Mark Reads ‘The Truth’: Part 15

In the fifteenth part of The Truth, William stops someone following him, while the dwarfs discover who is actually running The Inquirer. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

OH NO to A LOT OF THINGS.

Angua

I just feel bad for her. I understood William’s reasoning for trying to get the Watch off his scent (hehehe), and Pratchett builds that case believably. William doesn’t want to be prodded or controlled by anyone, and at the very least, being watched and surveilled is unnerving regardless of the reason. I JUST FEEL AWFUL FOR ANGUA BECAUSE THIS HAD TO BE A HORRIFIC EXPERIENCE.

Can we also just appreciate that William doubled down on the claim that Nobby was the werewolf in the Watch? Because oh my gods, that whole conversation between William and Gaspode is full of double meanings and unsaid things. I think there’s something to Gaspode focusing on the whole terrier detail, but, as I said, he doesn’t spell it out. I’m also curious how the hell Gaspode is going to deal with “translating” Wuffles because… people can’t translate dog??? Also, I don’t even know where the hell Wuffles is! Does Gaspode? HOW THE HELL COULD THEY POSSIBLY PUT GASPODE IN A DISGUISE?

The Truth

I didn’t expect a major plot twist from the scene where the dwarfs broke into the neighboring basement of The Inquirer. First of all, I didn’t even think they’d get very far because surely someone important would be down there to stop them. Maybe they’d see their presses! Maybe it was storage. Dibbler was NOWHERE ON MY RADAR, and yet, he’s the most logical person to be head writer for The Inquirer because the stories are just like his wares: pure garbage. Of course, the stories sell way better than his sausage-inna-bun, so a part of me (only slightly) respects that he finally found something that makes him real money. Well… I don’t actually know if he makes money from this, but I assume he does. Why else would he stick around?

Regardless, I loved the scene where Sacharissa and William confronted Dibbler over his work. Through this, Pratchett skewers tabloid “journalism” and the sort of sensationalized storytelling that thrives in our own world. I know that there’s long been a huge problem with tabloids in the UK, perhaps even worse than what we have here in America. So there are cultural differences here, and I believe the legal ramifications are different, too. Even so, with the save of “fake news” that’s been sullying all of our lives, there is still a prescience to Pratchett’s satire. There are people who justify what they do by using Dibbler’s logic: people can make up their own minds, right? Who cares what’s put out in the world? “Reasonable” people can determine the difference between truth and fiction!

Except I consider myself pretty discerning, and I’ve been tricked by fake news and gossip. Part of that’s because it’s getting better at seeming real. But humans have so many biases and lenses at work that it’s inevitable. So is the responsibility on the people who consume the stories or those who create them?

It’s a bit of both, I’d say, but in this case, shifting all the responsibility to the reader is highly, highly immoral, and I think Dibbler knows it. But perhaps he agreed to start working for William because he also sees dollar signs everywhere, you know?

Seriously, how is this meeting between William and Gaspode going to transpire???

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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