux: Community, Collaboration, and the Collective Imaginations of SF. Call for Papers: Serious Play. CFP: “Post-Utopia in Speculative Fiction: The End of the Future?”

This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice!

* For the second year in a row, George R.R. Martin has managed to make the Hugos all about him.

The Coronavirus Pandemic, Science Fiction, and the Contingent Nature of Roads. Last and First Men review – eerie sounds and unearthly images from a posthuman world. Apocalypse Then, Now—and Future? “Nostalgia for the Future”: Projecting a Post-Disability Image through Retro-Futuristic Aesthetics in Viktoria Modesta’s “Prototype.” The Name of This Feeling Is Revolution: On David Mitchell’s “Utopia Avenue.”

CDC predicts up to 11,000 people will die every week this month from coronavirus. CDC Predicts Grim Future. Young people are infecting older family members with coronavirus in multigenerational homes. Survivors of Covid-19 show increased rate of psychiatric disorders, study finds. One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized have long-term illness. Lasting heart damage could be COVID-19’s legacy for some non-hospitalized survivors. How the Pandemic Defeated America. Vermont, History, and the Coronavirus. After Plummeting, the Virus Soars Back in the Midwest. We Just Have to Assume the Monster Is Everywhere. Every Decision Is A Risk. Every Risk Is A Decision. We Need to Talk about Ventilation. Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine.

In late July academia changed its mind about the fall term. Covid Tests and Quarantines: Colleges Brace for an Uncertain Fall. The Risk That Students Could Arrive at School With the Coronavirus. ‘The virus beat us’: Colleges are increasingly going online for fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 cases rise. Email From Columbia Admin Requests That Graduate Students And Faculty Reconsider Teaching Solely Online, Gives Three Days To Decide. UO is reopening dorms at full capacity *and* keeping their on-campus housing requirement. North Carolina colleges and universities reported COVID-19 cases on campus. More Than 6,600 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Linked to U.S. Colleges. The largest school district in Georgia reported Sunday that 260 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine because of possible exposure as they prepare for the new school year. Staff in a district in Arizona is already 11% positive. Officials say the student attended part of the first day of school Thursday. Outbreak at Fraternity Row. UNC Tenured Faculty Tell Students to Stay Home Amid COVID Concerns: ‘It Is Not Safe for You to Come to Campus.’ Colleges Seek Waivers From Risk-Taking Students. “This is the worst, biggest crisis we have ever gone through UWM.” Let’s Look at the Numbers. Teachers Are Wary of Returning to Class, and Online Instruction Too. Will Kids Follow the New Pandemic Rules at School? ‘This Push to Open Schools Is Guaranteed to Fail.’ 9 ways America is having the wrong conversation about ‘reopening’ schools. How to Stop Magical Thinking in School Reopening Plans. Think school kids won’t be hurt by COVID-19? Experiences from the 1918–19 flu say otherwise. Covid-19 and the market model of higher education: Something has to give, and it won’t be the pandemic.

* And on the homefront: Whitefish Bay school board approves plan to start school year with in-person and virtual learning. Marquette Wire: MU must offer remote learning, teaching options for fall semester.

* Against vocational awe.

Essential or Expendable? Working in Higher Education during COVID-19.

* Acquiescent no more.

* ‘We are being gaslit’: College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes. On a call with SEC leaders, worried football players pushed back: ‘Not good enough.’ Ending the sham of NCAA amateurism will not end Title IX. Colorado universities are increasingly losing money on sports as coaches’ pay, recruitment costs rise.

* Wild @Sciencing_Bi hoax ends in absolutely wild fashion.

U.S. Economy Drops 32.9% In Worst GDP Report Ever. At least someone’s getting rich. NYC small businesses now closing for good. The Virus Turns Midtown Into a Ghost Town, Causing an Economic Crisis. These Businesses Lasted Decades. The Virus Closed Them for Good. Beach towns fear they won’t survive a summer of COVID-19. No football in Green Bay would be economic, emotional blow. America needs a bar and restaurant bailout. Self-employed Wisconsinites wait for word on unemployment payments. ‘Coronavirus has stolen our future’: young people’s despair as jobs evaporate. America.jpg. United States May Lose One-third of All Museums, New Survey Shows. Dunkin’s as Bellweather. Activism against evictions in New Orleans. As Pandemic Rages, the United States Slashes an Economic Lifeline. The incompetent criminals ruling the U.S. are about to push millions of Americans off a terrifying financial cliff. How the eviction crisis across the U.S. will look. The Pandemic Makes the Case for Sweeping Reform.

Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All.

