October 2021

Writer market

Energy prices push up oil and gas stocks and weigh on the economy [Energy]

By DAMIAN J. TROISE Business Writer AP

Energy prices are skyrocketing in 2021 and oil and gas stocks are clearly the winners, but the losers may well turn out to be businesses and consumers.

The energy sector has far outpaced the broader market in 2021. Energy stocks on the S&P 500 are up more than 50%, compared to a gain of around 20% for the overall index. Devon Energy, Marathon Oil and Occidental Petroleum all more than doubled in value this year.

As energy stocks reap the rewards of high demand and lagging supply, other sectors of the economy are finding it harder to cope.

Soaring oil and gas prices add to broader inflationary pressures that are choking businesses and driving up costs. A wide variety of manufacturers find it more expensive to speed up their operations as energy costs rise. Airlines are being penalized by rising jet fuel costs as they attempt to rebuild profits. Consumers in the United States and around the world are facing increased pressure on their wallets due to rising energy costs.

Fertilizer maker CF Industries briefly shut down operations at two UK facilities in September due to high natural gas prices. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian warned investors earlier in October that fuel prices will hurt its ability to remain profitable until the end of the year. He expects a “modest” loss in the fourth quarter.

Consumers are already paying more for goods as businesses experience higher fuel and raw material costs and supply chain disruptions. More worrying for some analysts is what happens if people have to cut back on spending in order to pay for higher gas and home heating costs. Economic recovery depends on continued consumer spending, but higher energy costs could mean less discretionary spending on services, travel and goods.

“At this point, the US consumer has been able to withstand rising energy prices,” said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors. “However, there is evidence that consumers are turning to credit cards to pay for the rising costs of basic necessities, including energy.”

Gas prices are posted at a station on Thursday, September 2, 2021, near the Space Needle in Seattle. Energy prices are skyrocketing in 2021 and oil and gas stocks are clearly the winners, but the losers may well turn out to be businesses and consumers. The energy sector has far surpassed the broader market in 2021. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

The Energy Information Administration expects American households to see a 30% increase in their spending on natural gas this winter and 43% more on fuel oil. Americans are already getting pinched at the pumps, where average gasoline prices are up about 56% from a year ago, according to AAA.

Europe faces a natural gas crisis as winter approaches with insufficient supplies to meet demand. China also faces shortages and electricity is already rationed to industries in some places and a manufacturing slowdown there could potentially mean even higher prices for raw materials and consumer goods on a scale. global.

The disconnect between energy supply and demand is likely to persist, analysts say. OPEC and other suppliers remain cautious about increasing oil production and it is probably too late to increase natural gas supplies before winter. This will likely continue to support energy stocks as the big winners in the economy.

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Fiction publisher

Abdulrazak Gurnah: the tale of truth

Until recently Abdulrazak Gurnah, professor of English and postcolonial literatures at the University of Kent in Canterbury, had received little media attention other than a brief mention in articles about refugees. .

As a refugee who arrived in England from Zanzibar in 1968, and as a novelist who wrote about refugees and immigrants from East Africa, Gurnah was sometimes mentioned in newspaper articles on asylum and the migration. After the 2016 Brexit referendum and this A notorious anti-immigrant British Independence Party poster, his name was mentioned among other writers who championed a less insular worldview. And after the Windrush scandal, when the children of Caribbean migrants who came to the UK decades ago were asked to provide documents to prove their right to live in Britain, Gurnah’s opinion was sought. He was, after all, a refugee himself.

Fast forward to October 3 of this year, and Gurnah was conspicuous by his absence on a Guardian reading list compiled by well-known writers of color. This list was supposed to recommend little-known fictions and to encourage the informed public to orient themselves towards writings of black authors which “deserve to be beside the classics”. Longtime Gurnah editor Alexandra Pringle tweeted with disappointment: “The rewrite of the canon unfolds as always without any mention of Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose consistently superb novels have for years been telling stories about the winds of politics, trade, war and love that blow on people across continents. She added: “After 20 years of publishing it and keeping the faith that its time will come, hope is starting to fly.”

Four days after this snub, Gurnah received the Nobel Prize for Literature. In a flash the world changed – for 73-year-old Gurnah; for Pringle; for the publisher of Gurnah Bloomsbury, and for the ten novels that Gurnah has written over the past 41 years, some of which, according to the author, were probably out of print.

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Seemingly oblivious to the irony of his post-Nobel recognition of Gurnah, Hari Kunzru, one of the writers who failed to pick the new literary winner for the Guardian list, tweeted congratulations to the “quiet pillar of the London book scene”.

Obviously, Gurnah couldn’t be ignored anymore, and neither would he. The Nobel is a great prize in every way. Gurnah has won £ 840,000 in cash prizes and the world as a potential reader. His novels will be rushing to bookstores everywhere, bearing the golden words “by the Nobel Prize-winning author” on the cover. He will be profiled and interviewed and invited to give opening speeches. Watch out for the national congratulatory ceremonies in Tanzania, whose president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, was, like Gurnah, born in Zanzibar before the island was incorporated in 1964 into Tanzania.

The eyes of the world are on Gurnah, as the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in more than a decade, and the first non-white writer from Africa to win the prize in almost 30 years. He is only the second black African writer to win the Nobel Prize, after Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka in 1986.

