Cheeseburger Gothic

Forgot my airpods

Posted May 28 into Blunty by John Birmingham

One wrinkle in my Melbounre trip. I forgot my airods. I had to walk around withot playlists or podcasts. Like an animal.

I left my AirPods behind. Two days of book signings in Melbourne and nothing but my own thoughts as I walked from one store to the next. It was Hell, until it wasn't.

We're not often left to our own thoughts these days. Not randomly. We might occasionally have reason to consider them. Should I change jobs? Do I swipe right? Are my franking credits worth dooming generations unborn to a wretched demise on a dying planet of rising, acidic oceans and scorched, barren earth? (Spoiler, not just yes, but HELL YES!)

At Blunty.

4 Responses to ‘Forgot my airpods’

Oldy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28
Oh, the humanity

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Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted May 29
Luddites like me forgo such distractions, and usually travel with a book to read - at least the batteries won't run out on a book!

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 29
ha. I also take an old fashioned book with me. I think i read Stephen King does the same. I tried to get my 13yr to come outside remove the earplugs and just listen. They put up with me and stared at me until the dawning horror of realisation hit me with the power of a 10tonne condescension bomb. I'm old! "okay whippersnapper off you go"

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted May 30
This is something from a Hobbesian hell-scape dystopia isn't it?
I'd never have committed to 3 decades of euthanising or at least sedating TF outa' the demons between my ears if I wanted to hear from them.
I subscribe to more podcasts I can ever catch up with, I keep favourites like Dan Carlin eps, my patrol bag has spare headphones and a battery bank all to avoid such a nightmare.
When the last 5S goes the way of the Summatran bull Rhino I will migrate to android because a 3.5mm Jack plug is a deal breaker.
I use duopoly $7 el cheapos headphones because tonal range is not critical in podcasts and I consume an average a pair per fortnight.

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Writers’ Night Out

Posted May 27 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

I was joined by a two fisted, hard hitting crew at the Duke last night for schnitzels and beer (and whiskey). I dips me lid to everyone who dropped in, especially to Bangar who gifted me a bottle of bathtub bourbon. I’m figuring on how to get that bad boy through the security checkpoint this afternoon.

It can be a lonesome trail, writing, and I appreciated the chance to catch up with a bunch of other scribblers outside the confines of a festival where you’re usually getting hauled from one event to the next by some fierce and no-shit-taking publicist.

Props to the Bourbon King, Steve, Dave, Nathan and Luke for the diverting evening.

The schnitty was excellent too.

8 Responses to ‘Writers’ Night Out’

Bangar mutters...

Posted May 27
A very enjoyable evening, it was interesting to have a look into a different work environment. Good luck at security!

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NBlob asserts...

Posted May 27
Word I heard it was far too rugged a scene for wilting petal Havock.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 27
Don't be like that. He had crochet class.

Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted May 27
Be fair JB, he had a cake to decorate. Missed you H

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Oldy mutters...

Posted May 27
Wish I could have made it. One day.

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted May 28
We're just holding out for that rare Canberra visit.

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted May 28
I am so in for something similar when I visit Oz.

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Ceramic puts forth...

Posted June 2
There is always video conferences. I've done a few lately so have Zoom, Go To Meeting, and Skype.
Could be interesting, even if only if they are an hour.

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Catch up (Now with better deets)

Posted May 24 by John Birmingham

I'm flying into Melbourne on Sunday to do some publicity for my MUP essay, On Father. If anyone would like to catch up in the city for a feed late Sunday arvo, let me know. I should be free by 5pm.

(Nice thing about having let the blog lie fallow for so long, only the true believers are here.)

___

Time and Place: Duke of Wellington, Cnr of Russel and Flinders St. 5.30

18 Responses to ‘Catch up (Now with better deets)’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted May 24
It's like you don't care about the Sydneyites (or thereabouts)

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Bangar reckons...

Posted May 24
Sounds good, booked my ticket already

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 24
No ticket needed. The gig got cancelled, but I'm still coming to sign books.

Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24
No worries see you Sunday

Bangar reckons...

Posted May 25
JB you right to take your usual home?

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Oldy asserts...

Posted May 24
Man, if I didn't have my kids this week I'd jump in the truck and drive to Sydney.

Visit Canberra sometime, please!

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24
Wah! Do your book tours ever cross the Nullabor, or do the eastern states just assume we're all illiterate knuckledraggers in WA?

I probably just answered my own question. Le sigh. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in the good berg of Perth let me know, would love to shout you dinner :)

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Bleeps001 would have you know...

Posted May 24
And when you in Perth I will buy the beers.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 24
I do get to Perth occasionally. I'll be sure to pre-announce.

Glenn H ducks in to say...

Posted May 26
And it would indeed be blessed were you to shuffle into the Wild West of Perthberg. I'd be down on that meetup like a stoner on choccy.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24
I'm in!

Bangar would have you know...

Posted May 24
Be good to see you H

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted May 25
you are usually swamped with folk at these get-togethers, another time.

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Emma mutters...

