Monday, October 21, 2013

I Am The Screw

It's not hard to tell I've already begun pulling away from this blog.

There's no sense in reassuring the gentle reader, since one of the great memes of the Internet blogging community is to write, "I'm going to do [blank]" going forward ... which makes a famously funny last blog entry.

The proof is always in the pudding. No matter what anyone says they're going to do, it means nothing until the thing is done. Committance, unfortunately, is always something that is done in the past. The default is the antonym, evasion ... that in which the verb is to not do. And there is nothing easier in the world to do than 'not do.'

Evasion is the crime I've committed all my life. I have pursued it extravagantly because the marvelous thing about evasion is that it confers freedom upon its practitioners. To commit is to put oneself in prison; and prison is hard.

That said, all the things I've ever done that mattered involved commitment and not evasion. One cannot evade work forever; one gets hungry. If one will have anything completed, evasion is a terrible strategy. If art is to be done, it is necessary to shackle oneself to the art and to do so with a well. Art is not freedom. Art is imprisonment.

But it is the sort of imprisonment I crave. And the craving has been very strong lately.

Please don't misunderstand me. This blog is a sort of commitment too, and putting it down for a month is very definitely an evasion. All I can say in reply is that the sort of evasion I intend to pursue over the next month is something like being released from minimum security so the screws can take me to federal prison.

I am the screws, too.

This blog is a crutch. It is a very nice crutch, it enables me to get feedback from remarkably bright people, and it enables me to talk about the things I like, openly and brazenly. It connects and it gets my name out there and you all get to see the interesting cool things I'm doing when I'm not evading my fascination with maps, rule design, gaming and so on. But this blog is EASY to write. Lately, that's been annoying me.

I'm on record again and again saying that if you want to run a D&D world, stop choosing the easy path. The easy path will return almost no significant return. You think your world is a great world, based on modules and someone else's inventiveness, but you're just standing on a crutch of your own. You have no idea what you're capable of doing - or what you're capable of learning - or even how your life could be changed - because you're evading the most important, significant, worthy effort of your existence:

To know something today that you did not know yesterday.

It really pisses me off when someone says, "I only know that I know nothing." That's all very cute, and Socrates was a bright fellow for saying it, but it's a lot of goddamn bunk. There's no wisdom in sitting in the mud, on your thumb, proud that you've realized it's all an illusion. The trick in life is to pretend that some stupid thing is true, then employ that truth and see where that gets you. The witticism about knowing nothing is an evasion. The hard part is not minding that you know nothing ... and applying yourself one marker further towards seeing what the hell you can do despite that crippling fact. Fuck that you know nothing. Do something ANYWAY.

That's what I intend to do. I'm sure I'll come back a little better than I am. Perhaps the reader could consider the value of doing likewise. If, over the month of November, you come to read this blog and there's nothing new here, and you find yourself disappointed, you might consider that there are a hell of a lot of new things everywhere ... and most of them are to be found in the direction of using your head to manipulate your hands in order to bring those new things into the light.

Give yourself up. Confess your guilt. Then shut the prison door and get started.

2 comments:

Jomo Rising said...

Might I suggest a quick trip to Rome?

Giordanisti said...

Best wishes during your break, Alexis. You do amazing work here, and some time off to clear the head is only improves output, I've found. I'll keep being inspired by you in your absence, you can be sure.