Vision of Escaflowne Episode 22 and MLPFIM S5E8 Liveblog Chat Thingy!

How to participate in the liveblog chat:  Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Vision of Escaflowne and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching MLP at 2:30. 

I’ll post a chatlog once the liveblog is complete!

ETA: Chatlog below the cut!

Escaflowne

01[14:02] <Froborr> …huh. What’s all this?
01[14:02] <Froborr> So, Folken’s not having a good time.
[14:03] <Arrlaari> I think I saw the face of that guy we haven’t heard from in a while
[14:03] <Arrlaari> Dilandau, that was his name
01[14:03] <Froborr> Okay, I really like that the line “We’re not at war!” was accompanied with images of devastation.
01[14:03] <Froborr> It’s a simple thing, but those are the simple things good shows are made of.
01[14:05] <Froborr> Yeah, because running off half-cocked in a rage has worked SO WELL for you in the past, Van.
01[14:06] <Froborr> “Lock you away in a birdcage”? Jesus christ, Allen. That’s… that’s not romantic, it’s fucking CREEPY.
[14:06] <Arrlaari> I’m pretty sure he wasn’t happy about it and didn’t expect her to be happy about it either
01[14:07] <Froborr> Man, I miss scar-face retainer-dude. He was a pretty dynamic character for someone they killed off in like the second episode.
01[14:08] <Froborr> …so… she packed a bag… and then left it behind?
[14:08] <Arrlaari> Mole guy be plot creeping
01[14:08] <Froborr> And Allen be just creeping.
[14:09] <Arrlaari> Allen still has that patronizing protector instinct.
01[14:09] <Froborr> Yeah.
01[14:10] <Froborr> Of course there are four of them.
[14:10] <Arrlaari> We saw the four generals when they took down that other kingdom
[14:10] <Arrlaari> Is that Dilandau?
01[14:10] <Froborr> Guess I forgot. Also, that is a freaky snail.
01[14:11] <Froborr> IS that Dilandau..?
01[14:11] <Froborr> I think it might be.
01[14:11] <Froborr> Without the armor, he looks a LOT like whatserface, the princess. I was confused, thought it might be another sister or something.
01[14:13] <Froborr> Well, okay, I guess there are creepier responses to Hitomi than Allen’s out there.
[14:13] <Arrlaari> Yeah he does think that
01[14:14] <Froborr> Oh hey, a dragon, haven’t seen those in a while.
[14:15] <Arrlaari> Curious that that Folken is apparently totally safe from the Dragons
01[14:15] <Froborr> Well, like he said, let go of the rage or whatever and they’ll leave you alone.
01[14:15] <Froborr> Oh THAT’S what we were seeing at the beginning.
01[14:16] <Froborr> I’m sorry, it’s a terrible meme but I can’t resist
01[14:17] <Froborr> DO NOT WANT
01[14:18] <Froborr> Ah, they only see motion, is that it?
01[14:18] <Froborr> …who’s Naria again?
[14:18] <Arrlaari> One of the two catgirls
01[14:19] <Froborr> Ah, yes.
01[14:21] <Froborr> Yeah, if those people we attacked, slaughtering their friends and family and destroying their homes, would just stop being mad about it, we wouldn’t have war!
01[14:21] <Froborr> Yeah, I know
01[14:22] <Froborr> Folken is turning against that now, but. He went with it in the first place? Against his own home?
01[14:22] <Froborr> Anyway
01[14:22] <Froborr> Thoughts?
[14:22] <Arrlaari> The thing with Dragons is pretty cool
01[14:23] <Froborr> Yes. I guess they sense aggression/fear and attack. It’s an interesting behavior.
[14:23] <Arrlaari> I think it looks like Folken is on the way to getting off lightly, even if he does die in the battle with Dunkirk
01[14:23] <Froborr> Yeah. My money’s definitely on him dying in that battle, most likely sacrificing himself to save Van.
[14:24] <Arrlaari> That reaction to fear seems like a specific adaption to humans – humans react to predation or expected predation by destroying the (suspected) predator
01[14:24] <Froborr> I like that idea.
[14:24] <Arrlaari> this is why the only predators that are known to actually try for humans are the ones that live remote from human concentration, like Polar Bears
01[14:25] <Froborr> Yeah, we’ve driven everything that eats us to or near extinction.
[14:26] <Arrlaari> There are a lot of large predators that clearly know better now, but we still tend to kill them on suspicion
[14:27] <Arrlaari> e.g. lions, tigers, bears. Lots of stories about monstrous man-eaters, but very few substantiated accounts. Experience suggests that only desparately ill big cats will actually go after humans.
[14:27] <Arrlaari> From an evolutionary perspective, it works like being poisonous, except it’s a poison that also kills your relatives
01[14:28] <Froborr> *nods*