Posted May 26
Count me in for the future Perth one :D

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 26
Gents, my apols. I'm FKN CROOK...NOT FKN HAPPY..But gods it seems get EXTRASTRENGTHFKNMANFLU!..grr. Parked up at home. Not spin around JB.

Glenn H puts forth...

Posted May 26
Yeah just got off almost 4wks with it. Nasty shitful round this time, feel better soon Havock!

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 27
I’ve had that bug. I’m still dry coughing with it. It’s some demonic shit.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted May 27
Should probably read here more often!

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Alternate realities

Posted May 23 into Writing by John Birmingham

One of the nice things about writing for a living is the way you get paid to retreat from the world of real things. I've been in full retreat since about 7.30 on Saturday night. The entry below, "Dark Thoughts", was composed in the hours before dawn when I'd woken up, seething and unable to get back to sleep.

I brought myself down to my office, wrote that blog post, and opened up Scrivener. I started to work on a TV script. I can't talk about it in detail because we're still in the early stages of development. But I can say this. I fucking LOVE writing for TV. I get lost in it. Sometimes I get lost in novels too, but not like this. I've been racking up long hours at the keyboard all week. Not because I'm on deadline or under pressure, but because once I step into the imagined world of this show I find I much prefer it to the real world. I don't want to leave.

Even when I do leave, when I push back from the computer and rejoin the family for dinner, lets say, I find myself repeating long stretches of dialogue without realising that I'm doing it.

"What did you say?" Jane will ask. And I have to mutter something about just talking to myself. To be honest, it's a little embarrassing that it's been happening so much.

Still, better than reality.

I don't think the retreat from an unpleasant outer world explains why I've spent so much time so deeply embedded in this new, inner world. I think it might partly have something to do with the structure of storytelling for the screen.

The irreducible element at the core of a screenplay or a teleplay is the scene. Each scene is a world unto itself, but unlike a book it is an almost bare stage. When writing a novel you make everything bigger. When writing a script, it goes the other way. Everything gets stripped back, reduced to essences. It's fascinating, almost mesmerising.

I've now finished the first draft of the pilot for this show. I have no idea whether it will get any further. But even so, even with a chapter of World War 3.1 to write, and a whole novel in the Zero Day Code franchise to finish, I feel myself being pulled back into the world of the TV show, almost as though I am trapped in a dangerous rip.

13 Responses to ‘Alternate realities’

WarDog would have you know...

Posted May 23
Just in case it doesn't make it to T, can it reprised in written form?

jl mumbles...

Posted May 23
A fine question!

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 23
It could be, but I really hope to see it made.

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jl has opinions thus...

Posted May 23
Sounds like great fun, actually. Yeah, I got lost in my latest (an alternate history) pretty bad for the last two weeks; now the rough draft is done. Definitely know what you're saying, JB.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted May 23
I am drawn by the imagery of your writing being caught in a rip, so Australian. Since Saturday I have been trying to follow Alasdair Gray's aphorism "Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation" but it is hard.

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted May 24
Have you read WALKAWAY yet? That line and sentiment come up quite a bit in it.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 25
Not yet, but Cory Doctorow is always on my to read list.

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25
Be interested to get your take on it when you've read it. I don't reread much these days but I'll probably take another trip through it myself soon.

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jason mumbles...

Posted May 23
My favorite thing about writing and others people's writing in some ways is that you get to play in a world where you control almost everything. The good guys normally win or are so heroic it appears to be a win and the bad folks always take a licking. Far removed from the real world but a beautiful place.

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Oldy mutters...

Posted May 23
It sounds like some chicken soup for your soul, and I for one cheer that on. I can relate to how dark these last few days have been, and anything that brightens that, I'm cheering for.

Have fun mate, and I look forward to enjoying more JB content.

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Leftarc has opinions thus...

Posted May 23
Sounds like good times. As a fan of the West Wing (of which seems to get more and more wistful, and yet further away from reality every single day), and the West Wing Weekly podcast, I remember a quote from the late John Spencer; 'First comes the word'. Early episodes of the podcast tell of how late the scripts were for the West Wing when Aaron Sorkin was writing was because he spent hours making sure it was right. And it was, actors had to read the script exactly, there was no improvisation, and you could not change any of the words. At all.
This is why I imagine TV writing would be a whole rabbit hole to go down. I think the difference between a novel and TV is that there is more setting out, and 'telling the story' for TV. In a book like The Stand, my imagination created how Stu Redman looked and spoke. But then watching the mini series, Stu is Gary Sinise, since then Stu's words are spoken in that Gary Sinise drawl.
And whilst you bang away at Zero Day Code, and since I brought it up, Stephen King also wrote the screen play for The Stand Mini Series. You might be onto something.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted May 23
I'd like me some JB TV.
interesting to note that @pennyred who some people tagged as a good inspiration for whats her name in the time travel books is now a writer on Joss Whedons new series..

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thetick would have you know...

Posted May 26
How is writing for TV different from writing a novel, for example?

I mean, is it that you describe each scene, character actions, lines, etc?

Like, when you write a scene are you laying down the setting, the clothing, etc, or does that get filled in later?

