What Are You Reading 4

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Tonyblack

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#1
Time for a new thread. You can find What Are You Reading 3 HERE.
 
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Quatermass

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#2
Okay, it's not something I'm reading just yet, but I am seriously looking forward to my pre-order of the eighth novel in the Overlord series.
 

Tonyblack

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#3
I'm reading:: Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina. It's very good and very true.
 

Quatermass

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#4
Tonyblack said:
I'm reading:: Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina. It's very good and very true.
Is it a humour book? Only, if it wasn't, that book would just depress AND piss me off...

I just finished reading a book about Disney's films during World War II.
 

Tonyblack

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#5
Quatermass said:
Tonyblack said:
I'm reading:: Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina. It's very good and very true.
Is it a humour book? Only, if it wasn't, that book would just depress AND piss me off...

I just finished reading a book about Disney's films during World War II.
Slightly tongue in cheek I would say. But pretty accurate in some of the arguments you come across when people discover you are atheist - at least in the US. It hardly ever happens in the UK.
 

Tonyblack

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#6
Incidentally - regarding the Disney book - I recently came across someone on Facebook who claimed that Disney was a nazi sympathiser and sited the famous Donald Duck cartoon. You would have to be pretty stupid to confuse that with nazi propaganda and the pro allies message it actually is.
 

RathDarkblade

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#7
Tonyblack said:
Quatermass said:
Tonyblack said:
I'm reading:: Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina. It's very good and very true.
Is it a humour book? Only, if it wasn't, that book would just depress AND piss me off...

I just finished reading a book about Disney's films during World War II.
Slightly tongue in cheek I would say. But pretty accurate in some of the arguments you come across when people discover you are atheist - at least in the US. It hardly ever happens in the UK.
Is it aimed at just the militant atheists (i.e. the ones that insist that there isn't a god, and prepared to fight for their POV), or all atheists - even the casual ones (i.e. the ones who think there isn't a god, but couldn't really care less?)

If the former, well... OK. If the latter... well, that would piss me off too.
 

Quatermass

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Tonyblack said:
Incidentally - regarding the Disney book - I recently came across someone on Facebook who claimed that Disney was a nazi sympathiser and sited the famous Donald Duck cartoon. You would have to be pretty stupid to confuse that with nazi propaganda and the pro allies message it actually is.
It was propaganda...just anti-Nazi propaganda.

Disney, to my knowledge, was anti-Communist, but not pro-Nazi by any means. Admittedly, I don't know enough about his life to know for sure. I was still fascinated to see not only some of the interviews with him on the special features of some Disney DVDs, but also reading about some of his zanier projects: I read a book, for example, on his attempt at collaborating on a film with Salvador Dali, Destino.
 

Tonyblack

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#9
RathDarkblade said:
Is it aimed at just the militant atheists (i.e. the ones that insist that there isn't a god, and prepared to fight for their POV), or all atheists - even the casual ones (i.e. the ones who think there isn't a god, but couldn't really care less?)

If the former, well... OK. If the latter... well, that would piss me off too.
This is one of the things that atheists get asked. Atheism is simply the non belief in gods. If you don't believe there are gods then, by definition, you are an atheist. To use the term "militant atheist" and insist there are no gods, is take on the burden of proof. Theists often believe that all atheists fall into that category and then build straw men arguments against this. Most atheists will only say that they don't see any evidence for gods. The theists are making a positive claim and therefore need to produce evidence. The book is about the fictions that theists believe apply to atheists. About that assumption that atheists are stupid to say there is no god. It boils down to basic logical fallacies. So in a lot of ways this is a book on philosophy.
 

Tonyblack

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#10
Quatermass said:
Tonyblack said:
Incidentally - regarding the Disney book - I recently came across someone on Facebook who claimed that Disney was a nazi sympathiser and sited the famous Donald Duck cartoon. You would have to be pretty stupid to confuse that with nazi propaganda and the pro allies message it actually is.
It was propaganda...just anti-Nazi propaganda.

Disney, to my knowledge, was anti-Communist, but not pro-Nazi by any means. Admittedly, I don't know enough about his life to know for sure. I was still fascinated to see not only some of the interviews with him on the special features of some Disney DVDs, but also reading about some of his zanier projects: I read a book, for example, on his attempt at collaborating on a film with Salvador Dali, Destino.
Yes, I understand he had some ideas that didn't work. His film Fantasia was a modest success and he had plans to make more of these Classical Music themed animations. The Walt Disney Concert Hall was built with this in mind and, although it is still being used for Classical Music concerts, it never really had the potential that he had envisioned. Fantasia also suffered from critical responses to some of the more adult themes in the film and nipples had to be removed from some of the characters
 

Dotsie

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#11
I'm reading 'Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers' by Mary Roach. Its very interesting, sort of 'post-mortem adventures', darkly humorous but with a respectful tone.
 