MLP

01[14:32] <Froborr> Calling it now: Gummi will have actually made the cake by the end of the episode.
01[14:33] <Froborr> please don’t extrapolate an entire species from one bad example please don’t do that show
01[14:33] <Froborr> PLEASE let this be about RD learning not to be prejudiced.
[14:34] <Arrlaari> Dang twilight just go
01[14:34] <Froborr> Wait, the map summons SPECIFIC ponies? That’s… convenient writing, isn’t it?
[14:34] <Arrlaari> You’re allowed to do tourism without a map telling you to go solve a problem
01[14:34] <Froborr> Right!
[14:35] <Arrlaari> Pinkie just spent all their bits on candy
01[14:35] <Froborr> HYPERBOREAN mountains?
01[14:35] <Froborr> As in Robert Howard?
[14:36] <Arrlaari> Check the hats
01[14:36] <Froborr> Oh yeah.
01[14:40] <Froborr> I have VERY little hope that this will turn out to be an episode about how patronizing running into someone else’s community with the intent of being a savior is.
[14:41] <Arrlaari> I dunno, Rainbow Dash looks to be setting herself up to be Proved Wrong
01[14:42] <Froborr> “What is this place?”
01[14:42] <Froborr> POOR, Pinkie. This place is POOR.
01[14:47] <Froborr> That sequence WAS cute, admittedly.
01[14:48] <Froborr> Oh, of COURSE they do the Last Crusade reference.
01[14:51] <Froborr> Ehhh.
01[14:51] <Froborr> Thoughts?
[14:52] <Arrlaari> It was really sappy, but at least they didn’t focus on Rainbow Dash’s prejudice
[14:52] <Arrlaari> Also, it felt rushed?
01[14:52] <Froborr> It really, really did.
[14:53] <Arrlaari> Like I’m surprised that wasy 20 minutes, it felt like they were cramming the resolution into less
01[14:54] <Froborr> Exactly.
01[14:55] <Froborr> And I’m just really uncomfortable with the idea that the entire griffin species just happens to be exactly like the first griffin we met.
[14:55] <Arrlaari> I will say that the Gyphons’ attitude – we don’t care about stuff because caring is for suckers – is a real thing, but making that Gryphons’ Thing and the root of their malaise is eech
01[14:55] <Froborr> Exactly.
01[14:56] <Froborr> And Pinkie just waltzes into their culture and teaches them about Totes Superior Pony Culture?
01[14:56] <Froborr> Especially with the classism I feel like we’ve got going here, it’s really uncomfortable.
[14:58] <Arrlaari> Curiously, ancient Gryphons are depicted as wealthy – comparable to Dragons
01[15:00] <Froborr> Sort of–dragons were depicted as greedy and thieving, in Europe at least. Griffins are wealthy because they’re royalty–their wealth is generally depicted as “legitimate” in a way that dragon hoards aren’t.
[15:01] <Arrlaari> But is that distinction drawn in this show?
01[15:02] <Froborr> Sort of–the ancient griffins’ wealth is depicted positively, but their modern desire for wealth negatively.
01[15:03] <Froborr> Which kind of feeds into the classist thing I was talking about–being rich is good, being poor and wanting wealth is bad.
01[15:03] <Froborr> I mean, one thing this episode makes pretty clear is that even a relatively working-class pony town like Ponyville is incredibly wealthy and luxurious compared to Griffinstone.
[15:03] <Arrlaari> I don’t think they were? Twilight’s story depicts the first Griffon King raising them up from their dragonlike ways
01[15:04] <Froborr> Hmm. Maybe.
[15:04] <Arrlaari> And the decay of the town after the idol was lost reflects neglect of the community proceeding from being overly concerned with wealth
[15:06] <Arrlaari> The overall sense I got was that the ostentatious wealth the idol represented was papering over the underlying problem, that Griffons overvalued gold and absent the unifying influence of The Legendary Best Gold they don’t have a community
01[15:07] <Froborr> I can see that. I mean, there’s PROBABLY a redemptive reading here where Griffinstone is a late capitalist wasteland and Pinkie is introducing socialism, but the lack of any rich people at all complicates that.
[15:08] <Arrlaari> I think it’s too anachronistic to read a cricitism of captalism in it. It looks more like a preindustrial Christian morality tale
[15:09] <Arrlaari> From before the Church got rich and had to justify that – just straightforward suspicion of money and wealth as such
01[15:10] <Froborr> Yes, but at the same time that’s really troubling when the viewer is expected to identify with the ponies, who are clearly immensely wealthy by modern griffin standards.
[15:12] <Arrlaari> Griffons and Dragons, in this show, seem to share a peculiar approach to wealth that’s distinct from the Ponies’ more realistic approach. Dragons and Griffons hoard gold, Ponies spend it on stuff, some of which is conspicuous consumption but a lot of which is comfort
[15:13] <Arrlaari> The impression I got was that the pre-monarchy Griffons didn’t have the kind of comforts Ponies do, they just had a pile of bits that they were Proud Of
[15:13] <Arrlaari> The illustration of Twilight’s story depicted them living in caves
[15:13] <Arrlaari> a visual association with dragons, who also live in caves
01[15:13] <Froborr> Yes, but that’s the ancient griffins.
[15:14] <Arrlaari> this fantastical depiction alienates the story from real class dynamics
01[15:14] <Froborr> The modern griffins, though, are depicted as living in a run-down slum.
01[15:14] <Froborr> That’s where I’m getting the class issues from, and why I haven’t raised them with dragons in the past.

