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Dante last won the day on November 3 2021

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  1. Dante

    Dune (2021)

    Just got back from seeing the movie. Still digesting it. Also all the dust that was on this account, cough cough hi folks. There were things I liked, things I didn't. Spoiler-free overriding thought is that I'm not sure it will be accessible enough to make money, no matter how much the critics are fawning over it.
  2. I dropped by to see if there was any discussion about the upcoming movie and associated game or three. Early days yet. Maybe in the next year or two...
  3. Disaster or catastrophe? You decide. *Lays out fresh bait for Edric*
  4. Evidence suggests you weren't alone.
  5. If EU policies were used as a front for anti-immigration rhetoric then anti-immigration rhetoric was used as a front for racism. To expand: there are people in the UK with... what might in a generous light pass as a good reason to object to immigration. Immigrants aren't the problem, they are an immensely valuable and highly underappreciated part of the workforce. They are however a visible facet of an invisible problem: neoliberalism shattered the British manufacturing sector and the people sent in to pick up the pieces (and fill in the cracks) were often immigrants. It's a bit like blaming dung beetles for a cowpat on your lawn: they didn't cause the mess, they're just working in it. This sense that immigrants were "taking all our jobs" was grabbed, fanned and ruthlessly exploited by people with a political axe to grind (Boris Johnson), racist nutjobs (Britain First and like organisations) and people who are both (Nigel Farage). I don't want to go into all the gritty details, so long story short, "immigration" became a codeword to mean all sorts of disgusting things. Criminal, violent, terrorist, rapist, dangerous, mercenary, freeloading. Once you've convinced someone that a group of people is to blame for one problem (lack of jobs) it becomes a great deal easier to persuade them that this group is responsible for all sorts of other problems. Saying "if we restrict immigration, terrorists will have a harder time getting in" not only denies the fact that British citizens have been terrorists in the past, but implies that anyone who isn't British could be a terrorist. It's a slippery slope. I have no sympathy for people who mourn for the days when they never had to hear a language they didn't understand or talk to a brown person. Some of them might, on a good day, actually be resentful that they don't have a good job and are blaming the people who do. But the vast majority are using job concerns as a cover for rampant jingoism, and a sizable minority of those are using THAT as a cover for outright racism. It's not pretty, but racially biased crimes are still rising here. That's the situation, one month on. The new Prime Minister is "negotiating" while everyone she might be negotiating with insists that she isn't. The economy and currency are both, as far as I know, in shambles, UK scientists (the group I'm most in tune with, though that barely) are already facing blocks to EU participation and funding due to uncertainty about the future, a situation likely mirrored in other industries. Things have calmed down, you'd never know what was going on if you looked out the window. But this isn't over yet. Calls to do another referendum have been refused, calls to start the split immediately have also been refused. Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop. My personal suspicion, and I should emphasise that I have no evidence to back this up, is that the new PM is playing for time and will continue to do so for as long as she is able. Someone with a plan would surely have made some sort of public indication as to what it is by now. The Scottish government, meanwhile, is actively promoting a strongly immigrant-positive agenda and being as pro-EU and generally internationalist as it can. While London prevaricates, Edinburgh is gleefully turning up the volume on its thinly-veiled push for continued EU membership, with or without the rest of the UK.
  6. Weeeellllll, the lead-up to this disaster is kind of a long story, but I'll do my best to summarise. Prior to the last General Election the situation was this: Coalition government in charge, Conservative party (right of centre, divided on EU) backed by Liberal democrat party (left-centrist, pro-EU) to hold majority. Opposition: Labour party (centrist, if one feels generous. Pro-EU, in theory). Right wing spoiler: UK independence party (UKIP), one-issue demagogues who blame the EU for all the land's woes and have been stealing conservative votes due to a perceived shift to the left on the part of the conservative party on issues such as gay marriage. Left wing spoiler: the Scottish National Party (SNP), who just lost an independence referendum in Scotland but are nevertheless experiencing unprecedented popularity and support. UKIP had been arguing for YEARS that Europe took all our money, allowed immigrants in to steal houses, jobs and healthcare, overruled our legal system and forbade our national self-determination. I've ranted about their idiocy here before, they're the kind of troglodytes who want to bring back corporal punishment in schools and "aren't convinced" by evolution by natural selection or global warming. They're also regularly caught being directly racist, rather than just tacitly, but if I have to list all their faults we'll be here all night. As usual in straitened economic circumstances (not just from the 2008 crash - some parts of England have been economically depressed since the 80's. Blame Thatcher), scapegoating became the norm, and as usual it took the form of "people not like us." Distant, detached bureaucrats in Brussells, what could they know about your life, what good could they do for you? Immigrants coming over, taking all the jobs and abusing our generosity, sending all their money back home, scroungers, should be kicked out. In order to placate the Eurosceptic wing of his own party, and take back some of those UKIP votes, the Prime Minister promised a referendum on membership of the EU. This gamble had just paid off in Scotland, and while pro-EU himself, the PM needed the support of Eurosceptics to maintain party cohesion. I should emphasise: this promise was made to weaken UKIP and strengthen the Conservative party prior to an election, it was a short-term boost in ratings traded against future risk. So the reasons for the referendum are multiple. The Prime Minister needed to boost both his standing within his party and his party's standing nationally. UKIP were tapping into national discontent and turning it towards suitably self-serving targets. Thing is, they knew they couldn't reveal too much to their supporters, because the EU