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Ace of Blue Heart

Me, basically.

Please consult the About the tags-page for further information about this blog.
Aug 22 '14

Anonymous asked:

What do you think Tolkien's Dwarves' religion looks like?

ineffable-hufflepuff:

jumpingjacktrash:

ceruleancynic:

robinade:

vrabia:

But Terry Pratchett’s is taken seriously. Like, a lot. And it’s basically all darkness-and-stone mysticism, there is nothing else.

I mean of course they have songs that go ‘gold gold gold’ and the right to kingship is handed down via a petrified loaf of bread with someone’s butt imprinted on it.

But in the same breath you’ve got the knockermen, who go down mine-shafts with no source of light on them to face fatal explosions, and the ones who come back are regarded as exponents of sainthood, because they’ve done the impossible. And they talk about what they’ve seen down there, and everyone knows seen has nothing to do with the senses, but with the kinds of things that come to you when you are alone in the silent bowels of the earth with no light. Which. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect setting for the birth of mysticism and religion, I really don’t know, man. 

And this, this seen, changes the profession from something dangerous and full of fear into something sought-after, that young dwarves volunteer for. And then you’ve got an entire category of people believed to walk between life and death at all times and not really part of the mortal order of things. You enter this profession, your family will kiss you goodbye and think of you as if you’ve left this world. 

And then there’s something that Tolkien doesn’t have - religion as politics. By tradition successful knockermen become kings. And other knockermen become fundamentalists to the point where they decree that the amount of time you spend above ground dictates whether or not you’re a dwarf. Like, literally this one thing would bring into question your own nature and, more importantly, whether or not you would belong to a community. You’ve got debates on modernity and traditionalism, the generational effects of immigration and who should rule an entire people and why. There are mentions of social practices that sound an awful lot like religion - like how when a dwarf dies their tools should be melted so they can never be used by a living one, or the fact that it does not matter if you are literally six feet tall, you can still be a dwarf if you performed certain rituals.

And the fact that all of this happens in one of the City Watch books and is pitted against champion doubter Sam Vimes and it still leaves you as a reader kind of speechless and wowed, is saying a lot. 

I will argue this always and forever: compared to Terry Pratchett, Tolkien is a pretty lazy writer. A lot of what he did strikes you as extraordinary because he tried to do it systematically and on such a sweeping scale. But going into the smaller details of his world-building, I think the only things he’s ever taken 100% seriously are genealogies and made-up grammar. Tolkien does a lot, and I say this as someone who grew up as a fan of his work. But at the level of story-telling, he builds histories, not societies. He writes with the underlying assumption that we as an audience understand how his world works, because we’ve read what he’s read and have some notions that the Shire is pre-industrial England and the whole War of the Ring thing is basically feudal warfare blown out of proportion etc. etc. Tolkien’s world is fixed, lives in its own past, moves on in forms but not in substance. ‘The King has returned’ is really more of an end of history thing, because past that point evil has been vanquished and everyone will live in peace in an ordered world. 

In Terry Pratchett’s writings history only shows up if it has to, sometimes as exposition, rarely as plot, mostly creeping up on you in the form of remarks like ‘Ankh-Morpork is built on Ankh-Morpork’. And this is because Terry Pratchett writes societies, with all that writing societies entails, including religion.

I have actually rarely encountered an author of fiction who takes religion more seriously, because what Terry Pratchett does is treat it as a source of world-organizing principles and by extension of political power. Which, underneath its substance of faith and hope and consolation, is what religion actually evolved as.

I feel like anyone trying to claim that TPratchett doesn’t take dwarf religion seriously hasn’t read The Fifth Elephant. Or should read it again.

Here’s the pertinent section of TFE:

notbecauseofvictories:

like Terry Pratchett’s, but taken seriously.

Vimes saw the images in his mind as Cheery explained…


The miners would clear the area, if they were lucky. And the knockerman would go in wearing layer after layer of chain-mail and leather, carrying his sack of wicker globes stuffed with rags and oil. And his long pole. And his slingshot.

