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Zorral

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  1. TV first. TV first started it. TV and the media. Entertainment complex culture. But! this, from CNN, about 2 hours ago -- Mueller wrapping it up: https://deadline.com/2019/02/robert-mueller-report-donald-trump-finished-russia-attorney-general-cnn-1202561035/
  2. The only prediction I'd dare to make with any percentage of certainty is that the Dems will screw up their 2019 presidential election opportunity early and soon, and do it through refusal to admit they are the party of non-whites, younger people, diversity, etc. They really really really want to believe they are the party that represents old white rich people. In the meantime the orange nazi gives away the nation and national security to Russia and Saudi and ... North Korea! and is determined to put people who tell the truth about him in jail, by law.
  3. Suburra, season 2, starts on netflix Friday. Just in time. I haven't watched anything in weeks, first because too busy, and then because I was working down on the Gulf. As I got back last night and it is snowing, it rather feels as if coming back was a mistake . . . .
  4. Zorral

    Watched, Watching & Rewatch Redux

    However! The WQ and The WP provided lots and lots of lucrative employment to those hair stylists who specialty is making those rivers -- ah-hem -- of hair that every female character on screen has now, including those ropes of braids that are as wide across as a muscle man's biceps. As one of those stylists mentioned to me once -- nobody in real life then or now ever had hair like that. Hair doesn't grow like that.
  5. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    Their organizational capacities and effective administration were remarkable -- sure as hell beat, say French royalty in the 14th century, for instance. Yes -- the Venetians' determination to take out Constantinople via their European crusading surragates was the big nail in the coffin that Constantinople became. But that was almost 3 centuries prior to Mehmet II. The Venetians basically then ruled Constantinople, until 1453. And after the city became Turkish, the Venetians still stayed. Actually the Venetians did not provide significant help to Constantine in 1453 -- though the Genoese did quite a bit on the sea, which was when the Ottomans learned they needed to master sea power too. But that was what was too late. The bloody mess that was Lepanto was Venice's last gasp to save her empire -- and herself. And that is where the Ottomans were checked from further expansion out of the Western Med into Europe -- but their auxilaries (which the Europeans naturally viewed as pirates) on the south coast kept the Med in constant terrified turmoil for more centuries after that. That Isabella the Queen was terrified of Ottoman invasion wasn't a megrim, but very real -- the emperor said he was coming for her kingdom, and they were in Italy and many other places. Thus the terror of third columns and the expulsions.
  6. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    Well, during the era of feudalsim, the Ottoman Empire progressively, massively penetrated the lands of the western Mediterranean. From the conquest of Constantinople, the emperors were able to stage great campaigns that successively took Malta, Crete, Greece, southern Italy and Sicily. In the 15th century they were so powerful that King Francois allowed the Turks to harbor at what is Marseille for a whole year, and that was the only coastal city of the kingdoms in France to host Turks. They even laid siege to, and essentially sacked Avignon while the papacy was still located there. Also, do not forget that even in the middle 1500s there were still serfs in England, 'owned' by their lord, and attached to the land as part of the real estate. In the meantime, during all these years, including the great Mongol invasions of the 13th century, the trade routes east continued to carry merchandise north and south, east and west. By the time t the Ottomans ruled Egypt, the great sea routes to the Southeast became important even for the Europeans via the Venetians. Marco Polo and his father and uncles were Venetian. They did it overland. In the end it was both the Ottomans and the discovery of the New World -- the idiocy of Venice not sending aid in time to assist Constaninople, thus losing their Greek and Black Sea colonies, that took them out. With the routes to Asia going west over the Atlantic and Pacific, and the massive supplies of gold, silver and gems out of South America -- that also took out some of the great banks and other mercantile institutions. In other words, starting early in the 16th century, the gravitational pull for trade and wealth and orientation shifted for the first time in Europe from the Mediterranean, the territories of the Holy Roman Empire, and the east, to the Atlantic and west. But serfdom still continued in central Europe and Russia for a very long time afterwards -- in those place that didn't have an easy locational access to the Atlantic. Posted from high above the Atlantic, at the moment -- how different things are now!
  7. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    Another term, new to me, as antithesis of grimdark, and just as bad as noble bright: 'lawful good.'' But it's baked into the sf/f genre to quantify and qualify, so there ya go! Well, entertaining as all this may be, the weather is dreadful and I leave very early for some really good and beautiful weather and -- even fun. Supposedly work but this time around not so much, it looks like. May or may not be able to check in from down there, but in the meantime, this has been an interesting discussion, and will surely continue.
  8. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    I am as familiar with this letter as anybody else who love LOTR.
  9. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    Bilbo's family seemed more to me like the Bennet family in P&P, landed gentry, not aristocrats at all, starting in that generation a gentle slide down the financial scale -- except he got a trunk of gold, as a gift from the grateful for services rendered. Like Bennet pere, the Hobbiton Bilbo is never seen working, before or after the Great Adventure, beyond putting together meals.
  10. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    And the not so jokey-joke, which probably is part of the accusations of LOTR as anti-semitic -- the dwarves and their love of money ancient hebrew caricature which has led over and over again to pogroms and genocide; one really sees this for instance in the Children of Húrin -- which as much as I admire that work and what the younger Tolkien did with it -- did kinda, yanno, leap out. Whether or not Tolkien himself actually was anti-semitic -- which seems not so likely, certainly not in any obvious way in his living life language and actions -- still the heroes of The Hobbit are straight forward 'commoners' and their better sort of yeomanry, as opposed to quarrelsome, scheming and greedy dwarves. Or! in other words, Tolkien's great talent is showing, because things aren't all so straight up as they might seem when one first reads his works as a much younger and less well-read person? I.e. more complicated, more nuanced, and finally, despite the magic and mythology, more realistic? Like the Bible and Shakespeare, we can all find anything in LOTR that we want or need to find? except maybe women and other others? yet, maybe the argument against the Dark Lord is that he was attempting to colonize the lands that didn't belong to him, and was even using natives to do so, as colonists so often do?
  11. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    Well, there is that entire Denethor - steward vs. rightful king thing subplot. The Rightful King never gives up, while the lesser born, i.e. less entitled, less noble fellow falls into arrogance, depression, loss of faith and hopelessness. In the Hobbit the only real monarchy with which the story is concerned is the King Under the Mountain, and as being the Dwarf Kingdom, well, it isn't so surprising that betrayal, conflict and destruction follow, presumably. Not saying Tolkien was a monarchist or anything of the sort, per se, but he was in love with the past. Which isn't necessarily a terrible thing, particularly since it feels so founded in the love of and concern for the present's destruction of the natural world, whether in his own fantasies or in what he saw in war and saw going on around him. That is missing from ASOIAF, and certainly from grimdark.
  12. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    I thought I was saying that? by using silver instead of gold, and nostalgia instead of bitter, but what the heck. But clearly it was still so much better than a world divided between Hitler and Mussolini.
  13. Zorral