Is it fiction or non-fiction?

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GoT S8E6: "The Iron Throne" Hot Take Pre-Recap

Posted May 21 into Raven On by girlclumsy

I GASPED. I CRIED. I UGLY CRIED. I LAUGHED.

AND I LOVED EVERY MOMENT.

Beloved Throners, I am so, so pleased with that final episode. There was no perfectly happy ending for everyone (because this is Game of Thrones, you were never going to get that). There were, in fact, mostly new beginnings and challenges.

But it was soothing, and I left the world contented. I did not feel like I had been messed with.

I believe this recap, like the previous ones this season, will take me some time, so I wanted to provide an initial set of thoughts and reactions to help fill the gap.

So here ‘tis, a Not-Necessarily-in-Numerical-Order-of-Occurrence-or-Preference, Just-A-Top-Ten-Hot-Take-of-Amazing-Things-That-Happened-Pre-Recap-Recap.


1. TYRION FINDS THE BODIES

This was an acting masterclass from the impeccable Peter Dinklage. Determined to go alone to the Red Keep to see if his brother managed to smuggle his sister out safely, he ends up deep beneath it, where the plummeting structure hit hardest.

Yes, it’s somewhat convenient that in all that mess he can spot his brother’s golden hand - but it still made my heart ache for him. Anguish and tears follow when he digs in enough to reveal their beautiful and miraculously-not-too-busted-up faces. He loathed his sister, but she was still family, and of course Jaime was his best friend and ally. His grief is palpable and real.

2. EVERYONE GETS SCARED

Daenerys’ speech to her all-conquering Dothraki and Unsullied armies is fierce and frightening. She thanks the Dothraki for keeping their promises to kill men in iron suits and burn stone houses; she calls the Unsullied liberators and vows they will not put down their spears until they repeat this “liberation” all over the world.

Ummm, hey, that’s new Dany, what is this rejigged plan, lady? The Dothraki and Unsullied seem pleased - as does her new Master of War Grey Worm - but Arya and Jon watch on with mounting horror, and Tyrion manages to rip off his Hand of the Queen badge in disgust before being seized for committing treason.

Later, Jon visits Tyrion to have the awful conversation about what Dany has become. Tyrion’s statement that she had a series of victories over evil men - and that “we cheered her on” - which resulted in her believing she was ultimately good, was a key summation of the problem with Daenerys’ journey. At some point she crossed a line, but when was it? After which surprising and triumphant display of power? It was also a nod to us as the audience - we ALL cheered Dany along the way. We agreed with the accepted wisdom that she was destined for not just “greatness”, but “goodness”. We were like Tyrion; thinking we were right, but ultimately misdirected.

It’s Tyrion’s unfortunate duty to tell an overwrought Jon all of this - although I would point out here that if Jon had NOT been having doubts, he would not have visited Tyrion at all. If he was committed to all the Queen’s wishes, he would have let sleeping lions lie.

Jon is not convinced Dany is the monster Tyrion accuses her of being; he still hopes for a different path. He hopes with every fibre of his sexy, rugged, being. He keeps hoping and he keeps hoping and he’s straining right at the crotch…. Sorry, what was I saying?

3. JON SNOW KILLS DAENERYS TARGARYEN

Full of passion, lament, despair and proper tragedy, Jon made the ultimate big call - killing his once and always Queen. Daenerys had touched the Iron Throne, but in a moment of self-reflection, chose to ponder her childhood focus on its size and alluded to it not being as imposing as her imagination had constructed it, particularly with the debris of the Red Keep around it.

So Dany never sat in it, never felt the discomfort of its shape and feel. Instead, she tried to convince Jon to join her in her quest to free all the enslaved peoples of the world, following a series of rules she laid out, because she knew what was right and good.

Jon gave her numerous chances to prove his loyalty wrong, to show that she was capable of change and compromise after this horrific unjustified slaughter. “What about all the other people, who think they know what’s good?” he asks. “They don’t get to choose,” comes the reply, and Dany’s fate is sealed. With a deep kiss, he plunges his dagger into her heart, the most awkward incestuous kiss since Princess Leia laid the smackers on Luke Skywalker.

Dany dies in disbelief, the same way Jon himself went at the end of Season 5. He too was tricked and stabbed in the heart, and like Jon, Dany’s corpse weeps blood over a white ground, only this time it was ash instead of snow.

Vale Daenerys Targaryen. You’ll always be my mighty Khaleesi turned Khal-EEEEEK-si.

4. DROGON MOURNS AND BURNS

What utter heartbreak I suffered when Drogon, sensing the loss of his mother, nudged her body with his nose, trying to rouse her. His reaction to roar in anger was understandable, but why did he choose the Iron Throne as his target for revenge burning? We take it that he can sniff out Jon’s blood as Targaryen, thus preventing him from sending Jon out of this world, Varys-style. But although dragons are intelligent, is Drogon capable of understanding what the Iron Throne is, or means, or how it is in a fairly direct way responsible for Mumma going night-night?

