mormont

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  1. I see no issues with that. At least at first, the Roci crew are going to get jobs from political connections and general celebrity. Do a few of those well, and the rest follows. How so? Who was going to go to war over it? It was certainly going to cause Drummer a political headache, and force the issue of whether she was running a trade union or a government, but no trade war, still less a war, seemed imminent.
  2. OK. So you've provided links that show evidence that racism in China hurts the box office of Western films with black leads? Well done. Oh, wait, no, you haven't provided any such thing. As you were, then. Since I've never said there is no racism in China, your links don't further the discussion at all. The issue is whether Western studios are making self-fulfilling assumptions about the Chinese audience for films with black leads. You've argued that 'they know black leads will be unpopular among Chinese audiences', but how do they know that? Aren't they just assuming it? And once you assume it's true, you amend your marketing and distribution accordingly, and lo and behold, those films do worse. This whole discussion, for example, started with Finn being removed from the poster in China. Did any Chinese person ask for that, or was it done by Western execs who just assumed? Anyway, we have digressed significantly from the thread topic, so let's leave it there.
  3. I hadn't forgotten them, as such, but I had forgotten that after defecting they forced by-elections and stood under the UKIP banner, so I stand corrected.
  4. What I find particularly subversive, in a way, is that it's Singh's genuine love and longing for his family - normally very positive emotions in storytelling - that lead him to overreact. But at the same time, it's a toxic masculinity issue - he has all these emotions but he's so afraid that revealing them will lead to being perceived as weak.
  5. Yeah, this is a good example of what I mean. In response to scepticism about the idea that casting black actors hurts films, people give anecdotes about how backward Chinese people are. No facts are provided, no irony detected. Look, people in the USA are pretty bloody racist. It's part of US politics and everyday life. Stereotypes? Discrimination? Yeah, all that plus open racism from the highest level. It doesn't hurt box office takings.
  6. I don't think this is quite right, if only because Duarte is smarter than that. He took care to make this a win-win. If Singh had had the edges knocked off him in the rock-tumbler, great. Duarte has a second-gen Laconian in charge, proving that his society produces the people he needs it to. A demonstration to Laconians, and everyone else, that Laconia is a meritocratic - and meritorious - society. But there was another scenario in which Singh didn't take the lesson, and Duarte had planned for that too. Duarte, by the way, is a fucking monster. I have absolutely zero sympathy for him, none. Whatever one thinks of his aims, his methods are autocratic and his rule dictatorial. He himself is intelligent, but he's also blinded by his ego. If he shows mercy, it's because mercy serves his purpose. If being brutal serves him better, he's brutal instead. And that he knows and cares about the difference doesn't excuse him - in fact it makes what he's doing worse. He's consciously choosing to do wrong in the service of a greater good, believing that he knows better than anyone else and that gives him the right to decide how they live and whether they die. Fuck that guy.
  7. I think the thing about Chinese audiences not going to see films with black characters may be one of those Hollywood myths that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You know, like how female action leads don't sell? In the same way, every success (eg Will Smith) is labeled an exceptional case and every failure treated as proving the rule. There's just something about the idea that smacks of studio execs relying on cliches over facts. Maybe it's the slightly patronising 'oh, they're so backward' attitude. I don't know. But anyway, blaming any problems Star Wars has in China on the casting of Finn seems pretty unlikely to me.
  8. I was distinguishing between independents and third parties, as that seemed relevant to the point at hand. (There are and have been independents elected to the UK and Scottish Parliaments as well, again doing better than UKIP.) You're now dealing in intangibles, whereas the point being made was about 'electoral success', a tangible, measurable thing. But sure, if you like, you can argue that UKIP won 'lots of votes' (though never as many as to justify the disproportionate media coverage they received, nor as many as other smaller parties did, nor enough to win a single seat) and in so doing pulled the Tory party in a particular direction. But then you have to deal with the fact that UKIP only existed in the first place because disaffected Tories wanted to pull the party in that direction. Which takes us back to the original point: does the existence of UKIP explain the difference between the Tories and the Republicans, by being an 'access point to political power'? Or was the whole thing (and the past tense very much applies: as an electoral force, UKIP is over) more realistically viewed as an internal fight on the right, a la the Tea Party? You can pay your money and take your choice. I think the idea that UKIP had 'electoral success', though, is not an accurate description.
  9. I'm not sure I'd describe either appointment as 'surprising': 'uninspiring' would be more the word. The Lambert appointment reads like Stoke thinking 'experienced British managers are a thing at the moment, who's available?' whereas the Giggs appointment feels like 'we kind of have to give him a shot'.
  10. Again, is it? No US third party has had anyone elected to Congress, certainly, but UKIP haven't had anyone elected to the UK Parliament either. Third parties have been elected to US state legislatures, of course, and comparing a large US state legislature (eg California) to the UK Parliament is probably a more valid comparison anyway. Interestingly, Green party candidates have been elected to both the Cali legislature and the UK Parliament. In terms of electoral success, UKIP aren't a third party anyway. They're more like a tenth party. Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, Sinn Fein, and the Green Party all currently have elected MPs: UKIP don't. Several other parties in addition to the foregoing have managed to win election to the UK Parliament. UKIP never have.
  11. Has it? It's had a fair amount of MEPs elected, mostly because of a PR system that most UKIP members dislike and because turnout in European elections is very low except among those with a hate-on for the EU. That representation will shortly disappear, of course. It also has five elected members in the Welsh Assembly and some local councilors. Er, that's it. UKIP has never had an MP elected. It's never had an MSP elected. It's never had an MLA elected. It's spent fantastic amounts of money on lost deposits. It's never looked even close to winning any significant political power in any part of the UK. And it has never looked further from doing so than it does now. What it does have is media coverage. This latest spat is a prime example. I doubt any of us, if asked three days ago, could have named the current UKIP leader, let alone his girlfriend. He is supremely irrelevant to any serious political discussion. Yet it's a headline story that his girlfriend sent some racist texts? The BBC are leading with it. Why? Because the press can't help themselves. they see 'UKIP' and they think 'story'. UKIP allows for some - by no means all - of the far right to have a home. But there is, with apologies to Hereward, no shortage of anti-progressive elements in the Tory party. They feel quite at home there. The differences between the Republicans and the Tories can't be put down to the existence of UKIP, which I think will be proven as UKIP slides further into irrelevance.
  12. Why do you think these are different? Do you think they're mutually exclusive? They're really not.
  13. I mean, the ref should definitely face charges for the kick at the player. But he sends him off for a second yellow, which means it was not for the collision. If the ref thought the contact had been deliberate, it would've been a straight red. So he's almost certainly booked the player for something the player said afterward. Now, I might have said something unwise too, if the ref had kicked me, but just the same, the bizarre bit of the incident isn't the sending off, it's the kick.
  14. Your summary is basically the middle book/film/other section of any trilogy ever. That's how they're structured: in part 2 the bad guys are ascendant and the good guys are struggling to survive. They achieve some minor victories to stave off total defeat and regroup to come back in part 3.
  15. In some ways they have become much more conservative, in some ways they are less so. If you look at something like NHS privatisation, for example, the modern Tory party's position is much further to the right, although one can argue part of that is simply that it's possible to hold these positions now, whereas it wasn't back then. On Europe, they're definitely further to the right than they were. On gay rights, they've moved in the other direction, although there is still a strong feeling in parts of the party opposed to that. On abortion rights, they seem to have moved further right. I'm not sure whether one can argue the race/immigration issue: to some extent immigration appears to have simply replaced race? But it's still all about blaming social disorder on people who're not like us. Inner city riots vs 'radical Islam'.