Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

On Rereading HELL'S GATE

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:28 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5273
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

The dress maker was not young. She was one of the elite dress makers in Portalis. I agree she spoke in ignorance. Yet, all Arcanans are ignorant of the true cost of war. Even so they are geared towards war and fighting in war. That's what a military is for, no? They exist ready to fight at any time so that they never need to. Being bellicose is not necessarily warlike. It does display a greater comfort with war.

So, yes, Andara does display some rather jingoistic behavior.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Keith_w   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:57 am

Keith_w
Commodore

Posts: 868
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

n7axw wrote:I remember something vaguely about that. IIRC, again vaguely, that the person involved was quite young and that there were younger officers looking forward to the opportunity for experience in combat.

That doesn't really implicate a whole society. It's more on the order of people who haven't sat down long enough to count war's cost. I never served in the armed forces myself. But I was Vietnan era and some of my fellow students had the same perspective. For that matter, I knew some young men who were serving in Afghanistan and Iraq who reflected the same attitudes prior to their first tour. They came back with a different point of view...one that was a lot more sober.

Don

-


And the other thing that you might remember in that scenario is that it has been a couple of hundred years since there has been a war, so people have remembered the glory and forgotten the costs.
--
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:17 am

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4641
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

PeterZ wrote:The dress maker was not young. She was one of the elite dress makers in Portalis. I agree she spoke in ignorance. Yet, all Arcanans are ignorant of the true cost of war. Even so they are geared towards war and fighting in war. That's what a military is for, no? They exist ready to fight at any time so that they never need to. Being bellicose is not necessarily warlike. It does display a greater comfort with war.

So, yes, Andara does display some rather jingoistic behavior.


My objection here is that you seem to me to be painting with too broad of a brush. I dislike stereotyping and try to use as narrow a brush as possible to avoid painting stuff not in need of paint.

You also have to remember that the Andaran public has been lied to and much of their reaction is based in the belief that the nefarious Sharonians have attacked their sons and brothers and negotiated in bad faith. This sort of "rally around the flag" effect is normal to people everywhere especially when they feel threatened.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:36 am

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4641
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

PeterZ wrote:The dress maker was not young. She was one of the elite dress makers in Portalis. I agree she spoke in ignorance. Yet, all Arcanans are ignorant of the true cost of war. Even so they are geared towards war and fighting in war. That's what a military is for, no? They exist ready to fight at any time so that they never need to. Being bellicose is not necessarily warlike. It does display a greater comfort with war.

So, yes, Andara does display some rather jingoistic behavior.




That dressmaker to whom you referred sounds pretty young with cousins of military age. She also sounds about as empty headed as it gets. Her delight is at being the first to tell the duchess the news. A classic case of not counting the cost.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:57 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5273
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

n7axw wrote:
My objection here is that you seem to me to be painting with too broad of a brush. I dislike stereotyping and try to use as narrow a brush as possible to avoid painting stuff not in need of paint.

You also have to remember that the Andaran public has been lied to and much of their reaction is based in the belief that the nefarious Sharonians have attacked their sons and brothers and negotiated in bad faith. This sort of "rally around the flag" effect is normal to people everywhere especially when they feel threatened.

Don

-


Sometimes, an admirable group has some disagreeable elements to it. Andara is an Army that somehow built a State around it. I believe this is how Gadriel described Andara to Shaylar and Jathmar. Jasak didn't disagree with the core of that description. Andara is accepted as militaristic by a stalwart of Andara, Jasak Olderhan(SP?).

Andara has made several assumptions that its tech was and would be superior to any possible society they discovered in their explorations. We see that in their First Encounter protocols regarding the control of information. After developing Hummers, the Andaran led Arcanan military did not revise their protocols to reflect the possibility that others would have as good if not better communication tech than they.

Let's consider the near shock of the Commandery during the interviews with Gadriel and Shaylar. They were surprised and impressed with Gadriel's responses. The assumptions was that pointy headed Ransaran magisters would be nearly useless in their effort to discover what actually happened at Fallen Timbers. They were dreadfully shocked and depressed that their opponents would be so capable. This implies that they assumed and were ready for a less capable representative. This is another stupid assumption to make. They send the second Andaran and like units to do initial exploration of new universes. Assuming that other trans-universal societies would not send their best people to explore new universes strikes me as chauvinistic or an extreme ethnocentrism.

