Friday Morning Open Thread: At Last, Politicians Who Understand What the Voters *Really* Want!

As has been said before: The more I read about Stacey Abrams, the better I like her.

And speaking of genre-ruling tv shows that have been part of the cultural conversation for some time…

Are people still excited about GoT? Seems to be a certain amount of snark about the upcoming final season, but then, snark is the native tongue of the target audience…

Vanity Fair:

When news broke last month that A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin had turned down a cameo in the final season of Game of Thrones, those who have been following Martin’s relationship with the show wondered if something other than work on The Winds of Winter might be keeping him away. Now, a new report confirms that Martin’s association with the show has grown more distant. Martin—who hasn’t actively worked on the HBO series since Season 4—neither visited the set nor even read any scripts for the final season. The author has also admitted that he has “mixed feelings” about the highly anticipated Season 8…

NYMag‘s Vulture subblog:

[I]n something of a concession to Martin and the book readers, Benioff and Weiss also told EW that they’re not planning to reveal how exactly their version of events differ from the plans Martin had for his books. “Now that the show is ahead of the books, it seems the show could ruin the books for people,” Benioff said. “So one thing we’ve talked to George about is that we’re not going to tell people what the differences are, so when those books come out people can experience them fresh.” That might seem like a minor quibble, but there are important developments on the show that we know came straight from Martin (Hodor’s backstory, for instance), which means that, in the future, there’ll be plenty of twists that could be either his ideas or Benioff and Weiss originals…

213 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: Blech.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    The MAGA A/C guys finished up the job yesterday evening, so the house is MAGA-free today. Yay!

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Now to get rid of the stench.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: Ozark is’s a .blech day

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s all about the Benjamins:

    The FEC has seemed unwilling to actively guard against foreign contributions in US politics. In 2017, two dissenting commissioners said the FEC had failed to properly investigate a complaint alleging foreigners donated $55,000 through LLCs to a campaign group supporting a congressman.

    The commission is understaffed. All four current commissioners have served well beyond their six-year term limits. For the past year, the FEC has operated with four commissioners instead of six because Trump has not nominated people to fill two vacant seats. Ellen Weintraub, the FEC chairwoman and the only sitting Democratic commissioner, has frequently criticised her colleagues for what she views as an unwillingness to adequately regulate campaign finance, including the threat of foreign money.

    In a letter to Congress sent last September, Weintraub said the FEC was “naively and dangerously” ignoring the reality of foreign interference and had no plan to counter it. “This situation will not improve until this commission has at least four members who are willing to enforce existing law barring foreign-national political involvement and address dark money,” Weintraub wrote.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    Donny Doeche (sp) just said the judge had a hard-on for the prosecution!

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    Thomas Selby Ellis III
    May 15, 1940 (age 78)
    Bogotá, Colombia

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The stench-removal guy is probably also a MAGA.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: When I get arrested for the hundreds of murders I’ve committed, I want to go before him so I too can be sentenced as a first time offender.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Completely agree. This waking up at 5:30 when the alarm is set for 6:45 is getting tiresome.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    Manafort’s sentence was a sham against the justice system. Hopefully this is not a sigh of what is to come. Bah Humbug with a double blech.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And then I’ll pardon you!

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Almost nothing is a sign of anything else.

  18. 18
    Immanentize says:

    Hanging out at Logan, waiting for my flight. I slept like Ozark last night….

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @Baud: The power of positive thinking.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: Have a good time in Houston.

  21. 21


    Bah Humbug with a double blech.

    You might want to see a medical professional about that.

  22. 22
    Baud says:


    Not really. It works the other way too, when something good happens.

  23. 23

    @JPL: Is that even possible?

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Yeah, Floriduh.

  25. 25
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: Safe travels.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: May you and the Immp enjoy Houston, don’t let the bedbugs bite, or travel back home with you.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: Was just reading a WSJ story that “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli is continuing to run his company while he’s inside, apparently using a smartphone (which is contraband in Federal prison.)

    If the WSJ knows he’s got a phone inside, why doesn’t the Bureau of Prisons?

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Long Read- In Chicago, reparations aren’t just an idea. They’re the law

    Douglas’s students didn’t yet know it, but they were not the only Chicago students wrestling with Jon Burge and the Midnight Crew last spring. In fact, teachers and students at each of the city’s 644 public schools were figuring out how to talk about the cops of the Midnight Crew. Teachers were going down this path whether they wanted to or not. There was no choice: it was an official requirement, codified in city law.

    This classroom initiative is part of a historic, novel and perplexingly under-covered development in the ever-more urgent search for solutions to the cumulative harm inflicted on Americans – especially black Americans – in the name of law and order. On 6 May 2015, in response to decades of local activism, Chicago’s city council passed a resolution officially recognising that Burge and his subordinates had engaged in torture, condemning that torture, and offering his victims (or at least some of them) compensation for their suffering.

    The resolution is a singular document in American history. Torture accountability – even basic torture honesty – has been a perennial nonstarter in US politics. Reparations, especially those with a racial component, have long been treated as, alternately: an incoherent absurdity; a frightening threat; a nice-sounding but impractical rallying cry; or, more recently, in the wake of the National Magazine Award-nominated essay in the Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates, as a worthy but still essentially utopian demand. But within Chicago city limits, reparations for police torture isn’t just a thought exercise, a rhetorical expression about what should exist in a better world. It’s Chicago city council resolution SR2015-256: an official political promise.

  29. 29

    @Betty Cracker:

    One of the sad things about living in the middle of the Florida boonies: we are stuck in Red counties and surrounded by coal-rolling Confederate-flag-waving MAGA-hat wearing trumpsters. :/

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is a very uncomfortable story, all the more reason to read it all.

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    White collar crime isn’t really a crime, you know. //

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @PaulWartenberg: True. But the bird watching is fantastic, and it’ll be in the 70s this afternoon.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:


    White collar crime isn’t really a crime, you know.