I’m more inclined to think he could detect the scent Daenerys left by touching the throne, the last thing she ever touched, and turned his fury on it.

The way he scooped up her body tenderly in one giant claw was also heart-breaking. He flew off, destination unknown, with his mother. In my mind, he’s returned to Valyria, the original city of the Targaryens. He knows how to get there; Tyrion and Jorah saw him flying over it in Season 5. I think he has taken Dany back to her ancestral home; the home of the blood of the dragons.


5. KING BRAN THE BROKEN

A twist that some may have seen coming (especially Bran himself, the clever clogs), but one that I admit I was delighted to have thrust upon me (now if only Jon Snow would thrust himself etc etc), happened in the extraordinarily calm blue daylight some weeks post-Destructathon.

Tyrion is brought before a meeting of The Great Council of Fine High Lords and Ladies and Fancy People and Wait Isn’t That the Way-Too-Old-To-Be Breastfed Kid from The Vale and WTF Was He Off Getting Queer-Eyed or Something This Whole Time Because Damn?


That slap Sansa gave him sure worked a treat.

Grey Worm wants to execute both Tyrion and Jon Snow; Tyrion, as always, uses his words. With no King or Queen, he suggests Bran, the 2TB Hard Drive of Westeros, accept the Crown under a new system in which rulers are elected by the council, rather than inherit the title. Bran’s “Why do you think I came all this way?” response to Tyrion’s entreaty was super cheesy but I LOVED IT and I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

Let’s not forget the hilarious moment in which Sam Tarly - present one imagines as the heir to Horn Hill, but also possibly because of his connections to the Citadel - suggests that perhaps everyone should have a say in choosing the ruler because, I dunno, it ends up affecting everyone eventually.

There’s a solemn silence and some serious looks, before everyone bursts out laughing.

Given Australia had an election just two days before this episode which left a number of people fairly dirty at democracy in general, I found this moment quite cathartic.

You don’t jump from absolute monarchy to democracy in half a day in the dragon pits. The compromise agreed to here was much more achievable in this medieval-esque world.

I know some people may be unhappy it wasn’t Jon who wound up on the Throne - what was the point of all that Targaryen/Stark lineage if not to see him take his rightful place? But by what right? He killed a queen; perhaps he no longer has a right. The good he did in taking out Dany does not wipe clean the stain of her blood on his hands.

Besides, it’s not unprecedented. Maester Aemon of Castle Black gave up the throne to become a Maester and serve the Night’s Watch. It was no accident that Maester Aemon was the fellow who told Jon “Love is the death of duty”, the very line Jon quoted to Tyrion in that earlier scene.

6. EDMURE TULLY’S TIGHT FIVE

As a brief aside, I have to mention this, for it brought me much mirth.

Step forth, Edmure Tully, Lord of Riverrun, veteran of two wars and a lengthy imprisonment, groom at the Red Wedding, general toff, man of no real consequence and Westeros’ newest stand-up comedian.

Faced with general silence at the Great Council about whom should be the next king, good old Edmure shakes off two years of irrelevance and delivers the funniest pitch for selection since ex-rugby league player Mal Meninga announced in 2001 he was running for office - only to quit 28 seconds later.

“Sit down, Uncle,” came the polite but firm directive from his supremely serene niece, Sansa. Edmure even stumbled backwards into his chair, his nascent ambition neatly thwarted.

His appearance though did beg the question - where WERE you when Winterfell was under attack by the White Walkers, Eddy? Why did you not send your troops to your nieces’ aid? There has never been a wetter blanket than poor Edmure Tully, but at least he had a shining moment as a brilliant court jester.


7. JON REUNITES WITH TORMUND AND GHOST

Reader, I lost it.

Ned Stark was almost exiled to the Night’s Watch way back in Season 1; it’s where he would have gone for committing treason had Joffrey not been a right little shit and decided to snick off his head. There’s a bittersweet logic to Jon being sent back there, despite having already given his life to it, and despite the very real issue that the Night’s Watch has effectively ceased to exist despite Tyrion’s insistence that there must always be a place for bastards and broken men.

But still, Castle Black is where Tormund Giantsbane and Ghost are, where the rest of the Free Folk are, waiting for the worst of the winter snows to pass before moving back north. It’s a joy to see them again - and for Ghost to finally get his well-deserved pats. Good doggo, Ghost. Good doggo.

We last see Jon accompanying Tormund the Free Folk out beyond the Wall, the place where the whole story began. Is he leaving the Night’s Watch behind, and becoming a true northerner? Is he simply doing his duty and protecting them? Either way, one thing is certain - he’s fully Jon Snow now. He’s part Stark, part Targaryen, but none of that really matters, perhaps it never did. He’s Jon Snow - good man, one-time Jesus impersonator, regretful Auntie-shagger-and-dagger, but his own person, wearing what he is like armour, so it can never be used to hurt him.

How do we know?

BECAUSE HE IS NO LONGER HOSTAGE TO THE MAN BUN.

BEHOLD THE GLORY OF THE RETURNED LUSTROUS FULL HEAD OF HAIR.


Glorious. Glorious. And Jon's also beautiful.


