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Everything posted by Ran

  1. I can't recall anything about discussion back then, but I suspect the chapter in question is indeed Drogon in the pit. That chapter in the form that I have it in the pre-AFfC split partial manuscript, did not contain anything to do with an assassination attempt on Dany, her being married, or Dany riding off on Drogon.
  2. Seriously? I wonder how they justified that to themselves. That RJ would have come around to doing it if Harriet and others he trusted said it was needed?
  3. Perhaps some will take heart at this piece at 538, which argues that Biden's core identity is not "centrist" but rather "center of the Democratic party", which suggests that the further left the Democrats go, the center within the party will shift leftward and so, too, will Biden.
  4. Clinton was not a sure win according to most of the actual polls. Going into the election, there was a ~30% chance that Trump would win. People treated the idea that she was 70% likely to win as being the same thing as winning 70% of the vote, when everyone's really just fighting to get a plurality. You can see Quinnipac's state polling from May 10, 2016 to see they saw a close race in a number of states, and according to Ballotopedia's archives in late May their poll said 45-41 in Clinton's favor, +/- 2.5% Worth remembering, too, that she did win the popular vote. The arcane part of American elections has to do with the electoral math and how polling data needs to be analyzed in light of that.
  5. I love all of Vance's books, but Suldrun's Garden really is among the very best things he ever wrote. The poignancy of Suldrun's story was a very effective way to begin the novel. Vance had an effortless ability to create melancholic and wistful moods. It permeates most of his best work, like the Demon Princes series and The Dying Earth, as well as Lyonesse.
  6. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    Thank you. I had a literal frisson of glee when Tolkien corrected the interviewer's conception of Middle-earth as being in a different era of history by saying that it was, rather, in a "different stage of imagination." Wonderful phrase.
  7. It's more a police state in the vein of East Germany, say. Namely, that the (visible) policing force is small, but that every neighborhood and in some places (like Havana) every block have members of the CDR tasked with surveilling and reporting on any illict or counter-revolutionary behavior. Amnesty International mentions the CDRs in passing in relation to the widespread belief that the Cuban government is snooping on Internet activity.
  8. We're in both of their heads at various points. They have romantic notions about Rand, very clearly, but never express similar notions about one another at all. Personally, I'm a little squicked out by the idea of tossing Elayne and Aviendha into bed, because it feels kind of regressive and male-gazey. Oh, yeah, of course the two hot chicks who are BFFs really want to get into each other's pants... Better to have Moiraine and Siuan still be an active relationship, if you really must. At least they did have a sexual relationship as novices, and maintained a friendship beyond that.
  9. Watched the second episode of The Great, it's working quite well so far. Very amusing in its deeply ahistorical way, trying to capture a sense of the backwardness of the Russian court and its opposition to modernity as espoused by the Voltaires and Descartes of the world. Watched the Colin Robinson-centric episode of What We Do In The Shadows -- hilarious, though I think my favorite bit had to do with the painting of Nadja's village and Nandor's role in it. I'm waiting for them to reveal that Colin's actually an alien, ala Lifeforce. Also watched the "Promortyus" episode of Rick and Morty. Good stuff. Finally, for fans of Community, I recommend the table read they released last night, with Pedro Pascal filling in for Walter Goggins. His cracking up at the bequeathments was the highlight of the read-through. Then they followed up with a Q&A that was good fun, and finally they all (minus Pascal) gathered for Joel McHale's and Ken Jeong's Darkest Timeline podcast where more hilarity ensued (including Donald Glover messing around with inappropriate backgrounds and discovering he wasn't in the group chat). Good times, and it's clear all of them had kept pretty close.
  10. Cuba does billions of dollars of business with the rest of the world. How is this happening under the theory of US sanctions being such an issue? The EU, Mexico, and Canada passed acts or regulations that basically countered sanctions under Helms-Burton, for example, penalizing the US if tried to enforce it against their companies Yes, the US has caused trouble under Trump, threatening financial institutions moreso than industry. This doesn't change the fact that Cuba's economy was badly managed for much of its history following the Revolution. In particular, Castro's singular influence on agricultural policy was a fair disaster for Cuba.
  11. I feel like the Elayne-Rand relationship was a victim of the ever-growing scope of the books, or alternatively that RJ simply died before he pulled together all the threads he wanted. To me, the early youthful romance should probably have largely withered away by the time they reunite, and instead their personal developments and the political landscape should have led to something like a friendship that served as a foundation for a politically-motivated union rather than anything particularly romantic. My recollection from the last RJ books is there was some of that political tension in it, but Rand and Elayne basically were just as in love as they thought they were back at the start of TSR despite all the stuff going on with Rand; he had it a lot rougher than Elayne, experientially, so at the very least one could have expected him to have a much tempered feeling towards her that RJ didn't really seem willing to acknowledge, while I suppose Elayne could have remained more naïvely attached to her image of Rand... but that's not what happened. But the idea of excising it all just because it doesn't play out exactly as one likes seems absurd to me. Why not just create an original story that has the features you want? Or just tweak the development of the characters to make the relationship feel more mature and realistic when they reunite?