Down in the mines, all alone, he’d hear the knockers. Agi Hammerthief and all the other things that made noises, deep under the earth. There could be no light, because light would mean sudden, roaring death. The knockerman would feel his way through the utter dark, far below the surface.

There was a type of cricket that lives in the mines. It chirruped loudly in the presence of firedamp. The knockerman would have one in a box, tied to his hat.

When it sang, a knockerman who was either very confident or extremely suicidal would step back, light the torch on the end of his pole and thrust it ahead of him. The more careful knockerman would step back rather more, and slingshot a ball of burning rags into the unseen death. Either way, he’d trust in his thick leather clothes to protect him from the worst of the blast.

Initially the dangerous trade did not run in families, because who’d marry a knockerman? They were dead dwarfs walking. But sometimes a young dwarf would ask to become one; his family would be proud, wave him goodbye, and then speak of him as if he was dead, because that made it easier.

Sometimes, though, knockermen came back. And the ones that survived went on to survive again, because surviving is a matter of practice. And sometimes they would talk a little of what they heard, all alone in the deep mines … the tap-tapping of dead dwarfs trying to get back into the world, the distant laughter of Agi Hammerthief, the heartbeat of the turtle that carried the world.

Knockermen became kings.

(Fun fact: Knockers, also knackers, are mythical creatures that live/exist/dwell in mines. There are two schools of thought on the knocker: one holds that he is a malicious spirit who taps on the walls and props of the drift to cause cave-ins, and the other believes him to be a friendly and helpful spirit whose tapping and knocking on the walls is meant to warn the miners that collapse is imminent and to get the hell out. They are sometimes considered to be souls of dead miners, but whether they are tapping to get back into the world or to warn of impending danger is up for discussion.)

This isn’t even going into the whole Things Tak Wrote, or that Tak does not require dwarfs to think of him; he merely requires them to think. This kind of stuff that makes you blink and go o-oh… isn’t limited to the main Discworld books. Read The Amazing Maurice for another wonderful, creeptastic, moving description of religion: people going into the dark, alone, for the good of the clan; hearing things, coming back changed.

Aaaahhh I just fucking love Terry Pratchett ok

i honestly think terry pratchett is one of the best writers in the english language.

his greatness is disguised by genre; you’re not allowed to take fantasy seriously. but his grasp of human nature and society is a level above anything i’ve seen from even the ‘great authors’ you have to read in school. he groks people.

unfortunately, his most recent book was more like an outline than a novel; i think alzheimer’s has finally stolen him from us. :(

Pratchett’s view of religion and faith and how people work has always been stunning to me. He just seems to have a way of cracking open truths. I haven’t read his latest book, but the idea that his time with us is drawing to an end is heart breaking. (We were supposed to get a third Moist book!) 

One conversation from Hogfather has always stuck with me.

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

Susan: They’re not the same at all.

Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.

Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what’s the point?

Death: You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?

Aug 22 '14

shuckl:

considerthishippie:

What is a flotation tank?

500 kg of Epsom salts are added to 1000 litres of water, creating a 30 cm deep solution, which is heated to 35.5 degrees C (skin temperature).

The temperature of the water means that once you are settled in the tank, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between parts of the body that are in contact with the water, and those that aren’t, in effect “fooling” the brain into believing that the person is floating in mid-air.

image

Aug 22 '14
We’re all messed up.

(Source: tatianagm)

Aug 21 '14
forgottendance:

her-bleeding-little-blue-boy:

davidtennantbatch:

piper-mclean-rp:

deckatalent:

quezycoatl:

flutterbye-5:

