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  • Miqque
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    Crusaders, as we know, were largely landless knights who went to the Holy Land in the hope of finding wealth and land.
    That's why so many of them stayed and built the infamous Crusader castles.
    Say what?!?!?!?

    Crusaders ofter mortgaged their entire lands to put together the basics for crusading, namely warhorse, armor, swords, maces, and usually a page or squire to help them take care of the gear (and likely cook dinner and dig latrines). This was seen as an investment, as they were after the gold in Solomon's temple in Jerusalem (the goal); and any and all loot and swag they may be able to collect along the way.

    Now, either I've got the economic factors and process all wrong, or we're simply talking about different phases of different crusades. My understanding has been that there was a huge profit motive going on with the Crusades, dimly disguised under some mighty shaky dogma.

    Where are we at here, bud? (And how far from Alan's interview can I possibly get on this thread?)

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    This is a well-known phrase in England, but of course not so popular in the US -- that English socialism has more Methodism than Marx in it.
    English socialisism came out of the radical church movements. So many of the great Labour leaders of the early years came out of the Chapels of the Welsh valleys and elsewhere. Unions were often linked in their practices with some of the 'low church' movements, too. So those people were certainly convinced that God was a socialist. Might seem odd to Americans that many Baptists were convinced that God was a socialist in the country where their faith began. In the US, of course, Yahwah was more likely to be a socialist. I used to argue that the best Christians in America were all Jews.
    It has always been useful to rapacious men to adopt religious attitudes.
    This gives them what is essentially power without responsibility. I used to think, when I was very young, that such men couldn't sleep well at night. I very soon learned that they slept very well indeed, confident that they were serving God's purpose by ascribing their own motives to
    God. Nice and simple. Crusaders, as we know, were largely landless knights who went to the Holy Land in the hope of finding wealth and land.
    That's why so many of them stayed and built the infamous Crusader castles.

    Leave a comment:


  • mordenkainen
    replied
    Originally posted by ReaveTheJust
    Devil soul his sold He to the.
    .....then he drove Lucifer to bankrupt and bought it back for 1/10th of its original value.

    Leave a comment:


  • ReaveTheJust
    replied
    (Mike Said)

    "Rupert Murdoch lurks like the great mantanned white shark he is, waiting to gobble up the BBC. He has to be resisted in every way. Like Tony, he's a Born Again (and a mate of Tone's) and has to be watched. "

    What is it with Bush and the rest of the nasty, greedy world wreckers - a PR move?

    I'm not a believer myself, but if God exists then surely he a socialist!! (Can't remember who said that originally - or did I dream it :? )

    And if ever anyone's rise to power is suspicious, it's Murdoch - make a sentence from the following: Devil soul his sold He to the.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    All things being equal, Jerry won't fade away just yet. What I'm retiring from is writing 'conventional' fantasy fiction. There is so much of it around that I really don't feel like adding to it any more and any urges I might have to work on a fantasy story I can do it either on a movie or in a graphic novel. Most of my longer fiction, however, is almost certainly going to be non-generic.

    Leave a comment:


  • KevJo
    replied
    Most Governments generally get frustrated with any obstacles that are placed in their way, I reckon, but the current one seems to be more blatant than most in their attempts to remove all possible opposition and I'm not talking about the Conservatives. As well as 'reforming' the house of Lords, they seem to want to 'reform' the funding of the BBC, and I have an idea that, as a teacher, they will be wanting to 'reform' my pension scheme at some point in the near future. I won't bore you with all the 'reforms' that the education system is going through over here - suffice to say that there are times when I wish I worked in an job that wasn't considered to be part of the Governments Great Strategy to improve Britain, because they keep changing their minds.

    I think it is about time that the current mob were turfed out for a while. When a party has been in power for 8 years, they start getting delusions of grandeur and think that they can do anything that they want. Wars and the like. And they slowly become more and more right wing - who'd have thought that it would be the Labour party would have been trying to introduce identity cards. Not that it makes too much difference these days, given that we have to carry so many cards anyway.

    Talking about retiring - It's funny, I was idly gazing up at my shelf of Eternal Champion Omnibus editions, and I came to the realisation that I wouldn't actually mind that much, not reading any more stories about Hawkmoon, or Corum or any of the others, even including Elric. I still enjoy them, and re-read them every five years or so, but how much more is there to say about them?

