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S01.E10: Night 2017.06.14

2 hours ago, secnarf said:

As a Canadian, this is extremely irritating to me. I can't imagine there is a single Canadian who wouldn't look at you funny if you tried to tell them that Canada is a part of "America".

We are a separate country. "America" is used as shorthand for USA, similar to "The US". Canada is most certainly not a part of America.

"The Americas" refers to North, Central and South America, of which Canada, the USA (and many other countries) are a part.

I am aware that centuries ago, before Canada or the USA existed, 'America' included the entire area. However, that has not been the case for a long time.

That's very interesting, I had no idea there were Canadians who didn't want to be considered part of America. While the rest of the world learns that Canada is a country in America. Then again, I guess the UK don't see themselves as part of Europe, but until recently most of Continental Europe did consider UK as a European country. Now let's wait until we hear how Australians feel :)

P.S. If the name of my continent was "used as shorthtand" for the name of a country that is not mine on that continent,  I would be bitter. But who am I to judge people thinking otherwise?  

Edited by NutMeg.
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5 minutes ago, NutMeg said:

That's very interesting, I had no idea there were Canadians who didn't want to be considered part of America.

Well, no, but (!) they are part of the North American continent. But they are an entirely separate, sovereign country that functions and operates independently of America. 

In fact, Canada is *more* European in that they are a Commonwealth British Territory with the Queen as head of state and a Governor General who represent HRM. 

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59 minutes ago, greekmom said:

Think of it this way:

 Continental Europe.  Continental: North America

Countries in Europe: Germany, Italy, France, etc.

Countries in North America: Canada and United States of America.

I think what is confusing you is that fact that the United States of America has the word "America" in it. Meanwhile there isn't a country in Europe that is called United province of Europe or United States of Europe.

BTW - calling a Canadian "American" is a bit of a faux pas insult.  Like calling an Irishman "English".  But as a Canadian we are overly polite and will just correct you, eh ;-)

 

 

Hope that helps.

Sorry, never realised that was such an issue. Any German, French, Italian, etc. person  will agree that they are Europeans. I'm happy to have learned something new so thanks to the posters who corrected my assumption that Canadians considered themselves Americans.  The mind blows but is enlightened.  

Edited by NutMeg.
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6 minutes ago, NutMeg said:

Sorry, never realised that was such an issue. Any German, French, Italian, etc. person  will agree that they are Europeans. I'm happy to have learned something new so thanks to the posters who corrected my assumption that Canadians considered themselves Americans.  The mind blows but is enlightened.  

I think Canadians (and Mexicans) do consider themselves North Americans, just not Americans. It's a subtle but important distinction. Think of it this way, America doesn't refer to one continent in the way that Europe does. North America is the continent, America is the short form of the United States of America.

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34 minutes ago, NutMeg said:

That's very interesting, I had no idea there were Canadians who didn't want to be considered part of America. While the rest of the world learns that Canada is a country in America. Then again, I guess the UK don't see themselves as part of Europe, but until recently most of Continental Europe did consider UK as a European country. Now let's wait until we hear how Australians feel :)

P.S. If the name of my continent was "used as shorthtand" for the name of a country that is not mine on that continent,  I would be bitter. But who am I to judge people thinking otherwise?  

The thing is, the name of the continent is not America. North America is a continent and nobody would bat an eye (or be in any way offended) at being called "North American". If you really wanted to group North and South America together (thus eliminating confusion over 'Central America', the oft-forgotten southern portion of North America), it would be "the Americas". America refers to a country, not the continent - and yes, many (most?) Canadians have no desire to be American, especially now. (I have the impression that the sentiment is mutual, in that many Americans have no desire to be Canadian, either).

Canadians are pretty used to being mistaken for American, but I had no idea that people actually considered Canadians to be American.

Mexico is also a part of North America, and I'd imagine similar issues exist (both inside and outside the US) with trying to call Mexicans "American".

I wonder if it is similar to the difference between "Ireland" and "North Ireland"? But @greekmom's analogy of calling an Irishman "English" is a good one.

What continent do people in the UK consider themselves a part of, if not part of Europe?

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2 hours ago, secnarf said:

I have the impression that the sentiment is mutual, in that many Americans have no desire to be Canadian, either.

[Raises hand] If they'd have me! 

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4 hours ago, secnarf said:

Canadians are pretty used to being mistaken for American, but I had no idea that people actually considered Canadians to be American.

I've had this exact conversation many of a many times with my relatives in Greece about 20 years ago. They called me "Americana" meaning American as from the United States. I corrected them.

We are going a tad off topic so to bring the conversation back to subject before our hand is chopped off (or slapped  ;-)  ) - I was always confused both show and novel - is Gilead the country or the city? Did they ever mention the new town/city name that June and co are living in? The colonies are owned by Gilead, the remaining United States or just no man's waste land?   Things I hope that next season explores! 

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I'm English-American, and it's weird reading about how people would be offended to be considered either one, depending on where they're from. :) I add a smile, but I don't like that we're seen so poorly by some. I don't remember England being considered a part of Europe, we just had great access to it. I was there before the EU came into being, though, as far as I remember. 

1 hour ago, greekmom said:

I've had this exact conversation many of a many times with my relatives in Greece about 20 years ago. They called me "Americana" meaning American as from the United States. I corrected them.

We are going a tad off topic so to bring the conversation back to subject before our hand is chopped off (or slapped  ;-)  ) - I was always confused both show and novel - is Gilead the country or the city? Did they ever mention the new town/city name that June and co are living in? The colonies are owned by Gilead, the remaining United States or just no man's waste land?   Things I hope that next season explores! 

