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45 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Thief of T... · 4 replies · +17 points

My thoughts exactly. Keep in mind that most of Susan's section is her internal monologue. She might have less than charitable thoughts about a few of her students, but she's only (mostly) human - I don't think there's a single teacher out there who thinks of all their students exactly the same way, never gets exasperated at their behavior, and doesn't have some favorites and some not-so-favorites. What matters is how she treats them outwardly, and I don't think Susan lets her internal thoughts affect her external behavior negatively. She does call on Vincent and lets him answer the hardest question and rewards him when he gets it right. Same with Penelope - she makes an effort to draw the girl out of her shell and gives her an extra special reward when she succeeds. Susan might not think kindhearted thoughts all the time, but I don't think that her actions shows her as a bad teacher.

45 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Thief of T... · 0 replies · +7 points

I'm so excited for this project! Thief of Time was the very first Pratchett book I ever read, and while it's been eclipsed by others on my list of top favorite Discworld books it'll always hold a special place in my heart. The intro, in particular, is one of my favorites to any Discworld book ever - that whole section about getting the entire story was what drew me into these books in the first place and is still extremely memorable for me to this day.

46 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Truth'... · 0 replies · +20 points

What if people had written off all vampires because of what they saw in Carpe Jugulum? Are they justified in doing so?

The flaw in that metaphor is that unlike supporting Trump, being a vampire on the Discworld isn't a choice, though how you deal with it is. A more accurate comparison would be 'are people justified in writing off vampires who choose to prey on humans and drink human blood like the ones in Carpe Jugulum?' which I would say...yeah, they absolutely are. Hell, the entire point of the Vlad/Agnes romance was Vlad attempting to convince Agnes to give him a shot and Agnes concluding at the end that while she might be able to work on him, she couldn't forgive or forget how much he hurt people for it to be worth the effort and that's perfectly fine.

Actions and choices have consequences. If someone chose to support an openly racist, xenophobic, homophobic, hate-mongering sexual assaulter as President, then the consequence is that some people are justifiably going to be immensely uncomfortable and angry with that choice and not want to associate with them. Now if you think that it's worth talking to Trump supporters to try to change their mind, that's okay and more power to you! But don't blame anyone for being furious or hurt enough at the kind of people who would support that kind of hateful rhetoric just because it wasn't targeted at them to not want anything to do with them.

60 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Fifth ... · 0 replies · +35 points

Hmm, while I certainly don't agree with Carrot's Views on contraception or his disapproval, I think it's actually really consistent with his characterization? A major flaw in Carrot's otherwise nice persona is that he does tend to absorb what people tell him as facts (at least if he respects them enough) and doesn't question it until he's directly confronted with how these views might hurt someone. We see it in Men At Arms where he repeats Vimes' opinion on the undead and how they should just go back to where they came from, and again in Feet of Clay where he's freaked out over Cheery openly admitting she's a woman. He does manage to get over both these prejudices, but I can definitely see him being deeply uncomfortable with the idea of contraception because of his dwarf upraising and also completely oblivious as to why he's being a hypocrite over it. (And to be fair to Pratchett, I don't think we're intended to agree with Carrot at all on this, since Vimes' words and inner thoughts make it pretty clear how ridiculous he's being over it.)

67 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Carpe Jugu... · 0 replies · +25 points

Speaking of character development and continuity, Magrat making Granny Weatherwax her child's godmother is such a fantastic way of showing how far she's come and how her opinion of Granny and witching in general has evolved throughout the series. Pratchett's used the theme of godmothering with Magrat more than once to showcase her character; in Wyrd Sisters, she's the one who eagerly brings up the idea of granting Tomjon three wishes as his unofficial godmothers while Nanny and Granny are a lot more dubious about it, and of course Witches Abroad is all about the conflict between her ideals of what a fairy godmother should be and Granny's far more pragmatic style.

So it really means a lot that Magrat's reached the point where she firmly believes that Granny's protection would be worth a billion times more than any amount of wishing and fairytale nonsense. Given their history, her declaring Granny her child's ideal godmother is such a meaningful gesture and indication of how much she's taken into heart all the lessons Granny's taught her over the years and the impact she's had - even more so than her naming her child after Granny, I would argue. (I also like to interpret that Magrat's look of horror at Agnes' comment about something to wish on a child isn't because of the idea of Granny being a godmother, but rather HORRIBLE FLASHBACKS to Lilith/Witches Abroad which only firms her decision.)

101 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Maskerade'... · 1 reply · +40 points

It's not a sudden switch at all though, so it makes sense to me. Remember, this is the same Ghost who thought he was teaching Christine the whole time, who never even once considered fighting to let Agnes sing instead even though she's clearly a far superior singer and he could have easily used his identity to threaten Bucket into it the same way he threatened them into letting Christine perform. This is the same guy who straight up told the person he thought was Christine at their first meeting that while he cannot teach Agnes to look like Christine, he can teach Christine to sound like Agnes.

The Ghost has always only ever cared about Christine. That doesn't magically change now that Walter is fully in control - after all, Walter lives and breathes the opera, and unfortunately the opera as it is now can't accept women of Agnes' size being leading ladies over women who look like Christine. (This runs sadly incredibly true to life too - how many Phantom of the Opera runs ever cast a large woman as Christine? How many musicals have a large leading lady playing a character who wasn't deliberately written to be fat?)

112 weeks ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +5 points

...wait, are there still no playable women in this game? Seriously? In the year of our lord 2016 where even 'women are hard to code' Ubisoft has incredibly reluctantly given us a playable female assassin, there's actually an RPG coming out from a major triple-A company that doesn't feature a single female party member?

Yeah, I think I'll be sticking to Bioware, thanks all the same.

113 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Interestin... · 1 reply · +15 points

Whoops, sorry! I definitely phrased that badly. I didn't mean to imply that European countries have less history than Asian ones, just that it's frustrating that fantasy writers seem to think they do in that I've seen so, so, so many fantasy worlds where there'll be individual kingdoms/nations clearly based off of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, etc - but only one nebulous country of 'all East Asians live here and wear kimonos and eat sushi while otherwise being Chinese' (along with the country of 'all black people live here in huts and wear tribal attire' and the country of 'all Middle-Easterners live here in the sand riding camels and wear sari').

113 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Interestin... · 8 replies · +48 points

Yuuuup. Speaking as a Chinese-American here, I hate this book.

The funny thing is that I really liked it when I first read it as a kid! I thought it was great to finally find a fantasy book that takes place in fantasy China instead of fantasy Europe! I even laughed at the calligraphy line because having gone to Chinese school, I have been there. Which really says something about the state of representation in fantasy because when I reread it again as an adult, I couldn't even make it past the first half without having to walk away from disgust. There's no satire here, no poking fun at the way China's been misrepresented and the awful stereotypes Westerners use. There's just conforming to the same old shit we've seen over and over already, and I really expected better from Pratchett.

Also for God's sake fantasy writers, stop mashing up China and Japan into one Asianish country. Not only is it incredibly disrespectful to two completely different cultures who honestly have more history than most of your precious European ones, but there's so much bad blood between them that it's basically like claiming that the USA and Russia are the same thing because they both have lots of white people! Just stop!

115 weeks ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 1 reply · +4 points

I'd recommend turning it off! That way you can personalize the characters to what suits your playing style.