Author Topic: The Off Topic Topic  (Read 3374227 times)

celedhring

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71970 on: October 15, 2019, 06:09:49 am »
Hey, everyone knows that music was best in the [insert decade when you were a teen/came of age]! :mad:

Except if that age was just after brit pop but before the Strokes. :P

Nickelback!!!!!!

You're right though, mid-late 1990s were pretty awful.

garbon

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71971 on: October 15, 2019, 06:28:50 am »
I try to listen to a healthy dose of recent music. Keeps me young.  :)

Same. Spotify makes it easy and there's a fair bit I enjoy today so happy to have a mix of the music available now, what I had in my youth and what came before me. :cool:
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Tamas

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71972 on: October 15, 2019, 06:56:08 am »
I am not a fan of voice equalisers, unfortunately, so that rules out most of today's stuff for me.

Once I was past my early teens I found most pop godawful, so today's pop sounds even worse. There are a few bands/artists that are fairly recent and I listen to them, but just a handful and they are more about fitting to my existing taste than shaping it.


Syt

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71973 on: October 15, 2019, 07:02:21 am »
Tamas prefers it old school. :P

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Sheilbh

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71974 on: October 15, 2019, 07:37:35 am »
I am disproportionately furious about the Booker prize decision.
Let's bomb Russia!

garbon

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71975 on: October 15, 2019, 08:14:13 am »
I am disproportionately furious about the Booker prize decision.

Any fury seems disproportionate.
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Syt

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71976 on: October 15, 2019, 08:29:03 am »
So there was some criticism here towards Peter Handke getting the nobel prize for literature. English Wiki says:

"Handke held various highly controversial positions on matters such as the Yugoslav Wars. His speech at the funeral of Slobodan Milošević was described as an apology for far-right Serbian nationalism."

He converted from Catholicism to the Serbian-Orthodox church, because the Pope didn't criticize the NATO attacks on Serbia during the Kosovo War.

TheGuardian's Ed Vulliamy says:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/12/a-nobel-prize-that-dishonours-the-victims-of-genocide-peter-handke

"So, the highest award in literature goes to a writer who denies the existence of concentration camps that it was my accursed honour to find in Bosnia in 1992, who lauded Slobodan Milošević, mastermind of the hurricane of violence of which they were part, and contests the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995.

Peter Handke is an apologist for genocide within living memory, at the heart of Europe. He says one thing, while earth across the Balkans gives up its mass graves. While Handke proffers his views, the bones are facts."


Meanwhile, the German book prize went to Bosnian-born Saša Stanišić who wrote about his family's flight from civil war in the 90s, and how much geographic origin matters (in his opinion: it doesn't). He used his acceptance speech to criticize Handke for downplaying/negating Serbian atrocities during the Balkan Wars of the 90s.
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Habbaku

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71977 on: October 15, 2019, 08:43:34 am »
I am disproportionately furious about the Booker prize decision.

Why?
The medievals were only too right in taking nolo episcopari as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop. Give me a king whose chief interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you care to call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers.

Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people.


-J. R. R. Tolkien

crazy canuck

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71978 on: October 15, 2019, 04:02:09 pm »
:D  Everyone needs to read the last line.

In the list of necessary items - small silk flag (didn't realize why it was a necessity until reading the last line)

Duque de Bragança

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71979 on: October 15, 2019, 05:16:46 pm »
Hey, everyone knows that music was best in the [insert decade when you were a teen/came of age]! :mad:

Except metal fans, unless they lived the "golden" '80s. :P

Sheilbh

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71980 on: October 15, 2019, 06:12:04 pm »
I am disproportionately furious about the Booker prize decision.

Why?
They split the prize :ultra:
Quote
The Booker Prize judges had one job
It was an epic fail — which sets a rotten precedent — to award this year's prize to two winners, says a former judge
BY Sam Leith

There’s a popular image macro meme that circulates around the internet called “You Had One Job”. The authorities on meme classification identify it as a subcategory of the “Epic Fail” family of memes, and the format is pretty standard. You take a photograph of something obviously stupid — a big bag of donuts in a shop marked “Hot Dogs”, say; a price-reduction sticker that tells you “Original Price: £15.99, Now only £17.99”; a kids’ lunchbox with a big picture of Superman on it labelled “Batman” — and you superimpose in nice friendly capitals: “YOU HAD ONE JOB”.

Such an image macro we can now imagine being made of the photographs of Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo embracing on stage as last night’s joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize. BOOKER JUDGES, YOU HAD ONE JOB. Pick a sodding winner. One winner. That’s what the rules say. That’s what you’re formally empanelled to do, and paid to do, and trusted to do. That’s what the public are expecting you to do. That is the whole point of the prize.

According to reports of proceedings, the judges were deadlocked between the two eventual winners. They asked Gaby Wood, the literary director of the prize, whether they could split the prize. No, she said: you can’t. They specifically changed the rules in 1992, after the last time this happened, precisely to prevent judges wimping out and splitting the fifty grand between two. The rubric says in black and white: “the prize may not be divided or withheld”. The panel returned for another hour of deliberation. They asked, again, whether they could split the prize. Gaby this time booted the issue upstairs to Helena Kennedy, Booker’s uber-poobah, the chair of the foundation’s trustees. She, too, said firmly that, no: their job was to pick a single winner.

