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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. There's a huge leap from "Terrorists did something awful" to "Enslave women, murder Catholics, gays, etc., etc." in this country. I can't rule it out as something that could happen, but not in the span of a single presidency. It's a matter of decades. People need to be driven toward religious fundamentalist in enormous numbers, and that's not something that happens at the flick of a switch.
  2. There's no way that a country that is 50%+ weakly or not at all affiliated with religion (over 20% are unaffiliated with any religion in the U.S., and you can bet that a significant portion of the 47% of people who claim in a Pew poll that they attend church once a week are fudging the truth and/or do so out of habit/social reasons rather than deep religious conviction, and even fewer are what we would consider fundamentalists) would suddenly be swept into theocracy with the above parameters. Martial law fueled by paranoia, yes, sure. But a theocracy leveraging off of that just can't happen, realistically, in the scenario presented on the TV show. They throw in the low birth rate and so on to try and justify it, but this is something that would take decades to sort out. In this regards, I think Children of Men is a more realistic depiction of the real chaos that would happen if birth rates spiraled down precipitously.
  3. That's another Turtledove series.
  4. And I. I definitely think the South _could_ have won the Civil War and maintained its independence in the short term, if you stack the dack enough in the South's favor. Turtledove obviusly worked that out pretty well, and I think the result therein is plausible. It's everything else, this idea of the Confederate States of America maintaining sovereignty for a century and a half, that seems insurmountable... but if they get some very clever historians to provide advice, maybe they can work it out. Or, you know, maybe they don't bother. The world of The Handmaid's Tale TV series makes nearly zero sense, because they wanted to show the before and the after as being very close together rather than a long-term change. The United States will not become a Christian fundamentalist dystopia inside of just a few years, it's a matter of decades. And yet if one is willing to suspend disbelief, the series is an excellent and thought-provoking drama. So perhaps Confederate can get away with not going too far into detail, and just saying, "Look, here's the premise, the important part is what's happening now."
  5. Certainly it can be explored without titillation, although I'm not sure a story about conflict can be told without the conflict tying to exploitation or oppression somewhere. Unless you mean CONFEDERATE will be exploiting black actors/writers/directors? I find it incredibly hard to imagine that any human event in history was inevitable, but I certainly know that Shelby Foote noted that the North fought with an arm essentially behind its back, and the number of Northern regiments which never got involved in the hostilties is substantial.
  6. There's really no such thing as a good story about people that doesn't feature some kind of conflict. A story that's about humanity's ills are going to often have to have oppression of someone, somewhere, as a mechanism to explore that.
  7. I'm not sure what's apocryphal about Special Order 191. There's maybe some dispute about how important it was, and a quick Google even shows lengthy arguments insisting it had been a Confederate ruse of war, deliberately placed in the hands of the Union, that somehow went wrong. But apocryphal, that's not something I've heard before. Haven't read Turtledove, but I'm going to guess that they're going to end up with a very different conception of what happened after that turning point. From what I've heard, his efforts to shoe-horn the alternate history to roughly correspond with (but be different from) the major events and wars of the first half of the 20th century was pretty strained. And to be fair, I think they're going to have a pretty hard time coming up with a genuinely recognizable world if they do it legitimately. A North America with a split between the U.S. and Confederacy is going to end up likely playing very different roles in conflicts that developed in Europe and Asia... I can fully understand why they're starting with writers to figure out the main thrust of the present story and the rough shape of the world, but they're going to need a historian or three to help them with the fine details.
  8. I think the roll out is really an HBO PR issue. I agree that it seems to have been a bit premature, but I think Fez is right that this was mostly aimed at the industry to see who wanted to join in. Still, were I them, I'd have sat on it for three-four months more while something more than the thin sketch of the idea was available, and maybe even get some directors or actors attached who could help carry the burden of explaining why they were involved and why they think this is a great idea. Right now it's vague enough that anyone can construe it to be anything they want.
  9. It specifically mentioned people in the thrall of the conglomerates. Sounds like slaves are going to be main characters even from that brief sketch.
  10. I'm missing where all the ideas have been floated. Read the Vulture piece. There's practically nothing. A movie script that they're basically going to harvest for the foundation premise but which will be vastly more iterated and complicated.
  11. Benioff, Weiss, and the Spellmans' respond to the backlash. Personally, I think they make reasonable points -- especially the fact that people are jumping the gun before they even have... well, anything beyond the very basic sketch of the concept. The Spellmans are involved from the ground floor. There's nothing in what little we have that says it's the story about "slaveowning rich people" any more than it's the story of every other group of people that it mentions, because right now there really isn't a story, just a concept for a TV series that basically says "We're going to come up with some sort of story about a cross-section of the societies of two nations in which one of them practices slavery." Anyone who knows anything about my views of the faults of Game of Thrones knows that I do not think Weiss and Benioff always execute things well, and sometimes I think their instincts have been shown to occasionaly be awful. I stopped watching GoT two seasons back, I don't intend to watch it again. I doubt I will watch this show because of my views. But the outrage -- especially some of the outrage that has verged on calling the Spellmans race traitors (they deleted their Twitter accounts due to the flood of abuse they got) -- is simply foolish. Dubiousness? Sure. But if this isn't the ultimate "wait and see", I don't know what is.
  12. We've made a couple of backend tweaks that seem to have reduced server load substantially... but there's the niggling problem that sometimes it also leads to the database getting quite backed up for no obvious reason. We're monitoring it and trying to fix the problem as it happens, but it may take a day or two to sort out the precise solution.
  13. We are definitely aware of the issue after the first episode aired, and will try to sort it out soon. Unfortunately we are not at home and have not had time to work on the problem. Bear with us a couple of days and we'll with on tuning the system further.
  14. Apologies for the down time last night, folks. We're in the process of gearing up for season 7, and a change we made last night ended up having the inadvertent result of making the forum's DB unreachable by the forum. We've now corrected the problem. So far as I can see, no data has been lost.
  15. Book spoiler discussion of the show goes here, for those who want to discuss the episode in relation to the books, and with reference to spoilers from them. This topic should open automatically around the start of airing.