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mankytoes

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Everything posted by mankytoes

  1. The corruption in Brussels is so obvious to anyone with half an eye open. This is my favourite story recently- https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/apr/04/eu-to-ban-non-meat-product-labels-veggie-burgers-and-vegan-steaks Now I've seen plenty of deliberately obnoxious carnivores on the internet, but I've never even seen anyone even pretend to have a slight problem with the term "veggie burger". Although this is one case where I think I'd rather they were bought and sold by the meat industry, rather than them actually being idiotic enough to think that it's a good idea to ban these terms. It's a shame these eurosceptic MPs refuse to do any actual work- very principled to just take the paychecks. Still, hopefully soon Miss Rees-Mogg will be out of a job, and this committee will have to cope without British contributions.
  2. mankytoes

    Theon’s death?

    The most obvious future I can see for him is being used by Asha to invalidate the Kingsmoot. Helping to defeat his evil uncle Euron could definitely give him a form of redemption.
  3. + King Bran I can sort of get along with. It's odd, but there are historical moments where you really don't know who should lead you, and the guy with magic powers isn't the worth choice. Some great cinematography as always. Tyrion among the rubble, Dany up high in front of the unsullied, the throne being burnt, all very nice. Ser Brienne Tarth, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. That plot has actually progressed very nicely, well deserved. Jon's story turned full circle nicely (if you don't pay too much attention to his "there's still a Nights Watch" being a very relevant question). - Come on, people like Yara and the Dornish were never just going to accept that outcome. Wasn't Yara promised to be backed as Queen of the Iron Islands if she backed Dany? I thought the whole thing would break up back to individual kingdoms. Maybe with Bran as some kind of mystical Holy Roman Emperor type figure threatening to use his powers on anyone who breaks the peace. The dothraki just left? Hmm, well that's convenient. Very similar to GRRM's famous criticism of the end of LotR, where Aragorn doesn't have to deal with orcs and that, he just "rules wisely" and we just assume the problems sorted themselves out. Sooo much fanservice for Bronn. A good death scene would have been a much better ending for his character. I don't give Tyrion's plans for future democracy and chosen leaders much chance. It's been tried, didn't work. I'll give it a seven, from where they were it wasn't bad, nicely shot, partly logical.
  4. mankytoes

    The Last Dragon

    What do you think her narrative purpose is? She's specifically described as common, brown and not attractive, the implication is clearly that she isn't a Valyrian. It seems clear to me the point of the character is to show that this idea that the Targs have magic blood isn't true. Which makes sense- in real life, monarchies effectively claimed magic blood, and obviously that wasn't true. GRRM isn't a monarchist. If Nettles is supposed to have Varlyrian ancestry, the only reason I can think of her inclusion is to be a massive red herring. But I'm struggling to think why that would be necessary. She's a mockery of the absurdity of aristocracy. They all thought they needed these people with magic blood, she just fed it some sheep and showed some balls.
  5. mankytoes

    The Last Dragon

    I can never ignore people forgetting Nettles.
  6. I liked them killing the dragon like that, first thing this series that has really made me go "oh, shit!", after last week was only unpredictable in how predictable it was. Although they should have killed Drogon instead, because that would have made for more conflict between Dany and Jon, with Rhaegal being her child but the dragon he rode. I guess indestructible Jon choosing not to ride it should have been a good hint. Though I didn't understand why Tyrion jumped in the water. Jaime/Brienne was alright, so clearly fan servicing though. I'm pretty sure he's going to try and kill Cersei, not get back with her. But then we're going to get more fan service with Sandor/Gregor... I guess it's just really jarring because it's pretty much the opposite to how GRRM writes. Ghost being left was horrible, but then they've already ruined his character, him suddenly being with Jon all the time would have been just as weird. Tormund was great as always, good on him for surviving I guess. Like Maisie Williams, I'm still not totally convinced by Sophie Turner. I liked her talking with The Hound, but when she is trying to act tough with Dany in the meeting, it looks laughable to me. Dany/Jon rivalry is a decent way to go from the point they were at. Though I don't really think much of Varys anymore, despite Conleth Hill's incredible performance. Tyrion is right, this whole "serve the realm" stuff is very abstract and doesn't really explain all his plotting. Cersei totally should have killed Tyrion there. Why not? Apparantly she really wants him dead. They ruin a lot of the villain credentials they build up on her by making her repeatedly back down. Last series she threatened to kill Tyrion, then didn't. Then she threatened to kill Jaime, then didn't. Now she threatened Tyrion again... he was right there! Fucking kill him! Game changer! Only two episodes left! Instead she kills Missandri, which was well shot, but why kill someone she has no connection to instead of someone she's apparently desperate to kill? I really thought the main character's plot armour would be off by now. See I gave an eight but that's a lot of negatives. I try and enjoy the show for what it is and basically turn off my brain.
  7. I had this conversation in Asia three times- “why your hair so curly?” ”I have Jewish family” ”wow, you must be so clever!”
  8. mankytoes

    Could Joffrey be Controlled?

