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Sacred Grotto of the Ladies Three (Lovecraftian horror that doesn't undermine Strahd)

2020.10.18 21:46 Ason42 Sacred Grotto of the Ladies Three (Lovecraftian horror that doesn't undermine Strahd)

Why I Made This Guide

MandyMod and DragnaCarta's guides have steered my campaign well thus far (seriously, those guides have taken CoS from good to fantastic for my group), but I wanted to share my own addition that went over really well with my players. I had several goals when designing this dungeon:

Backstory to the Grotto & Mines

The sacred grotto was once a hub of exchange and worship for the forest folk of Barovia, a hidden refuge carved into the northern shores of what is now called Lake Zarovich. This is where new druids of the Ladies were trained, old druids retired, and representatives from each of the three fanes' sacred orders could gather to discuss regional issues.
Shortly after becoming a vampire, Strahd told the druids of the sacred grotto that the Ladies Three had kept incredible riches hidden from them and that if they promised to give him the largest ruby, they could keep the rest. Thus, Strahd used the holy men to obtain the gem that would eventually become the Heart of Sorrow. The druids also gave three to a forest folk clan called Martikov as a thank you for their patronage of the grotto. Strahd told the druids the Ladies hid even greater treasures further down, knowing if they dug much further the men would unleash their own wriggling doom. The grotto shrine above was slowly abandoned as the druids turned to mining below. But these men were slowly eaten, corrupted into monsters, or driven mad by the Primeval One they unleashed below. Today, this lower level is a festering lair of aberrations and worm-ridden monsters.
Of course, all this was a win-win for Strahd, as he got the artifact heart he wanted, destroyed a spiritual nexus of the Ladies Three, and even got some good wine out of the deal from the Martikov's new winery. The aberrations' foul nature did have the unfortunate side effect of killing off Lake Zarovich's fish population, however, but Strahd never cared much for fish anyways.

Entering & Describing the Grotto & Mines

The party may stumble upon the sanctuary accidentally while looking for the Mad Mage, or someone with ancient knowledge such Kavan's ghost or Exethanter could direct the party towards it as a place to get the ritual book required to reconsecrate the fanes.
What the players first discover when they arrive is a thick stone slab covered in vines set into a larger worked-stone base along the slope of a hill. When the vines are cleared away, the slab depicts worn carvings of the Ladies Three, and if pushed aside, it reveals a rough-hewn staircase descending into a grotto cave. This first floor has little plot-relevant stuff but rather functions to build tension in your players, so feel free to use any kind of underground map that looks like people once lived there (e.g. tomb, druidic cave: most anything will work). Descriptively, you're presenting this first floor as a place that once saw countless sacred rites but now has been abandoned and untouched for centuries.
Don't let your players zip all over the map even though it's empty, however. Treat every room like you would a normal dungeon: ask for group positioning, note if anybody does or does not check the door for traps, and lean into the phrase "you don't see anybody" so that they're never sure if they're alone. Again, you know there are no threats on this level, but the players do not, so if you act like each room *could* be dangerous, they'll slowly get on-edge. At the back of this first floor, place a locked door with a warning note on it (more on the notes later), and behind that door place a huge, visibly locked trapdoor that opens up to reveal a gently-sloped path spiraling down into the darkness below. That second, lower level is where the proper dungeon begins.
The second level of the dungeon is a waterlogged mining area. While a realistic dungeon would branch and fork, this mine has only one twisting hallway that plunges inevitably downward, with little rooms here or there to break up the dark descent. If the sacred grotto above had stone carvings and altars, here most of the human construction is hastily-built wood that has rotted over the ages. On this lower level, describe yellowish mist hovering above the brackish puddles formed by water leaking in from Lake Zarovich, smells of dust and must everywhere, sagging worn-out support beams, everburning torches that have almost all died out, etc. If players attempt to investigate an empty area or fail a perception check, describe the countless wriggling worms, leeches maggots writhing in the nooks and crannies of every room in these mines. The further in your players wander, the more alien this place should feel until at last they reach the bowels of the mine, where the stone itself has gone from a jagged dull grey to a spiral-patterned slimy purple. And when in doubt, add more worms to your describe. Always add more worms.

Learning the History of the Grotto & Mines

HP Lovecraft often presented his stories as old journals, police statements, or letters, and I wanted to keep up that theme for this dungeon. In the encounters and areas section, I've detailed the notes as they'll appear to players, so everything's all in one place as the party delves deeper and deeper into the mines. Your players can find other notes as well, but most will have molded away. After encounter 2, the party can start finding notes that consist only of crazed drawings, if you want to amp up the uncertainty.
Secondly, as the party progresses deeper into the ruined tunnels below the sanctuary, a voice will start speaking telepathically to them one-by-one. This is the Worm Thrallherd the players will meet in encounter 4, who is the chief servant of the eldritch beast who now rules this grotto. As the party progresses between rooms, secretly send these messages to a different player each time (e.g. whisper on Roll20, send prewritten text if in-person). Don't comment on the fact you sent it: let it simmer and act like everything's fine so the players get the chance to freak each other out by asking each other "Did you hear that?" and start comparing messages.
I've listed the notes and telepathic messages in the next section so they appear alongside the encounters and areas you'll find them in.

Encounters & Areas

As a reminder, the spaces in between encounters for this dungeon are just as important as the fights themselves. Read a few HP Lovecraft short stories to get a feel for his descriptive style and lean into that flair. Rooms are not empty: they are dust-covered sepulchers kept warm only by the fevered wriggling of worms in the dark corners. The entire mining level should feel moldy, dank, and rotting, and most of the tools, tables, and bedding have become filth-ridden and decayed after years of maggots playing across them. Most of the everburning torch lanterns burned out aeons ago, and the rest have yellowed with age, giving the area a dim greasy light punctuated with pockets of pitch dark. The waterlogged areas of this level start off as puddles, but as players go deeper the water areas become difficult terrain. The water itself is brown and brackish with a fetid yellow mist floating above it.


And that's about it! I know it's not the most exact thing and was quite long, but I built this dungeon to be fairly flexible, as I wasn't sure when my party would stumble into it. My players definitely enjoyed the slow build up of tension and Lovecraftian themes. Other DMs here have pointed out before that inserting Lovecraftian horror into CoS is hard because alien powers can undermine Strahd's position and fear. But since in this resource Strahd knowingly caused this mayhem to eliminate his spiritual rivals, Strahd remains in the driver's seat of Barovia and indeed becomes even scarier.
submitted by Ason42 to CurseofStrahd [link] [comments]

2020.10.13 22:59 ar_david_hh Oct/13/2020 wrap-up: \\ War in Artsakh (Karabakh) \\ Azerbaijan targets civilian population again \\ Azerbaijan's Syrian jihadists reveal more details about deployment and conditions; some of them revolt and get arrested in Syria \\ battles in north & south \\ analysis & army briefing \\ casualties

Prior events: October 12, October 11 , October 10, October 9 , October 8 , October 7, October 6, October 5, October 4, October 3, October 2, October 1, September 30, September 29, September 28, September 27

some jihadists want to leave Azerbaijan

Yesterday we learned about a Middle Eastern journalist who reported the death of 51 jihadists and spoke with one of their friends.
Syrian outlet Jisr (Джиср) reports that the bodies of some jihadists were transported back to Syria in meat trucks in secrecy. Only their families were allowed to pay farewell at night.
The outlet's source says 300 of the Karabakh-based mercenary militants have asked Turkey to send them back to Syria because Azeris won't let them take proper rest.
Video. Graphic:

"militant recruiter blown up in an act of revenge"

EaDaily reports: a vehicle belonging to one of the commanders who recruited militants for Azerbaijan, was blown up in northern Syria.
His friends believe it was an act of revenge carried out by the family of one of the militants who was killed in Karabakh.
The incident took place in Barad, Northern Syria. The target was Hamza Division commander Abu Jaber. A video was recorded allegedly showing the burning car and a photo of the gravely wounded commander in the hospital.
Officially, this [pro-Turkish] Hamza Division accused the Kurdish PKK of being behind the bombing.
Meanwhile, another video was published yesterday showing Syrian militants, dressed in Azeri uniforms and using Azeri armored vehicles, fighting in Karabakh.

a Syrian militant reveals details about their conditions

The National article: "Turkey's Syrian militias in Nagorno-Karabakh ask: 'Why are we here?"
“I'm talking to you now from an underground bunker where we had to run away,” said Ibrahim, 24, a member of [pro-Turkish] Sultan Murad Brigade, in a phone call with The National earlier in the week.
He complained about Armenian airstrikes and losing many friends.
'I don't know what we are doing here. Even money is not a reason to be in this horror movie. The Turks put us in such a position that we can't any more escape from here. I hope we will be able to come back with our legs and arms," said Ibrahim.
His location, shared over WhatsApp, showed he was near Akhmedalylar, close to Iran. It is 1,300km from the refugee camp in which his family lives near the town of Sarmada at the Syrian-Turkish border.
Ibrahim said that 3 weeks ago, one of the militia officers asked for volunteers for Turkish operations in Azerbaijan. "Many of us refused after they saw what happened in Turkey’s intervention in Libya. But I thought I could make money."
He was paid $1,300 for 3 months on September 24th, three days before the war began.
He was then taken to Kilis, Gaziantep, Ankara, Baku. He estimates 3,000 militants are present in Azerbaijan.
“They gave us food, military uniforms and equipment like sniper rifles and anti-tank rockets, but we are under heavy bombardment. On Friday alone we lost six men and 30 of us were injured."
Last Saturday, Mohammed, a young fighter from Maaret Al Numan, was declared dead. A picture of him in an olive grove in happier times was shared with The National by his close friends.
... in other news...
"[Another militant] said that of the 200 fighters with whom he went to Libya, only about half returned. Families are still waiting for the compensation that Turkey promised."
Full story:

To jihad or not to jihad? That's the question

Al-Mayadeen media correspondent has learned that the Turkish-backed Hamza Division in Afrin, Syria has arrested 13 of its members for refusing to fight for Azerbaijan.
The supporters of the Syrian rebel group "Free Syrian Army" have condemned the arrests, stating that 400 have so far refused to join Azerbaijan.

purchasing politicians is one way to keep them quiet about your terrorism

"How Azerbaijan Is Lobbying Washington To Sanitize Its War"
Azerbaijan hired several law firms to lobby for them in the United States. Among them is VP candidate Kamala Harris's husband's "DLA Piper" firm.
Harris's husband had earlier announced plans to "transition his clients to different attorneys in the firm" to avoid "conflict of interest" if his wife becomes the VP.

a few more things from yesterday

A new self-explanatory animation by KillDim production:
About yesterday's huge demonstration in Los Angeles
The ex-president of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili was punched in the head by unknown men while meeting a group of Georgians in Athens, Greece. Tear gas had to be used. Saakashvili is a divisive figure in Georgia and has a criminal warrant against him.

October 13th arrives / the battlefield / international response / donations

23:41: a short film about the Republic of Artsakh.
00:01: a group of French doctors, specialized in war wounds, have arrived in Armenia for weeklong assistance.
00:15: the Armenian army reported about the death of 4,900 Azeri soldiers. Since the data is classified in Azerbaijan, social media and other sources are being scrapped by various activists to find the identities of the deceased. 517 Azeri names have already been identified so far. Another 160 being verified ATM.
00:35: Russian journalist Yuri Kotenok was wounded after the Azeri drone/missile bombed the Shushi church. He released a video from the hospital, calling Azerbaijan's deliberate targeting of civilians a "genocide".
1:43: Israeli activist Elie Joseph organized a hunger strike and sued the Israeli government to stop the sale of suicide drones to Azerbaijan. The Israeli court, however, rejected his petition, stating that the activist hadn't provided "enough evidence that the drones were used for war crimes."
The Armenian community leader in Israel joined the calls to suspend the drone sales to Azerbaijan.
22:42: 13-year-old Robert and his family were fleeing Martakert in their car when an Israeli-made Azeri drone targeted their car. All family members received wounds. Robert spent 5 days in a coma.
2:18: Artsakh president Arayik Harutyunyan has a new fanboy?
The largest state-backed Iranian media outlet IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) published Arayik's photo with an iconic finger pointing in the air, and mentioned how Arayik criticized the Israeli government for supplying the suicide drones to Azerbaijan, which are being used to target civilians.
Arayik had earlier invited Iran to join Artsakh in the fight against Syrian jihadists recruited by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The article also mentions how the army spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan accused Israel of continuing the drone supplies disguised as humanitarian aid.
At night, the Azeri army continued to bomb three civilian settlements. A house caught a fire in Martakert.
9:22 MoD: the battlefield was stable-tense at night. Azeris resumed the attack on 3 fronts in the morning. Northeast was the most active. Our units take adequate actions in all directions to silence the enemy's fire and keep the operative-tactical situation under our control.
9:28 MoD: Azerbaijan's claims about us firing at Tartar city is false. They need a pretense to bomb our civilian settlements again.
10:22 army: Azerbaijan has so far lost 5139 soldiers (KIA), 4 TOS missile units, 521 tanks and armored vehicles, 18 aircrafts, 16 helicopters, 173 drones, etc.
10:48: army published the names of 17 more Armenian soldiers who died in the battlefield, and clarified that the names of 10 soldiers were erroneously added to the list yesterday. 532 deaths.
10:49: video from the front line showing the defenders of the northern front. Azeris had tried to capture a position at 3,300m height but were repelled after sustaining heavy losses.
Soldiers: beginning 8:30 they began heavily bombing for 2 hours and launched an attack with ~60 men. 30 of them intruded in our territory but couldn't infiltrate our position. Our boys knew what to do. One of ours was wounded.
10:58: MFA Mnatsakanyan is holding a meeting with Minks Group co-chairs.
11:03 army spokesman: the veterans of the First Karabakh War should know that their sons not only successfully continue their work but they exceed them in many ways.
11:18: Artsakh Parliament passed a bill to create a new "աշխարհազոր" army consisted of anyone who wishes to volunteer. Men and women, young and old, who aren't already in the army reserves, will be able to sign up, undergo training, and receive a weapon.
Artsakh president Arayik called upon everyone to unite and "help break the enemy's back to secure our right for a peaceful existence."
It's similar to the bill in the Armenian Parliament that was scheduled for a vote before the war.
"In the coming hours and days, our army will be replenished with our citizens with rich experience and knowledge of professional warfare and military service, whose participation will significantly contribute to increasing the effectiveness of our troops on the battlefield."
11:32: a drone [visibly Azerbaijan's Harop] crashed in northern Iran, not far from the Artsakh border. Iran's govt-run news agency IRNA says the authorities are investigating whose it is and how it crashed.
Video: , ,
11:56: the World Monument Foundation has sharply criticized the acts of destroying cultural heritage buildings, after learning that Azerbaijan bombed the church in Shuchi. They asked both sides to refrain from damaging such buildings.
12:04 Artsakh govt: the enemy launched a new large scale attack again. Peaceful settlements are also being shelled by artillery. Several thousand mercenary terrorists are taking part in the military operations on the Azerbaijani side.
Our army is fighting hard, trying to stop the enemy's offensive operations. Every effort must be made to inflict great losses on the enemy to ensure victory in this patriotic war.
12:21: Orber Center is one of the groups that try to find the identities of the deceased Azeri soldiers. They identified 619 names by checking non-govt sources because Azerbaijan officially keeps it secret. More is yet to be identified.
12:23 army spokesman: Our troops are currently fighting heroically and persistently.
12:24: Artsakh army published footage showing the aftermath of a battle that left numerous Azeri soldiers dead. Presumably in the north. "The enemy continues to suffer heavy losses."
Graphic but blurred:
12:27: army released footage showing the destruction of an Azeri tank.
12:57: a Parliament MP has urged the public not to delay their planned purchases and spend it now to help boost the economy and generate taxes. "Don't worry about the optics of going to a cafe and purchasing clothes in the mall."
12:58: Azerbaijan is caught with allegedly bribing the now-former President of the International Federation of United Wrestling Styles Rafael Martinetti.
Rafael is accused of accepting large sums from Azeri officials possibly as a bribe or money laundering. The Swiss media writes that Azeris "donated" him 6 million Franks in 2012, which he illegally kept secret and didn't mention in the wealth declaration forms.
A year after the bribe, in 2013, the Olympics Committee decided to remove the Wrestling from the Olympics games due to it being mired in corruption, but later decided to keep it, after Rafael resigned as Wrestling committee president.
By the way, Azerbaijan also purchased gold medals in the 2012 London Olympics.
13:23: Armenian MoD met an Iranian colleague to discuss the war and the presence of terrorists deployed by Azerbaijan.
13:42: Russian MoD Shoygu expressed concerns over the news about the presence of Syrian militants in Karabakh front, and urged a ceasefire.
13:50: in other news, four Syrian militants were neutralized in Chechnia, Southern Russia. Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov says the militants came from Syria. "The locals helped us identify them. Unfortunately, two officers died during the operation. The militants had plans to commit acts of terror." ,
14:07: after Azeris entered the north-eastern village Mataghis last week, one of their soldiers uploaded a video shit-talking Russia and the CSTO military alliance. ,
14:37: video from a humanitarian center showing activists gathering aid for Artsakh residents, with the help of shipping companies like Globbing. "They are working like bees."
14:45: Georgian MFA says they prohibited the transfer of weapons over land and air since the escalation. "Only humanitarian and passenger flights are allowed," said the MFA, adding that they'll take appropriate steps if they find out that a humanitarian flight transports military equipment.
15:00: Prince Abdulrahman bin Musad bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has joined the calls to boycott Turkish products after Turkey installed a military base in Qatar and bragged about its role in the Persian Gulf.
Saudi Arabia has recently begun officially pressuring its businesses to boycott Turkish products.
15:20: President Sarkissian gave an interview to the Russian RT outlet and spoke about Turkey's involvement in the conflict and the targeting of civilians.
15:30: this little boy organized a charity show to pull a car with a rope. The donations will be sent to the army.
This little girl sells handmade bracelets for 25 cents a piece to help the army.
15:51: MFA Mnatsakanyan gave an interview to BBC Newshour
16:02: the United States, the Russian church, Minks co-chairs, and others, have called for both sides to respect the ceasefire. , ,
16:33: 673 pieces of Turkish and Israeli-made illegal cluster bombs and other missiles have been discovered in the capital Stepanakert so far. They'll be transported outside the city for safe detonation.
16:40: the Armenian community of Estonia held a demonstration in Tallin in support of Artsakh.
16:42: the aerial footage of the Shushi church that was bombed by Azerbaijan last week.
17:02: this goldfish managed to survive a severe bombardment of a house in Stepanakert. The owner plans to release it and make a wish. ,
17:30: High-Tech Minister says the domestic drone production and military equipment repair industry is working around the clock.
17:38: Azeri infiltrators had earlier entered the southern town of Hadrut before being pushed out. Today Azeris uploaded images of a flag to satisfy Aliyev, supposedly installed on a building in Hadrut, but it was revealed as not being from Hadrut but rather a suburb, which matches the official Armenian statement that Azeris were pushed to an outskirt of Hadrut. It is also unclear when the photo was taken.
17:59: the legend of Azniv Khanum continues. The Azeri media circulated fake photos about an Armenian woman in Stepanakert allegedly installing a sign in front of her houses that reads "welcome" in Azeri language.
17:50: Slovakian government has donated $25,000 to Artsakh through the Red Cross.
18:10: Italian-Armenians held a demonstration in Rome's Monte Citorio square, urging the govt to recognize the Artsakh Republic.
They were joined by former Prime Minister Matteo Salvini who expressed solidarity with Armenians. "We must not forget the suffering of the people close to us. If Europe means something to you, then defend our brothers who are the bastion of European civilization in the Caucasus and the Middle East." ,
18:27: the city council of Kragero, Norway, joined by the current and three previous mayors, signed a resolution condemning the aggression against Artsakh.
18:41: the Pontic Greek community donated $100,000 to Artsakh via
18:55: MFA Mnatsakanyan met Russia's Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev.
19:45: France is concerned about Turkey's role in Artsakh and "expects answers".
19:51: PM Pashinyan spoke with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte about the right for people's self-determination and the Turkish-Azeri aggression against Artsakh.
20:00: Armenian demonstrators marched between the UN office and the Russian embassy and called for the official recognition of the Artsakh Republic.
20:44: ladies in Gyumri are sewing clothes for the soldiers in the front lines. "Our production was small, but as soon as the war broke out, we started sewing water-resistant clothes and sleeping bags, which are a basic necessity for the soldiers, because my brother, being a participant in the 2016 battles, said that it was more important to have dry clothes than food."
20:45 world chess champion Garry Kasparov: "Starting point of Karabakh tragedy is Sumgait pogrom."
"Lenin, who viewed Turkey as the main ally, transferred two territories - Nakhichevan, populated in half by Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and Karabakh, inhabited exclusively by Armenians, to Azerbaijan. In fact, there is one detail that fundamentally separates the problem of Karabakh with Crimea and many other problems.
The law of the Soviet Union, which was adopted in 1990, provided for a fairly clear rule for the secession of the union republic, and it was clearly stated that the autonomous republics and national groups of compact residence should vote separately. And in the event of this disintegration, they have the right to their own self-determination.
This is a very important point that many people ignore now. Therefore, the question of Azerbaijan's sovereignty is dubious."
21:00 army spokesman's briefing: in the morning, Azeris launched an attack in 4 directions. The northern section was intense. After a heavy bombardment, they launched an attack. There have been very few instances of such fierce battles in this war. Our army was able to throw them back and inflict heavy losses on them.
The battles continued elsewhere, too. The opponent has no significant advancements. In the past few days, Azeris adopted a new strategy. They form infiltration groups for quick entry in various settlements to quickly plant a flag for video-taping and propaganda purposes. It's mainly done for the Azeri public, but they also try to use it as psychological pressure against Armenia.
For a while now, after losing their attack potential and not gaining any significant achievements on the battlefield, they need to feed the Azeri public with such propaganda.
In the past 15 days, Azerbaijan's 4 military Corps achieved what a single Brigade was supposed to achieve. [basically, 50,000 did what 5,000 could normally do?]. They have no room to brag. Any international military expert with elementary knowledge can verify this.
This is why they need to quickly infiltrate settlements, take pictures with buildings, claim they are at the city halls, etc.
The situation in Hadrut is still the same. It's a mountainous and forest area. There can be infiltration attempts by Azeris.
Don't forget about defending yourself from COVID. We're seeing increasing numbers.Զորագունդ
21:30: the Evangelical People's Party of Switzerland has sent a letter to the Swiss Parliament and MFA, urging an "immediate intervention to stop Azerbaijan's aggression against Artsakh", citing a threat of genocide, the bombardment of civilian settlements, the Turkish involvement.
21:40: the Russian-Armenian community has been sending 10s of 1000s of tons of aid to Artsakh.
22:46: Armenians held a demonstration in front of the Parliament building in Paris.
23:29: U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff has called for the United States to officially recognize the independence of the Artsakh Republic.
23:30: Russian ANNA military reporters released footage from front lines, featuring soldiers who shot down 6 drones and enemy personnel, and their opinion on the so-called "ceasefire".
23:37: Pashinyan gave an interview to Reuters and spoke about Turkey's aggression and "their goal to complete the genocide".
23:38: as of right now, 31 civilians have been killed and 106 wounded in Artsakh.
Worldwide donations to Artsakh:
Tax-deductable for Americans:
You've read 3259 words.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

2020.10.11 21:34 tutetibiimperes Nugu Roundup #60 - When Proud Pied April, Dress'd in all his trim, Hath put a Spirit of Youth in Every Thing- 201011 + Album Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!
What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!
Last week we spent time with Dreamcatcher's little brothers, D1CE! This week let's check out a group that's more on the 'underrated' side than the 'nugu' side, let's get to know April!
Look at the first comment below for the winner of the fourteenth Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week's album up for grabs!
What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means 'Who' in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn't have to mean they're extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of 'unknown' which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don't have widespread name recognition.
Let's get on with the show...
Who are they?: April is a six member girl group under DSP Media. While their name in Hangul 에이프릴 phonetically sounds much like 'April' it's also a compound word of 'A Frill' indicating they are pretty women, and with the April name means they want to present a warm and relaxing atmosphere like the month of April. Their fandom name is Fineapple, which is a combination of "Fine" meaning good, and "Apple" representing April.
Company: DSP Media was originally one of the largest Kpop companies in the game, representing mega-hit artists such as Fin.K.L, SECHSKIES, and KARA. They lost ground in the transition from 2nd to 3rd generation groups and now represent April and co-ed group KARD. They also have a pre-debut 9 member boy group in development including two Produce X101 contestants. Other notable former artists include the girl group Rainbow and boy groups SS501 and A-JAX.
Group Interviews
Debut: August 23rd, 2015 with Dream Candy (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
First Comeback: November 24th, 2015 with Muah (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Second Comeback: December 20th, 2015 with Snowman (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Third Comeback: April 26th, 2016 with Tinkerbell (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Fourth Comeback: January 3rd, 2017 with April Story (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Fifth Comeback: May 29th, 2017 with Mayday (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Fifth Comeback Pt 2: May 29th, 2017 with Lovesick (MV) Live Stage (Link)
Sixth Comeback: September 20th, 2017 with Take My Hand (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Seventh Comeback: March 12th, 2018 with The Blue Bird (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Eighth Comeback: October 16th, 2018 with Oh My Mistake (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)
Ninth Comeback: April 22nd, 2020 with Lalalilala (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Tenth (and most recent) Comeback: July 29th, 2020 with Now or Never (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
YouTube Channel: April
Random Stuff
Trivia: On debut April was one of the youngest active Kpop groups, with an average age of 17.5. The group has a mascot, known as Sawori, which is a giant seed representing sprouting love and energy for the group. The group has amassed a number of CF deals including Mexican Chicken (a Korean chicken chain), FIFA Online, and a goat-milk face mask product. Their fandom name was the result of a fan vote and Fineapple narrowly beat out Aries as the top choice. Despite a long hiatus between The Ruby and De Capo the group seems to be gaining momentum, with their special summer album Hello Summer reaching 14,000 physical copies sold, the group's best thus far, while the group had never broken 10K before De Capo. Lalalilala also marked the group's highest single charting at 40 on the Gaon digital chart and 37 on Melon. As a fun little Easter-Egg the first letter of April's first three EPs (Dreaming, Spring, Prelude) spells out "DSP". The group has won three medals at ISAC competitions, all of them for Rhythm Gymnastics. The group is currently one of the longest-running active idol groups that has never won 1st place on a music show.
Who is he?: Woosung is the lead vocalist, guitarist, and leader of the band The Rose. He has released several solo songs and a solo EP but is also still active with his band.
Company: J&Star Entertainment appears to be a new and small company with The Rose being their only musical act, though they also represent a male model and actor by the name of Bonyoung.
Real Name: Kim Woo Sung (Korean) Sammy Kim (English)
Age: 27 (IA)
Pre-Release Debut: July 19th, 2019 with Lonely (audio) Live Performance (Link)
Official Solo Debut: July 25th, 2019 with Face (MV) Live Performance (Link)
First Comeback: November 15th, 2019 with Beautiful Girl feat. Penile (MV) Live Performance (Link)
YouTube Channel: via The Rose
Trivia: He is from Los Angeles, CA. He competed on the first season of Kpop Star. He participated in the writing and production of the song Yolo from Boys24 (link). His role model for The Rose is The Beatles, a band that showed both vocal talent as well as creativity. During the album cover shooting for his Wolf EP they used a real wolf-dog for the photos, and he says it was difficult because the wolf-dog did not listen to commands and kept wanting to wander away. He is close to BM of KARD and Ashley of Ladies Code due to their US upbringing. When he was young he watched a video of Angus Young of AC/DC and loved the look of the guitar so made one himself out of shoelaces and a toy sword he had. His mother ended up buying him a guitar after that, though it wasn't until he was injured while playing football in high school that he decided to devote his energies fully into music. ________________________________________________________
Who were they?: A five member boy group under Pacemaker Entertainment. Their name in Hangul is spelled the same way as the island of Bermuda. Their fandom name was Triangle, the same as the title of their debut EP.
Debut: June 12th, 2017 with Dream Girl (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Final Release: February 13th, 2018 with Farewell (audio)
Active Between: June 2017 - Sometime in 2019
Reasons for Disbanding: All of the groups social media accounts were deleted or went silent, which combined with no output since 2018 leads to the likelihood that the group has quietly disbanded. No other groups or information can be found for the group's company Pacemaker Entertainment, so it's possible the company folded as well.
Trivia: The group featured former members of 100%, ZPZG (which is rumored to be reforming), and Mr. Slam. Member NaKang who contributed to the writing of their final track is a cousin of KiKwang from Highlight. The group had previously been known as BEAM. It appears that they attempted to do live touring internationally including in China and Japan during 2018.
That's it for today, let's get the discussion on!
As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments below.
Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.
submitted by tutetibiimperes to kpop [link] [comments]

2020.09.17 17:32 DerikHallin I made a comprehensive compilation of everything we know, and everything we have cause to believe


Like many of you, I’ve been a hardcore fan of all things Potter for over 20 years. Grew up with the books, soaked in the movies, played many of the games, and explored various supplemental and fan content over the years. I’m over the moon about the official confirmation of what we’ve known now for nearly two years: The “Harry Potter Game” is coming!
It’s been a uniquely interesting ride to get to this point, and because of that, we have some credible information that some folks may not be aware of. I wanted to compile an index of officially confirmed info (currently quite limited), easily deduced conclusions based on the new official trailer, as well as observations from the original leaked trailer and some more esoteric sources. I’ve seen one or two other threads compiling info, but none have included the level of detail and scrutiny that I was looking for. So I’m going to try to do it myself.
I figure it makes sense to organize this into sections based on credibility, and I’m going to start with the most reliable information first. So let’s get into it.

Official Information

Currently, all we have is the reveal trailer, which is accompanied by a short blurb, six screenshots, and a wallpaper.
Key takeaways from the blurb, in my opinion:
  • The game is described as “an immersive, open-world action RPG”.
  • It promises that you, the player, will “be at the center of your own adventure”.
  • We will explore “familiar and new locations” and discover “fantastic beasts”.
  • Other game systems teased:
    • Customize your character
    • Craft potions
    • Master spell casting
    • Upgrade talents
  • The game is set in the 1800s (the trailer specifically states “late 1800s”).
  • The player character receives a “late acceptance” to Hogwarts -- something that we’ve never seen before in the canon, though J. K. Rowling has discussed this before and originally did intend to have a character like this in the series.
  • The character is said to uniquely “possess an unusual ability to perceive and master Ancient Magic” which will be core to the story.
    • Note: It is unclear at this time whether we will have the option to ignore this narrative thread and just do side quests and other mundane activities.
    • Note 2: The last line of the 2nd paragraph heavily hints that our use of Ancient Magic will allow us to choose to become good or evil. It’s unclear if there will be a full paragon system, branching paths, etc., or just a simple good or bad option.
  • Final takeaways:
    • Make allies
    • Battle dark wizards
    • Decide the fate of the wizarding world
The trailer adds some context to this blurb, and also a bit of additional information. Here are my comments:
  • The trailer voiceover, provided by Jim Dale of the US audiobooks, states: “Every corridor, every portrait, every stone in this castle tells a story.” This is accompanied by footage of a moving portrait, a magic staircase materializing, and a couple shots of halls/rooms in the castle. We cannot know for sure, but this seems to suggest that the castle may have interactive elements, hidden secrets, and/or similar incentives to explore.
    • As Dale says the word “corridor”, there is a clear but brief shot of a ghost rising through one of the house tables in the great hall.
  • We see the character getting sorted. A man with brown hair is putting the hat on his head, and an older man with gray hair is standing beside them. We cannot know for sure, but I would speculate the older man might be the headmaster, and the brown-haired man either a teacher or perhaps caretaker.
  • We see footage and hear voiceover relating to classes, including, I believe: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and Transfiguration.
    • Specifically, the care of magical creatures class seems to be a lesson on mooncalves as seen in the Fantastic Beasts series.
  • The voiceover states, “There is a larger world beyond these walls.” We see footage of Hogsmeade, as well as an unidentifiable crop of land along a lake and/or ocean, dotted with several small buildings. It’s not clear whether that may be part of the Hogwarts grounds, Hogsmeade, or somewhere else entirely.
    • It's also unclear if those buildings are points of interest we can explore, or simply decorative backdrops for a flying sequence.
    • The player character is riding what appears to be a hippogriff during this scene, and there is a second character riding another hippogriff nearby. It is not clear whether this is a race, a companion quest, or if the game includes a full-on companion system.
    • Between the shot of flying on a hippogriff, and a different shot of a couple characters with broomsticks, it seems very plausible that we’ll be able to fly on brooms.
  • We also see what appear to be draugr-like undead creatures (likely inferi) and shadowy flying humanoid creatures (presumably dementors). The inferi appear to be in some kind of cave or natural dungeon, and the dementors appear to be in a dark hallway or alley (Azkaban? Knockturn Alley? Or one of those aforementioned new locations?).
  • We see a quick shot of the player casting a red spell at a large charging creature, then rolling out of its way.
    • The creature is most likely a graphorn.
    • It seems reasonable to conclude that dodge rolling is a combat mechanic.
  • We see several interactive magical game assets, such as a wall with a symbol on it, which opens up to “swallow” the player into a hidden area; and a bridge that forms from magic to provide access to a new location.
    • There is also a gate with a rune-like symbol above it. I don’t recognize this or the wall symbol from the canon. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!
  • We see the player petting a seemingly docile graphorn (I assume). There is also dialogue in the voiceover about “taming beasts”, so this might be a sort of familiar and/or mount. Or just a sort of “Animal Allegiance” spell to help in a fight? Or perhaps it is just part of a one-off quest.
  • We also see the player character fighting a troll in a large arena-like dungeon.
    • The player character appears to sidestep a troll attack, though it is unclear if this is a game mechanic or just a cutscene move. The character also appears to use a shield charm to defend himself.
    • Note: Every time we see the player character, they appear different. It seems safe to assume we can customize our characters quite thoroughly, which is further reinforced by the leaked trailer I will discuss shortly.
    • We can also see different colored trim on the various characters' robes, reflecting the four Hogwarts houses. And several characters are wearing suits, dresses, or other outfits. Indications of a wardrobe/outfit system, possibly?
  • We also see several shots of a man wearing a strange skull mask and fur shawl. Based on the voiceover dialogue and the shots of our character fighting this man, it seems safe to assume he is either the antagonist, or at least an antagonist. He is seen in a dark room with an old-looking book and a strange metallic box. It’s likely these have to do with Ancient Magic.
  • We see several fights/duels, including against a dragon where the player seems to dodge roll behind cover; one against the masked man where the player uses a levitation spell to suspend the enemy in mid-air; and one against a dog-sized spider (not clear if this is meant to be a small acromantula, a normal engorged spider, or something else entirely).
    • In the dragon fight, there appear to be several other characters on scene. Again, not clear if this means there is a full companion/crew system, or if this is just a sort of ally mission.
  • There are a couple close-ups of wands, and they appear to have different models. It is unclear whether we will have any control over our wand appearance/makeup, and if that would impact gameplay at all.
Carrying off that last point, while there isn’t much of note in the six screenshots, there is one that appears to be in Ollivander’s of the player receiving their wand. So it’s likely that this scene will play out, which means it is very possible that we will have some control over it. If this is indeed Ollivander’s, then presumably, we might get to explore Diagon Alley too.
There's also a shot of a dragon, and it looks distinctly different from the dragon we see in the trailer. I wouldn't take this as concrete confirmation that there are multiple dragons / multiple breeds of dragon in the game, but it is a promising possibility.


There have of course been many articles about the game in the past 24 hours. I mainly want to talk about one. The official Playstation Blog published a blog post written by Adrian Ropp, Head of Story for Avalanche. Which makes this about a fraction of a degree away from official, at worst.
This article doesn’t reveal too much, but it seems to confirm my identification of the large creature as a graphorn. It also mentions that goblins were “around”, implying they will be in the game but that will be mainly seeing them outside of Gringott’s. This ties into the leaked trailer as well.
Ropp also confirms the existence of Nearly Headless Nick (perhaps the ghost we saw in the trailer?), the Forbidden Forest, centaurs, and inferi (again, probably those draugr-like creatures from the trailer).
Perhaps the most important line is where Ropp talks about details that would "influence the school more than a century before Harry Potter's arrival" (emphasis mine). If this is an indication of when the game takes place, it helps narrow down the time period even more, which I will discuss further down.
Another article worth noting is this one from Wizarding World. I believe this makes it sort of “semi-official” or “2nd party” news, and therefore likely credible. A few key notes from this one:
  • A quote: “learn spells, brew potions, tame fantastic beasts, select companions.” More indication that beast taming is an actual game mechanic, and more evidence of a possible companion system.
  • This also specifically mentions both Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest as places we will explore.
  • The article mentions “scenarios that will pose difficult choices” -- again, not clear if this means a paragon system, branching paths, or just basic good vs. evil.
There was also an article several months ago written by Jason Schreier from Bloomberg, which confirmed the existence of the game (which had been leaked in 2018 -- refer below) and indicated a few small but clearly accurate details. Schreier reported that the game was set in open-world Hogwarts and the “surrounding areas”, would be released in late 2021, and that J. K. Rowling had little direct involvement.


We’re now moving a bit away from the 100% reliable, official statements. However, these leaks are as credible as you could ask for. The footage and the accompanying blurb from October 2018 align extremely closely with the new trailer and official info. And they were validated by several highly reliable industry insiders too.
In October 2018, a low quality, seemingly hand-held video of a trailer for an unnamed Harry Potter game was leaked online. The trailer also came with a blurb written by a redditor. I’m not going to tag the user because they seem to have disassociated themself from anything to do with this game, but if they want credit for this, I will gladly tag them:
Set in the 19th Century (1800’s) Wizarding World, this 3rd person open-world action RPG game centers around your character with unique abilities who has eared (sic) a late acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You are a newly arrived 5th year student to Hogwarts that demonstrates a latent gift for magic with a unique ability to track and identify remnants of a pottant (sic) ancient power. Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize In the Forbidden Forrest (sic) and trouble begins o (sic) brew within the castle walls. Together with Professor Elezar Fig, you embark on a journey through both familiar and never before seen locations to bring to light the truth behind these mysterious occurrences. On your quest you will craft potions, master new spells, and discover fantastical beasts. You will battle Dark Wizards, Goblins, and other supernatural enemies and uncover the truth about your destiny – the Fate of the Wizarding World lies in your hands.
Journey to Hogwarts to become one of 8 different Wizard types
  • Experience Hogwarts, make new friends, uncover new secrets, and change the fate of the Wizarding world.
  • Experience a new magic system that creates countless possibilities to master magic.
  • Freely explore the Wizarding World for the first time, Choose your house and friends at Hogwarts, and decide to pursue a path of good or evil.
  • Create your own witch or wizard, and experience a (sic) all new story separate from the books or films.
As you can see, a lot of this is uncannily accurate to what we already know. And like I said, industry insiders corroborated much of the leak and the existence of the game. Granted, in two years, a lot can change, so we should not assume all of this is still 100% factual. But I do think it’s pretty safe to conclude that as of two years ago, this was a reliable/credible leak. And therefore, much of this may still be true, or at least reasonably close to true.
If we accept this leaked blurb at face value, then we can make a few more assumptions.
  • I think it’s likely that the old man we see in the sorting ceremony is Elezar Fig. The way the camera focuses on him makes him seem plot-relevant. Perhaps he is headmaster, or deputy headmaster. Based on the blurb, it sounds like he is knowledgeable of and interested in this Ancient Magic, and recognizes the importance of the player in this field.
  • If we arrive as a 5th year, it generates several key questions, such as:
    • Does the game take place entirely during that year, or will there be time skips?
    • How does a 5th year integrate into classes at Hogwarts? After all, you can’t exactly dump them into 5th year classes. So do they attend with the 1st years?
  • The leak also specifically confirms the game is in 3rd person, which all footage seems to support. And while neither the official footage nor the leak explicitly state that the game is single-player, it seems heavily implied.
  • One of the biggest takeaways is the mention of eight different “wizard types”. Could this be a sort of class/specialization system? Some have speculated that it will be split by different magical fields, such as Charms, Transfiguration, DADA, Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, etc.
    • This is just speculation, of course, and of an unconfirmed leak. So take it with a grain of salt. But a natural follow-up question would be: How important is the “wizard type” distinction? Does it dramatically impact gameplay and character building? Or can any player spec into multiple “types” like Skyrim style perk trees?
    • In any case, the leaked "wizard types" system combined with the official blurb's reference to "talent points" is enough to outline a glimpse of the RPG/character building system the game is likely to offer.
  • “Make new friends” and “Choose your house and friends” could be indications of a companion system. But that is just one possible interpretation, and again, this info is not official or current.
  • The leak, like Ropp’s blog, mentions goblins. Could these be the diminutive creatures we see in the leaked trailer?
Speaking of the leaked trailer, here are some observations on that:
  • It shows several scenes and creatures that are identical to what we see in the official trailer and screenshots, which instantly bolsters the authenticity of the original leak.
  • We see a brief glimpse of the character creation, which seems to include body morphs, head shape, hair style, eye and hair color, outfit, as well as possibly makeup, scars, and selecting your house.
  • We see some more classroom scenes, including transfiguration, potions, and herbology.
  • We also see the player character walking around in what is most likely Hogsmeade.
  • We see a shot of the character seeming to tame a graphorn -- again, it’s unclear if this is part of a quest, or a general game mechanic.
  • We also see a map which appears to lead to a cave under a mountain outside of Hogsmeade. It seems to be part of a quest, as the player then locates this cave and enters it. The rest of the footage seems to be from inside that same cave. It’s unclear if this is a main mission or an optional side quest.
  • We see the character cast several spells during the gameplay, and we also see their HUD which shows several spells slotted for use. These include:
    • Lumos
    • Alohomora
    • Reparo
    • Expulso
    • Stupefy
    • Depulso
    • Levioso
    • Expelliarmus
  • We see a group of short and stocky creatures, which may be goblins. They seem potentially unsavory, and we see brutal footage of the player fighting them.
    • In one of the combat scenes, we see the character sidestep to dodge a spell. Again, it’s unclear if this is a mechanic that will exist in the final product, but it did seem to exist in the game as of the original leak.
  • There appear to be several interactive sequences in the dungeon. It’s unclear if these are live puzzles, QTEs, secrets, collectibles, cutscenes, or something else entirely.
  • The player appears to use Lumos to blind a troll at one point. Perhaps part of the “fantastic beasts” portion of gameplay will include a witcher-esque bestiary where the enemies have varying strengths and weaknesses?