only allows free movement of their own people within the borders of the EU. That is, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, etc, these nationalities can come and work in the UK and vice versa. This does NOT include workers from outside the EU; Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, American, Honduran, Peruvian, etc. It's late and I'm a bit under the weather, I'm afraid I'm not explaining it very well. My point is that mass immigration wasn't a problem, it was set up to look like a problem by the same kind of people who blamed "the Jews" for losing WW1 and dream of some racially pure society in which children doff their caps and women never need abortions because they don't have sex. Immigration is GOOD for this country, the skills, money and workforce we get far outstrips anything we could manage without them. UKIP were allowed to get away with so much because they're popular, not correct, with the same kind of anti-intellectual Dunning-Kruger effect that's supporting Trump. Or as John Cleese put it, "the trouble with these people is that they're so stupid that they don't realise how stupid they are." And they were allowed to get away with it because nobody thought they would actually win. 50% majority? Sure! They'll be lucky to get 45%. In summary, how was this allowed to happen? Stupidity from the Brexit side and complacency from everyone else. Be warned.
  7. I have yet to see anyone celebrating this decision who wasn't either being extremely racist or prefacing every statement with a variation on "I'm not racist, but." It's disgusting. I note factions in Europe encouraging the UK to hurry up and go if it's going! They have a point, no use dragging this out longer than it has to be. Except the Prime Minister is stalling for time. I'm not sure what he hopes to achieve, but the longer he stays hidden, the longer everyone else has to panic.
  8. I've laid out a few thoughts in PRP on this, a contender for the worst political disaster in my lifetime.
  9. I realise that this is a bit like shouting into the void, but on the off chance that it might prompt a discussion or if Edric or Wolf drop by to see if there's any word, I thought it behooved me to provide some commentary in this, the place of fencepost-pulling. I loathe the term Brexit, but it's become ubiquitous enough that not to use it seems to be disconnected from the debate. So the dominant mood among my peers is one of shock. My peers, for background's sake, are mostly between 22 and 35, highly educated and comparatively low-earning (that is, there are few lawyers or dentists but plenty of scriptwriters and museum technicians). We didn't expect the Leave vote to win. And if anything that has been the defining message of the referendum: the UK is united in name only. The division between Leave and Remain was so great that the two barely see each other. I had no idea that the fury felt by working class English was so great, or so misdirected. There were some correlations. The older the voter, the more likely they were to vote Leave. The lower their level of education, the more likely they were to vote Leave. The more money their area received from the EU, the more likely they were to vote Leave (...). And in a way that makes sense. This was a story of angry, disenfranchised working people ignored or overlooked by an urban elite, an elite who like myself were complacently confident that blame would fall on those who ACTUALLY caused their shitty situation, rather than scapegoating the EU. The only areas in which poorer, less educated people voted in high numbers to Remain were Scotland and London. This exposes another issue. Though the margin was narrow in places, Scotland's majority was overwhelmingly Remain: the calls for a second independence referendum have been loud and many. For those who voted No last time, the choice is no longer so clear-cut. For those who voted Yes, like myself, Scotland's independence is now no longer a desirable option but an overriding necessity. The England (and Wales) that is emerging from this debacle is not a place we want to be part of. Northern Ireland, for its part, appears Remain-leaning but too divided to take any clear action right now. And the consequences for the political establishment have been breathtaking. Heads are rolling even now as the two lead parties, Conservatives and Labour, turn on themselves and each other in recrimination and panic. The Prime Minister is resigning, his potential successors are all deeply unpopular, the leader of the opposition is sacking people and facing calls to step down. The SNP are the only one that seems remotely stable or statesmanlike, and they are busily setting out terms for Scotland remaining in the EU, with or without the rest of the UK. The pound plummeted, the young are furious that the old overrode them, incidences of racism are on the rise, even daesh are celebrating. I like to make jokes about it, but in truth I don't think I've ever actually wished harm upon England or its people, but now I must. The sad fact is that it's not enough that England is likely to suffer, it must suffer. The consequences of this foolish decision need to be dramatic and severe enough to shut down Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in The Netherlands, et al. The working classes of England and Wales voted against their own best interests and if they do not suffer for it then they will not learn. I am in the privileged position of being able to call this a mitigated disaster: mitigated by the fact that Scotland may be protected from the worst of this by virtue of our already strong independence movement. No such luxury exists for my friends and colleagues in England, and for that I am truly unhappy. But to protect the EU, and in turn combat the rise of proto-fascist movements across the continent, this must serve as an example. The consequences must be a shattering of economic prosperity and indeed national identity. There is an alternative. The referendum is advisory, not binding. The government could, in theory, choose to ignore the result. The SNP, in theory, could block or veto the necessary legislation to leave the EU, or so they claim. The voices of regret from those who voted Leave and are only now realising the consequences are multifarious. The process of actually leaving the EU, of dealing with rewriting trade deals and laws and borders and dealing with international healthcare and the currency and Scotland and the corporations who will flee as soon as they lose access to the single market... this could yet prove insurmountable to whoever is foolish enough to attempt it (as David Cameron has most decidedly abdicated that responsibility). This could yet turn into a return to the status quo, in which we teetered on the edge of oblivion before finally coming to our senses. I find it unlikely.
  10. Dante

