Mark Reads ‘Moving Pictures’: Part 2

In the second part of Moving Pictures, the journey to Holy Wood is made. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.


Reality Leaks

I didn’t expect to get an answer so quickly concerning my confusion over what was dangerous about Holy Wood, but this section OPENS with it!!!

Outside the boundaries of the universes lie the raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas, all created and uncreated chaotically like elements in fermenting supernovas.

Just occasionally where the walls of the worlds have worn a bit thin, they can leak in.

The effect is like one of those deep-sea geysers of hot water, around which strange submarine creatures find enough warmth and food to make a brief, tiny oasis of existence in an environment where there shouldn’t be any existence at all.

The idea of Holy Wood leaked innocently and joyfully into the Discworld.

And reality leaked out.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with an idea. The concept of moving pictures? There’s nothing evil about it. What I think we’re seeing here is a manifestation of an all-encompassing nightmare. Giving people of Ankh-Morpork the idea of making movies? A lovely reality! Compelling them to construct an entire, monstrous industry around the act? THIS IS GONNA BE FUCKED UP.

And eerily funny for me.

Archchancellor Ridcully

Ron Swanson. Ron Swanson.

I think it’s important for me to state that, unequivocally, Ridcully is an asshole. His thoughts on a number of things – namely his view on health and other people’s bodies – are revolting. On top of it all, as funny as it might be to see him juxtaposed with the rest of the wizards, he’s just rude. I felt quite bad for the Bursar because he’s had to deal with one of the most (if not the most) irascible Archchancellors in the history of the University. He does so with grace, which shows that he possesses a whole lot more patience than I ever have. (And I’m a pretty patient person.) I mean, that whole conversation about kicking out the Librarian was so frustrating! Ridcully is not open-minded at all, and he’s determined to maintain his own view of the world forever.

So here’s what I’m wondering: What role will he and the Bursar play in this story? There’s a huge set up that introduces Victor, and I thought that at the very least, the Bursar’s plot to get him out of the University would comprise a part of this book, but even that gets resolved by the end of this section. The other problem I can foresee is that the Archchancellor is so disinterest in bureaucracy that the Bursar can’t even compel him to get involved in literally anything at all. It seems, though, that as the Bursar learns to speak Ridcully’s language, he might at least be able to get on the same page as him.

Plus, I imagine that Ridcully’s not going to have a lick of interest in Holy Wood. That’s like the antithesis to his being, isn’t it?

Victor Tugelbend

While I don’t think Victor’s laziness qualifies him to be compared to Rincewind, I do think that there’s an aspect to both of them that’s similar. Both of them have found a way to use the system in their favor. Rincewind’s proud cowardice keeps him alive; Victor’s complex will and laziness has kept him in Unseen University for decades. They both are subverting a system that frequently leads to unhappiness or even death, and I think that’s pretty cool.

Plus, I have some friends who feel like they’re professional students anyway, so I’m sure they can relate to this.

So what happens when the laziest person on the Discworld is grabbed by the vicious force of Holy Wood? Well, mostly disinterest at first, which makes me laugh. I mean, even after Silverfish approaches him to be in his newest movie (a rather perfect parody of a real phenomenon, I might add), he doesn’t really care. He has no interest in getting into moving pictures at all. Why?

Who’d want to spend their time moving pictures? Most of them looked all right where they were?


But let’s take this a step further. Victor appears very much to be affected by this compulsion to go to Holy Wood. Why him? Because of his laziness? Because it’s the easiest option for it at the moment? Was that talking dog (WHAT THE FUCK) sent after him specifically to bring him to Holy Wood? THESE ARE ALL VITAL QUESTIONS. There’s also a chance that whatever film he saw that night was what convinced him that he’d found exactly what he wanted to do with his life. Honestly, there are a lot of pieces here, so this could go in a million different directions. I loved how Pratchett conveyed this, though:

Like the hypnotist’s victim who knows they’re not really hypnotized and can snap out of it any time they like, but just happened not to feel like it right now, he let his feet be guided.

He wasn’t certain why. He just knew that there was something that he had to be part of. Something that might never happen again.

And it looks like his next step in this journey? Contacting Silverfish.

The original text contains use of the word “mad.”

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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