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The Marquis de Leech

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Everything posted by The Marquis de Leech

  1. It's the economic consequences of self-imposed personal lockdowns that I keep having to point out to online dingbats. For all the (unjustified) pooh-poohing of government lockdowns, at least then businesses are propped up by subsidies. If you open up, and people are still trying to avoid social contact, you get a recipe for instant recession, since there are no subsidies.
  2. Uncle. Anyway, The Rings of Power strikes me as a perfectly good title, and I thought the one minute teaser pretty clever and well-done.
  3. Good on Western Australia for making the correct call.
  4. On the Sherlock Holmes front, both James Barrie (of Peter Pan fame) and Neil Gaiman have written fanfiction of the character. George MacDonald Fraser stole Flashman from Thomas Hughes' Tom Brown's Schooldays. Every man and his dog has re-used Bram Stoker's Dracula. Shakespeare. Just Shakespeare. Virgil's Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy...
  5. So far as The Silmarillion goes... that was 56 years' worth of drafts, selected and edited to fit together in modicum of consistency. Christopher is responsible for some minor bridging material, plus a (forced) reconstruction of The Ruin of Doriath, but he was performing the duties of editor, not co-writer. Kay was on hand to advise him - most notably that The Silmarillion would be better off as a coherent narrative, rather than as a collection of drafts and commentary.
  6. The traditional grounds for overturning such decisions would be Illegality, Irrationality, and Procedural Impropriety. It's the last one that is relevant here - essentially making sure the minister took into account all relevant factors. Also note that overturning the decision simply sends the matter back to the minister, to be decided again, properly this time. (I can't speak for Australia, but in New Zealand, it is very, very common for immigration cases to be subject to judicial review. Primarily because the stakes are so high for the individuals involved).
  7. Watsonian explanation: Providence. Doylist explanation: It makes more a more exciting story. George RR Martin uses this trope too of course. It's very, very common in fiction, because it increases the stakes.
  8. The podcast of my review of The Nature of Middle-earth is now out. Unfortunately the audio is pretty terrible at my end: Reading Tolkien: The Nature of Middle-earth
  9. The 59 was a backlog in reporting, during the disaster in the Melbourne Rest Homes.
  10. Because presumably Tennis Australia has an obligation under its own constitution to foster the development of tennis in Australia... which implies not pissing its own reputation away in this manner. Anyway, an extremely wealthy fashion blogger has been whingeing about being unable to book a place in New Zealand's MIQ Quarantine System: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/kiwi-fashion-blogger-and-socialite-jaime-ridge-hits-out-at-jacinda-ardern-over-miq/5HH6ZJH23DWQZTWGTUSF7CTRLM/ Quite apart from the hilarity of labelling MIQ 'unconstitutional' (we're not the USA, dear), one suspects that she's not doing the country's Diaspora any favours, in terms of public image.
  11. I must say, I'm cackling a bit about FM's accusations of Australian Covid paranoia. I've been maintaining a regular Skype correspondence with a friend (and fellow New Zealander) in Melbourne, and his continued mantra is "Yeah, Melbourne's given up caring". One suspects FM would be truly, truly horrified by New Zealand's social attitudes towards the disease, and how to manage it.
  12. Putting Eöl on trial, and acting as his defence lawyer: Sinda's Advocate: Defending Eol It's an intellectual exercise, but Dear Eru, I feel dirty afterwards.
  13. The Auckland Delta Outbreak is no longer the Auckland Delta Outbreak. 17 new cases nationwide today... only five of which were actually in Auckland. The last redoubt for Delta is... Tauranga.
  14. Extending the Siege of Angband would have indeed resolved so many difficulties, and it is truly bizarre that it never occurred to Tolkien that that might have been preferable to, say, Noldorin Eol. (Oh, and I'd like to take this opportunity to complain that Hostetter's appendices really shouldn't have been appended to an "official" book).
  15. Essentially, we get a look at what Round World Arda would have meant, so far as the Elvish origin story goes. That is all greatly extended, and that mysterious origin story from The War of the Jewels get built upon. For instance, Ingwe, Finwe, and Elwe are all established as being quite far down the family tree - and both Finwe (Miriel could learn more) and Elwe (moving to Valinor is a temporary idea) have varying motivations. Then there's the Eastern Orcs, who rejected Sauron's overlordship, and indeed mocked him for his Annatar disguises. And Feanor doing metal-prospecting in Beleriand before getting himself killed. It's really the strange little nuggets like these that make the book interesting. My biggest criticism is that by trying to make everything so neat and tidy, Tolkien was taking the myth out of his own mythos.
  16. I've read the thing (wound up doing an interview with a podcaster about it - not yet released). It's both interesting and immensely frustrating. The contortions that Tolkien went through in order to put everything on a coherent chronological footing are mental - Tolkien was literally pondering making Eol into a Noldo, just to make Maeglin's age fit. There is a sense of sadness that the author was spending his last decade in what amounted to a dead-end of world-building. On the other hand, the Numenorean material is excellent, and really helps flesh out the island.
  17. I know three of them in Dunedin. One of them is the grandmother of an acquaintance, whom everybody else considers a bit mad. She's less anti-vaxx and more naturally contrarian.
  18. A short story of mine to end the year - on pages 117 to 122: https://777e51b3-8330-4e63-85de-d3272089b883.filesusr.com/ugd/97c387_dd179b71b8ea40e39dfa891c0a173474.pdf
  19. Looking like that DJ was not infectious when he breached self-isolation in Auckland. So that's a bullet dodged. All we can really do at this point is hope that MIQ does not leak further. Meanwhile, it looks like the Auckland Delta Outbreak will be dead in a month or so.
  20. Fun fact. There were fewer cases in Auckland today (20 out of 1.6 million population) than in Te Kuiti (24 out of 4700 population). There are some very muppety people in the rural upper North Island.
  21. Aforementioned self-isolation violator is... an international DJ, brought in for summer festivals. Only in New Zealand.
  22. Fellowship of Fans have now confirmed that this is not Finrod, but is still Galadriel's Brother. Which means we're dealing with Angrod, Aegnor, Orodreth (depends on canon), or some invented brother.
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