    Site Updates

    Let the purge continue, only the pure may enter.
  11. I wouldn't say I'm uninterested, but I'd be in it for the Dune franchise rather than any particular attachment to the game itself (which came out before I really got into gaming, i.e. when I was five years old).
  12. It's not completely unreasonable to draw a comparison. The Tleilaxu too are religious zealots, and strive to achieve physical perfection through biological enhancement. That's more or less where the similarity stops though, and it's worth pointing out that the Tleilaxu are, more or less, human, not an alien species. Their depiction in Emperor isn't entirely without basis in the books either, the Bene Tleilax are highly mercenary after all. But again, the resemblance is limited. I am however interested in the word monsters. The Tleilaxu turn people into monsters? What monsters are these, and what is it that makes them monstrous?
  13. Grumble mutter hmph, well at least we agree on a lack of Sebastian!
  14. "Not whoring out the IP" indeed. Selling the rights to Disney would be less of a sellout than the indignities visited upon the Dune franchise.
  15. I like to read through old PRP threads. Maybe it's vain, but I enjoy seeing a well crafted argument, even if it's long abandoned. Though there is a limit. If I go back far enough... I don't like what I see. The ideas are much the same but the presentation is dreadful. I can't say I see many parallels to be drawn between daesh and the fremen, save in terms of fanaticism. (M!HAnders is my OTP :| )
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