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Silence Exile and Crumpets
 
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Monday, August 7th, 2006

Time Event
11:57p
Department of evil overlords
Now, Livia had clearly read the evil overlord website, because she understood that you had to kill absolutely everyone in your way. Her son, who wanted the Republic back, and all of her husband's grandsons because they were in the way of her other son, and just about everyone else. Except for Claudius, because she knows something about him and knows that it will be of use to her...Gods, I, Claudius is terrifying in its inevitability.

The weird thing about seeing it again is how much - especially in the scene where she tells the gladiators that if they fake it, she will send them down the mines - Sian Phillips' performance foreshadows the long long years in which we heard a very similar voice hectoring us at every turn. One of the best examples of the uselessness of art that I know is that the British public watched I,laudius and still voted for Thatcher.

I've also been watching Bittersweet Life which is one of those Korean thrillers where absolutely everyone ends up dead, mostly because gangsters punish minions with ultra-violence for quite minor disagreements and minion who survives takes pronounced exception to this. It is one of those films where you lose count of the stiffs and are glad that you live in a culture where people have learned to apologize, and accept apologies that do not involve the deprivation of major body parts.

Also, evil overlords should beware minions who start listening to the classical music of other cultures and getting faraway looks in their eyes, or who start contemplating the winds in branches of trees in a meaningful way. 'It is not the wind, or the tree, it is yourself' said the sage, apparently, and minion gets that look of significance which means he will probably kill several score people even after a knife in the guts and a bullet to the brain.

Either kill people straight off, or content yourself with a statutory written warning. Anything else leads to the damaging of a lot of fancy glasswear and having to get a whole new set of minions.

Oh and I finished a draft of the impossibly huge introduction. So I am past the halfway mark on Superheroes!, even if I have to put all the cosmogonic stuff in an appendix rather than leave it where it is.

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