Gurnah’s new celebrity status is undeniable, but is anyone ready to pay attention to her distinctive literary voice? Does anyone listen to what they are saying – the far-sighted, compassionate and relentlessly truthful message that they have conveyed for decades? This message is simple: the migrant is Everyman, neither better nor worse.

“Pilgrims’ path”

Her work is marked by a low-key focus on those under the radar – operating room attendants, canteen workers, shopkeepers, housewives and teachers keeping themselves somewhat united in the Great. Post-imperial Brittany. They are mostly people of color – asylum seekers, refugees, second or third generation immigrants – and they are mainly from East Africa. As they struggle to build a life in a Britain continually rocked by spasms of racial antagonism, many of Gurnah’s characters echo the puzzled wonder of theater director Daud in his 1988 novel “Pilgrims”. Way ”.

In the former colonies, Muse Daud, who arrived in Britain in the 1970s from Tanzania as a student, there was an “optimism about England which he found embarrassing … They had done some good work, he thought, those who had gone to take up the torch of wisdom and learning from the millions of dark people in Africa. They had left a whole greedy age group for the land that had produced their teachers. Like many immigrants, Daud is reluctant, unable even, to set the record straight, choosing silence as the least disorienting option until his love for an English nursing student coaxes his story.

Silence – when confronted with overt racism as well as the parallel, secretive but categorical rejection of polite society – is a constant theme in Gurnah’s novels. Daud is silent. The same goes for Abbas, engineer and master of the house, in ‘The Last Gift’. And the same goes for the anonymous narrator of ‘Admiring Silence’. Other constants in Gurnah’s novels include the unspoken pain of displacement; cultural and racial barriers to integration; the bitter bowl of sorrows engulfed during all yesterday and today in the new home; and, finally, the excruciating hesitation as to whether it will ever be possible to describe Britain as home. If not, where could the “house” be?

Gurnah explores the legacy of European colonialism. Her second novel, ‘Paradise’, shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, travels slowly through East Africa disturbed by the German presence. The violence and racism of German colonialism is also featured in his latest book, “Afterlives,” which was published in 2020.

Literary right shooter

Gurnah is a writer of conviction, a courageous storyteller who does not follow literary fashions but the life of his poor and invisible army of characters. He started hitting the drums for issues that could be lumped under the Black Lives Matter banner long before they became mainstream. But he did it in such a stoic and blunt manner that he cannot be considered fashionable, nor appropriate as the chronicler of the cause. He’s relentless in his scrutiny of the most unpleasant facts about his characters, their personal habits, and their way of life (Daud, for example, has a squalid and rotten location in Canterbury, which could thwart any attempt to clean him up – even if he had bothered to try.)

In light of this, it’s hardly a revelation that Pringle, the editor-in-chief of Gurnah, acknowledges her struggle to generate interest in her work. “He has always played an important role in the study of post-colonial literature,” she wrote. “But it can be difficult to face a middle-aged mid-career writer, and especially a subtly subtle writer like Gurnah. It’s only natural that the press, business, publishers and readers want the young and the new and splash.

The Nobel committee quote noted Gurnah’s “uncompromising and passionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the plight of the refugee in the chasm between cultures and continents.”

“Uncompromising” here is an understatement for the truthful, literary right shooter. Gurnah draws verbal images of immigrants unlike those adopted by both the left and the right of the political spectrum. The immigrants in his novels are neither particularly beautiful, nor moral, nor gifted. Nor are they particularly ugly, debauched, or inexperienced. They are as adorable and as imperfect as anyone, of any race, ethnicity or nationality. Readers may not like all of Gurnah’s characters, but they will recognize them as real people. By making the migrant a genuinely ordinary person, Gurnah sets a milestone and establishes humanity as the basis of respect.

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Book creator

New DC Gods movie canceled due to Snyder cut, director says

Ava DuVernay strongly implies that Warner Bros. has canceled his film, New Gods, due to narrative conflicts with Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Writer and director Ava DuVernay strongly suggests that Warner Bros. canceled his film DCEU, New Gods, due to narrative conflicts with Zack Snyder Justice League. The film was first announced by the studio in 2018 and would have followed the titular characters of the same name, who debuted on the pages of DC Comics in 1971. Coincidentally, the New Gods share the same creator – legend from the comic book industry, Jack Kirby – like Marvel’s Eternals. Although the New Gods and the Eternals exist in separate continuities belonging to two rival societies, the books shared many thematic and aesthetic similarities, such as the titular characters of both franchises comprising an immortal race of divine beings.

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. announced earlier this year that DuVernay’s New Gods would not advance to the studio. Although no explicit reason was given at the time, some have speculated that the narrative overlap between New Gods and Zack Snyder Justice League may have played a role in the abrupt cancellation of the first. Before DuVernay and Tom King could finish writing the script, Snyder had already incorporated many key aspects of New Gods’ lore in her new cut of Justice League including mother boxes, the anti-life equation and – arguably the most famous new god – Darkseid.

Related: Justice League: What Is Darkseid’s Anti-Life Symbol In Snyder’s Cup

DuVernay may have subtly confirmed this theory in a recent interview with the Radio Andy show (via SiriusXM). She says Warner Bros. “chopped” New Gods “based on some of the things that were going on with another movie in this world.” At the time of writing, Zack Snyder Justice League is the only DCEU film to have addressed New Gods lore to a substantial extent. Thus, it is highly likely that the “another movie” it refers to Snyder. Check out the clip below:

Despite New Gods’ cancellation, Warner Bros. has made it clear that the project will remain in the hands of DuVernay and Kings if it were to proceed in the future. It appears the studio is currently focused on crafting their most iconic heroes (as evidenced by the upcoming list of Batman, The Flash, and Aquaman-centric projects) before expanding into their more esoteric cosmic lore. Ideally, the duo would return if the studio chooses to continue the New Gods in the future.

