Arya Stark Game of Thrones

So Many Gods

by James Killough

In the fourth book of the Game of Thrones series, the reluctant tomboy exile Arya Stark of Winterfell arrives in the free city of Braavos, described as a cross between Venice in its heyday as a Republic and ancient Rhodes: a colossus statue-fort called the Titan straddles the entrance to a lagoon city built on a hundred islands.  The citizens are distinctly Italianesque in their suave charm and balletic swords skills.

Arya has already spent the past four years, since she was eight, and over three thousand pages, being buffeted about in a series of extraordinary and gruesome circumstances, which no child should ever be subjected to.  But hers is an eternally medieval world; even though she is one of the heirs to a powerful feudal kingdom, she has had more bad luck than an urchin born in the slums of Mumbai.

Rutger Hauer Blade Runner

Do Republicans Dream of Electric Elephants?

by James Killough

Michele Bachmann seems to have done well in the Republican debates.  It’s very early days yet, of course, but her populist extremism is something to marvel at.  Especially her extremism towards Gheys and Lesbotrons.

I was raised in a Republican household.  Most of my family is still Republican, despite my mother’s conversion to the Democrats following her split with Dad.  When I say a Republican household, it doesn’t just mean that they vote straight down the line conservative.  They are REPUBLICANS, all caps.  When we lived in Rome, my father was head of Republicans Abroad.  Before he left the advertising agency he worked for, he had worked on Margaret Thatcher’s campaign, and went on to do the Republican campaign of 1979, which swept Reagan and Company into power.  Ironically, the slogan he helped develop for them was “Vote Republican For A Change,” the same concept that helped get Obama elected twenty-eight years later.