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Knob Twiddlers
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zazen last won the day on August 4

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  1. News just broke that Hilary Mantel (author of Wolf Hall) has died at age 70. So lets talk about the Wolf Hall trilogy. In 2009 when Wolf Hall came out I was living in London and I remember everyone was reading it on the tube but it took me a while to get round to it. If you havent read it: Its about Thomas Cromwell who was a blacksmiths son who ended up being the right hand man to Henry VIII about 500 years ago. I found it a really interesting read as a Brit because loads of changes happened back then that basically shape the way our country is today, and the way Mantel writes it, Thomas Cromwell was behind a lot of them. And hes an interesting character because hes basically just a smart guy who knows a bit of law and a bit of accounting and speaks a few languages. In modern times those skills are valuable but unremarkable, but 500 years ago he ran rings round everybody. There's a lot more to the book than that, it really takes you back to that time and you really understand what power was like then and what it meant to be in the kings inner circle (spoilers: lots of backstabbing). And why Henry ended up getting through so many wives. Anyway great series of books, the first 2 are great and the 3rd is pretty good but long. I would really recommend it, it seems like 'ah its history its going to be dull' but its actually amazingly gripping. One thing about the style its written that takes a little getting used to is that its written in third person present tense, so Mantel often uses 'he' to refer to Cromwell, and sometimes that can be confusing when there's other characters around. So genrally he = cromwell, and if you remember that you'll get through it. Its a common complaint about the book but its worth persevering. The TV series with Mark Rylance and Damien Lewis really good too.
  2. As far as I can tell they were chatting to a 'Grief Counsellor' in the studio and then they cut to this video feed while she was talking and you can hear the grief counsellor continue to talk over the first bit of the live feed. Or, some people are saying its the ghost of lady diana.
  3. How was your night in Frankfurt?
  4. (from https://spindizzyrecords.com/products/plaid-feorm-falorx-cd-nov-11 ) So there's a book as well? This seems like a concept album and so you've got to give them some leeway on the cover art. Perhaps it ties into the book. Cover art makes me think of the movie Arrival. I like that C.A. video, obviously using DALL-E or similar to generate each frame. "The album largely concerns ideas of space travel, according to a press release, and was made with the assistance of AI tools." according to this article but I can't find this supposed press release anywhere. Its like a secret press release apparently?? Something about C.A did make me think 'this is like dall-e turned into music' so maybe they've found a way to do something along those lines. I havent listened to any plaid since Scinitlli (which I loved) what have I missed?
  5. This is really telling. I remember in the early 90s when the Queen was about 70 there was a lot of talk about 'perhaps the queen should abdicate and let Charles take over'. The queen was having none of it and the vague rumour at the time was that she thought Charles wasn't up to it. Then loads of scandals hit Charles and the idea of the queen stepping down went away. (graph from https://www.theweek.co.uk/55612/will-prince-charles-ever-be-king )
  6. Things are going a bit bonkers now. Day 6 of 10
  7. Gnork is a great name Its kindof self aware 'dumb electronic music name' but also quite short and snappy. Like its a joke but also quite good at the same time. And it suits the sound.
  8. Rek, I got the wrong end of the stick about what you meant, but i ended up typing out something I'd been thinking for ages so I'll leave it there
  9. ((edit: I misunderstood what rek meant but I'll leave my rant here because it took me ages to write.)) Go back 500 years or so. Everywhere was ruled by Kings or Emperors or high priests or whatever - essentially bullies who had fought their way to the top, amassed huge amounts of power and then claimed to be chosen by god or whatever and generally decided to make their power hereditary. Concentrated power like that is hard to break down. Its not uncommon for another bully and their army to go and fight and take the place of a king but thats not really change. Progress that takes that concentrated power and dilutes it back to the people takes a lot of time, a lot of struggle and battles and bloodshed, slowly building imperfect civil structures and struggling against corruption and nepotism. A vaguely democratic senate or parliament with the monarchy reduced to a mostly ceremonial role? That didn't just happen, that took generations of struggle and war and bloodshed and an eventual settlement Or a republic without monarchy? Even harder The idea that the law applies equally to everyone? The kings didn't come up with that, people fought for that. It was a hard won concession. So when you see the ultra rich doing their best to influence government (they're very good at it) or evading justice (they're good at that too) its not a new thing, its a constant pressure from the rich and powerful to nudge things back to the way they used to be, if they can get away with it now and then, if people aren't paying enough attention. It takes a conscious civil effort and vigiliance and education to stop things slipping further in that direction.
  10. The Crown is quite good at showing how it worked - in theory she's not supposed to get involved in political decisions but in practice the Prime Minister has regular meetings with her and she might have some sway in how things go. Like the PM has to justify what they are doing to some extent? Hmmm someone else might have a better explanation than me on that. And althought she was 'not political' she intrinsically represented the "Establishment", and the aristocracy and so on. So she would naturally nudge things in directions that were better for The Monarchy if she could. Yes, shes been there since 1952 with her handbag and her brightly coloured clothes and hats, waving at people from the back of the car. Pretty much the whole post-WW2 modern period of history. So UK identity is tied up with this matriachal figure who drinks tea and likes corgis. Going to be quite different having a King who wears a suit and so on. FWIW Charles has always been quite an environmentalist so hopefully he will use some of his influence in that direction.
  11. "magnitude 8 takequake" And I'm rather ashamed to say I was party to that takequake.
  12. Her passing does feel like a symbolic flourish layed on top of a bunch of very big crises.
  13. There was some talk that Charles might opt to be called George VII instead of Charles III because Charles I (executed) and Charles II (brutal, scandalous) didn't have a great run. Are there any other franchises where the first two weren't much good and then the third one turned out sortof ok? edit: maybe Mission Impossible?
  14. Well we might as well talk about it. Never been much into the monarchy but (I guess this is a bit of a cliche) when I started watching Season 1 of The Crown recently (I was late to catch on to that show) it was really interesting TV. About a person put into a completely bizarre situation and trying to make the best of it. The Crown is really quality TV by the way, would recommend it if you've never watched it (like I hadnt). Like 20th century history revisited through the weird and impossible insitution that is the monarchy. And now we've got a King. Thats weird.
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