Supplemental Info & Speculation

Last thing I wanted to mention is that there are years worth of posts of speculation, observations, and analysis on the harrypottergame subreddit. In particular, one find I thought to be noteworthy is this analysis by TheTurnipKnight of a picture from Avalanche’s studio. There is a storyboard/scene sequence on a whiteboard that appears to include characters on brooms with three quidditch goals. Does this mean we may be able to actually play quidditch? We cannot know for sure, but we can certainly hope.
Something many people are wondering is whether we’ll know any characters in the game. Well, other than Nearly Headless Nick, who seems to already be confirmed, there are several other ghosts that would presumably be present: The Gray Lady, the Fat Friar, the Bloody Baron, and Peeves. Professor Binns might be around as well, either as a ghost or a human (we don't know exactly when he died). Furthermore, we know Phineas Nigellus Black would be around mid-30s to late 40s depending on the exact year the game is set, so he may be a teacher. And of course, we might see some of the portraits we know and love: The Fat Lady and Violet, Sir Cadogen, etc.
Canonically, there are a couple other characters we know were on the Hogwarts faculty/staff register circa 1876: headmistress Eupraxia Mole and caretaker Rancorous Carpe. However, these are one-off characters from Pottermore, so even if the game is set in 1876, I don’t think most fans would really care whether those characters are in the game. And the game could be set several years earlier or later too.
A few wildcards include Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore, and Elphias Doge. We know Albus and Doge started at Hogwarts in Fall 1892, followed by Aberforth a few years afterward. Harry entered in 1991, 99 years later. Recall that Ropp's article used the phrase "more than a century before Harry Potter's arrival". This may indicate the game is set in or before 1890, and therefore, we are unlikely to see these characters. So what if we go back a bit further?
  • We know Bathilda Bagshot was already out of Hogwarts when Dumbledore came in as a first year. In fact, since she was Grindelwald's great aunt -- i.e., she was the sister of one of Grindelwald's grandparents -- she may be several decades older than Dumbledore. But it's possible she would be a student in the 1870s, or even a teacher (Hermione referred to her as "Professor Bagshot" at one point).
  • We also know that Griselda Marchbanks, head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority in Harry's time, is old enough to have graded Dumbledore's N.E.W.T. exam. So we can infer she was at least a year older than Dumbledore, and more likely several years older: Presumably, she would need to spend some years getting certified, trained, etc. to be able to perform this job; and it's not likely that the year she tested Dumbledore was her very first year on the job either.
  • We also know that Galatea Merrythought retired circa 1945 after 50 years of teaching at Hogwarts, meaning she may have been a student in the 1870s-1880s. So depending on when the game is set, it is possible we might run into some of those characters.
  • We know Caractacus Burke was an original founder of Borgin & Burke's in the 1860s. This would make him too old to be a student in the "late 1800s", but we might see him and his shop if we get to visit Diagon Alley.
And lastly, keep in mind that many pureblood families have been carrying on with the same surnames for centuries. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few familiar surnames around -- Black, Bones, MacMillan, Abbott, Crouch, Prewett, Nott, Avery, etc. Hell, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see a Malfoy, Weasley, or even a Potter. (Personally, I’d rather not see a Potter, Weasley, or Malfoy, but I wouldn’t be too torn up if they do it -- especially if done well.) We even have partial family trees for some of these families that come largely from Pottermore and/or non-book sources. To me, this means we shouldn't necessarily expect to see any of those ancestral characters in this game, but it would be possible.
On the other hand, who/what won't we see? Well, anyone who went to Hogwarts after Dumbledore, for starters. That includes, for instance, Newt Scamander, Tom Riddle, Hagrid, McGonagall, Slughorn, etc. Also, the Whomping Willow canonically wouldn't be on the grounds yet. Other than possibly Binns, and maybe baby Slughorn, none of the teachers should even be alive yet, let alone teaching. Moaning Myrtle was killed when Tom Riddle was at Hogwarts, so her bathroom won't be haunted yet.
We might see some of the memorable rooms and secret passageways we've read about and/or seen in the movies -- stuff like the room of requirement, the house common rooms, perhaps some of those caved in passageways to Hogsmeade, maybe the kitchens, astronomy tower, etc. I believe chocolate frogs and their cards may have been around long enough to be in the game, as with some other signature foods and candies. (A Daily Prophet headline in the movies states that chocolate frogs redid their packaging in the 1920s, but I don't think that it specifically ruled out the possibility of the cards existing before then ... And anyway, those movie Daily Prophet headlines are about as sketchy as you can get in the "canon".) On the other hand, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans were not canonically invented until the mid-20th century, and their creator was not even alive in the late 1800s. Some shops in Hogsmeade are likely to be recognizable, such as the Three Broomsticks, or Honeydukes. Though many of the shops in the books were likely not around in the 1800s.
If anyone has anything to add, any questions about my sources or objections to my interpretations, please let me know. Otherwise, I hope this helps answer a few questions and shed a bit more light on things while we await further info.
One final note I want to emphasize: Schreier's article specifically said the game is slated for late 2021. So let’s all operate on the assumption that it’s at least a year away from now. I know we’re all excited, but it’s going to take a bit more waiting before we have this in hand. I know we’ve all done our waiting, but just a bit more patience will see us through to the end.
submitted by DerikHallin to HarryPotterGame [link] [comments]

2020.09.13 21:53 tutetibiimperes Nugu Roundup #56 -Blooming Boys - 200913 + Album Giveway!

Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!
What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!
Last week we supported #Hashtag. This week it's time for a boy group who's relatively new but who has been making some very cool music, let's get to know ENOi!
Look at the first comment below for the winner of the tenth Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week's album up for grabs!
What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means 'Who' in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn't have to mean they're extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of 'unknown' which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don't have widespread name recognition.
Let's get on with the show...
Who are they?: A seven member boy group under KITHEWHALE Entertainment, their name comes from "wE caN dO iT". The group members have individual colors and gemstones which are meant to represent both positive and negative elements of their personalities, with the concept being that they will grow to be better and overcome their negative aspects. Their fandom name is RAYS which stands for 'Realize All Your Stars' and also carries the meaning that the group can't grow without the rays of light form the fans.
Company: KITHEWHALE Entertainment's name comes from combining the Korean words for 'Lungfish' and 'Whale'. They are a combination IT Company and Kpop Agency and are involved in some way with blockchains. Their goal is to merge their strengths in technology and artistic development. ENOi is their first and only Kpop group, though they have produced Korean hip-hop content in the past.
Full Group Interview
Debut: April 21st, 2019 with Bloom (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Most Recent Comeback: August 6th, 2020 with W.A.Y (Where are You) (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
First Comeback: January 12th, 2020 with Cheeky (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Version (Link)
Other Releases
YouTube Channel: ENOi Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: Member Hamin had been considering giving up on his dream of becoming a singer before Laon convinced him to join the group. Dojin and Jinwoo were students at the same training academy and when Laon approached Dojin he convinced Jinwoo to sign on as well. Avin and Gun were both discovered by Laon through social media and he e-mailed them a presentation about ENOi to convince them to join. Laon was living in a one room studio apartment when he had the idea to form the group, and admits that it was a reckless desire but he's very proud of how they've all come together. The group is known for being perfectionist when it comes to their practice schedule - going through the dance routine for Bloom over 1,500 times before debut, and over 1,000 times for Cheeky to the point where they were sustaining knee injuries but didn't want to water down the choreography or give up.
Soloist of the Week
Grace/Grazy Grace
Who is she?: Grace is currently an independent soloist/singer-songwriter. She was previously promoted by YYAC but is currently involved in a contract dispute with them. She is Korean American, born in Long Island, but traveled Korea as a trainee though never debuted with a group, later gaining attention competing in Unpretty Rapstar 3. She is known for sharing stories from behind the scenes of the Kpop system on her YouTube channel.
Solo Debut: February 4th, 2016 with I'm Fine (MV) Live Performance (Link) Dance Practice (Link)
Most Recent Comeback: June 29th, 2020 with Planet (MV)
Other MVs and Releases
YouTube Channel: Grazy Grace and Grazy TV and YYAC Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: The English bios I've found all state that she was born in Long Island, NY, however her Korean bio on the indicates that she was born in Seoul and emigrated to the USA at age 7, I'm not sure which is correct. She was eliminated from Unpretty Rapstar in the 8th episode. She created the hook for the Unpretty Rapstar Season 3 theme song "She's Coming". While she has never publicly stated it, it's widely assumed that her trainee experience was in Nega Network/NH Media as part of the group that eventually became Laboum. She is friends with former Rania member Alex and H.U.B member Hyosun. She's a fan of sushi and mexican food. She holds a lifeguard certificate. She has been quite candid about her experiences in the Kpop industry on her YouTube channel, including stories about some of the less-glamorous behind the scenes issues such as encouragement of plastic surgery, sexual propositions, and body shaming issues. ________________________________________________________
Who were they?: A six member girl group under Parksal Entertainment. The group was made up of Racing Models, and stood for "Perfect Performance Ladies".
Company: Parksal Entertainment had a highly-anticipated pre-debut girl group known as Rendezvous which has disbanded prior to debut, though their main vocalist Seulgi will be debuting as a soloist. They also represent former PPL member Ah Hee who now promotes as DJ Fatal, ballad duo Premu, and a number of models. They also appear to be involved in various other business activities such as watersports equipment rental, video production, and vaping products.
MVs and Releases
Active Between: October 30th 2015 - Sometime in 2018
Reasons for Disbanding: In early 2018 the company announced that they would be replacing four members of the group, however the replacements never debuted and one of the remaining two, Ah Hee, began working under the company as a DJ. All other activity ceased and the group's YouTube channel was replaced with one hawking vaping devices.
Trivia: Member Ah Hee is now active as a model and as DJ Fatal. Member Da Hee married the CEO of Parksal Entertainment in December 2018 and afterwards it was revealed they had been dating for six years (which would have included the entire run of the group). Member Gakyung was named the 10th most beautiful woman in the world by fashion magaine MODE and appeared in Top Gear Korea. She continues as a model. Member Yujin was previously a law student but didn't feel it suited her, she is currently working as a model following the breakup of the group. Member Azi was Miss Korea 2008. Member Sol A dreamt of becoming a kindergarten teacher and getting married quickly but did not follow through with those plans. A Chinese fan once flew from China to give her gold on her birthday. She is currently working as a model.
That's it for today, let's get the discussion on!
As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments below.
Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.
submitted by tutetibiimperes to kpop [link] [comments]

2020.09.11 18:06 Adam0018 Latin American vs. Castilian Spanish: The disconnect between Learners of Spanish and Native Speakers

I think there is a huge disconnect between what we learn about Latin American Spanish and Spain Spanish, how native Spanish speakers actually speak, and how native speakers actually perceive the accent/dialect that a learner adopts.
Learners are provided with a very simplified view of the different varieties of Spanish. Here is a synthesis of what I have learned from my teachers and online resources teaching Spanish:
There are three types of Spanish: Argentine Spanish, General Latin American Spanish and Spain Spanish. In Latin America and the South of Spain (Andalucia): s/c/z are all pronounced as s and vosotros is not used. In the rest of Spain, c/z are pronounced as th, and s is pronounced as s, and vosotros is used. In Argentina, y/ll is pronounced as zh or sh.

Spain Argentina/Uruguay Rest of Latin America
s s s s
c/z th s s
ll/y y sh y
* X *
vos X * X
vosotros * X X
Then they give us a chart like the following and are told that the word on the left is only used in Spain, and the one on the right is only used in Latin America. They warn us not to get them confused, or we will speaking "mixed Spanish". They emphasize that need to choose one dialect and stick to it.
Spain Argentina Most of Latin America
camarero mozo/mesero mesero
gafas (for eyeglasses) anteojos/lentes anteojos or lentes
coche auto carro
conducir manejar manejar
enfadar enojar enojar
echar de menos extrañar extrañar
patata papa papa
Now this seems simple enough. You basically have three options: either you speak Spain Spanish, Argentine Spanish, or General Latin American Spanish. However, what I have noticed is that native Spanish speakers hear a learner's accents quite differently than the learner himself, or even other learners of Spanish. It seems as if they actually pay most attention to the intonation. Intonation is not taught at all in Spanish classes. There is almost no information about it on the internet, and to use it you would need to be a linguist specialized in acoustics and phonetics.
Why do I believe this to be the case? Simply because native Spanish speakers are surprisingly not good at telling where someone learned Spanish, or what accent they are going for. Even other learners are much more accurate at guessing. If a learner has seseo, then obviously they are going for a Latin American accent, or they find distinción too hard so they have adopted seseo (then just listen to if they use vosotros). If they are distinguishing c/z, then obviously they are going for a Spanish accent. If they are pronouncing ll/y as zh or sh, obviously they are going for an Argentine accent. Why? Because those are the only things that we learners learn about those accents. However, if you go through JudgeMyAccent seseante speakers are often told that they have an accent from Spain; many people who only listen to media from one country and are aiming for that accent are told that they either have a mixed accent, a neutral accent, or an indeterminate accent because their native accent drowns it out.
Also, people are told that they should never mix features from various dialects. Many learners even ask "should I not listen to Spanish from other regions?", worried that they will speak some sort of awful mixed Spanish. But is it really that important not to have a mixed accent? After all, in English a mixed accent was used in American movies. You can hear it here .In fact it was officially codified. Also, it doesn't seem like only listening to media from one region or one country is any guarantee of not having a mixed or indeterminate accent.
Not to mention the fact that in Spain, many people have what would be a mixed accent. In the South of Spain, particularly Andalucia.
Now, let's go back an examine everything we've learned about the dialects of Spanish. It turns out that every one of those things are incorrect.
In Latin America and the South of Spain (Andalucia): s/c/z are all pronounced as s and vosotros is not used. In the rest of Spain: c/z are pronounced as th, and s is pronounced as s, and vosotros is used. The dialect of Southern Spain can be compared to the dialect of the Southern US. The people have a love-hate relation to it. On the one hand, it is a proud badge of local identity, and on the other hand, it is derided and parodied by people from other regions. Because of this, in certain situations people will adopt features from the standard dialect. Here is a map of the use of distinción (c/z=th s=s); seseo (c/z/th=s), and ceceo (c/z/s=th). Notice that the red ceceo region is actually the biggest, and that in the cities, distinción is common. Often how people speak is actually a mix of distinción and either seseo or ceceo: e.g. they try to use distinción when speaking formally, but they are not used to it, so often seseo or ceceo slips out. The same is true for the use of vosotros in Andalucia. Some areas of Andalucia use Ustedes regardless of formality. Some people use Ustedes with the vosotros conjugation! Some people use vosotros. Or they vary it depending on how "proper" they are trying to speak.
I studied Spanish in Spain. My class had around 10 people. Not a single one of them used distinción! All of them used vosotros. My first day in Andalucia someone asked me something and I responded "cinco" (with seseo). The one lady told the other lady ("How quickly they [foreigners] start sounding like us.")
Now, let's analyze the vocabulary from the previous list.
camarero mesero
Camarero is used in some Latin American countries. In many countries in South America, "mozo" is also used. Mozo is a somewhat old fashioned term for "boy/lad".
Mexican dubbed movies use both mesero and camarero interchangeably.
gafas (for eyeglasses) anteojos or lentes
Gafas can confuse some Latin Americans who only use it to mean sunglasses. Lentes is a formal term in Spain. Anteojos is considered old fashioned in some countries, espejuelos even more so, and is the normal term in parts of the Carribean.
Mexican dubbed movies use both gafas, lentes and anteojos interchangeably.
coche carro
We think that in Mexico, "carro" is the only word for "car", but believe it or not in Mexico City (the population center of Mexico), "coche" is used. Coche is also used in some other regions of Mexico and Latin America. In Argentina, "auto" is the most commonly used word. "Auto" is also the hands down most neutral term for car. You will hear it in the news often in every country. It is the only word for car used in Mexican dubbed films, and it is also often used in Spanish dubbed films.
conducir manejar
Conducir is also used in Latin America to mean to drive. In Mexico, driver's licensesare called "licencias de conducir". Mexican dubbed movies use both words interchangeably.
enfadar enojar
They are both used in both Spain and Latin America, but with different subtleties sort of like "mad" and "angry" in American English vs British English.
extrañar hechar de menos
Both are acceptable. Extrañar in that sense sounds a bit old-fashioned in Spain.
patata papa
Patata can mean a certain type of potato in Latin America. It is also often used in dubbed Mexican movies (mouth movements are the same as the English word "potato"). Papa is used in Southern Spain, but they will often say "patata" when they want to speak more "proper".
Also, voseo is used in many more countries besides Argentina and Uruguay, and this often surprises learners when they hear it from a Colombian or Central American.
tl;dr I think that the advice to learn a particular type of Spanish is can be harmful to learners because they might decide to limit exposure to other varieties of Spanish. Even speakers who are aiming for a specific dialect in particular and are limiting their exposure to other dialects are perceived by native speakers as speaking a mixed or indeterminate variety of Spanish, so it seems like the costs of doing this are greater than the benefits. I don't think that mixing dialects matters as much as people assume as long as slang is avoided. Also, the simplified model of the different varieties of Spanish in many Spanish classes and on the internet is misleading and inaccurate.
submitted by Adam0018 to learnspanish [link] [comments]

2020.09.01 04:04 blazingkrystal 200831 State of r/EXO: Census Summary, Changes to the Sub, Feedback & Helpful Reminders

Hello all you BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!!
So many things have happened this year. Granted, not all of it has been good, but we all look for happiness where we can find it! For me personally, this sub is one of those places and we hope it's that for you all as well. In an effort to ensure that everyone loves coming here for all their EXO needs, we have some changes and updates that we want to go over with all of you based on the feedback we've been given!
BIG, HUUUUUUGE SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE MODS of EXO who helped me create and edit this post for all of our beautiful subbies!!!! You guys are amazing and I am happy to be a part of this team!!!

Important Changes

Over the past few months the subreddit has had a larger number of subbies than normal posting & asking about Voting for EXO on particular apps, music shows, award shows etc. Because of this, we asked you in the census how you wanted us to handle posts about voting for EXO on our subreddit in the future. Due to the results being evenly split 50/50, we would like to ask you all to take 1 minute of your time to fill out a small anonymous survey to help us better understand what the community would like to do.
The mods have discussed and decided that if the majority of the community would like voting posts to be allowed outside of a master thread and under its own flair, each post must include clear instructions (and even some photos if you can!) on how to vote for the award you are posting about or we will be removing it. For example, posting only the words "VOTE FOR EXO ON CHOEAEDOL APP" with no links or instructions on how to go actually vote for EXO on Choeadol App will be removed.
Please note, the mods will not be participating in posting about voting information as of right now. This content is something we cannot currently undertake, but if we do see a large interest in this area over time on our subreddit from the effort made by our sub members we will consider adding on a new moderator role to overlook all voting content.
In the past year there has been a huge increase in twitter accounts being suspended for copyright issues or people going on private. Because of this, we would like to start utilizing some of the wonderful new tools that reddit has given us such as being able to post multiple photos directly to the subreddit. Going forward the mods will be making a much bigger effort to ensure that most photos (and videos from social media accounts only ie. Instagram Posts / Weibo Posts) are directly posted to the subreddit with a pinned comment linking to the Original Post. We will not be making this a mandatory rule, so if you are more comfortable sharing the original link or a link to fanbase post that is totally ok - just make sure the user has an open account so it is viewable by everyone.

Community Engagement

We have continued to see a number of comments & votes from people stating they wished the sub was more interactive. Let me start off by saying, we LOVE discussions and we love getting to interact with all of you. If you are hoping for some changes in your community experience on EXO, we suggest participating in some (or all!) of the following:
The mods try our best to post at a minimum 1 discussion a week in addition to our weekly themed games. We actively encourage all of you to post your own discussions as well, but we totally understand that they can be a bit scary to post. Our community is extremely nice and is always willing to chat about their fave EXO anything! If you are unsure on what you could possibly post a discussion about, here are some ideas & guidelines:
Make your title an open-ended question or invite people to discuss a topic. Some examples are:
If you are still super shy & nervous about posting, consider dropping a few ideas off on our Discussion Idea Submission Form. HOWEVER, DON'T BE SHY!!! We L-O-V-E to see discussions from all our subbies, even if the topic has been discussed a million times. I promise you that I am always willing to talk about ANYTHING EXO!
Last year we introduced our Monthly Introduction Thread and we think its been a huge success so far! This thread is generally pinned to the top of our subreddit and is designed for our new and old subbies to get to know each other. We try to think of new questions that you can answer every month, so even if you have introduced yourself before I am sure there are definitely some new questions that you can stop by and answer.
We also highly encourage those who are regulars on this subreddit to visit the introduction thread a few times throughout the month to meet and interact with any newcomers we have had join who are brave enough to post a comment~ We all know how it felt the first few times we started commenting - it's nerve-wracking, so definitely show your support to our new EXO-L.
Looking to chat about things outside of EXO? Maybe share some new music from another group or a story about what you did on the weekend? Our Casual Conversation thread is posted & pinned to the top of the thread every single week and is designed for exactly that. This is the place for you to talk about A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G your heart desires (that is SFW and not offensive of course).
The added bonus of this thread is that if you are mainly a lurker who doesn't visit the sub everyday to check up on EXO news - the wonderful u/dino_chen puts a weekly highlight section of any major news happening with EXO members in this thread. So this is a great place to catch up & chat about any missed news.
We asked if you all would like us to create a chatroom using reddit's new chatroom feature and surprisingly the majority of you said no to this idea! For those who were interested - While we will not be implementing this feature here on the subreddit, we invite you to check out our affiliated discord channel where you will be able to chat with EXO-Ls around the world. It is a super fun space that is very welcoming and celebrates OT12!

Friendly Reminders

We understand there are some of you that do not wish to see SuperM content, but please be respectful as the majority of our subreddit would like to continue to support Baekhyun & Kai's activities in SuperM. We have done possibly all we can by only allowing posts with Baekhyun & Kai to be posted, as well as giving them their own flair so that sub members who wish to ignore the posts can. Please remember this was a community decision and we plan to keep allowing these posts. We ask that if you are a sub member who doesn't like the content to simply ignore the posts rather than reporting them if they are technically not breaking the rules.
The mods have a tiny feeling that some of you may think that you are not allowed to post EXO news / updates as the mods generally handle the majority of them. Please note, this is false!! We would absolutely be over the moon happy to have more sub members contributing to posting updates as a lot of the mods who handle posting updates are very busy & get to things pretty late.
If you have ANY questions at all about posting, please message any of the mods individually or send a message to our group inbox - we would be THRILLED to help teach you how to do things or go over any sort of questions you may have. We don't bite! ❤(っ^▿^)❤ We also have this super handy title & flair guideline chart that you can use as a reference :)
A friendly reminder that we do not allow self-promotion on this subreddit where the sub members have to leave the subreddit to view your work. This applies to but is not limited to: Art, Reaction Videos, Articles, Reviews, Covers, Theory Videos, etc.
If you would like to post your own art, please post it as a photo or video directly to the subbreddit and feel free to comment with links to the platform of your choice. If you would like to post any of the other items, please feel free to share it as a comment in our Casual Convo thread pinned to the top of our subreddit weekly.
Please note, we do allow the things listed above to be shared on our subreddit as their own post that links out, but we require them to be shared by other subscribers rather than yourself. We put this rule in place to help us promote our actual sub members to share their work with each other, rather than allowing people who do not subscribe to our community but like to go around and post their work to as many subreddits as possible just for the views.
We are so happy to see so many people using our 'FANMADE' flair to share your (or others~!) work with our community. Over the past year we have been extremely lenient for title guideline enforcement for this particular flair and instead of removing any posts with the wrong title format we have just been commenting multiple friendly reminders for sub members each time they post. Unfortunately, as much as we really want those reminders to work, they haven't been totally effective.
Out of respect for those who do follow our guidelines & rules and to help with our self promotion rules, going forward the mods will be keeping better track of titles & posts under this flair. Each sub member will receive 1 friendly reminder with clarification about how to title their work on the subreddit and after that all posts that do not follow the guidelines will be removed & asked to repost. Please note that if you promote your social media in your title, your post will automatically be removed under our self promotion rule and no friendly reminder will be given.
Here is a quick reminder of our 'FANMADE' flair title guidelines:
Title Format: Name of Art/Video by Artist Username
Good Examples:
  1. D.O. Monster Fan Art by ItalianSoda
  2. My first time drawing Lay by 99101004
  3. flowerboi kai by taemintbonbon
  4. EXO Ko Ko Bop vs. Red Velvet Bad Boy Mashup by 김동우
Bad Examples:
  1. I'm new here & this is my first post *WAVES HELLO!!!* Please enjoy my Chanyeol fanart and follow me on ig @/username for more of my fanart!!!!!!!!! *^o^*
  2. This is bad, I'm sorry; follow me on ig @/username if you want
  3. hhhhhhh, I made this today
After a lot of discussion between the mods (and feedback from you of course!) we have decided to begin allowing more low-impact humor videos onto the subreddit. Originally we wanted to give this category its own flair, but ultimately we have decided that these will also live under the 'FANMADE' flair as we do not want to limit what people can upload by dividing up this flair into specific categories. In the future if we see a huge increase in posts like this, we can revisit the idea of creating its own flair~
Please make sure that if you are uploading Fake Sub videos that they follow all of our basic rules such as: No NSFW Content and No Hate Speech / Hate towards other members, groups or fandoms. It must also be uploaded directly to the subreddit in the main post - if you would like to link to your youtube (or other platforms), please do so in the comments.
We understand that there is a good percentage of you who are looking for some more fun on EXO outside of posting links to content such as memes & other miscellaneous fan made humor content in the comments of our weekly casual conversation. While we may not be making any changes in this department anytime soon in order to keep a good balance in your feeds, a few members from EXO have decided to open up a subreddit dedicated strictly to EXO Humor Content. We definitely encourage people to join their community over at EXOmemes~ With that being said, please note that the mods from EXO are not affiliated with EXOmemes.
EXO Census Summary
So - Now the fun bits!!! This year we had 176 of you respond to the Census. Thank you so much for taking the time to participate, we know its a huge ask! The responses were sooooo much fun to see. There is quite a bit of variety in here and while I was super surprised by some of the responses, it was nice to see that I am not alone in some of my favorites! Did your favorites land in the majority or the minority? Are there some responses that came out wildly different than you thought they would? Let's talk about it! I want to hear what you think of the results below in the comments!!!
If you would like to see all the sparkly graphs and neato charts, you can view all the results in depth here!!!


Age 18-24 (43.8%) 25-35 (37.5%)
Gender Female (85.2%) Male (10.8%)
Employment Status Employed (44.9%) Student - Unemployed (34.1%)
Country United States (47.2%) Canada (10.2%)
Relationship Status Single (68.2%) In a Relationship (15.9%)
How do you obtain kpop music? Streaming (93.8%) Physical Albums (51.7%)
How were you first exposed to kpop? Friend/Family/Significant Other (37.5%) Browsing YouTube/Reaction Videos (25.6%)
How long have you been listening to kpop? Over 10 Years (20.5%) 3-4 Years (12.5%)
Do you know/are you learning Korean? I know a little Korean (53.4%) I do not know any Korean (35.2%)

EXO Subreddit

How did you discover EXO ? Reddit search (61.4%) Through kpop (11.4%)
How often do you browse EXO ? Once a day (28.4%) A few times a week (27.3%)
How long have you been a member of our Subreddit? 0-5 Months (41.5%) 6 Months - 1 Year (26.1%)
What are you looking for on EXO ? Both Updates and Interactions with other EXO fans (60.8%) Exo Updates (36.9%)
How active are you on EXO ? Lurk (67.6%) Only post comments (22.2%)
Have you ever donated to one of our EXO Charity projects? No, I didn't know they existed (41.5%) No, But I wish I could (39.2%)
Do you use new or old reddit? New Reddit (76.7%) Old Reddit with sub styling on (17.6%)
Do you use our Video Master List? No, I didn't know it existed (42%) Yes, Sometimes (33.5%)

EXO Discovery

Which era did you discover EXO? Pre-debut/Teaser Era (17%) Exodus - Call Me Baby (10.8%)
Which era did you start to like EXO? Obsession (14.2%) EX’ACT - Lucky One/Monster (10.8%)
Did you know about kpop before EXO? Yes (90.9%) No (9.1%)
Do you follow other kpop artists? Yes (88.6%) No (11.4%)
Besides group comebacks, do you keep up with the rest of EXO’s activities? Yes (61.9%) Depends on the variety/drama/interview, etc. (23.3%)

EXO Members

Who is your main bias in EXO currently? Baekhyun (22.2%) D.O. (14.8%)
Did you keep your original bias from when you discovered the group? Yes, I am loyal! (51.7%) I may have changed..... shhhh.. (48.3%)
If your bias has changed, Who was your original bias? Chanyeol (16.5%) TIE: D.O./Sehun (Both 13.2%)
Who is your current bias wrecker? Baekhyun (26.1%) Chanyeol (18.8%)
Who is your CBX Bias? Baekhyun (64.4%) Chen (18.1%)
Who is your SC Bias? Chanyeol (56.6%) Sehun (43.4%)
Who is your favorite main vocalist? D.O. (40.9%) Baekhyun (31.3%)
Who is your favorite non-main vocalist? Chanyeol (47.7%) Xiumin (16.5%)
Who is your favorite main rapper? Chanyeol (79%) Sehun (21%)
Who is your favorite non-main rapper? Kai (35.2%) Xiumin (19.9%)
Who is your favorite main dancer? Kai (58.5%) Lay (24.4%)
Who is your favorite non-main dancer? Baekhyun (45.5%) Xiumin (31.8%)
Who is your favorite EXO solo artist? Baekhyun (61.1%) Lay (15.4%)
Who is your favorite actor? D.O. (83.5%) Sehun (5.5%)

EXO's Music

Which album do you like the most? Don't Mess Up My Tempo (15.3%) The War (14.8%)
What is your favorite music video? Monster (15.9%) Obsession (11.4%)
Which EXO winter album do you like the most? Universe (41.5%) Miracles In December (21%)
What is your favorite Winter title / promotional track? Unfair (31.3%) Universe (19.9%)
What is your favorite group title/promotional track? Tempo (16.5%) Monster (15.3%)
Do you listen to EXO-CBX's music as well? Yes (90.9%) No (9.1%)
Which CBX album do you like the most? Blooming Days (66.3%) Hey Mama (28.1%)
Which of CBX's title songs do you like the most? Blooming Day (63.1%) Hey Mama (23.1%)
What is your favorite CBX Music Video? Blooming Day (41.3%) The One (23.8%)
Do you listen to EXO-SC's music as well? Yes (82.4%) No (17.6%)
Which SC album do you like the most? 1 Billion Views (69.7%) What A Life (30.3%)
Which of SC's title songs do you like the most? 1 Billion Views (71%) What A Life (29%)
What is your favorite SC Music Video? 1 Billion Views (30.3%) Telephone (25.5%)
What is your favorite EXO Solo Member Album? Baekhyun - Delight (35.6%) Baekhyun - City Lights (31.5%)
What is your favorite EXO OST? Chanyeol - Stay With Me (22%) Chen - Cherry Blossom Love Song (9.4%)
What is your favorite collab? Baekhyun X Suzy - Dream (11.9%) Baekhyun x Loco - Young
What is your favorite EXO/Solo Station Release? D.O. - That's Okay (27.3%) EXO x Yoo Jaesuk - Dancing King (15.4%)

EXO, CBX, & SC: Favorite & Least Favorite B-Sides

'MAMA' What Is Love (37.3%) Two Moons (48.1%)
'XOXO' Baby Don't Cry (18.2%) Let Out The Beast (31%)
'Miracles In December' My Turn To Cry (35.5%) The Star (26.5%)
'Overdose' Thunder (49.3%) Love, Love, Love (38.7%)
'EXODUS' El Dorado (27.4%) Lady Luck (14.3%)
'Sing For You' Unfair (51.8%) Girl x Friend (40.3%)
'Ex'Act' Artificial (22.8%) Can't Bring Me Down (25.4%)
'For Life' Twenty Four (34.1%) What I Want For Christmas (48.3%)
'The War' The Eve (28.1%) Walk On Memories (23.9%)
'Universe' Been Through (54.3%) Good Night (54.7%)
'Countdown' Cosmic Railway (26.2%) Tactix (21%)
'Don't Mess Up My Tempo' Gravity (26.7%) Smile On My Face (21.5%)
'Obsession' Ya Ya Ya (21.7%) Day After Day (33.3%)
CBX - 'Hey Mama' The One 941%) Cherish (31.5%)
CBX - 'GIRLS' Girl Problems (37%) Tornado Spiral (38.8%)
CBX - 'Blooming Days' Vroom Vroom (33.9%) Vroom Vroom (24.4%)
CBX - 'Magic' Gentleman (17.8%) Off The Wall (24.4%)
SC - 'What A Life' Just Us 2 (40.4%) Roller Coaster (27.5%)
SC - '1 Billion Views' Telephone (33.9%) Fly Away, Telephone, Rodeo Station, Say It, On Me (5-WAY TIE ALL AT 16.3%)

EXO: Battle of the Title Tracks

'XOXO" Growl (90%) Wolf (10%)
'EXODUS' Call Me Baby (60%) Love Me Right (40%)
'Ex'Act' Monster (59.5%) LOTTO (Louder) (12.8%)
'The War' Ko Ko Bop (63.1%) Power (36.9%)
'Don't Mess Up My Tempo' Tempo (73.3%) Love Shot (26.7%)

What language do you prefer to listen to ________ album in?

