Pitfalls of RP: NonAdventurers

In this post I’m going to assume you’re familiar with the terms I’m using.  Ask for clarification in the comments if you like.  I’m also going to address this in part to GMs and in part to players, but I’m coming from the perspective of someone who is almost always the GM.

As GMs, we assume players want to play.  They showed up for a game, right?  But this is not a safe assumption.

There are many reasons why someone who came for a game might end up recalcitrant and useless.  Many roleplaying gamers are children, making them prone to rapid mood swings and erratic behavior.  Some people may feel compelled by social circumstances to show up for something they don’t want to do, and play their characters as inert lumps.  Sometimes a player is being antagonized by a crappy GM or other players, but doesn’t feel bold enough to quit the situation.

Those are all legitimate enough.  It would be nice if people could just admit when they don’t want to be around and have the means and wherewithal to bail, but it’s not always the case.  Still, there are some more cryptic reasons why players don’t play.  I’d like to discuss those a bit…
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Not MLK, but Relevant

Engraved Langston Hughes quote at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

“You tell me that hitler
Is a mighty bad man.
I guess he took lessons
from the ku klux klan…
Cause everything that hitler
And mussolini do,
Negroes get the same
Treatment from you…
I ask you this question
Cause I want to know
How long I got to fight
-Langston Hughes,
“Beaumont to Detroit: 1943”

Still fighting.

In the Wake of Recent Events

I’m going to stop blogging about political topics. Cheeto Hitler and his merry band of moustache twirling masters of evil are trying to fire everyone decent in government, pack the emptied seats with literal nazi sympathizers and people who won’t be happy until the poor are eating rusted nails and dying at the age of thirty, and putting the most wasteful gas-belching nation’s environment – and therefore the well-being of the entire planet – in the hands of fucking fire demons.

Anyway, the horrifying dracula-esque theft of my household’s healthcare was the last straw. I can pay attention to politics, or I can have a few moments of happiness before I die in a gutter. I doubt I’ll be able to hold to this resolution for long, but for now expect more posts about movies and nonsense.

Incidentally, I’m in this probationary period at my job where if I miss two days they’ll fire me, in defiance of state law no doubt, but that doesn’t matter to them or me at the end of the day. So I’m gonna miss the J20 protests. In honor of the struggle, on that day I’ll be making a rare round of small one time donations to some of my fellow impoverished bloggers, such as Ania & Alyssa, Alex Gabriel, and so on. I’ll spend at least the entire day’s wages on it.


fight the power

animated image from The Raid 2

With that, I’m out.

Synonyms for Stupid and Insane

The words ‘stupid’ and ‘insane’, along with their synonyms, are still not cool with me. Don’t use them in my comment section, please do consider whether there’s a way for you to write in your own spaces without using them. I know it isn’t easy, but using those words is ableist. We really ought to be trying harder.

For a brutal reminder of why ableism is bad, read Ania on The Orbit again.

Mysteries With No Payoff

I was eatin’ a sammich in the living room and the series premiere of Taboo was on. Tom Hardy is in there and he’s usually got an interesting presence. I’m kinda inclined to like him, though I haven’t been given a whole lot of cinematic reason to. So I thought, this show has until the end of this sammich to appeal to me. No dice. I’m done.

I spent a lot of years not watching TV shows, just started doing it again within the last five. I’m starting to see the same tropes and writing techniques play out on the scale of seasons, and to appreciate the things I’ve read other people saying on the internet.

That is to say, fuck Lost. TV shows love setting up a mystery but there are too many examples of them leaving you without an answer, or with an answer that strongly suggests they were making shit up as they went along. I find that so annoying that I have serious misgivings about any TV show that relies heavily on mystery.

So Taboo is building up Hardy’s character with rumors and whispers and mysterious behavior and blah blah. There’s the East India Company as villains – legit historical monsters but he’s very much one of them. Hardy’s boy was in the EIC and bounced around the world getting into backstory hijinx whenever he wasn’t mighty whitey-ing his way into indigenous cultures.