However, the studio may have dodged a bullet by removing New Gods. Criticism embargo for upcoming Marvel Studios film Eternals recently lifted, which could become the MCU’s first “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Given the similar subject matter between the two franchises, it’s possible that Jack Kirby’s mythical sci-fi epics were just too hard to adapt for the film. Warner Bros. also showed no interest in pursuing Zack Snyder’s vision for the DC Universe, so it makes sense that the Snyder Cut was a key reason behind New Gods get canceled. Either way, given the work DuVernay and King have already put into the project, hopefully the movie will someday come to fruition.

More: New Gods: Every Confirmed Character That Would Have Appeared

Source: SiriusXM

  • The Batman (2022)Release date: 04 March 2022
  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release Date: May 20, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release Date: Jul 29, 2022
  • Lightning (2022)Release date: November 04, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release Date: December 16, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: June 02, 2023

everlasting rotten tomatoes

Eternals’ Rotten Tomatoes Score struggles to stay fresh

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Reading and writing

We need a program change – Technical

One thing that makes Tech unique among other higher education institutions is its core STEM-focused curriculum across all of its 36 majors on offer.

According to the Registrar’s website, general education at Tech is designed to produce students “mathematically, scientifically and technically competent; competent in information retrieval; know how to read, write and present; and literate in the use of technology.

This means that every student, regardless of their specialty, will take a combination of lab science, math classes, computer science, health, and a little English and humanities to satisfy their genes.

While these requirements are excellent as they expose students to a range of different disciplines, what technology lacks in its general education is the ethical and global context to which these disciplines fall, which would be done through ‘a compulsory ethics course and either a course focusing on the language or cultures of the world for each major.

While it is extreme to require a modern language for every major, especially with the heavy pre-existing course load and rigor that come with pursuing a technology degree, it would still make sense for the Institute to require some sort cultural literacy or a world-oriented class to expand students’ worldview.

For example, if students wish to choose Russian as their language or culture of choice to meet the requirement, students can either take a Traditional Russian course or choose to take a Russian Literature or Russian Foreign Policy course at the place.

By allowing students to choose the path they take for the requirement, it creates a more interesting individualized experience that makes the approach to international and cultural studies more accessible and less intimidating, which is ultimately more rewarding than forcing students to do so. students trying to learn songs. of a foreign language that does not interest them during a semester. Especially in the increasingly larger interconnected world we live in, it is crucial that students are exposed to different cultures to bring their understanding closer and become better citizens of the world leaving the Institute.

What is arguably more important to address, however, is Tech’s lack of ethical requirements across all of its majors.

For the importance of ethics in our society, there is no excuse that every major discipline does not include it somewhere in its curriculum.

It is irresponsible of this university to expect students to already understand the real repercussions and effects of the decisions they make in their respective fields as they enter the real world.

Especially in majors like aerospace and biomedical engineering, business, computer science, or any discipline involving laboratory or research work, it is imperative that students know the principles of right from wrong and the potential harms of their decisions. on the environment and communities around the world.

If Tech wants its graduates to be a positive change in the world, it must provide its students with a solid understanding of the principles that guide our decisions and actions. While it is important to acquire technical skills, understanding and being able to make informed decisions related to the overall or broader ethical context of a discipline is what will allow technology students to stand out and do even more. the difference in the real world.

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Writer market

The market will not save us: why I vote yes

In the weeks leading up to the November election, I saw the courage of white liberals shattering in real time. This year, residents of St. Paul have the chance to support a voting measure initiated, researched and led by communities of color, a policy that would fundamentally change the unbalanced relationship between landlords and tenants.

Voting yes to stabilizing rents should be an easy choice. But an influential fraction of white town planners muddled the conversation on Question 1, giving well-meaning whites the opportunity to turn unfounded caution – and a desperate desire to be “right” – into complicity with landlords and people. the richest in our city.

The “Yes in My Backyard” or YIMBY concept was created as an inclusive and tenant-friendly contrast to the “Not in my Backyard” or NIMBY movement which relied on whistle racism to oppose new housing in predominantly white neighborhoods. Sadly, a small handful of mostly white men have given too many YIMBYs a reason to vote no to this critical policy.

These white planners reassured potential voters that they are a good person, that they really care about tenants, that they really want rent stabilization, honestly, but not this one. They clearly identified the housing crisis and its devastating effects, but did not go further. If they tried to solve the problem, they would no longer have the right analysis. There would then be expectations, a responsibility beyond another article mourning the supply of housing.

None of these people have spent thousands of hours building a community, collecting signatures, standing fiercely towards the wealthiest people in town. The Keep St. Paul Home campaign did. The voting policy was created and implemented throughout the petition process and thus far by women, organizers of color and tenants. These three groups are seldom the driving force behind the biggest political conversations in our city. But in the whiter, more powerful circles, they’re often bothered. “How to get them to participate? “” How can we increase their participation in important election years? “” How do we know what resources they need? ” I found a simple answer to these questions: support their work and follow their leadership.