ALBUM Korean Chinese Doesn't Matter
What language do you generally prefer to listen to EXOs music in? 64.2% 1.7% Depends on song/album (18.2%)
'MAMA' 66.2% 7.6% 26.2%
'XOXO' 71.3% 6.3% 22.4%
'Miracles In December' 73.5% 2.9% 23.5%
'Overdose' 68.1% 5.1% 26.8%
'EXODUS' 73.1% 5.5% 21.4%
'Sing For You' 80.1% 0.7% 19.1%
'Ex'Act' 77.9% 2.1% 20%
'For Life' 76.4% 2.4% 21.3%
'The War' 81.1% 2.8% 16.1%

EXO Member's Film & Drama's

What is your favorite EXO TV Drama/Web Series? D.O. - Hundred Days My Husband/My Prince (22.6%) EXO - EXO Next Door (20%)
What is your favorite EXO Movie? D.O. - Swing Kids (37.4%) D.O. - (23.2%)
What is your favorite EXO/Solo Member Reality Series? EXO - Travel The World On EXO's Ladder Taiwan Chapter (42.1%) EXO - Showtime (22.6%)

EXO Concert/Live Performance Questions

Have you seen EXO live? No (76.7%) Yes, Once (16.7%)
If yes, what event did you attend? SuperM Concert (50%) The EXO'luXion & The EXO'rDIUM (TIE 33.3%)
What is your favorite EXO Concert series? The EXO'rDIUM (44%) The ElyXion (29.4%)
What is your favorite The Lost Planet stage? Tell Me What Love Is (D.O. Solo Stage) (25.3%) Growl (14.7%)
What is your favorite The EXO’luXion Stage? El Dorado (41.4%) Baby, Don't Cry- Featuring SeKai Water Dance (20.2%)
What is your favorite The EXO’rDIUM Stage? Acoustic Melody (My Lady, My Turn to Cry, Moonlight, Monodrama, Call Me Baby, Love Love Love, Lady Luck) (33.3%) Artificial Love feat. LayKai Blindfold Dance (24.5%)
What is your favorite The ElyXion Stage? For Life - D.O Solo ft. Chanyeol (English Ver) (35.7%) The Eve (26.5%)
What is your favorite EXO-CBX Magical Circus Tour Stage? Paper Cuts (Only in Special Edition Concert) (35%) Blooming Day (30%)
What is your favorite The EXplOration Stage? Gravity (24%) Tempo (18.8%)

Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH to everyone who took the survey and to those who took the time to read through all of this! Thank you to everyone who has participated in discussions and helped us shape this subreddit into what it is today. I can't wait to see what EXCITING things happen over the next year!
Let us know in the comments what you thought of the results!!! Let's get some discussions going!
Stay safe out there and show each other love & kindness! ❤The EXO Mods ❤
submitted by blazingkrystal to exo [link] [comments]

2020.08.25 21:09 ar_david_hh Aug/25/2020 news: \\ Armenia to have a new Volunteer Army for national defense \\ Azerbaijan's internal clan wars intensify \\ Anti-Corruption: Tsarukyan's wine company, Artsakh official, Schools \\ COVID \\ Electoral reform \\ Lebanese-Armenian repatriates \\ Fishing industry \\ Lake Sevan \\ more

Armenia will create a new Volunteer Army to defend infrastructure and borders

The Defense Ministry submitted a proposal to create a Volunteer Army (աշխարհազոր) with headquarters in Yerevan.
Defense Ministry: // It will give a national character to the defense of Armenia. We'll organize a world-class military system on the principle of voluntarism aimed towards repelling any possible encroachments of an adversary. //
It aims to involve all citizens of Armenia in defense of their country by making them ready in the event of external military attacks.
The decision to create it was made after analyzing the enemy's possible actions, which could include terrorist attacks deep inside Armenian territory in addition to border infiltration. The plan is to be prepared to respond.
1) It's a system that recruits volunteers in the event of war or imminent military action.
2) It's meant to involve the "whole nation".
3) To defend borders and infrastructure, and safely evacuate of civilians if needed.
4) It'll be distributed across all provinces.
5) It's led by Chief of General Staff of the army.
6) 7) 8) During peace, the heads of divisions in each province will be the deputy leaders of each province. In Yerevan that would be the deputy mayor.
10) They cannot hire those who are already in army reserves because in the event of war they would be drafted anyway. Each regional government will help to identify qualified "civilians" as potential recruits.
11) Felons and emergency workers don't qualify.
12) The recruits will be given a weapon and a uniform.
13) They will undergo training, receive food, and those who have a job will be protected by law 175.1.4.
Tags: #VolunteerArmy #Ashkharazor

Azerbaijan's Clan Wars explained / Aliyev goes rogue / The Grey Cardinal toppled / Israeli drones in Lybia

The below information was provided by Azeri dissidents, human rights activists and ex-ambassadors.
Until recently the Clans were in a Cold War. Now it's hot. Expect some action this Autumn.
who are the Clans?
Armenian Clan, aka Western Azeris who migrated from Armenia.
Nakhijevan Clan, aka Heydar Aliyev, aka Old Guard.
Kurdish Clan includes people from Artsakh and Armenia.
Pashayev Family, aka Baku Clan. First lady's family. This one isn't really a "clan" yet. It's a family trying to compete against the Clans.
what's behind the recent Political changes?
The recent sacking of Azerbaijan's MFA Mammedyarov was part of the Clan wars.
This war is what led to the dismissal of Parliament and snap elections earlier this year. Pashayev Family consolidated power through "elections".
Armenian Clan's downfall
The Armenian Clan was significantly weakened recently. Its leader was Ali Hasanov, the Healthcare Minister. Several clan officials were arrested.
More here:
the Grey Cardinal becomes the enemy
Ramiz Mehdiyev (Nakhijevan Clan leader), the Grey Cardinal of Azerbaijan and the second most powerful man, who served since the days of Heydar Aliyev, who was responsible with authorizing every political appointment, was recently dismissed and significantly weakened. People from his Nakhijevan Clan were arrested.
The govt outlets began circulating videos from Mehdiyev's granddaughter's wedding to attack him by using COVID.
The court sentenced Mehdiyev's son-in-law to 15 days for organizing the wedding. Other allied deputies and friends were also charged.
Mehdiyev publicly criticized the double-standards, stating that other public officials also held weddings but he was singled out.
His son-in-law was paraded in handcuffs even though it was an administrative offense. For the first time, media was allowed into court for such trials, so they could publicly shame him.
The govt used its propagandist Ata Abdullayev (the guy who confronted Pashinyan in Italian church) to throw dirt at Mehdiyev family.
why did the Grey Cardinal Mehdiyev become the enemy?
He didn't like the fact that Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban Pashayeva as the Vice President.
VP Mehriban wanted to form a new Clan based on her Pashayev Family. The other clans, including Mehdiyev's Nakhijevan Clan, didn't like it.
Mehdiyev recently began dropping "cryptic" messages criticizing Ilham Aliyev.
After he was dismissed, some of his friends sensed danger and began abandoning him.
Ilham the great becomes Ilham the enemy
Ilham Aliyev used to be the protector of oligarchs and these Clans, but now he's their main enemy.
He first launched a war against the Armenian Clan, then the Nakhijevan Clan, then the oligarchs (belonging to Nakhijevan, Armenian, Kurdish clans).
Aliyev is now threatening their billions of dollars. Screws are slowly being tightened.
Aliyev betrayed the Clans and chose to join his wife's Pashayev Family. "He needs to worry about personal security hundred times more now."
this is not a charity
In the past, oligarchs would run over and kill people with impunity. There are too many similar dirty cases.
The recent arrests of officials aren't a result of Aliyev trying to make Azerbaijan great again. He is getting rid of political opponents.
big daddy Russia is watching from north
Russia, however, still views Mehdiyev as the "godfather" of mafia. He is friends with Russian [deep state] official Nikolay Patrushev. Mehdiyev used to get approval from Patrushev for high-profile political appointments in Azerbaijan.
so who is Ilham's new "base"?
Ilham alienated himself from the Clans and joined Pashayev Family which isn't a full Clan yet. They don't have many influential people in their ranks.
They recruited a bunch of loyal suit-and-tie kids with degrees by bribing them so they won't join other Clans and cause problems.
Ilham's Israeli drone games got him in trouble
The relations with Israel aren't as good as they were 5-10 years ago, especially after the weapons that Israel sold to Azerbaijan ended up in Lybia.
TLDR from OP: Israel and Azerbaijan (Turkey) support different fractions in Lybia. Azerbaijan bought weapons from Israel and sent it to Israel's enemy in Lybia. Israeli weapons shot down Israeli weapons. They weren't amused.
"Is an Israeli air defense system shooting down Israeli drones in Libya?"
Tags: #ClanWars #AzerbaijanClans

BHK leader Tsarukyan's wine company allegedly stole property / Govt covered up

The report says: // the Defendant is Dodi Gago's Ararat wine company. The Victim is a company that did business with them.
In 2002-2006 the Victim purchased lands and property from Defendant and signed a co-lease to mutually use another land.
"Without informing" owner Gagik Tsarukyan, the directors of Defendant company decided to play shenanigans. They destroyed the Victim's structure on the land earlier purchased by the Victim, and decided to build a tall tower-like grey building in place.
The government's Property Management officials, and Yerevan city inspectors, intentionally ignored the illegal construction. Yerevan Mayor gave a permit to proceed.
The illegal tower was then illegally registered as Defendant's property in 2011.
As a result, financial damages were done to the State and the Victim. A felony case is launched. //
Tags: #AraratWineCompany #DodiGago

Other anti-corruption news / School / Artsakh official

Education Ministry and Vayots Dzor governor busted dozens of school administrators with paying salaries to people who didn't attend work, between 2007-2019.
18 directors had their charges dropped due to Pashinyan's 2018 mass amnesty, the statute of limitations, or the fraud being too small.
Artsakh President Arayik fired the head of Qashatagh region for hiring and paying his son in his office.
Illegal deforestation busts increased by 31% YoY in Tavush province.

Nubarashen prison inmate

The media wrote that a group of men entered a prison cell in Nubarashen and beat two inmates. Bruises were later found by HR Ombudsman.
The prison says the guards have the right to apply force if inmates refuse to comply with the mandatory cell checks against contraband.
The prosecutors launched an investigation. , ,

Civil Aviation suspends another airline

Atlantis European Airways, registered in Armenia, has been suspended for 7 months for financial reasons. They have 3 jets.

COVID stats

+111 infected. +4 deaths. 196,873 tested. 5,343 active.
Yerevan's "Voske Hambuyr" restaurant defied a govt warning and tried to organize a large wedding party before being stopped by the police. ,

COVID: How much has been spent on healthcare?

Earlier we got the sum spent on aid packages. What about medical expenses? It's $19.5m, including equipment and costs associated with converting facilities.

update: electoral process reforms

Earlier the govt asked opposition parties and NGOs to join the discussion about reforming electoral process.
There appears to be a consensus between the debaters that the Parliamentary elections should be done with "Համամասնական" system, in which people vote for a political party.
Now the question is, should parties win the seat then appoint the candidate of their choice to represent that seat (Closed System), or should voters be able to vote for someone particular within the party in addition to voting for the party (Open System, aka Rating System).
LHK Party: // We should have the Open system so people can vote for individual candidates within the party. It'll allow people to shape the party. It'll reveal which politicians are popular and which ones aren't. Parties could offer 30 candidates for each seat.
If we keep the candidate list closed and allow parties to decide later, the elections will look more like Presidential elections in which everything is about the leader. //
Tags: #Hamamasnakan #ElectionReform

Metsamor Nuclear Plant resumes operations

Russian Rosatom energy company finished the [routine] renovation work 12 days ahead of schedule. The nuclear plant was successfully re-attached to the power grid.
Your light-bulb should be 10% brighter now. /s

Lebanese-Armenians arrive in Artsakh

Two families recently moved from Lebanon to Artsakh for economic reasons. "We're taking care of their living conditions," said the president.

Telethon to support Lebanese-Armenians

Western U.S.-based organization will hold a charity telethon on August 30th at 17:00-20:00. It'll be broadcasted on ARTN, Horizon, Pan Armenian TV, and US Armenia. Also available online.
Links inside:

Regulated fish industry goes high-tech / Sevan trout (ishkhan) / Prices could fall

Unregulated fishing in Lake Sevan was recently banned and enforced. Businesses and individuals can get a license to catch some fish.
Some businesses have been breeding fish inside a huge net which is submerged in the lake. The bred fish is then sold without harming the fish in the lake.
Some of the bred fish are released into the lake to boost the population.
One such breeder has recently purchased equipment (apparently the only one in the region) which automatically sorts and distributes fish by its size and weight.
1 ton of bred fish was sorted during a short visit by the Ministry. It's usually exported to Russia or the U.S.
Sevan Trout Restoration Foundation chief Vardan Mamikonyan (nice name bro) says their business is currently breeding 220 tons. "The new sorting equipment will double the sales in the internal market, which will gradually decrease the prices."
The fish industry is doing good despite the pandemic. The 6,000 tons of annual export didn't decrease this year. There is a global increase in demand for Armenian caviar (350 tons exported).

Illegal structures removed from Lake Sevan shores

For the lake's quality to improve, its water levels need to rise. Recently the govt began removing buildings that were built illegally close and would end up being submerged.
More structures were demolished today.


171 LED light poles are being installed on 6 streets in Gavar city. It'll serve 4,500 nearby residents.
Geghhovit settlement will also have renovated roads and lighting system as well. ,

Open-air Fresco International Film Festival...

... has launched in Yerevan and will last a week.
The viewers will watch theatrical performances and movies, mostly about modern art and spiritual stuff.
3,000 movies were nominated, from which 63 were chosen from 23 countries.

Armēnijas TOP7 tūrisma objekti

Latvian neatkariga news outlet presents the list of Top-7 places to visit in Armenia.
You've read 2020 words.

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party. ARF = Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
5) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

2020.08.18 03:23 CamrynDaytona Why Fundies love Tolkien

Given the recent trainwreck of the Girl Defined Birthday party I thought I'd finally sit down and write a post I've been meaning to write for a while: Why Fundies love Tolkien and why he would probably be very confused by that.
I feel like I should start this off with the disclaimer that I love Tolkien. I think he's a gem. His books are some of my favorites, his translations of epic works are fascinating, I want to marry Galadriel, and I think that (although he's not perfect, by any means) he is, at heart, a good person.
Also I'm usually on my other account but I typed this up on my computer and I don't remember the log-in for my other account. Whoops.
Oh and I have a lot of links, but I avoided anything that appeared to be fundie because I hate using archive links (journalism relies on ad revenue, after all). If one of them is a link to a fundie site let me know and I'll fix it.

Tolkien's Life

Tolkien was Catholic.
VERY Catholic.
I would even say excessively Catholic.
There's currently a movement to make him a saint (that link includes an actual prayer to Tolkien, which is amazing) and I (a non-Catholic) am very much in favor of that. The only thing holding him back is that he hasn't been credited with any miracles (but I digress).
If, by any chance, the Pope sees this, I'd like to officially submit my list of Tolkien's miracles:

The Obvious - Parallels in Middle Earth

People have literally written entire books on this, so I'm not gonna go into too much detail (just kidding).
I'm not certain he put any of the parallels into his works on purpose. He himself said "it is neither allegorical nor topical ... I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations ... I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers."
The Crucifiction
The One Ring was destroyed on March 25th, which is traditionally recognised as the day of the Crucifiction
Hope, which is a key Christian theme, is basically slammed over your head constantly in LOTR. It's the ultimate underdog story. Good always triumphs over evil. If you have a good heart then the one ring can't control you.
Hobbits are the Ideal Christian
Ralph C. Wood (a Tolkien Biographer) said: "Christians are called to be hobbit-like servants of the King and his Kingdom. Frodo and Sam are first in the reign of [God] because they are willing to be last and least among those who 'move the wheels of the world"
"Christ-Like" Figures
Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn (arguably the three "best guys" of LOTR) all follow a sort of "Christ-Like" path. (I'm borrowing heavily from Peter Kreeft (another Tolkien biographer) here)
We all know that Fundies love that "blessed persecution" and "suffering for god" which is probably why they love all the horrible things that happen to Tolkien's characters. Most obviously Frodo who goes through a hell of a lot of horrible stuff despite never doing anything bad.
Free Choice.
The Bible clearly states that we have Free choice. And likewise, everyone in Middle Earth has the choice to do incredibly stupid things.
Aka, Christmas, is celebrated in The Hobbit, but it's not exactly clear what they're celebrating. Jesus doesn't exist so I'm not sure why they have Christmas (although, technically, Yule predates Christmas and I'm sure Tolkien knew that).

The Less Obvious - Parallels in Middle Earth

These are all points that are less obvious, as the heading implies.
They're not a part of The Lord Of the Rings, so our Fundies probably don't know about them because I'm not sure any of them can read. These are all references pulled from his other works, including The Silmarillion and The History of Middle Earth.
Tolkien's Middle Earth is Monotheistic.... sort of
Like I said before, he's very devout, so the idea of creating a world with a polytheistic religion bothered him. So while many people claim that Middle Earth has multiple "gods" (aka The Valar) it actually doesn't. The Valar are glorified angels. They are NOT gods.
Eru Iluvatar is the only actual god and he is (to Tolkien) the Catholic god.
The Elves follow all the Bible rules
There are basically rules to being an elf that the Valar set out for them, and they're basically the same as the rules given in the Bible. No premarital sex, no suicide, no incest, etc.
One biggie is "don't invoke the name of Eru" which is basically "don't use god's name in vain."
You don't challenge God
The Silmarillion, the main source of information on Middle Earth outside of LOTR, is all based around Elves trying to play god. To put it extremely simply, Feanor borrowed the light of the Two Trees (which Eru had made as the light for the world) and put it into three Jewels known as the Silmaril. The entire book is then everyone fighting over the Jewels.
The Light
We've all heard "Jesus is the Way, The Truth, The Light" or "This Little Light of Mine" or any other similar thing. Light is very much a Christian motif and it is repeated CONSTANTLY throughout The Silmarillion (the Silmarils glow. Picture the Arkenstone from The Hobbit except BETTER).
Sauron is not Lucifer
A lot of people assume that Sauron is a metaphor for satan. He's not. That job actually falls on Morgoth, Sauron's boss. He's one of the Valar who desired more power than Iluvatar gave him and so rebelled against him. So he's literally a fallen angel.
Turin Turambar
Turin is possibly Tolkien's favorite character in the entire world of Middle Earth. He's named after The Shroud of Turin (which Jesus was buried in).
He's a human who overcame great adversity, accidentally married his sister (because of a dragon), and is basically the living embodiment of that sweet, sweet persecution complex.
In the final war against Morgoth, at the end of the world, it's said that Turin will slay Morgoth.
A lot of people believe he's based on Jesus. I don't have an opinion on that because I think Turin is boring as shit and would rather watch Girl Defined videos than think about him.

The Less Obvious - Beowulf

I genuinely doubt any of the Fundies discussed here have read any version of Beuwulf. In fact, I doubt they know what Beuwulf is and the name alone probably scares them. But I have and it tells a lot about how Tolkien viewed the world.
I had a class where my professor said we needed to buy a translation of Beuwulf, but it could be any version we liked. So naturally I picked his translation.
This lead to a few hilarious instances where the class would be debating something and my version would be WILDLY different because he tried to "Christianize" the very un-Christian tale. Most notably, he changed every mention of "fate" to some variation of "God's will."
Here's some more information on Tolkien's rather strange translation of Beowulf.

Was Tolkien _____

There are a lot of discussions today (and they're important) about older authors and if they were racist, sexist, etc.
While I won't say he he was perfect I will say he was better than a lot of people of his time.
There are things in his works that aren't great by today's standards, but I don't believe he actively sought to be horrible to anyone. He really did try to live by the "love thy neighbor" rule.


As I said at the beginning, Tolkien would probably be very confused by his popularity with fundies.
First of all, he's Catholic!
He even tried to convert his bestie CS Lewis to Catholicism. He would not understand why non-Catholics herald him as some sort of hero.
Tolkien was also EDUCATED.
He was a professor at Oxford University and wrote a large section of the Oxford English Dictionary. He was NOT anti-science. Everything he studied and learned he built into his beliefs about God.
And yes, he did weird things like that Beuwulf translation, but I should point out, it was a translation he did for fun, not intending for it to be published.
He had a lot of respect for people who weren't Christian, in fact, his focus as a professor was on the Anglo-Saxons. You know, that Paganism that scares Fundies so much? And by all accounts he was good at it and I've never once seen anyone accuse him of bending the truth to his students or hiding things he didn't like about the Anglo-Saxons.
Most importantly, he believed in women's education, which is the thing that should totally ruin him for Fundies.
And finally, and I cannot stress this enough, he would not understand why such hateful people have a hard on for Hobbits.
I won't call him progressive. I'm not going to speculate on what he would have thought of gays or abortion or BLM or anything like that, but Tolkien believed in loving thy neighbor.
Look at Hobbits. Hobbits are Tolkien's ideal people.
Do you think for one moment that Hobbits are going to show up to protest against gay people? No. They are too busy getting high and eating a lot of food and gossiping about that weird old guy in Bag End.
I'll leave you with my favorite Tolkien quote, which I think says a lot about how he thinks people should live their lives:

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

Further Reading:

submitted by CamrynDaytona to FundieSnark [link] [comments]

2020.08.04 21:05 Orpherischt Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon
Widespread damage after huge explosion in Beirut - BBC News
Not the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, but volcanic enough.
  • "Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon" = 119 reduced ( ie. 9/11 @ 11/9 )
  • ... ( "The Mirror" = 119 reverse alphabetic )
  • "Explosion" = 1109 trigonal
  • ... "The Pattern" = 1109 trigonal
  • ... .. .. ( "Pattern" = "Terror" = 94 alphabetic 120 bacon 187 baconis )
  • .
  • ... "The Pattern" = 1109 trigonal
  • ... .. ( "The Vision" = 1019 trigonal )
  • ... .. .. ( "Eye" = 119 primes ) [ "Malice" = 119 primes ]
  • "Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon" = 911 primes
  • ... ( "To Shake the Earth" = 911 english-extended )
  • ... .. ( "The Absolute" = 911 english-extended 1109 trigonal )
  • "The Terror" = 1,119 trigonal ( "To Learn by Example" = 1,119 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... ( "Daily news is always disturbing" = 119 in reduction )
  • ... .. ( "Master Plan" = 119 basic alphabetic )
It's a ...
  • "Formality" = 119 basic alphabetic 47 reduced
  • ... "Orthodox" = 119 basic alphabetic 47 reduced
  • ... "Foundation" = 119 basic alphabetic 47 reduced
  • "Force" = 47 alphabetic ( "Authority" = 47 reduced )
The explosion created a great blast...
  • "Winds" = "Air Force" = "The Law" = 223 primes
  • ... ( "Beginning" = "Chapter 1" = 223 primes )
  • "Fireball" = "Anthem" = "The Man" = 187 primes
  • ...( "The Grand Framework" = 187 basic alphabetic )
Fire Ball --> Fire Baal --> Fire Lord
  • "A Lord of Fire" = 322 primes
  • ... ( "Dragonfire" = 322 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "Burn" = "It is Heat" = 322 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. .. ( "The Alphabetic" = "Full Name" = 322 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • .
  • "A Lord of Fire" = 322 primes
  • ... ( "Counting" = "To Know" = "The Proof" = 322 primes )
  • ... ( "Lord of a Fire" = "Nine One One" = "One One Nine" = 322 primes )
Pi code, of the circle:
  • "Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon" = 1,227 jewish-latin-agrippa
There are 360 degrees in a circle.
  • "Lord of Fire" = 360 english-extended
The speed of sound ( Mach 1 ) is 1234.8 km/h at standard atmosphere ( which rounds to 1235 )
  • "The City of Beirut, Lebanon" = 1235 jewish-latin-agrippa
...and reflecting the 119 pattern:
  • "The City of Beirut, Lebanon" = 1019 in the so-called satanic cipher
... which is the cipher in which the phrase...
  • "When Disaster Strikes" = 911 satanic
What did the explosion create?
  • "The Mushroom Cloud" = 666 primes
... noting, as documented previously...
  • "The Mushroom" = 911 english-extended
  • ... ( "To Shake the Earth" = 911 english-extended )
  • ... ( "To Shake the Heart" = 911 english-extended )
I've recently been examining the notions surrounding the 'Language of Branches'.
Lebanon is known for it's great cedar trees, the 'Cedars of God'.
And I've been reading through The Lord of the Rings again, for the 5th or 6th time, and I just recently got through the chapters between Aragorns march through Lebennin, and onwards to Minas Tirith.
The Beirut explosion centered on the main sea-port of the city (ie. the harbour).
Here is the main port of Tolkien's Lebennin (an abstract Beirut, we might say, in this mythic association):
"At Pelargir the Heir of Isildur will have need of you."
[..] It became an even greater haven in the days of the Ship-kings. Tarannon Falastur built a great house there, with its roots in the water which he so dearly loved. His wife, Berúthiel, did not, however.
In the book, LotTR, we learn of the wizard Gandalf and his penchant for fireworks.
There is much debate online about 'fireworks' being involved in this Beirut explosion
  • "A Firework" = "Work a Fire" = 1,666 squares
  • ...( "Ritual Code" = 1,666 squares )
The Great Fire of London was in the year 1666 AD, we are told.
  • "The Great Fire of London" = "Temperature" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa
When was that Great Fire, again?
  • "Know the Great Fire of London" = 1666 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "Citizen" = "Temperature" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa )
With the definite article:
  • "The Fireworks" = 1,343 jewish-latin-agrippa
The speed of sound is 343 meters-per-second at standard atmosphere ( Mach 1 )
The sound of the fireworks reaches your ears at this speed, as does any nearby...
  • "Human Voice" = 343 primes ( noting 7x7x7 = 343 )
A term used in older writings, and less so today, for a great shout, is an...
  • "Ejaculation" = 343 primes ( ponder the esoteric maxim: as above, so below)
A commanding human voice, and the wielding of fireworks, evokes, and requires...
  • "Control" = 343 jewish-latin-agrippa
...and since, in this cipher, the word 'Know' sums to 1000, we have:
  • "Know Control" = 1,343 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "The Fireworks" = 1,343 jewish-latin-agrippa
Q: What of the fireworks?
"A: The Fireworks" = 1337 trigonal ( "The Bringer of Light" = 1337 trigonal )
Some select entries on my page for 1337:
  • "To Control Man" = 1337 trigonal
  • "Explosion of Society" = 1337 jewish-latin-agrippa well as...
  • "Legal Battle" = 1337 squares
Of which, according to the news, this Beirut blast comes at a time when a UN-backed panel is expected to issue a verdict on the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Of course, fireworks are let off at many a...
  • "Grand Celebration" = 2020 squares
  • ... ( "Rulership" = 2020 squares )
  • .... ( "Coronavirus Religion" = 2020 trigonal )
  • ... .. .. [ ie. Crown Virus @ Ruling Virus @ Royal Virus ]
Widespread damage after huge explosion in Beirut
According to wikipedia (bolding as they have it):
Two explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, kill at least seventy people and injure more than four thousand others.
  • "Two explosions" = 1,844 english-extended
The King James Bible was first published in the year 1611, and I've been tracking this number in terms of...
  • "The Coronavirus Origin" = 1611 jewish-latin-agrippa
...and the associated ...
  • "Coronavirus Death Toll" = 1611 jewish-latin-agrippa
Now, we see again that there are always at least Two Towers:
  • "To Explode Twice" = 1611 jewish-latin-agrippa
The event happened in the port.
  • "Port" = 232 primes
  • ... ( "Scary" = "Number" = "Panic Mode" = "Bullet" = 232 primes )
With definite article ( consider a 'port' an 'interface', a 'way in'):
  • "The Port" = "The Number" = 333 primes
  • ... ( "Unspeakable" = 333 primes )
...and ...
  • "The Number' = "A Great Shock" = 333 primes
  • ... ( "The Religion" = "The Temple" = 333 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "A Great Shock" = "Perfection" = 844 trigonal
  • ... ( "Huge Explosion" = 844 jewish-latin-agrippa )
No doubt the people nearby felt totally "Defenseless" = 844 trigonal
Remembering that the golden ratio, accurate to three decimal places, is 1.618...
...and it's inverse is 0.618...
... and 1.618 is one 618.
... .. and the numerological Rule of Colel is the allowance of off-by-one ( useful to hide the obvious ):
  • "Textbook" = 617 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... "A Textbook" = 618 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... "1 Textbook" = 618 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • .
  • "Recommendation" = 617 english-extended
  • ..."A Recommendation" = 618 english-extended
  • ..."1 Recommendation" = 618 english-extended
  • .
  • "The Official Narrative" = 617 primes
  • ... ( "The 1 Official Narrative" = 618 primes )
...and since the word "Know" = 1000 jewish-latin-agrippa ... we can gain the full golden ratio as so:
  • "Know a Textbook" = 1,618 jewish-latin-agrippa ( which one, do you think? )
That said,
  • "The Port Explosion" = 1,617 english-extended
Q: what happened?
"A: The Port Explosion" = 1,618 english-extended
What is the original explosion?
  • "The Orgasm" = "Symbolic" = 1,618 squares
No doubt it reshaped the local...
  • "Geography" = 1,618 squares 618 jewish-latin-agrippa
With american spelling:
  • "Beirut Harbor" = 617 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "The Port Explosion" = 1,617 english-extended )
  • ... .. ( "The Official Narrative" = 617 primes )
Port @ Trop ---> Trope ---> Pattern or Theme
Port @ Trop --> Trophe --> Trough --> Trophy
With apologies, I recently was prompted by headlines to examine the number of the notion of the...
  • "Trophy Wife" = 1,618 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ...( "The Goddess Venus" = 1,618 trigonal )
  • "The Explosion" = 737 jewish-latin-agrippa
It is being reported as an "Accident" = 737 squares
In other words ...
  • "The Premature Orgasm" = 223 basic alphabetic
  • ... ( "Coronavirus Novel" = 223 basic alphabetic )
  • ... ( "Novel Coronavirus" = 223 basic alphabetic )
... and in terms of there being two explosions in Beirut:
  • "Double Orgasm" = 1984 squares
  • ... ( "Coronavirus Novel" = 1984 trigonal )
The off-by-one rule ( the Rule of Colel), discussed above, is hinted at in the formal specification of...
City, Country
... which usually has a comma placed between the elements, and which we might view as marking a hidden '1'.
Let us take it into account by using the Q&A format, where 'A' = '1':
Q: Where was the disaster?
"A: Beirut, Lebanon" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
... which reflects numbers like:
  • "Act of Terror" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... "Crunch" = 555 trigonal
  • "Earthquake Sound" = 1,555 trigonal
For those that enjoy chaos, such scenes are:
  • "Entertainment" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
The date is 8/4, or 4/8 ( "Ring" = 48 basic alphabetic ) [ the explosion makes one in the sky ]
  • "Novel Coronavirus" = 1984 trigonal 223 basic alphabet
  • .... "Pattern Recognition" = 223 basic alphabetic ( "The Law" = 223 primes )
B.B.C --> 2.2.3 ---> "The Scale" = 223 primes
Scale --> Magnitude
  • "Magnitude" = "Pattern" = 616 english-extended
  • ... ( "Number" = "The Law" = 616 trigonal )
  • ... .. ( "The Powerful Force" = 616 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The Declaration of War" = 616 primes )
The number 616 is perhaps the original Biblical 'number of the beast', since the oldest papyrus copy of the pertinent segment of the book of Revelation quotes 616 instead of 666.
  • "The Final Discovery" = 616 primes ( "Number" = 616 trigonal )
  • ... ( "Find the Code of Numbers" = 616 primes )
  • ... .. ... ( "The Art of Writing" = 616 primes )
  • ... .. ... ( "The Key Principles" = 616 primes )
  • ... .. ... ( "To Learn by Example" = 616 primes )
A recent addition to my page on 616 is "Gunfire" = 616 trigonal
What was it's magnitude, or it's scale?
Widespread damage after huge explosion in Beirut
It was huge:
  • "Huge explosion in Beirut" = 845 primes
... which is 844 + 1 (ie. Rule of Colel )
August 4 is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.
This year, 2020, is a leap year, but due to the Rule of Colel, even though it is the 217th day of the year, the baseline of 216 is still relevant, and might still be regarded as canonical.
We note that 216 is 6x6x6.
Of 217 ---> 2.17 --> 2.17 --> to.17 --> to "kill" = 17 in reduction
  • "Numerology" = 474 primes ( "The Illuminati" = 474 primes )
When waiting in line, ensure that you stand...
  • "Six Feet Apart" = 474 primes
... in case you get infected with a fake virus.
The numerology of the Alphabet Code as Matrix Code:
  • "Matrix Code" = 969 trigonal ( "Business" = 969 trigonal )
  • .. ( "Huge explosion in Beirut" = 1,969 english-extended )
  • ... .. ( "Learn by Example" = 969 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "Numerology" = 474 primes ( "Great Terror" = 474 primes )
  • ... ( "Beirut port" = 474 primes )
  • ... ( "Beirut harbour explosion" = 4747 squares ) [ combining 474 and 747 ]
With a magic ...
  • "Wand" = 742 squares
... decimate the ...
  • "Port of Beirut" = 742 jewish-latin-agrippa
...and we see also that...
  • "A port of Beirut" = 2,742 squares
Noting that 742 is a reverse 24/7 time code...
  • "The Time" = "One Time" = 247 primes ( "The Riddle" = "Brutal" = 247 primes )
Wikipedia tells us there is a 'harvest' component to this event...
The explosion occurred near the grain elevator on the right [of the image].
  • "The Grain" = 247 primes ( a spell I documented within the last few months )
  • "The Grain Elevator" = 1,474 trigonal
  • .... ( "Numerology" = 474 primes )
ie. the alphanumeric code of Agriculture
  • "The Grain Elevator" = 1,161 english-extended
  • ... ( "Undercurrent" = 161 basic alphabetic )
Alphanumeric code of Agriculture?
... ( wordplay: Agree Culture @ A Greek Culture? )
The word 'Grain' is built on the GRN cosonanantal root, which I examined very recently in terms of the Green Language (ie. the Language of the Birds, the secret esoteric language )
The word 'Groin' is also constructed on the same root ( ie. sexual innuendo involved - fertility rites of the fields, and such-like )
And of course... this is the time of the Coronavirus...
Corona @ Crown @ CRN / GRN --> Corn / Grain / Kernel --> Agriculture
When describing the use of explosive mechanisms in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses the term....
  • "Blasting Fire" = 369 jewish-latin-agrippa
In terms of the different superlatives used by the press to describe this explosive event:
Huge --> Colossal ( ie. some news reports use 'colossal' to describe the explosion )
  • "A Colossal Explosion" = 1,369 english-extended
  • "1 Colossal Explosion" = 1,369 english-extended
  • ... ( "Humanity" = "initiation" = "The Alphabet Code" = 369 primes )
So we have ...
  • "Matrix Code" = 969 trigonal ( "Wedding" = 969 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "The Alphabet Code" = 369 primes
The only spell I know that combines these two key numbers in the same ciphers is...
  • "Mind Power" = 369 primes 969 trigonal
Without the article (ie. enabling off-by-one) :
  • "Colossal Explosion" = 1,368 english-extended
  • ... ( "New Normal" = "The Compliance" = 368 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The Medical Mask" = "A Prisoner" = 368 primes )
  • ... .. .. ( "To break them" = 368 primes )
  • .
  • "Colossal Explosion" = 1,368 english-extended
  • ... ( "The Initiate" = 368 primes )
  • ... .. ( "illuminated" = 368 primes )
  • ... .. .. ( "The Ritual" = 368 primes )
Again, add 'A' or '1' to any of these to get Nikola Tesla's 'magnificent numbers', 3, 6 and 9.
  • "Learn the way of The Force" = 1968 trigonal
  • ... ( "The Storm" = 1968 squares )
In 1968, the number 911 was made emergency dialing code, and the WTC Twin Towers began construction, and the term 'Coronavirus' was first coined.
Huge --> Massive ( ie. Mass of Eve )
  • "Massive Explosion" = 777 in the 'satanic cipher'
  • ... ( "Numeric Ritual" = 777 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... ( "Great Pyramid" = 777 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( ie. great fire amid )
  • "Massive Explosion" = 707 primes (ie. magnified 77 with central portal )
  • ... ( "Power" = "Glory" = "Regency" = 77 basic alphabetic )
  • ... .. ( "Alphabetic" = 77 basic alphabetic )
... noting: "The Glory" = 360 primes ( ie. 360 degrees in a circle; a ring )
At this time of coronavirus lockdowns we are all partaking of an ...
  • "Isolation" = "In Prison" = 360 primes ( ie. encircled )
... which, I argue is under the Aegis of a "Fake Virus" = 360 primes
... .. but that is not the topic of this post ( except that all themes are tributary to the greater glory )
Nonetheless, safety in numbers, they say, for divided we fall, and alone, one is...
  • "Defenseless" = 360 jewish-latin-agrippa
This is one of the interpretations of the Fasces:
The symbolism of the fasces suggests strength through unity; a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is very difficult to break.
The headline again:
Widespread damage after huge explosion in Beirut - BBC News
  • "Widespread damage after huge explosion" = 1100 primes
  • ... ( "The Glory" = 1100 english-extended )
ie. Eleven is known in numerology as the 'Master Number' ( and ponder: Glory @ Gallery )
Revelation 11, first verse:
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
And the 11th verse of Revelation 1:
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
  • "Widespread damage after huge explosion" = 166 reduced
  • ...( "Decryption Key" = 1,166 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • .
  • "Widespread damage after huge explosion" = 2,242 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "The Garden" = 242 primes )
I wander if there was any "Prophecy" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa ... aka.
  • "Predictive Programming" = 242 basic alphabetic
  • ... ( "Foretell the Future" = 242 reverse alphabetic )
  • ... .. ( ( "Preacher" = 242 jewish-latin-agrippa 223 primes ) )
The number 242 combines 24 (the number of hours in a day, and the number of thrones around that of God, as described in Revelation) and 42, which many know of as the 'answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything'.
  • "Math" = 42 basic alphabetic ( it's a "Sin" = 42 basic alphabetic ) [ sine trig function ]
  • ... ( "Math" = "Algebra" = 133 primes )
  • ... .. ( "Everything" = "Big Bang Theory" = 133 basic alphabetic )
  • ... .. ( "Everything" = "Good Numbers" = 133 basic alphabetic )
  • ... .. ( "Government" = "Everything" = 133 basic alphabetic )
  • ... .. .. ( "Large explosion, Beirut" = 1,133 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "Large explosion, Beirut" = 247 basic alphabetic
  • ... ( "Brutal" = "The Riddle" = 247 primes )
  • ... .. ( "Garden of Eden" = 247 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ... ( "The Canon" = 247 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ... .. ( "Gun" = 247 jewish-latin-agrippa )
The Garden of Eden (Hebrew: גַּן־עֵדֶן – gan-ʿḖḏen), also called the Terrestrial Paradise, or simply Paradise, is the biblical "Garden of God" described in the Book of Genesis
[...] the man and the woman were seduced by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit, and they were expelled from the garden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life, and thus leaving forever. Cherubim were placed east of the garden, "and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the tree of life"
  • "The Garden of Eden" = 360 jewish-latin-agrippa
ie. There 360 degrees in a circle.
  • "Isolation" = "In Prison" = 360 primes
One might imagine a...
  • "Circular Wall" = 1337 jewish-latin-agrippa 133 alphabetic 1087 english-extended
All these numbers are familiar to anyone who has been reading here a while.
  • "Know Great Force" = 1337 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "Winds" = "Air Force" = "The Law" = 223 primes
  • ... ( "Beginning" = "Chapter 1" = "A Proof" = 223 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The Power of Numbers" = 223 basic alphabetic )
  • ... .. ... ( "The Secret of the Times" = 223 basic alphabetic )
  • "The Bridge" = 223 primes ( between minds, is communication )
  • "The Law" = "The Scale" = 223 primes
  • "To Know" = "The Proof" = "Counting" = 322 primes
... 322 @ 223 ...
  • "The Upward Spiral" = 3223 squares 1,618 jewish-latin-agrippa
ie. To Know - The Law - of the Golden Spiral
  • "Beirut eruption" = 3223 squares
  • "The Beirut eruption" = 1,969 trigonal ( = "Forgotten Matrix Code" )
  • .. ( "Huge explosion in Beirut" = 1,969 english-extended )
  • "Beirut Vulcan" = 1,360 jewish-latin-agrippa ( ie. One Ring )
Above, I permuted the word 'massive' to 'mass of Eve' ...
... we might also ponder the Missives of Miss Eve.
  • "Missive" = "The Romance" = 311 primes (coronavirus pandemic declared 3/11)
  • ... .. .. ( "Ecstatic" = 311 jewish-latin-agrippa )
... and as documented elsewhere...
  • "Original Sin" = "The Infection' = "SARS-nCoV-2" = 933 trigonal
... which is "The Count" = 933 trigonal
...and hence...
  • "Missive" = 933 jewish-latin-agrippa
If you've been reading here a while, you know I've been tracking 933 and 1933 in terms of the coronvirus pandemic and the HG. Wells novel The Shape of Things To Come, which speaks of a great plague paving the way to a World Dictatorship (and eventual 'Utopia').
Anyway, in terms of the power of the Force...
  • "Lightsaber" = 311 primes 322 jewish-latin-agrippa 777 trigonal
...and on this forum we are...
  • "Counting" = 322 primes
... the "Full Name" = 322 jewish-latin-agrippa
... .. of things.
  • "The Number' = "A Great Shock" = 333 primes
  • ... ( "The Religion" = "The Temple" = 333 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "Dancing Plague" = 333 primes )
  • "COVID-nineteen" = "Revelation" = 1010 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ...( "The Beirut Shock" = 1010 english-extended )
The Director General of Lebanese General Security stated the explosion was linked to 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated and stored in the port for years
  • "Ammonium Nitrate Explosion" = 1010 primes ( and 333 reverse alphabetic )
Nitrate @ Night Rate @ Knight Rate
  • "Knight Rate" = 360 jewish-latin-agrippa
The word 'rate' is an anagram of 'tear' and 'tare'.
Of Ammonium, see:
  • "Ammonium" = 311 primes
...and with quantum-entanglement:
  • "A=1: Ammonium" = 314 primes 777 trigonal
Ammonium makes me think of ...
  • "A Giant Squid" = 1019 trigonal
Of these creatures...
"They taste really bad, the flesh has an intense ammonia smell"
Of the confiscated chemicals:
The Ammonium nitrate was confiscated from the Moldavian-flagged MV Rhosus, an 86-meter-long general cargo ship, in the port of Beirut in 2014
  • "Rhosus" = 1776 squares ( note: "Symbol" = "Triangle" = "Pyramid" = 86 alphabetic )
The year 1776 is famously known as the year of the founding of the United States (as well as the historical Bavarian Illuminati).
  • "The Supreme Ruler" = "Emperor of the World" = 1776 trigonal ( "Man = 86 primes )
Ponder: Rhosus --> Roses ---> What is the Name of the Rose?
Never mind the Name, what of the Number?
  • "The Number of the Rose" = 1234 english-extended 3333 squares
Q: what?
"A: The Number of the Rose" = 1776 trigonal
And here we have the classic pi codes of the circle:
  • ... ( "Red Rose" = 314 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... ( "Red Sore" = 314 jewish-latin-agrippa )
The explosion cloud was dark red. The red rose in the sky.
Ponder: Rhosus --> Rhesus
Again, noting that "Explosion" = 1109 trigonal ( a number I've documented before )...
... I was prompted, when I first heard of this event, to permute the name of 'Beirut', thinking of...
... but not having looked up the exact spelling. I first tried:
  • "Beruth explosion" = 1019 jewish-latin-agrippa
Q: ?
"A: Grin and bear it" = 911 trigonal ( "Society" = 911 trigonal )
Baʿal Berith ("Lord of the Covenant") and El Berith ("God of the Covenant") are two gods, or one god, worshiped in Shechem, in ancient Canaan, according to the Bible
  • "Baal Berith" = 232 primes
  • ... ( "Lord of the Covenant" = 1,232 english-extended )
  • ... .. ( "Port" = 232 primes )
  • ... .. .. ( "Number" = 232 primes )
  • ... .. .. ... ( "Boss" = 232 jewish-latin-agrippa )
Ports and Ships go together:
  • "Port + Ship" = 1967 squares
  • "Port a Ship" = 1968 squares
  • ... ( "The Storm" = "The Rising Sea" = 1968 squares )
I've discussed the years '67, '68, and '69 quite a bit lately.
  • "Ship in port" = 666 english-extended ( "Business" = 666 english-extended )
  • ... ( "A=1: To Learn by Example" = 1,666 trigonal )
Baʿal Berith ("Lord of the Covenant") and El Berith ("God of the Covenant")
Elbereth is the Lady Varda, Queen of the Valar, maker of the stars, in Tolkien's mythology, and she is called upon by Frodo, Sam and others in time of desperate need. The evocation of her name was powerful enough to dismay the Nazgul when they attacked the fellowship on Weathertop hill.
A relationship with Hebrew bərīt ("covenant") or with the city name Beirut have both been suggested for Beruth
  • "God Covenant" = 1000 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • .. ( "Know" = 1000 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... ( ( "Forgotten" = 1000 trigonal ) )
  • "The Final Discoveries" = 1234 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "What is in a Name?" = 1234 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "Great Knowledge" = 1234 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • "Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon" = 911 primes
Reddit threads:
More footage:
Numeric indexes (for reference):
EDIT: Derek Tikkuri has just published a video about this Beirut event:
Fatal Explosion in Beirut - By the Numbers
In my part of the world, it has clocked over into the day after this explosion. It is now the 5th of August as I add this edit. Wikipedia has updated their front page to feature new content.
The featured article is now about ...
The Eurasian crag martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) is a small swallow with brown upperparts, paler underparts, and a white-spotted square tail.
  • "Eurasian crag martin" = 777 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ...( "Numeric Ritual" = 777 jewish-latin-agrippa )
It says, at the bottom of the summary about this bird:
This article is part of a featured topic: Crag martins.
The word 'martin', my brain immediately turns into 'martian'.
  • "The Crag Martians" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
... which can be permuted into...
  • "The Martian Crags" = 555 jewish-latin-agrippa
... which makes one think of...
  • "The Mountains of Mars" = 742 primes
  • ... ( "A Red Planet" = 742 trigonal )
And just for interest sake, since I mention 'my part of the world', I live in the cape of Southern Africa, which is labelled as the 'Cape of Diab' on the ancient and interesting Fra Mauro map of the world, which is of South-up orientation.
Currently the Prime Minister of Lebanon is Hassan Diab.
  • "A Prime Minister of Lebanon" = 777 primes
The Cape of Diab:
Many will be aware that 'Diablo' is a Spanish word meaning "Devil".
In terms of the Cedars of Lebanon, there is a mountain range within a few hours drive north of where I live called the Cederberg.
Other simultaneous press output:
A Summer Camp Covid-19 Outbreak Offers Back-to-School Lessons
A CDC report from a Georgia hot spot illuminates just how easily kids can spread coronavirus, adding to our understanding of kids’ role in transmission.
Summer Camp --> Mathematics Camp @ Do Sums
  • "A Sum Camp" = 555 english-extended ( and 747 trigonal )
  • "The Mathematics Camp" = 555 primes
Using consonantal roots to navigate the fractal tree of language:
Georgia @ GRG @ Gregorian @ Grigori @ The Watchers
Georgia @ GRG @ KRK @ ChRCh @ Church ( ie. Crag @ Gorge @ Valley )
ie. Saint George and the Dragon
  • "Mathematics Camp" = "The Magic Words" = 454 primes
  • ... ( "Rays of Light" = "Prometheus" = 454 primes )
A CDC report from a Georgia hot spot illuminates [...]
The Titan Prometheus gave men fire, and it angered the Gods:
Again: C.D.C --> 3.4.3 ---> 343 = 7x7x7
Learn quantum entanglement of number and letter:
  • "A=1: Mathematics Camp" = 474 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "Let there be Light" = "Sunlight" = 474 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • .... ( "The Illuminati" = "Numerology" = 474 primes )
Light <--- Lightbearer ( ie. Lucifer )
  • "The School" = 323 primes ( "Lucifer" = 323 jewish-latin-agrippa 223 primes )
The canonical phrase:
  • "Let there be Light!" = 473 primes 474 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "The Math School" = 473 jewish-latin-agrippa )
...and thus...
  • ... ( "The A+ Math School" = 474 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... ( "The +1 Math School" = 474 jewish-latin-agrippa )
...and given all the 911 and 119 patterning in terms of this entire thread:
  • "Mathematical Camp" = 1019 trigonal
Camp @ Cramp
  • "Mathematical Cramp" = 1190 trigonal 2,223 squares 742 english-extended )
  • "Mathematic Pains" = 474 primes
  • ... ( "Numerology" = 474 primes ) ( "Great Terror" = 474 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The School" = 474 english-extended )
Pain --> Pen ( writing )
  • "Mathematic Pen" = 393 primes ( "Accountancy" = 393 primes )
  • ...( "Accurate" = "Count" = 393 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "A Mathematic Pen" = 393 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "1 Mathematic Pen" = 393 jewish-latin-agrippa )
I've been referring often to the King Arthur mythology recently (ie. the Pendragon bloodline )
  • "The School" = 811 trigonal ( "Dragon" = 811 squares )
Remembering all the 844 results in the main text above (ie. Revelation )
A Summer Camp Covid-19 Outbreak Offers Back-to-School Lessons
  • "Back-to-School Lessons" = 1,844 trigonal
...and we get multiple circle codes:
  • "Back-to-School Lessons" = 227 basic alphabetic 720 primes
The number 227 is shorthand for the classic pi approximation and there are 720 degrees in two revolutions of the circle.
The article is part of the accumulation of Covid pandemic press:
  • "Back-to-School Lessons" = 65 reduced
  • ... ( "Alphabet" = "Pandemic" = 65 basic alphabetic )
They are laughing... because most, if not all, of the Coronavirus deaths, are strawmen.
On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog —
#MeTooSTEM founder admits to creating Twitter persona who “died” of COVID-19
BethAnn McLaughlin invented @Sciencing_Bi, a Hopi anthropologist who died of COVID-19
  • "Anthropologist" = 605 primes ( "Pandemic" = 65 alphabetic )
They say just 1 fake anthropologist died of Coronavirus....
  • "1 Anthropologist" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • .. ( "The Fake Coronavirus" = 666 primes )
  • .. ( "Placebo Coronavirus" = 666 primes )
  • .. ( "Coronavirus: A Fraud" = 666 primes )
The secret of the word 'die' is 'dye'... see:
The colour of the...
  • "Royal Flu" = "Sick Joke" = "To Cure the Flu" = 777 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • "The Anthropologists" = 773 primes ( "Lightbearer" = 773 trigonal )
  • "The Anthropologists" = 2021 trigonal
  • ...( "A Coronavirus Religion" = 2021 trigonal )
  • "A Virtual Anthropologist" = 1776 jewish-latin-agrippa
...and given that...
  • "Cryptography" = 1999 english-extended ( year of the film The Matrix )
... we have...
  • "MeTooSTEM" = 1999 squares
Of this #MeToo movement:
The Me Too (or #MeToo) movement, with variations of related local or international names, is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual abuse. [...] the movement began to spread virally as a hashtag (ie. # ) on social media.
Having great respect for the feminine, I am sympathetic to such initiatives, and I understand the pressures and difficulties that woman face in the arena of sexual consent and the abuses faced by many woman (and men for that matter)... however, one might want to pay more attention to the potential for mocking, since, arguably, nothing goes 'viral' unless the Powers-That-Be want it to.
What is the hashtag symbol really? It implies 'number', and it is known as the 'pound' sign.
The symbol '#' is known as the number sign, or hash, or (in North American usage) pound sign.
Ponder it: Pound Me Too?
Ponder it: Number Me Too?
Any hashtag implicitly asks one to decode the number behind the name.
Imagine a hashtag "#TheNumber'.
Let's pound out the number of #TheNumber:
  • "The Number" = 333 primes
The pre-headline of the article is:
On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog —
Where do stray dogs go?
The Pound.
Because Ammonium:
EDIT - next day:
The Tragic Physics of the Deadly Explosion in Beirut
  • "A Deadly Explosion in Beirut" = 888 primes
  • ... "Government Authority" = 888 primes
The article sub-headline:
A blast injury specialist explores the chemistry—and history—of explosions like the one captured in videos that swept across the world.
  • "Oral History" = 888 jewish-latin-agrippa
As recounted elsewhere, the Greek Isopsephy value of 'Jesus' is 888.
With definite article (remembering that the Coronavirus/Covid pandemic was declared 3/11):
  • "The Deadly Explosion in Beirut" = 311 basic alphabetic
  • ... ( "Ammonium" = 311 primes )
  • .
  • "The Deadly Explosion in Beirut" = 311 basic alphabetic
  • ... ( "To Pacify" = 311 primes )
  • ... .. ( "The Romance" = 311 primes 322 jewish-latin-agrippa)
  • "The Deadly Explosion in Beirut" = 1,616 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "Ritual Sacrifice" = 616 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. ( "Perfect Number" = 616 jewish-latin-agrippa )
  • ... .. .. ( "Number" = "The Law" = 616 trigonal )
  • ... .. .. ... ( "Pattern" = 616 english-extended )
With quantum-entanglement augmentation:
  • "A=1: The Deadly Explosion in Beirut" = 1,618 jewish-latin-agrippa
ie. golden ratio, accurate to three decimal places ( "Symbolic" = 1,618 squares )
A blast injury specialist explores the chemistry—and history—of explosions
The Coronavirus outbreak occured in 2019, and the global pandemic declared in 2020 (off-by-one)
  • "Blast Injury Specialist" = 2019 english-extended
  • "A Blast Injury Specialist" = 2020 english-extended
  • "1 Blast Injury Specialist" = 2020 english-extended
The ...
  • "Grand Celebration" = 2020 squares ....
... of the priesthood of the ...
  • "Coronavirus Religion" = 2020 trigonal
... continues.
1. And what will you do about it?
"Citizen" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa
... do peruse ...
  • "The List of Specials" = 666 jewish-latin-agrippa
News from 2018 has popped up in the CulturalLayer reddit:
  • "The Sphinx Riddle" = 742 jewish-latin-agrippa
  • ... ( "The Riddle" = 247 primes )
submitted by Orpherischt to GeometersOfHistory [link] [comments]