RathDarkblade

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#13
Tonyblack said:
RathDarkblade said:
Is it aimed at just the militant atheists (i.e. the ones that insist that there isn't a god, and prepared to fight for their POV), or all atheists - even the casual ones (i.e. the ones who think there isn't a god, but couldn't really care less?)

If the former, well... OK. If the latter... well, that would piss me off too.
This is one of the things that atheists get asked. Atheism is simply the non belief in gods. If you don't believe there are gods then, by definition, you are an atheist. To use the term "militant atheist" and insist there are no gods, is take on the burden of proof. Theists often believe that all atheists fall into that category and then build straw men arguments against this. Most atheists will only say that they don't see any evidence for gods. The theists are making a positive claim and therefore need to produce evidence. The book is about the fictions that theists believe apply to atheists. About that assumption that atheists are stupid to say there is no god. It boils down to basic logical fallacies. So in a lot of ways this is a book on philosophy.
That's fair enough. *nod* I used to think I was an atheist, but now I'm not sure. If we were to apply the strict scientific rules of burden of proof to religion, then the burden of proof clearly falls on the theistic side: how can we incontrovertibly prove that a god or gods exist? Clearly, we can't. Some of us may have faith, but that's not the same as proof.

On the other hand, to me, obviously we can't prove that god or gods don't exist. We simply don't know well enough.

So I just ignore the whole mess. :) Whatever people choose to believe is their choice. It's not up to me to force any kind of dogma (or catma) down their throats. ;)

I wonder what that makes me. A humanist, presumably?
 

=Tamar

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Tonyblack said:
Fantasia also suffered from critical responses to some of the more adult themes in the film and nipples had to be removed from some of the characters
Fantasia had various forms in different decades. When I was a kid in the 1950s I saw a lot more of it than was shown in the 1960s. In the 1990s it was almost complete again but there are whole scenes that I believe have never been reinserted. Sometimes you find bits of them online in still pictures. I know I saw them in the 1950s because I remember being furious at one scene, when the snooty centaurette tosses out the hairdo the little hairdresser centaurette spent ages on. She was just so rude!
 

=Tamar

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#15
To return to books - I just bought and read The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, by Anderson and Yelchin, which was only just released. It's an odd book, the sort of thing that attracts me. Ultimately it's the story of an extended encounter between a goblin and an elf, both historians. Half the story is told entirely in pictures, which are images of how one character has perceived events, so they aren't necessarily reliable. Two other characters have points of view in text form, which is also not entirely reliable. Plot twists etc positively demand an immediate reread to study and reinterpret details of the events as given, in the light of later information. I imagine there will be readers who don't get it - after all, even a story as simple and obvious as The Bravest Ever Bear has confused otherwise literate adults who don't understand that the characters (in TBEB) are writing the book while you read it.
 

RathDarkblade

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#16
Ho! Tom Bombadil! Tom Bombadillo! ;)

I'm reading LOTR for the first time (in English, anyway - I tried reading it in Hebrew and was hopelessly confused).

The Fellowship has just left Moria (huzzah!) but Gandalf is gone (sob, moan, groan). ;)
 

Tonyblack

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#17
I really hated the Tom Bombadil parts. I couldn't see the point of them. It didn't progress the plot or add anything to the story that I could see.
I know people were disappointed that he wasn't in the movies (why?) but I can see that it was a very easy bit to ditch.
 

RathDarkblade

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#18
Hmm, I agree. I found the Tom Bombadil parts quite difficult to read, and found myself skipping whole paragraphs to get to the next bit of dialogue. It's difficult to understand what Tom's character actually is or what the whole thing does for the plot, except for introducing the Barrow-Downs and giving the Hobbits a bunch of nifty swords.

At any rate, I finished Fellowship. The Three Hunters have met up with Eomer, and Merry/Pippin have escaped into Fangorn now (hurrah, etc.)
 

=Tamar

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Nobody knows why Tom Bombadil is there, except those who believe Tolkien. If I recall correctly, he felt that Tom Bombadil was the most important part of the story. Tolkien is known to have intended to create a thoroughly English mythos, which means that it is difficult for anyone not steeped in 1920s English university culture to even guess why certain elements were included. My opinion is that the character is intended to represent the spirit of place, the personified essence of an idealized joy in 18th century English country living.
[edited to correct the 'Tim' typo]
 
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RathDarkblade

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#20
Tim Bombadil? Is he Tom's long-lost cousin? ;)

But fair enough. I still don't understand, though ... 18th-century English country living, fair enough, but what does it have to do with Middle-Earth?

I'm currently reading The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, a study of the British penal colonies and early history of Australia.
 

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