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Continuing to inspire. :-)

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George R.R. Martin has, from the beginning of his career, argued that fantasy writers and fans are chicken-shit:  They want their lords and ladies and chivalry and castles and wars...  but none of the misogyny, gang rape, disembowelings, child murder, torture, politics, and agonizingly painful deaths that go with it.  As much he points to massive debt he owes J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin is deeply critical of Tolkien's "Merry Olde England" approach to fantasy.

Martin's goal has been to write fantasy novels that are as realistic a feudal world as possible, while still retaining dragons and sorcery.  And in the feudal world, women counted for nothing.  In the feudal world, rape was a constant danger and women went to extreme lengths to protect themselves (e.g., rarely alone with a man, and constantly reinforcing norms of "honor", prudery, and chivalry).

In his first novel, Martin pulls no punches. Within the first 150 pages or so, you are told the "thousands of rapes" perpetrated on Ned Stark's sister, one witnesses the throwing of a seven-year-old boy out a five-story window, and a 12-year-old boy is hunted down and disemboweled by a brutal soldier -- tossed at the feet of Ned Stark like a slain deer.

People don't complain about that?  Why not?

Martin is not writing about rape because he enjoys rape.  This is far different from the "Gor" novels by John Norman.  There are 30 or so of these novels, each of them depicting routine rape written like erotica.  (In almost every case, the powerful woman rapes a man, the man frees himself and brutally rapes the woman, and the woman falls in love with her rapist.)  The "Gor" novels are highly misogynistic, contain not even an iota of realism, and are actually not very good.

Martin writes about rape -- and poisoning, warfare, toture, disembowelings, murder, and more -- because he wants readers to confront the sickness of the medieval world.  He wants fantasy to rise above the childishness it has fallen into.

Is this wrong?

And why is it all right for fantasy novels to depict the agonizing slaughter of thousands of people in battle, but not depict other hideous things like rape?

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The Hero's Journey - turn two minutes of inspiration into a lifetime quest. 

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Thanks to +Steven A. Harris for this one. 
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Happy St. George's Day

Today a special #GoogleDoodle celebrates St. George's Day - a special day for England and English people living around the world.

The #Doodle on google.co.uk features Saint George on horseback confronting a dragon.

You can find #StGeorgesDay photographs, blogposts and stories on Google+ by clicking on the hashtag - and learn more about the history of England and the celebrations by clicking here:
http://goo.gl/HVUULu

Search on.

#England
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There are 52 Mondays in a year. Many of us wait until the 1st of the year to make decisions to change; however, change truly comes down to a choice. Do we choose to let go, move forward, start, and make the most of the life that we are given. This does not have to be radical. We just need to choose to be our own personal best. We must choose to be here. We must choose to make a stand, to sing our song, to bellow from the flatland's to the mountains that we are here, that we exist, we must add our voice to the great song. Happy Monday people...choose to make it a great day!
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DWENNIMMEN - Ram's Horns.  
Humility and Strength combined
"The ram will fight fiercely against an adversary, but it also submits humbly to slaughter, emphasizing that even the strong need to be humble."  - http://www.adinkra.org/
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