I think Alaska and Hawaii were spared, and that Gilead is comprised of the remaining States. 

Here you go: http://the-handmaids-tale.wikia.com/wiki/Republic_of_Gilead I've only skimmed so far, but it looks like the entire country is the Republic of Gilead.

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13 hours ago, millennium said:

Holy cartography, Batman!

So would this be a good time to bring up the geographical fact that there isn't really any continent of Europe, it's just the western part of Asia where the white people evolved.

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On 20/06/2017 at 9:33 AM, Ms Blue Jay said:

I don't understand why book talk is so allowed and freely used here.  I don't think people understand if we haven't read the book yet we don't want to know anything about it.  Some people mention the book  every single time they post.

I read Big Little Lies before the show premiered, and now that I'm on the other side of things, I totally get how annoying it is for people who haven't read the book.  I have to quickly skip over every time you guys post about it.

ITA, it's been annoying me to no end and shouldn't be in here - TV/movie adaptations are meant to stand alone from the source material, it really doesn't matter what's in the book if something different is coming across on the screen. I've read THT (and Big Little Lies!) which is why I haven't been posting as I was worried I'd give something away. Happens in the GOT/TWD forums as well, I don't know why people can't stick to the book threads to debate source vs adaptation 🙄.

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Point of interest: if certain users have habits that you find distracting, annoying or frustrating you can hover over their avatar - that will give you a pop up where you can ignore the user. Presto! Forum enjoyment to be had by all!

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Quote

I was always confused both show and novel - is Gilead the country or the city?

I think Republic of Gilead is the entire continental United States---but the level of control and "system in place" we see on the show is not necessarily consistent throughout the former US (Alaska & Hawaii are what's left of the USA, the new capitol being Anchorage).

I have a feeling that the Eastern seaboard, where it is densely populated--and was the ideological birthplace of the whole system of Handmaids, placements, etc. as we saw in Nick's flashback--is where this horrific system has been implemented fullest. That area also ties in with Atwood's historic analogies to Puritans and other religious close-knit communities. I think we are seeing the most "full blown" Gilead on the show, although the government certainly claims sovereignty over the entire Lower 48 states.

They definitely refer to Chicago being a place of resistance (I think in June's voiceover she even goes so far as to refer to it as a "disputed free state" or something?) as well as fighting and resistance in Florida. 

My personal theory is that The Colonies are out west and likely contain some or all of California. That state has not been mentioned by name in the show but we do know The Colonies are within the former USA.  California is also an area that could very well have had a Chernobyl-style nuclear energy disaster, caused by human error, earthquake, or tsunami. 

Edited by JasonCC.
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6 minutes ago, JasonCC said:

My personal theory is that The Colonies are out west and likely contain some or all of California.

I would put forward the idea that The Colonies are in Nevada and parts of New Mexico and Arizona - places that have seen both nuclear testing and sites for "disposal" of nuclear waste. At least in part. That's where I tend to see them... 

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The colonies could have been in more than one (former) state.

Spoiler

The epilogue of the book mentions that there were several types of colonies, the more deadly ones for toxic waste cleanup, as well as more "humane" ones for agricultural work (although I'm sure the people working there would still inhale their share of toxic pesticides, and it was still forced labor).

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On 6/20/2017 at 0:08 PM, secnarf said:

As a Canadian, this is extremely irritating to me. I can't imagine there is a single Canadian who wouldn't look at you funny if you tried to tell them that Canada is a part of "America".

We are a separate country. "America" is used as shorthand for USA, similar to "The US". Canada is most certainly not a part of America.

"The Americas" refers to North, Central and South America, of which Canada, the USA (and many other countries) are a part.

I am aware that centuries ago, before Canada or the USA existed, 'America' included the entire area. However, that has not been the case for a long time.

Me too.

Canada is not America. Canada is still part of the British Commonwealth--we take our parliamentary procedure from Britain, not the USA. I believe we fought the war of 1812 so we wouldn't be assimilated into the USA.  We are closer to Britain in more ways than we are the US.  The Queen is our Queen, we are still part of the Commonwealth.  Despite what the US may think--we also "own" part of NORTH America. Edited to add--which we stole from the native peoples.

I write with British grammar--colour, honour, flavour, etc.  It is how we were taught here in Canada, at least when I went to school.  If you said I was American and not Canadian--and were not astute enough to know the difference, I think you'd get a back hand from me.  Sorry, off topic, but it is MY pet peeve.

The US stole our Timmies, our best hockey players, and poutine.  :)  We'd like to keep the crazy at our borders and not inside them.

Carry on, my apologies for going off.

See--we apologize for everything! lol...

Edited by whoknowswho. Reason: To correct that we stole NA from the indigenous people
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5 hours ago, whoknowswho said:

Despite what the US may think--we also own part of NORTH America

Actually all of North America was stolen from the Native People so true, Canada and the US certainly are similar on that score ;)

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42 minutes ago, HeySandyStrange said:

Actually all of North America was stolen from the Native People so true, Canada and the US certainly are similar on that score ;)

On that you are absolutely correct. Without question.  

My poor choice of words, because I thought of exactly what you just said, just after I had written it. I meant to edit it and then got busy doing something else.

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This conversation, Canada v. U.S., makes me think of something that has bothered me: there is no way a group as hell bent on control would simply stop their conquest at the border.  They would be invading Canada, Mexico, and any other place within reach.  They have nuclear weapons at their disposal and clearly no hesitation about destroying large parts of the continent to achieve victory.

