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SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+363|2413

Dauntless wrote:

Not sure this fits in with the Book Club crowd but I've just finished reading this
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ride-Lifetime- … 0399592091

I have a lot of respect for this guy and the Disney company. Also seems like he will be running for president at some point. Hope it works out.
Disney's performance over the last decade has really been something. Their acquisition of Marvel in 2009 did a lot for comics and the entire superhero genre. It's a shame their Star Wars stuff didn't work out as well but I think that problem has more to do with Star Wars as a property than Disney mismanagement. Star Wars was never good?
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,812|5465|USA

It was never "good." Star Wars is Game of Thrones dumb. I think people's expectations of Disney Star Wars were through rose tinted glasses, but it's true that the new movies could have been better than they were. At least maybe the writers could have paid attention to Mark Hamill's input on his character. Also that the Emperor was "kept a secret" until the last movie seemed a little pointless. They revealed him without much fanfare and killed him shortly after. I credit Ian McDiarmid's camp performance greatly with carrying the prequels' rewatchability, even though they were supposed to be Vader's story. More at end of post.

Anyway, I haven't been able to find a Star Wars novel I could sit through for a very long time. I enjoyed Shadows of the Empire back during the early parts of the Dark Forces series of games, and was lucky enough to pick up I, Jedi (supposedly on a lot of 'top Star Wars novel' nerd lists) at random around the same time period. IIRC all Luke needed the main character for in a fight was holding his cloak. In sequel trilogy, Luke was a crazed hermit drinking alien milk pretty much nipple-to-glass. I guess maybe that makes the character "more real" or whatever, but he's a space wizard. Where was the composure he had when confronting the emperor in the original trilogy.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+363|2413
I like the reference to Dark Forces. I am sure you are old enough to remember those Windows 95 Star Wars games that had a bunch of FMV in it. Those exist only in my memories now.

I think Disney Star Wars is fundamentally doomed because it is owned by Disney. I mean my boomer dad is old enough to remember the original trilogy in theaters. He complains that the new movies were "kid movies" and not like the old ones for adults. I think that is rose tinted glasses but I suspect a lot of younger people that were old enough to remember the prequels actually in theaters are now old enough and have a taste for more mature and violent movies. Disney can't do a rated R Star Wars though so there will be a huge amount of people disappointed with the whole thing. The game of thrones writers were contracted to do a Star Wars trilogy that I suspect was Disney giving the R rated Star Wars thing a try. The GoT writers ruined that by rushing the ending to GoT.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,812|5465|USA

I don't think I've ever found myself wanting Star Wars to be more violent than it already was. There's already mutilation, stabbings, and electrocution. The new movies have a patricide with a vicious stabbing. If I want to watch a cheesy space version of Saving Private Ryan, I'll put on Starship Troopers.

The CGI cartoons supposedly have fights that are probably about as good as it's going to get for the franchise. Just this clip (fight at 0:50ish) alone seems more "truly" Star Wars than Star Wars, if that makes sense at all. Something that wouldn't be out of place in an old samurai flick.

I might be wrong, but I don't remember that the first Dark Forces had FMV. But the sequel certainly did. There was a cheat you could activate in that which allowed you to chop off large body parts, but no still no blood. Die by the Sword, on the other hand, let you chop bits off polygon by polygon but blunted it with Pythonesque dialog.

tl;dr, "take it to the movie thread"
RTHKI
mmmf mmmf mmmf
+1,676|5431|Oxferd
Finished The Plague.

East of Eden is up next copies are available.
https://i.imgur.com/tMvdWFG.png
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+363|2413
How did you like the Plague? I didn't care for it.
RTHKI
mmmf mmmf mmmf
+1,676|5431|Oxferd
It was good. East of Eden is much better than that or Rand
https://i.imgur.com/tMvdWFG.png
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+363|2413
What do you think of the Christian undertones of East of Eden?
KEN-JENNINGS
I am all that is MOD!
+2,866|5326|949

You mean how it's a retelling of Cain and Abel?

