281 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

2 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Shephe... · 2 replies · +10 points

It's all very personal which tropes annoy you.

I understand where you're coming from but personally I'm mostly pleased that it looks like Pratchett is doing something with the one 'always evil race' he had left. Always evil races are the trope I kind of hate.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +23 points

I admire the way that Glenda's much earlier thoughts about rule 202 (where in anything touched by three players counts as the ball) doesn't come across as the obvious foreshadowing it is because Pratchett makes it funny, by making the object it was originally applied to a players disembodied head so it just seems like it's there to add colour and point out the violence of the old game compared to the new.

That sentence should really stand out but it doesn't. At least not to either me or mark.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +14 points

I mean I grew up in much the same position that Glenda, did. That poor/working class street and family where all the men did football. And I'm with her that ideally it was up to those people to decide football didn't work it and reform it and not the authorities. But well in England they didn't.

I'd call it something like the 4chan effect, it ate itself. As the crowds decreased, the remaining crowds were fanatics who only interacted with other fanatics. The firms, the hooligans took control because nobody else cated about the game.

I wish the needed reforms could have happened without it also pricing out the poor (selfishly the fact the game is available to me now doesn't help when I can't afford to go there, an opera ticket is cheaper) but if we're talking about the consequences of that drive for gentrification, then you can't ignore that one is hat those reforms happened.

The book posits that the game can either belong to the Andy Shanks of this world or the Ponder Stibbons. It can either be closed, in which case it'll be a ghetto with all that implies, or it can become open, where it'll risk being lost to the original players.

I don't think that implies that the working classes are innately violent so much that the conditions of a sport that the middle classes aren't inclined to try and police leads to it.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 4 replies · +37 points

There is sometimes more than a hint of gatekeeping about a lot of the concerns that Glenda expresses here.

The 'girls shouldn't play d & d, read comics, play video games' group often view it through that lens. That it was their thing, that they were laughed at and picked on for doing by women and now women want to do it and want it made more welcoming for them. And how dare they take our thing and make it theirs. And the correct response to that 'it was never just your thing, fuck off. You don't get to decide that we're not welcome here'. So that colours my view on this argument.

I remember there was a thing about how middle class people shouldn't eat working class food and I remain convinced that was written by middle class people who just didn't want to interact with the common people and wanted a woke reason for not doing so. Like greggs pasties are great, if rich people want to eat them, go for it. They're great, I hope you get pleasure from it.

I wasn't there in the mid 19th century when the violent street game of football became replaced by the public school rules we use now (which is what this book is about) but I was around in the early 1990s when the game became gentrified in the UK.

There were two main consequences of this in my view. One is that it became much more expense to access and priced out the working class who used to be the main viewers. Football was never on TV, apart from one game a year on free tv , and then sky bought the rights to show league games and it became an expensive subscription which essentially opened up satellite tv in the Uk and millions paid to watch it. At the same time ticket prices in grounds have risen hugely, it's gone from 2-4 pound a game and 40-80 pound for a season for a top flight match to 20-60 pound a game and 500-900 pound for a season in the last 30 years. This has meant that sports players have gone from earning about three as much as nurses to around 100 times more. because capitalism is a broken system. It has become a game where middle class people watch very rich people rather than the classic working class game it was. Roy Keane famously shouted that he used to be watched by passionate men who cared about the game and now the fans just sat in their expensive seats, drank champaigne and ate prawn sandwiches. It was a trip out, a tourist thing. They'd taken something working class people made and took it for their own (and the extent in which prior to 1990 football was a working class game can't be underestimated. Soccer is now thought of as an Americanism but prior to 1990 it was used all the time in the UK in adverts, books and journalism. What it was was the upper class term for the sport. They called it soccer, the people who actually played and watched called it football. Autobiographies of players written in the 1950s almost always use soccer on the cover and football inside the book because of this). I get why Glenda is angry about this.

But there is a second major consequence of this gentrification and it's that a lot more people watch the game and the reason for that. Is for the first time people who wouldn't be allowed or be safe in the game as it was, such as women or ethnic communities can now watch it safely. During the 1980s attendances were falling despite low ticket prices because he game was an unpleasant place to go to. There was rampant racism that kept black players rare and black fans non existent, rampant sexism, firms of football hooligans waiting outside the game to attack rival fans, unsafe grounds policed badly. People went to grounds and didn't come home. The drive to price out working class fans came as a way to prevent incidents like the Russian student being beaten to death by rioting English fans when England lost or the black players being showered with bananas. Dads took their boys and taught them to spit at the opposition and shout abuse at the black players in the other team but the daughters stayed home because it wasn't safe.