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26 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

This conversation, Canada v. U.S., makes me think of something that has bothered me: there is no way a group as hell bent on control would simply stop their conquest at the border.  They would be invading Canada, Mexico, and any other place within reach.  They have nuclear weapons at their disposal and clearly no hesitation about destroying large parts of the continent to achieve victory.

They seem to be struggling just to get/maintain control of the continental US, though - if they spread themselves too thin all at once, they'll fail everywhere. The characters have talked about a war going on, fighting in various cities, etc. And they might have used up their supply of nuclear weapons while simultaneously hanging all of the scientists who can make more.

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1 hour ago, secnarf said:

They seem to be struggling just to get/maintain control of the continental US, though - if they spread themselves too thin all at once, they'll fail everywhere. The characters have talked about a war going on, fighting in various cities, etc. And they might have used up their supply of nuclear weapons while simultaneously hanging all of the scientists who can make more.

Also, obviously something happened to get from US to Gilead.  I just accepted that, during that time, Canada was able to shore up its defenses to resist that.  To put my hypothetically thinking cap on, my guess is that the leadership in Gilead cut off a lot of the US-allies (sorry, I can't see many 1st world nations sticking with a nation that would do what Gilead would do).  Canada, as part of the British Commonwealth, would be afforded some protection by the British government and military.  As it is now in the show, Gilead is barely holding it together.  Trying to take on Canada, with British backing, would just be too much.

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1 hour ago, Morksmate said:

Also, obviously something happened to get from US to Gilead.  I just accepted that, during that time, Canada was able to shore up its defenses to resist that.  To put my hypothetically thinking cap on, my guess is that the leadership in Gilead cut off a lot of the US-allies (sorry, I can't see many 1st world nations sticking with a nation that would do what Gilead would do).  Canada, as part of the British Commonwealth, would be afforded some protection by the British government and military.  As it is now in the show, Gilead is barely holding it together.  Trying to take on Canada, with British backing, would just be too much.

If Gilead, which appears to be a group outside of U.S. government and military, can overcome the U.S. military, then the British military would be no match, nor would the UN combined forces.  Plus, the British military would still need to cross the vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean.  It works as a nice ideal that there is still a "free" society in existence the starts conveniently the moment you cross the Canadian border, but I think in reality, the border would be under constant siege.  There's no way a society like Gilead would sit back and let another country allow a resistance to Gilead's very existence to foment within. 

Edited by Brn2bwild.
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On 6/14/2017 at 2:06 PM, Anela said:

Waterford blaming his wife for his own sins - I could compare him to a certain someone who never takes any responsibility for his own actions

*cough*

“They never should have given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.”

Loved that.

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1 hour ago, Brn2bwild said:

If Gilead, which appears to be a group outside of U.S. government and military, can overcome the U.S. military, then the British military would be no match, nor would the UN combined forces.  Plus, the British military would still need to cross the vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean.  It works as a nice ideal that there is still a "free" society in existence the starts conveniently the moment you cross the Canadian border, but I think in reality, the border would be under constant siege.  There's no way a society like Gilead would sit back and let another country allow a resistance to Gilead's very existence to foment within. 

Hmm, that's not how I saw Gilead.  I got the impression (from both the book and the show) that Gilead emerges from a US-based group.  I could be wrong...I mean, I don't think anyone came out and gave us the definitive answer.

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So happy that Moira escaped to Canada. And even with all the climate change, Ontario is still all cold and wintry. I cried at the scene at the refugee clinic. That case worker dude was acting so…Canadian. 

Others on this forum have discussed why Canada just doesn’t invade Gilead, or why Gilead doesn’t invade Canada.  There are a whole bunch of reasons. The geopolitics of this mess are fascinating.

Why stone Jeanine if she is capable of making a “good” baby? Making an example of her doesn’t seem worth it.

So a man loses a hand for once. Interesting.

Great episode. That last scene, where the Handmaids dropped their stones. Just amazing.

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On 6/15/2017 at 8:17 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

When the Commanders were conferring about the fate of Commander Putnam Fred was like, well who hasn't screwed their handmaid outside of the ceremony, lol. You know everyone of those guys has done the same.  The punishment did not fit the crime, (when Ofglen was punished they mutilated her genitals), why wouldn't they have castrated him?  Mrs. Putnam asking for the harshest sentence was perfect and funny that they viewed it as how much she loved her husband.

I assumed she played the part of the concerned and pious wife when she asked for the harshest punishment. Given how the men feel about all women (even the wives), I think if she had gone to Pryce and demanded angerly that they cut off her husband's hand, she would have been accused of being a disloyal, jealous, spiteful bitch and her husband would've been given a lesser sentence. So instead, she pretended to be worried about his immortal soul being damned to hell forever for his sins and begged them to give him the harshest punishment in the hopes that God will think he's been punished enough and forgive him.

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On 6/14/2017 at 4:10 PM, Eyes High said:

I thought Luke's episode hinted that things weren't that great for the refugees--rationed coffee, questionable housing (Luke mentions that they got the power back on in the building where he lives with the mute girl)--although I'm not sure if things aren't that great for Canadians in general in Handmaid world, or whether it's just the refugees who are suffering. The States are Canada's largest trading partner, so if the US economy went belly-up thanks to Gilead, I'm guessing Canada wouldn't be doing so great. I suppose one could argue things can't be that bad if refugees have access to healthcare, but on the other hand, Canadians take access to healthcare pretty seriously.

The population ratio between the US and Canada has been a fairly consistent 10/1 over the centuries.  Even a small percentage of the US population turning into refugees across the border would be a huge strain on resources, given the disparity in size.  If even 2% were refugees (and given the scale of the crisis, it seems like that would be conservative), that's 6.42 million people.