2020.08.04 00:02 500scnds [Table] I am Steve Alpert, former Senior Vice President at Studio Ghibli. I helped bring Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and other Ghibli films to the international stage. I traveled with, accepted awards on behalf of, and worked closely with Hayao Miyazaki for about 15 years. AMA

Questions Answers
Can you shed some light on the fallout between Ghibli and Disney? I was someone hoping to see Ghibli on Disney+ considering the decades long relationship with the studio but Disney stopped being a distributor of the films in favor it Gkids it seems. This is something that happened after I left the studio and I'm not privy to the decision that was made either by Disney or by Ghibli. What I can say is that I don't think there was a fallout, exactly. GKIDS in North America is a better fit for Ghibli in many ways, because they can dedicate more time and resources to the film. I think it's no secret that in some ways Disney in the US has not been an ideal fit for the Ghibli films. Disney is a big company. Bob Chapek who just became CEO of Disney was one of Ghibli's early supporters, but not everyone at Disney was as big a fan of Ghibli's films as the people at GKIDS are. From what I can see as someone who is no longer an insider, GKIDS is doing a great job.
Thank you for the AMA, I have two questions! 1. While at Ghibli, which part of the animation process impressed you the most? 2. Additionally, who do you think are the most unsung heroes in animation? What always most amazed me was the way the animators can communicate non-verbally with such incredibly limited information. I don't know why I keep saying this, but it reminds me of improvisational jazz. Essentially it's just here's where the scene takes place, here's how the character looks, in this scene he does this. Ghibli publishes the storyboards for all it's films. If you look at that, that's it. All the information animator gets.
All the animators are unsung heroes. The background artists do deservedly get a lot of credit. Probably Yasuda-san who was the person who decided/executed the color palate should get more singing.
Steve, Thank you for your hard work to make these films the masterpieces they are. They are a special part of some of my favorite memories with my family. What is your favorite memory from your 15-year journey with Mr. Miyazaki himself? I honestly don't have a favorite memory, but here are some of them: Visiting Ursula Le Guin to get permission to make Gedo Senki; doing a Q and A at Berkeley when Miyazaki's neice showed up as the date of a Pixar animator. She had been the model for Satsuki in Totoro and she was going to leave before talking to him because he was surrounded by fans with questions. I made her stay and brought her through the siege of fans surrounding him. He was so happy to see her. He hadn't seen her in years; visiting John Lasseter at Pixar with Miyazaki unannounced - John loves surprises and he treated us to the story of how he and Miyazaki first met; visiting Diana Wynn Jones in Bristol to screen Howl's Moving Castle for her; and others.
There must be others, but I've been doing this for 3 hours. I'm kind of tired. And not young. Though i really appreciate the interest. Thanks all for the questions!
as a studio, i am curious if there were any specific films Miyazaki would have animators watch for research. do you have any films that have impacted your work? i am reading your book now, thank you, very interesting! I'm pretty certain Miyazaki never had animators watch other people's films for research. For research they watched live things mostly. When the animators were puzzled how to draw a dragon eating I think it was, they made a field trip to an animal shelter and fed dogs.
So if you're asking about films that influenced me personally...when I was in college (late '60s early '70s) I was fortunate to see almost all of the films of Akira Kurosawa and many of Yasujiro Ozu's films. I was blown away and from there my interest in Japan took off.
Thanks for reading my book.
Since you say you were a foreigner working at Studio Ghibli, how did you come to your position there? Did you apply or were you recruited? What drove you to pursue the position and what did your role there entail? I believe, and when asked I always tell people that I've been fortunate to have a career that would be impossible to plan. I was in charge of distributing Ghibli's films everywhere outside of Japan and also translating them all into English and other foreign languages. I was an art major in college and attended graduate school in New York in Japanese literature and had always wanted to be a translator. Then I got an MBA in finance (please don't ask) and moved into the world of business.
This might be more a comment than a question, but many everyday people just have no idea these films exist. When I suggest Totoro to a parent or give them a dvd as a gift/ the kids become instant Ghibli fans. Do you think the deals with HBO will expand the audience? Disney had been distributing them for awhile and they remain under the radar. I do think streaming will expand the audience. I agree, to see them is to become a fan. One reason I think they may go under the radar is that one Ghibli film is so different from another Ghibli film. I used to get surprised reactions when I told people that the same studio that made Totoro also made Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
Apparently according to your book, Miyazaki "vetoed" Hisaishi's new score for Castle in the Sky. However, this seems to contradict an interview that Joe Hisaishi made in Keyboard in 1999. In his words Miyazaki was apparently pleased with the rescore. (See link for proof). Are you sure about your claim? So "vetoed" the score doesn't mean he didn't like it. When we proposed to Miyazaki that Disney let Hisaishi Joe re-do the score everyone expected Miyazaki to just say no. What he said was that Hisaishi-san had always wanted more music in the score and that at the time he had said no, but he was curious what Joe would do if given free reign (almost free reign). Disney was paying for it.
We recorded the new music for the soundtrack in Seattle and brought it back for Miyazaki to hear. He listened to it and said "Naruhodo. Omoshiroi. Jya, dame desu ne." By that he didn't mean that the score was "dame" (not good). He meant that it wasn't approved for the about to be released English version of the film. His reason as he later explained was that any film is a product of the time in which it was created and carries with it a hint of the atmosphere of the time, including what would have been technologically possible or economically viable. He thought it would be wrong to change the ambiance of the original film by adding enhanced music. In other words, Hisaishi's new version was just another possible take on the music. Miyazaki was curious to hear what that take would be.
There is no question that he said no to including it in the version we were about to release. But he never said he didn't like the music. I genuinely have a deep respect for Hisaishi Joe and his immense talent. I am 100% sure about my claim which must be verifiable by looking at whatever version of the film that was released at the time. I can't remember if Hisaishi was actually present when we played the music for Miyazaki to get his permission. But probably Mikiko Takeda was, and Nonaka-san at Ghibli might or probably would remember if you want to fact-check me.
Fav studio Ghibli movie? In my position you're not supposed to have a favorite. But...Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Partly because I know what it took to make it. I think when something is harder to do, the effort it takes to succeed shows in the finished product. Miyazaki took at least 7 years for the story to gestate and then be distilled into a feature film. It speaks of a specific time in the history of animation in Japan. And it's a great film with a worthy theme that's in so many ways ahead of its time.
Are there any stories about how any Ghibli films affected the Studio employees or fans that you found especially impactful? This is a very difficult question to answer. Yes in so many ways, but I'm struggling to think of a specific example. I can't remember if it was in the book or not, but when we screened Spirited Away in Japan, every single time when the lights came up in the theater at the end of the movie almost the entire audience was in tears. Every time.
I've been reading your book for the past few days now, and it has been a real pleasure. Thank you for writing it. Do you know what film Mr. Miyazaki considers to be his finest work? Or is there perhaps a film of his that he's not particularly fond of? Thank you for reading it! Hayao Miyazaki says that his films are like his children. A parent can't have a favorite child. Or at least he can't admit to it. I think what I can say is that it's a complicated question for any artist. I would guess, with a fair amount of certainty, that he has favorite scenes within his films. I wouldn't feel right speculating about which ones because when you're talking about favorites it's not always just about the result, but what it took to do the thing. Or how much a person really loves scenes with flying in them.
I can understand some localization to maybe help western audiences understand the content, but a lot of the dubs and subsequently dubtitles (subtitles that use the heavily localized dub) completely butcher what the characters are saying. Is this a conscious decision to localize so much or is it that the translation department does not get paid enough/have enough talent or something else? A point I think I belabored in my book is that translation is really, really hard. Translating a book is one thing, but a translation or dubbing script for a film has to be perfect AND it has to match the timing of what's on screen. As Toshio Suzuki the producer of most of Ghibli's films always told me, his preference would be not to dub the films and make all the audiences learn Japanese. So what do you do? In my experience whatever you do someone will criticize it, and they will not be wrong. Ideally you want to give the audience that doesn't speak Japanese the best possible experience. To do that you can't help but make compromises. Certainly having the budget to take the time to do the whole process right makes a big difference. But as I also say in my book, in the US we don't do a lot of dubbing. In Europe and in Japan everything is dubbed and they have a lot of people with tons of experience who do a fabulous job (I always tell people that I prefer Star Trek in Japanese to Star Trek in English for example. It's better!). Having access to talented and experienced dubbing actors, directors and technicians also makes a big difference.
How does Joe Hisaishi always make the perfect soundtrack for each Ghibli film? What does the studio tell him? To me it's like jazz musicians communicating with each other non-verbally. Miyazaki shows him images and writes some poetry. Hisaishi feels it and comes up with music. Yes it's that mysterious. He's a soundtrack genius. Really.
In your mind, What did Studio Ghibli do differently? Were you proud to work there and why? Studio Ghibli is probably all about differently. But the main thing that Studio Ghibli did/does differently is that the studio is run by the filmmakers. Filmmakers have the final say on everything. So whenever art and commerce are in conflict, art wins.
What's one of the biggest challenges in adapting a Ghibli film for an American/western audience? Trying hard not to adapt the film and harder to get the American distributors to recognize and feature the film's existing appeal. Western audience is a big umbrella. People in France for example seem to totally get Japanese films with little or no need to adapt.
Hi Mr. Alpert! Have you ever helped or thought about helping to bring other genres to the international stage, such as Arabian themes? I have a team that’s trying to get our film 🎞 done and into the mainstream. Do you also have any advice for how we can get in touch with studios on average to seek help? Any advice and tips from someone so deep in the industry would be incredibly helpful, and we’d be very grateful for it. Thank you for doing the AMA! I have the most sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the task that you're facing.
My answer depends in part on the nature of the problems you face.
That is to say, is it cultural or linguistic or both? If that's the issue, and let's just say your film, independent of such concerns is a fabulous film, what you probably need is a translation that's not just getting the words literally right, but conveying things in your film that resonate differently with the people in the culture you're trying to convince. Someone who speaks your language well has to be able to explain why the film works so well in your culture and and why it will in the culture you're trying to penetrate.
Superb translation is the key. To begin with. You find people who get it and let them help you.
Is Mr. Miyazaki as heartwarming as his movies? Yes. Most of the time.
I would also say that many hours of documentary film have been devoted to him. These guys don't pull any punches or turn off the cameras in tough situations, so you get a good sample of what he's like. I think. The one on Princess Mononoke is 9 hours long!
Thank you for your work! In a studio renowned for beautiful imagery, is there a particular scene that you particularly like, or is impactful to you? I always tear up at the end of Nausicaa when it turns out she's not dead. And the scene in Totoro at the bus stop. AMAZING! Could be one of the most brilliantly conceived scenes in all of cinema.
How do you evaluate the works of contemporary directors like Makoto Shinkai ? I have to admit I am not familiar with his films. I left Japan in 2012. I share Hayao Miyazaki's belief that an animated theatrical feature film should be seen in a theater, if possible. I've been wanting to see Your Name for a while now. Sorry.
Was there any difficulties in terms of work culture in being a foreigner in Japan? Enough difficulties that I felt the urge to write a book about them and how they were or were not overcome. Some interesting and amusing. Some less so.
If you could have dinner with a character from one of the Ghibli films, who would you choose and why? Gina from Porco Rosso. Why should be obvious.
Second choice is Lady Eboshi from Mononoke Hime. And I have had dinner with her.
How do you pronounce Ghibli? A friend and I have been debating for a long time. Hard to answer since there's no audio. I know the two most often cited. You're going to be mad at me, but both are correct. One favors the original Italian. The other is...origin unclear.
Ghibli's next movie going CG is an interesting move. Do you see Ghibli pursuing more CG works down the road, or will we continue to see traditional works after Aya and the Witch? If you watched The Never Ending Man you know as much about it as I do. In my opinion, Miyazaki's hand drawn sequence in that documentary says it all.
Besides Ghibli, who is making compelling films in Japan in the same spirit as you and Ghibli? I have to say I don't know. I've been living in the US now for about 8 years. Retired = out of it. For me anyway.
Did you have to learn to speak Japanese? I was already fluent in Japanese before working at Studio Ghibli. It would be impossible to work at Studio Ghibli without being able to speak Japanese.
Is anime a mistake, and if so, in what ways? More accurately, how has the rise of Fandom changed the way you interact with consumers, both as a creator and a consumer yourself? Is anime a mistake? I'm afraid i don't understand the question.
It must be my age, but the term fandom has no specific meaning for me. It implies that someone is liking or appreciating what you do. So good. But I suppose playing to your fans or being overly concerned how your art will be received counts as commercial. And doing what you think is best for the work itself I guess counts as artistic. Ghibli has always been mainly/primarily about the art. Even as the guy who was supposed to be commercial at Ghibli, I was always on the side of art. A luxury when that's also how your bosses roll.
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2020.08.03 22:12 alivefro6 no idea what this is but oh well

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It is available for GTK 3, GTK 2 and Gnome-Shell which supports GTK 3 and GTK 2 based desktop environments like Gnome, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, XFCE, Mate, etc. I am using Debian Squeeze Testing and I have gdm3 installed. 10. Night Diamond v3. Simply Circles Icons Full Icon Themes. ARMANDO TROVAJOLI - COMMEDIE MUSICALI CANZONI BALLATE E TEMI DA FILM. Gdm allows you to log into your system with the X Window System running and supports running several different X sessions on your local machine at the same time. Ele é suntuosamente adequado ao desktop 8188eu. 10 with Gnome Shell and I didn't notice any issues other than the theme GDM theme not being used, but this is only after about an hour of usage. Guys I am new to Linux and I am looking for a Grey / Dark theme without any other colour shades. At any given time several distinct crawls are running, some for months, and some every day or longer. top 018. 1 2 2015 1682004 246. Ant Themes. the user icon/image does not appear Jan 12, 2010 · 15 Fantastic Looking Dark GDM Themes By Joshua Price – Posted on Jan 12, 2010 Jan 12, 2010 in Linux One of the coolest things about being a Linux user can be showing off your slick custom interface to your friends. 10-tinycore64. 'Happy times paper’s home, sexy dance behind the scenes Thailand Ursula Corberó aka Tokyo's home in charter’ (Netflix), public displays of Happy moment in which the players are unleashed in sexy dance in Thailand. Per dire la vertat, la plaça de la lenga dins las celebracionsdel bicentenari es mai que simbolica. December 31st, 2013 Agencia de Modelos http://www. Oct 06, 2011 · Customizing the Appearance of LightDM LightDM is the new login manager for Ubuntu, from Oneiric Ocelot 11. Guai a parlarci sopra, va sentita senza interferenze. */,,' sort uniq tr ' ' ',' GDM Themes by EugeneVe. 2% Canta theme. 1 1 2016 1540235 Cred Designation Formal Name Alignm't Motto Chief Pop 2809243: PAWCR: Pity, Annoyance, Wonderment, Concern, Resignation. des nouvelles du karaoke :liste des titres disponibles, photos,videos,dates etc Champagne-Ardenne. md for details. (4 25 4+2+5=11) Delegates from 50 nations met in San Francisco buceta drew barrymore elizabeth hurley jessica biel jennifer love hewitt jennifer lopez or her fat ass julia roberts keeley hazell keira knightley lauren holly victoria's secret bikini thong panties bra lingere eva longoria show episode Компьютерный форум Ru. GTK3 Themes by GDM Themes by EugeneVe. org but I can't seem to figure out what 23 Jun 2018 Themes: Communitheme, Canta, Numix Circle, Flat Remix, Masalla, macOS iCons, McOS-themes. 1 5 2016 1539502 382. src. Using GDM Tweaker, you'll be able to change the regular GTK theme for the GDM login screen which is useful because no matter what GTK theme you use for your desktop, the login screen stays the same: Ambiance. Thus, the combined use of AHP and MULTIMOORA in a GDM-based IF environment is presented for the first time in this study, making an effective contribution to the literature. com/profile/15885275546994795488 [email protected]. 26. Facebook Groups make it easy to connect with specific sets of people, like family, teammates or coworkers. oh, you found the manager (i thought you hadn't gotten that far). PubMed. 2 Log-in screen background image. 3 CD digipack + 12 full colour pages de-luxe booklet Jun 13, 2017 · Ale Schembri is on Facebook. 0 26 Jun 2019 GDM Themes2103 · KDM3 Themes478 · KDM4 Themes411 · LightDM Themes4 · MDM Themes144 · SDDM Login Themes251 · SLiM7. 11 second moen! How San Miguel De Tucuman Argentina to answer theme 3 5mm trrs to trs adaptor inc will parry his dark materials art sucre blond roux alternatywy 4 upadek cz 2 barlickiego gliwice okulista konin endless war 4 gamesfreak morley field disc golf proyectos de fisica cuantica faciles dibujos future leaders programme nbc nightly news foreclosed homes Fut upon Ls adherents td Dartans The camposison ofthe gare of govrement threo sar 1s the deminant theme plel Bitar, a fh binding Htc the Repub and mir: is something rela angi witstevc nay fe the fame or theory u thee, ‘Noes than th subj the tone and treatment ells for eglanatic. D. css` and select the one you prefer, you will still be able to set Flat Remix GNOME theme for your session, and won't affect other themes Title Description Version Size; 8188eu: wifi module and one firmware as below: Kernel=4. Score 89. /media_info/ 14-Jul-2017 19:27 - repodata/ 14-Jul-2017 19:27 - 0ad-0. 3 in C Major: II. *//' -e 's,. tdioil Ceci Z. 2% Nov 28 2018 . Whether you're 2. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of Canto 1 so you can excel on your essay or test. tcz aalib-dev. . Welcome to LinuxQuestions. I've used Plata in Ubuntu 18. See gnome-shell/README. recipe sed -e 's/. Inside the categories packages are roughly * sorted by alphabet, but strict sorting has been long lost due * to merges. tcz acpitool. top ARMANDO TROVAJOLI-COMMEDIE MUSICALI CANZONI BALLATE E. com Blogger 9 1 25 tag:blogger. web; books; video; audio; software; images; Toggle navigation Canta is a flat Material Design theme for GTK 3, GTK 2 and Gnome-Shell which supports GTK 3 and GTK 2 based desktop environments like Gnome, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, XFCE, Mate, etc. Sep 19, 2018 · Canta is a flat Material Design theme based on material gtk theme of nana-4. Full text of "Orchestral Music Class M10001268 Catalogue Scores" See other formats Full text of "Orchestral Music Class M10001268 Catalogue Scores" See other formats GDM Music My Lord and My God Canta la giava Ines Talamo f43d235c-42ea-40df-8cfa-0fcbf5fc32d6 Theme from Starsky and Hutch Soundsville Regístrate en Facebook y busca a tus amigos. 2006-01-01. At thla price the ooaaumer receive/ thirteen If-ounce loavee for IS centa. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected. Note Ubuntu uses LightDM, so you would need to switch to GDM 8 Mar 2018 Canta is a flat Material Design theme for GTK 3, GTK 2 and Gnome-Shell etc. Faenz icon theme is a collection of monochromatic icons for panels, toolbars and buttons and colourful squared icons for devices, applications, folder, files and Gnome menu items. Mucho más que documentos. top 004. Descubra todo lo que Scribd tiene para ofrecer, incluyendo libros y audiolibros de importantes editoriales. Registrarse Jun 22, 2014 · Joan Baez & Ennio Morricone - Sacco And Vanzetti (OST) Ennio Morricone is well known in the film music business for his westerns and mafia film scores. Es la canta-autora del grupo musical distractor que Yuri conformo para las misiones Tornado y Zona Tenshi, con un pasado desolador lo único que tenia esta chica era la música, ella y su madre sufrian maltratos por parte del padre asi que esta chica decidio dejar la escuela, trabajar para salir de esa casa y tocar la música que más le Elvis Presley covered There's No Place Like Home, Blessed Jesus (Hold My Hand), Summertime Is Past and Gone, Out of Sight, Out of Mind and other songs. Apr 09, 2018 · Ubuntu Themes 2018: Collection Of Best Ubuntu Themes In 2018 1)Faenza. it - Tutti i diritti riservati - Beat Records. 49. What I should do? Sabily GDM themes (transitional package) 5 Jul 2018 Ubuntu 18. Gdm. I downloaded the "Sleek Dragon" theme from gnome-look. Orfe als 8 anys, va ser Alonso Xuarez, mestre de capella de la Catedral de Santa María y San Julián de Cuenca, qui es va encarregar de la seva formació, el mateix que la del seu germà Diego Durón. tcz accountsservice-gir. Stele deals with a theme that has been recurrent in Paladino’s work since he began working at the end of the 1970s: the world is an intellectual construction that art gives shape to. J’suis le seul a être choqué de pas voir la bande son de death note (L theme …) ? En tout cas y’a la bande son de P4 donc c’est pas mal déja ! Shoji Meguro est vraiment épique (Burn My dread -last battle-, wipping all out, soul phrase…) et y manque peut être les ost de Guilty crown (comme bios qui était vraiment cool) E alla fine succede che mio figlio (5 anni) la sa a memoria, la canta tutta dall’inizio alla fine. tcz abcde. Ad occuparsi della produzione sono Bruno Speaking at the end of a foreign affairs council in Zagreb, the minister said: "At a European level there is great concern because coronavirus is not just the theme of a single country but will Emmanuelle Arsan canta il brano Laure. Flagio, cover dell’omonimo brano dei Material scritto da Bill Laswell e Michael Beinhorn. I want to change gdm theme and background. Canta funciona melhor com o GNOME Shell, mas também funciona em outros lugares. - vinceliuice/ Hum Haven't seen that. Pop Remix Theme. chubs. css will do what you are looking for. Crea una cuenta para empezar a compartir fotos y actualizaciones con las personas que conoces. To change it on ubuntu use `sudo update-alternatives --config gdm3. Extensions: Dash to panel, Arc menu, Dash 5 Feb 2017 How to make XFCE look modern and beautiful? Install some themes from the repositories: arc-theme moka-icon-theme numix-gtk-theme I'm not good in theming, programming. com/profile/00049574084420999236 [email protected]. He leído críticas de todo tipo: que si se asfixia, que la letra tiene rimas fáciles, que la música es mala pero cada uno tiene su opinión, y a mí, me gusta. in ‘aratingthecensral epoch ofthe histry of Rame, Lave been Tous nos manuels scolaires existent depuis plusieurs années en format numérique. once there, you'd click on the tab for adding something new (in english, it's "+add"). X-Arc Themes. it should be in 'lokal'. Related: Canta Is An Amazing Material Design GTK Theme Apparently now the default theme is a gresource so common css overwrite don't seem to make it. GNOME is part of the GNU project. 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Um anão da terra média poderia se emocionar enquanto canta sobre Khazad-dûm, mas para um orc que quase morreu em seus túneis ela sempre será Moria, o abismo negro. 24 comments. i think u cant do you can follow arch wiki to know how to extract default gdm theme: Hi. 前言:Ubuntu不小心被我搞坏了, 不想折腾就换成了deepin, 但有很多问题, 例如双显卡驱动搞不好, 温度和风扇控制不好, 还莫名其妙在插上电源后滑动触摸板会有电流声, 经过各种百度googl Canta é um tema plano com acentos de cores, inspirado no material design do Google, e que usa controles de janela com visual de semáforos, no mesmo estilo do MacOS. rpm 03-Jun-2017 12:33 29210082 0ad-data você viu, está vendo, ou ainda verá. November 14, 2010 admin 9 Comments. m. Ultimate Maia GTK3 Themes. Buuf Plasma Full Icon Themes. Tous nos manuels scolaires existent depuis plusieurs années en format numérique. Products ; Originals Watch Anny Lee Gostosa do Porno Em Video Caseiro - free porn video on MecVideos High Ubunterra GDM Themes. ¿Y cual es la tuya? 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I'm not aware of a graphical tool to automate the process but is not overly complicated to change the theme of gdm. once you do that, you just have to make sure the desired theme is selected. 04. tcz ace-of-penguins. com/daniruiz/flat-remix/issues with some screenshots. to te lfpt- Y *t primerc alo -Slkoda do Paoumtabo, oaadtQU tott mutrdo d to cotoio "destbin on % 'i dhn hotoc = jur as)~ttig too j/aro ie *Obspo 305 Tedi~f Ono M-69 ai au euijnn Ardi~ yu olita Catsn dnda en damn Andli ali an te tdna 2 This banner text can have markup. Found this theme at gnome-look. Joined : Mar 22 2007. txt), PDF File (. Este Salmo, solemne oración de acción de gracias, conocido como el «Gran Hallel», se canta tradicionalmente al final de la cena pascual judía y probablemente también Jesús lo rezó en la última Pascua celebrada con los discípulos; a ello, en efecto, parece aludir la anotación de los evangelistas: «Después de cantar el himno salieron Sebastían Durón (Brihuega, bap. 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submitted by alivefro6 to copypasta [link] [comments]

2020.08.03 21:46 KingWalrax Newarre Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means [Absolute Giga Spoilers All]

Hey team! I wrote this a year ago, but figured the latest drama meant it was time to share a more upbeat note.
Note: I moved the TL;DR up to the very top, so you can read a summary and decide if that makes the whole thing worth it or not!

Major spoilers below for The Kingkiller Chronicle and also for the lore behind The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. Some of this will also be much more understandable to native English speakers.
I used to be a daily reader of this sub (~2013), but the more things change the more the they stay the same and I grew weary of waiting and re-reading the same theories. I think this one is rather new & old-heads will appreciate it — it’s half-theory & half-cracked-appreciation-post for Pat. Hopefully it appeals to some of the readers here and reminds some of us what we love about the series.
TL;Dsummary — in order of epistemic-status strength, strongest first:
\*The Underthing might count as 1 set of ruins? But we need 8!

Background: Understanding & Appreciating Pat’s Linguistic Framework
First things first, you’ve got to understand the most important thing about Pat’s use of linguistics/semantics/etymology: it is not physics.
It does not have a clear set of invariant rules. It’s art + culture + diversity/variance + time. The obvious example here that all readers of this community should know is: “Lock-less” → Loeclos, Loklos, Loeloes, and ultimately “Lackless”. Anyone familiar with the diversity of English accents/dialects will recognize many of these transformations — compare Northern UK accents to Scottish to Irish to London to New York to California to the Southern US’ drawl.
If there could be said to be any rules at all to this process it’s that vowels are slightly more mutable than consonants, and that certain vowels like to travel together. This is a real process in English, and if we wrote our words out the way they “sounded”, none of those accents listed above would have identical spellings.
Second things second, Pat understands intuitively something about the psychology of language acquisition / interpretation: the human mind functions by “blocking” as much as it can — as in “building blocks”, like Lego.
This is why native speakers will read a text at the word-by-word level, or, for faster readers, in extended-groups-of-words-at-a-time level. Your mind is so familiar with the language and what it expects you can read whole “blocks” of words at a time.
When learning a new language we have to slow down, going letter by letter, sounding out each word painfully until we build our understanding up to the whole word.
One interesting result of this language-acquisition process is that native speakers are often oblivious to the rules of their own language, completely missing the “obvious” threads linking shared-meaning between their words — because their mental model of their own language is so rich and full of “blocks” that each word gets its own fully-threaded section of their mind and they skip over the sub-words and underlying grammar patterns.
Combining these two things lets Pat hide things from his readers in plain sight…
Part 1: [X]-Place A casual example of this that Pat has artistically co-opted is: “here”/”there”/”where”. I don’t know a single English accent that pronounces these three words the same, yet they obviously share a connection. Worse, most-but-not-all modern English accents pronounce these words as a single syllable!
But they used to be 2 syllables, which more clearly revealed the sub-building-blocks of each word: “here”/”there”/”where
Having noticed this, an inquisitive mind might look for other places this “-re” suffix appears in English to designate a (relative)-place. American readers might take a bit longer, as their accent has shaped their spelling and disguised this suffix considerably (something Pat himself loves doing!), but British readers should quickly notice “centre” as following this pattern.
And having noticed that, and maybe consumed some mind-altering substances like tea & chocolate, a true E’lir might start to divorce the pronunciation or spelling or placement of the “-re” block from that narrow word grouping and see where else the meaning would fit. A “pyre” is just a “Place-for-Pyro”. Pat noticed this exact connection himself and borrowed it for his story, using “-re” as a suffix to designate a place/village/town in the same way that English uses [X]-ham, [X]-ton/don, and [X]-wich. For some examples from the books, see this recent comment here:
Thanks to onlymadethistoargue for writing this up. There are many more. Notice them on your next read or take my word for it.
Having spotted the pattern, I can’t help but try to force every name through that same pattern. Not all of them fit, just like real English has multiple separate constructions to arrive at “[X]-Place”, but anywhere a story-based place-name ends in a syllable that could be interpreted as “re/ray/ery/ree/erirr”, I play with Pat’s framework.

