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mankytoes

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Everything posted by mankytoes

  1. mankytoes

    What Do You Think Cultural Appropriation Is?

    I had this conversation in Asia three times- “why your hair so curly?” ”I have Jewish family” ”wow, you must be so clever!”
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Have you considered a career in politics? You dodged that question expertly.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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".
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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".
  19. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    Well, three really- France, Japan, America. I don't know if numbers can really convey what the Americans did, but The Blitz in the UK is still talked about a lot, had major, permananet effects. That was about 41,000 tons of bombs. America dropped eight MILLION tons of bombs in the Vietnam war (that includes a ton per person on non-combatant Laos). It's hard to find any buildings at all in North Vietnam that predate the war. They carpet bombed absolutely everything. This was the biggest bombing campaign in human history. I wonder if the entire American East coast had been carpet bombed into oblivion (as well as Toronto and the Mexican side of their border) people would describe it as "just one in a long series" of American wars. And then of course there was the agent orange, a war crime which caused horrific birth defects, which, of course, you can still see today. The USA has offered no compensation for this. There are still signs in rural Vietnam and Laos warning against going off the tracks because of unexploded bombs. It's mainly children who are still killed and crippled by the bombs to this day. The brutality on the ground may have just been standard colonial stuff in a war where atrocities were committed by all parties. But the attacks from the air were truly exceptional in their permanent devastation.
  20. mankytoes

    The Conflict in Vietnam

    Yeah, aside from Vietnam (and while I can't say he shouldn't take a great deal of blame, I don't accept that JFK would necessarily have not escalated things, the process was well under way) he was great, I love LBJ, my favourite to read about. The biggest lesson that should be learnt is that you can't just rely on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Diem was a truly terrible dictator in every way- incompetent, bigoted, vain and vicious. The attitude that "he's fighting the commies so he's our guy" caused so many problems. Still, the same can be said about the anti-war protesters to an extent, even now. People remember My Lai, but they don't remember the incredible communist brutality, especially in Hue, where they buried people alive (I've been to Hue and there's absolutely no memory). I spent a few months in Vietnam and it's such a great country. People have a really chill attitude about the whole thing in my opinion, considering the unbelievable damage the Yanks and their allies did. I guess the attitude is mitigated by the fact they "won", but Jesus, what a cost.
  21. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    I'm not sure about popularity then, but I would have thought May's popularity would have gone down since then? And Boris was criticised a lot at the time for his clearly disingenuous leave support. I think Boris could definitely become PM. But despite some similarities, he isn't Trump. I don't see any evidence that Boris has less political understanding than his rivals. Boris is a cartoon of a politician, but Trump is a cartoon of Boris.
  22. mankytoes

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    I don't agree with that. Even now, May is significantly more popular amongst the public and the party- https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/06/voters-back-trustworthy-theresa-may-boris-johnson-leadership-campaign This is not Italy or the USA, we have never had a leader of this populist style. The Tory party does not have a Tea Party. Boris has played the "celebrity politician" thing well, but it's a double edged sword, a lot of people are very committed to not having this kind of leader, and the similarities to Trump are not going to work in his favour.
  23. mankytoes

    Small things that have left you SPEECHLESS

    They banned creating any sort of atmosphere years ago.
  24. mankytoes

    Unpopular opinions

    For me the genius of Breaking Bad is that it approaches the depth of The Wire (only approaches, I put The Wire at number one) while being a much more conventionally entertaining tv show. While I know The Wire isn't for everyone, it's hard to imagine how someone couldn't find Breaking Bad entertaining. The Wire never got outstanding viewing figures- Sopranos did, but only by tricking a lot of people who thought it was a "proper" mobster show and were always annoyed at why we spent hours and hours with AJ and Meadow.
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