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The Forever War

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After welcoming new sponsor Audible to the podcast, Dan and Wendee manage to stop speculating about an alternate reality where Hulk Hogan endorsed the George Foreman Grill long enough to discuss Joe Haldeman's Vietnam War allegory The Forever War. But seriously, Burgermania? Steakamania? How would that work? [ 1:24:44 || 41.0 MB ]

To listen, click here: http://www.earth-2.net/podcasts/bookswithoutpictures/episodes/bookswithoutpictures_007.mp3

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When you mentioned satire and Jonathan Swifts "a modest proposal" I wanted to share my favorite contemporary modest proposal. One petition for the president pointed out that the land of Equestria (home to My Little Pony) is a Monarchy and leans closer to a dictatorship. The modest proposal was that if America is really going to war to further freedom then we should go to war against the ponies. I wish that petition came out during the Bush administration, but I found the Satire funny.

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So I'm semi-surprised you didn't bring up John Scalzi's modern take on Forever war (the cleverly titled Old Man's War) just for comparison/contrast as you did with Starship Troopers

You discussed the differences between Haldeman and Heinlein's take on the military mindset, and I would like to offer a counterpoint.....it's the difference between an officer (Heinlen) and a draftee (Haldeman). many things the military does appear to make no sense to the grunts on the field. (such as building bridges as exercizes) however on the grander scheme it may be more important for things like training the unit to work together, bonding etc. Less tangilbe skills to be sure, but has some effectiveness.

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I didn't comment on Old Man's War because I haven't read it. Believe me, it's on my to-be-read list. Scalzi wrote the foreword to my edition, and he tells a funny story about having people walk up to him telling him that his book was a ripoff of The Forever War, and him trying to explain that he had (at that time) not read it and not convincing anyone. Then he did read it, and said "GodDAMMIT."

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Technically, Ponyville has a mayor but yeah, Celestia still rules over everything and tends to label dissidents evil and banish them. That said, I doubt most of the ponies would have the smarts to organize and follow a rebellion or make responsible voting decisions. In the end, Celestia would get booted and they would just elect Trixie or someone just because they impressed them the most.

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I think the U.S. government is trying to maintain friendly diplomatic relations with Equestria. They're a vital ally in the region in the simmering tensions between the west and Care-A-Lot. As such, Celestia's tyrannical rule is generally tolerated.

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When you mentioned Emperor Haile Selassie, I was reminded of my most memorable undergrad professors. He was a Rastafarian who explained to me about the supposed lineage to King Solomon and how the Rasta faith reveres him as their Messiah.

I didn't comment on Old Man's War because I haven't read it. Believe me, it's on my to-be-read list. Scalzi wrote the foreword to my edition, and he tells a funny story about having people walk up to him telling him that his book was a ripoff of The Forever War, and him trying to explain that he had (at that time) not read it and not convincing anyone. Then he did read it, and said "GodDAMMIT."

I cannot be the only person who has been reluctant to write something for fear of plagiarizing something they never knew about.

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