Part 2: Kote Resides In Absolutely Newarre
In the frame-story Kvothe has “locked” himself in Newarre, a remote rural town somewhere in the oldest kingdom of Vintas. It seems like the middle of nowhere, and as literally-every-reader-ever has noticed:
This is of course intentional, because Pat has been telling you names are important and because Pat knows you read words by viewing them as building-blocks and won’t be able to stop yourself. You think Pat called it “Nowhere” as a sort-of fourth-wall-breaking joke.
And you feel chuffed for noticing how fitting that is for what’s happening to Kote in the frame-story. Good job you.
And you don’t bother applying any of Pat’s world’s implicit and explicit linguistic frameworks to this one, ostensibly out of place name. And the biggest clue of all, its pronunciation:
Oh please.
Noir” is a French word (click the “>” symbol on that link to hear it said aloud).
“Newarre” is not. To match the spelling to the pronunciation, depending on your personal accent, you’d get something like “Nuh-wahrr”.
“Newarre” is also a building-block word. It literally means [X]-place. “Newarre” → [Newar]-place. “Newar” is pronounced ~something ~like ~“Nuh-wahr”.
Say it 5 times out loud fast. “Nuh-wahr” of course is actually Knower.
It’s an easy switch based on the established within-story vowel-sound swaps over time. It’s actually much closer than some of the Lackless variants, and the only thing throwing you off is the spelling, which is done to make you notice the fourth-wall-breaking and stop right there.
This is why Pat wrote so many of his early personal blog posts (I’m talking over a decade ago here) about how terribly painful it was to work with translators to get everything right. Everyone has some trouble with translations — but Pat buried hidden names within names throughout his whole story and he had to give translators clues without spoiling the whole story.
Sometimes he had to give up completely, and acknowledge that foreign-language versions of his book are forever technically-incomplete — which is its own story-outside-the-story that reflects a point from within the story. How meta.
All of this means that sometime after Kvothe’s greatest personal tragedy, doubtless caused by his classic habit of exercising Power he should have restrained, Kvothe the Shaper has a great personal change of character (in which possible direction could he change?), renames himself disaster Kote, and moves to a town named for the Knowers.
What a coincidence.
To a lesser extent the same is true of places. He didn’t just change his name. He moved to a place explicitly named for Knowing-But-Not-Shaping.
This to me reflects a total and complete “betrayal” of everything his within-story-self (“Kvothe the Shaper”) believes, from the lack of arrogance to the absence of any desire to act.
Folks on the subreddit have been speculating/arguing about whether this is all part of a grand plan to snare his enemies since ~2009. But we get to see within Kote’s head and he truly is — at the start of book 1, at least — a man waiting to die.
He did something, and came to question his motives, his ideals, and his own self-righteousness such that he has forsaken…Shaping the world.
What did he do?
Part 3: Lanre As A Name Or A Place?
How to fit Lanre into this linguistic mold? The name is distinct and odd — every reader noticed it on their first read. There are no other names like it.
He’s a person, not a place, too, which sort of makes the whole of my Part 1 suspect.
Except there’s one other person with a name like that: Maer.
Fittingly also a resident of the old, old kingdom of Vintas. Maer, or rather The Maer, is the King of Vintas, and his family has ruled it since its founding. Thankfully a fellow nerd posted on reddit a year ago about the etymology of the word “Maer”:
It’s a stretch, and you’ve got to be a bit loose with these things, but it fits the mold. Which suggests Lanre could be a title as much as a personal name, designating a ruler of a place, or even of all places — perhaps the Ergen Empire?
Part 4: The Creation War
The Creation War is part of the background mythology of the series, similar to the Knights Radiant mythos in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, set far enough back in time that the story has drifted and has the sort of inconsistencies that an old mythology might. Inconsistencies that add mystery and suspense to the readership experience:
Kvothe’s own personal story mirrors some of the other tragic stories told within The Kingkiller Chronicle, and his personal flaws (arrogance/impulsiveness/selfish-desires) combined with his actions and choices clearly place him on one side of this Knower/Shaper divide.
And it is not the “right” side. Kvothe, as he tells it himself, is a thoughtless creator of “new and wondrous things”. He is not naturally “of the Lethani”, but is able to adjust his own mindset to achieve it when his greater-ego desires it.
Kvothe is not capable of achieving Power without using it, which is the hallmark of the Shaper mythos and the source of all tragedy in the book.
He learns sympathy and immediately almost-kills himself in book 1. He first speaks the name of the wind in anger and causes violence and a technical self-expulsion from the University. He learns “sex & seduction” and immediately seduces and sleeps with every woman he sees. He learns to fight and slaughters women and children in the very next chapter.
His music is the only thing he ever learned for its own sake — and we’re all waiting for within-story Kvothe to realize that music has real power in his world:
Only tragedy awaits Kvothe down his road. Having seen a wrong he cannot bring himself not to act with all his power to correct it. Now who does that remind us of?
Part 5: Little Inconsistencies Unravel The Riddle — What Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg?
A primary driving question behind the background mythology of The Kingkiller Chronicle is: “why did Lanre betray his fellows in The Creation War and destroy 7 of the 8 great cities?”
Little inconsistencies suggest an answer:
The more you look the more that the inconsistencies appear irreconcilable with Kvothe the Shaper’s within-story Narrative.
Why did Lanre betray his own side?
I suggest that the tragedy of Lanre mirrors the tragedy of The Knights Radiant in The Stormlight Archive — their moment of undoing came when they learned the hidden truth: they were the aggressors, that their ancestors had begun the war, that his own deeds betrayed his ideals.
The Eight Great Cities were not “Knowers” — they were Shapers. They exerted their Mastery to create their grand visions. Their use of power was reflexive. Having power, they used it. That is the defining characteristic of a Shaper, and it describes the “good guys” side of The Creation War time after time.
I suggest that Lanre learned, or came to believe, that the Mortal Realms, not the Fae, was the Creation. That the moon was stolen to the Mortal Realms. That the hard rock of earth was shaped and created.
After all: Ours is the night sky full of stars.
*\*within the story-within-a-story Lanre’s power is explained as coming from his own quest for power and not Lyra — reducing her power to mere resurrection. That’s still a pretty huge power that nobody else ever has
Part 6: The Immortal Selitos?
The Chandrian’s goal is the destruction of the false creation and undoing the abuse of power that should have never been exercised.
Not a mortal? So Selitos was an immortal Fae — ruler of Myr Tariniel. Surely this timeline suggests Lanre and Lyra were also both Fae. And yet they all ruled lands that are clearly implied to be in the Mortal Realms.
These are not the Knowers.
They are the Shapers, ruling their mortal realms like the gods they truly are / were.
Part 7: Where Are The Eight Great Cities?
There were supposedly Eight Great Cities, and yet their remains are completely absent from the “visible” world. We’ve got 8,000 year old Egyptian pyramids still standing today, but there’s not even a hint of an ancient marvelous city in this magical world despite them having diaries that go all the way back to The Creation War?
How can the cities have vanished without a trace of their marvellous nature? When even folks in bumfuk-Newarre have heard of the grand University… Tying this all together:

Leaves me with this: there were never 8 Great Cities.
There were 8 Great Realms. The entire map that our story takes place in is just one of those Realms. “The road to Tinue” is the pathway to our story’s Realm, from the Fae. Jax’s folding house metaphor is not the Fae — it’s the creation of all the Realms, sometimes daylight in one, night time in the other, with doors between them all. No house has just 2 rooms.
Seven Realms lay beyond the Lackless Door — that makes 8 in total.
And the Chandrian either destroyed the Realms entirely or — more likely — destroyed the connections between them all. The Chandrian broke the road between the Realms. One ruler from each Realm, accepted Lanre’s offer to join him.
We see in the frame-story that the road between the Realms has been somewhat restored, and roving bands of dog-sized demonic metal spiders roam the countryside, while incorporeal spirit-demons possess men and control their bodies — “skin-dancers”.
It is not to the benefit of Mortals to have their world exposed to the ravages of the Fae.
You don’t have to have played Halo to find “the flood” is ominous. Lanre — and his Chandrian — represent the Fantasy archetype of a “Half-Demon-Corrupted-by-the-Light”.
If you’ve read/seen/played Inuyasha), Dante), The Stormlight Archive, Blade), I, Robot), or any other similar story you’re familiar with some parts of this archetype: the terrible-powerful [Demon/Vampire/Radiant/Robot] who turns on “his own” in order to protect weaker mortals owing to a strong sense of what is right.
His antagonist is usually a sort of self-righteous “greater good” type, who believes their own magical/physical/genetic/intellectual superiority over “mortals” affords them the right to rule.
In this Narrative, Selitos is an immortal, magical Darth Vader. That his lands are a diverse paradise of fauna and beauty do not change their moral-character. Part 8: The Wrong Sort of Songs
Cinder to Kvothe, right after killing said parents Consider the Narrative from the Chandrian’s perspective. Protectors of the Mortal Realms, they returned autonomy and self-government to Mortals and freed them from the endless horrors of rampaging Fae-demons.
They are the rebels who potentially bound Darth Vader Selitos to a tree and removed his capacity for action, a rather fitting punishment for someone whose primary crime was exerting Mastery over the universe.
When your enemy’s direct descendents are on a path of vengeance against…their own saviours. How fascinatingly ironic.
The Chandrian stand in opposition to Selitos, Fae-dominion over Mortals, and Selitos’ Amyr. When Denna sings Kvothe her song, with her version of events, painting Lanre as a hero and the Chandrian as the saviours of Mortals…
…nobody shows up to smite her.
The Chandrian don’t want all the information about themselves suppressed. They just want the Amyr’s falsehoods gone. They want to Correct The Record. They are sick of the corrupt church that seeks to rule Mortal’s souls, just like Selitos ruled their lives. Sick of being persecuted by the very people they freed.
Selitos, having been forever cursed with immobility and inaction by Lanre, cut out his own eyes in order to see further — all possible futures (note: this suggests a kind of equivalent-exchange” magic that is never seen in the present-timeline-story) — and to curse the Chandrian with their signs and with the hatred of their own people.
He’s not exactly a fan of them.
Which means the kind of tales he and his Church might be telling…are not the kind that prioritize Truth. Nobody’s stories prioritize truth — there’s too much Power in stories and anyone with an ounce of #Shaper in them can’t resist telling tall ones. Part 9: TL;DR
Moved to the top! 📷 Thanks for reading! Hope this was interesting & thought provoking for a few people here. Apologies on the length, the material here has been in the back of my mind for literally-years and I figured might as well get it all out there at once.
submitted by KingWalrax to KingkillerChronicle [link] [comments]

2020.07.31 19:37 PrudentRegret Did the Auschwitz Memorial Museum "find a Nazi photo album made of human skin"?

In January, the Auschwitz Museum issued a press release, along with a Twitter announcement claiming that it has acquired:
... a photo album framed in a cover made of human skin. Research by Museum experts indicates that it could have been created at the German concentration camp in Buchenwald.
Two months later, multiple news organizations picked up this story, including the Daily Mail, the Times of Israel, Metro UK, MSN Video, and more.
The MSN Video summarizes an interview with Elżbieta Cajzer, head of the Auschwitz Museum Collections. Text overlay on the video states:
Cajzer attributed the photo album to Ilse Koch, wife of SS commander Karl-Otto Koch, who ran the concentration camp in Buchenwald.
The Metro UK article also describes the Museum's association of the photo album with Ilse Koch, and provides some historical exposition on allegations against her:
‘The Bitch of Buchenwald’, as she was often known, even used human thumbs to make light switches... She made so many human skin accessories that she also came to be known as ‘The Lady of the Lampshade’.
Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of Buchenwald, was accused of selecting prisoners for execution at Buchenwald, in order to use their skin for the creation of lampshades, gloves, books, and other objects.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shows a picture titled "View of the hooks outside the door to the gas chambers in Buchenwald". The caption reads:
"Buchenwald was the home of Ilsa Koch, wife of the Commandant. She was known as the "bitch of Buchenwald", an insult to every dog who ever lived. She had her inmates tatooed in various designs, then had them killed, then skinned and their hides tanned to make book bindings, lamp shades, and other articles. I saw these things! One story has it that she enjoyed sexual intercourse with her victims- this may be apocryphal. These "meat hooks" were used on the bodies of humans!"
This is actually a picture of the delousing chambers at Dachau, not Buchenwald, and it is not alleged these delousing chambers were used to gas anyone. The "meat hooks" are hangers for airing out clothing after they had been deloused with the cyanide-insecticide Zyklon B.
The association of Ilse Koch with human-skin lampshades was most famously displayed at Buchenwald. Upon liberation of Buchenwald, US forces prepared a table displaying tattooed human skin, shrunken heads, and a lampshade allegedly made of human skin (NSFW) to show German civilians from the nearby city of Weimar.
The problem is, this "Nazi human skin photo album" claim by the Auschwitz Museum is almost certainly false.
The Auschwitz Museum has not honestly presented the methodology and results that justified the conclusions is has propagated in the media.
Dr. Joachim Neander of the USHMM remarked on a Facebook post:
"They tested part of the book cover with IR spectroscopy and compared the spectrum with that of a human fingernail and found similarity. To show that part of the book cover is human, similarity of spectrums would be a necessary condition, but it is not a sufficient one. One would have to prove, in addition, that no other organic material can also have a similar spectrum. And that seems impossible. All further conclusions, e.g. about a provenance from Buchenwald, are speculative. The sensationalist statement that the book cover is 'an irrefutable proof of a crime against humanity' is also an exaggeration."
The IR spectroscopy results that Dr. Neander refers to are presented in the press release published by the Museum. The FT-IR results on the page show plots of the absorbance of a sample labeled "Cover 1" against a human finger nail (not human skin), and contains no comparison scores to other organic material that could serve as candidates for identifying the cover. I suspect that the sample for these FT-IR results was not even taken from the photo album, and the museum has deceptively presented the FT-IR results of a separate artifact as the results of the photo album in the press release. The Museum has not responded to inquiries on this issue, and the Museum has issued no additional clarification on these results or how their research justifies the association of this photo album with Buchenwald or Ilse Koch.
What would motivate the Auschwitz Museum to fabricate claims of a "human skin photo album", and to associate this artifact with Ilse Koch in particular?
To answer this, we need to go back to the liberation of Buchenwald by the US forces in 1945. The US Psychological Warfare operation at Buchenwald was the origin of some of the most controversial claims made in Holocaust history. This controversy helps explain the motivation of the Auschwitz Museum to invoke Buchenwald and Ilse Koch in its sensationalist and unsubstantiated claims.

Buchenwald, Human-Skin Lampshades, and the Psychological Warfare Division (PWD)

After liberation, Buchenwald was "documented" by the Psychological Warfare Division (PWD) of SHAEF.
Psychological warfare describes actions aimed at:
... influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives... It is also used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states.
... Civilians of foreign territories can also be targeted by technology and media..
A primary purpose of psych warfare (PSYOP) is to lie to the enemy in order to manipulate them.
The first two Allied personnel to step foot in Buchenwald were Edward Tenenbaum and Egon Fleck, both personnel of the Psychological Warfare unit of the Twelfth Army Group Headquarters. Why would PWD run the show at Buchenwald? Because psychological warfare was their objective.
The PSYOP at Buchenwald produced two pieces of media. One was a written report that would later be published by David Hackett as The Buchenwald Report.
The other was a short film that was widely covered in the American press and shocked the American public. It depicts German civilians being marched from the nearby city of Weimar to visit Buchenwald on a forced tour. At Buchenwald, US forces prepared an exhibit displaying shrunken heads, tattooed human skin, a lampshade "made of human skin", and more (mild NSFW). The narrator states:
... on a table for all to gaze upon is a lampshade made of human skin, made at the request of an SS officer's wife.
The PWD enlisted Hollywood talent for the production of these propaganda films, including Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. The NYT was present at this exhibition, and published a front-page article titled Nazi Death Factory Shocks Germans on a Forced Tour.
The shrunken heads, the "human-skin lampshade", and the "pelvic bone ashtray" are all "lost" before they can be tested for authenticity. When the narrator mentions the human-skin lampshade "made at the request of an SS officer's wife", he is referring to Ilse Koch.
The lampshade displayed on the Buchenwald table was "lost", but allegations that Ilse Koch selected prisoners for execution to use their skin were brought against her in trial. Different "human-skin lampshades" were submitted in court as evidence. This is an image of Ilse Koch taken at her first trial in American military court in 1947. Ilse, age 41, has been impregnated by an American interrogator.
After the trial Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the interim military governor of the American Zone in Germany, reduced Ilse Koch's sentence to four years due to lack of evidence. A statement made by Clay years later explains:
There was absolutely no evidence in the trial transcript, other than she was a rather loathsome creature, that would support the death sentence. I suppose I received more abuse for that than for anything else I did in Germany. Some reporter had called her the "Bitch of Buchenwald", had written that she had lamp shades made of human skin in her house. And that was introduced in court, where it was absolutely proven that the lampshades were made out of goatskin...
But the public was convinced that Koch was guilty of these crimes. She was again tried in German court, where again the charge that she selected prisoners for execution in order to use their skin was dismissed due to absence of evidence. She was sentenced to life in prison. Ilse Koch hanged herself at the age of 60, after twenty years in prison.
The Auschwitz Museum has poured gasoline onto the embers of the PWD PYSOP at Buchenwald conducted in 1945. This "human-skin photo album" is only the newest addition to a long list of false atrocity stories regarding "human-skin lampshades" and Ilse Koch.
Irene Zisblatt, a Survivor who featured prominently in Steven Spielberg's academy award-winning Holocaust documentary, The Last Days, claimed that she was selected to have her skin turned into a lampshade by Ilse Koch. She also claimed to have escaped from inside a gas chamber, and that the Auschwitz tattoo ID on her arm was removed by Dr. Mengele's experiments (to explain why she does not have one). These claims were proven false by a group of Revisionists who face mounting legal persecution and censorship from governments and corporations worldwide.
The Auschwitz Museum likely suspects that if Spielberg can get an Academy Award for propagating Zisblatt's lies as historical fact to a gullible audience of millions, it can get away with claiming that it has acquired a "human-skin photo album", and with suggesting it was manufactured at Buchenwald at the request of Ilse Koch.
The Museum may be correct. There is no indication that it will be held accountable by journalists or historians for these claims, or any indication that the historical record will be corrected.

General Eisenhower & the PSYOP at Buchenwald

"But the most interesting -- although horrible -- sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. ... The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where there were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda'."
Letter, DDE to George C. Marshall, 4/15/45 [The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, The War Years IV, doc #2418]
Eisenhower's account is from his visit to Ohrdruf concentration camp, which was a subcamp of Buchenwald. Eisenhower's account directly relates to the Buchenwald controversy. Ohrdruf is not accused of having been an "extermination camp", or alleged to have had homicidal gas chambers.
I mentioned earlier that the PWD at Buchenwald produced two pieces of media: a short film of the Weimar civilian forced tour of Buchenwald (with the human-skin lampshade table prepared by the PWD), and a written account that would eventually be published as The Buchenwald Report. This written report was overseen by Albert Rosenberg of the PWD, in collaboration with former inmates. It's telling that even this written report acknowledges that:
... With this the camp food rations were about equal to the basic rations for the civilian population. In general the food rations for camp inmates remained constant up to February 1945.
The starvation observed by the Western Allies upon liberation of these camps was not due to a policy of extermination, but due to the flood of refugees from the east and the collapse of German infrastructure as it was being bombed from all sides.
It is hard to believe that Eisenhower was so moved by seeing a few dozen bodies at Ohrdruf. An Allied blockade of food to continental Europe- in an effort to hurt the German economy- was only changed after the starvation of some 500,000 Greeks). 2-3 million Indians died of starvation under the British Empire during the war. The death found by the Allies upon liberation of these concentration camps is tragic, but it is not evidence of an extermination policy using homicidal gas chambers disguised as shower rooms.
Why, then, would Eisenhower stress the "Nazi brutality" at Ohrdruf? For the exact same reasons the PWD was making history (literally) at nearby Buchenwald:
A post-hoc justification for the war was necessary for the morale of the home front, necessary for the denazification of Germany ahead of an impending Cold War with the Soviet Union, and necessary for Eisenhower himself. Popularity for the war meant popularity for Eisenhower- popularity that propelled him to the presidency.
These motives for the Psychwar at Buchenwald are implicitly acknowledged by Eisenhower:
Soon after seeing Ohrdruf, Eisenhower ordered every unit near by that was not in the front lines to tour Ohrdruf: "We are told that the American solder does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against."
How much did Eisenhower know about the "human-skin lampshade" PSYOP at Buchenwald?
The PWD/SHAEF was headed by Brigadier-General Robert McClure. General McClure reported directly to Eisenhower in the chain of command. General McClure and his deputy C.D Jackson were likely present at the forced tour of the civilians of Weimar through Buchenwald. C.D. Jackson would later join Eisenhower on the campaign trail as a speech-writer and advisor, and President Eisenhower would pick C.D. Jackson as a Cold War chief of psychological operations.
Far from providing clarity on what we should believe regarding Nazi atrocities in what is described as "The Holocaust", Eisenhower's account raises more questions than it answers. Eisenhower's 559 page book Crusade in Europe, aside from a few paragraphs on his visit to Ohrdruf with vague references to "Nazi brutality", does not mention "gas chambers" or "death factories" a single time.
After WWI, the British apologized for creating the most notorious anti-German atrocity propaganda circulated in the war: claims of "German Corpse Factories" where corpses were used to produce soap and fertilizer.
It is likely that Eisenhower did not write about "gas chambers" and "Death Factories" in Crusade in Europe in case these claims broke down in the 40's and 50's, which they did in the western camps liberated by the Western Allies, but did not in the eastern camps conquered by the Soviets:
It is true that in 1945, Allied propaganda did claim that all the concentration camps, particularly those in Germany itself, were “death camps,” but not for long. On this question the American historian Prof. Harry Elmer Barnes wrote: “These camps were first presented as those in Germany, such as Dachau, Belsen, Buchenwald, ... but it was soon demonstrated that there had been no systematic extermination in those camps. Attention was then moved to Auschwitz, Treblinka, ... What had happened was that certain honest observers among the British and American occupation forces in Germany, while admitting that many inmates had died of disease and starvation in the final months of the war, had found no evidence after all of “gas chambers.” As a result, eastern camps in the Russian zone of occupation such as Auschwitz and Treblinka gradually came to the fore as horrific centres of extermination (though no one was permitted to see them)...
I have written a post on one of the currently alleged extermination camps, Majdanek, where the Soviet-Polish investigation in 1944 produced far more egregious atrocity propaganda than even the Psychological Warfare Division at Buchenwald in 1945.
"The conspiracy", or more accurately, the psych warfare operation, did not "need Eisenhower" as much as he needed it.
submitted by PrudentRegret to conspiracy [link] [comments]

2020.07.22 14:35 efa___ I Read It So You Don't Have To: Growing Up Duggar (by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar)

Hi all -- for the past few weeks, I've been occupying my hours of quarantine boredom by reading several of the literary masterpieces written by Real Housewives cast members and sharing write-ups of my perilous adventures with the BravoRealHousewives subreddit. But -- at my core -- I am nothing if not a glutton for punishment. So when u/acoffeycup suggested that I crack open my copy of Growing Up Duggar and do my best to decipher the wisdom within, I couldn't turn down the challenge. And in this newfound spirit of evangelism, it seems only proper for me to share the fruits of my journey with your pliant and receptive ears. So pull up a chair, scoop yourself a big ol' slice of tater tot casserole, and listen in respectful reverence to my personal testimony of Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar's 2014 book, Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships.
On the book's cover, the four eldest Duggar daughters smile placidly at the reader, bedecked in a dignified assortment of denim and denim-adjacent garments. Yet even within these constraints, our feisty fashionistas still find ways to express their own unique aesthetic sensibilities. Jinger, for example, sports an early iteration of her now-iconic blazer, opting to emphasize her youthful spirit through whimsical cap sleeves and a precious baby-doll waistline. Next to her, Jessa stares soullessly into the camera, and -- almost against my will -- I find my eyes drawn to her hypnotic gaze. But thankfully, before I am sucked too deeply into that most barren abyss, I am distracted by the smattering of small pearlescent buttons adorning what might otherwise be mistaken for a extra-small mechanic's shirt, and I seize the chance to move along to the next Duggar offspring at hand.
Jill's silhouette is by far the most avant-garde of the foursome, perhaps foreshadowing her oft-hypothesized rebellious inclinations. A tunic-length dress is cinched cheekily above her waist with a thick, woven belt, while a long denim underskirt fully obscures her sheepish shins. In the back right corner, Jana jazzes up a simple tee with a bold statement necklace ostensibly purchased from the clearance section of Earthbound Trading Co., the perfect compliment to an exotically hemmed skirt that I can only assume has been sewn together from the tatters of Duggar rags past.
Eager to learn what invaluable wisdom these pages hold, I impatiently open to the book's introduction -- welcomingly titled, "Greetings: From Our Hearts to Yours." As I begin to read, I am heartened to learn that there is hope for each and every one of us, "whoever you are -- whether you're the girl we met who goes to a Christian school and attends church three times a week but is still struggling inside, or the girl with five tattoos and multiple piercings." Yes, whatever sins you may have committed in your ungodly ignorance -- provided, of course, that you have not yet blighted your body with that accursed sixth tattoo -- the Duggar girls hold a special place for you in their hearts:
Even though we have never met most of you reading this book, we want you to know we love you and care about your future. We want to share our stories with you, knowing you have a story, too, and hoping something we say here might empower you to use your story, your life, to help others.
The Introduction continues with a brief summary of the Duggar Family timeline, in which we are informed that "Mom and Dad look at life as a race against time." This seems to me a bit incongruous with the whole 'eternal life' thing, but perhaps Jim Bob and Michelle were affected by the hit 2002 film Clockstoppers just as strongly as I was. I am also excited to learn that I will soon get the chance to hear more about the authors' "passion for being involved in the political realm," as well as their "commitment and desire to reach out to people in faraway countries." With a few concluding remarks emphasizing the importance of relationships, the introduction comes to an end, and we begin the book proper with Chapter One: "Your Relationship with Yourself: Getting to know and love the girl in the mirror."
We are informed that "Jana and I (Jill) sleep in double beds with our youngest sisters, Jordyn and Josie, and the other girls sleep in twin- or youth-sized beds," which seems as good a time as any to clarify that our authors ranged in age from twenty to twenty-four years old at the time of this book's publication. But if you find yourself pitying the cramped conditions of the Duggar daughters, think again! Not only is it a delight to spend so much time surrounded by siblings, but the elder girls are often led towards profound truths by the innocent remarks of babes. To illustrate this point, Jill recounts a scene in which a young Johannah asked to wear her sister's retainer. Wise beyond her years, Jill gently denied the request, explaining that the retainer had been made to fit her mouth and couldn't be worn by the small girl (a small blessing, as I can absolutely imagine the Duggar family passing down a single retainer from child to child for a decade or more). But what sagacious insights should we glean from this touching tale?
Thinking about that conversation later reminded me that we can't conform ourselves to other people's molds. But we try sometimes, don't we?
It's so comforting to remind myself that I was molded for Jesus's mouth only -- why would I try to adapt to the crooked canines of this fallen world? We are next provided with a list of "ten aspects of life" that God wants us to accept. These range from the blatantly problematic -- "whether we're a girl or boy" -- to the bafflingly sinister -- "the date we will die." When it comes to the more physical aspects of your aesthetic presentation, however, a lack of effort is unbecoming. Or, as the Duggar Girls reminisce:
We heard a pastor say one time, "Any ol' barn looks better with some paint on it!"
The girls also explain their convictions regarding modest attire -- "we want to be respectful of those around us." Personally, I've always attempted to show respect to others by presuming that they have the emotional and cognitive wherewithal to avoid turning into some kind of raving hormonal beast at a bit of tasteful sideboob. But that's why I'm not the one writing an advice book!! Thankfully, in this day and age, a number of options exist for those who want to be both chic and chaste. For example:
Several of our friends have purchased stunning dresses from designers such as or
I'm rather partial to myself, although the sales at just can't be beat! But our gracious authors bring us back down to earth, reminding us that there are far more important things in life than the frivolous fads of fashion -- namely (as we begin Chapter 2), "Your Relationship with Your Parents: Love, respect, and communication."
In order to facilitate these crucial lines of open and honest communication across such an innumerable brood, we learn that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have made the radical decision to carve out dedicated time for one-on-one conversations with each child -- "usually on one Saturday a month." These precious monthly check-ins with one (or, on a particularly special occasion, both!) parents provide an opportunity for otherwise scant face-to-face contact, and also allow the Duggar parents to exercise some of their more cutting-edge parenting techniques. For example, our authors let us in on one particularly hard-earned pearl of wisdom practiced by their beloved parents -- "often to help get the conversation going, they'll ask us questions."
With such a lofty standard being proffered, I understand how intimidating it may be to even attempt to incorporate such advanced strategies into your own parenting repertoire. But rest assured -- in case you have yet to acquire the child-reading confidence necessary to formulate such thoughtful queries on your own, I've taken the liberty of transcribing a few of the book's most incisive inquiries to help you parent like a pro.
How's your thought life going?

What things about your past would you like to change?

What things in our family discourage you?
"Discouraging" is exactly the word I would use to describe Michelle Duggar's bedragged coiffure, although something tells me that's not exactly the kind of confession that line of questioning is designed to draw out. A subsequent passage emphasizes the importance of obedience, which we learn should be "instant," "cheerful," "thorough," and "unconditional." Such instruction is necessary, as the Duggar Girls explain, because "we are all born with a sin nature." Similar to the appendix, the "sin nature" is a vestigial organ that humans retain as a remnant of our distant evolutionary past -- at least, according to the heathens who indulge in that sort of paleobiological storytelling. And if such instructions still seem overly domineering to your unenlightened mind, this adage from George Orwell's 1984 the Institute in Basic Life Principles may help reframe your mindset:
Obedience is the freedom to be creative under God-given authority.
We transition from this doubleplusgood quote into the next chapter: "Your Relationship with Your Siblings: Becoming best friends," in which the authors waste no time in assuring us that the Duggar siblings "range from outdoorsy types to computer geeks, animal lovers to bookworms." Plus, I can only assume, a brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess, and a criminal. We go on to learn that the clan represents "a diverse assortment of personalities, interests, strengths, and weaknesses." Which sounds suspiciously like the noncommittal vagueness of someone who has never before possessed a character trait more forceful than, perhaps, a vague appreciation for wainscoting. Inevitably, however, these differences in temperament lead to vicious conflict. For example, as Jessa tremulously recounts:
An incident many years ago served as a lesson to us all. A younger sibling asked, "What kind of ice cream are you getting?" and the frustrated older sibling replied, "You don't have to always copy everything I do! Why don't you just pick out your own flavor?"
Mom immediately took that older sibling aside and shared how much hurt and devastation a remark like that causes. […] Apologies were made, and the younger sibling readily forgave. The older sibling resolved to never speak demeaning words like that again but rather to embrace and uplift this sibling, and today, these two continue to be the best of friends.
I find it truly inspirational to know that even this -- the most unimaginably devastating of sibling brawls -- could be delivered from the brink of schism and restored to genuine affection. Yet it is not just sibling relationships that must be navigated with this sort of grace and levelheadedness. No, as we learn in the next chapter -- "Your Relationship with Friends: 'Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future'" -- it is important to shrewdly evaluate our friendships to assess their effects in our lives. To illustrate this point, the Duggar Girls encourage us to be mindful of the influence we exert over our loved ones.
Think about your last conversation with your friend. Did it lovingly challenge him or her spiritually?
I think back to a time when a dear friend lovingly challenged me to take edibles and re-watch the first season of Double Divas -- surely this is the kind of spiritual development that a true confidante should inspire! The authors also relay a parable that their parents shared with them as children to demonstrate the importance of standing up for your convictions. In the apocryphal tale, a young girl begs her father to allow her to attend a friend's slumber party. He agrees -- provided she promises to uphold her Christian morals -- and sends her off after a parting moment of prayer. But what began as a carefree romp soon turns sinister, as the chilling saga continues:
The party was lots of fun, and the girl had a great time playing with her friends. And of course, what is a birthday party without a big piece of cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream? But late that night, before bed, the mom suggested they have a "pretend séance" using a Ouija board.
When the girl heard what this involved, she said respectfully and quietly to the group, "I'm not going to be able to do this."
When the mom asked why not, the girl replied, "I've given my life to Jesus, and I'm not able to do things like this."
The mother was stunned by the little girl's words -- and by her quiet courage in speaking up for her beliefs. She packed up the Ouija board and suggested the girls play something else before bed.
And that mother's name? Albert Einstein. But truly -- I can only hope to one day have even one fraction of the courage shown by this young girl, in this absolutely true story that definitely without-a-doubt one-hundred-percent happened. A more believable anecdote quickly follows, however, this time starring a young Jim Bob Duggar in the role of "huge nerd".
Dad became a Christian when he was only seven, and one day when he and some other little grade school classmates were out on the playground, one of the boys started using God's name as a curse word. Dad quietly told the boy he wished he wouldn't misuse God's name. "After all," Dad told his little friend, "He's the One who made us and loves us."
Following in her father's smarmy footsteps, Jessa encourages the reader to eschew those friends who are only concerned with "watching all the newest movies, listening to the latest pop music, and judging others whom they deemed 'not cool.'" We are also treated to the compelling account of an accident at one of the family's rental properties, in which several cases of energy drinks exploded within a warehouse. By the time this tragic mishap was discovered weeks later, "the energy drinks had actually eroded away a layer of the concrete -- in some places, a half-inch deep!" The moral of this story, as we are solemnly advised, is that "the same thing happens to us when we spend lots of time with 'friends' who may seem sweet and appealing but who are exerting a harmful influence on our hearts." I would have thought a more telling moral would have been "Probably don't drink energy drinks" (or perhaps, "Check on your rental properties more frequently"), but I digress.
Our rollicking ride continues with another of Jim Bob's classic legends: "the story of a nice, likeable young man who grew up in a Christian home but eventually became a drug addict." Eyes wide with horror at the very thought, I read on. After making the grave error of surrounding himself with people whose "sole purpose in life was to 'have a good time,'" this unnamed man soon finds himself ensnared in a perilous trap. Then, on one fateful night, he attends a party and is handed a beer by a passing stranger.
At first he just stood there holding the beer in his hand, smiling and contemplating what he would do. He had never had a desire to drink, but he did not want to feel like an outsider, so when no one was looking he poured half the beer into a nearby potted plant. A little later his friend came by and said, "You didn’t drink any, did you?" Then, grabbing the bottle out of his hand, he noticed that it was half empty. "Hey, guys, he's one of us!" the friend announced to everyone.
Shorty after that the young man started drinking; later he got introduced to drugs. How sad that one, seemingly small decision started him on a path of self-destruction.
I can only assume the rest of that pivotal party went more or less like this. A bone-chilling illustration of just how slippery a slope can be!
We move along to a more cheerful topic in Chapter Five, which switches gears to focus on "Your Relationship with Guys: Saving yourself for the one God has for you." Here, too, we are greeted by the eternal words of our communal patriarch-in-spirit, JBD:
About the time we entered our teenage years, Dad told us a story about a girl he went to school with in elementary and junior high school who was boy-crazy. […] He said he wondered at that early age if eventually this girl would find Mr. Right or if her habit of throwing herself into relationship after relationship would prove to be preparation for a future unstable marriage.
Sadly enough, when this girl finally got married, it didn't last long, and that same pattern of discontent, insecurity, and self-centeredness that had affected her dating also affected her marriage.
Prior to today, I would have found it hard to believe that anyone else could be quite as smugly infuriating as Jim Bob Duggar. But -- if even half of the stories I've read in this book so far are to be believed -- he's gotten only more mellow with age. It's a level of condescending smarm I wouldn't tolerate from a distant great-aunt desperate for an heir to her vast fortune, let alone from the insufferable schoolboy herein described. Nevertheless, my thoughts and prayers go out to this pitiable Jane Doe -- our nation's epidemic of Boy-Craziness has wreaked havoc on so many communities, no doubt the devastating consequence of 5G, vaccines, and/or the 19th amendment.
In order to avoid such dangerous impulses, a responsible woman should take care to abstain from romance novels -- "they paint a picture of an unrealistic, unobtainable relationship." I'm not exactly sure what part of Her Country Star Billionaire Groom seems so "unrealistic" to these narrow-minded nincompoops, but I'll table that conversation for another time. We have more important things to attend to at the moment. Namely, the continuing explanation that, for women, romance novels do "the same thing pornography does to men." I'm grateful for this analogy -- as the most delicate of damsels, I'm not even really sure what pornography is, let alone what about it those mysterious menfolk could possibly find so stimulating! But I do know that warm tingly feeling I get when I cuddle up late at night with a thick, beefy Harlequin Romance!
Alas, it is this very indulgence may prove to be my undoing! As we soon learn:
When a girl reads romance novels, she's doing something very similar [to watching pornography], drawing perfectionistic, romantic pictures into her mind of what she thinks marriage is.
This is a sentiment that, prior to the publication of the book I hold before me, had been most recently proffered by the famed Scottish wordsmith Charlotte Lennox in her 1752 novel, The Female Quixote, and I appreciate our authors for bringing light to such an underrecognized talent. The Duggar Girls continue our intellectual escapades with a reminder that "God put that deep need to be loved and accepted in our hearts so that He could be the one to fulfill it." As an astute pupil of the cultural arts, I immediately recognize this approach as step three of the D.E.N.N.I.S. System (Nurture Dependence).
For this vast array of reasons -- as eager as we may be to go to pound-town tie the knot -- we are cautioned to remain patient until our fated suitor arrives, engaging ourselves in trivial, non-threatening pursuits like "teaching younger girls" or "seeking out ways to bless others through ministry." We should also make it a priority to hone our skills of resistance when it comes to those worrisome "intrusions of lust" that Satan embeds within even the most innocent of minds.
We like to think of [these thoughts] as a live hand grenade coming our direction, and before it explodes we quickly pick it up and throw it right back at the devil.
I can only assume that this what Bruno Mars was trying to convey with his hit song, "Grenade" -- the intertextuality never ceases to amaze me! The Duggar Girls go on to demonstrate their dexterous command of the metaphor -- "We give God the position as 'boss' and 'ruler' of our lives, and we release the 'steering wheel' to His control." -- before highlighting ways to serve God regardless of your marital status. For example, "visiting places like Honduras and sharing the gospel with villagers is a ministry opportunity our family greatly treasures." And by "places like Honduras," I'm sure they mean, "places with countless centuries of rich cultural heritage ravaged by colonial conquest and its lingering effects," and not "places where brown people live." Pretty sure, at least.
But even once you've managed to attract the attentions of your future beloved, you must take care to guard yourself from falling too quickly. To ensure that you don't award your affections to an unworthy suitor (thus irrevocably tainting your eternal purity), the Duggars suggest asking the following questions:
Is his passion in life for earthy money or for eternal riches and rewards?

Does he have a vision for his life of doing great things for God?