    Up in Smoke: Drug Legalization and Dealing

    Not to mention the Brits (and a lot of German lads too-- ask the Netherlanders, where Germans come and get really drunk and beat up people).
  14. Zorral

    On realism, grimdark and childishness

    What do you call fairy tales with the cleaned up for modern, as opposed to the folk audience, that conclude with "They lived happily ever after?" Your view looks too narrow and flat for the way real and effective story telling works. Which is why so many, including yourself it seems from other of your posts, dislike these arbitrary publishing industry marketing generic divisions. This is particularly so as genre, being generic, grabs from every other sort of story telling trope as from a rag bag to create it's own pop culture flavor. The tropes of the Hero, the Aristocratic Hero, just beginning with the aristo baby that was lost, stolen or supposedly killed, has been the basis of myth and epic, biblical stories, folktale, fairy tale, the Romance (don't mean what publishing means by it, but works such as Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristram, courtly love Romance authors, and Mallory and -- now there is found some gritty and dark -- genre fantasy forever. As well as adventure - historical fiction too. The Discovery of the Hero's True Identity being the restoration of order and a dawn of a new golden age. Genre fiction didn't create that! Nor did it invent that, though certainly super hero genre has run with it forever, even before Tarzan (a British aristo sort) and John Carter (a confederate aristo) and Look Up Into the Sky! It's SUPERMAN! What is really interesting about all this in terms of Fantasy is that the restoration of a golden age and order, or at least stability and a silver waning nostalgic sweetness of LoTR's conclusion with the crowning of Aragorn, is the perfect booked to ASOIAF, even as it stands w/o ever being finished. Whoever take the Iron Throne -- or doesn't take the Iron Throne -- there will be no golden age restored, any more than when Henry Tudor took the throne in England, or when the second Valois followed the feckless King Jean.* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * As mentioned here before, when reading the history of the 14th and 15th century in France, ASOIAF seems to follow those events a whole lot more closely than anything to do with the English Wars of the Roses -- including wholesale pulls of proper names, events -- even a version of the Red Wedding, though that trope too is ancient and found in myth, the Old Testament, and historically, from Nordic to Italian city states' conflicts, to Native Americans enclosed and set on fire at a celebration. GRRM has talked frequently about the Maurice Druon historical series set in that era from which he drew a great deal of inspiration.
  15. Writers Rooms aren't what you think they are: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/08/the-end-of-the-tv-writers-room-as-we-know-it-mini-rooms
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