Author Topic: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors  (Read 16398 times)

ElectricPaladin

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2010, 11:21:15 PM »
Whoah, boy, but I shouldn't be getting into this. Here it goes...

I don't remember much about The Scarlet Pimpernel either but as far as reading about it on wikipedia it seems Percy Blakeney didn't try to save any of the lower classes when they were the ones being tortured and killed. It was only when the worm turned that he became a hero and then only to rescue those of his class sentenced to die. Still, given the author and her class and family history that's not surprising. The lives of the less affluent classes aren't worth much to people like that.

And they call me a commie ;D.

I'd argue that - If I Recall Correctly, of course - in The Scarlet Pimpernel only the rich were dying. The novel is definitely a fictionalized and simplified account of reality, not an attempt to be faithful to history. It's true in the real world that the poor died as well, but it's not necessarily true in the world of the novel.

For that matter, it's true that Percy Blakeny didn't get involved until people he knew started dying... but we also know that until he changed his ways, Percy was a shallow, selfish jerk. That's character development, not politics.

As for the injustice of the executions, I'm pretty sure that the Nazis believed Nuremberg was equally unjust.

Perhaps, but they were wrong :P.

Actually, I haven't got much of an argument here except to say "so what?" Just because there are multiple views of what's right and wrong in different situations doesn't invalidate taking a stance.

I remember an old movie about the French Revolution when some people are being taken to the guillotine and one man is protesting and demanding, "What did I do? What did any of us do?". A man in rags responds, "You ate while we starved!" I think that would be enough. If you starved, if you watched your children starve while the wealthy lived lives of plenty with their feet on your neck, that would be enough to make you see their deaths as justice.

Speak for yourself. That's a mighty big kettle of philosophical worms you just opened, there. Please don't presume to tell me what my opinion would be and how I would react to a hypothetical situation of your devising.

Also I've read most people had "trials."

Fixed that for you ;).

More seriously, I believe that many of the trials in the French Revolution were significantly flawed by a modern American standard of the term: no jury of peers, no impartial judge, no standards of evidence, and a rather confused idea of what constituted "guilt" and "innocence." I'm not sure many people were ever found innocent by these courts, and the crime was "being of the wrong class."

I do consider Randians and Libertarians part of the American Right.

Funny, a lot of them don't ;).

More seriously, probably the problem here is that "right" and "left" are insufficiently complicated terms to describe political allegiance in America. When I say "American Right," I usually just mean "the Republican Party" because anything else is too complicated. I've talked to some Libertarians who are so conservative they're liberal. You'll note that I didn't say she definitely didn't vote Republican, I said that I doubted she was a comfortable member of the American Right. Which she probably wouldn't be. Doesn't mean I know how she votes.
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alllie

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2010, 08:14:02 AM »
And they call me a commie ;D.
I appreciate your input. I too would be called a commie even though I don't think communism worked. I think what works best is regulated capitalism mixed with limited socialism and with a strong social safety net, aka, social democracy.

But science fiction has long been a haven for socialist utopias and I would hate that to change. I love Bellamy's Looking Backward and Jack London's The Iron Heel, not to mention Star Trek, TOS and TNG.

There were so many icons of the right in this story that I kept twitching at each of them, perhaps unfairly. I even twitched at Wolverine, wondering if it was the cartoon character or one of the kids in the rightie epic Red Dawn. It distracted me from what was otherwise a good story.

Sorry Holly.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 08:16:42 AM by alllie »

Listener

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2010, 12:29:52 PM »
I think the story was well-told, although the introduction of the friend (Sarah?) seemed a bit forced as a sort of kick in the ass to make Justin DO something. I also didn't like the "library comes to life" aspect -- I mean, sure, great idea and we've all wondered what might happen if Indiana Jones started sleeping his way through the Bronte sisters, but I just wasn't feeling it once the story wasn't personal anymore. It stopped being about Justin and whatshername and started being about Wolverine not knowing who John Galt is. Also, the beginning (explaining Justin's feel on libraries and library school) didn't feel like part of the same story -- I expected something much more mystical.

