Wednesday News: No winds this winter, sexual assault at Dragon Con, Twitter’s white supremacists, and History of Literature podcast
Game of Thrones Publisher Denies Winds of Winter Release Date Rumor – There is a distinct possibility that the HBO series Game of Thrones will end before Winds of Winter even releases. A placeholder release date of March 2017 on Amazon France’s website created international anticipation, but neither George R.R. Martin nor Random House would attest to its validity. In fact, the statement provided by Random House suggests that Martin is not even finished with the novel, so it’s hard to imagine a publication date less than a year away:
“As his publisher, we support George R. R. Martin as he works hard to finish The Winds of Winter. Any on-sale dates currently listed online for the novel are incorrect. Once we have a publication date for The Winds of Winter, the world will know.” – Screen Rant
A woman was sexually assaulted during sci-fi event Dragon Con for the second year in a row – Note: if you do not want to read the details of the assault from the victim’s POV, click on the link below for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article rather than the link above.
Either way, it’s frustrating that the culture at these conventions is such that women can’t attend without a reasonable fear of sexual assault. In this case, the victim got a picture of the guy, which at least demonstrates the extent to which technology and social media can be utilized for justice. Although the underlying societal problems remain.
An Atlanta woman says she was sexually assaulted while watching a parade during Dragon Con.
The woman posted a photo on her Facebook page of a man who she says pressed his exposed genitals against her during the Saturday morning event, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. . . .
Organizers of the science-fiction event said the suspect has been identified, but police said the man has not yet been arrested. – Raw Story
Twitter has a white supremacist problem, claims new study – If you’ve spent much time on Twitter lately, the results of this George Washington University study may appall but not surprise you, but to see some of the study conclusions laid out should alert us all to the depth and extent of the problem. In fact, as I was reading the summary, I thought about this brilliant 2007 article from ColorLines on how the “insecurities of whiteness” are manifesting in “reactionary” ways on college campuses. However, the logic easily applies to what is happening in the broader culture. Among the GWU study’s findings (#3 is actually #8, but I can’t change the formatting below):
- Major American white nationalist movements on Twitter added about 22,000 followers since 2012, an increase of about 600%. The increase was driven in part by organized social media activism, organic growth in the adoption of social media by people interested in white nationalism, and, to some extent, the rise of organized trolling communities seeking to flood social media platforms with negative content, regardless of participants’ actual beliefs.
- The most popular theme among white nationalists on Twitter was the concept of “white genocide,” the notion that the “white race” is directly endangered by the increasing diversity of society. Social media activists tweeted hundreds of times per day using repetitive hashtags and slogans associated with this trope. . . .
- Small groups of users tweeting in concert at high volumes can amplify their effect, causing hashtags and content to trend in numbers significant enough to prompt mainstream media coverage. White nationalist sympathizers used this strategy in October 2015 with calls to boycott Star Wars: The Force Awakens as “anti-white.”1 Media coverage can lead to increased curiosity about extremist groups, feeding their social media success. – Digital Trends & GWU
The History of Literature Podcast Takes You on a Literary Journey: From Ancient Epics to Contemporary Classics – Despite the staid-sounding title of this podcast, Jacke Wilson is a relatively entertaining host and addresses some pretty interesting issues and questions.
Even before you start on a journey through the history of literature, you know some of the stops you’ll make on the way: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, Homer’s Iliadand Odyssey, Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, Joyce. And so it comes as no surprise that Jacke Wilson, creator and host of the History of Literature podcast (from ancient epics to contemporary classics – Android – RSS), has so far devoted whole episodes, and often more than one, to each of them. A self-described “amateur scholar,” Wilson aims with this show, which he launched last October, to take “a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.” – Open Culture