Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Is Me Not Ranting

It's just sad.  Sad and pathetic.

I have been more focused on working on projects this last week than I have in more than a month, what with small personal tragedies and difficulties that have floated past like plague victims in a river.  I've been posting deep material here, and feeling good that no one I've read lately has said anything to piss me off, meaning I haven't felt any need to go on a rant.  And then I ran across a post on Hill Cantons site obliquely making reference to "the flavor-of-the-month club's recent mini-culture war", with a reference to Scott (no link), who I presume coined that phrase.  A war I had not heard about.

Well, most of you know about it, and if you don't you can follow the phrases on Chris's site like I did, and proceed to shake your head almost immediately.

I'm not going to rant.  It is too sad.  It is too pathetic.

Mostly, it seems to be about the artwork that James Raggi has attached to his recent Grindhouse project (I'm not linking it), and how inappropriate it is to D&D.  The straw argument of the year is advanced by Mr. Greg Christopher, one of the dumbest people who won't be commenting on this blog ever again, who claims that Raggi has broken the 'Social Contract' as defined by G.C., two seconds before deciding it was broken.  I'm certain that having committed sins against Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Raggi will ultimately be accused of snubbing "human understanding" as proposed by Locke, raping Voltaire's Candide and sticking a fork into Hobbes' behemoth.  Where it comes to a straw man argument, no social philosopher is safe.

But it's all pretty sad and pathetic to think that two seconds should be spent on anyone's questionable artwork on an internet where blood and gore drips from every page.  People in this argument have made statements about the importance of recognizing the children, whom I presume live in the same world with youtube clips from the Saw series or pirated copies of Hostel just as I do.  It's not like maimed, hacked or otherwise vivisected violence porn is difficult to find ... mixed in with said maimed and hacked representatives fucking a goat, the next presidential candidate and North Korea's all-male cast of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado - at the same time.  Rule 34 is in full effect.

I understand that some people play D&D with their children.  I am not sorry to say that this does NOT make the creation of D&D products or playing support responsible to children.  In fact, what you do with your children really has no privilege whatsoever with regards to things adults are legally allowed to buy.  It is just pathetic and sad to think that somehow, your playing the game with your children provides some weird entitlement regarding what some adult creates for the purpose of being enjoyed by others legally permitted to buy said product.  It is equally pathetic and sad that, as a parent surrounded by a world that drips violence and porn from every advertising billboard plastering the American subcontinent, this one small product has the ability to tip your radar.  This makes you pretty blind, pretty stupid, pretty misdirected and pretty inadequate to the task of thought policing you've taken upon yourself.  From this, I don't have much hope for your kids anyway, unless per chance they might grow up and realize how stupid you are.

Damn.  I wasn't going to rant.  It's just really, really pathetic, and it's really, really sad. 

I wasn't going to write about D&D today anyway.  I'm in the middle of projects and until something is done, I haven't anything to post.  I could have written about education, I suppose, but given this, I doubt I'm in the right headspace for writing about people getting the sort of full-bodied instruction that would give rise to social philosophy like the 'social contract' in the first place.  I am no fan of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, but given that that book in particular is full of sex porn stories that Rousseau tells all the way through, which was the primary reason for that book flying off the shelves in the 18th century, it seems kind of sad and pathetic to accuse Raggi of making sales in the same way as though that were a bad thing.

Hum.  I'm sure most people at this time are fuming about the "kids growing up and realizing they're stupid" part, and can't really see this that I'm writing.  Always amazes me about that.  I remember being in the school yard, even in grades 5 and 6, and I don't remember any kids having nice things to say about their parents.  I remember even clearer how in high school we would talk a blue streak about how completely fucked up our parents were.  That was the conversation we had because we couldn't talk about how much we wanted to have sex.  But somehow, the populace turns thirty, has kids, and mysteriously loses all memory of having any of these conversations.  My daughter has argued that at 28, someone comes around, grabs you off the street, takes you out in the country and drops an anvil on your head.  You don't remember this, of course, but afterwards you start thinking like an 'adult.'

They missed me, I guess.  I didn't spend much time on the street.  I was jammed in my room working on D&D.


scottsz said...

Just to clarify. My 'culture war' statement was in reference to the 'heroic/anti-heroic' argument that preceded Mr. Christopher's posts.

It was meant to indicate that certain topics are 'hotbutton' and turn into a mini 'culture war'.

Commenting on Aldeboran has provided valuable feedback on this: people in different parts of the country experienced different responses to the 'panic' era.

Alexis said...

Thank you Scott. I was not even certain which 'Scott' Chris was referring to.

Arkhein said...

Well done not ranting there, Alexis. I suppose if you had ranted, blood would have begun dripping from my walls, followed by Raggi pictures spewing from the ceiling fan as I read it. :)

Thanks for your analysis of recent events.

- Ark

DaveL said...

Raggi posted on his blog that he was printing 2000 copies of the so-called "Grindhouse" edition. With all the "press" he's getting in the blogosphere, I'm thinking that's not nearly enough!

Alexis said...


It is a time-honored marketing techique. Poke the sheeple with a sharp stick and watch them baa and run around angrily in a circle while you fleece them silly. Naturally they will all rush from curiousity to buy the item that will offer a few hours of diversion before it finds its way to that great impulse shelf all RPG players keep, to gather dust and to be pulled out again when shearing time for Raggi arrives again with the next worthless system/module.

Don't fault him. He's a businessman playing the game the way its played. I think its hilarious that he's selling a product that anyone with an RPG already has, shaking the numbers around and adding pictures. "Yes, step right up here, look at the wonderful pictures, look at this hand right here, this hand that will show you the wonders of the universe, this RIGHT hand that will never do anything wrong to you ..."

It's funny as hell.

ckutalik said...

I think I should have warned you with a little more vigor about that thread.

Zzarchov said...

If (big if) you see a problem with Magic turning the world into the 20th century in short order there are some options.

1.) The Warhammer Solution: In terms of magic, too much exposure causes changes in a person. For one off uses its fine, but to use magic all day every day..why that is where monsters come from. People become warped chaos monstrosities in due time.

2.) The Greek God solution. Always trying to keep man down, the gods will smite, curse and otherwise destroy those who attempt such things (and weaken their own power by contrast). One minute you are performing a double bypass the next moment you have scales, hooves and a taste for human flesh as punishment. Even if the gods don't turn on your directly they may instruct their clerics to avoid such schemes, perhaps even hunt down wizards who get too involved in their exclusive "healing from the gods" racket, hell maybe they hold back advancement on purpose.