So it is both baffling and disappointing that when communities of color are engaged, when tenants have a significant issue to solve in an election, those same people turn into wheelchair housing experts with superior insight than those who have direct experience of housing instability.

Among the paternalistic criticisms of town planners is the hypothesis that the Keep St. Paul Home campaign has not done its homework. That the policy – which would limit annual rent increases to 3% for all units in the city – will have unintended consequences the authors weren’t smart enough to see.

Some of the most common concerns:

The ordinance does not exempt new housing.

This is because simply adding new homes at market price to our real estate ecosystem and waiting for the mythical trickle down effect is not enough. New homes can still be valued cost-effectively for developers, but by including them in the ordinance, it prevents out-of-control rental spikes. The homes in our community should be homes and not speculative investment products.

“The ordinance does not index rent increases to inflation.

Until workers’ incomes are indexed to inflation, why should landowners have such favorable profit controls attached to the price of their “product” (which also happens to be people’s homes). If there was a hypothetical inflation crisis, would we rather see tenants evicted across town as rents move away from wages, or banks and developers getting their hair cut while neighbors? stay at home?

“The ordinance does not include the abolition of the control of vacant posts. “

Control vacancy is when a unit is released from price control after a tenant leaves. It is also the genesis of all the horror stories about landlords in cities with stabilized rents leaving their properties to deteriorate to drive out tenants so that they can raise the rent. Deregulation is a tax incentive to neglect and cruelty.

Obviously, there are good reasons why none of these items are included in the ordinance: each has been used as a loophole for the benefit of homeowners.

What is really in conflict here are the two different frameworks of thought. Critics of YIMBY fear that the order does not offer enough deference and support to the market. Supporters and directly affected residents know that the market is the genesis of our current housing crisis and we must separate housing from the demands of profit. We have tried market-based solutions to deal with the housing supply and have only delved deeper into this crisis. It’s time to take a new approach.

The root of the opposition is as predictable as it is well funded: the Minnesota Multifamily Housing Association. Under the guise of the Sensible Housing Ballot Committee, they have raised nearly $ 4 million – the majority of which comes from outside the Twin Cities – for senders, dialers and canvassers. This is because no self-respecting politician or community leader would do their job for free, in shilling for the unlimited profits of those who already have all the money. That’s why it’s deeply baffling to see YIMBYs embrace their talking points, giving every white voter, college graduate, and homeowner the incentive moment they needed to shy away from the best chance at this year to shake things up on the housing crisis.

The YIMBYs do not see that one or the other position on rent stabilization undermines their position as “correct on housing”. In support of this, they should have shed their merchant mantras and found themselves among the socialists and tenants, all the resources of the real estate industry were deployed against them, telling them they were wrong. In opposition, they tried to have it both ways and it cost them their credibility. The real estate industry will be happy to use and lose them and the tenants will remain helpless as before.

Landlords have inherent power over tenants. Their financial control over a person’s housing means that by exercising their right to freedom of expression, a tenant can endanger the safety and security of their housing. People are tired of living their lives under threat. People are no longer happy with a housing strategy that concentrates profits on the wealthiest citizens of the community. People are ready to call the housing industry the bluff. We have to be brave enough to change the paradigm. The market will not save us, we have to save ourselves.

Editor’s Note: Find your polling station and sample ballot for the November 2 election on the MN Secretary of State’s website

As indicated in our “About” section: The views, opinions and positions expressed by each author – and those providing comments – are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the board of directors of or any other contributor to the site. Additionally, the editor worked with the author of this article after publication to remove a few phrases and word choices that had offended some readers, while leaving the main points and arguments of the article intact.

Signage “Keep St Paul at home: vote yes on November 2 for stabilization of rents”

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Fiction publisher

Astra Publishing House Reaches For The Stars

The Astra Publishing House was started in early 2020 by Thinkingdom Media Group, a Beijing-based publishing conglomerate, as that rare thing: a new, literary-minded, well-funded publishing house in the United States. Thinkingdom already has a literary pedigree in China, having published a stable of prestigious foreign writers including Paulo Coelho, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami and Zadie Smith, and made headlines in 2011 when it reportedly paid $ 1 million. for the rights in Chinese of Gabriel García Márquez A hundred years of loneliness.

The first hires at Astra signaled that Thinkingdom intended to extend this literary philosophy to the United States. Ben Schrank has been appointed editor and chief operating officer, after serving as president and editor of Henry Holt; Alessandra Bastagli, previously editor-in-chief at HarperCollins, Dey Street, has been hired as editorial director; and Maria Russo left her post as New York Timeschildren’s book publisher to oversee Astra’s MineditionUS, an imprint of children’s books. Many more personalities from New York publishing circles have been hired, ranging from bold established names like children’s book expert Leonard Marcus, who serves as editor for the group’s children’s prints, to new ones. newcomers like Danny Vazquez, now editor at Astra House, and Deborah Ghim, associate editor at Astra House, both of whom previously worked at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

“We’ve been on a rapid growth curve,” Schrank said. “We have around 40 employees now and should reach 50 by the end of the year.” This will cover Astra House adult printing, as well as the Astra Books for Young Readers division, which was only established in September and run by editorial director Rebecca Davis. The new division brings together the company’s various editions of children’s books, including Astra Young Readers; Calkins Creek; Hippo Park, an imprint run by publishing veteran Jill Davis; Kane press; MineditionUS; and Wordsong.