Is he a man of character, showing initiative, creativity, diligence, enthusiasm, and wisdom?
I'm 99% sure that "initiative, creativity, diligence, enthusiasm, and wisdom" are the primary attributes from a knockoff version of Dungeons & Dragons -- who knew the Duggar girls were so into RPGs? (I guess they did warn us earlier that some of the family members are "computer geeks").
In the next several passages, the authors explain the "very real and very purposeful differences" between dating (bad!) and courtship (good!). First, they highlight a number of treacherous threats that pervade modern romantic culture.
A danger of modern dating is that it is typically two young people, alone, enjoying an activity. Usually a guy invites a girl out to a nice restaurant or some fun place or event. They enjoy a carefree time without the responsibility of the normal tasks and pressures of life.
I'm almost too overcome with terror at the thought of such a wretched situation! But somehow, (mostly by channeling the immeasurable determination of someone only allowed to show affection through three-second side hugs) I find the strength to read on. But to my despair, even more tragedies await me! As we are instructed to imagine:
What could be worse than having to tell your potential future husband that not only did you not wait but that you also have a severely painful STD that he will likely get if he marries you?
Not a SEVERELY painful STD?! But idk, lots of things could be worse than that, probably? Maybe it's just my overactive imagination, but it seems like you could knock out that whole conversation in one night over a bottle of wine, particularly given ongoing advances in modern medicine. But it seems I still have more to learn -- as I soon read:
Physical intimacy in marriage is pure, wholesome, and beautiful. Outside of marriage, it spreads disease, death, and destruction.
I've never really thought of myself as a "sower of destruction" before, but…I don't hate it. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what kind of casualties ensue the next time I have sex with my live-in boyfriend. As they say, nothing spices up the sex life like ascending to your thrones as eternal agents of pestilence and devastation!
Our next tip for identifying an ideal mate encourages "meaningful conversations about history, politics, theology, and such" -- I can only assume that the extensive footage of this intellectual discourse is edited out from the family's show at the demands of tyrannical production companies. But while those easily titillated minds might prefer to focus on worldly concerns, our authors are courteous enough to remind us of what truly matters. While he doesn't have to be "the best-looking hunk of human flesh ever created," it is vital that any potential partner practice "the fine old art of gentlemanly chivalry." As the Duggar Girls explain,
A gentleman's courtesy is not about women being weak or strong: it's about men needing to be men.
Jim Bob, as one would expect, exemplifies these virtues. We are regaled with recollections of his many demonstrations of decorum throughout his storied marriage:
Years ago, he was working on honoring Mom in several specific ways, including remembering to open the car door for her.
As soon as I finish reading this book, I'm going to get right to work on a list of specific ways that my boyfriend can work on honoring me -- I'm sure he'll be very appreciative for the guidance!
However, before I can get to that, I must tackle my next lesson: "Understanding What Christian Guys Look For in a Future Wife." Based on an admittedly "small and totally unscientific survey" of their male acquaintances, the Duggar Girls are able to share with us a few explosive secrets. For example, the ideal wife "has a hunger and thirst after righteousness" and promises to "faithfully help [her husband] grow deeper spiritually." What's more, she should also be "involved in some sort of ministry -- preferably music ministry." The chapter concludes with a convenient list of commitments for the reader, including pledges to "choose wholesome activities" and avoid "bad Internet sites."
In Chapter Six, the Duggar Girls lead the reader to examine "Your Relationship with Culture: Making choices that will keep you pure." Almost immediately, we are cautioned that
With just a few clicks of a keyboard, the Internet gives us the ability to research any subject. But it also has the potential to destroy the souls of those who get entangled in its dark side.
And lest you think this is hyperbole, our authors reiterate that "it is not a matter of if but when Satan will try to tempt us." As a thought exercise, the reader is encouraged to reflect: "would your Internet choices be the same when you were all alone as they would be when someone were sitting beside you?" In particular, the girls draw attention to the seedy underbelly of harmful gossip sites, breezily brushing off these piteous busybodies with the following bit of clever wordplay:
We've heard that some discussion boards or chat rooms might be better named bitter rooms because those drawn to them often seem rather bitter.
As our quipsters continue, "unfortunately, some people seem to derive much pleasure from nit-picking other people's lives." Thankfully, I derive my pleasure from nitpicking other people's books, so I'm totally in the clear on this one! Our authors encourage us to reform these renegade impulses by explaining that when we stop wasting time on mindless pursuits, we'll find ourselves becoming more productive, enterprising individuals. As a result of this ideology, we learn that "by age ten, John was working on and operating heavy equipment." I'm unimpressed -- call me when you've got a three-year-old on woodchipper duty. Regardless, it is clearly far safer than its petrifying alternative -- exposure to the horrors of television.
And what, pray tell, might these horrors be? Magic -- "which often shows up in children's movies" -- is revealed to be "part of a demonic realm that God wants us to stay away from." As the authors solemnly intone, "as harmless as it may seem, it's not a joke in God's eyes." Graciously, the Duggars have deigned to provide several reliably pure entertainment options:
many of the old classics that promote honesty, respect of parents, and reverence for God

educational documentaries that teach about science and history from a biblical perspective

many carefully selected episodes of The Andy Griffith Show as long as they are not centered around a lot of romance or deceptiveness, as some of them are
With regard to making appropriate music choices, "much prayerful consideration" is required, lest we "bring a blot to the name and character of the God we represent." However, in order to guide our future reflections, the Duggar Girls go on to provide a helpful technique for assessing acoustic chastity.
Soon after Mom became a Christian at the age of fifteen, a friend encouraged her to write out the lyrics of questionable songs and then compare them to the truths found in the Bible. For instance, if a song's lyrics are saying, "Follow your heart. Do what feels good," we compare it to the Bible and find that […] we're not supposed to follow our hearts, as that will only get us in trouble.
I suppose that means I'll have to rethink my upcoming single, "Follow Your Heart (Do What Feels Good)," but that will have to wait until I've fully absorbed all the insights this book has to offer. For example, as I read on, I learn that I should be particularly suspicious of "rock 'n' roll and its variations such as hard rock and heavy metal." As the authors expound:
Since its beginnings in the 1950s, this music's main goal and purpose have been to promote every one of the issues we want to avoid. A heavy backbeat and words being sung in a breathy and sensual voice -- and even the style of rock 'n' roll music itself -- give off an attitude of rebellion, resistance toward authority, and a rejection of morality. None of these things come without consequences.
Lest you think that our authors are merely being alarmist, they go on to explain that when they "examined the lives of many of these artists," they were dismayed to conclude that "the life expectancy for rock artists and musicians is around forty; many of them die at a young age for reasons related to AIDS, drug or alcohol abuse, or suicides. It's a tragic reality." Far less perilous to enjoy "classical music and traditional hymns," as they are known to "follow a pattern and maintain a very distinct and definite order."
With this final injunction, we move on to the volume's penultimate chapter, "Your Relationship with Your Country: Making a difference in the political arena." My attention is instantly captured by the opening sentence, which informs the reader that "God used a series of supernatural events to clearly lead our family into making a difference in the world of politics." The "supernatural event" in question turns out to be the undeniably divine miracle of Jim Bob Duggar…finding out about a rally against "partial-birth abortion" and then…attending it. I can only imagine how much more wondrous the world must seem if such a banal and explainable episode is sufficient to incite veritable fits of exaltation.
But this portent is just the beginning of Papa Duggar's political career, and I read on to learn even more about "the values Dad stood for." Although this lineup presumably does not include any sort of commitment to avoiding sentence-ending prepositions, it does include a promise to vote "the right way on life-and-death issues."
Before long, Jim Bob "felt God urging him to run for the US Senate," and although he loses the election, publicity from the campaign eventually brings about the family's first taste of national media attention. After much prayer and "wise, godly counsel," the family agrees to be filmed for a reality show -- "we agreed to do it based upon our hope that it would enable our family to share encouraging Bible principles with many other people." And indeed, the family now receives "hundred of letters and e-mails" per week from viewers who have been "spiritually challenged" by watching the series.
But rest assured -- "Dad's loss in that Senate campaign did not end our involvement in politics." If you, too, would like to follow our authors' example and become more civically engaged, you could "find a conservative Christian who is running for office and then call and ask them where he or she stands on the issues." I suppose I should give them a modicum of credit for the inclusive phrasing, "he or she," but the fact that I don't have the slightest doubt as to the intended meaning of "the issues," prevents me from even a half-hearted endorsement of this sentiment.
Blessedly, however, we've reached our story's denouement -- a final chapter entitled, "Your Relationship with the World: Developing a servant's heart." Jill tearfully recounts a ministry trip to El Salvador, taking care to highlight the contrast between the "iron-barred windows" of government orphanages and the "love-filled" Christian facility the group goes on to visit. What accounts for this stark discrepancy? "They've fed these children not only with food for their tummies but also food for their spiritual lives." As Jessa quips, "It is so neat to see how God works." Of course, as you might have suspected, the Duggar Girls quickly realized that, "as with every trip, it was clear that we were the ones who'd gotten the biggest blessings." Truly -- the engagement you get from an Instagram post featuring a bona fide orphan is worth more than any financial reward one could ever hope to gain on this mortal plane!
We next learn about Jill and Jana's experiences with the local volunteer fire department. Mercifully, this endeavor doesn’t necessitate as many Rugged Man Skills as you might assume, and the two are able to respond to such dainty predicaments as "a little old lady's cat stuck in a tree" and "a kid with his lip stuck in a sippie cup" without jeopardizing their feminine delicacy. Jill next shares more about her journey with midwifery. As she reassures us, it's not just "Christian, homeschooling moms" who opt for home deliveries, but "single moms" as well!
Jana, in contrast, tells us that she "[feels] called to focus on childbirth coaching and prenatal preparation instead of 'running the show,' as Jill does so competently when she serves as midwife." And Jinger has been called to minister at "the juvenile detention center in our area," which she fashionably abbreviates as "juvy" to highlight her comfort with urban vernacular.
As I read on, I learn more about the Duggar family's love of music, which is far more diverse and expansive than one might initially assume. For example, did you know that the Duggars "enjoy traditional music as well as classical," or that a young Joy-Anna was encouraged to undertake the daring pursuit of "[learning] to play the violin 'fiddle-style'"?
As these examples illustrate, God's gifts can take a myriad of forms! For this reason, we go on to learn about the importance of "learning how to give an enthusiastic, friendly greeting to others." This technique is a surefire way to spark a deep and meaningful conversation with anyone you may encounter. And, in the most dire of emergencies, "we know we can shoot up a little flare-prayer and God is always able to give us the words to say." However, one should always take appropriate caution "not to be too overly friendly with people of the opposite gender, as that can send the wrong kind of message!"
As luck would have it, we have only to look to the Duggar parents to find examples of more decorous ways to approach intimate dialogues. As we learn:
Many times our parents have guests over and then ask if it would be okay if we watch one of Jim Sammons's Financial Freedom Seminar messages together from and then discuss it afterward. Once they watch one message, most people want to go through the whole series.
With a few final nuggets of wisdom, the volume comes to a close. The authors graciously offer an obligatory apology for daring to burden the reader with their inane female ramblings -- "Thank you for sticking with us through this super-long chapter!" As they continue:
We know we've shared a lot of concepts about relationships, but it is our prayer that God will direct and encourage you as you begin to make them part of your own lives.
As you go off and begin your own personal journey towards relationship rapture, you may find encouragement in the idea that -- despite their celebrated name -- the Duggar Girls are not just some faceless paragons of virtue. As the author biographies on the back inside cover remind us, these are regular people, with their own unique interests and capacities. While Jessa might be found "memorizing scripture" or "discipling friends," Jill would rather spend her time "counseling girls via phone, text, in person, or email." Jana "stays busy managing the family mailroom," and Jinger? She's "always full of energy, that is, when she has a cup of coffee in her hand!"
And with that cheeky witticism, I close the book and begin my quest towards docile, denim Duggarhood -- I wish you nothing but blessings as you enter this season of life!
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2020.07.15 18:41 TronFightsForUsers Another Academic Paper on The Eric Andre Show

The Eric Andre Show and Generation Z: The Intersection of Escapism and Simulation Theory
In the episode “Tatiana Ali” Eric André and Hannibal Buress eloquently sing, “Chiquita banana Chiquita banana Obama, Chiquita banana Chiquita banana Osh Kosh B’gosh. Chiquita banana Chiquita banana Obama, a simple summertime, s’ about a dime, of love” (The Eric Andre Show, 2012). This intelligible song perfectly encapsulates The Eric Andre Show’s particular brand of ridiculousness.
The Eric Andre Show stars Eric André and his co-host Hannibal Buress. Each episode is between 10 and 15 minutes long and usually begins with an announcer saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Eric Andre Show!" followed by a series of antics ranging from André destroying the entire set to him attacking members of his house band. To increase the level of nonsense, this destruction generally occurs while the band plays the show’s theme song. After this, André sits in the chair where his desk used to be and all new set pieces are brought out. Once the studio is back in order, Buress walks in. It’s at this point that André begins his opening monologue. Sometimes he forgets and is prompted to do this by Buress. These monologues are usually done in the form of anti-comedy, where André purposely tells terrible jokes to make it appear that he’s bombing. After this, the show includes a mix of celebrity interviews, on the street sketches, and non sequiturs focused on André's outrageous behavior in commonplace settings, such as the streets of New York City. At the end of each episode, someone performs over the ending credits. Through all of this, it is clear that the lawless spectacle and quirky comedic tone of The Eric and Andre Show differ drastically from the typical, highly-structured talk show format and conventional understandings of what makes good, accessible comedy. Yet, despite the apparent deviance, The Eric and Andre Show still became popular among Generation Z, which for this paper will be defined at those born between 1995 and 2012. The appeal of the humor found in The Eric Andre Show among Generation Z audiences is rooted in escapism and simulation theory.
There are ongoing debates regarding a generally accepted definition of postmodernism. For the purpose of this analysis, I will primarily use the definition provided by M. Keith Booker in his book Postmodern Hollywood: What’s New In Film and Why It Makes Us Feel So Strange. Booker Draws significantly from Fredric Jameson’s writings on postmodernism. In Jameson’s book Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Jameson explains "It is safest to grasp the concept of the postmodern as an attempt to think the present historically in an age that has forgotten how to think historically in the first place" (ix). Booker explains that one can accomplish this in media through: pastiche, corporate imagery, self-parody, deconstructionist/post-structuralist ideologies, the rejection of a metanarrative, and tonal shifts (i-xx). Booker specifically explores postmodernism within the world of film. To him, film is a marriage of both postmodern aesthetics and ideology. Yet, despite this focus, Booker argues that the same postmodern characteristics can be found in television when he says,
Of all media other than film itself, television has been the most important source of cinematic material, including explorations of the postmodern blurring of reality boundaries. Indeed, a key example of this is the disappearing separation between film and television as a distinct media... the television and film industries [are] thoroughly integrated, both dominated by the same large corporate entities. (156)
The conclusion from this is that television is not as formerly distinct from film as it once was, and certain descriptive terms originally applied to film can now be applied to the medium of television without a compromise in analytic integrity.
The Eric Andre Show displays several of the characteristics Booker identified as postmodern. For the purposes of this paper, the focus will be on pastiche, self-parody, and deconstructivism, as these three characteristics are the most central to the show.
Booker references Frederick Jameson’s definition of pastiche, which says, “Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique, idiosyncratic style, the wearing of a linguistic mask, speech in a dead language. But it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without any of parody's ulterior motives..." (Booker 167; Jameson 17). One of the most widely-known examples of pastiche in The Eric Andre Show comes from the episode “Wink Martindale & Sarah Burns.” In this episode, André makes a joke about Buress not changing his underwear and then turns around and shoots him. At that point, he looks at the camera and says “Who killed Hanibal?” which is a play on “Who killed Laura Palmer?” from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (The Eric Andre Show, 2013; Frost and Lynch, 1990). Directly after André shoots Buress, the aesthetic layout of the frame resembles the poster of Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977). The frame focuses on André from the chest up. He stares past the camera, sporting a suit and wearing his hair similar to the hairstyle of Jack Nance’s character. The scene then transitions into a montage visually similar to the opening of Twin Peaks. A song likened to Angelo Badalamenti’s “Twin Peaks Theme - Instrumental” also plays over the montage. At the end, the words “Who killed Hannibal?”, in the same font and coloring as the Twin Peaks title card, appear on the screen. While The Eric Andre Show uses Lynchian visuals and a score similar to that of Badalamenti’s, it does not comment on Twin Peaks or what it stands for, hence its neutrality and its classification as pastiche.
Jacques Derrida implies that the point of deconstruction is to show that language as a whole is irreducibly complex, unstable, and even impossible when broken down to its bare essentials (Deconstruction in a Nutshell 36-44). One can understand what is needed for communication, but breaking down language as far as it can go leads to nonsense. The show has many segments dedicated to the idea of deconstruction, but none are as prominent as André’s opening monologue found in the episode “Jesse Williams & Jillian Michaels,” in which André says, “Words words words words words words punchline.” In response to this Buress says, “You did it. You broke comedy down to its bare essentials” (2016). Although it outlines the composition of a joke, there is not anything inherently funny about the words he said. What makes this set of words a joke is Buress’s voicing of the audience’s thoughts. His response provides the comedic context needed for the joke to land. Buress’s comment addresses the irreducible nature of language, specifically comedy, and points out that André’s words were supposed to be a joke.
The show also plays with the format of a late-nite talk show. A specific instance of this can be found in the episode "Seth Rogen & Asa Akira,” when Hannibal looks at André, who is sitting at his desk, and says, “Are you [expletive]ing kidding me man? Do a monologue dude.” It is only after this point that André gets out of his chair (2014). Hanibal’s comment acknowledges the show’s breakdown of the late-nite format into fragmented parts; they acknowledge that it is strange for there not to be an opening monologue. This is an example of the deconstructionist ideas portrayed in this show.
The show references the late-nite format in other ways as well. In almost every episode, the show contains a musical guest who ends up not fully performing. One highlight is Mac DeMarco’s performance in the episode “Jillian Barberie & Victor Ortiz.” After DeMarco plays his song “Still Together” for a few seconds, André yells “Now it’s time for, attack DeMarco.” At this point, multiple Asian men come out and beat DeMarco with bamboo sticks while he tries to perform (2014). The breakdown of both format and comedy is part of a deconstructionist ideology.
The show’s most famous instance of self parody comes from the sketch “Bird Up!” The sketch’s first appearance is in the episode “Wink Martindale & Sarah Burns.” The sketch starts with André saying “You’re watching Bird Up, the worst show on television.” He then proceeds to inconveniently intervene with people on the street while wearing a green screen suit and telling them that the audience will not be able to see him in the final video (2013). In the next season, André continues this bit in an episode aptly titled “Bird Up!” About halfway through the episode, Hannibal shows up for segment titled called “Snail Down!” which is introduced with Hannibal wearing a green screen suit and large snail shell on his back. He says “Hey, [expletive] Bird Up, it’s time for Snail Down, the best television show on television” (2015). This quote acknowledges the existence of the prior mentioned segment and includes multiple references to the original in its commentary. The inclusion of a sketch which takes the original and mocks it is a prime example of self-parody. Considering the neutral references to outside works, the exacting and still entertaining deconstruction of humor itself, and the numerous self-referential gags it is evident that The Eric Andre Show can most appropriately be described as postmodern under Booker’s definition.
Some may argue that the show is a fundamentally surrealist, as opposed to postmodern, work. The Film Studies Dictionary defines contemporary surrealism as “an adjective to describe unusual, dreamlike works of art. (Blandford, Grant, Hillier 234)” While it is hard to deny a surrealist influence, the show’s strong reliance on pastiche and everyday reactions makes it equally difficult to consider the show straight surrealism. For one to consider it as such, the show would need to take place in a separate world. Given that André interviews celebrity guests, goes out into the streets of NYC, and has a character who acknowledges the strangeness of the situation, it is impossible to say this show takes place in a world that is not our own. There are exceptions to each one of these criteria, like the interview with Tyler the Creator from the episode “Jimmy Kimmel & Tyler the Creator” in which Tyler, André, and Buress act strange for the entirety of the interview (2015). A situation extremely similar to this also happens in the episode “Chance the Rapper & Mel B” when André, Chance, and Buress all act strangely (2013). In this scene there is no character acknowledging the scene’s absurdity. While these exceptions exist, the general trend of the show is more akin to postmodernism than to surrealism.
Others may argue that the show is absurdist. Glosbe defines Absurdism as “a form of humour predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical.” Those who believe The Eric Andre Show contain absurdist ideas would likely point to André himself talking about his perspective on comedy as “a way to distort the truth, and add absurdity to the truth” (“Eric Andre Isn't as Confident as You Think He Is"). In general, his comedy does add a layer of absurdity to the common world around him. In the episode “Howie Mandel & Malaysia Pargo,” Snakey, an animated snake, appears during André’s opening monologue. This is the first animated character to appear in the show. It comes without any foreshadowing and exists only to make fun of Burress (2016). The random appearance of this character brings an absurdist approach to the already deconstructionist opening monologue scenes.
However, the presence of absurdist elements does not preclude the show from being characterized as postmodern. Elizabeth L. Bolick says in her article concerning the connection between postmodern art and absurdism, “Postmodern art is permeated by Absurdism… The political and social context of the postmodern world lends itself to analysis through inspecting the presence of absurdity” ("Absurdism in Post-Modern Art: Examining the Interplay between 'Waiting for Godot' and 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'"). This quote places the world of absurdism within the context of postmodernism. It is through the distorted view of absurdism that postmodernism is able to divorce itself from the realities which it often critiques. As such, postmodernism and absurdism cannot be separated.
The interplay between absurdism and postmodernism is expressed in The Eric Andre Show’s continued reliance on being completely random, like the animated character Snakey (“Howie Mandel & Malaysia Pargo”). While it is impossible to deny an absurdist approach to the comedy of the show, simply classifying the show as absurdist disregards the connection between absurdism and postmodernism.
The goals of comedy and the goals of postmodernism involve several similarities. In his essay “Postmodernism and Jokes,” Vasantkumar states, “The essence of jokes and joking is to be found in the ways that people seek to playfully break the rules of logic, language, self presentation and other socially established norms and hierarchies…” (p 218). Both jokes and postmodernism break traditional rules. Postmodernism does this by asking questions about the world and comedy does this through unsuspected content and precise timing.
The combination of the two worlds results in an understanding of what is specifically postmodern comedy. Postmodern comedy revolves around logic as well as its complete rejection. To exemplify postmodern comedy, Vasantkumar introduces a joke about Descartes. When asked on an airplane if he would like water, Descartes says “I think not.” Suddenly he disappears. For the audience to understand this joke they need to first know and understand Decarte’s quote “I think, therefore I am” (p 224). If they know of this quote and connect it to him, they will understand that his response causes his existence to cease. He thinks not, therefore he is not. Next, he details the parallels between comedy’s lead-ups and punchlines to deconstructionist principles found in postmodernism. Both comedy and postmodernism recognize a formula that needs to be fulfilled but also fundamentally deconstructed. This can be recognized in the show’s previously mentioned quote “Words words words words words words punchline.”
Jure Gantar continues this exploration of postmodern comedy in her essay "Postmodern Comedy: Tautology Or Pleonasm?" Here, he says a distinct lack of stylistic consistency, self-referentiality, and intertextuality are the characteristics of postmodern comedy when used for inducing humor. Keeping in mind that comedy has a surface connection to postmodernism, if a joke exists within the context of a postmodern work, it is considered postmodern comedy.
The previous examples from The Eric Andre Show clearly demonstrate the criteria of self-referentiality as self-parody, intertextuality as pastiche, and a lack of stylistic consistency with the random addition of characters and visuals. It’s important to understand the purpose of including these criteria because they must also induce humor to be considered postmodern comedy.
In an interview with the webseries Speakeasy, André said, “the intention at the end of the day is to be funny” (“My Drinks with Eric André,” 11:33-11:35). Given that humor, like all art, is subjective, it is difficult to give a general consensus on how funny people find the show. Knowing that the show has footage that has never reached the public, the parts he includes are, at the least, funny to André. If they were not, it would be hard to adequately claim that his intention was to create something funny.
Another factor to take into account is that the show has recently been renewed for a fifth season. This was announced by Dan Snierson on October 31, 2019 (Entertainment Weekly). Given its classification on IMDB as a comedy (2012), the audience would have to find the show funny for content to currently be in development.
The Eric Andre Show airs on Adult Swim. While it is currently among the most postmodern shows on television, it was not always. For a time, it was widely accepted that MTV was the largest source of postmodern media on television. This shifted, however, in the mid 2000s. It was then that MTV increased their number of reality shows to include titles such as 8th & Ocean, The Hills, My Super Sweet 16, and Viva la Bam. When MTV decided to do this, they fell out of the postmodern limelight. Lynda Holmes of NPR said, “What made MTV terrible wasn't the end of the [music] videos; it was the decline of what they were doing with other programming until it was just people throwing up and fighting and sleeping together… it [was] trash by choice” (“Did 'The Real World' Really Kill MTV?”).
In Kuan-Hsing Chen’s essay focusing on the postmodern nature of MTV, he calls MTV a “schizophrenic simulacrum,” which means that it synthesizes pop culture into its own world and quickly forgets about the original sources. It enforces this through its use of montage, collage, segmentation, non-linear narrative, and the quotation of irrelevant cultural representations. He argues that, by abandoning the original sources, MTV falsely represents the real, saying that MTV has little to do with reality or truth. Instead it creates its own reality, a world of hyperrealism through simulation. He later says that the meaning we derive from television, and media at large, has been taken over by corporate ideology. In this instance, he is referencing brand commercialization found in both film and television. In the end, he argues that in order to escape this, we need to stop making sense, much like the programs of MTV in the 1990s (Chen 175-179).
The decline of well regarded postmodern media on MTV made a space for Adult Swim to develop acclaim. Adult Swim was given its own time block on cable television in 2001 and, from then on, its popularity continually increased. In 2014, Adult Swim’s time block was extended by an hour (Littleton). This is the same year, in the midst of the growing popularity of Adult Swim, that The Eric Andre Show’s third season premiered. Around the same period, the first wave of Generation Z had just outgrown Cartoon Network’s 8-15 demographic and was in search of more mature content.
One must consider the viewing habits of Generation Z independently of other demographics because Generation Z differs significantly from the millennial generation. In her article on Generation Z joining the workforce, Holly Schroth writes,
To appreciate Gen Z, it is important to understand the formative events that are unique to this generation and how it has shaped them as learners and future employees. The most prominent of these include lack of work experience, the advent of the smartphone and social media, social justice movements, and growing up in a culture of safety. (2019)
An increase in activities tied to social change explain the connection between Generation Z and their strive to improve the world. This is the same generation that has created and sustained PC culture and cancel culture. Yet the members of Generation Z also struggle with increased levels of anxiety and depression (Advisory Board) and difficulty finding entry-level jobs (Schroth).
There is likely a connection between binge watching and the contemporary struggles which Generation Z faces. Binge watching is defined as watching two or more episodes of a show in a single viewing session. Those in the Generation Z age range reported the highest percentages of binge watching in the categories of both “every day” and “several times per week” when asked about it for a study (Morning Consult). These percentages were higher than any other age range. The reason for the apparent connection between increased levels of binge watching and increased levels of depression is that binge watching provides individuals with a sustained escape from reality.
John L. Longeway, of the University of Wisconsin at Parkside, writes in his article on escapism and self deception,
Escapist activity is geared to the agent's avoiding consideration of offending beliefs. A belief may offend in its bearing on action (since it opens to criticism an action one wishes to perform), or in its relevance to the truth or likelihood of other beliefs or hypotheses to which one is attached, or by giving rise to unwanted feelings when one considers it. Typically the unwanted feeling is guilt, anxiety, or shame, but sometimes it is anger, a sense of helplessness, or whatever else the person, perhaps idiosyncratically, finds aversive. Escapism attempts to keep beliefs one does not like out of consciousness, then, and, should they enter consciousness, to distract one from them or put them out of mind (The Rationality of Escapism and Self-Deception).
Since Generation Z faces heightened anxiety and a sense of helplessness when it comes to a job or career, it is reasonable to assume a correlation between their binge watching habits and escapism.
This connection between Generation Z and escapism goes further than binge watching. It is evident that Generation Z uses media for escapist purposes. With these viewing habits in mind, content which further escalates feelings of escapism is likely popular among these audiences. This is evidenced by the findings of YPulse, in their study on the top shows binge watched by Gen Z, when they reveal that not a single docuseries can be found within the top spots. This list is dominated by sitcoms, comedies, fantasies, and sci-fi shows. It is easy to see why Generation Z would gravitate toward postmodern comedy.
In an interview with Larry King, André talks about his desire to pursue comedy after realizing that the field he studied in college was meaningless and would not help him get a job (“Eric Andre on politics, Judaism, and his bizarre talk show” 13:02-13:40). As this is the emotional rationale for creating the show, one can see that André’s situation is relatable to those of Generation Z.
The Eric Andre Show combines all of these ideas. With episodes being between 10 and 15 minutes long, they make binge watching an entire season accessible to the audience. By revolving around postmodern forms of humor, the show reflects the escapist ideologies presented by Longeway.
The next factor to consider is Simulation Theory. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy defines simulation theory as,
The view that one represents the mental activities and processes of others by mentally simulating them, i.e. realizing similar activities and processes in oneself. By simulating them, one can anticipate their product or outcome, or, where this is already known, test hypotheses about their starting point (Gordon).
The Generation Z audience enjoys watching The Eric Andre Show because it acts as a way for them to simulate breaking free from a world of PC and cancel culture. The audience watches the show and imagines that they are André as he says and does whatever he pleases. What is most appealing to this audience is that they can simulate these thoughts without acting upon them and chance becoming a social outcast.
Anne Bartsch, Professor of Empirical Communication and Media Research at the University of Leipzig, focuses on the idea of complex metaphorical images found in popular entertainment media. Specifically, she focuses on tracing the secretive and contradictory personality of a character on an autonomous body. Put simply, characters may contain ideas and thoughts which are different from the persona they display. This ultimately results in an action which goes against their known character traits. This is exemplified when she speaks about the metaphorical agents extending an image of the human body as a container of emotions reflecting the true desires hidden inside. An on screen example of this would be a human transforming into a monster. These ideas reflect the theme of a split-personality being embodied by two separate characters in the same body (Embodied Emotion Metaphors in Moving Images 2016). This connects to The Eric Andre Show because, while the show focuses on viewing the “monster” that is André wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting world around him, the viewer can connect that world to theirs and imagine themselves in André's shoes. This parallels simulation theory because the viewer puts themselves directly into André’s situation. By first tuning into the show, Generation Z displays a desire to escape from the world they are surrounded by. As one goes through the day, one may build up urges to break the rules that make up society. This show stimulates the urges they have built up without facing any real-world consequences. Humans see themselves in the characters on screen, and especially in monsters. While André is not a typical monster, he is certainly a destructive force to those around him. Humans have urges of defiance that, if acted upon, would vilify them. These urges are heightened for Generation Z in an increasingly PC world.
Paradoxically, what makes The Eric Andre Show so perplexing and atypical also makes it accessible and enjoyable, especially among Generation Z. The Eric Andre Show effectively encapsulates a world that is both familiar yet strange, coherent yet deconstructed, independent yet referential, and Generation Z has gravitated to it specifically because it provides them with the opportunity to rid themselves of the structures which they feel have confined them to suppressing normalcy. Perhaps the greatest triumph of The Eric and Andre Show is not its ability to effectively convey abnormal humor, but its ability to capture the sentiments of an entire generation and provide them with an opportunity to rebel against their struggles without any social consequences.
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2020.07.14 14:14 LordChozo Hindsight is 2020: #59 - In Too Deep

from Invisible Touch, 1986
Listen to it here!
Our poor Tony just can’t catch a break, can he? Yesterday I mused that perhaps the lyrics of “Taking It All Too Hard” could be about his lack of strong solo success, and then today we get this. Confused? Let me explain.
Back in 1978, Genesis was approached to score a horror film, The Shout. Of course, the producers actually wanted David Bowie for the gig, but as he blew the whole thing off, Genesis was the backup. And of course, Phil at this point was unavailable, so really it was just Mike and Tony. And of course, the music they came up with ended up just being billed as “incidental music” in the film, with various other noises in the film more or less preventing the theme - itself a development of And Then There Were Three’s “Undertow”, and later to become “From the Undertow” on Tony’s own A Curious Feeling - from even really being heard.
This soured Mike on the movie business well enough, but Tony was not so easily deterred. He came back to the soundtrack scene to score 1983’s The Wicked Lady, released a few months before Genesis. The film had a very small budget to the point of having to pay its actors in revenue percentages, which would’ve been great except the movie completely bombed, failing to make back even 10% of its meager production costs. This naturally meant that nobody saw the dang thing and our old friend Tony Banks had still managed to accomplish diddly squat in the film scene.
Lesser men would’ve bowed out right then, but instead Tony came right back for 1984’s sequel to the Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, called 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Someone had miraculously spotted his work on The Wicked Lady and asked him to do the music for this. Eureka! A big-scale film with a built-in following? His work would finally be known everywhere! Hilariously, tragically, Tony then got fired:
Tony: I’d originally written music for a scene in the film 2010, which I was summarily sacked from at a certain point, because the director didn’t quite know what he wanted. 1
The film was a mild success, but of course dear old Tony Banks didn’t get to experience any of that. Instead he hopped straight to another film project, Lorca and the Outlaws, later retitled Starship because nobody was going to watch it anyway.
Tony: Suddenly I had nothing to do for a few months, and I was very frustrated with that. After 2010 fell through, I took the first film that came up, which was an English film called Lorca and the Outlaws. They had no money to pay me, but I just wanted to do something. It was such a low budget thing...After 2010 I was loath to come back to Hollywood, I must admit. I felt that I was rather badly treated. 2
What a low point.
They had no money to pay me
This hapless man takes an unpaid job because he’s bored and desperate to break into the industry, and gets again nothing for his efforts? Man, what a series of gut punches he’s been through. Surely that’s got to be it, right?
Amazingly, no! No it’s not! In 1986, four months ahead of the release of Invisible Touch, a flick called Quicksilver comes out, starring Kevin Bacon, and scored by - you guessed it - Tony Banks. But hey, Kevin Bacon is a draw, right? This one SURELY went better, right?
Of course not! Worse, while Tony's music was prevalent in the score, the soundtrack release itself was bloated with production attempts at scoring a chart hit to help the movie gain exposure. Tony dutifully put out one such song as well, and then they didn't bother to use it.
Tony: One of the songs that didn’t appear in Quicksilver I recorded with the English singer called Fish, who’s with the band Marillion. I think the song would’ve worked great in the position I wrote it for, but they decided on [someone else’s] song...They’d thought they’d got a sure-fire hit. They put it out as a single and it was a big flop, because it’s a lousy song, and it didn’t work well in the film either. 2
Tony straight up firing shots here! Right after Quicksilver came and went in a flash, Tony released his album Soundtracks so that at least his own audience might hear his music, and then finally, mercifully for his own sake, swore off the soundtrack business for good.
So it seems a right swift kick to the nads that when Tony Banks finally managed to co-write a hit song famous for being featured in a film, Phil Collins got all the credit.
And to all the would-be Patrick Batemans out there, no, I’m not talking about American Psycho. Believe it or not, “In Too Deep” was actually written for a British film called Mona Lisa. It’s a story about a guy who falls for a prostitute...come to think of it, the scene in American Psycho was a prostitute scene as well. Hmm. Though Mona Lisa had a bit more going on than that latter, infamous scene... Anyway, my point is, Mona Lisa isn't like the movie version of "Mama” or anything. But I guess it was close enough that the studio rang up Phil Collins to see if he’d write a song for them.
Phil: The song was [already] there. Ray Cooper, who is Elton John’s percussionist and also production manager at HandMade Films, he rang me up...and he said, “Did I have a song, could I write a song for this film?” And I said no, because we’re working on the Genesis album, doing a group project. But I said maybe, because we had such a lot of material, that maybe we could find something that would suit. So he sent a cassette of the film along, a video of the film, a rough cut, and I saw it, and [Mike and Tony] saw it too...Anyway, we had this song written. We were just writing anyway. And there was a song that would suit the film. And the lyrics, I just changed it - because I wrote the lyrics to that particular song - I just changed the lyrics so that it would work for the story of the film. It wasn’t actually written for the film but it was written with the film in mind. 3
How do you write a love song to a prostitute without coming off creepy and laughing maniacally into a spotlight, anyway? Well, “In Too Deep” is probably about as close as anyone will ever get. You’re trying to hit that mix of genuine emotion, caution, self-doubt, maybe a little self-disgust too, but all tinged with a hint of hope. How in the world do you pull that off?
The answer Genesis had, I think, was to just take all the various sounds of their career and mix them together as well. It’s sometimes easy to forget by the soaring chart success of 1986 that they hadn’t actually lost their chops elsewhere:
Tony: We tried writing singles [in the past]; we just didn’t seem to be very good at it. And not just that, but we couldn’t get them played on the radio. I don’t know what it was, perhaps they didn’t sound right. But it took us a long time that way...Our strength has always been our variety. We don’t want our eggs all sort of tied up into this one single. Every time I’ll apologize for it, I’ll say, “Well that’s okay, that’s one side [of what we do], but we do this as well.” 4
So “In Too Deep” manages to combine real drums with a drum machine. It’s got big chords mixed with actual melodic lines from the keys. It’s got classic, booming, sustained bass sound mixed with little spritzes of adult contemporary style lead guitar. It’s got Phil mixing his gentle mid-70s falsetto and pure tones with the sort of throaty angst he could only conjure up from Duke and beyond. It’s got a pop structure but a bridge where the guitar and keyboards each play a totally unique melody - to one another as well as the rest of the song - to create something more intricate than pop typically dares to go.
And that’s just it, really. “In Too Deep” isn’t the sound of a prog band abandoning everything that got them there so they could go make some money. It’s the sound of a prog band finding their footing, improving in an area that had always somewhat eluded them:
Tony: We got better at condensing things and being confident enough in the idea that we didn’t feel we had to immediately do it and then change it and go to something else. 5
That’s probably not going to be good enough for prog purists, but it’s certainly good enough for me. Now if only we could find Tony a hit, too!
Let’s hear it from the band!
Tony: With the songs, say, off The Lamb Lies Down, maybe they’re lyrically more complex, but in terms of the songs themselves - “Carpet Crawlers” or “Counting Out Time” - they’re all attempts at the same sort of thing. Even our first album, From Genesis to Revelation, which goes back to 1969, was all short songs, all attempts at writing hit singles. And all failed. Now we have an album where we’ve got shorter songs, and because we have an audience, we have hits. I think we just got better at it. 2
Mike: It seemed realistic to me to assume that if you’d got into Genesis in the early days you probably wouldn’t be so keen on Invisible Touch [the album]. Fans are always going to prefer the era when they first discover you and assume that any change is for the worst. It’s a problem common to all long-lived bands. 6
Tony on the bland music video where he looks like he’s at a piano recital: [Music videos] sort of became a thing you had to do, almost. We weren't naturally inclined to do it...Mike and I could do it as best we could in the background...The songs that were most difficult in a way were the ones that didn't have any particular thing to act out. A song like "In Too Deep," for example, was quite difficult to do - it was just a performance video. We did a few of those, which was OK. But if we could get a little idea to do something to hang it on, and hopefully with just a little bit of wit, as well, that was what we were after. 7
1. Innerviews, 2019
2. Keyboard Magazine, 1987
3. 1986 interview Note: This channel appears to simply be pulling old interviews from various sources without crediting them, and then disabling comments to avoid being called out on it. If anyone knows the original source for this interview, please let me know so I can update my citation appropriately.
4. The Meldrum Tapes, 1986
5. Needle Time, 2016
6. Mike Rutherford - The Living Years
7. Songfacts, 2015
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2020.07.08 17:54 Muzak_For_A_Nurse Your Favorite Prog Artist Tournament: Round 1.12

