Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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About Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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    Blood-sucking Aristocrat
  • Birthday 12/15/1982

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    Dunedin, New Zealand

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  1. UK Politics: The Love Song of A. B. de Pfeffel Johnson

    If Corbyn hasn't shifted things, why is the centre of debate in this leadership contest so much to the Left of the 2015 one? It's got to the point where the Right of the party is reduced to supporting unthinkable policies, just to try and get rid of him. It's no longer a case of how best to manage austerity, it's taking opposition to austerity as the baseline. Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband would have never nationalised the railways, whereas now it's impossible to stand for Labour leader if you don't support rail nationalisation. As for the Tories, they themselves have toned down austerity policies: the debate *has* shifted. That in turn was always the flaw in the Blairite model - the centre ground shifts.
  2. 2016 Reading Self-Challenge

    August update: Bitter Seeds, by Ian Tregillis The Coldest War, by Ian Tregillis Necessary Evil, by Ian Tregillis Stormrider, by David Gemmell Handling the Undead, by John Ajvide Lindqvist The Core of the Sun, by Johanna Sinisalo Banewreaker, by Jacqueline Carey Godslayer, by Jacqueline Carey The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida Ten in August means seventy-four thus far for 2016. Still comfortably ahead of schedule, and only need six and a half books a month from now on to finish the challenge. Breaking down genre: Fantasy (including Historical Fantasy): 28 Crime Fiction: 7 Historical Fiction: 9 Science-fiction (including Alternate History): 16 Mainstream: 6 Horror: 7 Other (including non-fiction): 1 Breaking down author gender: Male: 47 Female: 26 Male/Female collaboration: 1
  3. UK Politics: The Love Song of A. B. de Pfeffel Johnson

    You move the Overton Window by being outside it, thereby making less extreme variants of your ideas mainstream. That's how Thatcher did it in 1975 (hell, back then, she wasn't even the first choice of the Right of the party, but Keith Joseph had screwed up his candidacy with some comments about poor people not being allowed to breed). In Corbyn's case, the only reason he stood last year was to get Andy Burnham to adopt more leftist ideas - he didn't expect to win. Had Burnham offered a list of policy stances analogous to what Owen Smith is offering now, Corbyn wouldn't have stood at all. The fact that Corbyn's challenger is now basically being forced to agree to policy prescriptions out of the pre-Blair era is a sign of how things have shifted. (I would also really question the Blair and electability narrative, since, frankly, by 1997 the Tories - via Black Wednesday, the VAT betrayal, sleaze scandals, and the civil war over Europe - had made themselves toxic, while by then the British Left had finally figured out the principle of tactical voting, rather than splitting the vote 1980s-style).
  4. August 2016 Reads

    Thanks. Anyway, finished off Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. I hated it. Not because it was dull - I could have tolerated that. Not because I wanted every single character to die in a snow storm or something - that happens. No, it was a combination of an "all men are rapists!" theme (way to stigmatise an entire gender), a contrived and unlikely plot, and a protagonist whose actions are just bizarre at times (especially the end). It's one of those books, where you feel you have to wash the taste of it out of your mouth. Next up is The Winter Place, by Alexander Yates.
  5. Wise Man's Fear XI

    Michael Moorcock could churn out (admittedly short) books in three days. He even wrote a guide on how to do it: http://www.wetasphalt.com/content/how-write-book-three-days-lessons-michael-moorcock
  6. August 2016 Reads

    Finished off The Slow Regard of Silent Things (well, it is short). It might be my new favourite Rothfuss work - partly because the quirkiness works (Auri comes across as Pippi Longstocking's autistic cousin, but the point is actually getting inside an alien psyche), and partly because Kvothe isn't in it. The worst bits of the book were Rothfuss' Foreword and Afterword, which come across as a bit too smug for what is framed as an apology. On the other hand, perhaps I'm being generous because I didn't pay money for this (it's a library book) or have high expectations. My completed August reads: Bitter Seeds, by Ian Tregillis The Coldest War, by Ian Tregillis Necessary Evil, by Ian Tregillis Stormrider, by David Gemmell Handling the Undead, by John Ajvide Lindqvist The Core of the Sun, by Johanna Sinisalo Banewreaker, by Jacqueline Carey Godslayer, by Jacqueline Carey The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss Next up is Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida.
  7. August 2016 Reads

    Oops, have done. To be fair, it's not a massive spoiler, since the fundamental premise of the story is Tolkien fanfiction from the point of view of Morgoth, Sauron, and the Witch-King of Angmar.
  8. August 2016 Reads

    Finished off Godslayer. It's literally the second half of Banewreaker, so no change to my sentiment (a fun, but ultimately misaimed, deconstruction). Next up is The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss.
  9. UK Politics: The Love Song of A. B. de Pfeffel Johnson

    Thatcher moved the right-side of the Overton Window to the right (self-explanatory). Blair (by embracing the neoliberal consensus) moved the left-side of the Overton Window to the right - the sort of policies traditionally associated with Labour became unthinkable under him. Now we have a situation where Corbyn (whether you like him or not) has suddenly made talking about nationalisation mainstream again - he's moved the left-side of the Window leftwards. May's response has been to move the Tories to the centre - the right-side of the Window is now shifting leftwards.
  10. UK Politics: The Love Song of A. B. de Pfeffel Johnson

    The Overton Window shifts leftwards for the first time in over thirty years!
  11. US Elections: CTRL ALT-RIGHT DELETE

    In Trump's case, it's because his elder brother drank himself to death: http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-fred-trump-alcoholism-413207
  12. Boarders Writing A Novel: Volume 14 A Memory of Civility

    I remember reading an article about a British guy in charge of interrogating captured Nazis during WWII. He was very adamant that *classic* physical torture was counter-productive, and that you rather needed to trick people out of information (bearing in mind, what he considered tricking includes stuff like sleep deprivation and psychologically disorientating people). His favoured tactic was to offer the German a cigarette, and try to get him to talk casually in a relaxed situation - people are more likely to let slip to someone they're comfortable with. On the other hand, if you simply want someone to confess to something (real or imagined), classic torture works just fine - the point being that you don't care how accurate the information is.
  13. Wise Man's Fear XI

    Simple - have the Fae be aware of the Cthaeh's origin, and how it operates at a metaphysical level. You don't need to actually take its word for it.
  14. Wise Man's Fear XI

    The difference is that while there is the temptation of knowledge, the Garden of Eden story is about disobedience to God's command, whereas the point of the Cthaeh is the real, existing (and continuing) threat that having this knowledge poses to the world itself. If it is the Biblical Serpent, it's the Serpent who has set up shop on post-Eden Earth and has mastered Quantum Physics. I think it's the best part of Wise Man's Fear.
  15. Boarders Writing A Novel: Volume 14 A Memory of Civility

    As far as torture goes: From a literary angle, the rules of the horror genre apply - less is more. Hint at what the torture involves, but don't dwell lovingly on every little moment. Dwell on the mental, and leave the physical to the imagination. From an in-story angle, torture is decidedly ineffective at actually getting accurate information out of people, since the victim will say anything to make it stop. What you want is an element of the physical, combined with an element of the mental. Good cop, bad cop games, sleep deprivation, that sort of thing.