It’s like we’re being expected to root for a trust fund cockhole who spent his young adulthood being an asswipe in faraway places, then came home to act like he’s morally superior to the community that spawned him. Then there’s weird shit like the implication from wasted-as-a-whore Franka Potente that he kills women, to which he’s like “You know it, baby!” Who is supposed to like this? Not me.

Reason and Observation are Unnatural

HEY, dudes and dudettes.  I know you think basing your metaphysical beliefs on reason and observation is “healthy” and “cool,” but you gotta know, our ancestors didn’t do that!  On the African Savannah, or maybe caves I guess, we spent what, a million years, getting our facts from pattern association, superstition, arguments from authority and antiquity.  Well listen up, babies.

PALEO THOUGHT.  None of that unnatural processed scientific garbage polluting your brains, just what your body is designed for: metaphysical beliefs that would make your caveman ancestors proud.  It’s a common sense approach to mental fitness.  Get with the program and we’ll send you two coupons for the granola bar at Whole Foods, offer not valid in all locations, some conditions apply.



Advice for Trump, Surely Pointless

Just thought I’d get this out there into the universe.

You wanna show that you aren’t down with nazis?  Wanna defy expectations, win over hella moderates?  Take white terrorism seriously, empower the FBI to make serious moves against neo-nazis and the KKK.  From where a lot of us stand – including elected officials in your own party – it kinda looks like you use those hate groups as a threatening mob to quell dissent.

Kinda?  It very much looks like you’re a straight-up racist, cozying up to anti-semites who would have members of your family dead in their ideal world.  Just, please prove us wrong, please do something to defang the homicidal hordes that are feeling so empowered right now.  I care more about people dying or having to live in fear than I care about whether you can play Nero for four years or eight.  Not a racist bone in your body?  Lock up some race terrorists, save some lives.  We will thank you.

Dem Complacency About Racism Caused This

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. If Democrats protected the voting rights of people of color with an appropriate sense of urgency and importance, we probably wouldn’t be in this crisis. The average dem voter couldn’t have done shit about that; it’s all we can do to work for a living and survive this blasted libertarian hellscape nation. But strategists, movers, shakers, butts in office: they could have done a lot more, should have seen the danger a lot more clearly. I just hope in some tiny but still tragically unrealistic way that they’ll learn the right lessons off this shituation. Odds are, we’ll just get another round of smug “whaddyagonnados” and capitulation and rightward slide.

The media is always on the leading edge of AmeriKKKa’s stampede into hell tho. Dems got nothing on CNN & friends. As an anonymous commenter on yoisthisracist said,

“Even broadcast media is afraid to use the word ‘racist’ and is 100% more likely to come down on someone for correctly accusing someone of racism than for being racist.”

It’s true, isn’t it? How fucked are we? Especially those more darkly complected than myself. But still, us honkeys too. The white supremacist voting bloc in this country has proven so many times over that they will consign us all to begging the billionaires for moldy poison scraps if it means some brown people will be disallowed from the begging party. I try to scrupulously tag my posts, but kinda feel like tagging my whole existence with “wake me when the world is over.”

Outing Nazis Might Lose its Sting

I love the idea of outing nazis, allowing their personal race terrorism to affect their professional lives the way it should. The problem is that as this happens more often – as white supremacy is more normalized and accepted in mainstream society – employers are going to become much less likely to fire or otherwise penalize these people. It’s still useful, because, say, if we had a database of professionals who are racist, we could help steer clear of them and impact their business from the outside. Boycotts and the like. Likewise, knowing which health care providers are misogynists could be of great utility. Hmm. I don’t have a fully formed thesis here, just things to consider. I’m still considering.

from Xeni Jardin

As Trump appoints one white supremacist after another to his staff, a brilliant (& only slightly grammatically typo’d) tweet from Xeni Jardin:

“Ever wonder what it’d be like to go back in time and help fight nazis? Support Civil Rights Era? Resist Native genocide? Now’s your chance” –Xeni Jardin

The soup is on. It’s nothing but war from now into the foreseeable future. Good luck, warriors.