“Boom Town” – Sam Anderson Learns OKC

You can catch the episode here

    Anderson’s book Boom Town is a great story. It’s also a really great piece of writing. It moves among several stories and several timelines to explain just how it is that OKC has become…what it is. This podcast discussion with Gaylord College Dean Ed Kelley offers some important observations from him on what these times…including that dreadful act of domestic terrorism…were like. He found much to praise in Anderson’s account.

    From the Oklahoman archive: “Demonstrators inside Bishop’s Restaurant in in Oklahoma City wrote notes like this to display on the eatery’s windows. The 1963 demonstration was one of many of its kind during Oklahoma’s civil rights movement.” 

    Between the failed hunt for a hockey franchise (too bad!), the establishment/theft of the Seattle Sonics/Thunder, the federal building bombing, and the tales of the great Clara Luper and her super kids, and the wild Wayne Coyne, at the Red Cup talking to the next generation of him, Anderson shows he is a great writer. The complex structure works effortlessly.

    One drawback: I think this history needs to be better grounded in the Native American/Indian contexts that are a substantial part of the story. That aspect needs more attention. Spending a bit more energy speaking to this community would help to remind us about occupied lands, where we need to remember we find ourselves.

    And OKC needs to recognize Indigenous People’s Day. It’s totally not hard.

    “Media and The End of the World” – Journalism’s Unintended Consequences

    We are working on a new episode for the podcast that will be looking at issues in the world of journalism. With thanks to my partner Adam Croom, we will be talking with a guest about the new ways that journalism seems to be going.

    Are these exciting times? Is that excitement also a cause for great concern? is that great concern coming from what media means to people now?

    It seems pretty definite that criticism of an issue also has the unintended consequence of promoting that issue. There was a great episode of “On The Media” that was questioning what it is that the media “gets wrong” when dealing with far right nationalists:

    Face the Racist Nation

    Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter at The Guardian US  offers a compelling analysis of what the characteristics of the coverage mean for doing this story. Some familiar analytics come out

    • Reporters need to know the history of white power organizations so that they are challenged when misrepresenting themselves
    • interviewers need to be careful not to normalize hate groups
    • we should never forget how capable we all are of harboring racist thoughts and ideas, and to be reflective of how we think about identity issues
    • between anti-racism and pro-racism is the largest group, people who think of themselves as anti-racist but who do not see how much of that racism is baked into the social and cultural structures that surround us 

    This podcast is something that I will talk about on MATEOTW today, since it has much to say about how journalists need to think about the stories they tell, the words they write, and the pictures/video/sounds they collect and edit and distribute.

    Qualities of Scholarship? Factors of Impact?

    A friend asked recently about how to evaluate a journal’s quality. It’s a great question, and not too dissimilar from asking how to evaluate a film’s quality, or an auto mechanic. Well, that last one is a little easier to judge: fix my car, quickly, cheaply, and when my daughter brings her car in don’t talk down to her…

    We are in a world of several overlapping revolutions, but at wildly different paces. I would venture that 95% of what I see on “local” news is what I might have seen 35 years ago, but the technology of delivery (both to their newsroom and to my home) are radically different.

    One of the “Most Beautiful College Libraries in America” https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/americas-most-beautiful-college-libraries

    What I found interesting about the question is how the discussion of the world of academic publishing splits in two: on the one hand, people have many problems with the totality of the current process; on the other hand, they are willing to keep things just as they are…which is mostly how it has been for a very long time.

    What is a good journal impact factor?

    So what would get academics to think differently? This parallels what we know is a problem that disconnects science (and its methods) from public understanding. In my field–electronic media–we have had the discussions about professionalization of media industries and general informational skepticism dumped right in our laps.

    And to be honest the efforts to make scholarly ideas more accessible have really moved quite far. I have said before that there is more good (true, valuable) information and analysis available to everyone then there ever has been in human history. But there is also a tsunami of bad information that is often better circulated. 

    I think that is a function of desire.

    As scholars we want to be read, but we also want to be in good conversations, considering these issues carefully, and with inspired theoretical discussions in the process.

    What as academics and scholars can we do to improve this situation? Is it time to rethink the material, technological, and commercial side of our thing?   

    Gender and Sci-fi: another Modern Prometheus

    the library haunter  ?‏ @SketchesbyBoze tweeted:

    “women are ruining sci-fi!!!” first of all, your genre was *invented* by a 17-year-old girl, she made love on her mother’s grave and kept her late husband’s calcified heart on her desk but sure, your wizard-space-fantasy is so badass, 11:05 AM – 30 Aug 2018

    This discusses a dreary opinion that has been uttered a number of times over the years, and hopefully we are getting to the point where such opinions can be ignored. But just in case…This response talks about the contributions of Mary Shelly, as included in this article:


    For this part of the 200th anniversary of the first version of “Frankenstein” it’s worth noting that history tells an important story about the ways we can talk about this novel. 