On top of this as Nicholas' analysis so aptly describes they adopt a policy during first encounters that responds to the loss of life with sufficient force to take those newly encountered into custody. This illustrates the willingness to use military force to address a situation with the potential to escalate. So even if blood has been shed (notice not death but the mere shedding of blood), the Andaran force is tasked with taking control of the situation and the newly encountered under custody. How does this policy not describe a willingness to use military force?

So, Andara is prone to an assumption of their own superiority. They are militaristic and they display a willingness to use force. How does this not fit my referring to them as jingoistic?
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:12 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5273
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

n7axw wrote:That dressmaker to whom you referred sounds pretty young with cousins of military age. She also sounds about as empty headed as it gets. Her delight is at being the first to tell the duchess the news. A classic case of not counting the cost.

Don
-


Whether the individual sounds young or merely a mature political bubble-head, she is a representative of Andaran-arcanan society. We do not know that she does not count the costs. Rather she might assume the cost will be small because the mighty Andaran military will vanquish their opponents easily. How can they match the might that is Andara? That such assumptions are made reflect popular wisdom of Andaran society. Ransaran women-in-the-street would respond differently as did Sharonan men-in-the-street.

The initial response reflects the base views on military conflict held by Andaran society. That she would be delighted to share that view with her patron suggests that she fully expects the Duchess to agree with her. She would not make this assumption unless her view was rather pervasive.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:33 pm

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4641
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

Hi PeterZ,

I am not saying you are all wrong here. But I still think you are taking it too far.

Yes, Andara is "an army that acquired a state" and that Andarans have a reputation for enjoying a military lifestyle. But that doesn't mean that they have a reputation for conducting agressive war or playing conquistador.

Then consider... Jasek's first impulse after Fallen Timbers wasn't militaristic. It was to retreat back far enough to avoid contact and send the diplomats forward. His impulse wasn't followed. But I thought the impulse was instructive.

Then there was the Duke very deeply regreting the injustice and loss of life that Sharona had suffered. I think that people like the Olderhans better reflect the soul of Andara than your dressmaker and the screw-ups out doing the damage on the front line.

Then consider the reaction of the Board of Inquiry to Shaylar. Those guys weren't shocked because she was Sharonian nearly so much as they were that she came off as she did and she was a young woman. If their women are like this, we are in deep do-do... :lol:

Finally, even though armies are for conducting wars and the young soldiers might want to get their combat badges, my observation is that their seniors who have thought through what it means to be out on the sharp end of the the stick are more cautious and less inclined to jump in both feet...unless you have politians inclined to use our kids like cyborgs on a gameboard.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:03 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5273
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

n7axw wrote:Hi PeterZ,

I am not saying you are all wrong here. But I still think you are taking it too far.

Yes, Andara is "an army that acquired a state" and that Andarans have a reputation for enjoying a military lifestyle. But that doesn't mean that they have a reputation for conducting agressive war or playing conquistador.

Then consider... Jasek's first impulse after Fallen Timbers wasn't militaristic. It was to retreat back far enough to avoid contact and send the diplomats forward. His impulse wasn't followed. But I thought the impulse was instructive.

Then there was the Duke very deeply regreting the injustice and loss of life that Sharona had suffered. I think that people like the Olderhans better reflect the soul of Andara than your dressmaker and the screw-ups out doing the damage on the front line.

Then consider the reaction of the Board of Inquiry to Shaylar. Those guys weren't shocked because she was Sharonian nearly so much as they were that she came off as she did and she was a young woman. If their women are like this, we are in deep do-do... :lol:

Finally, even though armies are for conducting wars and the young soldiers might want to get their combat badges, my observation is that their seniors who have thought through what it means to be out on the sharp end of the the stick are more cautious and less inclined to jump in both feet...unless you have politians inclined to use our kids like cyborgs on a gameboard.