You see these fuckers? They’re my pointe shoes. Now, I don’t know how much you guys know about ballet, but pointe is a style of ballet where the dancer dances on their toes. There’s a wooden box like thing on the tips, and is flat on the front, which makes us able to dance on our toes like we do. It’s called the box or platform. These shoes need to be the perfect size, otherwise the dancer can easily seriously hurt themselves. If the shoes are too small, their toes could break, but if they’re too big, they could snap their ankles. No two pairs of shoes are the same, so you can’t borrow anyone else’s. They need to be yours because otherwise the shoes won’t fit with your foot and how you dance. 
These shoes range from 50-85 dollars, depending on where you get them and what they’re made out of. They’re stiff as a board when you first get them, so you need to break them in. Breaking them in takes months. You have to dance in stiff, hard boxes until the shank and vamp finally takes to your foot. You will bleed. Some people actually cry because the pain of breaking the shoes in is so bad. Once they’re finally broken in, dancing in them is wonderful, even if it still hurts a little. But when they’re broken in, they only last a few more months until they fall apart completely. Then you need to get a new pair and break those in. 
In order to dance on these shoes, you need the proper cushioning for your toes, whether it be cotton, a soft gel slip over your toes, or wool. Your toenails need to be as short as you can make them, so that your nail can’t splinter and dig into your skin as you go up. Sometimes it happens anyway. Before a dancer can even consider dancing on the floor away from the bar, they need to practice for months, perfecting their balance, the set of their core, where their shoulders need to be, and how to go up. 
Going up is key to staying safe while dancing pointe. If you go up wrong, theres a 95% chance you will hurt yourself. To go up, you need to roll up from your heels to the tips of your toes, flat, and with precision. If you hop up, you’ll break your ankle. If you roll the wrong way, you’ll break your ankle. It literally needs to be perfect. Before leaving the bar, you need to be able to balance for about sixty seconds, to assure your instructor and yourself that you will be save doing forte turns and pirouettes, as well as gran-jete, glissade, leaps, and even waltzes. 
The next step is grace. You can’t blunder across the stage. You need to glide, flowing from each step to the other. The dance needs to look like a single step, moving continuously from each pose to another. Fingers need to be extended, necks elongated, shoulders down, chin up, stomach and butt tense and in, legs and back straight and toes pointed and turned out. The dance must always continue, even if you hurt yourself. If you can still move, you can still dance. If you’re bleeding in your shoe, there is no stopping and fixing it. You finish the dance and when it’s over you patch yourself up in the dressing room and continue on with your next dance if you have one. If you fall, you make it look like it was supposed to be in the dance. Your facial expressions and body need to reflect the music, so if you have a melancholy song, you must look forlorn, and depict it through your body and eyes, as well as the set of your mouth. Same as if your number was happy and upbeat, you need to reflect that. 
There are two major styles of ballet: Russian and Italian. An ideal ballerina knows both forms, and can tell the difference between the two. A dancer must follow the song with it’s beat as well, and the tempo can go from counts of four to sixteenth counts. 
Pointe dancers sometimes need to put resin on their shoes so that they don’t slip and risk breaking an arm, or even their neck. But if you put too much resin on, your shoes will stick, and you’ll fall while trying to turn. 
In conclusion, DANCE IS A FUCKING SPORT, OKAY? ESPECIALLY BALLET. WE RISK OURSELVES EVERY PRACTICE AND SHOW, SO DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING TELL ME THAT WHAT I DO ISN’T A SPORT. I PRACTICE FOR HOURS, JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO PLAYS SOCCER OR FOOTBALL OR LACROSSE. I GET HURT AND I FALL AND I GET BRUISED AND I BREAK THINGS, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WHO PLAYS ALL THOSE OTHER FUCKING SPORTS. 
DANCE.
IS.
A.
SPORT.
So kindly fuck off if you think otherwise. 

Ballet is the most hardcore thing ever. People are all like “Oh football players are so tough!” Pbbbbt. Ballet dancers can dance through pain that would make a football player cry like a bitch.

This is true guys I attended a professional russian ballet school for 10 years of my life it’s so fucking true

Someone said it

Also, one of the girls in my dance studio has flat feet, which you can’t have in pointe, so she has to use a contraption to B E N D her feet so they have an arch.Ballet is fucking crazy.