“Astra Publishing House now has six very special editions of children’s books that cover books for all ages and interests of children,” said Schrank, “hardback books for babies and toddlers and children’s books. pictures, non-fiction and history, poetry, college and young adult books The Children’s Division begins with a list of 1,000 children’s books, from the acquisition of Kane Press by Thinkingdom in 2016 and its 2019 merger with Boyds Mills Press, Wordsong and Calkins Creek.

Schrank described the publishing house as a start-up and said that all success depends on hiring the right people. “The idea is to hire someone who has a strong editorial point of view, give them a role and see what comes out of it,” he explained.

Astra House’s first books have already been published, and they are eclectic: Jerusalem Beach, by Israeli writer Iddo Geffen, a collection of short stories translated from Hebrew; Dreaming of you by Melissa Lozada-Oliva, a verse novel about the attempt to resuscitate the late singer Quintanilla Selena; and Wrecked mountain by Saumya Roy, a non-fiction narrative book about garbage collectors in Mumbai.

Astra House’s initial roster had an early chance. The poem “Crossing Half of China to Fuck You” by Chinese author Yu Xiuhua (from his collection of poetry and essays The moonlight rests on my left palm, published by Astra House), has gone viral. Then Derecka Purnell, author of Become abolitionists, about the future of policing and imprisonment in the United States, appeared on Comedy Central The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in September.

“To get this platform to talk about a new book is the dream,” said Schrank.

To show support for the author, Astra went so far as to print softcover editions for the book that were given to prisons for free, as prisons do not allow hardcover books.

Astra House’s adult roster will be equal parts fiction, non-fiction and poetry, with half translated and the other half English, Schrank said, noting that it will have more of an international focus than the lists of typical American homes. To support this, the company publishes an international literary quarterly, Astra Magazine, with Nadja Spiegelman, former online editor of Paris review, as editor-in-chief. The first issue will be released in spring 2022.

Patrizia van Daalen, who lives in Berlin and was previously Publishing Director of Penguin Random House China, represents the company overseas, selling the rights, researching and serving as an international liaison.

Schrank stressed that the company’s success will depend on its employees, and said that a lesson he learned from a long and varied career in publishing is that a manager’s job is to hire people. experts, then give them autonomy. For example, he credits Astra’s production manager, Lisa Taylor, for keeping the company, which is distributed by Penguin Random House, without supply chain issues – and he credits the management of l to have listened. “I want Astra to be a place where someone can be whole,” Schrank said.

One question hanging over the house is whether or not it is subject to its owner’s censorship in China. Schrank said that’s not a problem at all. “We have full editorial freedom,” he added.

Schrank said 2022 will see the entire publishing group release 100 new titles, with modest print runs. “We will be making pounds by the thousands and not by the hundreds of thousands,” he noted, stressing – despite the accelerating wave of recruitment – the need for moderate and sustainable growth. “We don’t want to over-publish. The thing about editing is, it’s not like building a dot-com business, where one year you have nothing and the next you explode. We want to earn the agent’s trust and respect, the bookseller’s trust and respect, and the industry’s trust and respect. Everyone understands that publishing is a slow growing business. Fortunately, we’ve had the freedom and the time to do it in the way we think is the best. “

A version of this article appeared in the 01/11/2021 issue of Editors Weekly under the title: Astra Reaches For The Stars

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Reading and writing

A Marxist Reading List and the Holiness of Fall

I find the glimmers of intelligence shining among the Conservatives touching. There is in them a pathos of the kind one might find in a particularly stupid child who, for the first time in his life, offers an intelligent response in class, arousing tender and fleeting hopes among his classmates. and his teachers of what might still be, given the miraculous intervention of God – before, inevitably, he falls back into a pig stupidity.

(“What are you talking about, Harris?” Croaks my mother, who pauses to look over my shoulder at my laptop screen as she exits the door, a crooked “joint” hanging over my shoulder. of her gnarled lip – she was prescribed “medical marijuana” as a treatment for her many ailments, mainly glaucoma.

I “continue” on this subject: the way some conservative commentators, sometimes, have understood that corporate capitalism hates them and wants to destroy them; that the truest thing ever written about the nature of capitalism was that of Karl Marx, who noted that under the rule of capital “all that is solid melts in the air, all that is holy is profaned” ; that the “progressivism” and the “liberalism” they complain about are 100% natural and even inevitable cultural effects (the old Marxists would say “superstructural”) of the type of capitalism (the old Marxists would call it “) under which we operate; and that any engagement with the disease of our time must be concerned, first and lastly, with a critique of the logic of contemporary capitalism, a critique based to some extent on the work of thinkers who have tended to be classified as “leftists.” “(In truth, the left-right distinction seems to have lost its usefulness now, nearly 250 years after its inception.)

Meanwhile, here at the farm, Elder Aiden suggests that we begin discussing excerpts from Das Capital during our weekly “reading groups” and finally move on to Jameson’s The cultural logic of late capitalism, some of the most “spicy” essays in Althusser’s book Lenin and philosophy, Adorno Negative dialectic, Horkheimer Critique of instrumental reason, Engels’ The origin of the family, private property and the State, and Voloshinov Marxism and the philosophy of language.

We could well echo his suggestion, thus contributing to the “political realignment” we have read so much about.