    Book Joffrey could be controlled, he was pretty damn stupid. Show Joffrey had more independent thought, like in the show he orders Robert's bastards killed, not Cersei. Remember, Joff essentially had three parents, and they were all absolutely terrible.
  9. mankytoes

    Would you rather?

    I'll go Walder, in that a naked Ramsay is very threatening. Would you rather be a Kingsguard knight, but with no chance of ever breaking your chastity vow, or a peasant farmer with a very attractive spouse?
  10. The thing with the minority government option is that the Tory party isn't particularly united, so before you have to worry about getting Labour MPs onside, you have to get all of your party. And the obvious question is- if the Tories were capable of ruling as a minority without the DUP support, why didn't they? There's a good reason people tend to get very slippy on the subject. People like their politics simple- goodies and baddies.
  11. But that wasn't what I asked, you're changing the question a bit to make it one you want to answer (as I say, classic politician's tactic, and don't take that as an insult, I'm not one of these dullards who thinks all politicians and everything they do is bad). I wouldn't give you a nice open ended question like that. I asked "What should the Tories have done after the last election results?". I made it clear the question was after the election, because I was sure you'd give answer one, and I made the question The Tories instead of "Theresa May" so you couldn't give answer two. There you go, that's actually an answer to the question I asked! I feel like Paxman. I'm really not sure a minority government could rule with our current political climate, but maybe you're right, and it is a possibility. Well I didn't ask you as "a random voter", I asked you because you were the one specifically making the "sell out" accusation. Calling someone a "sell out" surely assumes they had other options more in keeping with their principles. I mean if Labour had got into bed with the DUP, I could easily see that as selling out. But the Tories are hardly diametrically opposed to the DUP, in many ways in makes a lot of sense, a lot of us are still represented by Tories who opposed gay marraige, for example. My more general point here is a frustration at the way that people tend to ignore the political realities of democracy, and think that any kind of compromise is proof that someone is just an unprincipled shit. In the real world, compromise is how things work. Obviously if you get a massive majority like Thatcher and Blair, you can do things the way you want. When election results go like they did last time, these types of compromises are inevitable. If you do want some form of PR, you're shooting yourself in the foot by reacting this way (I don't know if you talked about the Lib Dems the same way, but you'll be aware that many people did).
  12. Have you considered a career in politics? You dodged that question expertly.
  13. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    He's right, it does remind me of Trump and the idea of "good and bad on both sides". The USA, UK and USSR were all highly racist societies in their own way. But racism wasn't why they were fighting. The USA and USSR were both attacked, while the UK was defending her allies. Those sort of blanket statements aren't helpful. Yes, we terrorised German civilians with our bombing raids. But we had been forced to withdraw our troops from the continent. That was effectively the only way we could stand up to the Nazis at the time. It's so easy to sit her behind a keyboard and say these attacks were out of order, but war is not a film where you always get to be all noble. Churchill did prolong the war, because there were other senior British voices who wanted to make peace with the Nazis. World War Two is unusual in that the overall morality is quite clear cut. The Nazis and Japanese caused the two sides of the war by pursuing a racist expansionist "lebensraum" policy.
  14. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    "Conquering within the country" is totally different. The Japanese identity, even today to an extent, but overwhelmingly then, was a racial, not a civil one. So what I'm saying is, the Japanese people had never been conquered by outsiders. They are a "special snowflake" (Jesus, that term is getting horribly overused). All nations are. There are not two nations in the world that aren't significantly different from each other, therefore all nations are "snowflakes", in that they are unique and need to be treated as such. Some are more "snowflakey" than others, and of all the countries I've visited, Japan is probably the most culturally distinct. I don't mean from Europe, I mean from Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. Their history is not "pretty much identical to any other country". No ones could be, because there isn't some standard history. The suicide thing is only one particular part of their culture. How about almost totally shutting their country off from the world for well over two centuries? That's pretty unusual and important. You're the one using the term "creatures", I'd never call people that. They wouldn't surrender, not unconditionally, that was just factual at the time. I mean everyone focuses on the atomic bombs, but other cities had faced similar levels of devastation, like Tokyo, which suffered the biggest bombing raid in history. If the Japanese weren't particularly culturally opposed to surrender, they would have surrendered by this point. The rational thing for them to do was surrender. It's worth reading up on the Vietnam War, because it's widely accepted that this view that countries shouldn't be seen as having unique cultural challenges in military invasions was a major reason for the American failure. This attitude was also a key reason for the neoconservative support of the Iraq invasion.
  15. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    If the Japanese were acting like most nations, they would have surrendered well before the atomic bombs were dropped. If we're talking about racism, how brutally racially supremacist were the Japanese? All people are "human", but that doesn't mean there aren't considerable cultural differences. The Japanese had a very strong cultural taboo against surrender, they had never been conquered in their history. I don't think taking the approach that all countries are basically the same and you don't have to take any consideration of difference in culture and history in military decisions is a productive one. In fact, America made exactly this mistake in Vietnam, they just approached it as "a small, poor country", taking no account of its' individual culture.