I was in a Ballet studio for about 7 years and the last year I was there they finally allowed me to be in a pointe class but the problem was that I didn’t have strong enough ankles for pointe shoes so I was the only one in my class (and all the other pointe classes) that still had to wear ballet shoes

I’m just going to put out here that this post makes me very uncomfortable.
So much of it is talking about the torture that is expected of girls in order to dance.
Yes, it’s badass and hardcore, but it’s also young girls being pressured and/or shamed into doing self-destructive things that almost always end in injury and an early end to a career, and, quite simply, that’s not ok.
there’s this rhetoric in most forms of performance dance that NO MATTER WHAT, you do what the director/choreographer/etc tells you. I’ve seen someone with a back spasm who was in so much pain she could barely move go out and perform. God knows how much she’s paying for that now in pain, doctor’s appointments, and not being able to dance. But there was the expectation that she dance and “no, I’m in pain” is never an acceptable answer”. Most dancers my age (20ish) are already stuck with chronic injury (most of it caused by bad ballet teachers)
Dancing on an injury, doing thigs that destroy your body because no one has given you an alternative, people abusing young girls to get a specific aesthetic…this is not hardcore or badass, this is CREEPY and DISGUSTING and UNSAFE (and totally part of the patriarchy) and we need to be challenging the society and teachers/directors/choreographers that perpetuate these practices, not say “look, so hardcore that someone is ensuring they’ll not be able to dance by the time they’re 20”

forgottendance:

her-bleeding-little-blue-boy:

davidtennantbatch:

piper-mclean-rp:

deckatalent:

quezycoatl:

flutterbye-5:

You see these fuckers? They’re my pointe shoes. Now, I don’t know how much you guys know about ballet, but pointe is a style of ballet where the dancer dances on their toes. There’s a wooden box like thing on the tips, and is flat on the front, which makes us able to dance on our toes like we do. It’s called the box or platform. These shoes need to be the perfect size, otherwise the dancer can easily seriously hurt themselves. If the shoes are too small, their toes could break, but if they’re too big, they could snap their ankles. No two pairs of shoes are the same, so you can’t borrow anyone else’s. They need to be yours because otherwise the shoes won’t fit with your foot and how you dance. 

These shoes range from 50-85 dollars, depending on where you get them and what they’re made out of. They’re stiff as a board when you first get them, so you need to break them in. Breaking them in takes months. You have to dance in stiff, hard boxes until the shank and vamp finally takes to your foot. You will bleed. Some people actually cry because the pain of breaking the shoes in is so bad. Once they’re finally broken in, dancing in them is wonderful, even if it still hurts a little. But when they’re broken in, they only last a few more months until they fall apart completely. Then you need to get a new pair and break those in. 

In order to dance on these shoes, you need the proper cushioning for your toes, whether it be cotton, a soft gel slip over your toes, or wool. Your toenails need to be as short as you can make them, so that your nail can’t splinter and dig into your skin as you go up. Sometimes it happens anyway. Before a dancer can even consider dancing on the floor away from the bar, they need to practice for months, perfecting their balance, the set of their core, where their shoulders need to be, and how to go up. 

Going up is key to staying safe while dancing pointe. If you go up wrong, theres a 95% chance you will hurt yourself. To go up, you need to roll up from your heels to the tips of your toes, flat, and with precision. If you hop up, you’ll break your ankle. If you roll the wrong way, you’ll break your ankle. It literally needs to be perfect. Before leaving the bar, you need to be able to balance for about sixty seconds, to assure your instructor and yourself that you will be save doing forte turns and pirouettes, as well as gran-jete, glissade, leaps, and even waltzes. 

The next step is grace. You can’t blunder across the stage. You need to glide, flowing from each step to the other. The dance needs to look like a single step, moving continuously from each pose to another. Fingers need to be extended, necks elongated, shoulders down, chin up, stomach and butt tense and in, legs and back straight and toes pointed and turned out. The dance must always continue, even if you hurt yourself. If you can still move, you can still dance. If you’re bleeding in your shoe, there is no stopping and fixing it. You finish the dance and when it’s over you patch yourself up in the dressing room and continue on with your next dance if you have one. If you fall, you make it look like it was supposed to be in the dance. Your facial expressions and body need to reflect the music, so if you have a melancholy song, you must look forlorn, and depict it through your body and eyes, as well as the set of your mouth. Same as if your number was happy and upbeat, you need to reflect that. 

There are two major styles of ballet: Russian and Italian. An ideal ballerina knows both forms, and can tell the difference between the two. A dancer must follow the song with it’s beat as well, and the tempo can go from counts of four to sixteenth counts. 