    You had an extra word in there. Easy mistake to make.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @debbie: It’s more of a rite of passage.

    @SFAW: Good edit.

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PaulWartenberg: @Betty Cracker: The Florida boonies ain’t so different from the Ozark hills and hollers in that aspect.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Thanks for the link. To the right of the video is a column of trending articles, one of which is about the stories Michelle read to her daughters.

  37. 37
    Dave says:

    I had already liked Abrams. And she’s impressed me otherwise but now that I know her entertainment tastes line up with mine and that she wrote romance novels under a pen name I’m a 100% behind her. Either as a senator/president or both. Though it would be painful watching what viciousness would come her way in a future run for POTUS. All the racism and misogyny imaginable.

  38. 38
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    A few years back at The Book Thing I chanced upon a pristine trade-paperback copy of Game of Thrones. Oh goody, I thought, I can take all the time I need to finish this. (One of the great uses of The Book Thing is as a lending library with no due dates.)

    The reading went slower & slower & somewhere around page 330 stalled out. I pondered for a good long while & finally realized that I didn’t give a flying fuck about any of the characters. Any of them. As far as I was concerned, “Railroad” Martin** could’ve dropped a Chicxulub-size meteor on Westeros & wiped out the whole lot.

    So in the spirit of The Book Thing (whose mission is “To put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them”) I dropped it into the “contributions” hopper & have never had the slightest regret.

    ** One of his nicknames as a young SF author, inspired by his double middle initials. I met him in 1983 at ConStellation but nothing further ensued.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    I read the first book and watched a few episodes of the show and I was mostly bored. I also find the characters uninteresting.

  40. 40
    Sab says:

    @Betty Cracker: I will come back and laugh at you about that comment in July when it is 70 in Ohio and 100+ in Florida. Of course, you will still have better birds.

  41. 41
    Betty Cracker says:

    Speaking of reparations, David Brooks — yes, David Brooks of the NYT — wrote a column yesterday in support.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Or the flatlands of rural Indiana and Michigan. Blech.

    Good morning everyone, especially @rikyrah:

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think he’s doing it to ratfuck our primary.

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: This.

  45. 45
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: That thought crossed my mind too. He’s truly one of the most cynical sons of bitches to ever draw breath.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: ……………………… : 0

  47. 47
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the whole thing was a horrible story

    Ed Egan, who was a lead investigator, was a family friend.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Fascinating article about a photo of a lost jazz session in NYC. It’s a FTFNYT link for you purists. Bird, Mingus, Monk and Roy Haynes together in a dive on a random night in 1953.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @satby: that should be clear Ed Egan was an investigator into the systemic torture by Burge and his goons.

  50. 50
    Emma says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Bingo. I lost interest around page 280 or so. I might be the only person in the world that has never seen GoT. If I want to read/watch stories about unpleasant people on power/revenge trips, I’ll read Italian Renaissance history.

  51. 51
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I did a hard bounce off of the book when I hit the 1ncest; if you’re going to base your world off medieval Europe, I expect to see medieval attitudes about consanguinity. The uncle-niece marriages didn’t start happening among royalty until the Renaissance IIRC. and resulted in this within two centuries

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: The part that gets me, not that it surprises me in any way shape or form, is the utter unwillingness of certain communities to face the realities of what happened. I will always have a problem with people who prefer the comfortable lie.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Emma: Or Balloon Juice!

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:


    I might be the only person in the world that has never seen GoT.

    At least two of us.

  55. 55
    JR says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Well there was Anne Neville and Richard III. They were related if I recall correctly.

  56. 56
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I remember how angry my dad and his brothers were. It was a huge betrayal of “serve and protect”. Sounds so hokey now, but there were and are cops who want to serve, protect, and help people, like my father. And the bad ones destroy that.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    Wakandan War Dog (@Kennymack1971) Tweeted:
    This is all I have to say about Judge Ellis.

    He was a Reagan appointee.

    There’s a reason the GOP keeps packing the federal courts.

    One day it’ll sink in wokies.

    Good night.

  58. 58
    Rileys Enabler says:

    @Immanentize: welcome to Houston! Weather is crap this week but don’t let that get you down (it’s rainy season). Hope that you and Imp have a great visit.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    David Mazel (@david_mazel) Tweeted:
    @RadioFreeTom @Popehat Well, Mueller gave it his all, but at the end of the day he just couldn’t turn Manafort into a black guy.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) Tweeted:
    There was only one Black lawmaker on the committee this week to review a Stand Your Ground bill in Arkansas. Thank God it was state Senator Stephanie Flowers. The bill failed in committee 4-3. #arleg

  61. 61
  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    You and Little Imma going to Houston?

    Have a great trip 🤗🤗

  63. 63

    @rikyrah: Have a good time in Houston.

    @Emma: Martin says he doesn’t read much fiction these days. Instead he reads history. So you and he could trade books. I read the books but can’t watch the show. The relish with which violence is shown makes me ill. I especially can’t stand it when it’s aimed at children. I do read the recaps.