Wait until you realize the Christian undertones in Old Man and the Sea!
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+363|2413
Way to spoil the book for RTHKI. You ruined it for him. Pray the rosary in repentance.
Superior Mind
(not macbeth)
+1,743|5386
Ok, who’s read Graham Hancock? Of course he gets lambasted as a pseudoscientist, but I met him and think he’s an interesting guy. I think he’s on to something as well in regards his work.
x
What bloody man is that? NOT MACBETH
RTHKI
mmmf mmmf mmmf
+1,676|5431|Oxferd
Finished east of Eden a bit back, really good book.
Moved on to some others mainly rereading what I read in high school. Started with zombie survival guide, meh. Moved on to world war z, still enjoyed it mostly. Animal farm, good read forgot it was so short.
And now the giver quartet. Only read the first one in high school. I like the weird uniform dystopias in media.
https://i.imgur.com/tMvdWFG.png
Superior Mind
(not macbeth)
+1,743|5386
Starting off Sweet Thursday, by Steinbeck. Pretty goofy so far and good.
x
What bloody man is that? NOT MACBETH
RTHKI
mmmf mmmf mmmf
+1,676|5431|Oxferd
I'm 3/4 through grapes of wrath, love it. Wouldn't jay be one of the villains in this story?
https://i.imgur.com/tMvdWFG.png
Larssen
Member
+31|581
I've ordered about 6 books and am getting 5 more soonish. Felt it was about time I worked my way through Piketty's 'capital in the 21st century' among others, threw in Zuboff's 'age of surveillance capitalism' for good measure. New goal is to read at least one book every 2-3 weeks.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-09-29 04:35:13)

uziq
Member
+307|2146
a good goal for a nightmarish lockdown winter.

i'm reading benedict anderson's 'imagined communities: reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism'. timely book, despite being written in the 80s/revised in the 90s and largely based on studies/data taken from indochina.

piketty's latest book looks very good, too.
Larssen
Member
+31|581
I might pick up piketty's other book as well but at this point I'm a bit wary of choosing too much economics literature belonging to the same authors/perspectives. I haven't read enough in economics yet and am looking for something that's still well-argued but from a different angle or on another subject.

I vaguely remember reading excerpts of imagined communities back in my undergrad as part of a series of courses. Very good read.

The other books I ordered are more about my own field, which makes it far easier to engage with these books, evaluate the arguments etc. Among them 'the utility of force' from rupert smith, has been on my to-read list for a long time now.
uziq
Member
+307|2146
haven't heard of the rupert smith, will look it up.

try and buy some short novellas or something. it doesn't have to be 'out there' arty stuff. steinbeck (above) has lots of good 'realist' literature with lots of politics (and some history/economics) thinking to chew over. i always try to mix up my reading between different forms/genres, so that i don't burn out or get bored. yes, reading economics lit all the time would get very dry and demotivating. but you can stay engaged with a topic by reading from different angles, too.

i'm normally always reading a novel for enjoyment/contemplation, a theory/philosophy book, a nonfiction biography or history, etc. at once. as well as the usual interminglings of short stories, poetry, plays, long online essays/magazine subscriptions, etc. it keeps the mental snowglobe in a constant state of shake-up.
Larssen
Member
+31|581
I might throw in a fiction book here. I don't know if I can deal with multiple books at the same time, but we'll see. In the past I've been more lax with my leisure reading so picking up a consistent habit is/will be new.

Smith's book is from 2005 and builds heavily on the western experience in conflicts in the 90s/early 2000s. Many later works esp. of the 'COIN' variety (david kilcullen et al) recognise the posited paradigm shift where military means are increasingly applied to situations of 'war amongst the peoples' and build on that. Now in 2020 though you could argue that the entire concept has been thrown out due to the experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Probably won't stop us from getting involved in another quagmire, but for now more focus is put in passive, more advisory-type missions rather than active military involvement (i.e. advising other countries in military & police development etc, see security sector reform for that)

Recent developments in warfare itself are more focused on digital means due to increasing societal dependence on IT/OT systems and proven effectiveness by for example stuxnet. For that I'd recommend Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War as a good introduction (albeit focused exclusively on the USA).

Last edited by Larssen (2020-09-29 05:34:43)

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