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Sandra Red-Sky, the Gangrel
Sandra Red-Sky, my Gangrel character in the Winnipeg vampire LARP, that occult-following, Satan-worshiping lifestyle.  :-/
I came across a Kossak's diary the other day--it's a month old now, but the tone of it kept niggling and niggling at me until I finally could say why:  http://www.dailykos.com/...  We're accusing 35 year-old Jacob Rush of hypocrisy while showing great greasy gobs of it ourselves.

We defended Colleen Lachowicz (D-Maine) in 2012 for her hobby of playing WOW as an Orc when the Republicans and other nits were getting on her case, but we turn around and then pull that shit on someone else?  Wait.  Whut?  Get all up in arms for a fellow Dem, but a GOP is a fine target...  Why?  Because they're unpopular?  So high-school.  

I get rather angry in places in this, mostly because I just get sick and fucking tired of seeing gamers being mocked for liking something other than going to bars, movies, monster-truck events or other mundane activities.  Is it any wonder so many of us keep our hobby in the shadows?  No one likes being laughed at for something truly creative and so fucking harmless.  It's not actually an unusual pastime at ALL--I'll get into that below.

More rantery after the cheese-doodle...

We laughed at Star Trek fans, now they're making movies you pay millions to go see.  We'd laugh at science-fiction nerds because they were more interested in science and the world of the mind than in sports and other "socially approved" activity.  Now, we beg to have their novels made into television-series or films.  We laughed at the computer-science geeks, and now we pay them billions a year to create games for us to play.

This is no different.

I refuse to think all members of a particular group are good or bad, because that's flatly impossible.  This thing is long, sorry, but I hope folks are patient enough to read the whole thing before commenting, because I've been trying to shorten it and I've been failing horribly.  I do break things up with some cute pictures, though.  No, there are no LOLcats...

A Republican/Libertarian by the name of Justice Walker shot down Prop 8 with panache and a great amount of intelligence, telling the bigots that attempting to force a court to make rulings because of religion-based "squick-factor" was not up to the voters because it was unconstitutional.  I know that we Progressives had so misread him that we prevented his first appointment to the District Court for Northern California.  We can be wrong.

The GOP wasn't always the backwards-thinking, Buy-bull thumping, anti-equality bunch they've morphed into these days.  Because, LINCOLN!  We see and hear the mouthpieces paid for by Big Money who are the real threat, forgetting that's not all there is to the GOP and dismiss the quieter individuals who haven't gotten into power because they refused to play the Theocratic-Feudalists' game they wanted them to play and are doomed to be bench-warmers for their adherence to good behaviour.

I'm a transplanted, part-Native American French-Canadian (the proper name is Metis, and it's much easier to say).  Yep, I'm not only one a' them furriners, but I'm a brown furriner.  BOO!  Actually, I'm more of a warm golden beige, what with the watering-down of my ancestry and all.  LOL  I don't have my citizenship, yet, so I can't vote.  I asked my husband how it worked here: you can vote for the candidate you think can do the job, but in the nomination portion of the voting (where a party is choosing their front-runner for President), you must register as a Democratic voter, GOP, Green, etc.  I'm not in any Party, nor do I wish to be.

He made a suggestion for voting reform: give voters the option to vote from a pool of candidates from a variety of Parties.  The hypothesis being that if a voter was shown they could say "I'd be happy with the Democrat or the Green candidate"--effectively casting an equal vote for both people--that we might see a difference in how the ballots fall out.  We too often hear about how we're forced to exclude the real alternatives because we know that if we voted for them like we wanted, the Dems lose a vote and GOP wins... again.  We end up having to divide our votes based upon who we don't want to win instead of going with our true choice--my example of the environmentalist over the planet-raper.  A reform like that could make a difference, if it gets us a person in office who might actually serve our interests over the 1%ers.

It's called Approval Voting (the following bit is his addition to this diary--thanks, hon!):

http://en.wikipedia.org/...  "There's no need for run-off elections unless there's a tie, just like in our current system.  Otherwise, the guy with the highest number of approval votes wins, and seeing who came in 2nd and 3rd can be fodder for groups to say "Hey Mr. Democrat, you may have won this time but the Green guy had only 10% fewer votes so you'd better not ignore green issues".

Unfortunately, in today's world of unlimited campaign contributions and more accurate polling, changing the voting method probably won't solve the problem.  As soon as the rich guy sees he might statistically lose, he pumps in just enough extra cash to bring his numbers up a little beyond the winning threshold.  I'm pretty sure that's why we see so many more very close races and need to recount more often than in the past.  To fix that, we need fixed accounts for campaigning only using public money with all parties given the same amount.  And we also need some system of enforcing honesty.  IE: a list of campaign promises that can't be gone back on without automatic impeachment.  Democratic voting should be based on who supports the policy ideas people like the most, not on who has the most money or is the most charismatic liar."