Pointe dancers sometimes need to put resin on their shoes so that they don’t slip and risk breaking an arm, or even their neck. But if you put too much resin on, your shoes will stick, and you’ll fall while trying to turn. 

In conclusion, DANCE IS A FUCKING SPORT, OKAY? ESPECIALLY BALLET. WE RISK OURSELVES EVERY PRACTICE AND SHOW, SO DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING TELL ME THAT WHAT I DO ISN’T A SPORT. I PRACTICE FOR HOURS, JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO PLAYS SOCCER OR FOOTBALL OR LACROSSE. I GET HURT AND I FALL AND I GET BRUISED AND I BREAK THINGS, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WHO PLAYS ALL THOSE OTHER FUCKING SPORTS. 

DANCE.

IS.

A.

SPORT.

So kindly fuck off if you think otherwise. 

Ballet is the most hardcore thing ever. People are all like “Oh football players are so tough!” Pbbbbt. Ballet dancers can dance through pain that would make a football player cry like a bitch.

This is true guys I attended a professional russian ballet school for 10 years of my life it’s so fucking true

Someone said it

Also, one of the girls in my dance studio has flat feet, which you can’t have in pointe, so she has to use a contraption to B E N D her feet so they have an arch.

Ballet is fucking crazy.

I was in a Ballet studio for about 7 years and the last year I was there they finally allowed me to be in a pointe class but the problem was that I didn’t have strong enough ankles for pointe shoes so I was the only one in my class (and all the other pointe classes) that still had to wear ballet shoes

I’m just going to put out here that this post makes me very uncomfortable.

So much of it is talking about the torture that is expected of girls in order to dance.

Yes, it’s badass and hardcore, but it’s also young girls being pressured and/or shamed into doing self-destructive things that almost always end in injury and an early end to a career, and, quite simply, that’s not ok.

there’s this rhetoric in most forms of performance dance that NO MATTER WHAT, you do what the director/choreographer/etc tells you. I’ve seen someone with a back spasm who was in so much pain she could barely move go out and perform. God knows how much she’s paying for that now in pain, doctor’s appointments, and not being able to dance. But there was the expectation that she dance and “no, I’m in pain” is never an acceptable answer”. Most dancers my age (20ish) are already stuck with chronic injury (most of it caused by bad ballet teachers)

Dancing on an injury, doing thigs that destroy your body because no one has given you an alternative, people abusing young girls to get a specific aesthetic…this is not hardcore or badass, this is CREEPY and DISGUSTING and UNSAFE (and totally part of the patriarchy) and we need to be challenging the society and teachers/directors/choreographers that perpetuate these practices, not say “look, so hardcore that someone is ensuring they’ll not be able to dance by the time they’re 20”

(Source: butimnotinyour)

Aug 21 '14

(Source: jenniferinpink)

Aug 21 '14

2damnfeisty:

"14-year-old Parkview High School Freshman, Caleb Christian was concerned about the number of incidents of police abuse in the news.  Still, he knew there were many good police officers in various communities, but had no way of figuring out which communities were highly rated and which were not.  

So, together with his two older sisters: Parkview High School senior Ima Christian, and Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology sophomore, Asha Christian, they founded a mobile app development company– Pinetart Inc., under which they created a mobile app called Five-O.

Five-O, allows citizens to enter the details of every interaction with a police officer.  It also allows them to rate that officer in terms of courtesy and professionalism and provides the ability to enter a short description of what transpired.  These details are captured for every county in the United States. Citizen race and age information data is also captured.

Additionally, Five-O allows citizens to store the details of each encounter with law enforcement; this provides convenient access to critical information needed for legal action or commendation.”

Read more here. [x]

Black Excellence

(Source: skulls-and-tea)

Aug 21 '14

I just remembered something my dad told me…

When he was a child (my dad was born 1942), they taught kids how to swim on dry land. As in, they would have all these little kids standing in orderly rows beside the pool, doing backstrokes. And every once in a while the instructor would remind them that, in the water, they would need to be kicking their feet at the same time.