    @rikyrah: We’ve been relying on the judicial branch to save us. I suspect a few years down the road we won’t be able to do that. All the more reason to work on undoing voter suppression so at least one of the other two branches might be functioning at any give time.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:


    Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) Tweeted:
    Ken Starr is on CNN talking about how poor pitiable Manafort deserved mercy + compassion, then pivoted smoothly into condemning Monica Lewinsky as a devious manipulative perjurer even at age 21– & I feel like we’ve reached a new low to punditry. Happy int’l women’s day from @cnn

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Sounds so hokey now,

    No, it’s not.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    I’m just afraid Manafort will be back:

    But the revelation that Abramoff formally registered as an agent working to advance the interests of a foreign government stands in stark contrast to the political reformist image Abramoff has cut for himself since he emerged from federal prison in 2010. Abramoff this month filed his retroactive lobbying disclosures at the request of the Department of Justice and promptly terminated his association with the Italian national — Costel Iancu of the firm Global Scructures Group in Bucharest, Romania — and the Congolese government.
    Abramoff, reached Wednesday evening, referred questions to his lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg of law firm Arent Fox.
    Zeidenberg said he and Abramoff didn’t believe the filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act was necessary, but submitted the disclosures after the Department of Justice, which administers FARA, requested them.
    Under FARA, a person working on behalf of a foreign government to influence the U.S. government must file disclosures within 10 days of agreeing to act as a foreign agent — and before doing anything to benefit a foreign government.
    “We didn’t necessarily have a meeting of the minds as to what was required under the law,” Zeidenberg said. “We just decided to file this.”
    Nevertheless, the colorful narrative detailed in the new Department of Justice documents shows Abramoff going to great lengths to secure a meeting with Trump for Sassou Nguesso, whose more than three-decade rule has been marred by accusations of corruption and nepotism.
    Abramoff “flew to Palm Beach on his own initiative, and without any compensation” the filing says.
    While there, Abramoff called Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., “to see if he could assist with setting up a meeting with President-Elect Trump since Rep. Rohrabacher has been a leader in Congress opposing radical Islam.”
    Abramoff then drafted a letter for Rohrabacher, who once visited Abramoff in prison, to send to Sassou Nguesso.
    Rohrabacher in February told Politico, which first reported details of Abramoff’s latter-day lobbying efforts, that he transferred Abramoff’s wording onto congressional stationery and sent it.
    “It looked like what I wanted to say,” Rohrabacher told Politico.
    When the meeting between Trump and Sassou Nguesso “proved impossible to obtain,” Abramoff asked Rohrabacher to set up a call.
    Rohrabacher was obliging, but the call never happened. Instead, Abramoff set up a call between Rohrabacher and Sassou Nguesso in which Rohrabacher said he was interested in leading a delegation to the Republic of Congo.Politico reported that Rohrabacher made the trip in February. According to the new Department of Justice disclosure, Abramoff was also in Brazzaville, the Congolese capital, at the time, though he didn’t participate in the meeting between Rohrabacher and Sassou Nguesso.
    “It is Mr. Abramoff’s understanding that nothing of substance was ultimately agreed upon during the meeting,” according to the disclosure. No other meetings were scheduled, according to the disclosure.
    Does Abramoff have any plans to do any additional lobbying?
    “I don’t know,” Zeidenberg said.
    In 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to felonies and his name became synonymous with corruption in the nation’s capital. The scandal spurred the passage of new lobbying laws and ethics rules.

  67. 67
    daveNYC says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Well the one family that was overly close wasn’t from Westeros (and had dragons to help deal with any criticism of their personal lives) and the inbreeding resulted in basically a 50/50 shot of being a complete nutter, while the other closely related couple kept it a secret because their heads would have ended up on pikes otherwise.

  68. 68
    Kay says:


    He’s repulsive. In the op ed the NYTimes gave him he refers to Epstein’s victims as “prostitutes” repeatedly. It’s deliberate. A transparent effort to smear them. They were just over the age where Epstein would have been convicted on a “status” basis, where the young age of the victim means it doesn’t matter if he knows how old they are. Just past that age.
    It’s the scolding sanctimony and the pretension to being this Great Legal Mind that gets me. Just be what you are. He’s defense for rich and powerful scumbags. Wear that proudly, Judge Starr, and for God’s stake stop lecturing people on how moral and righteous you are.

  69. 69
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: when I see what happens now, I ‘m just glad none of them lived long enough to see the trigger-happy, militarized police of today. My dad would be appalled.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: It’s just identity politics.

  71. 71
    The Pale Scot says:

    I was having what I think was good dream this morning then suddenly a hoard of bees showed up waking me up with a start. I opened my eyes still hearing the bees thinking what the fuck. Then it came to me that I had moved to the east side of saint Pete and it must be the F1 cars revving up. So that’s pretty cool so far, I’ll see how I feel by Sunday


  72. 72

    It’s International Women’s Day. I wonder how Trump will urge the nation to celebrate?

  73. 73
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    The Dragon SpaceX capsule just successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean with Eric Trump on board.

    I’m sorry. That last sentence should be amended to read ‘a dummy on board.’ My bad.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    I’m reading a book about white collar crime and Mueller is in it :)

    When they were getting ready to go after ENRON they knew they needed a task force because us attorneys offices are like little fiefdoms and they don’t cooperate effectively and they knew they would be up against a really high dollar defense.
    Mueller was asked for a recommend on who to hire to head it and he suggested a federal prosecutor who had specialized in organized crime cases- “The Mafia”. She was hired and she got convictions.
    To me the best thing about Mueller is we haven’t seen him on cable tv news shows OPINING for 20 years, like we;ve seen the rest of these clowns. Inspires trust.

  75. 75
    The Pale Scot says:

    I guess the edit function is sleeping in today, consider the 2cd “up” deleted

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    Patrick Healy (@patrickhealynyt) Tweeted:
    NEWS: Elizabeth Warren is proposing a new regulatory plan that would break up big tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook and roll back acquisitions like Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram.

  77. 77
    kindness says:

    Game of Thrones. Yea, I’ve watched it all along. Loved it. Hated how George would kill off any character I decided to like. It’s been what, 8 years since the last book Martin put out? With all due respect, a hiatus that long is a whole bunch of weed smoking. There really isn’t an excuse as to why he didn’t get his ass in gear and finish another book (there are supposed to be a couple more books to complete the story). Other than maybe George has a lot more and a lot better weed than I have access to and I live in California.

    Any time you’re ready George, just drop one of those 900 page tablets on us.

