October 3rd, 2007


Unsuspected connection

While reading Flashman and the Dragon I suddenly realized where a lot of the flavor of the Gubernio Civil* (prostrations before the Governor, certain turns of phrase, attitude towards barbarians) came from. Drake - or more likely Striling - adapted them from the Ching Dynasty. Now that is one weird cultural melange - the Gubernio Civil has elements of the Byzantine Empire, Ching dynasty Chinese Empire, Regency England, and 17th-century Spain. Makes for an interesting sociological stew. :)

*The "good guys" in the David Drake/S.M. Stirling novels that make up the Raj Whitehall series.

10/3 1340: Edited for clarity.
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the mark

Eastwood, Lileks and me

Lileks watched Flags of Our Fathers and didn't like it much.
A particularly telling quote:
I’m sure Eastwood intended the movie to be respectful, but sometimes it seems like the second half of his career has been spent apologizing for the first half.

There might be something to that. With a few exceptions, most of Eastwood's films have been fairly clear on who the heroes and villains are, even if the heroes weren't always terribly stainless and the villains weren't totally evil. They were also movies that spoke to middle American, blue-collar values such as justice, honor and truth. Unfortunately, starting with Million Dollar Baby, it seems like Eastwood's movies are becoming more aligned with the kind of nihilistic values that Hollywood normally applies to its movies, and that's unfortunate. There are dozens of directors who can do those movies, but only one Clint Eastwood.
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