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3 hours ago, Morksmate said:

Hmm, that's not how I saw Gilead.  I got the impression (from both the book and the show) that Gilead emerges from a US-based group.  I could be wrong...I mean, I don't think anyone came out and gave us the definitive answer.

It's a US-based group, but (from what I can tell) not a group that had a base in Congress or in the military.  It seemed like they formed chapters across the country, grew in size, and then seized control from the outside.  It wasn't, for instance, a coup led by US generals.  That the group had no inside connections to Congress or the military seems unlikely, but so far, that's how they've been presented to us. 

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4 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

It's a US-based group, but (from what I can tell) not a group that had a base in Congress or in the military.  It seemed like they formed chapters across the country, grew in size, and then seized control from the outside.  It wasn't, for instance, a coup led by US generals.  That the group had no inside connections to Congress or the military seems unlikely, but so far, that's how they've been presented to us. 

It was somewhat official. In the opening episode, in a passage lifted directly from the book, June talks about the constitution being suspended and people just accepting it and letting it happen. It's always seemed clear to me that the many of the Commanders were mainly politicians, who had managed to get themselves placed in reasonably unimportant and unrelated roles but within the line of succession. Then they organised a number of simultaneous bombings that murdered everyone higher in the chain. So suddenly all these men, who would have seemed publicly quite unconnected, took power and formed a legitimate government. To anyone on the outside they needed time to cope with both the awful terrorist attacks on the government, secure their own safety in the face of the terrorist threat and find their feet in their new roles and work out how to work with each other. That way they could suspend the constitution, take complete control of the military, make necessary arrests while the public would assume that once they had found their feet as a group and rooted out the terrorists everything would go back to normal and there would eventually be an election to legitimise/replace the new government. But in reality these men were a practiced, functioning group with a plan that had been years in the making. So they very swiftly solidified their power, arrested and almost certainly executed anyone who threatened them. That would have included taking control of any media that wasn't already in their control (odds are at least one of the Commanders is a media mogul) and ensuring that any dissenting voices were quickly shut up. I could actually imagine that at this point in the plan Serena still played a part publicly in whipping up support for their new way of life and she was only pushed into a role as Wife toward the end of the new society taking hold.

The only thing that has never made sense to me is why the Commanders changed the name of their new "Republic." That immediately delegitimised them internationally and legitimised their opposing forces. Instead of them being the USA and the resistance being internal terrorists. They became an unelected usurper while the resistance became agents of the legitimate US. 

The book does give some hints as to their ambitions both north and south of the borders of the former US. And in the book we are told that Canada

Spoiler

was no safe haven for refugees. The Canadian position was tenuous, so they would never have hosted any sort of resistance and they turned a blind eye to Gilead sending raiding parties to capture escapees who were foolish enough to stay close to the Gilead border. Gilead also seemed to have tried to take Central America but were beaten back by a combined Central/Southern American force, the Liberteos.

Edited by AllyB.
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On 6/14/2017 at 4:33 AM, The Mighty Peanut said:

 I get the impression Moira is used to saving herself

Moira is a tough survivor who does what she has too. Which made her reception at the refugee center all the more effective.

I was hoping the Handmaids would stone Aunt Lydia.

Back to Warren: Almost every Commander in that room is guilty of Warren’s crime. (Except for any closeted gay Commanders). So subjecting  Warren to his mutilation is a way to deflect blame and guilt and make themselves less suspicious by comparison.  The lesson is not to make the transgression, but not to get caught.

The doctors of Gilead are doing some serious mental gymnastics with their “First, do no harm” oath to justify all the FGM and amputations.

Edited by marinw.
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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 5:50 PM, nodorothyparker said:

I too stumbled a little bit on the idea that the Waterfords wouldn't be screaming to everyone that Offred is pregnant.  That surely would have warranted some delay and discussion and maybe some phone calls while whoever actually sent the men in black figured out their next move.

Their meekness responding to the storm troopers kidnapping "their" handmaid without any explanation was odd. Many have commented on the oddness of reworking racial issues from the book to present the colorblind religious dictatorship in this series. But what about gun rights? I know they tore up the Constitution and wrote new laws. Wouldn't the Commander have his own gun, and make some sort of effort to fight off the stormtroopers? Forcibly Taking "your" pregnant handmaid seems like one of the worst offenses anyone could commit.

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1 hour ago, ahpny said:

Their meekness responding to the storm troopers kidnapping "their" handmaid without any explanation was odd. Many have commented on the oddness of reworking racial issues from the book to present the colorblind religious dictatorship in this series. But what about gun rights? I know they tore up the Constitution and wrote new laws. Wouldn't the Commander have his own gun, and make some sort of effort to fight off the stormtroopers? Forcibly Taking "your" pregnant handmaid seems like one of the worst offenses anyone could commit.

I think Handmaids are property of Gilead rather than of individual Commanders. We've seen several times this episode that a Commander is not as powerful as he may think.