  12. Channeling a little of that Quention Tarantino blaxploitation vibe with the period scenes, but with seemingly a more mature, politically-conscious throughline. Looking forward to it.
  13. He commented already on this. I misunderstood, but his intention was to critique two separate things, one having to do with other forums which is neither here nor there, the other a concern that Judkins intends to change the sexuality of one of the six primary characters. The basis for that, I don't know. The sum total I know of Judkins's views on homosexual relationships in WoT is that he promised to have more lesbian and gay characters foregrounded than the novels did, and that there'd be lots of "pillow friends" featured in the Tower. I don't think this says anything about his fiddling with the primary characters. Though I do know that he implicitly intends to "improve" the character of Faile (specifically, calling her his least favorite character but that he intends to make her "awesome"), so I admit it's not utterly out of the realm of possibility that he thinks, say, Elayne and Egwene or Elayne and Aviendha falling for each other in a way they do not in the novels would fit within his views of what a good story would entail. But that's speculative.
  14. The failure of the Cuban economy to become competitive in the global market certainly was not helped by the breaking off of trade ties with its biggest partner back in the day (trade ties that were inevitably going to be broken by nationalizing industry, cozying up to the Soviets, and applying communist command economy principles, so this is a bit of a situation where a trade was made) ... but it soon swapped the US for the Soviet Bloc, and still, it failed to become a diverse and functional economy. In large part due to its ideologically-driven policies. Agriculture, even for domestic consumption, was stagnant for a very long time and is currently one of the only growing parts of the Cuban economy. Cuba can't trade with the US, but it does trade with pretty much everyone else you can think of -- the EU, Canada, other Latin and South American countries, Asia -- but it just doesn't have much to offer. Compare to Honduras or Panama who have rather more diverse exports (and thus more diverse industries) than Cuba. Back in the 50s, Cuba was certainly an oppressive and unequal country that was economically advancing and would have been on par with Italy or Spain if the UN had its Human Development Index back then... and now it's more comparable to Bolivia or Zimbabwe or Honduras. The Cuban people chose poverty over inequality, while leaving oppression comfortably in place, and the Cuban government failed to use that solidarity of purpose and control of all aspects of the economy to recover economic ground loss and then go beyond it. The embargo hurt, especially early on. Sovietization of the economy has a longer-term negative impact even after Cuba replaced its trading partners.
  15. What's this in reference to? Not the banning, please note that we don't discuss drama from other forums, but did Sanderson change the sexuality of one of the characters? Can't imagine it is any of the TR lads, so presumably it's Egwene or maybe Elayne?
  16. Just watched the first episode with Linda. Great fun indeed. Nicholas Hoult's terrific, as is Elle Fanning and Phoebe Fox. Gorgeous costuming, nice cinematography. The anachronisms do remind me of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and my only concern is how sustainable this sort of narrative approach is over ten hours rather than in a single film, but definitley eager to see. Ozark doesn't belong in the conversation, but Mad Men surely does. It's been in the top 10 of lists from Rolling Stone (#4 in their Top 100), the Writer's Guild of America (#7 in their top T01), and others (Sepinwall and Seitz put it at #6 in their Top 100 in their book TV (The Book), as an example). The writing and performances on that show was always a cut above. Ozark is fluff in a way the other shows named aren't. Nothing wrong with fluff, mind, but yeah, not greatest TV show level entertainment.
  17. Wasn't me that brought up unproven allegations of misconduct as being a reason to disavow the candidate who has essentially won the primary and over-rule the will of primary voters.
  18. Allegedly paid a former Marine for a torrid BDSM relationship. According to Jacob Wohl, anyways. I'm just applying the proposed standard that allegations are sufficient to cloud a person's candidacy.
  19. I think these are a good reminder of RJ's standard toolset for describing characters, and the assumptions embedded in them. That said, non-caucasians can flush red or grow pale, but "white" and "bright red" , I admit, is pretty hard unless on the pale end of things.
  20. Warren has been accused of sexual misconduct, I'll remind you. Since an allegation is enough for you to be concerned about a candidate, I think we have to discard her as well. Who else, then? Michelle Obama, despite her having made it clear she has no such ambitions? Maybe Oprah? Stacey Abrams? Pete Buttigieg?
  21. So is Sanders and Warren and every damned person else you can think of, from the perspective of a lot of people, so who is the not-seriously-flawed candidate that you believe you would be the right choice? Ralph Nader?
  22. Been watching and commenting on the Discord Eurovision channel, but thought I'd ask here about how folks liked The Mamas from Sweden? Just seemed a bit too John Lundvik-ish, but it seemed to go over well with the international jury we used to help determine results, so who knows.
  23. Ran

    Board Issues 4

    Let me kick you again and then try to invite you directly.
  24. @Fez The end of that Politco article was something else. Makes sense, sadly, for Klett to be on her guard about Reade, given their past interactions.
  25. Ran

    Board Issues 4

    I admit, this is a new situation that I'm not sure how to deal with. Only thing I can think of is to kick you from the server and see if you can rejoin...
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