Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | April 9, 2013

Assorted Links of Interest

1. On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day, Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy has a post about his father, who was a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor.

CairoAbbasiyaMarkScreen

The iconostasis or screen at St Mark’s Coptic Cathedral, Cairo, Egypt

2. Well this isn’t good: “Coptic Christians under siege as mob attacks Cairo cathedral”: “At least one person was killed and at least 84 injured as Christians inside the walled St Mark’s cathedral compound came under a frenzied assault from their assailants in the main road outside. The fighting erupted after a mass funeral for five Copts who were killed during violent clashes in a north Egyptian town on Saturday. A Muslim man also died in the clashes, which happened after an Islamic institute was daubed with offensive graffiti.” (H/T: Prof. Althouse.)

3. Sam Roggeveen at the Interpreter has a bunch of links about Margaret Thatcher.

4. Apropos my post last week about Game of Thrones, a roundtable post and episode recap at The Atlantic includes this passage (spoilers at the link):

In the run-up to this season of GoT, the talented critic (and fearsome recapper) Alan Sepinwall had a piece in which he mused on how much he loved last season’s “Blackwater” episode because it showed how good this show can be when it doesn’t have to hopscotch from character to character, setting to setting, but can set all of a week’s action in basically the same place. That episode, he wrote, opened up “a host of possibilities” that the showrunners could potentially explore—like, say, concentrating individual characters’ adventures and arcs into a few episodes (or even just one) rather than catching up with each cast member for five minutes every week. But he also noted that Benioff and Weiss seem to feel that those possibilities are, well, mostly impossible—that “it simply isn’t practical to do a “Blackwater”-style episode focusing on fewer characters more than once a season. There are too many stories and too many characters to keep track of … and this is the only realistic way to do it.”

Reading that piece, I thought Benioff and Weiss basically had it right and that Sepinwall’s idea wouldn’t work. I would be frustrated (and my wife would probably stop watching the show) if Daenerys didn’t make an appearance at least every other week, and right now the idea of a Jon Snow-only episode sounds about as fun as a night on sentry duty atop the Wall. Overall, the show’s hopscotching approach to its sprawling story is problematic but probably necessary: It reminds us where everyone is from week to week, gives us the fix we need from our favorite characters, and guarantees that even when things get dull (as they do for Spencer when Stannis shows up on screen) we’re only a few minutes away from a change of scenery and hopefully a more engaging plotline.

Indeed. (H/T: Ethan Gach.)

Image Credit: Photo by Roland Unger, February 2001, and used under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 license. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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