Even more than Great Lent, our severe Russian Orthodox Easter, autumn is the moment when my thoughts particularly drift towards the sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross. The landscape of the Midwest, as we enter November, must remind the faithful of the melting of flesh to bone, the revelation through time of our essential evanescence. Just like at the end of fall the earth begins to show its skeleton, so each of us, at that time, when we are done walking the acre of earth time that God has allotted to us – O skinny acre, closed on each side by infinity! – stand naked before the Judgment Seat.

O desolation of the most instructive late autumn! I have read the Word of God in so many things in this dark time: in the flight of the last thistle of the season, carried by the north winds; in the patterns of migrating geese engraved on the sky; in the buzz of Elder Aiden’s still, promising sips of restorative “moonlight” on freezing winter nights; in the gloomy urine stream from my penis during Mother’s nocturnal manipulations of a Harris prostate who served me well for nearly 70 years but who is, alas, ultimately human, far too human; in the low hills of Indiana which, against a gloomy sky, vividly in the mind images of GOLGOTHA on the holy and terrible day.

Creation, to quote Saint Porphyry, is a light veil thrown over the book of his doctrine, and we must be attentive to each letter.


The saga of Daughter’s college admissions process continues. This week I received a cheerful email from the head of the college placement office at his boarding school, informing me that his daughter will be applying, with the school’s blessing, to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Columbia, and warning me of the significant cost that the filing of these requests will bring me. And so a moment so dreaded, which I have avoided, inevitably draws near: this moment when I will have to access Girl’s entry into a Western elite that I hate, or, in a way, stands in her way. .

I collect my thoughts on this topic, meditating and praying. When do the prerogatives of paternity end? Is the fatherly discipline – some might even say the violence – with which I once curtailed the nocturnal adolescent “freedoms” that my daughter took with her body appropriate in this very different situation, and now that she is almost 18? years ?

I am sure that the frank advice of my wonderful Russian priest, Father Nicodemus, will help me clarify my thinking on this issue.

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Writer market

Why Scientific Games shares fell 15.6% on Thursday

What happened

Game industry supplier actions Scientific games (NASDAQ: SGMS) fell as much as 15.6% in trading on Thursday after announcing the sale of part of its business. Shares ended the day down 8%.

So what

Brookfield Business Partners agreed to purchase Scientific Games’ lottery business for $ 6.05 billion, including $ 5.825 billion in cash and up to $ 225 million in earn-outs based on targets for earnings before interest, taxes , depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2022 and 2023. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

Image source: Getty Images.

This is another unwinding of Scientific Games’ business following the September announcement of the sale of sports betting company OpenBet for $ 1.2 billion to Effort Group.

Scientific Games has spent years gaining a leading position in the gambling and lottery market, but has incurred approximately $ 9 billion in debt to do so. Now he is unwinding part of the business in order to pay off the debt and hopefully get back to profitability.

SGMS Revenue Graph (TTM)

SGMS Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

Investors may fear today that after these sales, there is not enough left to justify the valuation of the company.

Now what

Today’s movement needs to be put in perspective. Over the past year, Scientific Games shares have risen 158%, even after today’s decline. Thus, investors had become more optimistic about the company even before these sales took place. Management wants to be a “global, cross-platform gaming company,” and that likely means more digital offerings as online gaming grows. It’s a risky strategy, but an improved balance sheet and lean business could allow Scientific Games to once again become a growth company in gambling.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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The best-selling books of the week

Reading room

Top-selling New Zealand books this week, as recorded by Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list and described by Steve Braunias


1 In Italy, with love by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $ 34.99)

Incredible news item from Italy this week: Richard Gere will testify against far-right leader Matteo Salvini, on trial for having blocked the arrival of a migrant rescue ship. Salvini banned the NGO Open Arms ship from docking on an island in Sicily as part of his strict immigration policy. The migrants were trapped on board for 19 days in poor sanitary conditions; some have thrown themselves overboard in desperation. Gere boarded the ship in solidarity with the 147 stranded migrants. Good guy, great actor (American Gigolo, Internal Affairs).

2 She is a killer by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press, $ 30)

She is a killer is such a captivating page turner that 200 pages flocked to me before I even knew it. And the action hadn’t even started yet. It’s no small feat to keep a reader’s attention on 399 pages, but McDougall does just that by cleverly removing the tension and skillfully unfolding the narrative at a sneaky pace, all while keeping us on our toes. I never really knew where she was going to take us and it’s a thrilling thrill of a ride from start to finish “: from a rave review by Kiran Dass, published Thursday.

3 Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press, $ 35)

Well-known novel by well-known author Becky one thing or the other.

4 The last guests by JP Pomare (Hachette, $ 34.99)

Ngaio Marsh’s crime writing awards to be announced this weekend, and Pomaré’s previous novel Tell me lies (at number 10 on this week’s list) was shortlisted for Best Mystery Novel, alongside The Murder Club by Nikki Crutchley, Strands by Brannavan Gnanalingam, The counting stick by Carl Nixon and Secrets of strangers by Charity Norman. Good luck to all writers, especially JP: this guy writes a better detective novel by far than any living New Zealand novelist.

