About three and a half years ago I wrote a very unpleasant, squicky post relating the buying of modules and dependency on corporate produced materials to breast feeding. This is getting a lot of traction recently on 4chan, a board populated mostly by idiots and a few rational people who apparently have nowhere else to go but 4chan. They have my sympathy. The idiots are pretty disgusted with me (link is dead now) and my choice of metaphor, while perfectly fine with the repulsive image that has been chosen to go along with the link. Well, what the fuck, it's 4chan. It is nice to think that rants I banked three years ago are paying dividends now. Let that be a lesson to the gentle reader - get your rants in the ground now, if you want to reap the harvest come fall.
I am somewhat amused by the need to associate/compare me and Zak over at Playing D&D with Porn Stars. Zak and I are, for those who may not know, diametrically polar opposites in the gaming community. No, that's not right. I mean that we are both really cool people with our own way of doing things. No, I don't think that's it either. Zak is really laid back, and I'm a freaked out reactionary with obsessions about realism. Also, Zak has porn stars.
My own take on it is that I'm scholarly and informed, and that occasionally I finish something that I start, while Zak shoots shit at walls with a shotgun and always has something new going. That's my perception, of course. The perception I got from not reading his blog any more because none of his ideas ever seemed to coalesce, correlate or juxtapose in anything except the need to splatter continuously about the artistic premise upon which he lives his life.
But I suppose that he and I are going to be linked somehow for a long time, because I haven't stopped blogging, and he hasn't stopped blogging. We've both been doing this for more than five years, and in the blogging universe, five years is pretty unusual. Every single blog I used to read five years ago - political blogs, gaming blogs, history blogs, film blogs - are all dead and gone now. So as long as Zak doesn't stop, and I don't stop, we're going to be two peas in a pod, even though we have no time whatsoever for each other's work, nor any respect for it.
By now, his crowd has left this blog, more or less. I remember one of the reasons I wrote the breast feeding post was because I was sick to death of getting comments like, "Have you read this really brilliant soft-cover booklet that this company you never heard of put out five years ago? It totally shows how everything you've just said is only HALF THE STORY!" That was beginning to bug me, so I thought I would write a post that would just piss the shit out of all those people and emphasize what I was doing with my world and my perception of gaming.
See, the thing about that sort of comment is its vagueness and its pretentiousness. If I were to make a point about, say, the Peloponnesian War, I wouldn't simply say, "Well, you know, it's like Thucydides wrote. You gotta not make the mistakes the Athenians made. That's how it is with monsters and players - if you know what I mean." And then never mention Thucydides or the Athenians again. Sure, you ought to read the book. Sure, Athens made mistakes. But if I just toss that in without explanation, without a paragraph describing it to people who may not have read Thucydides, may not know what book he wrote or remotely what mistakes Athens made, then I'm just a pretentious asshole. I'm saying, "Well fuck you if you haven't read the books I read. I can't be bothered to bring you up to speed."
Now, I have said, "Fuck you if you WON'T read the books I've read." That's different. That's your willful ignorance. But its reasonable to assume you haven't gotten around to Thucydides, there are a lot of books in the world, there's no reason why you should necessarily read that one in the next five minutes so that you'll get the point I'm making right now. In the meantime, let me fill you in on the relative details so you'll get it.
This is not what I get from the module-lovers. Of course I'm going to run right the fuck out and buy that totally obscure book because a reader posted the title with an obscure reference to something they meant. Nevermind that whenever I do pick up something at the local gaming store and look at it, I see the same dull bullshit that's been around for decades. The same can be said for what's on line.
So when someone says, as Yarivandel wrote yesterday, that there is this great book, it would be NICE if more can be said than "It is about this." Is it? Great. I assumed someone would write a book about that. I'm not sure why I should give a shit. Particularly if you, the commenter, can't take as many as 300 words to explain exactly WHY I should. Yes, I can tell how moved you were. You wrote a sentence.
For the record, I have plenty of things to read. And to do. And source material to work from. Not looking for more. REALLY not looking for whatever shit WOTC turned out ... ever.
So, yeah, wrote the breast feeding post. Wrote it very meanly. Wanted to really, seriously, piss off people I didn't so much want around. And I remember it worked rather well.
The question would be, who am I trying to piss off now? No one, actually. Doing so is just my default position. I would like it, however, that IF you want to rush to tell me about something I should read, or write a post about something you think is interesting, spend a thousand words, survey the subject COMPLETELY, and pass along that information in as much entirety as possible. Don't just mention the thing. Prove it's value.
The title, by the way, is only because I've been accused of saying that many times, and I've never actually said it.
I'm curious how long it will take someone to go back into my vast record of posts and find an offhanded reference to a resource I didn't explain.