[LMB] Dark Beta (was: Re: Betan influence)

Mitch Miller mitchmiller at entertainmenttax.com
Wed Jun 6 04:44:01 BST 2007

I got the impression that sex between Ges and Aral was viewed
as it was by the Greeks or the British, acceptable during military
service or in public school, not otherwise publicly.  I think
Vorwhoeverhewas's bringing it up to Cordelia would have been considered
shocking only because grossly impolite, not because it was surprising,
by any Barrayaran.

I also have the impression that there are still areas on Barrayar
remote or rural enough that you could go there and do pretty much
what you wanted as long as you paid your taxes and didn't rise in
revolt.  And now there's Sergeyar, even more so.

Unless I've forgotten something, which is highly possible, Beta, 
despite its famous Astronomical Survey, doesn't have any colonies,
which strikes me as the sign of a very self-satisfied society.  That
makes Beta seem quite "dark" to me.

Mitch Miller

From: Raye Johnsen <raye_j at yahoo.com>

I think it's time for another Dark Beta discussion!
Especially now that we have incontrivertible textev
that it exists - in ACC, during the Couch Scene, when
Cordelia tells her audience about how both the Betan
and Barrayaran customs are there to ultimately ensure
only wanted babies are born.  She also says, "You
should really think about how Beta enforces that
[compliance with the mandatory birth control]."

> As for disapproving homosexuality.... Take another
> look. Aral kept his position in the military, and
> was allowed to inherit, and be Regent, Prime
> Minister and eventually Viceroy.

Ah, but a) he was of high rank (recall, if you would,
the historical affair between Oscar Wilde and Lord
Alfred Douglas - who was the one thrown in jail?  Big
hint: it wasn't the one with a title); b) he didn't
flaunt it, so it was possible for High Command to
pretend ignorance; and c) he ascended to all his
honours *after* his monogamous marriage to Cordelia.

Barrayaran society probably does disapprove of
homosexuality, but Aral is good at 'passing'. 


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