  16. I've got to say, I don't get this argument. What should the Tories have done after the last election results? Compromising with other parties to achieve a majority in parliament is the normal order of things in most European countries. As someone who wants a more proportional electoral system, I really don't like the culture where any compromise between parties is "selling out".
  17. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    One fact I love to bust out in these discussions is that the USA made so many Purple Heart medals for expected wounded in the planned invasion of Japan, that those medals are still being issued. I'm leaning this way as well, though I wouldn't be quite so firm in my statement.
  18. The EU is certainly facing huge problems currently with Poland and Hungary. Maybe it's just the media I consume, but we aren't hearing much about this in the UK, the EU is suddenly being talked about as if it's the very model of stability and strength. I'm not sure whether this is helping us leave though. Generally, a weaker opponent is better, but I think they're worried that a prosperous post Brexit UK could doom the EU. Anyway, assuming we survive the coming Brexpocalpse (I probably need to make it clear that's a joke), what about hate crime laws? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/16/hating-men-crime-eldely-women-sajid-david-misandry I'm a little confused that this has even come about. When they passed a law to protect gay people from discrimination, it didn't specify it was to protect homosexuals (even though it obviously was), it was against discrimination based on sexual orientation, I pointed this out a lot at the time. People responded there was no way a gay person would ever be prosecuted for discriminating against a straight person- but they were- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7171418.stm and I think most gay rights groups were supportive of the ruling. I just don't get why this wouldn't work the same way. Obviously, we all know the law about a hate crime based on gender would mainly be to benefit women, and it would mainly be used to prosecute men. But other hate crime law covers all races, all religions, all sexuality, regardless of social power and levels of crime. If a black person hits me for being white, that's a hate crime, but if a woman hits me for being male, that isn't?
  19. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    Possibly the most crazy thing about the Vietnam War is how willfully ignorant the Americans managed to be, despite all their resources. Anyone with relevant knowledge was blacklisted from working with the government as a potential commie. But even considering that, it's shocking that McNamara still couldn't understand the very basics of the Vietnamese mentality. They had just fought off European colonialism, and the communists had a massive advantage from the start, in that they had legitimacy because they had fought the French, just like how the Chinese communists took the lead in defeating the Japanese.
  20. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    Yeah, but for me that's where the line is, and the Americans got it wrong. That's just denying gay people a service.
  21. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    I see what you're saying, and it is a difficult case. It annoys me when people say "I believe in free speech and free expression", as if that makes their whole viewpoint obvious and requires no further explanation. Freedom is often about balancing one person's right with anothers- in this case, someone's right to use a business, compared with someone's right to free expression. I wasn't asking rhetorically, would you be ok with being asked to write a message against a political view that you support, like "ban gay marriage" (assuming you support gay marriage)? I won't call you a homophobe if you say yes- but I would be surprised. You're right to say it's not reasonable to think that it's the bakers opinion- but they are still being compelled to express something they don't wish to express. If my boss asked me to wear a t-shirt with a political message I don't support, I would refuse. No one thinks employees choose to wear those stupid shirts, but being an employee doesn't take away your individual rights either.
  22. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    Remember, I'm from a country where Winston Churchill is one of the most beloved figures. It's not hard to separate the personal and political for me. How many black and poor lives did LBJ improve markedly? Being mean to his underlings kind of pales in comparison. There's a man for his time. Could a more reserved and reconcilliatory person have got through a lot of this key legislation? Maybe the qualities that made him a bad commander in chief made him a good domestic leader (the reverse may be true of Nixon, to an extent). But to be clear, I'm not saying he was the best person to be President, just that he's a figure who fascinates me.
  23. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    I don't get that. If you want a bespoke message iced on a cake, an individual has to physically do that. Some of these business' are run by one person. So in practise, there's no difference. If a Christian enters a bakery and asks for a cake saying "ban gay marriage", do you think the baker should have the legal right to decline? I'd be uncomfortable being made to do that, or instructing an employee to do that. The difference is that "support gay marriage" is a political message. To be clear, if the cake said "Happy wedding Adam and Steve", I think the bakery should have to bake it. On the same token, if I was a baker I'd be happy to write messages for religious celebrations, even though I'm an atheist and not a fan of religion.
  24. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/10/uk-supreme-court-backs-bakery-that-refused-to-make-gay-wedding-cake I think they got this right. Much as I would instinctively back gays against homophobes- " "Freedom of expression, as guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, includes the right “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”, Hale added. “This court has held that ‘nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe. The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.” Hard to argue with that. If this had gone the other way, I'm not sure a gay baker could have refused to make a cake that says "ban gay marriage".
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