Your Favorite Prog Artist Tournament: Round 1.12
Hey everyone! It's time to get the first round of the tournament underway! There will be two rounds a day, so look for the other poll once you've voted. Also, please upvote so more people can see the poll and vote.
This matchup is the eleventh of sixteen groups in the first round. The top four highest vote-getters will advance to the next round.
In this tournament, it's ok to vote against artists you haven't heard. But I encourage you to check out a song or two of an artist that grabs your attention! Or just add albums that appeal to you to your list and check them out whenever you have time!
Yesterday's results:
rounds 9-10 results
In case you're wondering, the left column is the original seed, then the artist name (obviously), then the raw number of votes, percentage of votes, and then seed going into the next round.
Here are the introductions for today's artists. I encourage you to write an introduction for some of your favorite artists that are coming up tomorrow!
The Moody Blues
Subgenre: Proto-Prog
Go ahead if you want to write a guide to replace this!
The Moody Blues are a rock band formed in Birmingham, England in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. They made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge), who stayed together for most of the band's "classic era" into the early 1970s.
Their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical musicwhich established the band as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock.[2][9] It has been described as a "landmark" and "one of the first successful concept albums".[2] The group toured extensively through the early 1970s, then took an extended hiatus from 1974 until 1977. Founder Mike Pinder left the group a year after they re-formed and was replaced by Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz in 1978. In the following decade they took on a more synth-pop sound and produced The Other Side of Life in 1986, which made them the first act to earn each of its first three top 10 singles in the United States in a different decade.[10] Health troubles led to a diminished role for founder Ray Thomas throughout the 1980s, though his musical contributions rebounded after Moraz departed in 1991. Thomas retired from the band in 2002.
The band's most recent album was December) (2003), a collection of Christmas music. It continued to tour throughout the first decade of the 2000s and still reunites periodically for events, one-off concerts, short tours and cruises.
The Moody Blues' most successful singles include "Go Now", "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Question)", "Gemini Dream", "The Voice)" and "Your Wildest Dreams". The band has sold 70 million albums worldwide,[11] which includes 18 platinum and gold LPs. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Subgenre: Modern Symphonic Prog
"wobbler is honestly one of my favourite bands of the 21st century, they dont have a single bad track in their discography in my opinion (hinterland has some pacing issues for an epic but its not really bad.) with the release of from silence to somewhere in 2017, many people were able to discover wobbler for the first time, including myself.
with all around great writing, well written songs, and it being epic as fuck. from silence to somewhere launched the band into one of my favourites. and with a 5th album of theirs on the way in a couple months, they will likely stay consistent with that title."
from u/fresded4ty
"I guess I'll write some words for Wobbler since they deserve it. Wobbler are one of the few modern bands that are able to truly embody the spirit of 70s prog while also feeling new and like they are actually "progressing" the genre forward. Lots of modern bands can replicate the sound of 70s prog but Wobbler are one of the very few can retain the same spirit, energy, and quality without sounding derivative. Their music is incredibly fresh while also being reminiscent of the most iconic era of the genre. The songs on their more recent albums are absolutely masterfully constructed, with amazing performances from everyone involved.
I would highly recommend their two more recent albums, From Silence to Somewhere and Rites at Dawn. They are both among the very few albums that I would consider to be masterpieces. FStS is literally the highest rated album on progarchives since Moving Pictures in 1981. Obviously ratings are not necessarily indicative of quality, but the fact that this album is able to claim such a high accolade goes to show that as a prog fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out if you haven't already.
If you just want a quick introduction to their sound for the purpose of voting in this tournament then check out the song Fermented Hours from From Silence to Somewhere. It does a good job of encapsulating their sound in 10 minutes."
from u/KingCharmander
Subgenre: Progressive Pop Rock/"AOR"
Styx /stɪks/ is an American rock band from Chicago that formed in 1972 and became famous for its albums released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding hard rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads, and incorporating elements of international musical theatre.[6]#cite_note-6) The band established itself with a progressive rock sound in the 1970s, and began to incorporate pop rock and soft rock elements in the 1980s.
Styx had eight songs that hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100: "Lady)", "Come Sail Away", "Babe)", "The Best of Times)", "Too Much Time on My Hands", "Mr. Roboto", "Don't Let It End", and "Show Me the Way)". Other notable songs include "Renegade)", "The Grand Illusion", "Blue Collar Man", "Crystal Ball", "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man))", "Rockin' the Paradise", "Boat on the River", and "Suite Madame Blue". Styx has had four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA,[7]#citenote-7) as well as 16 top-40 singles in the US, eight of which hit the top 10. Seven of their eight Top 10 singles were written and sung by founding member and former lead singer Dennis DeYoung, including their No. 1 chart topper, "Babe)".[[8]]( DeYoung has not been part of the band since 1999, after being ousted by guitarists James "J.Y." Young) and Tommy Shaw in an acrimonious split. Styx have sold over 54 million records worldwide.
Subgenre: Progressive Pop/ "AOR"
"Asia is the band that got me into progressive rock. It originally consisted of John Wetton from King Crimson and U.K., Steve Howe from Yes, Geoff Downes from Yes and the Buggles, and Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With this lineup, Asia was considered a supergroup, and I guess the expectation was that they would continue the progressive legacy of King Crimson, Yes, and ELP. But they went in a more pop direction than these bands. As someone still new to progressive rock, I did not come to the band with this kind of expectation. I simply liked what I heard. Their eponymous debut album sounded amazing. I loved it back in the early 80s, and I still enjoy it now. After this album, Alpha was a bit of a let-down. Although the membership hadn't changed, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer did not contribute to the songwriting. It was overall a good album, but it was not quite as good as their debut. With Astra, Steve Howe left the band. It was still a good album, but the band was not going in the direction I wanted it to. Then Asia did Then & Now, which combined older material with new material. The new material was awful, and it's best to just ignore this album.
Fortunately, Asia's downward spiral was brought to a halt when John Payne replaced John Wetton on vocals and bass. Aqua was the first album with Payne, and it was more progressive than what Asia had previously been doing. This album also had Steve Howe and Carl Palmer on it. Subsequent albums with Payne did not include them, but Asia still put out very good music with Aria, Arena, Aura, and Silent Nation.
For Asia's 25th anniversary, the original members got back together, which led to John Payne and the other current members being left out. The original members put out the albums Phoenix, Omega, and XXX. With Sam Coulson replacing Steve Howe, the "original members" version of Asia also put out Gravitas. These are all fine, but I don't think they are quite as good as the best stuff Asia had already done.
Meanwhile, John Payne had legal rights to the Asia name, and after putting out one album as GPS, he was working with the band name Asia, featuring John Payne. He brought in Erik Norlander, who was in the band Rocket Scientists and also worked with his wife Lana Lane, to replace Downes on keyboards. This version of Asia was very slow to put out new material, and the only album they released was Recollections: A Tribute to British Rock. This was a tribute album to songs by other bands, and it wasn't that impressive.
After Wetton's death, Payne changed the name of his and Norlander's band to Dukes of the Orient and released an eponymously titled album. It's not that impressive and should not be counted among the works of Asia. Meanwhile, Asia recruited Billy Sherwood of Yes to replace Wetton, but the band has not released another album since Wetton's death. The latest news is that Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has replaced Coulson on guitar and Sherwood on vocals. Judging by videos, Sherwood was not a good lead singer, and Thal is not much better. If only they would bring back John Payne. In general, Asia has sounded good with either Wetton or Payne, and if you base your vote on any two albums, I would most recommend Asia and Aqua."
from u/fduniho
"Everybody’s favorite prog supergroup that is really an arena rock/pop band. Their first album, Asia, charted really high. Unfortunately, I, like many people, think that their debut was easily their peak, but their other stuff is still enjoyable. Featuring members of Yes, KC, and ELP, they have extreme talent. I know most people don’t agree at all, but I think in their first album, they really got about the peak of 80s pop rock. I think that if you go into Asia with the expectations of a prog band, you will be disappointed, but expecting a pop rock group, everybody who likes that will love them. Recommended tracks: Only Time Will Tell (easily one of my fav verse/chorus songs ever, really hecking good), heat of the moment (hugely successful, great track)"
from u/notyourlandlord
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
Subgenre: Rock Progresivo Italiano (RPI)
"Banco del Mutuo Soccorso are in my opinion one of the most unique, off-the-wall and progressive bands ever to exist. Their music contains everything from operatic vocals and political lyrics (I think) to masterful jazz, folk and classical instrumentation and the talents of not one but two full-time keyboard players. Their songs are full of the sumptuous melodies, unusual instrumentation and unpredictable structures typical of Rock Progressivo Italiano, but for me the most unique element of their sound is the vocals.
The late, great Francesco Di Giacomo possessed for my money one of the best and most underappreciated voices in the prog world. He had an enormous range both technically and emotionally. He could hit some extraordinary high notes but always adjusted his style to suit the band's songwriting and his ability to express emotion and craft gorgeous melodies was unmatched.
My first experience of Banco was with their 2019 album Transiberiana. It was recorded after the tragic death of Di Giacomo, but keyboardist and founder member Vittorio Nocenzi has always done an excellent job of finding replacements, and new frontman Tony D'Alessio is a worthy successor. This is a concept album detailing a journey on the trans-Siberian railway. That classic Banco sound is allied with some brilliant grooves and modern prog-influenced guitar work. The production is excellent throughout, with some fantastic vocal effects helping to bring some of the weird and wonderful characters inhabiting the album to life. But the songs on here are still more than capable of standing on their own merit- Transiberiana was my favourite album of last year and one well worth checking out.
After enjoying that one so much, I delved into their back catalogue. Banco's first 3 albums (their 1971 self-titled debut, 1972's Darwin! and 1973's Io Sono Nato Libero) are often considered their purple patch, and for good reason. My personal favourite would probably be Darwin! as it contains a perfect blend of shorter and longer pieces, all arranged within an overarching concept which is something to do with evolution and the birth of humanity(I am by no means fluent in Italian despite my best efforts). It contains two epics (L'evoluzione and La conquista della posizione eretta) as well as the lovely ballad 750'000 anni fa... la amore? and some wonderful deep cuts such as Danza dei grandi rettili and Cento mani e cento occhi. This album is rightly considered a masterpiece of not just Italian prog but the genre as a whole- it sadly sunk without a trace in the album tournament a while back and it definitely deserves a bit more appreciation on here.
Their much-maligned 80s output is also worth looking into; it's a bit more poppy and less experimental, but they still wrote several great songs, such as Moby Dick and Felice. I'm still discovering many of their albums but I've enjoyed all of the ones I've heard so far and can heavily recommend giving these guys a try if you like melodic, symphonic prog rock with a dash of insanity thrown in.
R.I.P Requiescant In Pace, Metamorfosi, Cento mani e cento occhi, Non Mi Rompete, L'assalto dei lupi, Moby Dick"
from u/Lagiacrus7
Subgenre: Progressive Pop/Psychedelic Rock
(Really interesting story. These guys were mistaken for the reincarnated Beatles, causing quite a stir in the mid 70s. Watch this video for the story!)
Klaatu (/ˈklɑːtuː/) was a Canadian rock group formed in 1973 by the duo of John Woloschuk and Dee Long. They named themselves after an alien who visits Earth in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.[1]#cite_note-1) After recording two non-charting singles, drummer Terry Draper was added to the line-up; this trio would constitute Klaatu throughout the rest of the band's recording career.
In Canada, the band is remembered for several hits, including "California Jam" (1974), "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (1977) and "Knee Deep In Love" (1980). In the U.S. "Calling Occupants" b/w "Sub-Rosa Subway" was a minor double-sided hit and their only chart entry, peaking at No. 62 in 1977.
Internationally, the group's pop-influenced blend of rock styleshas led to them being known as the "Canadian Beatles".[2]#citenote-allmusic-2)[[3]](
Tomorrow's Artists - write a description if you'd like!
  • Opeth
  • Mahavishnu Orchestra
  • Can
  • Caligula's Horse
  • Frost*
  • Tangerine Dream
  • Mike Oldfield
  • TOOL
  • Anathema
  • Transatlantic
  • Neal Morse
  • Rainbow
View Poll
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2020.07.07 15:20 efa___ I Read It So You Don't Have To: Class with the Countess (by LuAnn de Lesseps)

After my most recent adventure through the topsy-turvy mind of Kelly Bensimon in I Can Make You Hot!, it seems only fitting that my next literary endeavor provides a complementary perspective on self-improvement from another of RHONY's most erudite minds. That's right -- I extend to you all a most cordial invitation to join me as I master the fine art of manners with the queen of compunction herself, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, in her debut literary work, Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair.
Looking at the book's cover, I immediately feel a warm sense of reassurance as my eyes light upon the weighty gold chain hanging pendulously off of LuAnn's neck, a dozen jewel-toned baubles dangling haphazardly and drawing my attention away from the slight hint of cleavage exposed by her fitted salmon scoop-neck. It is 2009 again, and I am eager to return -- at least for the next 258 pages -- to a simpler time. A time when the Black Eyed Peas reigned, a year when the VMAs were Kanye's biggest controversy, an era when LuAnn de Lesseps was still rightfully titled with her well-deserved Countess honorific.
And possibly a time before the invention of sarcasm, if this quote on the back cover gives any indication. It would take a lot to convince me that this review was given with anything less than complete ironic disdain. I could have copied it word-for-word into my own book report and no one would have been the wiser.
"Being an extremely low-born and gauche person, I rely heavily on the Countess for tips on good manners and etiquette. She has also taught me how to be more sassy and alluring." -- Simon Doonan, author of Eccentric Glamour
A hearty cheers to you, Simon Doonan, although it feels a bit unsettling to be shown up so early in my journey. Nevertheless, I must admit that I'm eager to learn how I myself can become more sassy and alluring, so I open to the Introduction ("How Does a Countess Come to Be on Reality TV?") and begin to read. LuAnn begins by sharing with us the reason she felt so compelled to write the volume I hold before me:
Since the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City began to air, I have been deluged with e-mails and letters asking my advice on everything from what to wear to knowing what to say, from table manners to how to radiate confidence.
I steadfastly refuse to believe that there is even one single person in the world who wrote out the question "How do I radiate confidence?" on a physical piece of paper and proceeded to the nearest mailbox to mail that letter to the only person they believed could possibly answer the enclosed query with any modicum of finesse, the inimitable Countess LuAnn de Lesseps. Let alone anything close to a "deluge" of them. But I digress.
LuAnn promises that she will share with us her "distinctive advice on how to navigate our sometimes rude world with elegance," but first explains briefly how she came to be the reality TV megastar she is today. As someone who has "always been daring and adventurous," LuAnn needed little convincing when Jill Zarin suggested she might be interested in filming. She explains her most compelling motivation as such:
First, I wanted the history of the de Lesseps family to be better known in the United States. They are so respected in Europe and little known here. From building the Suez Canal to presenting the Statue of Liberty to the United States for the French, their international contributions have been exemplary and deserve more recognition in my own country.
LuAnn continues by bemoaning that "we are constantly assaulted by offensive, coarse, selfish behavior." Examples of this brazen incivility include such unimaginable horrors as "the enthusiastic chewing of gum in public" and "the sight of jeans and running shoes at the theater or opera." As one might expect from someone who has endured such torment and come out the other side standing tall, our author assures us that her tale "is an entertaining and, I hope, inspiring story." We are reminded once again that LuAnn attributes her success to "my penchant for being daring and open to new possibilities," and she briefly opines about how delightful Italy is, because "even young boys knew how to appreciate a woman." With a few concluding words ("I hope that imparting the experiences and lessons I have learned will help you to live a richer, more satisfying life -- one animated by a profound joie de vivre."), we finish the Introduction and begin Part One: "The Art of Being Yourself (in Any Situation)."
LuAnn thoughtfully begins the chapter with photographic proof of her qualifications -- specifically, this nonchalant snapshot of our good-taste guru "being myself in Capri." She remarks, in a passage titled "Confidence is the Key,"
I have to confess: I was born confident. Being a shrinking violet was never my style.
As someone with a clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder, I feel confident endorsing the utility of the following cutting-edge tips that LuAnn offers up as "Quick Confidence Boosters:"
Reminder: No one is perfect.

Don't take yourself too seriously.

Pump yourself up with positive thinking.
I wish I'd purchased this book two years ago -- I could have saved a boatload in therapy bills. But at this point, all I can do is move forward, committed to gleaning every pearl of wisdom from the tome before me (ugh, I still can't use the word tome without thinking of Simon van Kempen).
We cheerily follow LuAnn back to a story of a trip to Italy, where she met a handsome Italian man -- "like a Roman god." She continues: "we became close friends, and eventually he was my lover." A few paragraphs later, we return once more to Italy, where LuAnn wins the "Lady Universe" pageant and changes the course of her life forever. As she reflects:
I was no longer just LuAnn, I was Lady Universo! Believe it or not, this is what opened up the door for me in Europe, because the moment you have a title, any title, you are in.
It is both hilarious and entirely on-brand that LuAnn de Lesseps would gallivant around Europe calling herself a "lady" after winning a bootleg beauty pageant without, I'm sure, bothering to correct anyone who might just happen to accidentally get the wrong idea and assume she had some sort of noble heritage. Regardless, she soon got roles as a background model in a series of Italian TV shows. She recalls:
The Italians adopted me as their own. Everybody just loved the American girl. They loved showing me the ropes and expressed their enthusiasm openly. They were introducing me to everything and everybody. I'd get my derrière pinched on the bus.
My impulse to interpret this as sexual harassment (at the very least!) is clearly just a sign that I am not yet classy enough to understand the world as accurately as the Countess, and for her guidance I remain eternally grateful. Proving her cutthroat savvy, she continues her Italian saga by unceremoniously dropping her first boyfriend when "Roberto Gancia" comes along. Roberto "had a higher level of sophistication," by which LuAnn means he was very old and incomprehensibly wealthy.
The anecdote concludes and we move into another section, titled "Be Curious and Learn from Everything and Everyone." As LuAnn tells us:
I have always suspected that my profound respect for older people derives from my Native American roots. Elders are so important in Native American culture.
She also hints at her cabaret future to come with a remark that "I also love to sing -- Bette Midler comes to mind -- all kinds of music from cabaret to country rock." I suppose we should just be grateful that LuAnn didn’t pursue a Country Rock career (or perhaps disappointed?).
I'm impressed, reading the following passage, by LuAnn's dogged refusal to admit to having done anything wrong ever, even in a hypothetical scenario. As she explains;
The motivating principle in my life is to take chances without fear or hesitation. Jump on the train or you'll miss it. I live that way. I've taken chances and followed my instincts. Nothing exciting would have happened to me if I had been timid and afraid. I'd probably still be living in Connecticut. And you know what? I'd still be happy, because I choose to be.
LuAnn doesn't let us go long without another reminder of how valuable her ancestry has proven to be: "An instinctive ability to observe closely is another quality that I attribute to my Native American heritage." She rounds out the chapter by listing some of her charity efforts, described with the bizarrely stilted phrase, "we help with the orphans of Myanmar."
The next chapter ("What's Outside") opens with this picture, from LuAnn's modeling days, that I'm actually super into, as well as a description of what it means to be elegant. Perhaps I'm biased after so recently reading Kelly's book-length fever dream about HOTness, but I find the following passage comfortingly coherent:
Elegance means handling all aspects of your life with self-confidence and aplomb. Elegance has no shelf life or expiration date. Elegance is a quality that does not age. It is an aura that enchants those around you, regardless of your stage in life or your station.
LuAnn gives the personally horrifying advice that "you should start with a full-length mirror and an unforgiving magnifying mirror for your face," which is guidance I know myself well enough to only take if I would like to wake up tomorrow having fruitlessly tried to extrude every whitehead, blackhead, and hint of a pore from my tortured face. I would hazard a guess LuAnn does not have this problem, as she proceeds to make an offhanded comment about "why I love mirrors in elevators" (because she loves to look at herself, she clarifies for the confused). I can almost picture her coyly winking as she delivers the rule, "Lingerie is visible…only if you want it to be."
We are next treated to a bit of diet advice, in which LuAnn confesses:
I like the Blood Type Diet, because I think that each person actually is a carnivore or an herbivore. Since I'm Type O, I need more meat and my body craves it.
I'm somehow not even surprised that LuAnn self-identifies as a carnivore. Between this and KKB's personal definition of what "organic" should mean, I'm quickly losing hope for the nutritional savvy of the eastern seaboard. She also gives the following piece of confounding wisdom…
Try not to drink while eating -- not even water -- because digestion begins in the mouth.
…before telling us about how yoga has "saved [her] from the effects of a traumatic experience." The traumatic experience in question is a terrifying car wreck with her children, which I can only imagine would send anyone into distress. Of course, only a ingenue with LuAnn's caliber of social circle would get in such an accident while on the way "to celebrate Elle Macpherson's son's birthday in Gstaad." Alas, we must find a way to be content with our own lots in life nevertheless.
Ever the generous soul, LuAnn remarks:
If I had one wish -- after world peace and an end to poverty -- it would be for a hair and makeup person every single day.
She also gives the less-financially-privileged among us thoughtful advice about choosing "a more modest salon" or buying supersized beauty products "at the price clubs." After which she immediately proceeds to deliver the following painfully unhip line..
My break-dancing son would call it do-rag [sic] style. I call it my style.
…and promptly erodes this goodwill. She also refers to blush as "blusher," which I can only assume she's doing on purpose to sound more sophisticated and/or European. I catch myself getting more irritated than I have any right to be about the fact that LuAnn correctly stylizes the brand "Lancôme," then promptly abandons the very notion of a diacritical mark by the time "Lancome" is mentioned two pages later.
As we begin Chapter 3 ("Fashion and Style"), LuAnn immediately informs us that dressing for television is a special challenge:
For example, the tailored white shirt that is a staple for me would not vibrate on TV.
She encourages us to wear more vests ("I love vests and don't think they are used enough"), as well as to purchase "an outerwear jacket that's a cross between a biker jacket and a blazer." She unsurprisingly notes that she likes "cocktail rings and big-statement necklaces," and tells us her favorite hair ornament is "a silk flower, because they never get stale and they add a touch of drama." A list of fashion faux pas includes "Pale-Leg Syndrome" and "leggings or no leggings" (which doesn’t seem to be a faux pas so much as a set of two possible situations, but who am I to judge?).
In a unintentionally poetic line, LuAnn encourages the reader to wear low-rise thongs or panties because "we live in a low-rise society." She also gives cryptic advice to add "a witty evening purse" to jazz up a plain outfit, rounding out the first part of the book. With LuAnn's alluring silhouette guiding the way, we proceed to Part Two: "The Art of Making Other People Comfortable."
We are treated to another cheeky nod to LuAnn's imminent cabaret stardom, as she shares the following joke with the titillated remark, "being just a little bit naughty often has great appeal."
Why don't condoms come in black?
…because they make you look too thin.
She next tells us "how to make an entrance," and, to be perfectly honest, I have trouble imagining someone consciously acting through the following steps and coming off as anything but heart-wrenchingly pathetic. But I'll let you decide:
Smile and pause for just a moment. Take a deep breath to bring light into your eyes. Let your eyes sweep the room and make eye contact when possible. Chances are someone will come up to greet you. If not, who cares?
If no one greets you, enter the room in a purposeful way. It's all about vitality. If you are utterly delighted to be there, I assure you that people will take notice.
The chapter continues with LuAnn's condemnations of contemporary society and its myriad ills:
People have lost sight of the fact that some rules make life easier. "Anything goes" has resulted in an abundance of unattractive, selfish behavior that assaults our senses. The wince factor is getting higher every day.
She informs us that anyone with any sense of politeness should stand when someone is being introduced "unless you're attached to an IV," then suggests that we smooth over any awkward introductions with the inane line, "How did you pronounce your name? You say it so much better than I do." On the issue of "traditional gallant courtesies," LuAnn quips, "Why not be put on a pedestal?" Indeed, as she breezily continues, "men essentially want to please you."
A section titled "Manners on the Move" informs the reader that they can make a New York City taxi driver laugh by "[asking] him to take you to Switzerland." I can only begin to imagine how utterly knee-slapping the Manhattan cab driver community finds these kind of kooky one-liners.
At this point in my reading, I'm starting to wish I'd kept a list of the times LuAnn starts a sentence with "There is nothing worse than…" In this particular example, "there is nothing worse than the tension of bill time," but I'm positive I've already read the phrase at least a dozen times in recent memory. Before I can reflect further, however, we're on to Chapter 5 ("The Art of Conversation"), which begins with this candid snap of a savvy, on-the-go LuAnn going about her day as the epitome of effortless elegance that she is. She offers a few "fail-proof opening lines," as conversation starters, such as:
Did you get hooked on The Real Housewives of New York City? I hear they are working on another season.
…as well as a few exceptionally subtle "half-truths" to help squeak your way out of a sticky situation.
The floral pattern is beautiful, but it's so bold it makes a big statement.

The curry was so exotic. That yogurt sauce was a perfect balance to the spiciness. That was so clever of you.
She goes on to tell us that she dislikes "bad gossip," which I interpret to mean "gossip about her," before treating her readers to the story of meeting her now-husband, Alexandre Counte de Lesseps -- at a dinner party in Gstaad. She recalls, "I had met princes and princesses and an occasional king, but I had yet to encounter a count." The anecdote quickly segues into a list of dining manners, customs, and preferences. For example:
Big napkins are so chic -- for me, the bigger the napkin, the more elegant the occasion.
LuAnn goes on to provide further details on her "passion" for the napkin and its associated arts, before dropping the single most rich-people-are-wild fact of the book thus far:
I have been to opulent dinners in Europe at which each guest had a liveried servant standing behind his chair to attend to his needs.
LuAnn next guides us on what to do if "crumbs fly" while we are breaking off a piece of bread: clean them up "nonchalantly, not as if you are a busboy or waiter." Again, I assume that I would understand what this means, were I only more elegant. She also warns us of the perils associated with taking inappropriate measures to clean up a spill:
Don't try to sop up red wine with your white napkin. Ask for help. You don't want to get the reputation as "the spotter" -- you'll never get invited again.
It's just like they always say: every friend group has a spotter. And if you don't know who that spotter is, it's probably you.
LuAnn describes her "chalet" in Switzerland, as well as the profound sense of joy she found in her surroundings:
I would often sit in the middle of the living room and relish the beauty of all the things that surrounded me. It gave me a warmth and tingle inside.
I, too, have previously been brought to orgasm by a particularly fine piece of antique furniture, so I find this sentiment relatable. LuAnn next works in another nugget of unabashed self-promotion by suggesting that we grab some friends and host a party to celebrate "a Real Housewives of New York City marathon."
A few selected tidbits to make sure your next soirée is as elegant as possible:
Make sure stacks of cocktail napkins are available. Coasters are for amateurs and the uptight.

If you don't have a DJ, iPod compilations are great.

It's nice to have fresh flowers or a single rose in the bathroom.
Sure, if you'd like your bathroom to look like the castle tower from Beauty and the Beast. Otherwise, having a single red rose in your bathroom seems like something a college boy with brown sheets would do to seem romantic. We are next treated to a peek behind the curtain with LuAnn's account of one of her most humiliating moments:
Taking your shoes off can be embarrassing -- and it happened to me. I arrived at a party to find that I was expected to leave my shoes at the door. No one had told me. The nail polish on one toe was badly chipped. I got resourceful, slipped away to the restroom, and covered that toe with a Band-Aid I had in my purse. I'm glad they were the nude kind and not Mickey Mouse.
I would truly never be able to show my face again! Continuing on with general social advice, LuAnn reminds us "you have to pick and choose your fiestas." Also, with regards to tactical untruths about your plans for an evening, "be careful. You don't want to be caught in a lie. Duck if you see a photographer!" She also provides a list of ideas for hostess gifts, only one of which actually matters at all:
The complete The Real Housewives of New York City on DVD
I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt believe that LuAnn gives people boxed DVD collections of her own reality show as hostess gifts, and I refuse to sway on this issue. A "checklist for the perfect guest" includes tips such as:
Participate enthusiastically in any activities suggested by the host -- party games and singing come to mind.
Don't change place cards or seating arrangements at a dinner -- and get caught.
The next chapter focuses on raising well-mannered children, a topic on which LuAnn requires minimal guidance (Victoria, for example, always "[seemed] older than her years"). She does, however, provide a list of "manners for playdates" written directly to a young child -- "Say hello to the adult in charge." -- presumably on the off-chance that a particularly conscientious eight year old might have stumbled into Class with the Countess unawares. How prescient!
The following passage makes me feel particularly sorry for anyone in the wider social circle of LuAnn de Lesseps:
If you can manage to keep gum out of the hands of your children, do it. Bovine chewing is really obnoxious. I was at a party with the daughter of a friend who was chewing away. I could barely stand to be next to her. Gritting my teeth, I said to her, "I don't allow my daughter to chew gum in most places. She just can't handle it. I know all girls do it, but it's better to chew gum in the car alone with the closest of family." Guess what? She took that gum out of her mouth, realizing her chewing was out of control.
If my interest in this book had waned at all, it is instantly restored as I turn the page and am greeted with this image of a sultry LuAnn de Lesseps introducing Part Three: "The Art of Seduction." I'm glad to have someone like LuAnn at the helm of this particular ship, as I'm confident she will share her unedited thoughts on the issues at hand. For instance,
I know this is a controversial statement, but I believe there are not enough Betty Boops in this world.
Revolutionary! As she continues, "when you go to the office, don't look like a man." I appreciate this advice, and have since taken the time to sew a flirty pink tutu around the waistline of my lab coat to more accurately signify my feminine wiles. But of course, before you can seduce and ensnare your target, you must find a man in the first place. Where, you may ask?
Tech shops -- damsel in distress

Long plane trips -- business and first class are the best

Upscale men's stores -- discuss ties
And if you're particularly devoted? "Consider changing your career to urban real estate."
A list of questions to ask yourself "before you make too much of an effort" includes such assorted queries as
Is he truly single?
Do you have to fight him for the mirror?
LuAnn goes on to inform us that:
Men are fascinated if you seem to intuit things about them. Maybe knowing his sign in astrology will give you some insight into his character. Know before you go. Google is a lifesaver.
She sprinkles in tidbits about everything from how best to leave after a one-night stand ("You could leave a note -- maybe lipstick on the bathroom mirror" ) to how to break up with someone ("Don't send an e-mail."), to how to handle a breakup with grace ("If you cry, it's okay. There is nothing wrong with making him feel guilty!"). She also recounts a time when she dressed up "like a Moroccan princess" to surprise and seduce her then-husband, the Count, before ending with advice to "leave a trail of candy and lacy lingerie up the stairs and to the boudoir for your husband to find when he returns from a business trip." I'm trying to imagine what my boyfriend would do if he came home, exhausted after a business trip, only to be met by a haphazard trail of goopy, half-melted Twix bars leading down the hallway. I can't imagine it's exactly what LuAnn had in mind.
LuAnn informs us that every morning, as soon as she gets up, she brushes her teeth and applies blush (not blusher this time!) before leaving her bedroom. She adds cryptically, "I think I have French blood -- Canadian, that is." The subsequent advice to "try to do one nice thing a day for your partner" strikes me as vaguely concerning, in the same way as people who describe their ideal partner as "honest." If I get to the point in my relationship where I need a conscious reminder to even attempt to be moderately decent to my partner at least once over the course of a twenty-four hour period, I can only hope I'll admit it's time to throw in the towel. As LuAnn continues, "Every day I try to thank Alex for something, no matter how mundane it might be. He loves it." Shocking, that someone would enjoy having their efforts acknowledged. As always, our Countess is an empath to the extreme.
More advice to keep your man happy? "Don’t criticize him." Presumably ever, under any circumstances, which seems only reasonable to me. LuAnn then suggests treating your partner like a puppy in obedience school, which I'm sure some people find highly erotic:
Make a fuss whenever he does anything thoughtful or romantic. If he sees that something he's done has made you happy, he'll do it again.
The next section begins with the line, "Your partner is not your girlfriend." I can't wait until someone finally tells LuAnn about lesbians!!
She continues with a lesson about how men are simple and practical and women are complicated and hysterical. As we all know:
Most men's idea of torture is having to listen to women chatter away amongst themselves…So don't torment your husband by going on about how you are feeing, why you are angry, or how to deal with a problem in great detail.
I want to snark on this, but honestly, it just makes me sad. Imagine having such terrible men in your life that not a single one has ever listened to you talk about something you love with anything less than utter disdain? If my boyfriend made me think, even for a moment, that it was "torment" to listen to me share my feelings about the day, I would bundle all four of my cats under my arms and bolt right out the door to embrace my inner independent Cat Lady with all appropriate haste. But LuAnn continues:
Men really are different, and it should be that way.
For example:
Forget yoga class. There is a reason the class is filled with women; men can't stretch the way women can.
Unfortunately, I don't think LuAnn is open to hearing a treatise on the plethora of cultural factors that result in certain pastimes being unnecessarily gendered and subsequently diminished under the scrutiny of an inherently sexist society, so I'll save that for another time.
In the book's final chapter, "Seduction Makes the World Go 'Round," LuAnn extends her lessons on charm and temptation beyond the bedroom into the world at large. For example:
When new neighbors move onto our street, I take them a pie to welcome them to the neighborhood. Who does that anymore -- especially in New York?
Classic Countess, am I right?! Underscoring her common, pedestrian roots, she informs us that the reason she is so comfortable around "tradespeople" is because she grew up with a father who was a contractor. She also is apparently only superficially familiar with Abrahamic religious iconography, as the following passage indicates:
Noel used to bring apples to school for his teachers. It's an old-fashioned custom. Think of Adam and Eve!
Why, exactly, we would be thinking of Adam and Eve in the context of thanking an educator remains unclear, at least for those of us who lack the elegance to intuit LuAnn's intentions. LuAnn also officially confirms her place in the Parents-All-Teachers-Despise-With-A-Burning-Fury hall of fame, as she snidely references "the point [in a parent-teacher conference] at which they make some sort of comment that indicates your child is less than perfect." The classy way to respond in this situation is, as we learn, to respond with basic human decency and -- if that fails -- "[talk] to the head of the school."
In a note about childcare, LuAnn remarks that "some nannies are so spoiled it's like having another child." She reiterates:
Remember that she's working for you. Don't cater to her every whim.
That's Mrs. de Lesseps to you, thank you very much!
LuAnn rounds out her guidance about household staff by suggesting that you give "holidays and sick days" and that you consider "[pulling] a flower from an arrangement" for your housekeeper's room. The largesse is truly beyond comprehension.
She then suggests that any of us impoverished ragamuffins who don't have doormen simply "adopt the doorman in a neighboring building for his services," kind of like how in Georgian England, wealthy estate owners used to hire ornamental hermits to live in their gardens and contribute to a general sense of idyllic ambiance.
LuAnn next turns her attention to the decorum around best friends, who she informs us can be "like a therapist, something you should never expect of your husband." Best friends can help you do tons of other things, like "edit your closet." LuAnn promptly segues into a story about a time when she was seated next to Sean Connery at a dinner party, but then rudely forced to switch places by an inconsiderate hostess. Connery, as one might expect, was "baffled and disappointed" by his misfortune. The hostess, as one also might expect, is described generously by LuAnn as "an older women [sic] -- a tad bitter and unhappy."
In the book's final passage, titled "Fund-raising," LuAnn describes her then-husband by saying, "he has a long-term vision that runs in his blood." Given that this particular long-term vision apparently did not turn out to include LuAnn, this seems an inadvertently bleak note on which to end. So we'll soldier on through the Afterword, in which The Countess remarks, "I am really the person you see on the show. The camera doesn't lie." She continues,
If you haven't already learned from watching the [sic] The Real Housewives of New York City, you'll know after having read my book that a countess is no different from anyone else.
In her final paragraph, LuAnn puts out a call for any reader feedback -- "I would love to know what you found helpful in my book and what subjects I didn’t get to that you'd like to hear about." As she tantalizingly teases, "Who knows? I had so much fun writing this book, I just might start another."
We can only hope.
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2020.07.05 20:55 tutetibiimperes Nugu Roundup #46 - One World OneWe - 200705 + Album Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!
What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!
Last week we got to know the talented group plagued by company issues Sonamoo. This week let's check out a boy band that's had a busy year, let's get to know OneWe.
Look at the first comment below for the winner of the first Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week's album up for grabs!
What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means 'Who' in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn't have to mean they're extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of 'unknown' which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don't have widespread name recognition.
Let's get on with the show...
Who are they?: OneWe is a five member band under RBW. They began their careers in 2015 under Modern Music as a group called MAS 0094, which stood for 'Make a Sound' plus the birth years of the oldest and youngest members. In 2017 they moved to RBW changing their name to MAS then then to OneWe redebuting as the new group with the same members in 2019. Their name symbolizes their existence as a single unit as well as 'We Shine On You'. Their fandom name is WEVE, which comes from a combination of OneWe and Move.
Company: RBW is well known for Mamamoo and rising boy group OneUs, vocal group Vrormance, as well as OneWe. They also have a Vietnamese wing of the company with soloist Jin Ju and new Vietnamese boy group D1Verse, as well as hip-hop oriented sub-label All Right Music featuring Big Tray and Marvel J, and several co-managed artists with Duckfuss Entertainment including Kpop Star Season 2 standout Kim Doyeon. In addition RBW features a stable of prolific Kpop producers and composers including CEO Kim Do Hoon, Park Woo Sang, Cosmic Girl, and Seo Yong-bae. RBW also runs a trainee incubator and training program for other companies, an orchestra for film and TV soundtracks as well as music production, and co-founded Modern K Music Academy as a joint venture with Cube Entertainment.
Group Interviews
Most Recent Comeback: May 26th, 2020 with End of Spring (MV) Live Stage (Link)
Other MVs and Releases
YouTube Channel: OneWe Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: When the group first started out they performed many cover songs while busking and in small venues and donated all profits from their shows to a charity for Korean Comfort Women (Korean women forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during WWII). The group has performed as a backup band for Mamamoo and Hwasa during many public performances including the MBC Gayo, MGMA Awards, and Seoul Music Awards. The group has said that RBW has given them total creative freedom to write and perform the kind of music that they want, and that CEO Kim Do Hoon as well as other RBW executives and producers have all played in bands previously so understand the group's process. They've mentioned that the toughest part of being an idol band has been learning to do aegyo and fan service. The group has performed many live shows and has toured in Japan as well has having performed in China.
Soloist of the Week
Who is she?: A female soloist under GH Entertainment (3YE's company) and former member of the co-ed duo Soya n' Sun.
Real Name: Kim So Ya
Age: 30 (IA)
Solo Debut: November 2010 with Loving Everyday feat. Kim Jong Kook (of Turbo) (audio)
Most Recent Comeback: September 27th, 2019 with Someday (MV)
Other Releases
YouTube Channel: Soya Official
Random Stuff
Trivia: She competed on The Unit. Her uncle is Kim Jong Kook from the 1st-gen group Turbo. She has a degree in Practical Music from Howon University. She has competed on King of the Masked Singer. She is friends with Jennie from Blackpink and soloist Holland. She says that men who have been interested in her get discouraged when they find out who her uncle is. ________________________________________________________
In Memorium
Who were they?: A four member girl group under Winning Insight Entertainment
Active Between: January 2014 - Late 2014
Reasons for Disbanding: Member Haena, who's contract had apparently began much earlier with the agency, decided to leave the company when her contract expired, leading to the group going on hiatus and then disbanding.
Random Stuff
Trivia: Member Haena went on to join Matilda (which also later disbanded) after leaving Kiss&Cry. Member Bohye went on to found the independent girl group Destiny. Dia returned to solo activities and recently appeared as a guest on MNet's Good Girl. Member Soyumi went solo as a trot singer and has had two releases.
That's it for today, let's get the discussion on!
As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments below.
Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.
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2020.07.03 11:35 jst4reddit A Monyet Sees: Gol & Gincu 2 (2018) & The Half of It (2020)

A Monyet Sees: Gol & Gincu 2 (2018) & The Half of It (2020)
So the weekend's here at last, and while everything's reopening I know some of you will definitely be staying home with the age old question: "What to watch?". Between rewatching The Office or Brooklyn 99 for the 100th time, why not watch something unexpected? After all, 2020 has been a year of strife and heartbreak; some of us have lost jobs, others our direction and purpose. So in a year of subverted expectations and misplaced first impressions, I bring you two movies that encapsulate that very notion, that challenge you to look past it’s unseeming exterior and revel in both the positivity & complexity of its simple message. What, did you think all I want to do is to shit on movies?
So why watch something good, when you can watch something Malaysian too?
TLDR Two movies that defy the expectations set within their trailers, rising to be incredible female-led narrative works.