3 thoughts on “Vision of Escaflowne Episode 22 and MLPFIM S5E8 Liveblog Chat Thingy!

  1. Greetings from WisCon!

    I think one thing that helps the MLP episode is that Pinkie’s main action was reuniting the Griffons with a traditional part of their own culture, namely, the scones (it’s a little thing, but little things are what cultures are built on), rather than introducing any non-abstract elements of her own. Which was also what Rainbow Dash was trying to do, except she was going from ancient history books rather than actually listening to the Griffons about what parts of their culture were most important to them.

    Like

  2. When I was waking up this morning, I realized that the collapse of the Griffonstone economy is a Keynesian fable illustrating (and exaggerating) the Paradox of Thrift.

    The Paradox of Thrift is the idea, promulgated by Keynes to explain the long persistence of the Great Depression, is that a broadly simultaneous increase in the desire to save money (liquidity preference in economist jargon) causes a sudden drop in demand for everything. This leads to a general glut – there’s more of everything than people are willing to buy at current prices, so prices drop and planned production decreases. But “the price of all consumer products is dropping” is the same as negative inflation, or deflation, which means holding on to cash becomes a wiser investment than investing in business, which leads to a collapse of demand for business equipment, which compounds the collapse of demand for consumer products. Reduction in planned production of consumer products and business equipment is a reduction in planned production of everything, and so employment collapses and general incomes shrink. This impairs the ability of people to do what they were trying to do – save money – and creates a climate of economic fear which causes liquidity preference to increase still further.

    And this is what happened in Griffonstone: The loss of the Golden Idol caused every Griffon’s liquidity preference to suddenly become effectively infinite, demand crashed to effectively zero, and employment followed. Before the Ponies arrive, no Griffon appears to be spending bits or doing work in exchange for bits, because of course the latter cannot happen without the former. Therefore the Griffon Domestic Product is approximately zero, and thus we see perfectly general poverty.

    This is an unrealistic exaggeration – even the actual great depression never drove demand and employment to zero, and so deflationary spirals are limited, and susceptible to the broken windows effect. But Griffons appear unwilling to replace a broken window, and so the decay of Griffonstone does not end the general glut. A deflationary event in a single nation is normally mitigated by trade, which is why the Great Depression and Great Recession were necessarily international events, but Griffonstone appears to be economically isolated, with no reason given. Furthermore, governments can and have, in human history, taken effective action to prevent or end deflation, but the Griffonstone government disappeared as if by magic – the Griffons live in a libertarian society in which there is no evident government, no aggression between citizens, and trade conducted under a gold standard.

    With every avenue for the recovery of Griffonstone’s market economy thus closed, the only path to recovery is non-market activity driven by friendship.

    Like

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