Americans Aren’t Making Babies, and That’s Bad for the Economy. I guess the “baby boom or divorce boom” folks have their answer…

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air.” Kushner’s COVID-19 Team Ended Plan For Nationwide Testing Because They Didn’t Want To Help Blue States.

Study: Men More Likely Than Women to Back COVID Conspiracies.

* Disgusting effort from the Manhattan DA office to drag the Trump name through the mud. Know Your Enemy. Nearly everyone believes that Trump can be reelected in November but almost no one believes he’ll do so with the support of a majority of the voting public. DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents. Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count. Destroying the Postal Service for Fun and Profit. As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis. Pregaming the Coming November Trainwreck. How Trump Could Steal the Election. Warning Statement on the Potential for Mass Atrocities in the United States.

* Because it never stops being relevant: Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism.

* Harper’s v. Kenosha, WI.

* This TikTok thing is just nuts.

Counterfactual Criticism: Watchmen, Witch Armies, and Asking TV for More.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* Neo-Nazis Infilitrate the Police in Germany.

* Genocide in China.

* The gender-neutral b’nai mitzvah.

* U.S. Missionary With No Medical Training Settles Suit Over Child Deaths At Her Center.

Pewaukee priest once accused of sexual assault of a minor free to return to church.

* Miracles and wonders: uniQure Begins First-in-Human Gene Therapy Trials for Huntington’s Disease.

Zelda recipe appears in serious novel by serious author after rushed Google search. This really hits home — my dissertation had an entire chapter on Zelda Fitzgerald I had to take out at the very last minute.

* As transgender rights debate spills into sports, one runner finds herself at the center of a pivotal case.

* On the local beat: What happened at Comet Cafe?

What if nuclear power had taken off in the 1970s? The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland Is on Fire. It’s at least double.

* What sort of weird late-period William Gibson bullshit is this?

Is This the End of Writing in Cafés?

* Did a Goblin King write this?

* Remember when Google was useful?

* Former Deadspin staffers launch Defector, a new worker-owned media company.

* SWAT Mafia.

The DA’s Office Is Reviewing Hundreds of Cases Linked to (Just) 3 LAPD Officers.

* Michigan Today profiles Saladin Ahmed and his Dearborn-based superhero Starling.

* The headline reads, “Human sperm roll like ‘playful otters’ as they swim, study finds, contradicting centuries-old beliefs.”

* This is Katie Ledecky swimming the length of a pool without spilling a single drop of the chocolate milk balanced on her head.

* The X2 Cast Allegedly Almost Quit the Marvel Film Over Bryan Singer.

The ‘Star Trek’ Saga: How the Starship Enterprise Almost Landed in Las Vegas.

When Black People Appear on Seinfeld.

And Forrest MacNeil reviews living through a pandemic.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 4, 2020 at 10:31 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* SFFTV 13.2 is out! It’s a great issue with some really great essays on wast and District 9, monster theory and Monsters, race and Arrival, and feminism and Ex Machina, but I want to put a special plug in for my co-editor Dan Hassler-Forest’s great essay on the nostalgia industry, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks: The Return.

* Meanwhile, David Agranoff reads Extrapolation 61.1-2.

* And ICYMI: GSV #8: TBSF! And a little bit of viewer mail: Harrison Bergeron Is Black.

2020 Locus Awards Winners.

* Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: A Symposium.

* CFP: American Game Studies (deadline: August 1). How America Understands Poverty (deadline: October 1). Announcing The 11th Annual Imagining Indigenous Futurisms Award: Call for Emerging Writers. Queer Intersectionalities in Folklore Studies.

* Podcast alert: Marquette University’s COVID Conversations. And it’s a bit more flippant but I’ll never say no to Griffin Newman talking Muppets.

* Regarding Marquette’s Decision to Open for Face to Face Instruction for Fall 2020.

* Elsewhere on the Marquette beat: My terrific colleague Cedric Burrows talks about the racist origins of ordinary phrases.

* A 1997 interview with Octavia Butler. Toward a Waking Maturity: Octavia E. Butler Shapes A Liberated African Future in “The Book of Martha.” Behold Octavia Butler’s Motivational Notes to Self.

* Colson Whitehead is the youngest writer to win the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

El Nuevo Normal: The Coronavirus Crisis and Latin American Apocalyptic Fiction.

Will Dystopian Times Inspire Utopian Art?

* Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure. Who will ensure the safety of Black, LGBTQ+, People of Color, and Persons with Disabilities when Campuses reopen? Reopening schools safely can’t happen without racial equity. Black Study, Black Struggle. College football’s leaders are answering the wrong questions. Colleges are flimflamming students and parents about reopening. College Leaders Must Explain Why—Not Just How—to Return to Campus. College Leaders Have the Wrong Incentives. What do college students think of their school’s reopening plans? College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning. The Summer of Magical Thinking. Lurching Toward Fall, Disaster on the Horizon. A Semester to Die For. CDC documents warned full reopening of schools, colleges would be ‘highest risk’ for spreading coronavirus. The main source of opposition? The faculty. Rush back to campus is sowing distrust at universities. Principles of Academic Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Georgia Tech Professors Revolt Over Reopening, Say Current Plan Threatens Lives Of Students, Staff. Priorities. Boston University Gives PhD Students A Choice: Come Back To Campus Or Lose Your Health Insurance And Salary. Baton Rouge economy faces $50M loss if LSU football season is canceled or fans are excluded.

The Closure.

What can the humanities offer in the Covid era?

ICE Makes International Students Choose Between Risk of Coronavirus and Risk of Deportation. Long thread reading Harvard’s lawsuit. White House Rescinds Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online.

* “Does tenure matter anymore?” University Paid $504,000 to Get Rid of Professor. City University of New York lays off 2,800 adjuncts in wave of austerity.

* In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. This Isn’t Sustainable for Working Parents. American Passports Are Worthless Now. The Republican coronavirus meatgrinder. ‘One Of Worst Parties In Power In Entire Democratic World.’ ‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small Business Owners Are Giving Up. Giant corporations may be the only survivors in the post-pandemic economy. Pay Restaurants to Stay Closed. How Many Have Closed Already? Covid-19 Is Bankrupting American Companies at a Relentless Pace. A Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance. 32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments. Looming evictions may soon make 28 million homeless in U.S., expert says. Out of Work. The Story Has Gotten Away from Us. COVID-19 sent US into ‘depression’ and economy won’t be fully restored until 2023. Americans Are in Denial. There Is No Plan (For You). Trump’s incompetence has wrecked us. Where are the calls for him to resign? We are in the midst of a world-historic failure of governance. Why isn’t anyone in charge acting like they are responsible for it?

Coronavirus spread threatens to overrun school reopening plans. Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains. U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall, Then Take It Back. DeVos blasts school districts that hesitate at reopening. There Is a Way to Reopen Schools This Fall. Do We Have the Will to Make It Happen? Reopening schools safely is going to take much more federal leadership. One in Four. N.Y.C. Schools, Nation’s Largest District, Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall. Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall. Milwaukee Proposing Reopening with No Students in School Buildings. Evers once again gives up in advance. A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. The Toll That Isolation Takes on Kids During the Coronavirus Era.

* Hospitals full in Houston. Hospitals full in Florida. Texas and Arizona. Young Americans Are Partying Hard and Spreading Covid-19 Quickly. Coronavirus is spreading so fast among Wisconsin 20-somethings that the CDC came to investigate. The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus. The Hidden Racism of Vaccine Testing. California’s slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day. It takes a special kind of inattention to human suffering to not notice how unfortunate it is that people have been left to face death alone. Is air conditioning helping spread COVID in the South? I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of dads suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized. July and August must be a period of intense preparation for our reasonable worst-case scenario for health in the winter that we set out in this report, including a resurgence of COVID-19, which might be greater than that seen in the spring. One to two months. Five years. Americans Are Sick of the Pandemic. The Pandemic Is Not Sick of Us. U.S. States Graded on Their Covid-19 Response. Zero COVID Deaths in Vietnam. How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus.

Are We Facing A Post-COVID-19 Suicide Epidemic?

Generation Z Is Bearing the Economic Brunt of the Virus.

* The end of New York.

* How has Wisconsin screwed up unemployment so completely? Workers are pushed to the brink as they continue to wait for delayed unemployment payments.

* The Meltdown Crisis. The Myopic Fantasy of Returning to “Normal.” Resilience Is the Goal of Governments and Employers Who Expect People to Endure Crisis.

* gimme that stimmie

* Damn, that is an American airline.

* A version of the election-stealing scenario I’ve been bleating on about for months that doesn’t even require state legislatures to do anything actively.

The Working Dead: Reviving the Crowd as a Protagonist.

* Fake Nerd Boys of Silicon Valley.

* Eight go mad in Arizona: how a lockdown experiment went horribly wrong.

* Starship Troopers and American decline.

Setting Fire to Wet Blankets: Radical Politics and Hollywood Franchises.

* Resistance Is Not Futile: On Jeff VanderMeer’s “Dead Astronauts” and Fighting the Good Fight.

* Teaching Shakespeare Under Quarantine.

