Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Women in Refrigerators

Thursday Morning Links

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* This is an extremely cute personalized book for a little kid and I’m not ashamed to admit I bought two.

* This is not an SF postdoc per se, but Liverpool has a tremendous SF archive and it would be a great opportunity for an SF scholar.

* Some impressive student journalism from Marquette undergrads: “Marquette’s reporting to the federal government misses just less than half of sexual assaults on campus.”

* Really interesting piece on how not to build a Star Wars MMORG. MetaFilter mostly hated it, but I thought the idea of limiting the Jedi to a minigame where you inevitably get hunted down and murdered by Darth Vader was brilliant.

* Louisiana State University on the brink. More here and here. This really is the end of the university system — or at least tenure — in America. I can’t believe it’s happening so quickly.

* I mean, the LSU thing is so terrible I can barely even be bothered to get upset about the ASU MOOCs.

* One of the Original X-Men Is Gay, And It Matters More Than You Think. It’s a nice piece by Rachel Eddidin and a bummer that it’s at I’m amazed that they don’t maintain a SFW skin of their site for prose writing that goes viral.

Tell Us About the First Time You Realized Dudes Were Checking You Out.

Fugitive Turns Himself In After 40 Years So He Can Get Health Care.

* The rise of zero-tolerance policies strips school officials of the ability to exercise common sense.

* How to think about the risk of autism.

* Clickhole’s Oral History of Mad Men.

The disturbing world of bootleg Disney’s Frozen games.

* Star Trek 3 is apparently Star Trek Beyond, and Idris Elba is the villain. I’m okay with the title — I like the ethos if not the continued insistence on reading “trek” as a verb –but wish they could do one that doesn’t have a “villain” for a change.

The good news is: this civilization is over. And everybody knows it. And the good news is: we can all start building another one, here in the ruins, and out of pieces of the old one. 

* Happy Earth Day, everybody!

* DC is going to try to attract girl readers of comics with a special Super Hero Universe Designed Just For Girls, where, I presume, sex and sexual violence are somewhat less of an overriding focus.

* Good work nerds.

Pseudoscience in the Witness Box: The FBI faked an entire field of forensic science.

* DID YOU KNOW that academic departments use curricular requirements to encourage enrollment in courses that don’t just automatically fill by themselves? It’s true!

The Story of Class Struggle, America’s Most Popular Marxist Board Game.

* And from the genius behind the art in Braid and one of my absolute favorite web comics of all time, A Lesson Is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible, comes Zelda pastiche Second Quest. Man I miss that web comic.



Wednesday Links! No Fooling.

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* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 17: Brand/Branding/Rebrand.

Jackson was paid $7.1 million in 2012, more than any other college president in the nation, and continues to be paid at that level. Just in case you don’t click through, the headline to that piece reads “Report: R.P.I. facing $1 billion in debts, liabilities.” So you know she’s worth every penny of that salary.

But did you know the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee gets less than half the public money per student that Madison Area Technical College gets and less than a third of what goes to Milwaukee Area Technical College?

* And speaking of UWM: After Extinction, at UWM April 30-May 2.

* Meanwhile, at Duke: Response to President Brodhead and Provost Kornbluth. The original incident is described here.

Unsettling the University, at UCR April 2-3.

But what also became clear was that she and I have radically different visions of what constitutes the well-being of the University of Wisconsin System and how it might be preserved and protected. Through the course of our conversation it became increasingly clear to me that in the current situation in Wisconsin we find ourselves in what French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard called “a differend,” a case of conflict between parties that cannot be equitably resolved for lack of a rule of judgement applicable to both. In the case of a differend, the parties cannot agree on a rule or criterion by which their dispute might be decided. A differend is opposed to a litigation – a dispute which can be equitably resolved because the parties involved can agree on a rule of judgement.” Despite all parties–Regents, chancellors, faculty, staff, students, and alumni–being committed to the well-being of the University of Wisconsin System, it seems impossible to agree upon a rule of judgment or any set of criteria by which to adjudicate our different visions of what that well-being would look like.

Dept. Names More Than 550 Colleges It Has Put Under Extra Financial Scrutiny.

Salaita lawyers: ‘No doubt’ that UI, prof had agreement for employment.

Over time, however, more and more departments failed to meet that standard; last year some 60 units were out of compliance, according to information gathered by the union. At Bridgewater State University, one of the worst offenders, for example, adjuncts taught more than 15 percent of courses in 16 large departments in 2014-15. Some 50 percent of classes in the English department were taught by part-time faculty, along with 40 percent in math and computer science. In philosophy, it was 63 percent of classes. Bridgewater officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Google Maps turned your streets into Pac-Man yesterday, though I can’t imagine how anyone could have missed this news.

The Entire History of ‘Doctor Who’ Illustrated as a Tapestry.

24 Rare Historical Photos That Will Leave You Speechless.

California Snowpack Hits All-Time Low, 8 Percent Of Average.

Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men.

* Chomsky: The Death of American Universities.

* There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

* The Trevor Noah train wreck.

* “Lutheran pastor resigns after being linked to threatening email.” That’s… something.

Italian grandmother causes illness with cocoa expired in 1990.

* Why You Should Really Be Afraid of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Gas Siphoning Coverup May Have Caused East Village Explosion. Jesus Christ.

