In the eleventh part of The Truth, Pin and Tulip try to track down Vetinari’s dog while William is briefly satisfied. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
I like the idea of this bar a lot, especially since it confirms that the city’s undead/monster population has banded together to protect one another. That’s what this is: a form of safety. A SAFE SPACE, IF YOU WILL. These people can be themselves without fear of persecution from one another because, on a basic level, they understand how hard it is to be non-human. I imagine that for most of these people, the time they spend in Biers is the most stress-free moment of their day. I imagine they share stories of being mistreated, or swap tales of beating the odds. I NOW DESPERATELY WANT A SERIES OF SHORT STORIES SET IN BIERS.
Anyway, the point of all this is to say that I deeply understood why, of all places, Biers was the one location that actually intimidated Mr. Pin. Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip are used to getting their way with brute force and slimy behavior, but that doesn’t really hold up in that bar. In fact, I’m certain all the people there have seen much worse than these two, you know??? How many people have found their way into Biers, only to ask for a werewolf or a bogeyman for some obscene or offensive job? Yeah, I really liked this, not the least because we finally got folks standing up to Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip. It’s a joy!
It’s also quite satisfying to see The Times grow as a paper, both literally and metaphorically. Obviously, it is physically bigger than what it started as, but it’s also fun to note all the ways in which William, Sacharissa, and the other employees are improving themselves and their skills as they rush to compete with The Inquirer. So I understood that brief moment of pride that William had before plunging right into the next edition. He’s accomplished a lot in a very short run of time. There wouldn’t even be an Inquirer if William hadn’t tapped into this very raw potentiality in Ankh-Morpork. Though I must admit that even that is complicated.
See, there was a clear desire for “news” as William saw it, which would provide a means to notify citizens of the goings-on in Ankh-Morpork. But Pratchett invents a brilliant term here to describe William’s observations of why the stories in The Inquirer are so attention-grabbing:
Olds, thought Wiliam, forensically dissecting a sultana. His Lordship was right. Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true…
Look, confirmation bias is a hell of a thing. I’ve fallen for it. My country is currently trapped within a cycle of it on a national level, with news organizations praying on the fears of people in order to get them to support monstrous policies. There’s a power in validation, and many “news” companies know that. It is so affirming to know that the “facts” support something you’ve always known, right? That’s obviously a simplistic view of this, but I understood Pratchett’s point. People rarely want to be uncomfortable. They rarely want to be challenged. They want to feel like they’ve always been smart and knowledgable and informed.
That’s always more entertaining, isn’t it?
The New Firm
I KNOW SOMEONE IN THE NEW FIRM, DON’T I? Is it William’s father??? Oh god, I can’t quite recall who first mentioned that adage about a lie and boots and I DON’T WANT TO GO LOOK IT UP BECAUSE IT’LL BE MUCH MORE FUN TO HAVE A REALIZATION ABOUT IT. Still: these scenes with the unnamed members of the New Firm are helpful to me because I can get a sense of why they’re having Vetinari taken out of power, despite that many of them got to where they are because of him. In the end, though, it’s all about power. They can sweep away any gratitude they may feel because there’s power to be taken by putting someone controllable into the Patrician’s Palace.
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