  78. 78
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The MAGA A/C guys

    I’ll haveta find that thread

  79. 79
    Ramalama says:

    Writer Adrian McKinty wrote a few nice pieces about Game of Thrones. He’s a fan of the books, but when he saw the series, he had some interesting questions:

    My two questions to the Game of Thrones showrunners are these:
    1) why use rape to debase, disempower and humiliate the female leads in your show when this wasn’t in the books and is entirely unnecessary for the plot?
    2) why are you so fucking prude about male nudity and yet so cavalier about female nudity? Why the asymmetry?

  80. 80
    Josie says:


    Nope, I haven’t read the book or seen any of the show and don’t intend to. Life is too short. I also never watched “Dallas.”

  81. 81
    Baud says:


    I’ll await the details, but I’m skeptical that this plan makes sense on either policy or political grounds. I think she would have been better off focusing in privacy regulations rather than breaking up tech companies.

  82. 82

    I’m reading Cinda Chima’s new book, DEATHCASTER, and here’s how she describes a character’s relationship to a ruler:

    “The [ruler] was moody, arbitrary, quick to anger, slow to forgive, and capricious as hell. [Ruler] loved flattery but resented unsolicited advice, and even solicited advice that didn’t dovetail with [ruler’s] own opinions, which seemed to change daily.”

    I think Chima’s been watching the news.

  83. 83
    hueyplong says:

    Any time you think David Brooks might not be attempting some passive-aggressive destructiveness, look again. You’ll see it.

    Let’s have 2020 be white America’s referendum on reparations instead of Donald Trump’s fitness for office.

  84. 84
    Keith P. says:

    @kindness: He did finish a book, though….the schmuck took the time to write a full history of the Targaryans rather thanfinish WoW (which isn’t even the finale!)

  85. 85
    germy says:

    Since we don’t have cable TV here, I only get hooked on antenna TV shows.

    We always watch Doc Martin on our local PBS affiliate.

    The NBC comedy Superstore

    We’ve been watching Black Lightning from the beginning

    We usually tune in to see what film Svenghoulie is offering, although we mute the sound when he launches one of his song parodies. And if he features a 1970s made-for-TV movie, we switch off. We like the old 1940s Universal films, Even the silliest ones have gorgeous lighting and cinematography.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: He has had quite the distinguished legal career post Clinton/Lewinski.

  87. 87
    LivinginExile says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Make it three.

  88. 88
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Emma: My effort at watching the first episode was my last. I don’t begrudge others their enjoyment of GoT, but it’s not for me.

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @kindness: I’ve never read the books and didn’t start watching the series until a year or two ago, but I’m thoroughly hooked. Can’t wait to see how they wrap it all up.

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Republicans always land on their feet.

  91. 91
    Heidi Mom says:

    Diehard GoT fan here. I loved the books when I read them (well, not Book 4), love the show now, and don’t care if GRRM ever completes his series because the show is telling the story now. My predictions: Jon lives, and rules; Daenerys dies; the Hound completes his moral journey when he faces a choice between killing his brother and saving a life, and chooses the latter. And Sam and Gilly live happily ever after (as did another Sam in another epic fantasy).

  92. 92
    Pogonip says:

    @Emma: I’ve never seen the show either. Read the first 5 books. Conclusions:

    Books 1-4: Martin can write novels as well as he can short stories. Good on him.
    Martin is one creepy dude, with a fetish for slicing off human nipples.
    Bad on him.
    He confines it to fiction and otherwise seems quite affable. Good on
    So far, there seems to be no point to Game of Thrones other than that
    everybody’s evil. Bad on him.

    Book 5: I concluded from the dissertation on Chelonians in Westeros that Martin
    had lost interest in the whole sprawling mess, so I did too.

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Well, this is interesting. The woman who ran the “spa” where Bob Kraft was busted watched the Super Bowl this year at Mar A Lago with Trump.

    As Adam would say, this much coincidence requires a lot of planning.

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: He landed with his feet in heaping pile of fecal matter after heaping pile of fecal matter after heaping pile of fecal matter after heaping pile of fecal matter after heaping pile of fecal matter ….

  95. 95
    Kristine says:

    @kindness: He may have gotten sick of/overwhelmed by the story.

    It happens.

  96. 96
    MattF says:

    What everyone wants is crab legs.

    And as far as GoT goes, I’ve read the books and, at this point, forgotten pretty much everything. My guess is that Martin will never actually finish the thing– although he’ll probably steel himself enough to slog through the coming volume. See Charlie Stross’ comments on writing a really long series of novels.

  97. 97
    SFAW says:


    There really isn’t an excuse as to why he didn’t get his ass in gear and finish another book

    Laziness. Depression.

    Not saying it’s either of those, of course, but weed is not the only possibility.

  98. 98
    MattF says:

    @kindness: Getting older is a good reason. The bottom line is that one should write extremely long narratives while you’re still young and eager.

  99. 99
    PJ says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Martin borrows from all over history. (e.g., the Dothraki are based on the Mongols). The royal incest in his books is based on the Ptolemies.

  100. 100
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    As a commenter in that tweet noted, it helps explain why the Scumbag-in-Chief knows so much about human tracking.

  101. 101

    Nine tweets from Trump this morning, though to be fair, the announcement of International Women’s Day is obviously by someone else. For one thing, it includes a picture, which Trump never does and probably doesn’t know how.

  102. 102
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Seeing as every one feels the need to weigh in on GoT, I guess I will too.

    I’m a fan, of both the books and the show. I like that Martin kills off the heroes, especially after you got to liking them. On my 2nd watching I just skipped over the torture scenes, and the battle scenes (which are really quite tiresome, they go on and on and on and add very little to nothing at all to the story line) A lot of the nudity is pretty gratuitous (one example of it not being gratuitous is Cersei’s walk of shame, tho that too could have been shortened)

    As far as the final 2 books, G. RR Martin doesn’t owe it to anybody to finish the series. If as I suspect he’s kind of burned out on it all, it would be better to not write them if the result is going to be substandard.

