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8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 0 replies · +14 points

(You said it was a rhetorical question, and then I typed up a super TL;DR response to it. I honestly apologize if this is annoying behavior. Sorry.)

My feeling on the line is similar to froborr's. It doesn't make me feel that I am the harvest and that I can hope for care from some reaper man. It's that it makes me think about whether I am the reaper of some harvest; whether I have a harvest that is my responsibility and that I should be caring about/for more than I am. It could mean that I should care more about/for the animals and plants that I eat, or the environment of the planet I live on. It could mean that I should care more about/for the underpaid workers who produce the luxuries I enjoy in my life. It could mean that I should care more about/for my employees if I were a boss, or my students if I were a teacher, or my patients if I were a doctor, or just in general that whatever my job is, I should carry it out with a sense of caring and attention instead of impersonal detachment. It could mean something completely different, or it could mean nothing at all! But I feel like it's a call to create your own meaning of what it means to be a reaper who gives care to the harvest, and then to carry it out in your own life.

(I actually am a religious person, but the quote touches me in a place not related to my specific religious beliefs. I certainly don't interpret the "reaper man" in question as a reference to God/Jesus/any higher power that humans in the real wold may be subject to; I interpret him as--like Arbitrary_greay said--an ethical, humanist(?) ideal that we ourselves can and should aspire to imitate.)


9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 0 replies · +32 points

I don't know about combine harvesters, but I recently learned that a scythe used by an experienced worker CAN IN FACT cut faster than a brushcutter:

(the whole, amazing video: )

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 8 · 1 reply · +6 points

"Which totally makes sense in hindsight, since Vassenego was the one who Eric was supposed to summon"

...hooooly crap, I had completely forgotten that! (at least during this go-round. Possibly I caught it during my previous reads. But during this read-through I had genuinely, utterly forgotten/missed it.) That turns the wrap-up (as I mentioned in another comment) from a Vassenego Ex Machina to a Chekhov's Vassenego. XD

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 8 · 0 replies · +3 points

I had a similar weirdess around the abrupt ending, which manifested as remembering everything clearly up to exactly the end of Part 7 where they are surprised to meet Ponce da Quirm in Hell, and then remembering literally nothing about what happened afterwards/here in Part 8. Once I actually read/listen to it I'm like "oh yeah, I did read this before," but if you had asked me before I watched Part 8 how it all wrapped up? I would not have been able to produce a single sentence about the treadmill, Vassenego, Astfgl's promotion & office, nothing. It was really weird. I had this complete blank in my memory that started exactly at the break between parts 7 and 8. Perhaps my brain just couldn't believe how quickly everything wrapped up. The situation goes from "maximum peril" to "happy ending" so fast it could give you whiplash.

That said, I kind of like it. IMO, the way it would have gone without the Vassenego Ex Machina (or perhaps the Chekhov's Vassenego) -- spending more time with Asfgl being enraged at Rincewind & Eric, the two humans trying to talk their way out of trouble, etc -- could have gotten pretty tedious pretty quickly. I guess it's's not a deep or intricately plotted book, just a collection of entertaining skits, so I don't mind that the climax+wrap-up was also just a short and entertaining skit. Having a more in-depth climax that wasn't just a skit would have just dragged in comparison/been a mismatch to the pacing of the rest of the book.

(wow, sorry, I started off replying to your comment and it kind of...grew into a teal deer of my own thoughts.)

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 6 · 0 replies · +10 points

My dad did the exact same thing to me, except about Thailand. xD

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 6 · 0 replies · +5 points

...HOLY CRAP. I love this idea! :D

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 6 · 2 replies · +16 points

I enjoyed this section a LOT more this time than I did when I read it as a kid! Back then I found it kind of boring compared to the other sections. I mean, mock-Aztec-civilization and mock-Trojan-War, and then...three guys sitting around in utter bill* and talking to each other? Meh.
Perhaps I needed some years to learn to appreciate subtler humor. Or perhaps I just needed Mark reading it out loud with feeling. :D Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around! Thanks, Mark! :D

*I didn't get the "bill" joke, actually, so there's part of the problem right there. As far as young!me was concerned, the section started out pretty nonsensically! Well, it's not like I'd ever had to pay a bill at that point. :p Mark's reaction to it, though, definitely made it 10x more hilarious than it would have been if I had just re-read the book on my own.

Also, reading this at age slightly-younger-than-Eric, I had a pretty good grasp on "this thing is sexy in general terms," but not completely on the idea of "this thing is sexy to me personally," so it wasn't 100% clear to me why I liked this Astfgl section so much. (His mounting fury was over-riding his sense of style; his red silk gloves ripped as the talons unfolded. ... his jaunty cap with its stylish hornlets had become a mere wisp of crimson dangling from the tip of one of the great coiled rams-horns that framed his skull. With a rather sensuous ripping noise the red silk across his back tore open and his wings unfolded.)
Okay, the "sensuous" was a bit of a tip-off. It was probably, like, 70% clear to me why I liked that section. :p

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 5 · 0 replies · +3 points

So normally I devour the new Mark Reads videos as soon as they're put up, but I've been dragging my heels on watching this one all week because of the Elenor section. I don't passionately hate the Elenor section (it would probably be easier to hate-listen if I did), it's just vaguely-unpleasant-enough that I just preferred to ignore its existence and really didn't feel like subjecting myself to it in audio form (it's better in written form, since I can easily skim). Of course I know that Mark would call it on its unpleasant implications, but even calling it on its shit requires spending more time on it than I like to.
I guess I'll watch/listen for the Lavaeolus bits, and practice some LA-LA-LA-CAN'T-HEAR-ANYTHING-ing as necessary.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 5 · 1 reply · +22 points

"Yes, women grow lots of upper lip hair IT IS A COMMON BIOLOGICAL THING"

True story: When my grandma underwent chemo, she was exasperated that the only hair of hers that DIDN'T fall out was "these darned little mustaches."
(As for me, I inherited 'em from both sides of the family, heh.)

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Eric': Part 2 · 1 reply · +20 points

"Eric" was the first Discworld novel I ever read; my dad picked it up randomly at a bookstore when I was a kid, and we both enjoyed it so much that we started reading Pratchett's other books and have continued to do so to this day.
HOWEVER, I have not re-read "Eric" in many years because I've come to definitely prefer middle-to-late Pratchett and not care much for early Pratchett, and I had mentally categorized "Eric" as the latter and not really worth re-reading.

But "re-reading" it by watching your videos, I'm very struck by how much I still like it and how much I'm enjoying revisiting it! All the jokes and funny bits have that nostalgic fun of "oh yeah, I had forgotten that joke, but now I remember re-reading it four times back in the day!," but I also find them funny on their own merits, not just for nostalgia's sake. In short, I thought the book/my liking for the book would not have aged well, but it turns out to have aged surprisingly well!

Also, I read "Good Omens" about 6-7 years after "Eric," so I never realized how strong the similarities are between Astfgl's take on being a demon king and Crowley's take on being a demon. I can't believe I never realized it before; the similarities are really striking. (In a good way, since I enjoyed both of them apart and I'm enjoying both of them side-by-side now that I've realized.)

One bit of mental whiplash: the last time I read this book, Eric Thursley was "teenager slightly older than me". Now he's "holy crap he's barely a teenager--he's practically a tweenager--that's super young!" (of course, I think that makes him less annoying to me now. Even as a kid I knew he was intentionally spoiled and bratty, but back then it was like a peer being annoying, while now I can just mentally pat him on the head and go "yeah whatever; grow up, kiddo")