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Robinson L on Ferretcast The First
at 15:30 on 05-05-2015 - link
In a fit of nostalgia I recently started listening through some of these early days podcasts - and they hold up pretty well. I mean, TeXt Factor and Shakespeare reviews are great, but I enjoy the more freewheeling, "talk about contemporary stuff which interests us" style to these old shows, as well. Also, as great as Kyra, Dan, and Arthur (and also Jamie and Shim) are, it's fun to hear some other voices as well.
Regarding Dan's comment on there being three ways to answer the "who would you like to be trapped with on a desert island" question, I think the podcast itself demonstrates there are at least four:
1) someone hot
2) someone to help you cheat and get off the island
3) (not mentioned) someone to help you survive the island (I would classify Steve Irwin's ghost as this)
4) something vaguely meta
It occurs to me there's probably also a fifth option:
5) surreal nonsequitor
e.g., Whoopi Goldberg with a paleontology chart and a Glinda the Good wand (you have no idea how long I spent racking my brains for an example which didn't sound like it could just as easily fit under 1) as some sort of fetish deal).
So, uh, yeah.
On another subject:
(MORE SOCIAL HOUSING NOW)
I see no contradiction in these two statements.
- Robinson L on Catharsis by Rabbit at 22:36 on 01-05-2015 - link Sounds like an interesting book, I should probably check it out some time. Coincidentally, I read this review the day after Terry Pratchett died - that seems oddly appropriate.
Robinson L on Race in Popular Culture
at 22:00 on 01-05-2015 - link
A bit of news related to topics touched on in the article, and fleshed out more in the discussion in the comments:
I've maintained for years that white majority audiences are more open to movies and TV with substantial people of color casts, and this is what I call confirmation.
(Found via Gradient Lair, which points out that these findings even knock down the cutthroat capitalist "there's less money in diverse programming" argument for movies and television being overwhelmingly white.)
Robinson L on An Almost Amazing Book
at 00:30 on 30-04-2015 - link
Thanks for the comments.
@Melanie: I suppose that's a fair comparison, although "everyone tell us a little bit about themselves" is so open-ended that a lot of people may be at a loss for what to say; whereas "everyone tell us about one really incredible thing you've experienced in your life so far" feels potentially like something a bit more concrete. And by definition, it should be about something which would pack a substantial emotional punch.
@Shim: I dunno, I mean the idea as Uma states it is to talk about something positive they've experienced, and this is supposed to break the ice and get everybody to empathize a bit more with each other. I guess I'm not sure whether that seems like a good idea or not.
Oh, I should also probably mention in Divakaruni's favor while all the members of the cast come from either India or the US, they are racially diverse in way which felt like a plausible portrayal of the kind of breakdown you'd get of nine people in an Indian consulate in the states. Uma, Malathi, and Mr. Mangalam are Indian, Lily and Jiang are Chinese, Cameron is black, Mrs. and Mr. Pritchett are white, and Tariq is Middle Eastern.
Shim on An Almost Amazing Book
at 10:53 on 29-04-2015 - link
I have to wonder about someone who suggests to a bunch of quarreling strangers that they should all share something so important and personal they've never told it to anyone else.
As far as verisimilitude goes though, a bunch of vague, rambling anecdotes that don't really address the premise and are emotionally unsatisfying seems like the most likely outcome.
- Melanie on An Almost Amazing Book at 09:21 on 29-04-2015 - link ...Honestly, the premise reminds me of all those classes where the teacher decided to start things off with, "Why don't we go around the room and have everyone tell us a little bit about themselves".
Shim on Cyberchicks and Elvish Rockstars
at 15:40 on 28-04-2015 - link
Polutrope, for reference, both Kyra and me have read the second book and I think Kyra read the third as well. Our enthusiasm plummeted. From our conversation plus what I've heard elsewhere, Robson's real enthusiasm is for exploring the metaphysics and philosophy of her setting, and that is increasingly prominent in the series. See also: His Dark Materials.
Book two features Lila in demonland by herself fighting stuff and having some random deus ex machinish adventures. Fairy dude gets a big chunk of screentime hanging around in a sort of 40k Warp-ish dimension doing experiments and coincidentally explicating the setting. Zal gets stuck in the elemental plane of elements doing much the same. They're theoretically having dangerous adventures, but it doesn't feel especially adventurey. Lila's bit is okay but feels rather hollow.
What's really noticeable is that while the first book revolves around Lila building connections and her relationship with various other characters, that felt sidelined here in favour of metaphysics and discourses on demonic society. In particular, Lila and Zal are in completely different universes, which kind of puts the kibosh on it as a romance - Kyra could articulate this better than me, but you really can't build up the romance aspect of the story without interaction between the romantic leads. This means it feels like quite a different kind of book. Not in a good way.
Also, let's be honest, I was going into book 2 looking for more Hot Elf Boinking, and NOPE.
In fairness though, it's been a while since I read book 2 so I can't be that accurate in my griping.
- http://polutrope.dreamwidth.org/ on Cyberchicks and Elvish Rockstars at 02:08 on 28-04-2015 - link This is super ancient, but I'd like to thank you for reviewing this - I just read it and loved it to pieces & never would have read it if it weren't for this review.