8. STARK SISTERS REPRESENT

Queen in the North!

Arya the Explorya!

Sansa firmly negotiates with her brother - and new king - to keep the north as an independent state. It’s convenient for her, sure, because as Jon Snow has been banished, she will be the head of this renewed state.

But she’s doing it for the right reasons - for her people - and also, DAMMMMNNNN MY GIRL DESERVES IT. She always wanted to be a Queen, but a Queen from fairy tales, who wore pretty frocks and served lemon cakes and stood proudly but dumbly next to a King.

Everything Sansa has experienced and learned has put her in the best position to be the best ruler the North could ever hope for.

And hopefully with her bro on the ? Throne (no more Iron, remember), there will be good relations between the North and the new Six Kingdoms, and the North won’t just huddle itself away and get more insular.

Sansa’s changing hairstyles have always been a talking point in the show, which is why I loved seeing her go full Elizabeth I for her coronation: magnificent, free-flowing red hair:

Arya also got a new ‘do, but she opted for a tightly braided bun, very practical for seafaring.

Arya once told Lady Crane, the actor who played Cersei in that Braavosi theatre troupe, that she would like to see what’s west of Westeros, beyond where the maps end.

And so she does; flying a Stark sigil on her sails, she heads into the unknown once more. She has grown used to a life on the move, and she isn’t about to stop now.

9. BRIENNE GRABS A PEN

In the musical Hamilton, George Washington sings to the petulant Alexander Hamilton that “You have no control/who lives who dies who tells your story”.

Lucky then for Jaime that he had Brienne still watching his back, despite his midnight bolt from their cosy bed at Winterfell.

She takes it upon herself to fill in all the blank pages of Jaime’s entry in the Kingsguard history book - and doesn’t even cast a little bit of shade. She paints him as the man of honour she knew, even when it comes to his death. “Protecting his Queen” is true, sure, but so is “Slipping Back Into Toxic Twincest”. Brienne is nothing if not tactful. I love that she becomes head of Bran’s Kingsguard - once again, she’s the best and most deserving person for the job.


10. THE SMALL COUNCIL NEEDS A SPIN-OFF

The final scene of the new Small Council is GLORIOUS COMEDY and I will not hear a word against it.

From the members wrecking Tyrion’s carefully straightened chairs, to Sam’s pride in his
A Song of Ice and Fire book title, Tyrion’s disbelief at not being mentioned (typical), and the clunky “Long May He Reign” (which will get better, we promise) farewell to Bran, it was a delight.

Sure, Bronn got his Highgarden position a little too easily, but he’s the Master of Coin now! And he wants to rebuild brothels instead of ships! And Ser Davos survived, and is brilliant, and even calls back to Stannis when he corrects Bronn’s grammar. And Podrick Payne has been KNIGHTED!

Bran’s special abilities mean he probably doesn’t need to attend small council meetings - he can just read the mental minutes anytime. But it’s a good sign that he’s there, even for a little while, before deciding he’d like to try to find Drogon. A good move? Who knows. It’s probably worth having a bit of an idea what the world’s remaining nuclear weapon is doing.

Finally Tyrion gets to have another crack at telling his favourite joke:

“I once took a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel…”

But the action cuts away before he can deliver the punchline. Does anyone have one? My attempt is thus:

“The madam said ‘What do you plan to do with those?’ and I said ‘Hind your own beeswax’!”

Look, it’s not great. But the best and shortest I could come up with.

------

I hope you've enjoyed reading this Hot Take Pre-Recap Recap - I'll be back with a full recap as soon as I possibly can! Don't forget this is your last chance to get onboard my Patreon if you want to support my writing. Thank you so much.

8 Responses to ‘GoT S8E6: "The Iron Throne" Hot Take Pre-Recap’

Barnesm asserts...

Posted May 21
I did enjoy this pre-recap.

But "waiting for the worst of the winter snows to pass before moving back north". Isn't Westeros about to enter a 'long winter' in that case shouldn't they be waiting a long time?

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she_jedi asserts...

Posted May 21
I loved it too, I found it a satisfying conclusion to the story.

I'm so glad that you brought Drogon up, because that whole scene made me wonder how sentient the dragons are? When he first nudged her body it was like Simba trying to wake his dad up (there's a meme doing the rounds on this which is oddly heartbreaking), but choosing to destroy the throne and not the man who actually murdered his mother was super fascinating. Did Drogon understand that it was her pursuit of that chair that destroyed Dany, or did he just not want to kill the only other human he liked, and so destroyed something randomly, which happened to be the throne? But then, if he was just a dumb animal, why pick up her body and fly away with it?

The question of dragon sentience really got me wondering about the scene where Drogon went to the trouble of getting up out of his mound of ash when Jon walked past him to say "hey cuz, 'sup?" Was Drogon one of the many beings who loved Dany who was worried about her state of mind? I NEED ANSWERS!

Also GOOD DOGGO GHOST!! PATS FOR GHOST!!

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Oldy ducks in to say...

Posted May 21
I loved the conclusion. And that small council reminded me of the Vicar of Dibley (which of course is where The Greatjon came from).