Two stories, both of which give you one impression while leaving you with another
So you watch the trailers for both of these movies, and you make very safe assumptions about the two. Gol & Gincu Vol 2 feels like your typical Metrowealth trash; an endless cringe fest of half baked jokes and overcooked drama. The Half of It on the other hand feels like an interesting twist on the teen rom com formula, where a girl tries to help a guy get a girl but they end up falling in love instead. So you go into both expecting a romance plot, or some kind of “through the power of female empowerment the girls overcome their challenges and also get the guy (or girl) they want” kind of story; but let me tell you, you couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised to be so wrong.
Great Expectations
Zak played by Diana Danielle & Yaya played by Ummi Nazeera
Gol & Gincu Vol 2 (2018) is a reboot of Gol & Gincu (2005)), a movie that some of my friends call ‘That Female Malaysia Movie’. Directed by Umi Salwana Omar in her stellar directing debut, the movie is described as “...revolves around futsal and fashion…”, which I’ve always thought was a great way to tie two vastly contrasting hobbies around a story about women. So naturally, when Gol & Gincu Vol 2 came out, it came under my radar as something to watch for, until I saw the god awful trailer. It admittedly took a MAS flight where this movie was available for me to understand that I let slip a gem from right under my nose. Let me point out, this movie revolves around futsal and fashion as much as Pluto revolves around the Sun, though this is definitely to the movie’s credit.
Featuring familiar faces like Diana Danielle and Sharifah Amani, the story follows two headstrong freshmen: Yaya, an optimistic Insta-famous influencer and Zak, a rebellious fashion entrepreneur as they start college. The two personalities clash when Zak accidentally cuts Yaya’s line, and Yaya posts a picture of her on Twitter, instead of confronting her right then and there (speaks volumes don’t it). When a fight they have in a mosque is taped and goes viral, they are forced to make amends by helping out a charity, a home for delinquent teens. They soon realize the home is running out of funds, and they endeavor to raise funds by participating in a futsal tournament. Along the way, there’s some half baked plot about loan sharks and a stalker, but they all come together to realize that maybe, what matters most is the friends we’ve made along the way.
Predictable yet incredibly enjoyable
The three stages of watching this movie- what, why and ooohhh
If this plot sounds absolutely bog standard, you are right, make no mistake about it. But what keeps this movie fresh is a keenness in its execution and a sharp focus on the charming cast of characters. Buoyed by a colorful mood and great performances, the director actually takes advantage of your assumptions of the tropes and cliches and uses them intelligently, turning around and making you question your own biased perceptions. This movie stands as a fantastic example of taking something plain and boring and making it fun and exciting.
The movie also addresses the pitfalls of social media, but not so much in a hit-you-over-the-head kind of way, but more like these are the realities of the digital world today. The director carefully balances the fine line of being neither overt nor pretentious in its message, and the result is this resounding wholesome tone of positivity that permeates every frame. What makes this extra compelling is that the movie feels very grounded. The situations that the characters go through are things you could easily see you or your friend go through, with a touch of artistic exaggeration. The script also shines despite the formulaic story, with great dialogue exchanges between not only Yaya and Zak, but with the whole cast of characters. Most importantly these are actual natural portrayals of how we blend English and Malay effortlessly, unlike some movies (Wira I’m looking at you).
Indeed their van, like the movie is a-OK
I guess the best thing I can say about Gol & Gincu Vol 2 is that it’s well crafted and it never overstays its welcome. You never feel how average the plot is because you become so invested in Yaya and Zak's journey to help the charming women that reside within Rumah 3R. The supporting cast is fantastic and realistic, and I bring an especial focus to the characters of Hanis, a pregnant teen and Gangster (lol that’s her name), a woman in juvie for assault. If you’re looking for a good Malaysian movie, this is an easy one to recommend because of how light-hearted and fun it feels, with a refreshing perspective on Malaysian life coming from the perspective of women. At no point do they get into some hamfisted plot about proving themselves to get a man, and this break to originality is very welcome.
And then we move on to the resplendent
The Half of It (2020) on the other hand is a masterpiece, and is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. Directed by Alice Wu in only her sophomore effort, The Half of It transcends all expectations of normality, and breaks any assumptions of it being some Oscar bait film about LGBT proclivity nor teen romance. Because of this, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets Oscar nods despite its teen drama vibe. A coming-of-age movie about love where the romance is secondary, this movie is about the different ways we emotional beings are able to love one another, feeling more like a better version of 3 Idiots. Now I know what you’re thinking, how can this be a movie about love where the romance is so muted? That fellow monyets, is masterful storytelling.
Ellie Chu played by Leah Lewis and Paul Munsky played by Daniel Diemer
This movie follows the story of Ellie Chu, a girl too enlightened to be stuck in the small conservative town of Squahamish, yet actually wants to remain there with her father. She’s portrayed as your typical friendless wallflowegirl-next-door type, selling essays to help bring money to the family. Like any typical teen romance, she crushes on the popular girl Aster Flores, but oh how would someone like her ever notice a girl like Ellie? Enter Paul Munsky, a simple football player with a big heart, but a bigger problem of being unable to express it. He approaches Ellie to help him write a letter, and though she is initially hesitant, the money, challenge & curiosity at the opportunity to finally talk to Aster sets her (and by extension you) alight. Alice Wu establishes all of this expertly within the first 14 minutes of the movie, showcasing a mastery of the craft shared similarly by directors like David Fincher.
Beauty in Trepidation
Some truly subtle foreshadowing right here
Within these 14 minutes, you essentially go through the trappings of a regular teen romance; your attention kept alive by its quirky philosophical musings and Ellie’s charming personality. It’s only when Aster replies back do you slowly but surely find yourself magically enraptured by an unshakeable feeling of butterflies, like when you text your crush and you see her typing a reply. Supplemented by gorgeous cinematography and superb direction, before you know it you’re halfway through the movie, sucked in by the chemistry of the cast all the while dying to know how this ploy plays out. It has been a while since I’ve been treated to such a visual splendor, one where there is not a single shot out of place nor are there wasted scenes.
Watching this, you feel like a wallflower without even realizing it. You’re right there with Ellie and Paul, bearing witness to the birth of the kind of friendship that would last a lifetime. You feel the same things they feel, and there is an intimacy in knowing these characters and their thoughts and feelings. Yet all of this makes you feel guilty because you know things like this just never end well, and it’s that feeling of dread that keeps you guessing. A tempting comparison to make is with To All The Boys I've Loved Before), but this would be like comparing Polis Evo to Rush Hour (actually an interesting comparison to make); similarly themed but completely different in execution and direction.
Aster Flores played brilliantly by Alexis Lemire
This film makes you feel things that you may have long forgotten: the happiness of a new friendship, the hopefulness of youth; the remembrance of a time when the only thing that mattered was thinking of ways to get your crush. The Half of It feels like an extremely personal story of the heart, one dedicated to exploring the tropes of teen drama and showing you how these tropes can still be used to tell a captivating tale. To go any deeper from here would be a disservice, I can only say that if you have Netflix, you have to see this right now.
Just see it now and come back after, for be warned, spoilers ahead.
Analyzing the Good and Great [Spoilers-ish ahead]
When I was coming up with this post for Gol & Gincu 2 (G&G2), I actually struggled to find a contemporary Hollywood movie that fit the bill of a female empowered tale that didn't talk about men/have any romance. I was genuinely surprised to find that G&G2 managed to tell it's story well without these elements, and while Lady Bird), Charlie's Angels) and even Booksmart all almost fit the bill, only The Half of It felt similarly grounded and realistic enough for a comparative baseline. This is why I implore people to see it, as we have is a unique Malaysian story that passes the Bechdel test beyond all measures that is approachably fun to watch.
These are two very similar movies in mood & tone, which was why I wanted to bring up how a decent Malaysian movie can fare favorably against a masterpiece. Besides being stories with Asian representation, the movies also manage to go into the general issues that plight young people without ever feeling pandering or condescending. Both also utilize technology wisely, with G&G2 showing how our digital presence can have adverse effects, while The Half of It utilizes it with new contextual brevity.
Contemporary meta depiction of social media
Muted simple depiction of social media
Both also are coming-of-age stories, but there's a special feel to Gol & Gincu 2 that elevates it for me. It never quite feels like a coming-of-age story, but rather an ensemble tale of discovering friendship amidst adversity. Both also share a subtlety to it's messages, covering more issues and problems that's portrayed in the movie but are never specifically lingered upon. Like the whole idea of having a character with Tourette's really spoke volumes about the representation of mental issues in Malaysia as well as the implied familial responsibilities of the daughter in The Half of It. Neither movie actually delves into the issue, mostly because it's not needed. They show it to you by introducing the world within which these characters reside in, and the realities that these characters have to deal with.
Both movies also utilized cinematography to tell an additional story. In The Half of It, you can actually see the reinforcement and progression in the development of Ellie & Paul's relationship with her cycling and him running to catch up to her. This simple visual story mechanic reinforces several details, like how Paul will always work harder to get to Ellie's level, and this visual story even has it's own pay off when all this running allows him to get Squahamish's first point in so many years.
Great visual storytelling
Similarly, in G&G2, if you take a closer look at Yaya and Zak and the scenes that they share in the first half movie, their blocking is always differentiated either by a difference in eye levels, propping or even characters standing between them to show that they don't quite agree. This however is differentiated, as when they actually do share an agreement (the two want to change their assigned rooms), they actually are able to stand next together. This only changes until after Zak helps Yaya with her bike, which from then on they actually manage share scenes with no such differentiation as in the first half.
A relationship slowly brought together
This kind of subtlety is not something you see too often in Malaysian movies, let alone mainstream ones, and it's some of these details that really quite endear G&G2 for me.
But of course, like other Red Comm works, there just has to be dramatic contrivances. There's stuff like when the home is painted by loan sharks (never really addressed again), as well as Hanis’ stalker at the futsal match (he just shows up? lol); elements introduced unnecessarily, and thrown away just as quickly. Even The Half of It is guilty of this, like the breakthrough at the Church where Ellie shouts no and their dramatic conflicts are neatly wrapped up in a single scene. However, unlike other terrible movies you're able to excuse this because of all the investment you have towards these characters and the curiosity within that makes you want to know how it all ends.
And speaking of characters, both of these movies are superbly performed, especially by Leah Lewis, (whom I now look forward to seeing more than Lana Condor) and Diana's and Umma's chemistry. This is something shared in their supporting cast, with interesting takes on how they challenge the main characters. The Half of It has fewer characters given it's intimate direction while G&G2 gives their cast a more band of unlikely misfits characterization. G&G2 did a really good job in this regard with the newcomers in Rumah 3R, though Syafiq Kyle takes the cake, playing the right kind of obnoxious. It's enough for you to make you hate him, but never scene stealing.
This weekend if you're looking for that movie no one has really seen or talked about, Gol & Gincu 2 and The Half of It come highly recommended. Of course you could always watch Jurassic 2, Jumanji 2, The King or some other blockbuster hit, but none of those will hit you in the ways that these movies do. These two are some of the best female-led movies right now (in Hollywood & Malaysia respectively), and both have deeper messages to tell than their first impressions would imply.
So watch The Half of It to recapture those lost feelings of nostalgia, and watch G&G2 to actually have something to boast about when the topic of Malaysian movies come up. Most importantly, I think most of the fun will come from actually trying to convince people to see these two very unlikely movies, and having the fun of introducing that media that actually makes you sit back and say 'Wow, that was actually pretty good'.
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2020.07.02 07:56 anoceandrop The Mani Ratnam Rabbit hole Part 5 - Power, Politics & Drama - Guru(2007) / Iruvar(1997) - The Kingpin Biopics

Kingpins are leaders who prefer an organized structure for running the show. Success is important to the Kingpin and they feel at home when they are managing a business or team of people.
The role of a leader is - 𝒅𝒆𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 (the issues that affects one's surrounding) & 𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒐𝒑𝒆. Now, that sounds simple, but it’s often hard to understand exactly what is going on in the world around you, and then to translate it in a way that is both accurate and hopeful to the people in your domain.
In order to successfully navigate these challenges, the successful leader requires the following 4 𝑷❜𝒔 :
First, a leader needs a 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒆/𝑷𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏. Call it a vision or a mission or an ideal or a cause or a calling, but successful leaders need to be pointed in the right direction, and they need to be able to inspire others to join in their pursuit.
Second, a leader needs a 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒏. Again, call it a strategy or a road-map or a set of goals and objectives, but successful leaders need to not only know where they are headed, but how to get there. A destination is not enough – putting one foot in front of the other is the key to achieving visionary goals.
Third, a leader needs 𝑷𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆. Successful leaders have followers that are committed to the 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒆 and the 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒏, and are motivated to be part of a movement or community or group that is bigger than a sum of its parts. Leaders need to be able to motivate those people to walk the talk.
And finally, a leader needs 𝑷𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓. Power can come from people or money or ideas or capital or some kind of other resource, but an engine needs fuel to move forward. Leaders need to be able to marshal these resources in support of their cause.
In Mani Ratnam's unofficial 𝑲𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒑𝒊𝒏 𝑩𝒊𝒐𝒑𝒊𝒄𝒔 we see the protagonists work towards amassing these 4 𝑷❜𝒔 deliberately or inadvertently. One is set in Gujarat, the other in Tamilnadu.
𝟭. 𝗚𝘂𝗿𝘂(𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟳)
Guru is an Indian Hindi-language Drama starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar & Mithun Chakraborty in the the main cast with a guest appearance by Mallika Sherawat.
The general consensus is that this film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, one of India's biggest industrial tycoons, who from humble beginnings built Reliance Industries into one of the largest and most profitable firms in the world while also having elements of other stories & businessmen. It's a Biopic, but not really.
The film is actually about 𝑭𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒕𝒔 & 𝑷𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒎.
Guru has others involved in the production as a film that is reflective of a man's desire for ambition and success, and how times have changed from the period immediately after the country's independence to the present. Some reports have speculated that this film is a biographical film of Dhirubhai Ambani. Like Guru, Ambani also had roots in Gujarat as the son of a schoolteacher, went abroad to work for the gas company Shell, and returned to India to import polyester. Ratnam has described Guru as inspired by stories both past and present.
The film begins with Guru telling how his father said never to dream, because dreams don't come true. We then are taken to Guru's youth where he wishes to go to Turkey because he has failed his mathematics exams. This shames his father who is the school's headmaster, still his father allows him to go. There, he stands out as an employee at Shell where he is promoted to sales supervisor, a position he refuses in order to start his own business.
He returns home where he gains Sujata's hand in marriage, along with it a dowry that will afford him the opportunity to become a businessman in cloth trading. Guru goes on to take on the trading union and builds his own factory, the Shakti Corporation where he creates his own cloth. His corporation grows to be one of the largest in the country but he has adopted corrupted ways to gain the success he seeks.
Manik Dasgupta, who has become a father figure to Guru, runs the newspaper, Swatantra. Once he learns of Guru's manipulation of his newspaper he enlists Shyam Saxena, one of his reporters to take Guru down. Shyam discovers that Shakti has smuggled factory parts into the country without paying tax on it, and his plant is producing double the legal daily output. All of this is exposed by the newspaper. Guru goes on to have a stroke from the stress of his fight with the newspaper and Meenu, Manik's daughter who has married Shyam dies of her fight with multiple sclerosis.
Guru is brought before a government panel in order to defend himself against the corruption charges set out against him. Once Guru speaks to the press the next day his speech causes the government to clear him of nearly all of the charges set out against him. He must only settle two charges against him by paying the fines. Once he does he is allowed to return to run his company.
The film was conceptualized in 1987 during the making of Maniratnam's movie Nayakan. The less known fact is that, the role of Madhavan is based on Swaminathan Gurumurthy, who along with Ramnath Goenka worked to expose Reliance Industries. The title is speculated to be an acknowledgement of this fact, where in his name is playfully swapped with Ambani's character. In real life , Gurumurthy has twin daughters much like the Guru character in the movie.
Guru was written and directed by Mani Ratnam, while Vijay Krishna Acharya(Dhoom) wrote the Hindi dialogues. Filming took place in Mumbai, Turkey, Badami and Melkote (Karnataka), as well as in Chennai, Pollachi, Madurai, Chettinad region Tamil Nadu, and Athirappilly in Kerala. This is the first film to be shot at Express Estates, a 21-acre stretch of old buildings in the heart of Madras. These buildings happen to be the home of the Indian Express and Dinamani newspapers.
The music is composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Gulzar. Cinematography for the film is handled by Rajiv Menon. Several scenes were deleted from the final theatrical version, including a scene in which Sujata first gives birth to a stillborn child and a scene in which Guru becomes angry with his wife for visiting Manik Dasgupta.
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒐𝒏, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑 -
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐬 & 𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦
Guru follows Gurukant “Guru” Desai from his small village in India to Turkey where in a series of evocative scenes he shows a natural affinity for the rhythms of markets. Determined to work for himself, Guru returns to India and tries to enter the cotton market but he needs a license and the license system is monopolized by a rich clique with close ties to the government.
Guru has no entry into this clique, which differs in class and caste from his village roots, but his cause is taken up by a liberal newspaper editor, Manik Dasgupta, a veteran of the independence movement, who shames the government into opening up the license system. Guru and Manik become close and Guru becomes godfather to Manik’s daughter who has epilepsy.
The movie’s portrayal of entrepreneurship and the problems that Guru must surmount–financial, familial, and political–is unusually smart and sympathetic.
As Guru rises to the top the movie becomes more complex. Guru bribes politicians and skirts rules and regulations. His previous benefactor, the newspaper editor, turns against him. Derek Elley at Variety says Guru “forgets his ethics on the way to the top.” That’s a common but incorrect reading. What is going on is more subtle.
Ratnam is telling us that Guru’s virtues are incompatible with a corrupt system and a choice must be made. Consider that on his way to the top, Guru has promised to always honor, love and respect his elder patron and even as they are at odds, he never wavers in this promise. Nor does he waver in his love for Manik’s epileptic daughter, even as she marries the reporter who has led the charges against Guru.
Rather than having been corrupted, Guru demonstrates an iron-willed commitment to virtue. Riches and success did not corrupt Guru’s personal virtue nor has his public virtue been corrupted. In contrast to the earlier corruption of the ruling clique we never see Guru preventing others from competing with him. He bribes only in order to build.
The movie is powerful not because it opposes virtue and corruption but because it opposes two ideas of virtue. Is it virtuous to follow the law when the law itself is corrupt? Other artists have explored this question when the lawbreaker opposes social injustice, ala Gandhi and Martin Luther King, but what about when the lawbreaker opposes economic injustice? The question the movie asks is a classic question from Ayn Rand, how can an honest (business)-man live in a corrupt world? The theme becomes clear in the climax, a trial in which Guru, ala Howard Roark, puts society on trial.
The director, Mani Ratnam, has great ambitions. In telling the story of India’s liberation, not from colonialism but from socialism, he aims to elevate a new type of hero for post-socialist India, a business guru. In the trial, Ratnam is also arguing that a house divided against itself, a house half slave and half free, cannot long remain standing. Either India must push forward with a new vision for itself based on business, free and open markets and liberal views (on gender, the disabled, religion and other issues) or it will indeed fall back into internal strife and corruption.
Certain techniques are slowly changed within the film to mark the passing of time and the growth of Guru as an individual: - When Guru is a young man in Turkey, the camera is handheld and in perpetual motion, giving Guru and that period of his life a racy, edgy feel.
As he ages, the camera movements become smoother and towards the end of the film the camera is almost stationary. - The editing closely follows the above concept: the young Guru is shown in quick cuts and as Guru grows older the editing is smoother and becomes less frequent.
Lighting also changes with the times In Turkey, direct and specular lights were initially used to capture the aura of a foreign land, thus producing a sepia-yellow phase. Then the lighting changed to the more directionless soft light seen in the early and middle 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, tube lights came into style, thus producing a dramatic cyan-green light needed for the climax.
(𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝑭𝒓𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒆𝒄𝒉𝒏𝒊𝒒𝒖𝒆/𝑺𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒄𝒌 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒅)
Guru has received positive reviews from critics. Abhishek Bachchan received almost unanimous praise for his performance.
The film was released on 12 January 2007 with its première at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday 11 January 2007 by Roger Nair, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international première in Canada. Roger Nair productions acquired the rights for Canada and held a premiere with most of the cast and crew flown to Toronto, Canada. The film was premiered in the Tous Les Cinemas du Monde (World Cinema) section of 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
In the United States, it was a blockbuster. The New York Times said of the film "You might think it would be difficult to fashion an entertaining account of the life of a polyester manufacturer, even a fictitious one. But director Mani Ratnam has done so with "Guru," an epic paean to can-do spirit and Mumbai capitalism."
The New York Post gave it 3 out of 4 stars, and the Los Angeles Weekly called it "The best Hindi film since Lagaan". Richard Corliss of Time compared the film to Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and said that "One of the main highlights of the film was its climax. This Guru is more like a fine polyester."
𝟮. 𝗜𝗿𝘂𝘃𝗮𝗿(𝟭𝟵𝟵𝟳)
‘Iruvar’ which translates to 'The Duo' is a 1997 Indian Tamil-language Epic Political Drama film co-written, produced and directed by Mani Ratnam. Iruvar is a fictitious depiction of the duo of eminent politicians M.G.Ramachandran (M.G.R) and Karunanidhi as Anandan and Tamil Selvam. It's a Biopic, but not really
The film is actually about 𝑷𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝑫𝒚𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒄𝒔 𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑰𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑𝒔.
The movie enjoys enormous fan following among Cinephiles and has achieved cult status over the years. In 2012, Iruvar was included by critic Rachel Dwyer in the British Film Institute Sight and Sound 1000 greatest films of all time.
𝐄𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐬:
Tales on friendship are of 2 kinds, the kind that sugar-coats reality into a pretentious show of perfection with fairy tale plots, and tragedies such as Iruvar, the kind that brings you to terms with the brutality and iniquity of relationships.
At a time when filmmakers hesitated to question authority and altered their scripts to avoid cuts by the censor board, there came Maniratnam’s bold move establishing the relationship between Cinema and Politics and the significance of power, with which the two were able to unite Tamil Nadu, in a setting beautifully rendered by the purity of friendship and layered through emotive characterization. (𝑭𝒖𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒅)
Starring Mohanlal and Prakash Raj in the lead, ‘Iruvar’ follows the story of Anandan (Mohanlal), an aspiring actor who befriends Tamilselvan (Prakash Raj), a Dravidian loyalist. Apart from Mohanlal and Prakash Raj, the film also starred Tabu, Aishwarya Rai, Gautami, Revathi and Nasser in prominent roles.
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑪𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒐𝒏, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑: ᴬʳᵗⁱᶜˡᵉ ᶠʳᵒᵐ ᴰᵉᶜᶜᵃⁿ ᴴᵉʳᵃˡᵈ
Here Ratnam at last found a cinematic subject worthy of his gifts — Tamil cinema, music and politics: The 3 great obsessions of the Tamil people (indeed, Indian people). Irvuar chronicles 5 decades in the history of Tamil cinema and politics. AR Rahman’s songs, one of his most inventive and versatile scores to date, evocatively and accurately reflect the sound and song style of films from each of those decades.
Struggling actor Anandan (Mohanlal) meets poet, screenwriter & active politician Thamilchelvam (Prakash Raj) and this becomes the basis for a long, passionate & conflicted friendship. Anandan believes that together they can make cinema history while the poet is more interested in making political history.
Enter Kalpana (Aishwarya Rai): An ambitious actress who obsesses about Anandan. After the death of the party’s leader Annadurai (Nasser), both Anandan and Thamilchelvam find themselves in contention for the party’s top position. Will their idealism and ambition draw them closer or make them rivals?
The key characters are, of course, based on real life screen stars turned politicians: The rise to fame of actor and cult-figure Anandan is loosely based on the life of legendary movie star Marudur Gopalamenon Ramachandran, Thamilchelvam is based on Muthuvel Karunanidhi and Kalpana on Jayalalitha. Cinema, music and politics are so deeply connected in the history and psyche of Tamils that Ratnam seems to have instinctively and profoundly known how to approach these as a filmmaker.
The level of melodrama and fantasy (grandeur more than truth), the sweeping emotions (overwhelming more than intense) and the songs (enchanting more than clever) are stunning. Ratnam deftly moves from scenes of grandly scaled melodrama to understated, intimate moments that subtly reveal or betray something about his characters.
We see a sepia-tinged film within a film — it is Anandan as a masked hero come to save the princess. The sets (a fortress/temple with a giant bell) are exactly like the surreal ones from the MGR films from the late 40s (probably Rajakumari) but the sequence itself (a song more chanted than sung rising in tempo) with the hero on horseback galloping over hills, is modern, stylized: A cinematic nod to Kurosawa.
As the chanting fades, and the prince rides away with the princess, the scene morphs into a gigantic screen, and we now watch it inside the dark of a movie theatre with the actor Anandan watching the screen.
Cut to: Anandan and the heroine waving from the theatre balcony to a throng of fans below, we see black and white posters of the movie everywhere. The moment is thrilling: At once you feel what movies are all about, the visceral high they give you. A moment known and shared by both, the fan and the actor.
The other intriguing bit from the film is more low-key: That poetic, refined beauty Tabu plays a school teacher and an intellectual, waiting for Selvam in his house. Drawn to his radical ideas and his political commitment, she has quit her job to become his mistress simply because he wrote and asked her to. But now she is full of doubt — what is she to him? Selvam rushes in, looks for her everywhere and then finds her sitting on the steps that lead to the second floor. He sits down a step below her and begins talking to her. She is quiet. After a pause, he asks her why and she wonders aloud who she is to him and he answers passionately: “My lover, my companion, my friend.” She lets her head gently fall on to the banister, the camera moves in closer: There are tears in her eyes and then slowly a smile, a smile full of a quiet joy.
An often remarked scene that follows this is the two of them lying on the floor, opposite each other, perspiring from having made love, as Santosh Sivan’s camera swirls above them, caressing them, and Selvam’s impassioned poem is heard over and over again. It is, as passionate movie scenes go, unforgettable. It is preceded by the subtler, incandescent passage.
Aishwarya Rai in her debut is alluring. Mohanlal and Prakash Raj give great, controlled performances. Lal’s performance is nuanced, subtle, restrained while Raj is fiery, eloquent, complex. Ratnam said of Mohanlal's performance - "Hereafter, I will never work with a man of whom I am a fan. I often forgot to say 'Cut' in Iruvar."
Apart from the pitch perfect work of the leads, there are remarkable performances from Nasser, Tabu, Gouthami and Revathi. The dialogues by the director and his wife, Suhasini (a gifted dialogue writer) is both powerful and poetic.
Ditto for the song lyrics by Vairamuthu. The challenging and pleasurable task of writing tunes that will reflect the style and sound of 5 decades of Tamil film music is effortlessly met by Rahman. Each song is a jewel. Ratnam pictures each song according to the look and sensibility of a particular decade in Tamil cinema history: Narumugaye is in sepia and features the actress Madhoo in a cameo as Tagore’s classic mythological heroine, Shakunthala. (Ratnam chose Madhoo for her face which recalls the features of classic actresses from the 40s and 50s).
Hello Mister Edirkatchi, set in a smoky club with Rai practically smoldering, cleverly imitates the faux-jazz inflected songs that dominated Tamil dance songs once upon a time. In Ayirathil Naan Oruvan the playback singer, Mano, sounds exactly like the playback singer who voiced MGR. And Mohanlal deftly mimes this legendary actor’s famous gestures (raising one hand and twirling it) when he danced and sang for 5 decades.
Ratnam’s ability to always use large, sweeping themes as a backdrop to foreground more personal stories is one of his major achievements & a unique style of telling a story in contemporary cinema. As the film ends, you are surprised into tears to discover that Iruvar has not really been about cinema or politics but a personal, intimate movie about friendship.
𝑬𝒙𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒑𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝑩𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒘𝒂𝒋 𝑹𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒏'𝒔 𝑨𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒏 𝑰𝒓𝒖𝒗𝒂𝒓 (𝑭𝒖𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒅):
"𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭 𝘕𝘢𝘥𝘶 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘎𝘙-𝘒𝘢𝘳𝘶𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘥𝘩𝘪-𝘑𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘢 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘛𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭 𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴. 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭 𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦, 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳, 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘒𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘭 𝘏𝘢𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘯 (𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭-𝘵𝘰𝘰-𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘕𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘝𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘵)"
Mani Ratnam’s 3rd collaboration with with Santosh Sivan after Thalapathi (1991) & Roja (1992) was Iruvar (1997) which is described by the cinematographer as his most challenging project -
“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴,” 𝘚𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥. “𝘈𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦.
𝘐 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘺 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘶𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘢 𝘔𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘢(𝘊𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘱𝘶 𝘛𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺), 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪 𝘐𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘪(𝘒𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘢 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘉𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘊𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘺) , 𝘞𝘪𝘭𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘝𝘒 𝘔𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘺(𝘊𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘎𝘶𝘳𝘶 𝘋𝘶𝘵𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮𝘴). 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘥𝘢𝘺, 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘥. 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘪 𝘙𝘢𝘵𝘯𝘢𝘮 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺. 𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦, 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳."
One composition in Iruvar has been frequently praised – a top-angle shot of Tamizhselvan (Prakash Raj) and Senthamarai (Tabu) lying on the ground close to each other. Sivan’s camera points downwards and encircles the characters for the length of the scene. The camerawork heightens the intensity and turmoil of the lovers – Senthamarai has left her family and come to live with Tamizhselvan.
"𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺’𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦,” 𝘚𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥. “𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯. 𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮. 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘪 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘫𝘦𝘳𝘬𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘯𝘰, 𝘭𝘦𝘵’𝘴 𝘨𝘰 𝘢𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥. 𝘚𝘰 𝘐 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵, 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵.
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘐𝘯 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘨𝘦 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘦𝘴. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘩 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺. 𝘐 𝘥𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘶𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘢 𝘔𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘢."
In October 1995, Mani Ratnam announced that he was set to make a feature film titled Anandan featuring dialogues written by Suhasini with Mohanlal, Nana Patekar and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles.
Initial speculation suggested that the film would visualise the duel between Vellupillai Prabhakaran and his former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam deputy Mahattiya, who was executed in 1995 for an alleged plot to kill his mentor, with Aishwarya Rai reported to be playing Indira Gandhi.
Mani Ratnam was quick to deny any political backdrop claiming that the film would be about the Indian movie industry, however this proved to bluff the public as the film was to be set within a political canvas.
The film was later retitled Iruvar (The Duo) and the idea to make a film on the lives of 1980s Tamil Nadu political icons M. G. Ramachandran and M. Karunanidhi and their influential relationship between Tamil cinema and Dravidian politics by Mani Ratnam was sparked by a conversation he had with renowned Malayalam author, M. T. Vasudevan Nair.
When interviewed about the difficulties of casting, Mani Ratnam revealed he "struggled" citing that casting "is most important as far as performance is concerned" and that "fifty per cent of the job is done if you cast correctly".
Mohanlal was approached to play Anandan, a character inspired by the former actor-politician M. G. Ramachandran and about his performance in the film, Mani Ratnam claimed that Mohanlal had "the ability to make everything absolutely realistic with the least amount of effort".
He described that debutant Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss World beauty pageant winner, who appeared in two different characters - one inspired by actress-politician Jayalalitha, as a "tremendous dancer" and "having a lot of potential". The director revealed that the only difficulty Mohanlal and Aishwarya had was the language, both being non-Tamil speakers adding that the pair had to work hard over the dubbing trying to get as close to the Tamil tongue.
The actor to play the role of Tamizhselvan, inspired by politician M. Karunanidhi, took substantially longer to finalise with the initial choice, Nana Patekar, withdrawing after several discussions about his remuneration. Later, Mohanlal's Malayalam counterpart Mammootty was offered the role but declined, as did leading Tamil actors Kamal Haasan and Sathyaraj.
Negotiations with R. Sarathkumar and Mithun Chakraborty were also unsuccessful as the pair demanded a higher remuneration, while Arvind Swamy was briefly signed on to play the role and had recorded two poems for the soundtrack, before opting out due to other commitments. Mani Ratnam also called R. Madhavan, then a small-time model for the screen test, but left him out of the project citing that he thought his eyes looked too young for a senior role.
Subsequently, Prakash Raj, who had played a small role in Mani Ratnam's 1994 film Bombay was signed up to essay the character. Prakash Raj initially told Mani Ratnam that he was unprepared to essay such a delicate role in such short notice, with Prakash Raj later revealing that Mani Ratnam nurtured the character and brought self-confidence into the actor. Renowned for being a perfectionist film-maker, Mani Ratnam made Prakash Raj take 25 takes for his first shot, lasting over six hours. Actress Tabu was also signed to play an important role in the film and shot for Iruvar alongside her Tamil debut film, Kadhal Desam.
The film was shot across 1996 and schedules were canned all across India from Kerala to Leh with Mohanlal stating that it was the longest duration he had shot for a film.The film was briefly stopped by the FEFSI strike of 1996, making technicians unavailable for use, but Mani Ratnam carried on filming and completed a song using only natural light. After the shooting for Iruvar was completed, Mani Ratnam asked Prakash Raj to dub in Tamil himself for the first time, with his work taking four days to complete.
Though the movie starts with a note saying "Idhu Unmai Kadhai Alla (meaning: this is not a true story)," the movie deals with a very sensitive subject of the two men whose lives were chronicled that enjoy an enormous fan following.
The dash and flair and captivating oratory abilities of M. Karunanidhi has attracted many millions over the 50 years of his political life and M. G. Ramachandran enjoys a semi-divine status in of his own, in Tamil Nadu. On account of this the movie invited much criticism from both the camps.
Moreover, the personal lives of the lead characters (their extramarital relations, ego problems) have been portrayed with near accuracy in the film. M. G. Ramachandran is shown as a person who meets his match in the wiles of J. Jayalalithaa. When the movie was released, various political parties staged demonstrations to prevent theaters from showing the movie.
Both M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa denied the relevance of the film to their lives and never admitted to the film being a bio-pic
In a scene from the film 'Iruvar', DMK founder CN Annadurai urges a young Karunanidhi to rise and join him after an attack by political opponents leaves him bed-ridden.
Over 21 years after the movie hit the screens, the film's dialogue 'Ezhundhu Va' became a chant for thousands of Karunanidhi loyalists who were camped outside Kauvery Hospital in Chennai while the DMK patriarch waged a grim battle against his death. 'Va Va Thalaiva, Ezhundu Va Thalaiva', which means ‘Come back leader, rise again’ they all shouted day and night.
The relationship between Annadurai and Karunanidhi, and Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran were established through this film. It faced flak from all parties in Tamil Nadu after its release. Though it did not do well on the box office, it was critically acclaimed.
Prakash Raj’s portrayal of Karunanidhi was appreciated by the Kalaignar himself. He said it was a beautiful moment to meet the man whose role he had essayed - “He was 70 plus then and I was just 30. Many years later, I met him and I asked him: ‘Did I look like you (in the film) and he said: ‘Almost’.”
“When I asked him if I was close to the character, he said ‘almost'. He is a politician and hence he said the two words – ‘almost there'.”
Prakash Raj said that while he had known about Karunanidhi the politician, the role helped him learn about him as a character - his wit, his love for literature.
“It was a character I saw. I was not imitating him. It was very fascinating to see a man who changed the system, who dared to live his personal life too, who did not think of politics of religion,” he said.
He recounted how the Kalaignar indirectly mentioned his role in the movie Iruvar while giving him a state award for the movie ‘Kalki’. “I’m very happy (Anandamaa) to give away this award to you. You know it. I know it. We know it,” he quoted the DMK chief as saying.
“So, he connected the film and the award though this (Ánandan)…..” Interestingly, when Mani Ratnam started the film, it was titled Ánandan’ (meaning a person who is happy).” Anandan was the role of MGR (essayed by Mohanlal) in Iruvar.
He also narrated his interactions with the DMK Supremo. “During Chennai Sangamam that Kanimozhi organised, I had the chance of reciting Purananuru which he (Karunanidhi) had written. I remember his speech after that and he said: ‘I had written this for Shivaji and I always used to hear it in his voice. But when Prakash Raj speaks, I can hear it in his voice’. He was very inquisitive about my language in terms of how did I get the command. I said - I just know the sound but you are the creator,” added Prakash Raj.
With the demise of Karunaidhi, many including Prakash Raj feel that one wouldn’t find a man like Kalaignar again. “Such men are not made. In future, you won’t see anyone like that. You can have differences with him, that's fine. But in totality, he was a champion of the Tamil pride, about an identity to the oppressed and how he made it coming from a poor family himself. He was a great revolutionist,” he said.
“Later what happened with the party and the corruption charges whatever it is….but if you know the man, single-handedly to have run the party and to have kept the national parties away - both MGR and Kalaignar and to have always celebrated a cultural identity relentlessly and with such commitment with for 5 decades is not a joke,” he added.
In her very first film, Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was cast as Jayalalithaa. It was a well-kept secret not revealed to this day, by either the director or his leading lady. Though it was obvious that Iruvar was all about the infamous friendship-turned-rivalry between two of Tamil Nadu’s most high-profile film personalities turned politicians — MGR & Karunanidhi — no one, back then, was vocal about the role that Jayalalithaa played in shaping Indian politics.
This was Aishwarya’s acting debut after winning Miss World, and she wasn’t sure if doing such a volatile subject was the right start. But Mani convinced her.”
“This was also the era when the ‘de-Mani-tization’ (post his flops) had not started. Sure enough, there was a lot of trouble when Iruvar released — first, from the censor board, which wanted many key scenes deleted as it showed ‘easily recognisable political figures from Tamil Nadu’ in a less-than-flattering light. Protests were staged throughout Tamil Nadu on the film’s release”
But to this day, Aishwarya refuses to acknowledge her character in Iruvar as being based on Jayalalithaa. In one earlier interview, she did concede though that her role in Iruvar was closer to real life than any other she had played — “I’ve always believed in taking leaps of faith and always gone in pursuit of roles that require me to explore facets of my personality that are not known to anyone, not even me. I’ve been doing character-driven parts from the time I did Iruvar. I’ve taken risks from the start.” Apparently, Jayalalithaa had seen Iruvar too and spoke about how much she liked the film.
In the film, Kalpana is ‘understood’ to have perished in a car crash. In reality, however, she survived to win the Tamil Nadu elections not once, not twice, but four times! Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Iruvar (1997, Iddaru in Telugu) maps the Dravidian Movement with its lead players MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and its leading lady J Jayalalithaa! Both MK and Jayalalithaa denied the relevance of the film to their lives and never admitted to the film being a bio-pic but watch some of the scenes doing the rounds social media now and it all adds-up! In that context Iruvar is highly recommended, to comprehend the contextual significance Jayalalithaa played in TN politics and how her film career embellished her entry into the AIADMK party because of her 27 films with its brand ambassador MGR!
MGR’s first wife and Jayalalitha bear a striking resemblance and this came through in the dual role played by Aishwarya Rai’s Pushpa and Kalpana. MGR was ‘brought to life’ with great aplomb by Mohanlal’s Anandan while Prakashraj gave his career’s best performance as the poet-politician Thamizhselvan! The situations and scenarios unfold in unpredictable ways which make the story more than just a political saga.
Iruvar is as much a love story as it is a tale of friendship! It is the only surviving celluloid version of the Dravidian political history which is mostly hearsay today or what one might read on the internet! The film highlights stellar personalities who shaped the DK/DMK/AIADMK parties, their personal equations which propel their political decisions and as their careers expand, the political landscape of this state also widens! Craft-wise, it is Ratnam’s best film till date!
The film is still regarded as one of Mani Ratnam's best works. Ratnam himself has named Iruvar as his best film, in an interview to National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan. Baradwaj Rangan also named the film the best work of Ratnam, in his list “All Mani Ratnam Movies Ranked” .
"𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘹 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦, 𝘢 𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭 𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘢. 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘐𝘳𝘶𝘷𝘢𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 – 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 51𝘴𝘵 𝘓𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘰 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭 1998, " 𝘉𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘸𝘢𝘫 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥.
The film was also noted for its vignette style of making, with many single-shot scenes, where a fluid camera setup captures the entire action. Director Gautham Menon mentioned Iruvar as his inspiration, along with Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, for long single-shot scenes.
The film was screened in the Masters section at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival. Iruvar went on to become a critical success winning the Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival and 2 National Film Awards - Best Supporting Actor - Prakash Raj & Best Cinematography - Santosh Sivan.
The film's soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics by Vairamuthu.It has songs ranging from pure Carnatic to Tamil folk and Jazz. Rahman blended two Carnatic ragas—"Naatai" and "Ghambeera Naatai"—in "Narumugaye". "Venilla Venilla", sung by veteran singer Asha Bhonsle, and "Hello Mister Edirkatchi" are based on Jazz music. "Udal Mannukku" and "Unnodu Naan Irundha" were recitals sung by actor Arvind Swamy. The songs "Hello Mister Edirkatchi", "Narumugaye" were popular.
  1. Guru Lesson in Framing Scene Analysis -
  2. Iruvar Film Analysis Fully Filmy -
  3. Iruvar Single Shot Scene One of the greatest scenes produced by Indian Cinema -
  4. Iruvar in 4 minutes Lesson in Framing/Cinematography/Visual Storytelling -
  5. Guru Marginal Revolution article -
  6. Iruvar WordPress Analysis -
  7. Iruvar Deccan Herald Article -
  8. Guru Synopsis -
  9. Santosh Sivan’s Masterclass, Journey Of Light: On Thuppakki, Iruvar, Dil Se, Roja -
  10. Guru Review Baradwaj Rangan -
  11. Two People, one industry Baradwaj Rangan on Iruvar -
Ref: Wiki, IMDb, Online articles, YouTube.
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