So, as I sit on my porch and yell at the goddamn bards to get off my lawn, in my usual cantankerous way, I find myself grinding my way through the TED talks and getting inspiration. And as someone who has been writing a blog for a long time, I can tell you that the heart and soul of what will keep the thing running is a series. I have the Civilization technology series. I had the RPG cliche series (which I haven't added to in a long time). I have the series where I elaborate on the How to DM post. I have the series where I read whatever stupid thing Mike Mearls has said lately and comment on that. One can never have too many series.
The latest comes from this talk, which I didn't think was clever enough to bother embedding. Nor did I think the speaker realized the opportunity he himself created - as he went totally the wrong way with something he hit on. He looked at the 4xx Error Codes for HTTP status and thought it was a checklist for a sex therapist. And then he dropped that line of inquiry and went on to talk about emotional interactive crap.
Well, this isn't a sex blog, so ... no sex therapy. But he's right that its a breakdown of communications that applies to more than computer programming. Look at this list:
That just cries out for a series of posts, so let's start one.
The 400 Bad Request result is a request that cannot be fulfilled due to bad syntax. The sentence just is not understood. The words bad don't good equal english.
Half the time, writing this blog, talking about my world, making my various little points and so on, upon reading some of the comments I get I must assume that almost all of what I write must fit into the Bad Request category. It just isn't getting through. I use words like work, effort, try, struggle, difficult, broken, useless, impractical and stupid and these words simply don't sound like words someone would use to describe D&D. D&D is great. D&D is amazing. D&D is fun! D&D is the best thing that's ever been made ... ever!
How could that have anything to do with work?
I write a post that clearly details the problems of choice, including a 20-minute insert by one of the premier psychologists in America describing why choice is destroying happiness, and I receive a lengthy comment from a reader preponderating upon the learning curve of various fictional and non-fictional entities. Clearly, 400 Bad Request. Syntax not comprehended.
There's no question that much of this is because I tend to write very long posts. These posts tend to be filled with metaphors, not to mention the occasional side alley that I roam down for a passage or two. Each of these moments create, in the reader's mind, excuses for talking about things that are wildly off topic ... that is, off the point of anything I tried to say. The more I talk, the longer I write, the more there is the opportunity for vaguely related material to creep into the so-called context of the subject matter. As my father was fond of saying,
"Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity,
and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity."
Which is to say, while I am tackling a particular issue - say, the complete lack of comprehension regarding anything I might say - there spins off a dozen other subjects, which feeds other posts, which feed other comments, which ends in producing absolutely not a goddamn thing. Status quo, all around. Throw enough shit at something and it drowns.
Oh, I understand. I've written a blog post that appears to have included in it a degree of thought. And the anxiousness of others with thought processes to ADD to that thought is overwhelming. "Mon dieu, a person has thought something on the internet! I must use my brain to say more!" And I am faced with walls of sometimes incomprehensible text which - on the whole - has added nothing. But I let it through the gate because, well, at least it is close to a discussion on, say, bards. It hasn't anything to do with what I said about bards, but I can't really say it isn't "on topic." It sort of is. And I know it is of interest to someone. Clearly, there isn't enough written about bards. I'm just not certain how the fact that - for instance, from a post I did not let past - bards were deeply involved in keeping history alive has jack shit to do with whether or not a bard would know something about a town, having just come through the gate.
People suggested bards might know something that an associate told them, people suggested bards might make friends in some manner related to performing, people talked about the social affability of bards and so forth. And still, Bad Request. Anyone performing any action might have someone come up and converse with me. If I'm a rancher, and I birth a horse in front of you, I'm pretty damn sure you're going to feel a need to ask me a question. The thing I have to wonder is, how exactly being a BARD makes you any better or any worse at knowing something about a thing from looking at it. Cause all that shit about performing and impressing people and so on? That sort of depends on the bard actually performing, which depends upon the bard's charisma, which is in fact the active element in whether or not people approach you and strike up a conversation. If Angelina Jolie showed up at your local bar playing a guitar, the guitar would be a great excuse for talking to her. But you know what? I'm pretty sure if she just showed up, you'd think of another excuse.
The reason bards have a 15 charisma minimum is to make sure people like the way they are.
Still, I don't fault the reader. It is too pervasive an issue to fault the reader. There's too much opportunity for ME to be just way off the freaking mark. I am so not honing the shit out of these posts. This is a blog, this is my relaxed writing time, I'm not stressing the placement of every damn word. I write 'that' instead of 'than' or 'it' instead of 'is' cause I'm writing this at 70 wpm and my fingers slip and type the wrong letter. I get pissed and wax scatalogical for a paragraph, then drag my ass back to the subject matter for two sentences before turning to tell the freaking brats to get the fuck off the grass.
So it's me. I'm the one writing the posts here. I'm making the request. I'm saying, here's some crap I just thought up. What do you think? And if I don't get back a clear, concise answer, that HAS to be my error. I wasn't clear enough about the subject material of the post. I didn't say in clear English, a bard walking into a strange town don't know shit. I'm making too many assumptions. I'm thinking that because I wrote a post about thieves knowing stuff from observation, and assassins knowing stuff from observation, people would just think I was writing a post about what bards would know from observation. Completely stupid of me. Right out to fucking lunch. Bad Request.
I'll try to do better next time.