"I really have to take issue with this: “the Western portion of the world, Westeros - the rich and civilized portion.” This isn’t true.
1. Westeros is poorer and less economically developed than Essos. It’s far less urbanized than Essos. It’s an exporter primarily of natural resources and can’t produce the advanced manufactured goods it imports from the Free Cities. Its financial system is really quite crude, especially in comparison to the large banks and insurance companies of Braavos. It has very few roads and none of them Valyrian; main thoroughfares like the Kingsroad don’t have bridges over major rivers but use fords instead; it lacks internal canals to connect major river systems.
2. Westeros is less politically developed. It’s only been politically unified for 300 years, and even that weak feudal state is extremely shaky and may not survive. Essos has had continent-spanning empires that lasted for thousands of years. It has much more diversity of political systems - republics with separation of powers and political parties, merchant oligarchies, elected tyrants, etc.
3. Westeros is considered less culturally developed. Essosi call Westerosi unwashed barbarians, referring to them by the inaccurate title of “Andals.” (reminds me of the way Americans and Europeans labeled various nationalities by incorrect names because they didn’t speak the language) The Essosi of the Free Cities are the blood of Old Valyria; the Ghiscari have their empire, the Dothraki have their prophecies of manifest destiny, and the Qartheen are the pureblooded descendants of the greatest city that ever was or ever will be. Westerosi nobles are sent to the Free Cities to get culturally enriched, not the other way around. In terms of cultural production, most mummers are imported from Essos, as Westeros has no tradition of theater.
When engaging with ASOIAF, you have to analyze the world of Planetos as it is, rather than automatically applying heuristics based on our own world. Assuming that west = rich, civilized, and east = the Other (because that’s how it’s been presented in the past) is falling into the same essentialist trap that Edward Said and others are critiquing."
why am i still hearing the phrase “women’s issues” like it’s a special interest group? it’s 20 fuckin 14 and we’re half the vote. aren’t they just “issues”?
Here are some wonderful facts about Sea World’s orcas!
- The average lifespan of wild orcas ranges from 30-50 years, although some females can easily make it past 80 (a wild orca named J2 or ‘Granny’ is 103 this year!). The lifespan of a Sea World orca is around 25 years, the median age being 9. But at least they put on a good show!
- Don’t worry, collapsed dorsal fins are a common condition, although in the wild only sick or injured orcas have collapsed dorsal fins. All of Sea World’s males and some females have it, it makes them look unique!
- The size of Sea World’s tanks compared to an orca is about the same as a human to a bathtub. Lot’s of room to stretch and move!
- Wild orcas swim 100+ miles a day, they would have to swim around their tank 1,400+ times a day to achieve that. But that seems like a lot of work, and you may see the animals hanging out near the surface of the water or on the bottoms of their tanks for hours. That’s a lot more relaxing than swimming all those miles!
- Sea World gives their orcas a Valium-like drug to stop the whales from acting aggressively towards each other and to numb their minds from their vastly uninteresting concrete tanks. Buying a ticket to Sea World is an excellent way to help them pay for these drugs that they pump their animals full with!
- Many captive orcas show abnormal behaviors like head bobbing, chewing on concrete, and self mutilation by banging their heads into the side of the tank. Obviously just temper-tantrums! Silly things.
- In the wild, there has been only one orca attack. Bad orca! While in captivity, there have been over 100 attacks and 4 deaths. These animals just need more training, it couldn’t possibly be related to their confinement!
- Food is used as reinforcement for tricks. Do a trick, get your dinner. Don’t want to do a trick? I guess you don’t eat tonight you stubborn thing!
See? Sea World isn’t as bad as people make it out to be! Oh, one more fact: for every $1,000,000 Sea World makes, about $600 goes into conservation efforts (about $0.5 a ticket). I’m so glad they care about conservation of the ocean! Amazing work!
If you haven’t realized it yet, this post is 100% sarcastic. It should be obvious, but not everyone understands sarcasm…
Please don’t let this die
Free the orcas!
It’s funny how science fiction universes so often treat humans as a boring, default everyman…
Supernatural + Popular Text Posts
these brought me numerous chuckles