    I am glad the show is finally wrapping up, and it does not matter to me at all that it is going to be different than Martin’s ending.

  103. 103
    plato says:

    Ellis is corrupt but he was also threatened to the point where he had to have a security detail. Berman started out strong, was then threatened by Stone (and possibly others) and has since treated him with kid gloves. People should be paying far more attention to the threats.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 8, 2019

  104. 104
    SFAW says:


    The bottom line is that one should write extremely long narratives while you’re still young and eager.

    I don’t know about that. Tolkien started LOTR when he was 67, and Proust started Recherche du temps perdu when he was 74.

    As a reminder: Friday is “Make Up a ‘Fact’ Day” in these parts (meaning the Intertoobz).

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:


    I think he’s doing it to ratfuck our primary.

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

  106. 106
    SFAW says:


    and it does not matter to me at all that it is going to be different than Martin’s ending.

    Especially since the last shot will be a young-Bran-look-alike staring into a snow globe.

    ETA: And the final word uttered in the show will be “Blech.”

  107. 107
    rikyrah says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I might be the only person in the world that has never seen GoT.

    At least two of us.

    Add me to the list

  108. 108
    MattF says:

    @SFAW: Not “rosebud”?

  109. 109
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW: Always projection. Always.

  110. 110
    SFAW says:


    Not “rosebud”?

    No, that was earlier in the series, and THAT snow globe fell and broke.

  111. 111
    Searcher says:

    @Emma: I like books and series with happy endings. Read the first book and was like, nope, this isn’t going to end happy.

  112. 112
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: Heh.

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That makes more sense. She would need to be in the circle because they would need assurances she would be discrete.

    What I love about them is how small it all is. They’re…seedy. The massage parlor in the strip mall. They’re like comic book characters – Manafort with his ostrich coat. You wouldn’t blink an eye if you found out they were commissioning coats made of puppy pelts.

  114. 114
    SFAW says:



    Fool that I am, I was hoping for a “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” from you.

  115. 115
    plato says:

    Miami Herald: The founder of the spa where Bob Kraft was busted has been to Trump's White House and is a guest at Mar-a-Lago — she was there the night Trump cheered Kraft's team to Super Bowl victory. Her Facebook features pics with Trump, Don Jr. & Eric.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 8, 2019

  116. 116
    SFAW says:

    I think The Onion has pretty much encapsulated the series.

  117. 117
    tybee says:

    @Gin & Tonic: three

    well, at least 4.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    Let’s wait until David Brooks meets with GOP Senators and gets them to put forth a reparations bill before we trust him, ‘kay?

    We’ll need assurances. In writing.

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @plato: I remember reading about that on some blog not long ago.

  120. 120
    plato says:


    Miami Herald. FYNYT.

    These corrupt shitheads and child molesters were doing these horrible thuggish things right under their fucking ‘journalistic noses’ and they couldn’t or wouldn’t smell the stench? Assholes.

  121. 121
  122. 122

    I’m a big GOT fan (books and show) and am a frontpager/contributor to one of the largest fan community sites out there ( as Dame Pasty (even have some recap videos on Youtube). I also sell crafts that are GOT themed (as well as non-GOT stuff). I’m just glad I will get an ending to the story because I have little hope that GRRM will ever finish.

  123. 123
    Ramalama says:

    @Raven: Warnings are for suckers. Orange cheeto pucker will do what he and Anne Coulter want.

  124. 124
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Heidi Mom: Have you seen the latest trailer? I posted it here the day it was released as an open thread, but then I discovered I’d stepped on someone’s lengthy post, which represented a thousand times more thought and effort than my one-minute fan-girl post entailed, so I trashed it. Anyway, the gist was, I’m afraid they’ll kill off Arya.

  125. 125
    plato says:

    Of course. Of course. Can't take from defense contracts. Can't take from equipment. Can't take from the mission. What's left? Take from people. Every. Fucking Time.— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) March 7, 2019

  126. 126
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    For anyone who cares… Trump is giving a ‘helicopter’ press conference right now.

    “The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. An anti-Jewish party.”

    Game of Thrones indeed.

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Personally, I think the show ends with all the women (maybe not Cersei) still around and all the men dead.

  128. 128
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Steeplejack: Thnx

  129. 129
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Are people still excited about GoT?

    Excited? I’m looking forward to it.

    @Betty Cracker: they do tend to kill off their most-liked characters. I don’t know if it’s the actors or the writing or what, but I find Jon Snow boring, Daenarys too, when she’s not in avenging dragon queen “Dracaris!” mode

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @ EamonJavers
    Trump: “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it’s been a very very tough time for him.”

    Josh Dawsey @ jdawsey1
    “Very honored” that the conviction of his former campaign manager on an array of charges did not include proof that the president worked with the Russians to win the election.

    where can I place a bet that he will use the phrase “blameless life” when he announces the pardon?

  131. 131
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t think they’ll kill Jon Snow off twice, but who knows?

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Snow is painfully earnest. I like Daenarys — she fucks up big time but is capable of learning from it.

  132. 132
    PJ says:

    I think when Benioff and Weiss met with Martin ahead of the fourth season to map out what would happen when they got past the books, they realized that Martin had ending points for his characters, but, for the most part, had not worked out at all how to get them there. And when, during the fifth season, Martin started talking about how the show could on hiatus for a few years, or focus on some backstories for a few years, until he finished the unwritten two (or, more likely, three) books, the show runners realized they were never going to get the story from him. Thus their decision to strip down or discard numerous subplots and dead ends in order to get to an actual ending in a reasonable amount of time. They can’t be blamed for coming up with their best solution to a problem, even if it wouldn’t be what Martin would, maybe, eventually, come up with. They can be blamed for abandoning character development while hurrying characters to their places on the board, but you can’t have everything. Hopefully, aside from the spectacle, the last season will be satisfying in its character moments.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: if they want my advice, they’ll bring back Charles Dance and Diana Rigg as Zombie Hands to the Night King

  134. 134
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gin & Tonic: three of us (waves paw). Tho’ i did get to see the outside of the studio where it’s produced when I was in Belfast.