    But for some reason, I would mind if there were not going to be any more appearances by Jerry Cornelius. I would miss him. I quite like the way he pops up when not expected, in other stories, like that little short that you set on top of Glastonbury Tor. If it wasn't him, it was clearly a very strong echo of him, in one of the champions. That had quite an effect on me - I'm not sure why. Maybe I enjoyed seeing him outside of his normal urban environment. Or it was the effect of reading about him in a place I have actually been to.
    Hopefully, you'll still find that there are things that JC needs to say.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I've never seen the Michael Rimmer film, but will watch out for it.
    Sounds worth a watch.
    Yes, I'm getting a bit suspicious of this word 'reform' which these days increasingly seems to me 'devolution'. Bush's so-called Social Security 'reforms' would put us back into the political Dark Ages and Blair's 'reforms' of Parliament (he's already made a jibe about blokes in
    black stockings -- what'll it be next 'blokes in frocks' in cathedrals ? -- which was vaguely reminiscent of Mussolini's rhetoric). I never let myself forget that Hitler and Co were seen as young, dynamic and impatient with old-fashioned ideas by many of the people who later regretted voting them in. We all know what their 'reforms' led to.
    The rhetoric of politics has become deeply corrupted in recent years, with a dismissal of the bases of liberal humanism, a development of progressive Christianity, coming from people who most claim to be devout Christians. We've got to watch the buggers carefully.
    Alan has indeed announced his retirement. We discussed it a few months ago. He isn't giving up working, any more than I am, but he's going to devote himself to doing less of the work which made him such a dynamic influence over the years, and try to do something else. Like me, he's rather swamped by the generics -- by people using the ideas which he originated. When they take your own literary vocabulary and garble it or simply reproduce it, then it's probably time to call it quits.
    I doubt if either of us is going to go in for rose cultivation, but I'm writing less and thinking about it more, maybe.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I think Alan, like me, is retiring from writing the kind of material on which his greatest fame is based! I certainly don't intend to give up writing and I know he doesn't either.

    Leave a comment:


  • KevJo
    replied
    Alan Moore retiring? Surely not. Where did you hear that, Miqque??

    Right, I've got meself an avatar now - took me a while to figure it out, but it seems to work. And it's even applied to messages retrospectively, which I wasn't expecting. I'll get the hang of this magic interweb difference engine eventually.

    Yes, I remember thinking something similar when Labour starting reforming the House of Lords - Having a second chamber is essential, as is the need for it to be relatively free of political considerations. Some sort of collection of the ''Great and the Good' who can moderate and seek changes in what the Commons tries to do. How those Great and Good are chosen may be something that is due for reform, but the reforms are going the wrong way at the moment. It has got to be a process that the MPs can't control - indeed that is the whole point.

    I suspect that having to vote once every four years is about as much democracy as most people want. I really don't want to be so cynical about it, but the sort of turnout they get for local elections tells it's own story. And so any situation where a public position is thrown open to the vote, like judges, there is bound to be corruption, because they know that unless there is an abnormally high turn out, they will be able to get away with it.

    Have you ever seen a film called 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer'. It stars Peter Cook, and just about every British Comedian of note in 1970. It's a political satire, on how a ruthless advertising executive manages to ascend to being Prime Minister by a mixture of good media handling and judiciously selected murders. He introduces a system whereby everyone in the country can vote on everything, via their TV sets, and after giving them a taste of *real* participative democracy, actually gets them to vote him into the position of 'Protector of the People' (or some such) for Life - 'reluctantly taking up the burden, so that they might enjoy the fruits of their hard work in peace'.

    I remember seeing it on TV one Sunday afternoon - the cast list was enough to make me switch on - and was just stunned by it. It was very funny, but the final frame, where he looks straight at the camera, really gave me chills. As far as I know, it's never been released on VHS or DVD, which is a real pity. At the time it was an over the top comedy - now that we know what a spin doctor is, and actually have the means to introduce online voting, should we wish to, I think it might provoke a slightly more interesting response.
    [/b]

    Leave a comment:


  • Miqque
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    This leads for endless continuing debate (the interpretation of 'the right to bear arms' for instance
    Dang! I thought it was the right to arm bears....
    :oops:

    By the bye, I'd just sat down at the PC (at the library, as usual) having just checked out hardbounds of League of Gents Vols. I and II. Nice coincidence that you heard the reclusive Mr. Moore on the Beeb. (Also saw the LXG film recently, okay(ish) film, but not Moore.)

    Is Alan really retiring? Or is that just grapevine blather?

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I think a constitutional monarchy might actually be the best form of government we know, especially where laws are made by parliament rather than lawyers, following English common law, rather than constitutional law. Tony Blair has little in the way of original ideas but as a lawyer he clearly sees richer pickings for lawyers in a written constitution rather than an unwritten one. Having absorbed the universal Bill of Rights, we don't need to tart our own (last modified as I recall around 1851) up now. That would have been my suggestions once. Of course, they're a bit unhappy about having adopted now, seeing how well America has done by refusing to sign up.