Edited by chocolatine.
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16 hours ago, AllyB said:

It was somewhat official. In the opening episode, in a passage lifted directly from the book, June talks about the constitution being suspended and people just accepting it and letting it happen. It's always seemed clear to me that the many of the Commanders were mainly politicians, who had managed to get themselves placed in reasonably unimportant and unrelated roles but within the line of succession. Then they organised a number of simultaneous bombings that murdered everyone higher in the chain. So suddenly all these men, who would have seemed publicly quite unconnected, took power and formed a legitimate government. To anyone on the outside they needed time to cope with both the awful terrorist attacks on the government, secure their own safety in the face of the terrorist threat and find their feet in their new roles and work out how to work with each other. That way they could suspend the constitution, take complete control of the military, make necessary arrests while the public would assume that once they had found their feet as a group and rooted out the terrorists everything would go back to normal and there would eventually be an election to legitimise/replace the new government. But in reality these men were a practiced, functioning group with a plan that had been years in the making. So they very swiftly solidified their power, arrested and almost certainly executed anyone who threatened them. That would have included taking control of any media that wasn't already in their control (odds are at least one of the Commanders is a media mogul) and ensuring that any dissenting voices were quickly shut up. I could actually imagine that at this point in the plan Serena still played a part publicly in whipping up support for their new way of life and she was only pushed into a role as Wife toward the end of the new society taking hold.

The only thing that has never made sense to me is why the Commanders changed the name of their new "Republic." That immediately delegitimised them internationally and legitimised their opposing forces. Instead of them being the USA and the resistance being internal terrorists. They became an unelected usurper while the resistance became agents of the legitimate US. 

The book does give some hints as to their ambitions both north and south of the borders of the former US. And in the book we are told that Canada

  Reveal hidden contents

was no safe haven for refugees. The Canadian position was tenuous, so they would never have hosted any sort of resistance and they turned a blind eye to Gilead sending raiding parties to capture escapees who were foolish enough to stay close to the Gilead border. Gilead also seemed to have tried to take Central America but were beaten back by a combined Central/Southern American force, the Liberteos.

That a large contingent of the Sons of Jacob would already be ensconced in the US government and military makes the most sense.  It would be hard for an outside group to completely obliterate a sitting government even if they were well funded.  That said, at least in the show, the group is portrayed as this organization that sprang up independently.  It mentions "when they slaughtered Congress" not "when they slaughtered the DEMOCRATS in Congress" or even "when they slaughtered the opposing party in Congress."  Why the show chose to take this weirdly neutral stance, as if an evil, ideological group could not be part of an existing US political party, I don't know.

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On 6/14/2017 at 2:16 AM, Tinfoil Hat said:

 

During the stoning I was expecting that they would throw and intentionally miss. I was waiting for that, but how it happened worked, too.

I was expecting that as soon as the handmaids walked away you would hear a single gunshot.

On 6/25/2017 at 8:17 PM, Brn2bwild said:

If Gilead, which appears to be a group outside of U.S. government and military, can overcome the U.S. military, then the British military would be no match, nor would the UN combined forces.  Plus, the British military would still need to cross the vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean.  It works as a nice ideal that there is still a "free" society in existence the starts conveniently the moment you cross the Canadian border, but I think in reality, the border would be under constant siege.  There's no way a society like Gilead would sit back and let another country allow a resistance to Gilead's very existence to foment within. 

It is not really an outside military group taking out the US military. It would be one faction of the military taking out another faction. And if it was Gilead against the US I could see it as other countries viewing it as a civil war and staying out. But if Gilead attacks Canada then NATO agreements and other treaties would kick in and it would be whatever was left of the US and there anti-technology society versus just about the rest of the world.

Edited by Kel Varnsen.
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On 2017-06-25 at 7:17 PM, Brn2bwild said:

If Gilead, which appears to be a group outside of U.S. government and military, can overcome the U.S. military, then the British military would be no match, nor would the UN combined forces.  Plus, the British military would still need to cross the vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean.  It works as a nice ideal that there is still a "free" society in existence the starts conveniently the moment you cross the Canadian border, but I think in reality, the border would be under constant siege.  There's no way a society like Gilead would sit back and let another country allow a resistance to Gilead's very existence to foment within. 

I think Gilead might not control the entire US Military for one. Taking over DC doesn't guarantee the whole military followed and a lot of Us military is on the West Coast where it would be easy for them to resist. Also it probably wouldn't just be Britain that would respond. The commonwealth includes India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a slew of other smaller countries as well. Not all of them would be required to respond  but some of like the Anzac's  definitely would.  We are also a former French colony and would probably get some support from them if not with direct military support then certainly economically. Our second largest trading partner China might want to stick their noses in to protect their investment. Basically Canada is the goofy kid no one dares pick on because they have a lot of tough friends. In the end I think it more a matter of resources. With Gilead fighting civil war they're probably too busy to worry about what Canada is doing.

 

Perfect! What with that, the huge Canadian flags everywhere, and the free healthcare, all that was missing was the Timmy's maple-glazed donut (yum) and a double-double (not that she would have known what that last one is).

 

Don't forget the hockey stick. Although one thing I noticed is that he said it was "mac and cheese night" Canadians usually say Kraft Dinner even if it generic macaroni noodle and cheese. I suppose you fanwank that he was translating for Moira's sake.

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2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I was expecting that as soon as the handmaids walked away you would hear a single gunshot.

It is not really an outside military group taking out the US military. It would be one faction of the military taking out another faction. And if it was Gilead against the US I could see it as other countries viewing it as a civil war and staying out. But if Gilead attacks Canada then NATO agreements and other treaties would kick in and it would be whatever was left of the US and there anti-technology society versus just about the rest of the world.

That they were a military faction would make sense, but again, the show doesn't say this.  Even if this were a military faction, would the rest of the world sit back as the country with the largest economy and military had its people slaughtered and enslaved?  Surely they would see this wasn't a mere fight between two parties for power once they saw the "new" government essentially carpet-bombing the country with chemical and nuclear weapons?  Surely long before the U.S. was fully subsumed, they would already suspect that a cabal like the Sons of Jacob would not stop at the border?  They wouldn't necessarily know that Gilead was weak and desperate (if it even is, comparatively) - or rather, would know that Gilead's desperation would make it that much more dangerous.