Aug 20 '14

(Source: tomasczt)

Aug 20 '14

Tomorrow When the War Began: the Drinking Game

facingthenorthwind:

  • drink when homer uses the word ‘w-g’
  • drink when homer blows something up
  • drink when ellie is amazingly, beautifully aro
  • drink when lee’s an ass
  • drink whenever emma cries at a confusing australian phrase
  • drink when fi says ‘gosh’
  • drink when ellie describes fi as delicate
  • drink when there’s extremely painful foreshadowing
  • drink for every person they kill
  • just drain the glass when they blow up taylor street
  • drink whenever someone makes a pun
  • drink for every friend they lose
  • drink when ellie mentions wombats
  • drink whenever a rural kid laughs at a city kid for being a city kid
  • drink whenever homer says something Totes Allo
  • drink for every mental breakdown
  • drink whenever john marsden goes out of his way to avoid the word ‘dick’
  • drink to forget the descriptions of lee’s nipples
  • drink every time you wonder how they have a six month supply of toilet paper
  • drink every time ellie worries about stock/the land
  • drink every time a country is mentioned so it definitely can’t be the one invading
  • drink whenever the pollies are useless dicks
  • drink whenever kiwis
  • drink whenever someone says ‘go like stink’
  • drink whenever ellie goes off on philosophical tangents about the name of Hell
  • drink whenever ellie goes off on tangents at all
  • drink whenever ellie gets adorable about sheep
  • drink any time a prisoner does something to fuck with authority
  • drink every time ellie mentions how much they’ve all changed
Aug 20 '14
Aug 20 '14

(Source: vintage-cinema)

Aug 19 '14

lizardvvizard:

iwriteaboutfeminism:

Chaos in Ferguson. Sunday night, part 4

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3

Reminder that:

- no, this isn’t over;
- no, these aren’t from earlier in the week;
- no, everything isn’t alright now;
- no, the police haven’t stopped brutalizing peaceful protesters;
- no, police haven’t intervened to stop the looting;
- no, police haven’t responded to emergency 911 calls for people injured by rubber bullets or children hit by cars;
- no, michael brown’s shooter still has not faced any consequences for murdering an unarmed teenager 9 days ago

Aug 19 '14

figsandtea:

niiicethings:

“Noun is a playful artist’s book about words and their definitions. It is like an exquisite corpse with words.

Starting with 27 real English words, each word and its definition has been divided into two parts. By turning the pages, you get to mix and match the word halves to create humorous and nonsensical new words and meanings.

With over 700 different combinations, this book is the perfect item for bibiophiles, lexicographers, writers, and any lover of words.

Here are a few examples of words and definitions you can put together:

whisper + umbrella = whisbrella: A low sibilan utterance for sheltering one from rain and sun.
banana + onomatopoeia = bananpoeia: A large herbaceous perennial tropical plant that bears fruit imitating the sound of the thing or action signified.
muffin + tyrant = muffrant: A quick bread made of batter unrestrained by law or constitution.
nomenclature + ancestry = nomencestry: A system or set of names for things derived from, or possessed by, an ancestor or ancestors.”

I’M SORRY BUT 

muffin + tyrant = muffrant: A quick bread made of batter unrestrained by law or constitution.

THIS IS THE PINNACLE OF HUMAN INNOVATION ALL OTHER PLAYERS GO HOME.

Aug 19 '14

It’s those kind of technical things that are so awesome in the show and are just really funny to film because you look so ridiculous. We would just burst out in laughter after the take because we looked so ridiculous. – Kathryn Alexandre 

Aug 19 '14

twin-city-ankh-and-morpork:

(x)

Discworld Meme; Three/Four Friendships

Glod Glodsson, Imp y Celyn and Lias Bluestone

“’But we pllay dwarf music and human music and trollll music,’ said Imp. ‘I’m not sure they’llll go together. I mean, dwarfs llisten to dwarf music, humans llisten to human music, trolllls Ilisten to trollll music. What do we get if we mix it allll together? It’d be dreadfull.’

'We're getting along OK,' said Lias, getting up and fetching the salt from the counter.

'We're musicians,' said Glod. 'It's not the same with real people.'

                - Terry Pratchett, “Soul Music”