Don

-


I believe you have read much more into my posts than I have written, Don. Arcana has a strong tendency towards jingoism because Andara is largely a military society which is in charge of the military and Mythal is an extremely chauvinistic tribal familist society that will stop at nothing to achieve power over the Union. Andara has many good qualities but they do view the rights and responsibilities of both citizens and government through the military lense. That means they stand ready to fight, not that they are all desperately eager to fight wars. Mythal will do anything that promotes their line (family) and the Shakira (tribe/class). Although individual lives don't really matter against the needs of shkira and family, the lives of Shakira family matters more than non-family and the lives of all others matter not at all. Fighting a war that uses the lives of non-family and non-Shakira falls under the heading of win/win or as you put it, like cyborgs on a game board.

Two out of the three Union power blocks are ready and prepared to fight any threat. Both of these power blocks show varying degrees of eagerness to fight. Much of this in Andara is borne of ignorance, but the eagerness is there. This doesn't make Andara warmongers, it does make jingoistic a fair adjective. It certainly makes jingoistic a fair adjective for Arcana given Mythal's influence over the Union.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:07 pm

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 4641
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

PeterZ wrote:
n7axw wrote:Hi PeterZ,

I am not saying you are all wrong here. But I still think you are taking it too far.

Yes, Andara is "an army that acquired a state" and that Andarans have a reputation for enjoying a military lifestyle. But that doesn't mean that they have a reputation for conducting agressive war or playing conquistador.

Then consider... Jasek's first impulse after Fallen Timbers wasn't militaristic. It was to retreat back far enough to avoid contact and send the diplomats forward. His impulse wasn't followed. But I thought the impulse was instructive.

Then there was the Duke very deeply regreting the injustice and loss of life that Sharona had suffered. I think that people like the Olderhans better reflect the soul of Andara than your dressmaker and the screw-ups out doing the damage on the front line.

Then consider the reaction of the Board of Inquiry to Shaylar. Those guys weren't shocked because she was Sharonian nearly so much as they were that she came off as she did and she was a young woman. If their women are like this, we are in deep do-do... :lol:

Finally, even though armies are for conducting wars and the young soldiers might want to get their combat badges, my observation is that their seniors who have thought through what it means to be out on the sharp end of the the stick are more cautious and less inclined to jump in both feet...unless you have politians inclined to use our kids like cyborgs on a gameboard.

Don

-


I believe you have read much more into my posts than I have written, Don. Arcana has a strong tendency towards jingoism because Andara is largely a military society which is in charge of the military and Mythal is an extremely chauvinistic tribal familist society that will stop at nothing to achieve power over the Union. Andara has many good qualities but they do view the rights and responsibilities of both citizens and government through the military lense. That means they stand ready to fight, not that they are all desperately eager to fight wars. Mythal will do anything that promotes their line (family) and the Shakira (tribe/class). Although individual lives don't really matter against the needs of shkira and family, the lives of Shakira family matters more than non-family and the lives of all others matter not at all. Fighting a war that uses the lives of non-family and non-Shakira falls under the heading of win/win or as you put it, like cyborgs on a game board.

Two out of the three Union power blocks are ready and prepared to fight any threat. Both of these power blocks show varying degrees of eagerness to fight. Much of this in Andara is borne of ignorance, but the eagerness is there. This doesn't make Andara warmongers, it does make jingoistic a fair adjective. It certainly makes jingoistic a fair adjective for Arcana given Mythal's influence over the Union.


It's not the jingoism charge that really bothers me although I suppose that by itself it is unfortunate sinse it combines a valid patriotism with a "our bunch better than the rest" mentality.

The charge that bothers me more is militarism sinse it implies a willingness to act aggressively against others and solve all ones problems with military force. I am sure that there are Andarans around who regard all problems as nails to which the automatic solution if a bigger hammer. But I think that the Andaran honor code mitigates against that sinse it requires Andarans to deal justly with others, both on an individual and on a social level. I am sure that this doesn't always work. But it is worth noting that no one is expecting Andara to try to conquer them which must mean that their reputation is pretty good. In fact up to now, the rest of Arcana seems willing to entrust Andara with things military. So I will challenge the militarism label. I don't think it fits.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:18 pm

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5273
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

Don, Andara is a military society. By definition they are militaristic. That does not mean they are a bunch of war mongering myrmidons aggressively seeking martial glory.
Top

Return to Multiverse