    And remember that we will be able to celebrate it again in 2031, since that is the edition the one most widely circulated. Some of the more interesting differences between versions has been researched.

    If you should find yourself in Bath, in the Pump Room in the outside hallway you will find this plaque:

    And needless to add, in 2031 we can also celebrate the James Whale film version that year as well…along with other versions that might have been…

    Media and the End of the World – New Episode!

    Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or Google

    Number Six: Where am I?
    Number Two: In the Village.
    Number Six: What do you want?
    Number Two: Information.
    Number Six: Whose side are you on?
    Number Two: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
    Number Six: You won’t get it.
    Number Two: By hook or by crook, we will.
    Number Six: Who are you?
    Number Two: The new Number Two.
    Number Six: Who is Number One?
    Number Two: You are Number Six.
    Number Six: I am not a number!

    The Next episode of “Media and the End of the World” features a discussion with Natasha Casey from Blackburn University. We discuss collaborative teaching, critical race theory, and becoming a critical media consumer.

    You can see some info about Dr. Casey’s research and teaching here.

    Music: Progressive Bluegrass

    I had this vague memory of an absolutely Beautiful piece of instrumental music, and I have looked once or twice on the Internet to see if I could locate it without a sufficient amount of information. I guess we’re not at the point yet where you could “sing” something (no matter how badly) into the computer for a search and it would help you find a melody that was stuck in your head.

    But in one of those amazing moments of coincidence, I landed on the video that contained the piece of music I was looking for. It’s something that might best be described as progressive bluegrass, being performed by a set of musicians who are incredible both individually and collectively. Below is a link to the performance. It features Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor, and Jerry Douglas.

    Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor & Edgar Myer Live on the Lonesome Pine Special…note that there is some noisy audio in parts of this…

    Thanks to Colin T McGrane2 years ago (edited) for the rundown:

    Strength In Numbers (The Telluride Sessions Live)

    {static in audio stops for a while, then starts again, then stops.Mostly good audio}

    (i) Future Man 0:00 (ii) Texas Red 5:41 [Sam Bush speaks] 10:30 (iii) Pink Flamingos 11:19 (iv) Duke and Cookie 15:20 [The sexiest bass solo I’ve ever seen] 17:30 (v) One Winter’s Night 19:10 {static really bad until 21:04} [Bela Fleck speaks] 23:23 (vi) The Locks of Dread 24:20 (vii) [Bela and Edgar get down] 30:34 (vii) No Apologies 38:22 (viii) Slopes 43:03

    Inexcusable treatment of immigrant children and “Critical Theory”

    How can we play a role in liberation from domination? Start with not making excuses for domination through a disingenuous appeal to law. This is not a law. It is a decision to use the suffering of others to advance a political agenda.

    Critical theory is “as analysis and questioning of domination, inequality, societal problems, exploitation in order to advance social struggles and the liberation from domination so that a dominationless, co-operative, participatory society can emerge.” Fuchs (2011): Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies

    Here is the audio of the detained children.



    “Media and the End of the World” – Summer Break Episodes?


    Looks like there might be some Summer Replacement podcast episodes for the series I do with Adam Croom.

    This week is especially brutal. Net neutrality was invited to enter the Thunderdome and lost. And speaking of monster mergers: two mega-corporations enter, one mega-corporation leaves.

    And this AT&T-Time/Warner merger is a sign that it is open season for all their oligarch associates to merge. Remember:

    …Or perhaps…

    These two growing, excited companies are perhaps in our future.

    Keep in mind that the judicial support for the merger happened despite the current administration’s opposition. “Sad.”

    Will media access get more expensive? Or will we pay the same but get less? One this is clear: this does not node well for adding a wider diversity of “voices” to the conversation.


    Transmedia – American Psycho film emails



    http://www.ralphbeliveau.com/the-american-psy…st-email-entries/ ‎

    AmPsycho 2000 Emails

    You can read all of them here

    These are the Am2000 Emails sent to date, in the order they were recieved. Enjoy! Also, these are ALL the emails and associated graphics, so it may take a moment to load! I may break them down individually later, I just don’t have the time right now, but wanted to get them up for you…

    Wed 3/15/00 11:48 AMSubject: Take OffMy problem came from being a young man with a lot of money in Manhattan. As a direct result of my position and perceived good fortune, the word NO did not apply to me. Can I have this suit, this phone, this girl? YES. This drug, this apartment, this deal? YES! This car, this table, this stretch of oceanfront? YES! Could I change the boundaries that define society? Could I create my own set of rules and live by them? YES. YES! Everything but NO! Was I searching all this time for that someone who would finally say NO to me?…

    (For the rest go to

    http://www.ralphbeliveau.com/the-american-psy…st-email-entries/ ‎)