But there’s at least one unforeseen upside when all episodes are released at once: The writers don’t get the chance to self-correct in the middle of the season.

The Long And Terrible History Of DC Comics Mistreating Batgirl.

* The Americans renewed for season four. Hooray!

Pokémon and philosophy.

Study: Not Many Disco Songs About Daytime. But of course more work is required.

I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World, Became A Celebrity In China, And Found A Friend For Life.

Oh my God, Becky, look at this vigorous debate among scholars about the true origin of the straight male preference for a curvier backside.

* I can”t believe they’re bringing this thing back: The X-Files Could Have Ended With a West Wing Crossover.

* And Paul F. Tompkins picks his best episodes from a prolific podcasting career. My tragedy is I’ve heard all these. Perhaps you’ve heard he’s got a new one out today…


‘Women Don’t Read Comics’

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

Tuesday Night Links

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* How to Draw Comics the New 52 Way.

* Today Occupy Wall Street occupied foreclosed homes nationwide.

* Fox News vs. the Muppets. At least we got a great new hashtag out of it.

It’s long been surmised that the Mayan empire fell largely because of a 200-year drought that struck the region in 800 AD, but now it appears that the drought may have been amplified by Mayan agricultural practices.

* Weird ecology: The Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Florida has been so good to the American crocodile that the reptile was recently taken off the endangered species list. But the croc’s newly thriving condition has nothing to do with nuclear power itself; rather the species has cottoned to the 168 miles of manmade cooling canals that surround the plant, adopting the system as a new natural breeding ground. (Thanks, Lindsey!)

* Tennessee firefighters let another house burn down for failure to pay subscription fee.

* And via Kottke, a profile of Nigel Richards, perhaps the best Scrabble player in the world.

In the tight, little world of Scrabble, Nigel Richards stories are legendary. Nigel read the 1,953-page Chambers Dictionary five times and memorized all the words. Nigel bicycled fourteen hours overnight to a weekend tournament, won it, then biked home and straight to work on Monday morning. With a rack of CDHLNR?, Nigel played CHLORODyNE# through three disconnected tiles (the two O’s and the E). Nigel played SAPROZOIC through ZO#. Nigel played GOOSEFISH$. Nigel averaged 584 points per games in a tournament. Nigel’s word knowledge was so deep, his point-scoring ability so profound, his manner so unflappable, that a competitor once made a T-shirt reading: I BEAT NIGEL RICHARDS.

How to Write Female Characters

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

Dollhouse, Rape Culture, and Women in Refrigerators

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Dollhouse, on the other hand, really was pretty decent. Definitely the best episode of the series so far. If I have complaints—which I do—it’s with:

1) The Echo reprogramming / mole bit, which drew a little too bright a line around the silliness of the show’s premise. How did the mole accomplish the insertion of such a detailed, uh, parameter, in the fifteen seconds Topher happened to be away from his desk? It reminded me of a classic bit from Family Guy:
Brian: Hola! Um…me, me llamo es Brian. Ahh, uh, um lets see, uh, nosotros queremos ir con ustedes.
Mexican: Hey that was pretty good. But actually when you said, “Me llamo es Brian,” you don’t need the “es.” Just, “Me llamo Brian.”
Brian: Oh, you speak English.
Mexican: No, just that first speech and this one explaining it.
Brian: You…you’re kidding right?
Mexican: Que?

2) The attempted rape and murder of Mellie is an illustrative example of how hard it can be to separate commentary on misogyny from misogyny itself. (See Joss’s interview at NPR for more on Joss’s self-awareness about this problem.) The violence in the scene is exceptionally brutal, and the way it is shot is a deliberate quotation of the Jenny Calendar scene from Buffy Season 2. The audience is primed first to think of the usualness of this sort of filmic violence, in other words, so that the subversion of the woman-in-refrigerator trope has more salience.

On the other hand, the scene can only be described as pornographic in its composition, from the way the characters are dressed and blocked to the camera’s fixation on Mellie’s body. It’s the same sort of problem that arises when Dollhouse (which is at its essence as show about misogyny and rape culture) uses Eliza Dushku in short skirts speaking in a breathy voice to promote itself. Joss has a lot of feminist cred and you certainly want to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I’m sure we’re all cognizant of the realities of the television marketplace and corporate interference—but this remains a needle that Joss will have to be very careful in trying to thread.

On the more global level of mythology, Dollhouse 1.6 works very hard to expand the show past the tight hermeticism of the first few episodes. Through the Wolfram-and-Hartization of the Dollhouse and the urban legend trope this world has suddenly grown a lot larger and a lot more interesting. Now this is a show that’s as much about global capitalism as it is about sexual violence, and really about the intersection of the two—which seems very promising. I’m excited to see where Joss takes these ideas now that he has a freer hand.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 21, 2009 at 11:35 am

Battlestar and Joss Whedon News

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Sci-Fi has a trailer up for the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, while Joss Whedon is frantically running around trying to reassure everyone that the shooting of a new Dollhouse pilot doesn’t mean that Dollhouse is the new Firefly.

Also in Joss Whedon News, there’s been some pushback on Dr. Horrible over the fact that he’s once again killed over a female love interest in order to provide character development for male characters. I guess not even the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can escape the siren song of a woman in a refrigerator.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm


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