Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents Discussion Group

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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:29 am

kakaze wrote:I'm from the Nintendo generation; I can't read posts longer than 3 paragraphs. :cry:


Surely you mean the MTV generation where 3 mins max (1 song) is the attention span. The Nintendo generation's attention span is about 12 hours non-stop without going to the toilet or eating. :lol:
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Postby swreader » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:02 am

Pooh, you silly boy--of course you understood every word. Though I can expect that you'll find something to disagree with me about. That's what makes these fun.

Kakaze-- you only write posts that are longer than 3 paragraphs? And in my defense, I broke some of the longer paragraphs I tend to write in into smaller ones because they can be a bit intimidating.

I've puzzled over the name Dangerous Beans also, Kakaze. What seems odd is that nearly all the other names I can attach to something that might be found in a garbage pit. But this one escapes me. Do you think that the blind (or almost semi-blind) white rat is in aid of the "spiritual" leader--he is certainly a kind of philosopher king, that everybody in the Klan listens to (even Hamnpork). On the other hand, I've been re-reading Band of Brothers, and I swear that Dark Tan's speech to the troops sounds like something from the Paratroops.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:41 am

I wondered about puns in the names. I know one person who thinks that DarkTan is a pun on D'Artagnan from Dumas's book The Three Musketeers. Personally I think they aren't puns, but I'm willing to be persuaded. :)
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Postby bikkit » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:02 am

I found the rat called Tomato. Don't know which page it is on but he appears at the bit where Freash gets squished.
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Postby GrayGriffin » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:29 am

Maybe he thought it would be cooler if he took two random pieces and placed them together?

OR-he found a dictionary page that had the words "dangerous" and "beans" on the same page. Which is not very likely, but oh well.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:42 am

swreader wrote:
Tonyblack wrote:Mr Bunnsey is the book I mean and I agree - them losing it was the best thing that could happen. Or at least them learning what it really was. It meant they had to start thinking for themselves. :D


I have to disagree with the idea that loosing the the Mr. Bunnsey book meant they had to start thinking for themselves. They were thinking for themselves long before they lost Mr. Bunsey and Thoughts. They had already started writing their own book "Thoughts" in Rat well before they lost both of the books. But "The Changelings" are different. (See last sentence of Chapter 3.) [Incidentally, the publishers of this book must have had real fun coming up with a way of printing in Rat; I suppose they did it as they would do a black and white illustration.] The Clan or the Changelings are, then, rats who are not exactly rats.



Absolutely right - they have started to write their own book and that book is far more significant and useful to them. It's a book about what they have learned not some dream like Mr Bunnsy. The way I see it, they found Mr Bunnsey and thought it was the answer to all their questions about dealing humans and becoming more like humans. It wasn't!

The message is you have to learn from life. Mr Bunnsey was holding them back to some degree and that's what I mean when I say they can start thinking for themselves - thinking without the hinderance of the nonsense in Mr Bunnsey. :)
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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:46 am

swreader wrote: I've puzzled over the name Dangerous Beans also, Kakaze. What seems odd is that nearly all the other names I can attach to something that might be found in a garbage pit.


Page 14 (Talking about the wizards' rubbish dump)

"Oh the wizards had put up signs saying DANGEROUS and TOXIC...."

One of the rats is called Toxie (almost toxic).
Hence "Dangerous" Beans
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:58 am

swreader wrote: nearly all the other names I can attach to something that might be found in a garbage pit.


I found it odd that there would be enough names for a clan of around 200 rats in a rubbish pit that is based around a Victorian society. Would there really be that much packaged food in A-M at that time? Just being picky.
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:03 am

swreader wrote:Because we are all brought up to think that rats are bad, nasty, and deserve to be disposed of as quickly and completely as possible, when Pratchett makes them the central characters we find ourselves identifying with beings that we have been taught to see in a totally different and negative way. We are used to thinking that killing rats, or using them for sport is not only justified, but the only way to see rats. But by making the Educated Rodents the central characters, Pratchett allows us to explore what binds all of us together and how we can learn to live together without trying to kill each other.


Let's face it, we can't learn to live together with rats though, can we? Mr Dotsie owns a house that he lets out, & whilst I'm sure he would never try to kill an educated rodent, he can't tell his tenants to live in peace with the rat that's just eaten its way up through the kitchen floor. There are quite a few rats about 100 yards from our house, & we don't care about them. Just as long as they don't come in my house. So we don't think about rats as something to be killed, or to make sport with. But some things just are.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:06 am

Dotsie wrote:
swreader wrote:Because we are all brought up to think that rats are bad, nasty, and deserve to be disposed of as quickly and completely as possible, when Pratchett makes them the central characters we find ourselves identifying with beings that we have been taught to see in a totally different and negative way. We are used to thinking that killing rats, or using them for sport is not only justified, but the only way to see rats. But by making the Educated Rodents the central characters, Pratchett allows us to explore what binds all of us together and how we can learn to live together without trying to kill each other.