  135. 135
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Martin said for a long time that his fantasy world building was based on “real” history. The nasty brutish and short kind.

    He modeled the jockeying before the long Winter among the Seven Kingdoms like it was the Wars of the Roses (among the last Plantagenets) for the English throne. And there’s a actual post-war history of vile rumors that Richard III wanted to marry his niece to secure his claim to the throne, & of course that’s certainly what his remote cousin Henry Tudor did.

    @PJ: I never read that. Totally makes sense that he decided that the Targaryen dynasty were Ptolemaic invaders of his England that never was.

  136. 136
    L85NJGT says:

    Never read the books. As the TV series went on to greater popularity and increased budget, the scripts took a backseat to the cgi spectacles. It looks great, but with more plot holes and pacing issues.

    Martin will never finish those books. The estate will have money thrown at it to allow someone to kludge together something from drafts, notes and the series. He may as well have them ghostwritten now, at least he’ll retain vision and creative control.

  137. 137
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @PJ: hmm, I’ve read and enjoyed Jo Graham, Judith Tarr, etc. where the settings are ancient or Ptolemaic Egypt and never bounced out due to the historical 1ncest. But the combination of that plus the medieval setting totally unsuspended my disbelief. I suppose that I am too used to the medieval history where being related within 7 degrees of consanguinity was enough to get an annulment.

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That would be brilliant! Lady Olenna was one of my favorites. That woman could throw more shade than a redwood forest!

  139. 139
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I don’t think they’ll kill Jon Snow off twice, but who knows?

    I actually think that is why they have to kill him a 2nd time (with the Red Woman nowhere near to bring him back). Unfortunately, I was not invited to be a part of the writing team.

  140. 140
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Lady Olenna was one of my favorites.

    Her tongue could filet an opponent quicker than the sharpest of razors.

  141. 141
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Okay, there’s a certain logic to that. It also tidies up the auntie shagging issue.

  142. 142
    Pogonip says:

    @SFAW: Tolkien started typing when he was 67. The story had been developing a lot longer.

  143. 143
    raven says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Her daughter is fun in the Detectorists.

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    When she’s good..

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ AOC
    Where’s the outrage over the 23 GOP members who voted NO on a resolution condemning bigotry today?
    Oh, there’s none?
    Did they get called out, raked over, ambushed in halls and relentlessly asked why not?
    No? Okay. Got it.

    should be tweeted at every reporter who chased Ilhan Omar down the halls

  145. 145
    Pogonip says:

    Even Cersei had her loyal fans. I remember coming across a GOT site (book, no TV show back then) where the proprietor sternly warned that anyone expressing approval of the Walk of Shame would be summarily banned. Geez, dude, chill, it’s just a story.

  146. 146
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @raven: Diana Rigg’s? I did not know that. I see she’s Becky (Rachel Stirling). I got away from that show, I should start up again. It’s a lot of fun

  147. 147
    Pogonip says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: I stay away from those because of the disgusting incest customs.

  148. 148
    kindness says:

    @Betty Cracker: I bet Aria is the one they let take Cersi down. My 2 cents. The new trailers hint she will be a force. I’ve gone from liking her (Aria) to not liking her to liking her again. Normally that means she’s toast this season. We’ll see.

  149. 149
    guachi says:

    So… Donald Trump pals around with human traffickers?

  150. 150
    Just Chuck says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    He modeled the jockeying before the long Winter among the Seven Kingdoms like it was the Wars of the Roses

    Heck, their names are even similar. Yorks and Lancasters, Starks and Lannisters. I believe he was going for a more “vanilla” world before someone else convinced him to “put the dragons in”, as mentioned in the dedication in the book (which I don’t have handy ATM).

  151. 151
    Steeplejack says:


    SFAW was joking! The Hobbit was published in 1937, when Tolkien was 45. And Proust died at 51.

    See: “Friday is ‘Make Up a “Fact” Day.’”

  152. 152
    Just Chuck says:

    @guachi: A close look into the Trump Models Agency could show that is is a human trafficker. Always with the projection…

  153. 153
    KarenH says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: And Diana Rigg herself plays Becky’s mother.

  154. 154
    Immanentize says:

    You just made up those facts, didn’t you!

    (Jacking into the free WiFi on JetBlue. It is not great)

  155. 155
  156. 156

    @Miss Bianca: Me four. I don’t get HBO. Too spendy.

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    Judge’s light Manafort sentence undercuts justice system: McQuade
    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about how federal sentencing guidelines work, and why Judge T.S. Ellis disregarding those guidelines to give Paul Manafort a lighter sentence undermines the legitimacy of the criminal justice system.

  158. 158
    Gin & Tonic says:


    It is not great

    You are sealed in a metal tube hurtling through the stratosphere at nearly 600 miles per hour with a computer in your hand, and complaining about it.

  159. 159
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Immanentize: Safe travels to Swampville, and I hope you have a pleasant visit there.

    Casual Friday here in the remote annex office, and I hope every jackal has the best day today allows.

  160. 160
    Mandalay says:

    Trump is going to explode over this. Someone inside the White House has balls of steel:

    From a White House source, the House Oversight Committee has obtained documents related to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s security clearances that the Trump administration refused to provide, according to a senior Democratic aide involved in handling the documents.

    Best snitch ever.

  161. 161
    lurker dean says:

    @rikyrah: senator flowers was incredible.