    Leave a comment:


  • KevJo
    replied
    So they could act as a sort of counter-balance to the politicians now and then, a bit like the BBC. There might be something in that. Although they have no powers as such, if one of the Royals says something a bit controversiial it does tend to get people rushing to justify themselves. I'd be happier if they would do it more often.

    Like a lot of people, I would imagine, one part of me likes all of the history - the old buildings, the battles, the rousing speeches that Shakespeare put into their mouths, and another part of me is annoyed when they are used to justify some of the things that the politicians do - or are used as a diversion from the real issues of the day.

    It's always bugged me that the Queen has words put into her mouth by the Government, when she opens Parliament - although I suppose technically she could refuse to say them - that would cause a bit of a kerfuffle and no mistake!

    I suppose that I would rather they were there than not, but I could do without the army of experts, advisiors, constitutional experts, commentators, butlers who decide to sell their story to the papers, newspapers that print the stories, and so on.

    Charles being the first citizen king is something that I suspect he might be agreeable to - I think his heart is in the right place, but whether the politicians and civil servants would allow it is another matter. The higher up in a hierarchy you are, the more power you may have, but the less freedom you have in the way that you can use it. Which is a good thing on the whole, but it must be quite frustrating.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    While I'm against them getting all the dosh they do get, I came to the conclusion, living in the US, that there's something useful about having someone who embodies the State which we, the citizens, can make deals with. This is actually a less cumbersome bit of political machinery than a written Constitution. I'm hoping that Charles will become the first 'citizen king' -- given a farm and a house in London where he can entertain visiting heads of state, but otherwise being made to give the rest of it all back to the country, perhaps for specific uses, like sprucing up the NHS. Mrs Bowels would make a good, hearty farmer's wife, after all and an ideal helpmeet to the old hippy himself.

    Leave a comment:


  • KevJo
    replied
    Not having lived in any other country, it is difficult for me to imagine not being able to turn on a radio or TV and know that the BBC will be there. I just take it for granted ( and probably shouldn't ) that the news that I will hear will on the whole be unbiased and impartial - as far as is possible given that the BBC is in some ways very much a part of the established order.

    I'm very much afraid that the role that they played in the debate over the Iraq war might have convinced quite a few people in power that the BBC needs to be stripped of it's independence in no uncertain terms. As far as I can see, having downloaded and read some of the source documentation from the Hutton Enquiry website, almost all of the concerns that the BBC was giving voice to were entirely justified - a point that Lord Hutton, in his grotesque so-called conclusion neglected to mention.

    We desperately need people, like John Humphrys, who are able to interview the Prime Minister of the day and ask him to justify taking the country to war based on a dossier that was plagiarised from someones old PhD thesis - and then changed to make things seem more urgent than they were. I still can't quite believe it. I have seen people thrown off their degree course for doing less.

    As for Michael Howard - well, I hope he still has nightmares about Jeremy Paxman asking him the same question 12 times, live, on air - surely Paxo's finest hour.

    You're right about the BBC and the NHS being lynchpins of British society - I just hope the NHS still exists in 40 or so years time, when I am most likely to be in need of it. The thought of Murdoch having anything remotely to do with the BBC makes me feel physically ill.

    Another good thing that the BBC did: produce 'Yes Minister' - surely the most educational programme ever made - why does everyone think that it's a comedy?

    Oh God - I've just heard the news - it looks like the Royals are going to dominate the media for the next couple of days - I'm off to read some George Orwell.....

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Can't agree more about BBC radio in general. Substantial news which does a lot of great vox pop (as well as challenging politicians). I also like the music programmes on Radio 2 which give background to what I'm hearing --
    from the 'Classic Songbook' type shows to the latest rock and roll --
    blues, country, reggae, rap. I must admit I don't listen to Radio One much, but if you're up late you'll frequently hear humour between me and Alex Lester. It's easier for me to hear his show because it's on at
    9pm for me (3am for UK listeners). I can't imagine life without BBC
    radio. Friends send the stuff I want to see on TV (Linda's dark secret is that she's an EE addict -- though she's going off the show as it gets worse and worse!) including Have I Got News For You, which has its own
    spin on News Quiz. Even though the NHS can always be improved, that and the BBC remain two of the lynch pins of British society. Without them, we start to disintegrate as a society, much as the US has done.
    Funny that Michael Howard has no ideas but the bad ones which the best people in the States already believe have proven useless at best. Rupert Murdoch lurks like the great mantanned white shark he is, waiting to gobble up the BBC. He has to be resisted in every way. Like Tony, he's a Born Again (and a mate of Tone's) and has to be watched. Friends at the BBC are anticipating serious trouble if not with this upcoming charter renewal, then definitely with the next. Given that it's a royal charter, with the Queen representing the State, we probably need to lobby the royals. It would be the one really positive thing they'd be good for!

    Leave a comment:

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