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Oldy asserts...

Posted May 21
Also - Tyrion's joke:

Tyrion walks into a brothel with a honeycomb and a jackass.
Madame: What can we do for you?

Tyrion: I need a woman to lay with, for mine has left me.
Madame: Whatever for? And what's with the honeycomb and the mule?

Tyrion: My woman found a genie in a bottle, and he granted her three wishes. The first was for a house fit for a queen, so he gave her this damn honeycomb. The second wish was that she have the nicest ass in all the land, so he gave her this damn donkey...

Madame: And what about the third wish?
Tyrion: Well... she asked the genie to make my cock hang down past my knee.

Madame: Well that one's not so bad eh?
Tyrion: Not so bad!? I used to be six foot three!

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girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 21
I've seen that version of the joke doing the rounds on the internet - Lehmo actually a version of it too on Thrones 360 Live.

I didn't want to use somebody else's created joke in my recap without credit, so I invented my own punchline.

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Sparty would have you know...

Posted May 21
Just a shout out to all the burgers - based on various recommendations here many winters ago (2008?) - (quite a few years before the TV series) - got into the books - so felt so much "ownership" since the first pilot!
Doubt i would have got into it quite the same way without that early "burger" driven start...

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Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted May 22
I dunno what I'm going to miss more - the show or the recaps!

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted May 23
Recaps

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Respond to 'GoT S8E6: "The Iron Throne" Hot Take Pre-Recap'

Dark thoughts

Posted May 19 by John Birmingham

It is 4.25AM as I write this. I'm at my desk because I can't sleep. I'm frightened for the future and angry with the present.
I believe in the science of climate change the same way I believe in the science of the internal combustion engine. They're the same fucking science.
This shit is coming for us, but a lot of people just voted for denial. Oh, they'll dress it up to disguise what happened. They'll say they voted against tax rises, or Bill Shorten or whatever.
None of that matters.
They just voted to waste another three years of the decade or so we have left before the science tells us we're done for.
And I can't sleep.
Because I think we're done for.

28 Responses to ‘Dark thoughts’

Dave W puts forth...

Posted May 19
I pretty much feel the same way, JB. I'm going to detox from news media, left and right, for a while. I'd just like to think happy thoughts for a while, and I reckon that ignorance will be bliss, compared to the toxic rantings from below the line and the sheer mendacity of a lot of the stuff above the line.

I'd like to think that I'd do the same if it had gone the other way, but who can say.

Dave W reckons...

Posted May 19
But I'd also like to add: this too shall pass.

The sun came up. Eurovision was glorious. My bacon and eggs was delicious. Whatever happens from here, we should also always remember to enjoy the little things.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted May 19
I was nauseous all night after watching this election results. Still, feel queasy now. This is a terrible outcome.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 20
The real annoying thing is the lost opportunity. Not just get started properly on climate defence, but to build out the renewables market. It'll grow into a trillion dollar business. And we will be stuck on the outside looking in.

WarDog puts forth...

Posted May 20
The economic cost is tragedy, and I think that's what infuriates me most. A party purportedly for business and the economy, keeping us firmly in reverse.

All those jobs that will be created overseas.

I've worked out what I'm going to do with my 15K tax cut. An industrial death robot that I can park at the front door to get you plebs away when everything goes to shit. I might even open it up on KickStarter.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted May 20
Two things that are deeply annoying me is the economic cost of failing to address this, like you've all said, we're missing out on getting into a trillion dollar industry, AND we're missing the opportunity to transition our coal mining communities to new industry. The people voting for jobs over climate action are, ironically, the very people who will suffer the most when the climate emergency hits us. The rich bastards in the southern states who are voting for climate action actually can afford to deal with the impacts.

The criminal waste of a supposed free market business oriented party clinging to dying industries instead of "letting the market rip" as they like to say is just mind boggling. We're truly through the looking glass now.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 19
I too have been quite sleepless, and I usually sleep through all sorts of crap going on in my life. I think this feeling is grief. I too see this as a waste of three years of climate action. Maybe, possibly you could give them their bullshit 2020 Kyoto whatever, but after that they've got diddily. I'm going to try and detox from media. It will be hard; I'm a junky.
Ms insomniac thinks it's Bill. No one like him etc, but I think he would have been ok. I'm more of the view it was lies and strawmen and lack of scrutiny and bullshitting and shouting and refusing to answer questions and the slack oh so slack media. Why does Barry suddenly start today asking Josh the questions that should have been asked weeks ago?
ScuMo has really pulled the wool over people's eyes. They have been hoodwinked. None of them are going to be any better off.
And fuck fat Clive too.
</rant>

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pitpat mutters...

Posted May 19
Well I didn't think it was going to be the great leap forward more a timid step in the general direction.

