"Hello. This is Sandra. Sandra was once a ten year old girl back in the days when America was great, when she went to school with Democratic Candidate Bob Gillon. Back then, your candidate tried to steal a kiss from Sandra under the school bleachers. Do you want to elect a candidate that tries to force himself on little girls?"
I know, I know, I promised to stop writing about American politics. It's only that you cannot imagine what it's like to be outside your country and see ads like this.
Thank god I still live in a country where firing a gun - at anything - on live TV will probably not get you elected. Admittedly, I can't quite be sure. I live in Alberta.
(that's an in-joke for Canadians only)
Been a strange weekend. I write a post about seeking advice about D&D, and get an answer that there's a polite Star Wars forum that exists. Logically, I should now write something about finding your own role-playing style, apart from the mainstream, only to find myself proved 'wrong' by evidence that excessive consumption of rabbit meat results in malnutrition.
I am not sure when I stopped writing in English - but it is the only explanation I have at present. I look at the page and it looks like English to me, but apparently it isn't. I've gone over. I've lost touch. I'm just writing gobbledegook at this point. The blog doesn't support guns, it doesn't support white cops killing blacks, it doesn't bemoan the death of Christmas and therefore this blog cannot be understood by American readers.
My apologies. This is some kind of cultural break. A miscommunication. A failure to communicate.
The moron with the gun in the real political ad above thinks he's doing something very clever. He thinks he's making a point. There are tens of thousands who will see the ad and scream at their TVs rabidly, "Fucking A!!!"
The first words of the video, "Millions of dollars of negative ads are flooding into Alaska ..." will make no connection whatsoever with the viewer. They will not realize they are watching a negative ad - or that it is being shown in Alaska. They will not recognize that the very cheap looking video will have actually cost several hundred thousand dollars. They have no understanding of filming for television, so they don't know what sort of grease it takes to fire a gun on network TV. They will never see the tab being spent to buy network space between showings of Rick Castle, Fuckwit. The people yelling approvingly at their TVs are ignorant. Cheerfully, malignantly, indignantly, extravagantly ignorant. Because this is the nature of appealing to the stupidest, most moronic subset of any group. Do exactly what you are telling others not to do. Do it, then pretend you're not doing it. No one will notice.
Take a hobby. People enjoy the hobby, but there's this nagging, fundamental issue that will not go away - a significant number of people are uncomfortable or unclear on how exactly to participate. There are endless discussions on what is accepted or not accepted, what's the right way to play and why it is very, very necessary to understand that there is no right way to play. The rules keep changing. Pundits rise up and declare the new rules are wonderful. Pundits rise up and claim the new rules are stupid. The wave rises and falls.
The hobby is dying. The hobby is stronger than it ever was. We don't have anyone in our school who can DM. I don't know how to DM. I DM, but my players think my game is shit. I started a campaign, but it broke up after the first session. We played for two months and then we decided to start a different campaign using a different system. We don't play seriously. We don't play enough. Pathfinder is better. Swords & Wizardry is better. Lotfp is better. My game is better now. No, I can't explain how. No, I can't say it is definitely the system. The new campaign feels better. The new campaign is simpler. The new campaign has more role-playing. The new campaign has more character. The new campaign, the new campaign, the new campaign.
What the hell? Why is it always the 'new' campaign?
Have we simply gone so far that we've missed the relevance of those words? "I've been running for 25 years - yes, I just started a new campaign last month."
I would like to know how many new campaigns an average DM starts per year. Per decade. Per lifetime.
I've been running 35 years and I have started three campaigns. I ran the first for three months, starting three months after discovering the game. I ran the second for five years, starting three months after the first failure. I have been running the third for 28 years.
Why is that not typical?
Why do we want to pretend it shouldn't be? Why have we invested the word "new" as something that's beneficial or great in a campaign? Doesn't that mean that all the time and effort and discovery and design that went into the old campaign was thrown out? How rarely we use those words: "I threw out my old campaign last week."
Why? What was wrong with it? "Oh, well, it was . . . well it wasn't . . . the players didn't . . . but it's okay, because I'm starting a new campaign next month."
Well good for you. I won't hope this one will be the one that takes, because it won't. It will be shit just like the one before, because it's plain that no lessons were learned. People are killed by guns every day, but as a would-be Senator the message I want to send will be that you should use a gun to express your discontent with the other fellow.
Lessons. Not learned. Repeating the same mistakes, over and over. Because no time is ever taken to examine the mistakes. Find me the blog post that says, "I started a campaign but it was total shit. I screwed over the players, I spent too much time on dungeon making, I tried to railroad the players into a story that bored the shit out of them, I really screwed the fucking pooch. I did. Not the players. It was all my fault. I'm really looking over my mistakes and I've decided to change the way I play. I'm going to think it over long and hard before I start another campaign."
Those posts are out there. People rarely go into detail. It's embarrassing. I can't really blame people for not tearing into themselves in the public eye. We could use a little more of it, however - as that would build at least some sense that improvement matters.
Instead, we get, "I've started a brand new 5e campaign and it's BETTER! It is so, so, so better!"
Oh yeah? How?