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I think Gilead might not control the entire US Military for one. Taking over DC doesn't guarantee the whole military followed and a lot of Us military is on the West Coast where it would be easy for them to resist. Also it probably wouldn't just be Britain that would respond. The commonwealth includes India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a slew of other smaller countries as well. Not all of them would be required to respond  but some of like the Anzac's  definitely would.  We are also a former French colony and would probably get some support from them if not with direct military support then certainly economically. Our second largest trading partner China might want to stick their noses in to protect their investment. Basically Canada is the goofy kid no one dares pick on because they have a lot of tough friends. In the end I think it more a matter of resources. With Gilead fighting civil war they're probably too busy to worry about what Canada is doing.

If Gilead didn't control the US military and the full nuclear arsenal, it wouldn't have control of the country.  As for the Commonwealth countries you mentioned, the US military is probably as large as all of their forces combined.  Gilead with the US's fire power would be a scary, scary country.  While the U.S. might not want to take territory from its neighbors, Gilead might be a different animal entirely.   

You claim Canada is too dangerous to take over - and the US isn't?  The world would shrug its shoulders as hundreds of millions of people in the US were murdered or enslaved, but Canada would be a bridge too far?  

Edited by Brn2bwild.
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5 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

That a large contingent of the Sons of Jacob would already be ensconced in the US government and military makes the most sense.  It would be hard for an outside group to completely obliterate a sitting government even if they were well funded.  That said, at least in the show, the group is portrayed as this organization that sprang up independently.  It mentions "when they slaughtered Congress" not "when they slaughtered the DEMOCRATS in Congress" or even "when they slaughtered the opposing party in Congress."  Why the show chose to take this weirdly neutral stance, as if an evil, ideological group could not be part of an existing US political party, I don't know.

They wouldn't have just slaughtered the Democrats that would have been too obvious and certainly not something that foreign terrorists would do. It would also have been pointless because the Sons of Jacob would have been a minority within the Republican party which includes plenty of moderates, socially liberal politicians, Catholics, women, homosexuals, etc. The SoJ's plan would have been to position themselves in minor political roles that wouldn't have drawn much attention, and once ready, kill everyone above them in the line of succession. Republicans and Democrats.

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As far as the military goes i am not sure i see those anti science dumb asses operating an aircraft carrier or super sonic jet. Also the current us military is about 15% women, so at very minimum t he Gilead military is that much smaller.

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The United State's nuclear arsenal is vulnerable to cyber attack. So I'm watching under the assumption that many of America's best/richest IT people were able to flee the country, maybe in private jets. And they are working with the remaining American government and military in Anchorage, along with the best international hackers the remnants of America could bring on board. And they disabled the nukes as a matter of priority. It's maybe why Gilead seems like a country who's greatest international power peaked early and the Commanders have been trying to stave off a backslide ever since. The rest of the world was limited in how they could react to Gilead while they were a nuclear power but as soon as they lost that ability the UN could impose the severe sanctions that we know is make the longevity of the society far from secure.

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Obviously the rest of the world did react, or Gilead wouldn't be so desperate to establish trade with anyone, including one town in Mexico, to the point of bargaining away fertile trained Handmaids.

Several disasters had already happened in the USA as well, as the show repeatedly pointed out.  Poisoned air, water, nuclear "accidents" earthquakes, climate change issues, and then the whole pretend Islamic Terrorist threat as well.  The people gave away constitutional rights for promises of safety and security, without much of a fight.  Those who did try to fight later, when women's jobs and money were taken away for example, no longer had the right to protest or assemble, so being mowed down with machine guns put a stop to that pretty fast.

As far as "it couldn't happen?"  Sorry, it is happening, right now.  Missouri just proposed a bill that people using birth control can be fired.  Abortion is obviously under attack, as is pregnancy care with the new Health Care Laws, companies may no longer have to include birth control in their Health Care packages.  Damned no matter what if you are a woman.  No prenatal care, no birth control, no abortion, and no safety nets for poor children. The press is under attack and now only Fox News is allowed to have on camera briefings with Trump or WH staff.   Every single day some new horror presents itself, from church and state, to public education, constant fear mongering about terrorists, it's endless.  Our main difference with Gilead is that Gilead actually does seem to want to protect the environment, even if it means making most people (not the privileged men of course) revert to the ways of the 1800's, while our current government is bound and determined to ignore climate change completely, and frak away in the national parks, as well as being allowed to dump pollution in waterways unhindered. Privacy rights have been whittled away to nearly nothing for years now, and we've just lost internet privacy as well.

I agree the military (sheer size and weapons, some of which simply didn't exist when this book was written) should be powerful enough to deter military invasion from other countries, but do they really have the sheer manpower to actually ATTACK elsewhere now?  Sure they could launch missiles and destroy shit, but I don't think they have enough people left to actually invade and hold other countries, they have enough problems trying to hold Gilead.  Bombing without being able to steal oil (which apparently they don't want or need) is pointless. 

I'm wondering what else they would really have to trade if they weren't being boycotted by the rest of the world?

