Monday, June 16, 2014

Horrid Little Landscape

I wish I had something new to write about.

I am so bored with the community.  I haven't had time for months to do any proper work on my own game, so I haven't been able to write about that.  I haven't read anything particularly deep or meaningful in a long while, so I haven't been able to enthuse about something new.  To keep this blog going, I've had to scope around for something that someone else has said, and then riff off that - and holy crisco am I shit bored to death of that.

There's been a recent rise of visitors from the hate sites (really, it never amounts to more than a couple dozen a day, out of a thousand page views), so I know they're writing about me.  I could go there and look and then riff off that . . . but I've told myself to stop doing that.  It never amounts to anything.  Seriously, you could cut my name out of the text, write in the name of anyone else and it would make as much sense.

The most interesting thing I've heard in the last week from the outside world was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor getting turfed from his seat in Virginia in the primaries to a freakazoid Tea Party candidate who seems to think that God voted for him.  Dave Brat's victory speece was beautiful.  Particularly since the Republicans invented the Tea Party by pushing their own rich masters to fund the Tea Party to wild levels.  Only to lose complete control of same.  And then to have Cantor kicked out for muttering words of immigration reform because he, like other intelligent power mongers on the hill, are aware that the Rupublicans are going to have trouble ever winning a national election again without the Hispanics?  Brilliant.  It's not like Cantor thinks anything good about the same 47% that Romney betrayed the party's real feeling about.  He, and others, spent 5 months after the presidential election crafting that pro-immigration proposal in early 2013.  Little did he know he was digging his own grave.  It's even funnier, as the link indicates how waffling the Republican chatter is, as Cantor delivers the fence-sitting position brilliantly, hoping that they can gauge public response to tell them what to do next.  Ha hah.  According to wingnut Dylan Byers, Dave Brat won due to his support by talk radio hosts.  God, apparently, eschews television and the internet, preferring technology from the 1940s.  When days were good.  I can't wait for Brat to lose to whatever intelligent sounding Democrat they stack up against him.

Sigh.  But I promised not to talk about politics on this blog, either.  The hate meter really climbs when I mention politics.  For a country that built an system that cripples politicians almost half a year before their term ends (lucky Cantor, he gets to be a lame duck for five more months), Americans don't seem to like their system very much.  For the rest of us, the donkey and the elephant might as well be real, as we watch them tumble around in a giant side-loading washing machine with about fifty chickens.  In other words, funny.

I was complaining about having nothing to talk about.  It would be nice to build something up rather than tearing something down.  I am doing that, off camera, but on the blog it's just about impossible.  I can't find anything I agree with.  I do this sort of roaming around thing these days on other blogs, thinking, seen that, seen that . . . what, that again? Omg.  What the hell is this?  How long has this guy been playing, three months?  Really?  I can't believe this guy is asking this question.  I figured this out, what, 27 years ago?  Oh, this is great.  Yeah.  That really needed to be pointed out.  That wasn't obvious or anything.  Seen that.  Seen that, seen that, seen this tried before, yeah, oh, here we go again . . .

Just repeat that for another half hour and assume I wrote a post about it.

Eh, what do I know?  Yesterday I posted my fat ass riding a kayak.  I know I'm bored.  This kind of material seems to sustain the attention of people who claim to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, technicians and so on, but I find it all pretty weak.  I just don't want to see another list of "things I find at the bar" or "ways to die in an avalanche" or some other fool thing.  It's awful.  I want to stop writing about it.

But what else do I have?

My life is on hold.

I suppose that from time to time I would like to retreat to simpler things.  When I was a boy, we used to play a lot of scrub.  There'd be four or five of us, usually not more, and so teams were impossible.  The batter would hit to an outfield of four boys and we'd count points by how many bases were run.  Then the batter would go to left field, left field would go to right, right field would go to first base, first base would go to pitcher and the pitcher would bat.  And so we would play all afternoon.

There weren't any arguments over rules.  We all knew the rules.  Occasionally there were arguments over touching the base or not.  I can't remember a single game we played where the 'winner' has stayed in my mind.  I guess we counted, but the count didn't seem to matter.  We weren't all of equal ability, but we were friends so that didn't seem to matter much either.  I was probably somewhere in the middle.  Not the best catcher, but I could wallop it and I could run.  I always liked to hit a baseball.

I haven't in . . . well, about 15 years now.  The last time was coming through Riley Park, a big greenspace near downtown, and there were four teenagers playing scrub.  I would have been 35.  I asked if I could take a swing, just feeling a bit nostalgic.  They said sure.  They didn't back up very far.  The pitcher wound up and threw overhand - not that hard, I'm an old man to them.  I hit that first pitch way, way off into the trees.  The sound the boys made me feel pretty good.

I guess if I really, really wanted to play I could have set up a game by now.  I could have organized it, gotten out enough people to make teams and played.  Somehow, I just haven't felt the urge.  I find myself interested in other things.  I'm not looking for simple pleasures.  I did simple.  Long ago.  Anymore, I'm looking for things that are very, very complicated.  Detailed.  Hard.  Enough to hold my interest.

I'm not that interested in the people who founded the game except to point out, wow, look at the way the people who founded the game really fucked it up.  People who play today can't even figure out what dice to roll to make a character.  It is that fucking sad.  I mean, sad.  Sort of like watching five children playing scrub because there's no parent or neighborhood that cares enough to help them find other players.  Sad like an old man who wishes he could play baseball again but never gets another chance.  Sad like people who are so pathetically apathetic that they are still planting a garden every year, only to let it be consumed by weeds again - like they did last year.

Makes me a little sick, actually.  Churns my stomach.  What a horrible little landscape we've created.  What a pitiful bunch of monkeys, filling their little voids with straws and the grasping of them.

Please let me get this fucking thing done, and run my world in July.


Barrow said...

Experts in a field will broaden their field through research, experiment, development, and peer review.

Using scrub as an analogy to D&D, what part bothers you? The other players being kids, the game, the field, the bat, the ball, or the crack of the bat connecting with the ball?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Interesting way of looking at that. The point of view never occurred to me.

Barrow, as kids playing scrub, we always knew what real baseball was, didn't we?

Everywhere I look, I see 'kids with blogs' who seem dismally unaware that they're playing scrub. Does that clear it up?

Barrow said...

I gathered that from your original post. A professional batter can only knock pitches from scrub players into the woods for so long. To my former thought, it appears you may be lacking the critical peer review that challenges an expert. ( I suppose I consider you an expert, your work and experience in d&d dwarfs my few years).

Or maybe its that the scrub pitchers are getting tired and slow and whacking their lobs is less fulfilling for you.

Either way your going to have to find someone who can throw at your level. If you can't find that person playing baseball or even scrub ball, then look in another sport, say cricket. I dont mean for you to talk video, but as an example, I am intrigued by the hinting of some type of video that may be in the works.

Harvicus said...

Never say never, my Dad used to lament not being able to play hardball baseball as an adult until he found the MSBL and he has been loving it ever since.

Not sure if there is a league in your area, but it has been gaining in popularity and filled with people who just love the game.

It is ironic for me to be posting a baseball link to an RPG log, seeing how Baseball was always my Dad's thing, and RPGs mine...

On the main topic though, I think you do a great job with your topics, there is always something different to read here at your blog, and I have been loving your insights. Hope you find your muse again soon.