  162. 162

    @Gin & Tonic: Did you see the story about the cat the Russkies are using to put a gentler face on the annexation of Crimea.

  163. 163
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No. Linky?

  164. 164
    Immanentize says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho:
    Thank you — and everyone else.

    Maybe the Immp and I will go to a gun show. There is always one in town!

    I admonish you all to be excellent to each other!

  165. 165
    cain says:

    dont worry, he’s not going to finish the series. I will laugh because the only canonical ending will be the TV series. :-)

  166. 166
    Miss Bianca says:

    @schrodingers_cat: “Crimea Cat?” “Crimea River?” OK, time to put the coffee cup down…

  167. 167
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Good point, but c’mon, I’m pretty much bionIc now, just with a bad interface (my fingers)
    I want my MTV! 🤠

  168. 168
  169. 169
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I’m reading “Prisoners of Geography” by Tim Marshall. If you haven’t read it, I think you’ll find it interesting…. Lots in the first Chapter about Russia/Ukraine

  170. 170
    rikyrah says:


    Best snitch ever.


  171. 171
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: Will look into it, thanks, but the “books I should read” list is pretty unwieldy already.

  172. 172
    Immanentize says:

    I think GOT should just go Titus Andonicus on everyone for the ending.

  173. 173
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: my stack of actual books in the cue is unmanageable. I’m going to knock a few back this week, I hope.

    Landing soon!

  174. 174

    I want to read a book that gives a good overview of American history It has to be historically accurate and not a polemic, and readable. Any suggestions. I have some gaps in my knowledge of the 19th and early 20th century history. Thanks in advance.

  175. 175
    Baud says:


    Looking for the same thing. There’s an Oxford series that’s pretty good. I read the antebellum one.

  176. 176
    germy says:

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been jailed for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks.

    U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail Friday after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying. She told the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.”

    Manning has said she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process, and that she already revealed everything she knows at her court martial.

  177. 177
    Steeplejack says:


    For future reference, the wi-fi on my Delta flights last month was great—reliable and (subjectively) fast. Also convenient: you can buy a “day pass” that covers all legs of your trip ($16), and it’s easy to log in.

  178. 178
    bemused says:


    Judge Ellis seems to be simpatico with Manafort. Maybe some reporters should dig into Ellis’ background.

  179. 179
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    some talk here yesterday about how drrrronzze have disappeared from the left’s discourse, it may be coming back

    As she saw it, the party ostensibly committed to progressive values had become complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Omar says the “hope and change” offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” on Obama’s watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.
    “We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar says. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”

  180. 180

    @Baud: Was it Battle Cry of Freedom?

  181. 181
    bemused says:


    The book sounds interesting. Title?

  182. 182

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Who needs RWNJs when you have purity left to undermine the Ds.

  183. 183
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I read What Hath God Wrought, but it’s that series.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Haha. So the key to stopping Trump is to tie him to Obama. Why didn’t I think of it sooner?

  184. 184

    @Baud: Its the Berner playbook, as directed by Putinski. The only thing this purity brigade will achieve is the cementing of R Fascism.

  185. 185

    @Baud: I was looking for one comprehensive book, if such a thing exists.

  186. 186
    Kay says:


    Sure: “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives Paperback – July 17, 2018
    by Jesse Eisinger”

    The story of the title is amusing. When James Comey (!) took over he called the prosecutors into a room and asked them to raise their hand if they had never lost a case. If they raised their hand he said “congratulations- you’re in the chickenshit club”

    The idea is if they haven’t lost a case they brought they aren’t taking enough risk, protecting themselves and their own careers instead of the public. I know, I know, JAMES COMEY (shudder) but it’s still interesting :)

  187. 187
  188. 188
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was gonna recommend McPherson. He’s very good (I think) and very readable on the Civil War, but not that broad scope you mention. The time between the Revolution and the Civil War seems under-represented in popular history.

  189. 189
    Immanentize says:

    @schrodingers_cat: @Baud:
    “We Hold These Truths” by Jill Lepore (SP?) is pretty concise and not preachy.

  190. 190
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Those kind of uncle-niece marriages were a huge change from the medieval era, where even intermediate cousins weren’t supposed to marry. There were marriages annulled because they were between 2nd or IIRC even 3rd cousins.

  191. 191
    NotMax says:

    Have never watched any GoT. Not my cup of tea flagon of hemoglobin.

  192. 192
    Kay says:

    My youngest son is very smart and a precious angel, but he’s a goofball with literally no common sense. So he ran over the recycling bin pulling his truck out of the driveway and couldn’t get it out. I’m too fancy for menial labor so I texted my middle son and asked him to come help his brother. My middle son sent me a picture of the truck with the bin under it and an “I know” because this is a small town and a friend of his had already driven by, taken a picture of this humiliation and sent it to him, so they could laugh at my youngest son.

  193. 193
    feebog says:


    GRRM has written several novels in other series since book 5. He keeps saying he has most of the chapters for the last two books written, but I doubt he is any where near to publishing book 6. I loved the first 3 books, hated book 4 and felt book 5 turned things back around. But I’m not that excited about finishing the series. I’m older than GRRM, I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity at this point.

  194. 194
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: that’s hilarious (now that I’m an advanced middle-aged youngest brother and amused that this is exactly the kind of thing my older brothers and their friends would’ve done to me if the technology existed)

  195. 195
    bemused says:

    Great title, lol.
    Interesting book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)”, Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Travis and Elliot Aronson has a chapter Law and Disorder, prosecutors “jumping to convictions”. Quote Dale M Rubin, lawyer for Thomas Lee Goldstein: I guess it’s really difficult for any prosecutor (to acknowledge errors and) to say, “Gee, we had 25 years of this guy’s life. That’s enough.”