I don't miss the palace of male aggression that football was. I like that we now have foreigners and black people being given a chance in the game, that women make up large areas of the crowds now, that going to the game doesn't require shielding yourself from bricks being thrown at you. And most people don't which is why, even with the prices rising to such an extent, crowd sizes are much bigger now.

Glenda is pissed that Vetinari took something that wasn't his and tried to claim it but she ultimately accepts that it had to change or die and this is kinder than dying. That the sport as it currently is, is not worth it living.

3 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 3 replies · +11 points

I'm glad that Mark liked it. I was less fond, I'd call it the first miss of the season for me.

Like mark's right that the satire of Amazon is biting, in particular the way they use Ryan to lampshade the way instead of being an exageration of present trends, it's just exactly the same because you can't get more extreme than the current situation but the ending just blows it.

I'm sick of centrists writing about an actual injustice and then make the people arguing against that too extreme in order to justify support for the status quo. It's cowardly to make the twist 'the real evil was the trade unionist activists we made among the way''.

But it's not just that it doesn't work morally, it's that it doesn't follow from the buildup work. None of the ending really makes sense. Like''but the AI did have a conscience you can tell by the way it fridged your innocent girlfriend to teach you a lesson' makes no sense. 'A human attempted to frame ais for a massive crime and the af foiled it, clearly this means we need less ais and more humans on staff' makes no sense.

3 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 5 replies · +15 points

This is a wonderful episode about a subject we don't cover enough in the UK (and one startlingly relevant given who is currently PM of India).

I was delighted that Mark spotted it was about the partition so early, and for all he says he's not an expert, that's a lot more then I'd expect an average non asian brit to know. As I have said before the complete and startling ignorance about the empire in the UK is something people don't get. We just don't talk about the Empire which means we don't have to address our crimes.

It's been a great series and I thought the aliens thematically were useful in that they were a race of killers who'd become something better so it was a moment of grace that lightened an episode about normal people becoming killers. It was nice to show that the process can go both ways and that the memory of the dead can be used to renounce violence as well as justify it

Particuarly heartening because my main worry at this point is that it's a series that's just too dark in it's world view. The world as described in these 6 episodes, is shit because of deep institutional problems which you can not realy change so you just have to be kind around the edges. The result being that the doctor never really does anything. She just turns up, witnesses someone else's story, at best saves one or two people from dying and then leaves without changing anything fundamental because she can't.

Obviously it's a bit much to suggest that she solves racism or pollution or hindu/muslim tension, but like she doesn't even make sure the dodgy american business man gets arrested. She just kind of wanders off instead on the basis that men like that never get their comeuppance so why bother to try.

It's a deeply depressing worldview and while I get why we've stepped away from the Doctor as a lonely god who can fix anything, I'm not thrilled that the first female doctor is also the doctor who get's the least outright wins and badarse moments since Peter Davidson (and this fels very much like a better written version of the Peter Davidson years).

3 years ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +2 points

Robin is my bae. Her and Steve were gold whenever they were on screen.

3 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 1 reply · +14 points

It was nice to see Susan again.

3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Making Mon... · 6 replies · +18 points

Not my favourite book but I'm delighted that it was the right book for you at this time, mark and that you got so much pleasure out of it. As ever, your joy is contagious which is why I like reading/watching your reactions so much.

I liked the vetinari scene where Drumknott guesses Moist is going to do taxes when he starts talking about how popular he is. I also like that it's kept ambiguous as to whether that's because only a popular man can be trusted to get through tax reform or whether it's to keep him from becoming too popular by putting him on taxes (I mean it's both) but I liked the pettiness of that second motive.

3 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 3 replies · +9 points

This is a controversial episode among my friends because of the lennier moment (OOC? IC but throwaway and not given enough build up or fall out? Just generally uninteresting and part of an uninteresting character plot? An anticlimactic answer to how does lennier betray the rangers? A tragic but meaningful and artistically worthwhile moment? All of the above?)

So let's just ignore that and focus on the rest of the episode, which I like, instead. I love the passing of the torch scenes. Really want to see more of the new team actually which will be better with the Bechtel test at least.

Also the.keeper for delenn's child. Do we think a) this is purely about petty revenge on the people who drove out the shadows and there is no tactical reasons for this or b) the drakh only understand hereditary power and are going to be surprised and upset when David works as a barista rather than inheriting the presidency?