Best Of The Web
“Padraig Butler doesn’t quite recall when he became God Emperor of the Brotherhood Without Banners. For the past 18 years, the 43-year-old aviation forecast manager has made an annual pilgrimage to Worldcon, the science fiction and fantasy convention, to celebrate the work of A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. And it was almost 18 years ago when he first traveled from his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, to Philadelphia that he began the journey to God Emperor.
As the story goes, the newly minted organization—named after an outlaw group in the book series—had organized a party in honor of Martin. After an evening of drinking, one well-served fan known on online forums as Aghrivaine (and whose real name is David Krieger) presented the author with a sword and asked to be knighted. The author agreed under one stipulation: that Krieger and the other revelers join him on a 1 a.m. “quest” to Pat’s King of Steaks. That night, after about 20 BWB members filled their stomachs with the local fare, they were dubbed the Knights of Cheesesteak.
In the early years of the book fan club, when the size of Brotherhood Without Banners meetings was still manageable, these food-centric titles became a badge of honor. (See: the Knights of Poutine, the Knights of Deep Dish, the Knights of Haggis, and, regrettably, the Knights of the Dumpster). Per Martin’s decree, additional honors were added to recognize participation. A member who had attended at least three major BWB meet-ups would be dubbed a lord. After five, a prince. And after seven, king. Butler has been to 16 Worldcons and about 100 other Thrones-related conventions and ad hoc get-togethers, securing his kingdom, on top of his cheesesteak knighthood, a long time ago. “Eventually George was asked, what do we call Padraig now?” Butler recalls. “He said: ‘That’s it. He’s a king. He will stay king until somebody removes him from his throne.’” Butler doesn’t have any plans to stop going. “Now people just say: ‘You’re God Emperor.’””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."