So... no. Not my favorite.
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blueeyeddevil

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2010, 01:49:50 PM »
I have been hesitant to comment on the actual body of this story because I have met Holly Black on a few occasions (I live in the same region, and my girlfriend is friends/acquaintances with her) and I dislike critiqueing the work of someone I know unless I'm actually speaking with them (it feels like talking behind their back). I'm not trying to name drop (I've specifically been trying to avoid it, actually) but insofar as I know, her political leanings don't reflect any particular Randian/libertarian sentiment, though it's never really come up.
However, that isn't really the point, I don't think the inclusion of such iconic lines as 'Who is John Galt?' (paraphrased a bit in the text) or such notable literary figures as Percy Blakeny represent any sort of political undertone any more than the inclusion of Romeo in the text indicates approval of teenage suicide pacts, or that the inclusion of Wolverine indicates approval/approbation of secret Canadian super-soldier programs. 

I mean, really...

I understand wanting to talk about Ayn Rand (I personally hate her work/philosophy/politics, but I think they're worth discussing) and for that matter the relative merits of the influence of an author's perspective on historical works. From there the is the gateway to the great issues being discussed by the English/Literature/History faculties of practically every college in the U.S,: the importance of author's intent, the significance of literature to society, whether stories are out social/cultural memory, the means by which we as a species grow, mature, intellectually evolve not on the individual level, but as a intellectual gestalt, into a collective creature of greater wisdom, maturity, and capacity for understanding of the universe, or...if stories and literature, all art, is just the junk RNA of society, information gone awry that serves no purpose except to allow the human creature to believe that it exists in something other than a deterministic dead-end existence, devoid of meaning or choice...

but can we do that on a different thread?

Talia

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2010, 02:02:32 PM »
Usually when such topics come up, if people seem to want to run with it, the subject will be split off and put in its own thread.

People don't seem to be hopping on the bandwagon in this case - in regards to myself, I don't read that much into the story, so I have nothing to say on those matters.

I liked the story, found it a fun ride (and who wouldn't want to disappear into books? To be honest, when i was younger I'd fantasize about disappearing into my favorite books all the time). I didn't find it called for any particular deep analysis, myself.

Wilson Fowlie

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2010, 03:20:49 PM »
If anyone is interested in a rather darker take on the whole going-in-and-out of books, you might try Cornelia Funke's Inkheart and its sequels.  I started in on listening to the 2nd one (Inkspell, narrated by Brandon Fraser, who is an interesting and energetic reader) today.

Interestingly, this story didn't make me think of Inkheart, despite the similarity of the fantasy device, because they're so far apart in tone and theme.

I didn't see the movie of the first book (which didn't do particularly well, despite starring Fraser), so I can't compare.  I enjoyed the book itself, though, so if you saw the movie and didn't like it, you might try the book.  It has, after all, been translated into 37 languages (including English) from the original German.

(The translation I heard was quite well done, too: it didn't feel like a translation, as so many do, somehow.)
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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2010, 09:29:47 PM »
I didn't read nearly this much into her choice of characters and I would bet that she probably didn't intend us to. It did remind me very much of that dichotomy of pessimistic vs. optimistic personalities and how they each approach the world (him with fear and her with assurance).  I also found the whole idea of immortality in books interesting although she did not approach it directly it is definitely their.  It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite podcastle stories (mr. Penumbra's twenty four hour bookstore).  This is one I'll save.

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2010, 10:49:38 PM »
I don't have much to say about this one (I enjoyed it a great deal, but I don't have much in the way of meaningful positive feedback) but I'd like to say that I didn't perceive any political subtext at all.  And I've been known to imagine political/social commentary where the author has sworn there was none intended.

