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Episode 91 – Rules for Magic

Authors writing narratives really have a duty to disclose the rules for magic that prevail in their world. Today, Bobby and Jordan explore this idea in literature and how it relates to the propaganda narratives that control in the perceived reality of our modern world.

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Referenced in the Podcast


  1. I+play+the+radio
    I+play+the+radio September 7, 2022

    Bobby said “we’re living through the greatest child sacrifice in human history.”

    Helaman 11:33 Yea, for they did visit many parts of the land, and did do great destruction unto them; yea, did kill many, and did carry away others captive into the wilderness, yea, and more especially their women and their children. 34 Now this great evil, which came unto the people because of their iniquity, did stir them up again in remembrance of the Lord their God.

    I apply this to child and human trafficking, destruction of wellbeing and opportunity for the general populace, and to the spiritual bondage of unbelief imposed upon us, the Gentiles. What have we placed above us?

    Ether 8:23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. 24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. 25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries

  2. I+play+the+radio
    I+play+the+radio September 7, 2022

    “Our overlords are stupid, and not even fun to learn about”

    “You can have your rights back when you comply” – Karine Jean-pierre, whose name rhymes with careen, as in “careening toward disaster.” ( her surname, Jean-Pierre, doesn’t rhyme with anything. It is the first name of a famous French flautist whose surname is Rampal. Unlike Karine, he was not a moron)

  3. TBM
    TBM September 7, 2022

    My wife and I are totally down for more esotericism and a deep dive into Harry Potter.

  4. Kenny
    Kenny September 8, 2022

    Per Brandon Sanderson’s first rule for magic: the key part is the aspect of proportionality – a good story can have loosely defined magic systems, a good story can have well defined magic systems and anything in between. But if you have a lesser defined magic system, you can’t use it to solve the great problems. In the Lord of the Rings, the magic system was very loose. We never really knew much of what Gandalf or Elrond could do. It was unclear how exactly Sauron would rule the world if he regained the one ring. Within the story, the ring only solved very minor things like turning invisible to hide from the Sackville-Baggins. The main story was solved by Sam and Frodo walking to Mount Doom, Gollum biting the ring off, and falling into fiery pit. There was no magic involved at all.
    On the flip side is something like the Wheel of Time. While you learn about the magic system throughout the novels, by the end it is pretty well defined and it plays some critical parts of the last battle and the climax. But it made sense and was believable (save the ridiculous end to Padan Fain, but that was kind of minor).

    Furthermore, the rule applies to conflict *resolution*. In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor shocks Luke with force lightning. No one knew that was thing until that moment, but it still works. We relate to Luke and have his understanding. He was surprised and so are the viewers. It shows how little he knows about the magic system and that he was not really the Emperor’s equal. But the resolution does not rely on the magic. Vader picks him up with hands and throws him into the pit.
    Star Wars was somewhere in between Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time. Lucas actually tried to develop it a little bit more in the Phantom Menace with the discussion of Midichlorians, but it kind of fell flat and he gave up on it. Sometimes the system is just better when it is a little more mysterious and unknown, you just can’t use it to resolve problems to the same level (according to Brandon).
    I would claim the violation of the rule with the Star Wars sequel trilogy was more than just the Mary Sue. It is bad when you invent new rules to resolve a conflict, but it is even worse when you actively break the established rules to resolve conflict. The rules for space combat were set in Episode 4 (with the small fighters aiming at the flawed exhaust port), Episode 6 (people on the planet taking down the shield so small to medium fighters could take out the core, with capital ships slugging it out for cover), Episode 1 (small fighter taking out the core, even if strained on believability), and Episode 3 (big capital ships slugging at each other, with small fighters able to do specific missions). Okay, right? Well along comes Rian Johnson in Episode 8. Let’s skip over the opening scene that creates the new bomber class of ship with gravity fed bombs and get straight to the Holdo maneuver. Have a big ship causing you problems? Just kamikaze it and boom conflict solved. Then the audience re-evaluates everything they have ever known and the whole thing becomes silly. Luke’s sacrifice and trust in the force in Episode 4, meaningless, just needed a big ship and 1 captain to steer it into the death star. All that wandering around taking the down the shields on Endor in Episode 6, Luke risking himself by going to confront the Emperor, does not matter, just get a Corellian Cruiser and boom problem solved. All those Naboo fighters shot down in Episode 1, lame deaths when you could just send 1 to hyperspace speed at the control ship. Why in Episode 3 do they even bother firing those comparatively BB sized guns at each other, when every capital ship is effectively the firepower of the Death Star’s main gun? It made for a visually stunning scene sure, but it was very poor storytelling.

  5. Pepé Le Pew
    Pepé Le Pew September 9, 2022

    I find the very last 5 minutes or so of the show a great topic to discuss at a local level (i.e. our local schools being invaded by woke ideology). I wonder if you can talk about it more by bringing a guest with first hand experiences. We hear it at a domestic level, if you really look for it (project Veritas). We won’t hear it or see it in local lame stream media. I just want to know more!

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