I remember a geography lesson ( year 10 I think and we were discussing the geo-politics as it related to the current situation which involved a pretty serious stand off between the USSR and USA. We ended up looking into the effects of 20 kiloton weapon on Brisbane because Bne wasn't big enough to go to war for but big enough to show intent. At an existential level the crater of the explosion would have engulfed the school with probably no warning. That night David Bowie was playing at Lang Park and if I stood on our back fence I could get pretty good sound and Lang Park was lit up with stray strobe lights shooting everywhere. I'd like to say he was playing Starman whilst I stood on the fence considering instant incineration ,but that would just be making the story sound better. Needless to say I spent too much time worried and fairly depressed in a kind of dread and it really didn't help either me or the situation. And it didn't happen. And I said well fuck it, enjoy what you've got when you've got it, try not to piss off too many people, look after your family, change what you can when you can. And Get Some Fun.

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Dirk is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19
Remember the night is darkest just before dawn. Take the time to compose an alternative, regroup the forces of good and strike in force in 36 months. Hold up the mirror to the people what the consequences of the actions of your new government are; either good or bad. If they are the latter promote an alternative. And support people that know what he or she are doing in bringing up alternatives your consistence can cope with.

Climate change isn't the fault of the muslims, the jews, the blacks, the reds or other usual suspects. It's the fault of burning fossil fuels, corporate greed and malicious propaganda instilling fear and bringing false hope. And yes maybe sacrifices have to be made, be they financial ones or changes in our way of life. But compared with the certain death that awaits us all if we will not act - now or in a near future - those costs can be carried.

Invest in research, communication, technology and infrastructure for good of all. Not for it to bring financial rewards to the few. Help those that can't help themselves, and give them the trust no man or woman shall be left behind.

And foremost preach the message of hope. The hope that this dark night will pass. That common sense will prevail, maybe not totally in the coming 36 months, but that it will. We shall overcome, someday.

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jason would have you know...

Posted May 20
I think this election shows a lot about Australia. A two speed economy where self funded retirees and rich folks voted against Labor because they didn't want anyone dipping into their pockets, regardless of the consequences for future generations. A geographical divide where those who rely on mining to make a living chose for the short term and those who didn't rely on it chose for the long term. We can't criticize (though i sorely want to) those who voted differently to us and in their own short term interest.
We can criticize how Australian politics is no longer about policies and ideology. It's about personal attacks and media spend or strategy. It's about a blatant grab for power and not about how we move forward as a country.
The thing we need more than anything is what we recently lost, a genuine star in politics. A person who could bring the people together rather than divide them. A person who bought conciliation rather than adversarial attitudes. Sadly I can't see this person on the horizon.
The only real hope i have is the kids. They're brilliant and one day they'll be in charge. Hope I am still around to see that glorious day.

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tqft asserts...

Posted May 20
As I have said elsewhere, I am angry.
Not hot ranty angry. Cold calculating angry.

I am contemplating what I can do. Not much so far, but the Courier Mail keeps appearing on the edges of everything Qld related.

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WA n'ker reckons...

Posted May 20
Maybe this is like the end of Empire Strikes Back. We'll just have to wait for the Return of the Jedi.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted May 20
Everyone here seems to be pretty much of the same mind. (Probably why we hang around). I was also a bit disappointed. Always a bit meh about 'shit lite' but we needed to take that step away from 'the shit party'. Will it get to the point of civil disobedience (to greater levels than current protesting) from those that believe in climate change? More violence, then more backlash - ideologies seem to be the motivating factor in conflicts and both sides think they are in the right. Face recognition software is getting more prevalent and will it be turned to evil to stop these infarctions getting traction? woah, now i'm sounding paranoid and a bit deranged. I'm shrugging my shoulders and focusing on my 5 acres. Planting more habitat whilst trying to convince my area to do the same so it can be a bit of an island/refuge in the times to come. I don't want my grandkids to be sitting there saying "pop? can you tell us about that time you actually saw a wombat in the wild?"

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 20
Two words. "Holocene Extinction." Look it up.

Sobering reading. And it's happening right now with little fanfare.

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted May 20
Like all of you I was shocked and deflated at the result. But like tqft now I'm angry, in a cold calculating way. I had friends joking/not joking about moving to New Zealand on Saturday night, and my first reaction was to get angry and say NO! Stay and fight. Now begins the insurrection. We can't afford to sit back and wait for others to man the barricades, we have to do it ourselves now. Saturday night was the last night where we had the luxury of waiting for others to fix things for us, now it's on us.

So join a political party. Join an environment activist group. Hell, do both. But man the barricades and fight for our country and our future.

Ruth McGowan, sister of Cathy McGowan of Indi fame, wrote an instruction manual on how to get elected as an independent or a minor party rep. https://ruthmcgowan.com/book/. This is the next book on my reading list. We have three years to plan our assault on our democracy and take our country back from the the Shit and the Shit Lite parties. Let's get on with it.

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Oldy asserts...

Posted May 20
I agree with Jason. We're a nation of 'I'm alright Jack, bugger the rest of you.'

My parents have voted with no fucks given for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

And I'm done being the only one in the house who gives a fuck.

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 20
Three more years of benefits for the rich, benefits for the mining magnates, same for Murdoch Media, three more years of happy clapping godbothering 'have a go to get a go' half baked marketing drivel, three more years without vision other than greed and short term gain. The Murdochracy continues to reign supreme thanks to Voting Public. Enjoy!