Maybe it was a mistake for the author to include John Galt, since I'm guessing he triggered a lot of people's politics sensors.  But for me he was just a character from a well-known book.  Nothing more.
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Wilson Fowlie

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2010, 11:24:48 PM »
Maybe it was a mistake for the author to include John Galt, since I'm guessing he triggered a lot of people's politics sensors.  But for me he was just a character from a well-known book.  Nothing more.

Heck, for me, Philistine that I am, he wasn't even that!  :)
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Anarkey

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2010, 06:27:12 AM »
I didn't read nearly this much into her choice of characters and I would bet that she probably didn't intend us to. It did remind me very much of that dichotomy of pessimistic vs. optimistic personalities and how they each approach the world (him with fear and her with assurance).  I also found the whole idea of immortality in books interesting although she did not approach it directly it is definitely their.  It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite podcastle stories (mr. Penumbra's twenty four hour bookstore).  This is one I'll save.

Not that we wouldn't claim Mr. Penumbra's Twenty Four Hour Bookstore, because it was a damn good story, but that actually ran on Escapepod.  Credit where credit is due, and so on.
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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2010, 08:42:31 AM »
I didn't see any political subtext here, myself, which is the reason why I haven't chipped in about it.

kibitzer

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2010, 10:11:43 PM »
I can't believe we got all the way down here in this thread, and no-one's yet mentioned Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next? Anyone? Anyone?

Oh well, find out about The Seven Wonders of Swindon instead.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 10:08:24 PM by kibitzer »

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2010, 12:20:42 AM »
Fanfiction about fanfiction...  I think one more level of meta and the whole thing collapses on itself like a souffle.  Possibly gravitons are involved. 
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stePH

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2010, 09:35:48 AM »
I can't believe we got all the way down here in this thread, and no-one's yet mentioned Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next? Anyone? Anyone?

I don't know what a Jasper Fforde is. I did spot John Constantine, and recognized one other character described but not named... but have forgotten who. Would have to listen again to remember.
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Talia

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2010, 09:43:09 AM »
I can't believe we got all the way down here in this thread, and no-one's yet mentioned Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next? Anyone? Anyone?

I don't know what a Jasper Fforde is. I did spot John Constantine, and recognized one other character described but not named... but have forgotten who. Would have to listen again to remember.

Jasper Fforde is an author. Or a misspelled car dealership. I'm not sure which.

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2010, 11:45:26 AM »
Jasper Fforde is an author. Or a misspelled car dealership. I'm not sure which.

I always wanted to see a Ford dealership owned and run by a Mr. Harrison, so the business could be called "Harrison Ford".
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Listener

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2010, 11:48:50 AM »
Jasper Fforde is an author. Or a misspelled car dealership. I'm not sure which.

I always wanted to see a Ford dealership owned and run by a Mr. Harrison, so the business could be called "Harrison Ford".

The Googles doth provide: http://harrisonfordmercury.dealerconnection.com/?lang=en
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Talia

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2010, 12:15:38 PM »
Jasper Fforde is an author. Or a misspelled car dealership. I'm not sure which.

I always wanted to see a Ford dealership owned and run by a Mr. Harrison, so the business could be called "Harrison Ford".

The Googles doth provide: http://harrisonfordmercury.dealerconnection.com/?lang=en

Awesome!

kibitzer

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2010, 10:01:27 PM »
The link I posted above is to the author Jasper Fforde's site -- not fanfic, Scattercat, not even close. He has plenty of these on his site; they're mostly references to things in his Thursday Next books. The improbably-named Thursday Next is a sort of literary detective, quiter literally literary because she operates in books, plays, etc. Quite funny and whimsical. Very British. The first book is called The Eyre Affair where Thursday must hide out in Wuthering Heights. Hijinks ensure.

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Re: PC116: Paper Cuts Scissors
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2010, 10:15:29 PM »
Kibitzer, I think Scattercat was commenting on the story, not your link  ;)

(I could be wrong).