[LMB] Political discussion

Raye Johnsen raye_j at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 31 23:25:11 GMT 2011


--- On Mon, 1/31/11, Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com> wrote:
> despite some real fruitcakes in their history (like Midnight)
 
I object!  There is no indication that Lord Midnight was any more of a fruitcake than any other thoroughbred horse.  It's his *Count* (Vorinnis, I think?), who named him heir, who was the fruitcake.  (Although, if I recall correctly, it was part of an ongoing quarrel with his son, who Would Not Do As He Was Told.  What is it about fathers who insist on treating adult offspring as if they were still twelve?)
 
Raye, who's there

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From: Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com>
Subject: Re: [LMB] Political discussion
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 3:44 PM


> > From: Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
> 
> > "lunatic murderous aggressively expanding" describes
> > Serg and Escobar.

Yes, but Serg doesn't have exclusive rights on insanity or aggression. We see different ways of expressing both. 

Gwynne:

> True. But the Cetas have tried to expand by taking over
> many places on their borders, there's a lot of anxiety 
> in the Nexus about Ceta aggression, while
> the Barrayarans have become part of the alliance of many of
> the leading worlds in the nexus.

The difference I see is that expansionism through war is a standard component of Cegagandan society, while for Barrayar it's situational and sporadic.

Damien:

> > Murderous and possibly lunatic describe how Ezar dealt
> > with Serg.

Oh, no, no, no.  Murderous, yes. Painful, calculated, soul-destructive, and coldly rational.  Ezar did it because he understood the reality, not because he was out of touch with reality, or at the mercy of his emotions.

Gwynne:

> Not lunatic. Murderous, certainly. But coldly sane, putting
> the long-term
> view and good of the many over his own family feelings.

Exactly.

Damien:

> > If the Cetas are racist, the Barrayarans are sexist.

The Cetas are racist, sexist, classist, elitist, and numerous other -ists. The Barrayarans are sexist compared to us, compared to Beta Colony, but on a scale of human cultures - their women have a lot of rights and freedoms, including the right to speak up and demand rights.

Gwynne:

> The Haut women go around, effectively, veiled. The Cetas
> practice polygamy. They hand out women as prizes. 

The Haut women are entrapped in their own genetic ambitions, and get to live, unseen, in bubbles.  Doesn't sound so good to me.  They are beautiful, but can't be seen - a wild irony.

Damien:

> > Both are class-bound: the Vor is nearly as closed to
> > entry as the haut.

Not at all.  We can name numerous cases of Vor marrying outside their class and even nationality, without repercussions except maybe gossip.  We are told in ACC of more such cases, without names being specifically named.

> > I'd note that when we talk about Barrayaran benignity,
> > we're pretty much talking about Aral and Gregor.

You may be. I'm not, though admittedly that's what we know best because (a) it's what we see and (b) it's Barrayar at this point in time - i.e., the present 'now', the end of CryoBurn.  But I enjoy thinking about Barrayar at other ages, and the struggle they have had to create, recreate, and maintain their civilization. It gives me a lot of respect for the Barrayarans, frankly.  That despite the hardship of a hostile planet (where native plants are toxins), , despite civil war and invasion, they maintained their institutions and technology as best they could and survived many centuries when everything was against them.

> Suppose 
> Vordarian had won his revolt?

Well, they'd be less friendly with Beta Colony. But I don't think Vordarian's Barrayar would be like Serg's Barrayar, or Mad Yuri's, either.

> Very interesting question. I don't think Vordarian would
> have done as good a job as Gregor.

Well, no. But I'm biased.

namaste,
elizabeth

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