5 Loop tracks by Sue Orr (Victoria University Press, $ 35)

Loop tracks sprouted just afternoon on a Friday, late 2016, at a fancy Japanese restaurant in Auckland. We were old friends having a rare catch-up… We talked about the shame and the rage and deception of our own teenage years, how girls in school sometimes disappeared, without explanation, for six months… Someone has mentioned 1978, when politicians shut down abortion clinics in New Zealand and the girls had to fly to Australia for legal and safe dismissals. Then a friend of mine said this. “I had to fly to Sydney. The plane was delayed on the tarmac. For hours.’ This is how a novel begins: a tingling in the spine, like a desperate electric short-circuit to the earth ”: from an essay on the author’s origins, published Wednesday.

6 Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Victoria University Press, $ 35)

7 Double helix by Eileen Merriman (Penguin Random House, $ 36)


8 Insect week by Airini Beautrais (Victoria University Press, $ 30)

9 The author’s cut by Owen Marshall (Penguin Random House, $ 36)

ten Tell me lies by JP Pomaré (Hachette, $ 29.99)


1 Lost and found by Toni Street (Allen & Unwin, $ 36.99)

The author, with the help of his daughters, recently published a “hilarious” Covid-parody of “The Sound of Music” on Instagram.

2 salad by Margo Flanagan & Rosa Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, $ 45)

3 Sonny bill williams by Sonny Bill Williams and Alan Duff (Hachette, $ 49.99)

“Someone will write an authorized biography on SBW,” wrote a visionary in the Herald, “and it’s going to be a grotesque piece of buffoonery.”

4 Plate by Sarah Tuck (McKenzie Publishing, $ 45)

5 Dan Carter 1598 by Dan Carter (Upstart Press, $ 69.99)

“Good old Dan wrote a book. Well he helped write a book and his editor is delighted to announce that he is imminent. Richie McCaw, another cutie, wrote an introduction. Which reminds me. In my DomPost days I had a lot to do with TV commercials, oh how we loved to chat, and one of them remembered going to a hotel to interview Richie. His bedroom door was open and he shouted a cordial greeting followed by a Do come in, and there he was, bathroom door open, just at the last jerk point, then it’s a chase of water, and he comes straight out, brutally offering his hand. Ahh, I love this story “: from a” review “by Linda Burgess, in good old reading room.

6 Aroha by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin Random House, $ 30)

7 After Tampa by Abbas Nazari (Allen & Unwin, $ 36.99)

8 Steve Hansen: The Legacy by Gregor Paul (HarperCollins, $ 49.99)

9 Tikanga by Keri Opai (Upstart Press, $ 39.99)

Editor’s blurb: “The book we have all needed for decades – a unique explanation of the Maori world for Pākehā and for Maori wanting to learn more about tikanga. With simple lucidity and great expertise, Keri Opai shares the spirit and meaning of what it is to be a Maori in the 21st century, dispelling myths and misconceptions and providing a solid introduction to the Maori way of life. “

ten How to take a breath by Tania Clifton-Smith (Penguin Random House, $ 30)

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The scariest patriot of all

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You’ve read about Captain America and his less successful patriotic compatriots. You’ve heard of Captain Battle, one of Cap’s less successful knockoffs. Now is the time for you to experience an even more obscure scam of our favorite Freedom Sentry: Yankee Doodle Jones!

Yankee and his sidekick, Dandy, made their debut in Yankee Comics # 1 in 1941. If you have seen Captain America: The First Avenger or are even vaguely familiar with Cap’s early days, Yankee’s origin story will feel oddly familiar. Yankee’s story, however, adds two unique elements: ableism and stupidity. (I deleted a potentially offensive word in the first panel; it’s not a problem in the picture.)


You could really post anything in the 1940s, eh.

Look, it’s one thing if you wanted your Franken-hero to be dead war veterans. I mean, it’s still scary and terrible and you should go to jail immediately. But take organs living and disabled veterans because, apparently, the only way they could be useful to society is to to die is a whole new level.

By the way, it turns out that Dr. Dead Scientist had a son, who was sort of allowed to watch this operation live and in person. Distraught, the kid injects himself with the remains of serum to become Dandy, Yankee’s sidekick, and avenge his father’s death. Nice, a two-for-one deal on bargain heroes!

From Yankee Comics # 1.  Yankee hits a Nazi.  Dandy, mourning his father, injects himself with serum.

This whole original plot is completed in about two pages. The rest of the story is about an old witch employed by the Nazis who uses voodoo dolls to strangle people with their own hair clippings. Yankee escapes this horrible curse by… whistling.

From Yankee Comics # 1.  Yankee Doodle Jones begins to choke.  Dandy tells him to whistle, and he does.
They don’t tell us what tune he’s hissing, but I think we can all guess it.

Is there some kind of superstition about how the whistle cancels voodoo that I don’t know? Has Yankee had a lip transplant and now he has special whistling powers?

Remember, this is only the first problem. There is more where it came from. It doesn’t get any better.

You can start the body count now

Issue 2’s plot involves a Nazi posing as an American doctor soliciting blood donations for a “bleeding sister democracy” overseas, possibly in England. Turns out the fake doctor was using the clinic to infect everyone with rabies, but he also just attacks people with rabid dogs? It’s not a very focused plan, is it?

From Yankee Comics # 1.  A man wearing a green skull mask lets his dogs loose on a crowd of people.
You should smile more. You are cute when you smile.

