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6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Witches Ab... · 5 replies · +9 points

'Mate with' is not violent enough. Greebo is a psycho-cat. He attacks anything up to the size of a bear and rapes anything he can find. Lady cats by preference, but wolves and foxes have been known to get out of his way. The joke is not that he is a psycho-cat, the joke is that Nanny sees him as a harmless kitty-poo.

What is the problem with Americans being so bloody sensitive to a word?. Yup, rape is gross, and awful, and criminal and may the dick of any rapist spontaneously rot off, etcetera, etcetera, but to get yourself all in a tizzy because a fictional animal is described as being a fighting, murdering and raping terror with claws whose human owner persistantly thinks of him as a sweet little kitten stumps me, quite frankly.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Witches Ab... · 1 reply · +13 points

Absolutely! Greebo raping and terrorizing the Ramtops is not the joke, the joke is that Nanny (who is a pretty good judge of character otherwise) is selectively blind where her puddycat is concerned and still sees him as a harmless ball of kitten fluff. All three witches are perfect parodies of a certain type, and Pratchett's genius is how he takes those types and makes them perfectly believable characters in their own right.
As for Greebo, he is, as you've said, a cat, and cats, unlike humans, don't have a sense of morality nor are they culpable, and if cats were to have a sense of morality, Greebo would be the most immoral terrorist psychopath one of them all.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Witches Ab... · 3 replies · +13 points

I love the difference between Wizards and Witches. They're both magical, they both know when they're going to die, and they both have a tendency towards celibacy (apart from Nanny Ogg, of course, something Granny sniffs disapprovingly about), but where the Wizards clump together in a hierarchal Academy, the natural number of a Witches' Coven is one. Witches are strictly solitary creatures, and when one of them dies, the neighboring Witches have to redraw the boundaries between territories.

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads \'Reaper Ma... · 0 replies · +5 points

It probably says something about my age that I remember those Cadbury Milk Tray ads so well. Although, to be fair, they had some version of that ad for fifty years! The one I remember is this one:

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads \'Reaper Ma... · 3 replies · +10 points

Mark, I do think you've interpreted the "and then it was all over, the end" after the last Reg Shoe bit, wrongly. It's the STORY that is over, not Reg.

(well, that's my interpretation and I'm sticking with it!)

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 1 reply · +20 points

It doesn't care for the harvest

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 0 replies · +35 points

I think zombie-Windle is the 'true' Windle. The Windle stripped of all the decades of senility, the century of academic backstabbing, all of it. Windle has lived since boyhood in a very cloistered, very competative, very myopic world, harldy ever setting a foot outside it, and the few times he did, he went as a Wizard, which means a bombastic creature full of self-importance who thinks he's above everyone and everything and whose only job it is to bamboozle the public into thinking that Wizards Know All and Are Superior. In short, Windle has lived his life being a Wizard, but he never lived his life being Windle. Ironically, he finds out who Windle is only after he has died... Because Windle the Wizard would've talked to Mrs Cake the way Ridcully did; patronizing and dismissive, but Windle the zombie realises he doesn't have a leg to stand on (pun unintended)
Besides, I think that is something being dead does to you. We see how Windle's bodyparts become superstrong and efficient - his eyes see with perfect clearity, his ears hears every whisper, he's stronger than an oran utang, he can read every language and remembers EVERYTHING. I think that something else happened as well. Death strips away all the false ideas you have about yourself, and if anybody would benefit from that, it's a Wizard.

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 0 replies · +4 points


Nope, 'mangel' means 'shortage' in German, and 'mangold' is the German word for 'chard'. This humble root, and others of its kind, made a huuuuuge impact on history. No, really. In England, before their introduction in the 18th century, farmers had to kill off most of their livestock in the fall, because they could not grow enough fodder to keep them over the winter. But because of the humble fodderbeet, and because of the introduction of crop rotation (by Jethro Tull - the agriculturist, not the rock band), even the crappiest piece of land could bear a crop that could be eaten either by livestock or human beings and so instead of nearly starving each winter, people could survive and even thrive. It was called 'the Agricultural Revolution of the 18th Century', and it went hand-in-glove with the Industrial Revolution. Because now that more food could be produced by less people, more people could be spared to work in industry.

All because of the Wurzel. Yay!

Incidently, I love and adore Enid Blyton. She was attacked and abhorred by the intelligentia of the sixties, but her 'Mallory Towers' and 'Five Find-Outers' series made an indelible impression on my childhood and her work is still in print and read all over the world. Take THAT, intelligentia of the sixties!

7 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Reaper Man... · 2 replies · +12 points

Mangelwurzel or mangold wurzel (from German Mangel/Mangold and Wurzel, "root"), also called mangold, mangel beet, field beet, and fodder beet, is a cultivated root vegetable derived from Beta vulgaris. Its large white, yellow or orange-yellow swollen roots were developed in the 18th century as a fodder crop for feeding livestock.

Read all you want (and probably far more than that) at this great site 'For the Love of Mangel Wurzels':