  196. 196
    Immanentize says:

    @germy: That’s the one I was thinking of. Good general overview history

  197. 197
    Fair Economist says:


    I think when Benioff and Weiss met with Martin ahead of the fourth season to map out what would happen when they got past the books, they realized that Martin had ending points for his characters, but, for the most part, had not worked out at all how to get them there.

    Martin said that in the postscript to Dance of Dragons, and explained why the series started meandering in Book 4. His original plan was to have the story start as it did in the first three books and then timeskip forward 5 years to continue (I’m guessing the original plan was roughly that the Stark kids get beat up in the first section and come back with superpowers for revenge in the second.) But after writing a fair amount of that he decided he didn’t like it and threw it out, leaving him to wing it. Given that that happened almost 20 years ago (Storms of Swords was published in 2000) it’s a good bet at this point he is not ever going to figure out how to resolve it.

    IIRC the original section was only supposed to take one book and ended up with three so even when Martin’s planning works, it doesn’t do so very well.

  198. 198
    NotMax says:


    Perhaps “The United States: the History of a Republic” by Richard Hofstadter will fill the bill, at least as a stepping stone to other tomes.

  199. 199
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve seen it, and any worries I may have had about Arya (who’s beginning to bore me, although she certainly provides some cathartic scenes) was overtaken by immense relief that one of my favorite characters survived the catastrophe at the end of the last episode. Actually, many of the characters I like best are still alive — Tyrion, Bronn, Jon, Gendry, Ser Davos, Jorah, Tormund, Sansa, Varys. And as for the idea that Ned Stark was too foolishly idealistic to live, all I can say is “Look at the children he raised!” They’re drawing strength from him still.

  200. 200
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They’re nice to him, generally. He’s a musician and he bought an amplifier from someone who came up to him in the Taco Bell and they helped him go pick it up. I think he paid too much because they were telling him “don’t make any more deals” :)

    I try not to think about him out in the world.

  201. 201
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Kay: That is a wonderful story -tech has sped up small town news! Thank you for brightening my day with it.

    Your youngest sounds like a terrific kid who will need a keeper when he’s grown. I mean no offense TO ANYONE – he sounds like he’ll have trouble staying out of his own way because he’s so sweet.

  202. 202
  203. 203
    NY Robbin says:


    This was very good:

    What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written in 2007 by historian Daniel Walker Howe. The book is part of the Oxford History of the United States. Wikipedia

    What’s so great is it covered social and religious history – the beginning of the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements, religious revivals including the founding of the Mormon church and expanded Catholic immigration. And Andrew Jackson was a garbage nightmare (for those with any doubt).

  204. 204
    Ruckus says:

    You are not the only person. There’s at least two of us. And I’d bet a lot more just don’t give so much as a damn that they aren’t even going to tell us.

  205. 205
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ruckus: I have never seen The West Wing, Forrest Gump or Titanic (caught some scenes of that on TV, while the water was coming in and steerage was getting the doors slammed on them, triggered my drowning phobia), but I’ve absorbed enough about them from internet osmosis that I get most of the references, I think.

  206. 206
    Ruckus says:


    stop lecturing people on how moral and righteous you are.

    If Ken doesn’t do it who else will?
    And really he hasn’t got anything real and positive so he has to sell bullshit to not end up slashing his own wrists at the thought of who he is and what’s the sum total of his life.

  207. 207
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I think the West Wing was actually pretty good. It wasn’t just a glowing bullshit festival but actually showed that real people could do these jobs and excel. I know that’s difficult to see, considering what most TV is, but it’s not most TV.
    The Titanic. Yeah I missed that as well. Ship hits iceberg and sinks. Film at 11. Maybe it had something to do with being in the navy and sailing in the North Atlantic in winter time. Seen the real thing, don’t need a movie.

  208. 208
    Kristine says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Anyway, the gist was, I’m afraid they’ll kill off Arya.

    In a way, that would suck. But she has evolved into a dark, somewhat reckless character. That said, I could see her sacrificing herself to save one of her old friends, like Hot Pie.

  209. 209
    Ruckus says:

    It isn’t the size of the companies it’s the policies of them and the tax law that allows them to make billions and pay no tax. I don’t even care that it’s owner is the richest man, someone will end up there even if being richest means that you have 2 curtain rods while I only have one. There will always be bigger and smaller companies and richer and poorer people. It’s that we allow the rich to get uber wealthy at the expense of the poorest and we honor them for doing so. And that same concept works for companies getting bigger than everyone else.
    We can say that everyone is equal but we have to actually make it so.
    Reasonable and proper TAX LAW with enforcement is the answer. Take the measure of money and knock it down a few dozen steps, so that equality of being alive has a chance.

  210. 210
    MShepNJ says:

    Exactly. GRRM has referred to himself as a “gardener” as a writing, meaning he plants seeds and prunes what springs up as he goes along. Hence the weirdness of book 4 which had only certain POVs as he planned on aging up the kids 5 years, but it didn’t work out and he had to scrap the idea, which resulted in the 6 year gap between AFFC and ADWD.
    ETA: @FairEconomist beat me to it.

  211. 211
    SFAW says:


    And Proust died at 51.

    So you’re saying he wrote it from … gulp … beyond the grave???? [Cue eerie organ music.]

    In my younger days, I used to say “When Mozart was my age, he had been dead for eight (or whatever) years.” I think that relates, somehow, but …

    See: “Friday is ‘Make Up a “Fact” Day.’”

    You figured out my (not so) clever plan! Darn you! Darn you to Heck!!!!

  212. 212
    CapnMubbers says:

    @Emma: @Gin & Tonic: three@satby: ummmm, and more, with a “ditto” to @Josie: re: “Dallas”
    Also why I don’t comment often, thread is WAY dead by the time I wander through….

  213. 213
    Zeecube says:

    If GOT does not end with that comet which has been hanging around since book 1 / season 1 incinerating Westeros, I will be sorely disappointed.

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