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in American global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the United States.  Here are our top 10 exports right now.  http://www.worldstopexports.com/united-states-top-10-exports/

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    1. Machinery including computers: US$190.5 billion (13.1% of total exports)
    2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $167.2 billion (11.5%)
    3. Aircraft, spacecraft: $134.6 billion (9.3%)
    4. Vehicles : $124.3 billion (8.5%)
    5. Mineral fuels including oil: $94.7 billion (6.5%)
    6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $82.0 billion (5.6%)
    7. Plastics, plastic articles: $58.4 billion (4.0%)
    8. Gems, precious metals: $57.8 billion (4.0%)
    9. Pharmaceuticals: $47.1 billion (3.2%)
    10. Organic chemicals: $33.9 billion (2.3%)

     

    Not many of those things seem compatible with Gilead's desire to kill off educated people, close down the universities, and protect the natural environment to me.  What do they have that the rest of the world would want?  They seem to be barely producing enough food to keep even the top elite well stocked, in what seems to be the center of power for Gilead.

In addition to that:

The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated nearly $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2015, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs. https://www.selectusa.gov/travel-tourism-and-hospitality-industry-united-states 

I'm assuming tourism in Gilead is taking an even bigger hit that the USA is right now.  Who would want to come?

Edited by Umbelina.
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Someone up thread asked if other Martha's and Handmaids had escaped to Canada and why there wasn't more attention to Moira's escape. I've just finished binging this show and in an earlier episode the Commander tells Serena that a Martha escaped and gave an interview to the Toronto Star. Also I vaguely remember a mention that the Martha's are proving to be a problem as though they've been starting some underground stuff. So at the very least people gave escaped enough to be giving interviews with the press.

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

I agree the military (sheer size and weapons, some of which simply didn't exist when this book was written) should be powerful enough to deter military invasion from other countries, but do they really have the sheer manpower to actually ATTACK elsewhere now?  Sure they could launch missiles and destroy shit, but I don't think they have enough people left to actually invade and hold other countries, they have enough problems trying to hold Gilead.  Bombing without being able to steal oil (which apparently they don't want or need) is pointless. 

This is my thinking on this. The truth is while I think Gilead has enough people and weapons to deter an attack, they probably don't have the same manpower to launch an attack. They won't attack Canada because they just don't have the resources. We know that the birthrate has been dropping for 30 years so that means in this world they don't have as many young 18-30 year old men who make up much of the current US military. There have been natural disasters that would also have taken a bite out of the population We know that Gilead has been killing people that don't conform to their requirements. I assume that means even more of the population was lost and that takes a bite out of the potential fighters. We also know that there is current fighting within Gilead. That takes up manpower, means that people have already died and also means that a portion of the old US population is fighting against Gilead and not available to fight for them in an invasion. Plus you have to account for all the Guardians in Gilead being used to control the population. Over the series we've seen just how many Guardians/Checkpoints/guarded places there are just in Cambridge/Boston plus we do know the border is heavily guarded. When you have to use your potential fighting force to keep your own citizens in line that will dramatically decrease the number of people available to fight an invasion for you.

And I know the technology doesn't disappear but that doesn't mean the people at the top are going to trust all that technology to some random fighters. Sure Gilead could use drones and take out block after block of Canadian cities but how do you know you can actually trust the guy piloting the drone? In our normal world we do because there's training and a certain amount of trust but Gilead is a place where everyone is a suspect. No one really trusts anyone else and in a place like that how can you share power? The small risk that a drone pilot might use that drone to attack Gilead forces would be enough to deter the Commanders from letting random Guardians have access to such powerful technology and while there are many Commanders, you again end up with a situation of who can you trust. I don't see those suspicious control freaks being okay with another Commander having that sort of power. 

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2 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Several disasters had already happened in the USA as well, as the show repeatedly pointed out.  Poisoned air, water, nuclear "accidents" earthquakes, climate change issues, and then the whole pretend Islamic Terrorist threat as well.  The people gave away constitutional rights for promises of safety and security, without much of a fight.  Those who did try to fight later, when women's jobs and money were taken away for example, no longer had the right to protest or assemble, so being mowed down with machine guns put a stop to that pretty fast.

At some point it would have become obvious to the outside that what was happening wasn't garden variety "impose some temporary tough laws to keep people 'safe.'" 

As far as "it couldn't happen?"  Sorry, it is happening, right now.  Missouri just proposed a bill that people using birth control can be fired.  Abortion is obviously under attack, as is pregnancy care with the new Health Care Laws, companies may no longer have to include birth control in their Health Care packages.  Damned no matter what if you are a woman.  No prenatal care, no birth control, no abortion, and no safety nets for poor children. The press is under attack and now only Fox News is allowed to have on camera briefings with Trump or WH staff.   Every single day some new horror presents itself, from church and state, to public education, constant fear mongering about terrorists, it's endless.  Our main difference with Gilead is that Gilead actually does seem to want to protect the environment, even if it means making most people (not the privileged men of course) revert to the ways of the 1800's, while our current government is bound and determined to ignore climate change completely, and frak away in the national parks, as well as being allowed to dump pollution in waterways unhindered. Privacy rights have been whittled away to nearly nothing for years now, and we've just lost internet privacy as well.

Yes, scary shit is happening in the US and elsewhere in the world.  But there is a difference between legislators proposing draconian measures and actually (1) forcing millions from their jobs and families and (2) mass-killing anyone who opposes them.  The former would prompt a headshake and condemnation.  The latter would, one would hope, prompt more direct intervention, if only by human rights groups. 

I agree the military (sheer size and weapons, some of which simply didn't exist when this book was written) should be powerful enough to deter military invasion from other countries, but do they really have the sheer manpower to actually ATTACK elsewhere now?  Sure they could launch missiles and destroy shit, but I don't think they have enough people left to actually invade and hold other countries, they have enough problems trying to hold Gilead.  Bombing without being able to steal oil (which apparently they don't want or need) is pointless. 