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Dave W would have you know...

Posted May 21
The last couple of days cold-turkey off the newsmedia. Have. Been. Bliss.

I realise that I've been mainlining that toxic drivel. I know that the writers are under the pump and haven't been allowed by their overlords to give their products the care and critical attention that they deserve. But that doesn't mean that I can't make a healthier choice.

It'll come back into my life. It has to. Burying my head in the sand is also not a healthy choice. The coming climapocalypse does demand action and forewarned will be forearmed.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted May 21
It took science for humans to not be afraid of an eclipse. Science now models what we should be afraid of and preparing for and also what preventative action we can take. Unfortunately Science doesn't fit in with the greed of the fossil fuel devotees andhappy clappers. (Do these churches ever do anything for anyone except their own? Have yet to see a Hillsong sponsored Wayside Chapel or homeless shelter.).
Valueless, self-serving religion is a problem and that same value of self above anything else was evident on Saturday. Science in Australia is dying in the face of greed, fairytales and ignorance.
I guess Invisible Friend will save the day. That's reassuring isn't it?

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Leftarc is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22
Is it too late to tweak Zero Day Code from a novel to a training manual?

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted May 22
I was thinking along similar lines this morning. Is JB upset because his apocalyptic novel is about to become a non fiction history of Australia?

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted May 22
I did vote Labor , mostly because of their IR policies.

But I can see why they lost seats in Tasmania. While their Federal policies and plan was honest, transparent and reasonable, the party itself, especially locally, has an awful born to rule attitude. When the local Labor opposition gets in bed with the Greens and the speaker of the house to ram through far reaching, untested anti discrimination legislation with no oversight from either the Government or the Public service and then calls anyone who objects a bigot, racist , stupid or reactionary , then people just won't vote for them when they get the chance. Transparency in government is a code word for honesty and I'm afraid some of the Labor party machine aren't keen on either transparency or honesty.

The Libs under Scomo really don't have it either. (Never bring an ad man to government, Australia will regret this in no time)

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Himura Kenshin puts forth...

Posted May 22
lotta people here have made some good points I'm not an Aussie like most of you folks so i cant say that i completely grasp the nuance but it has been my experience that people are getting real sic real fast of political parties in general oh sure they SAY that these new taxes will go towards environmental restoration and new "clean technologies" and then 6 months later there's some embezzlement scandal or the tax money has gone to some other different pet project and the climate problem marches on and the other party (take your pick) promises that THEY have the solution it's usually something about keeping jobs and then Again embezzlement scandal or somebody cutting a deal that's detrimental to the average person but great for that politicians (and Friends) pocket and once more the problem marches on been like this for about the last 30 ish years that i can remember it just seems as communication has gotten easier the ability of a politician to make an actually difficult and moral decision has gotten harder Rarer as they try to please everyone to continue holding power

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted May 22
An observation or two.
I am pretty much convinced that the worst of Anthopogenic Climate Change is now inevitable. Our economic model is so 'baked in' that any change to minimise CO2 ( & other green-house gases, lookin at you Methane) that is likely, will be undone by the thirst for modernity by the billions still left in poverty. The population bulge will mean that this over-demand will only continue to get worse in the coming decades. I know the 'Africa skipped land-lines' argument, but the likely (as opposed to theoretically possible) ramp-up in low carbon technologies is just not going to be realised in time.
What remains to be seen is the trigger points of cascading consequences; the Methane from decomposing vegetation trapped in permafrost, the release of Methane from deep cold ocean clathrates and CO2 from burning temperate forests. We have some models, some pretty convincing models, but we do not know for sure.
I am not proposing we just throw our hands up in resignation and speed on to our doom in a supercharged V10 Ram pick-up, we will be held accountable by our children and doing anything will be better than nothing. Perhaps, just perhaps we could do enough to prevent some of the worst cascading consequences.
I just think it unlikely, given our experience of 30+ years of knowledge and 2/5ths of SFA action.
I am far from convinced that an ALP Federal government would be substantially more effective at taking action than the LNP. My reading of ALP policies was they didn't amount to much more than tokenism. Remember who disproportionally influences ALP policy; the CFMEU & TWU will not be lobbying for unemployment, despite it being largely inevitable in the coming decades of automation.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 23
This is super depressing.

NBlob reckons...

Posted May 23
Just one of the services I offer

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jason reckons...

Posted May 24
Don't be too depressed. the Feds control the policy but other forces are at play.
Local governments are doing great things. I see all the tenders so I know how much solar they are installing. Corporations are making great environmental decisions based on financial decisions that also benefit the environment.
Average humans are doing great work .The folks who voted Lib are still installing solar.
Like so many things the ground swell will drive the policy eventually. Always has, always will,.

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Emma would have you know...

Posted May 26
I felt exactly the same. But now the dust has settled I am determined to keep using my journalism to promote action. Now knowing that it's not going to be top-down action... somehow the citizens are going to have to move this ship ourselves.

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Respond to 'Dark thoughts'