* Is Unschooling the Way to Decolonize Education?

* Hamilton and Revolution. And Ishmael Reed, from the archives: “Hamilton: the Musical:” Black Actors Dress Up like Slave Traders… and It’s Not Halloween.

Masking and the Self-Inflicted Wounds of Expertise.

* The blog started “innocently enough” and just “got out of hand.”

Illiberalism Isn’t to Blame for the Death of Good-Faith Debate. From Thomas Jefferson’s own family, a call to take down his memorial. ‘The Flag is Coming Down’: Lawmakers Vote to Change Mississippi State Flag. Reddit bans r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules. Going too far.

* This was shocking, and I didn’t remember it at all: The Real Mud on Golden Girls.

The whole point in Wisconsin right now is to make anything but one-party GOP rule essentially illegal.

* Centering Blackness: The Path to Economic Liberation for All. Jacobin’s racial justice reading list. Wisconsin Schools’ Racial Inequality Worst in U.S.

How North Carolina Transformed Itself Into the Worst State to Be Unemployed.

According to establishment pundits and politicians, countries have “national interests” they carry out in the international arena. But “national interests” is just another phrase for ruling-class interests. The old socialist argument is true: workers of all countries have more in common with each other than their respective countries’ ruling elites.

* Climate change hasn’t forgotten about you: World could hit 1.5-degree warming threshold by 2024. South Pole warmed three times the global rate in last 30 years. Scientists’ warning on affluence. Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise. Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome.

How to grow liveable worlds: Ten (not-so-easy) steps for life in the Planthroposcene.

* Took ’em long enough: Washington football team retires racist name.

* This ‘Equity’ picture is actually White Supremacy at work.

* Today in hell world.

* What Happens When You’re Disabled but Nobody Can Tell.

* The invention of the police. How Police Abuse the Charge of Resisting Arrest.

* She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Her Kids.

* Remembering the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.

Why Animal Studies Must Be Antiracist: A Conversation with Bénédicte Boisseron.

* ‘You Could Literally See Our Shit From Space’: The Broken Bowels of Beirut.

* Hate to get owned this bad by a tweet.

* A Ranking of Every Movie with “Night of” in the Title.

Watching The Next Generation in a Time of Pandemic and Uprising. The Talk Doesn’t Exist in Deep Space Nine. The Sexist Legacy in Star Trek’s Progressive Universe.

Astronomers have discovered a vast assemblage of galaxies hidden behind our own, in the “zone of avoidance.” My sci-fi novel just got a title…

* This Is How Many People You’d Need to Colonize Mars, According to Science.

* How Not to Deal with Murder in Space.

* Harry Potter fan sites decide to stop giving J.K. Rowling attention.

* A Timeline of Recent Allegations in the Comic Book Industry.

A Megachurch Reels After Learning Pastor Let His Professed Pedophile Son Work With Kids.

* Gimlet Media Sued for Not Making Podcasts Accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Kung Fu Nuns Of Kathmandu.

* Yes please.

* A short story about Serena Williams.

* Ban cars.

Second tribal leader calls for removal of Mount Rushmore. Want to tear down a monument to racism? Bulldoze LA’s freeways.

Banning the N-word on campus ain’t the answer — it censors Black professors like me.

Big Scrabble’s decision to eliminate offensive words has infuriated players like never before.

Why Is the Public Corruption Unit Prosecuting Ghislaine Maxwell?

The Life-Threatening “Ride” That Action Park Actually Decided to Abandon.

* Thanks Obama.

* A Long-Hidden His Dark Materials Short Story Is Now Getting Released.

* Love to learn old stuff about Jim Henson.

* Transporter. Words. Znurg. Two. Satire. Tin Man. Allies. Doctors. Mondays. Elon Musk. Pirates.

* Please scream inside your heart.

* And it took the end of the world, but the Far Side is back. Same joke but Clone High.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

July 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Grad School Vonnegut #7: “The Sirens of Titan” (1959) with Rebekah Sheldon!

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This week we talk to Rebekah Sheldon of Indiana University and the author of The Child to Come: Life after the Human Catastrophe about The Sirens of Titan (1959)! Sorry for the slightly awkward, shoehorned-in intro this time around, but I realized afterwards that we never actually say Rebekah’s full name or the name of her awesome book, and thought we should…

GSV #4: Slapstick

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A proper link post is coming this weekend but for now here’s episode four of Grad School Vonnegut, which is all about Slapstick (1976) — but please, listen anyway! I think this one might be our best episode yet despite being about Vonnegut’s worst (Christ, I hope) novel.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 5, 2020 at 8:16 am