Let's face it, we can't learn to live together with rats though, can we? Mr Dotsie owns a house that he lets out, & whilst I'm sure he would never try to kill an educated rodent, he can't tell his tenants to live in peace with the rat that's just eaten its way up through the kitchen floor. There are quite a few rats about 100 yards from our house, & we don't care about them. Just as long as they don't come in my house. So we don't think about rats as something to be killed, or to make sport with. But some things just are.
But these are educated rodents and as long as the two sides reach compromises then it really could work.

Last year I had a mouse running around under my floorboards, eating my kitchen cupboards and stealing my soap. I'm the last person in the world that would want to hurt any creature, but this one nearly drove me to distraction. :evil:

If I'd been able to say - look here mouse, if you promise to stop running around in the attic or under the floorboards when I'm trying to sleep I'll give you all the soap you can eat - well then I could have lived in peace knowing the mouse was there.

Look at the wider picture that I think Terry is alluding to - instead of automatically hating people, try to understand them ands if they try to understand you too then there's a chance that we could all live in some sort of peace. :wink:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:26 am

Not-read-it-yet-observer on Dangerous Beans:
The rats have names that are connected to the scavenging they exist or have existed) on from the dump/garbage pit? OK -

rats - refuse - dodgy food (whether from a packet/can/polystyrene containers - I'm ignoring the timeline in favour of humanity's persistence in being a throwaway society) - growing resistance to contaminants - finding other sources of rubbish that they can manage to eat - sewers (which may not be a feature in the book but I don't care 'cos I haven't read it) - results of humans eating dodgy food...

some of which may be an unfortunate by-product as a result of eating beans - which are obviously dangerous...? :lol:

Glad to see that Terry has been also been excused of being prescient. Correlations are too numerous almost to chuck into the sinister roots of the cabal of the eight manipulating rats to the point where almost any conspiracy theory will do. Historically we have the 'connivance' of economist/bankers and politicians after WW1 that (allegedly) greased the way of Hitler to power in a Germany that had been humiliated, bankrupted and ground into the dirt in every possible way (perhaps 'they' did deserve it, but people who weren't alive at that time suffered as much and went and caused more trouble in the 1930s). D'oh! - and of course the said clever clogs (most likely) caused the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression as well. Silly me. Then there was those troublemakers back in the late 15th - 16th centuries, the Spanish Inquisition, The Star Chamber, The Vatican... where intelligent people found ways of directing their not so bright 'charges'

Rats ate rats. Humans still consume humans - they just don't put them in their mouths and digest them (mostly). I think I'd rather be a rat on the whole - maybe. :D

Totally tangential co-incidence: My MSN ID is Janowyn the Changeling - I promise I never eaten anything off a rubbish dump, but maybe I am prescient :twisted:
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:52 am

For your information Jan as you haven't read the book - the dump the rats have been feeding on was the one at the back of the University where all the magical experiments are dumped along with the food waste etc.

These are obviously not the same rats that Vetinari was training in Guards! Guards! - or are they? :?
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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:46 pm

swreader wrote: Pooh, you silly boy.

That's why the central characters in this book (contrary to the title) are the Educated Rodents. Yes, there are humans and there is a cat and there rats. But most of all, there is The Clan.


Swreader, you silly girlie.

Erroneously stating that the rats are the main characters is equivalent to blaming Bush for the last 8 years. You are completely overlooking the Machiavellian puppet master who is the real star, be it Dick (Neo-Con) Cheney, or, as in this instance, Maurice.

1. Who thought up the whole "Pied-piper" scam? Maurice

2. Who introduced Keith to the talking rats in the first palce? Maurice

3. Who is the star of the first chapter? Maurice

4. Who is the star of the last paragraph of the whole book? Maurice

5. Who acts as a go-between to bring Keith and Malicia together? Maurice

6. Who kills the evil Spider? Maurice

7. Who saves Dangerous Beans' life by sacrificing one of his own lives? Maurice

8. Who has the idea to put cotton wool in the rats' ears so they don't hear the piper? Maurice

9. Who devises the plan with the piper so that nobody loses? Maurice

10. Who acts as a negotiator between the rats and the humans in the Townhall? Maurice

11. Who puts forward the idea of the rats and humans living together in harmony in Bad Blintz, making it rich from all the tourists ? Maurice

12. Which character has the most speaking lines in the book? Maurice

I humbly beg to disagree with your analysis, because you simply cannot see the "cat" for the "rats". :lol:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:22 pm

swreader wrote:But they (normal rats) don't think of the Rat King as a god because they don't think.


So what was the point in the Rat King claiming to be God?

He could have claimed to be a cheese and onion sandwich or a billiard table and it wouldn't have made a scrap of difference.

He also didn't do it for the benefit of the changelings because he thought (up until hero Maurice killed him) that he could control them as well.

So why?
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:52 pm

Maybe he actually thought he was god?
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