They beat the guy up by removing his mask like he’s a Scooby-Doo villain except Scooby-Doo has done a better job of setting up suspects. (The Nazi’s name, Hanfred Sapp, had never even been implied before. Too bad, because it’s a gloriously terrible name.) Yankee talks about medical aid for rabies victims, blithely ignoring the fact that ‘there is no cure for rabies. All these people are dead now. But at least Uncle Sam brings Dandy a chocolate cake.

(Uncle Sam exists in this comic, mostly to congratulate them on being such good Americans. And Dandy really loves chocolate cake. It’s a whole with him.)

From Yankee Comics # 2.  Uncle Sam praises Yankee Doodle Jones and Dandy.  Dandy takes a piece of cake from Sam's hand.
What’s going on with Uncle Sam’s right arm? Is he alright-ooh, cake!

This continues for two more issues (one of them featuring a dude running around setting the pilots on fire) before Yankee and Dandy are abruptly fired from the comics. Yankee Comics # 5 consists entirely of short joke comics – more like strips, really. There is a long letter on the front page about the importance of humor in helping people, especially soldiers, cope with the stress of war, which may explain the change. It’s a nice feeling. It would have been nicer if one of the jokes was really funny.

Yankee Doodle Jones struggled to find a home after leaving Yankee comics. He made only one appearance in Dynamic Comics # 8, which featured a reprint of Yankee Comics # 1. He kept the ‘intro to Yankee Doodle Jones’ start page at the start, which apparently did Comic vine think this is his real debut. I highly doubt it. Dynamic Comics # 8 was Probably published in November 1942, over a year later Yankee Comics # 1 was absoutely published.

After Dynamic, Yankee switched to Hello Pal Comics # 1, in which he and Dandy fail to stop a group of guys disguised as Robin Hood’s men from shooting arrows into the skulls of some visiting dignitaries. It’s graphic enough for a superhero comic, but not for a horror comic, which clearly should have been. It also features Yankee, dressed as a skeleton for a costume party, throwing a dude through a wall.

From Hello Pal Comics # 1.  Yankee Doodle Jones, disguised as a skeleton, throws a henchman through a wall.  Word

I know “rip” here is meant to be a sound effect, but since this guy’s legs have clearly come loose from his torso, I’m going to assume Yankee killed him and it really says RIP.

It was Yankee’s last original release. After that it was all reprints and editions collected. Who thought it was worth collecting? I do not know.

Who is responsible for this?

Quite a few people, in fact. Let’s start with the editors.

The original publisher of Yankee was Chesler. Founder Harry “A” Chesler (like Truman’s “S”, the middle initial means nothing) was one of the first to provide original content for comics, in the mid-1930s. Prior to that , the comics were mostly reprints of newspaper comics. So even though Yankee Doodle Jones is bad (and he’s so, so bad), without Chesler to show the viability of the comics, we may never have had decent superheroes – or, in fact, superhero at all.

Hello Pal Comics was published by Harvey Comics, probably best known for creating Richie Rich. Then Chesler brought it back to reprint the story of Yankee Comics # 3 in Bullseye Comics # 11 (but with a more pleasant coloring). Apparently, Chesler loaned Yankee to another publisher for a total of one issue. It’s really an indication of how much the industry has changed since the early days. Imagine Marvel canceling a book and then allowing DC to play with the characters in it!

As for the creator of Yankee, I’m honestly puzzled. I went to three different websites and got three different answers. Comic More, where I read the issues discussed here, says that Charles Sultan and “George Sultan” (maybe a pseudonym shared by Sultan and fellow artist George Tuska) created Yankee. The Public Domain Superhero Wiki Fandom credits Lou well. Comic Vine lists its creators as “none,” which I’m reasonably sure isn’t true. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that no one wanted to be associated with this, however.

Some points of interest on these options: according to Illustrated Classics: A Cultural History, 2nd Edition, Charles Sultan and Lou Fine were brothers-in-law. They may have worked together or exchanged ideas, formally or informally. Additionally, Lou Fine had a great influence on Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who created Captain America a few months before Yankee’s debut, and George Tuska is remembered for his iconic run on Iron Man in the 60s. So while one or both are responsible for Yankee Doodle Jones, at least they gave us some good superhero comics as well.

It should also be mentioned that Charles Sultan, as noted by David Hajdu in his book The plague of ten cents, was one of the countless creators driven out of comics during the purge in the 1950s. Whatever you think of Yankee Doodle Jones, losing her job because of a group of religious moralizers and greedy politicians of publicity is terrible. Fortunately he seems to have landed on his feet, find work as an artist and editor for various magazines. Fine also left the comics, moving to comics and advertising long before the backlash set in.

Will Yankee Doodle come back to town?

Yankee Doodle Jones would have performed much better as a monster in a horror comic, a dark humor take on the crisp, star-studded heroes that proliferated back then. A man with no name or past who endures horrific government experiments and becomes increasingly brutal until even his masters lose control, ending up in his sights as a “threat to democracy”, has much more makes sense that everything is going on here.

It wouldn’t have worked in the hyper-patriotic 1940s, of course, but it could work today. Imagine: a Nazi saboteur prowls the night, preparing to destroy the Allies’ last secret weapon. He takes a bomb out of his coat, ready to plant it and run away, when suddenly, out of the shadows, a strange hiss chills the night air. The Nazi turns around… his eyes widen… a threatening shadow falls on him… the Nazi cries… melt into black!

On second thought, that probably wouldn’t work either. But it wouldn’t work less than the original concept.

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