Did that do the trick? No.The panel ignored her too and insisted that they were going to split the prize anyway. “We were trying to accommodate the rules that were given to us,” the chair of the judges, Peter Florence, said afterwards. “How do you equably and fairly resolve something that seems irresolvable? You find a way of changing the game.” Fine words, but the first sentence is pure humbug. Rules aren’t there for you to “try to accommodate” — just ask Boris Johnson about his prorogation scheme.

But the nature of Booker is such that — given the final judging meeting happens on the day of the prize — the judges had the whip hand. I can’t speak for the Booker trustees, but you can make a pretty good guess as to why they had to cave. Public-relations-wise, firing the judges and/or cancelling the prize two hours before it was due to be awarded — with Katie Derham all done up to the nines and the Guildhall already filling up with tipsy blokes in black tie — would have been completely unthinkable. Cave they did. Shame on Peter Florence, who as chair had the power and responsibility to use his casting vote, for putting them in that position.

I don’t make this complaint from a literary point of view. Moaning that the judges should have picked a different winner is the traditional form of fatuous post-Booker comment; indeed, that’s the piece I’d rather be writing. For what it’s worth I’ve read Bernardine Evaristo’s book, Girl, Woman, Other and I think it’s terrific. I haven’t read Atwood’s The Testaments but I have every faith that it’s terrific too. Maybe there were better books; maybe not. The deal with the Booker Prize is that each panel of judges gets to choose the winner they damn well please, and literary pundits fill a quick few column inches and make a quick few quid grumbling about it or defending the decision according to taste, and the whole jolly cycle begins again.

And, yes, of course every chair of judges makes — as Peter Florence did at some length — a speech in which he or she formulaically laments the cruel artificiality of the prize process. Every chair, as Peter Florence did, wrings his or her hands about how, really, they wish they could have given every book on their stellar longlist a prize. Every chair, as Peter Florence did, says how hard it was to choose. That, too, is part of the game. It’s gracious and right and it’s expected.

But then you’re supposed to say: “But at the end of the day there could be only one winner…” Absurd it may be; unfair it may be; even philistine it may be — but that’s the game. That’s what you sign up for.

Here’s the problem. Within moments of the win being announced, I found myself in a conversation — I expect one that will have been replicated all over the hall in various forms — with some fellow guests. One wondered aloud whether the double win had been because the judges had felt sentimental about Margaret Atwood: they wanted to give the prize to Evaristo, she speculated, because hers was the better book, but they didn’t feel they could snub a writer of Atwood’s undoubted greatness and loveableness.


Well, possibly, someone else countered. But isn’t it equally possible that it was the other way around? Perhaps they thought Margaret Atwood had written the best book but they wanted to give Bernardine Evaristo’s profile a much needed and much deserved boost; that giving the prize to a book whose vast sales were already guaranteed and whose author was already as famous as authors get would be a waste of the power at their disposal.

Either of these positions might be true. And neither position might be true: perhaps, indeed, quite independently of any extra-literary consideration, the judges considered both books so equally good that you could not get a cigarette paper between them.

But by choosing both, they immediately open the verdict to that sort of speculation. That’s unfair on both authors. Bernardine, on stage, spoke very graciously about how thrilled she was to be sharing the prize with “the legend that is Margaret Atwood”. But as she was too gracious to say, it obviously would have been even more thrilling to have beaten that legend into joint second place.

The suspicion in the reading public’s mind will be that one or other of these considerable authors was being patronised; that something extra-literary had entered into the considerations of the panel, that the judges were trying to have their cake and eat it. Had they given it a single one, that would not have been possible in the same way. They could have said, simply: this book is first among equals. Pundits may say what they like, may accuse us of what they like, but we have made the hard decision that every panel of Booker is tasked to make — and this is the best novel published in English, in our opinion, this year.

That they did not presents a tremendous headache for the prize going forward. The rules were put in writing. They were reaffirmed, unequivocally, at the highest levels of institutional authority. And the judges demonstrated that they could, effectively, blackmail the organisers into ignoring them.

This sets a rotten, rotten precedent. The handshake agreements that have previously governed the judging could well firm into legal contracts; the valuably theatrical tradition that the final meeting takes place on the day (also practical since it helps prevent leaks) might well go by the board. And even with such notional safeguards established, what’s to prevent judges throwing a similar strop in future years. You let them split the prize two ways: why can’t we split it three ways this year?

Epic fail.
:ultra:
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Syt

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71981 on: October 16, 2019, 03:55:37 am »
So apparently a family has lived for years in the basement of a farm in the Netherlands after thinking the world was going to end.

And of course it involves an Austrian  :lmfao:

(Though it's not yet clear how he's connected to the case).)
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Liep

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71982 on: October 16, 2019, 04:02:59 am »
So apparently a family has lived for years in the basement of a farm in the Netherlands after thinking the world was going to end.

And of course it involves an Austrian  :lmfao:

(Though it's not yet clear how he's connected to the case).)

I'll take a guess and say he had the keys.
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Sheilbh

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71983 on: October 16, 2019, 07:38:22 am »
So the parents of the boy accidentally killed by the American driving on the wrong side of the road have met Trump. Bloomberg reporter:
Quote
Trump met yesterday with parents of 19-year-old Harry Dunn—then told them the person driving the car that killed their son was in a room nearby.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn declined Trump’s offer to meet with Anne Sacoolas.

"We didn't want to be railroaded...into a meeting.”
:blink: :bleeding:
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Camerus

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Re: The Off Topic Topic
« Reply #71984 on: October 16, 2019, 07:48:34 am »
NRPI?