south pass


I made it back alive, but after a migraine saturday afternoon I didn’t have as much time in the costume as I’d hoped. I’ll just have to make up for it with more cons in this monstrosity.


My interest in weary tormented Turkish men passing out needs to stop.

Quick recap of the scene, Kuzey had sworn to avenge his murdered best friend and wears himself thin in grief and restlessness to find the killer. He winds up in jail in the process and his father is there to bail him out. He desperately tries to pull his son out of this suicidal mission, but Kuzey is too despaired, too tired, too drained… and passes out. 

I mean Aladdin sucks for a lot of reasons, but one thing that annoys me in particular is how heavily it borrows South Asian imagery and passes it off for being “Middle Eastern” or “Arab” or whatever. For example:

  • The entire palace looking exactly like the Taj Mahal, for that matter, all the designs being reminiscent of anything South Asian
  • From what I know the word Sultan isn’t really used in Arabic, and usually refers to a Turkish or Indian king. Even if that’s not the case, the Sultan himself looks more like an Indian Sultan than an Arab king
  • Jasmine having a Bengal Tiger
  • Jasmine’s clothes aren’t really historically accurate from any place lol, but her clothes are closer to something a South Asian would wear than an Arab minus the dupatta
  • This doesn’t really count but I always associated parrots/parakeets with Pakistan lol
  • The name of the country is Agrabah. Agra is the name of the city the Taj Mahal is in
  • Yeah, so in conclusion I hate Aladdin
In 1997 the South African government passed a law setting up, among other things, a marketplace for medicines based on affordable prices. Clause 15c relied on two practices agreed under the World Trade Organisation’s guidelines.

One, compulsory licensing, allows businesses in a country in a state of emergency to manufacture generic products paying only a royalty to the patent owner. The second, parallel importing, lets a nation import drugs made more cheaply in one country than in another.

Patent rights for the HIV cocktail would cost the South African health service an inconceivable $10,000 per Aids patient. Using the mechanisms under Clause 15c would reduce the costs by between 50 and 90 percent.

But the legislation was labelled ‘piracy’ by Pharma - the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This is a formidable alliance of the nation’s 100 biggest drugs companies. They claimed the South African law would violate patents and undermine profits on which research depended.

For a battle against a government led by the world’s most popular leader, Pharma needed political clout, and chose a consultancy called Podesta .Com.

It chose well. What was formerly Podesta Associates was founded by two brothers from Chicago, John and Anthony, and rated by Washingtonian magazine among the top 20 lobbying groups in the capital.

Both men were heavy-hitting Democrats, both had the President’s ear and were especially close to Gore. Both were members of President Clinton’s transition team when he took office in 1992. John remained at the White House, later becoming Chief of Staff, while Tony streamlined the company. ‘We Help You Change Outcomes’ was his slogan.

The Clinton administration, with John Podesta as Chief of Staff, went to war over South Africa’s anti-Aids drive. Trade Representative Charlene Barshevsky denied South Africa tariff breaks on its exports to the US. Gore told Nelson Mandela to his face that the US would not tolerate the legislation.

South Africa refused to back down, and the pharmaceutical companies intervened directly. They sued: led by Pharma, the massive Bristol Myers Squibb from the US, Britain’s SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo (through its South African subsiduary), Germany’s Bayer, Roche of Switzerland, France’s Rhne-Poulenc and a host of others.
House Words Wednesdays: House Manwoody

Hello, everyone!

I have started a feature on the Tumblr called House Words Wednesdays. Each week, I take a House without known canon or semi-canon words and present what I think could make sense as that House’s motto. You’re free to suggest more as well, if your favored House has not yet been suggested; take a look at this link to see what has already been suggested, and shoot me a tweet or ask through Tumblr if you have another House you’d like to see done.

House Manwoody of Kingsgrave is a noble House of Dorne, one of the principal vassals of the Martell princes and princesses of Sunspear. The Manwoodys are at least as old as the Andal Invasion, and possibly older still: their sigil - an ominous crowned skull - and the name of their seat, Kingsgrave, recall the occasion when the Manwoodys slew a King of the Reach who attempted to invade Dorne. Indeed, the Manwoodys were among the many petty kings of Dorne at the time of the Rhoynish landing (though one wonders how much land they controlled, given the mighty Fowlers’ position just to the south in the Prince’s Pass); Albin Manwoody - said to be a “troublesome madman” who attempted to control the entirety of the Red Mountains - was one of the six kings sent to the Wall by Princess Nymeria. Still, their defeat at the hands of the Rhoynish princess and her allies should not suggest their unimportance in the Dornish table of ranks. Princess Elaena Targaryen’s third husband, wed for love, was the cultured and intellectual Ser Michael Manwoody, and Prince Oberyn brought four Manwoodys with him when he visited King’s Landing for Joffrey’s nuptials (indeed, it’s for this reason that I and others have speculated that the late Prince Consort of Dorne, father to Doran and his siblings, was a Manwoody).

Well, when I was thinking about Manwoody words I had two big qualifications. On the one hand, I wanted a motto that reflected their physical and historical position in Dorne: an important House in the midst of one of two overland passes into Dorne, a real threat to Gardener and other reacher invaders, a family important enough for its last petty king to be sent to the Wall with the overmighty Yorick Yronwood. On the other hand - I wanted a good dick joke. Look, I try to be intellectual here, but with House Manwoody GRRM started it. Not only is Manwoody a wildly unsubtle name in itself, but Lord Dagos Manwoody’s second son is Dickon. Dickon Manwoody. Come on now, GRRM.

So I came up with Push Not So Deep for House Manwoody. Sitting in the middle of the Prince’s Pass, it’s very probable the Manwoodys faced more than their share of invasions from the Reach as various Gardener kings attempted to press into Dorne. These words reminded me of the Yronwoods’ “We Guard the Way”: like the Yronwoods in their Stone Way, the Manwoodys would hold up the mailed fist to their quarrelsome reacher neighbors, insisting that invaders would come no farther than their own redoubtable seat. Their sigil and history give an ominous warning to those who would ignore their words: for those who choose to press deeper, toward Kingsgrave and into Dorne, the Manwoodys will show them how much - or little - the proud blood of these would-be conquerors means to them. As for my second requirement … well, use your imagination. ;)

Tell me how you like these Manwoody words. If these words were all about resisting the press of others, next week’s House words are much more of a welcoming spirit.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

P.S. House Manwoody marks the one-year anniversary of House Words Wednesdays! On March 23, 2016, I started HWW with House Royce of the Gates of the Moon (back when I was writing for Wars and Politics). I can hardly believe that the little project I thought would last a couple months at the most is now a multi-year, 100+ House adventure. A huge thank you to all of you!