Good point, but I'd guess a new ideological country demented enough to attack the giant land mass of the US (when, at least initially, the Sons of Jacob would have been far outnumbered) wouldn't be thinking rationally in terms of whether they had the manpower to successfully hold a country after a foreign invasion.

I'm wondering what else they would really have to trade if they weren't being boycotted by the rest of the world?

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in American global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the United States.  Here are our top 10 exports right now.  http://www.worldstopexports.com/united-states-top-10-exports/

  1. Not many of those things seem compatible with Gilead's desire to kill off educated people, close down the universities, and protect the natural environment to me.  What do they have that the rest of the world would want?  They seem to be barely producing enough food to keep even the top elite well stocked, in what seems to be the center of power for Gilead.

In addition to that:

The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated nearly $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2015, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs. https://www.selectusa.gov/travel-tourism-and-hospitality-industry-united-states 

I'm assuming tourism in Gilead is taking an even bigger hit that the USA is right now.  Who would want to come?

I don't know how to separate the quotes, so my response is bolded above.

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Gilead is fighting too many internal conflicts to even contemplate branching out to external targets.  The ones at the top are doing "well", but the rank and file are suffering.  Their methods won't be effective in keeping this regime going.  "Why aren't the public executions and mutilations working?  People should be embracing the improvements that we've made to our society."  Some (many?) of the handmaids are part of the resistance.  How many Marthas are passively fighting Gilead?  The commanders, and their wives, don't realize it, but they have the people in their homes that could lead to their demise.  Too many abuse victims walking around, and given the right provocation, they will strike back.  Gilead had a successful coup, but it won't last.

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Gilead’s economy is also suffering because they lost half their workforce. The female half.  All the female doctors, nurses, emergency workers, engineers, tech people, farmers, teachers, etc. They do have free domestic labor thanks to the Marthas but that is about it. And a lot of the male workforce seem to be security guards or the not-so-secret police.

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57 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

The former would prompt a headshake and condemnation.  The latter would, one would hope, prompt more direct intervention, if only by human rights groups. 

I find this line of thinking rather fascinating. We Americans tend to think that we are so powerful and influential that should anything truly awful befall us we'll have many countries, or some countries, or a few at least coming to help us. 

And maybe I'm just cynical, but I really don't think they will. If we were suffering from environmental disaster that were devastating and widespread then our value as a natural resource is damaged. With the loss of population we lose our manufacturing and with that our ability to trade. With the loss of science and rational thought we lose innovation and progress. 

America in these circumstances would be far less valuable to maintain and support... and if she falls under what we from the show there really isn't that much incentive to go help. Which means we rely on the milk of human kindness, on the intervention of others on a moral basis. 

North Korea 

Humans will let each other oppress, torture, and murder each other on a national level for generations without lifting a finger. There really isn't much by way of human kindness in terms of international intervention. 

This is why the idea that given time the Martha's and Handmaid's and Econowives and the men who don't get "assigned a woman" won't successfully rise up... not for a long time. Again, North Korea... the entire country is full of walking wounded, people traumatized, generations starved. The psyche of North Korea has been forever marred because of the grueling decades of a fascist regime. What do you think the psyche of women in places like Afghanistan must be like? How many generations will that follow them...?  I suspect the same will be seen with Gilead. Decades, generations of women oppressed and powerless. 

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58 minutes ago, EC Amber said:

Again, North Korea... the entire country is full of walking wounded, people traumatized, generations starved. The psyche of North Korea has been forever marred because of the grueling decades of a fascist regime.

I think the term here is "Learned Helplessness". Gilead is trying to instill a sense of learned helplessness to the women, but it doesn't seem to be working, at least not yet.  This is one of the many reasons the sight of Hannah in the pink outfit was so upsetting, she is being trained from childhood to be helpless and subservient. 

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5 hours ago, marinw said:

I think the term here is "Learned Helplessness"

Agree. Atwood made a brilliant move by using only real life events for inspiration. We can see exactly what you describe in a variety of ways and degrees of severity today around the world. 

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On 2017-6-25 at 11:49 PM, SeanC said:

The population ratio between the US and Canada has been a fairly consistent 10/1 over the centuries.  Even a small percentage of the US population turning into refugees across the border would be a huge strain on resources, given the disparity in size.  If even 2% were refugees (and given the scale of the crisis, it seems like that would be conservative), that's 6.42 million people.

On the other hand if Canada loses its biggest trade partner and birth rates are way down they could be in desperate need of immigrants. I'm no ecomist but Canada is rich in resources and has a trade deficit with the US. So if the counrty wants to be able to have stuff and be more self-sufficient, bringing in immigrants and building up manufacturing would probably be a good idea,

10 hours ago, Keener said:

Someone up thread asked if other Martha's and Handmaids had escaped to Canada and why there wasn't more attention to Moira's escape. I've just finished binging this show and in an earlier episode the Commander tells Serena that a Martha escaped and gave an interview to the Toronto Star. Also I vaguely remember a mention that the Martha's are proving to be a problem as though they've been starting some underground stuff. So at the very least people gave escaped enough to be giving interviews with the press.

I'm really surprised there isn't more of an insurgency or rebellion. They mentioned in this episode how some Martha's were arrested for plotting something. Now I get that an organized resistance is difficult with that much policing, but why not more lone fighter type thing. But I would think that with so many people with nothing to live for (Janine, the previous Offred) you would think they would want to take some of these assholes with them. Sure getting a gun is probably impossible, but are Handmaids or Marthas burning their commander's houses down or killing them in their sleep or attacking wives or poisoning them?

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