See?  I knew there was a reason I married him other than for his sexy geekiness (he's building an accessory for his car right now that'll help him keep track of mileage so he can tweak the car's performance.  The device uses drivers a buddy of mine wrote).  LOL  Such an awesome brain that sees the stuff I miss.

Now, back to your regularly-scheduled rant:

I also like part of the old Athenian Democratic model that used another check on poor administrators: every year, the people were asked who they thought was doing a bad job, the winner (the loser, really) was banished from the city for ten years.  They called it ostracism and that's where we get the word.  While we can't exile a politician (that would be nice, wouldn't it?), we can fire them and make them pay back the funds given as part of their campaign.  I say pay it all back, especially if it came from public coffers.  We can get refunds for a bad product, why not "return" a bad leader?  They like being treated as commodities, don't they?  They certainly sell themselves to the highest-bidding 1%ers!

Our voter base has too many "low-information" citizens that cast votes based on who they recognize, and who they recognize is based upon whose ads they've seen and the content of those ads that impressed them or tugged at heart-strings.  It's what they're calculated to do, of course.  For a "popularity contest", it's certainly rigged to whomever has the most filthy lucre--meaning, the 1%ers win... again, no matter who actually gets in office.

I understand the problem of getting one's message out to as wide a range of people as possible is nearly impossible without money.  But, we have things like the Internet, now, one BIG reason why Net Neutrality is so important and why we have to fight as hard as we can to prevent the 1%ers gaining complete control over it.  It's also another reason for killing that bit of Supreme Court money-pandering (I'd make that a crime along the lines of money-laundering) that now allows unlimited campaign contributions.  In that recent case, we are royally fucked without even a kiss or a dinner-date.

OLIGARCHY.  DO NOT WANT.

Jacob Rush has shown some regrettable taste in viewpoints (repeal Obamacare?  No gay marriage?  No birth-control?  Really?), fine, but his actions in a game shouldn't even be considered relevant to the question: is he worth voting for?

I've played in many LARPs, and for me, the game wasn't about showcasing my "inner-monster", although that could be fun.  The game-world was based on the premise that supernatural creatures were real: werewolves, vampires, faery-folk, Mages and so on.  Nothing weird there; it's just part of the "back-story" for the setting, just like we have cheesy Space-opera settings for Star Wars and the Riddick movies, hospital settings for House M.D, shambling zombies in a post-apocalyptic world for Walking Dead.  There were two main sects in vampire society; the Camarilla and the Sabbat.  The Cam were the usual protagonists and practiced something called the Masquerade (hiding from humans), and the Sabbat didn't care about keeping to the shadows.  They were predators and had no qualms about showing it.

There was an important concept in the game called the Beast--the vampiric element of their personality and it could take over in a process known as "frenzy".  To frenzy was a Bad Thing (TM).  A Kindred who frenzied too often was considered a liability and put down like a rabid dog, so the kind of behaviour Rush's character Chazz was apparently showing could've gotten him killed in the Camarilla, and quickly.  Even vampires have standards!

Mordechai the Nosferatu
Next, on Extreme Make-overs, can we help old Mordechai the Nosferatu get presentable for his date? Tune in to find out!
I often chose to play characters where the problem of frenzy or their vampire-nature was obvious: the Clans Gangrel and Nosferatu had their Beast written literally on their bodies.  They had no choice but to face what they were.  Whenever a Gangrel lost control (frenzied), they gained a new animal-feature (they were the wilder, animalistic vampires) and Nosferatu were just ugly as fuck from the moment of their Embrace (the change from human to vampire).  I enjoyed the struggle to retain what Humanity I had to prevent Red-Sky from becoming utterly inhuman in appearance and mind (I failed), and Mordechai was on a quest for Golconda (a kind of vampire redemption where you might become human again).  On the other hand, it made for awesome make-up and costume opportunities, as big a draw for me as the deeper exploration of the motivations of monsters.  :-)
Getting ready for my role as the
"Ladies make-up, yer doing it wrong!"
Like any player, Jacob Rush was acting out a role as a character in a game, perhaps one he'd been assigned by his Storyteller (the Game-master) as part of the ongoing plot, though I think it may have been a regular PC in a Sabbat Chronicle (story-cycle).  Storytellers often do this, especially if it gives them a chance to show players what happens to a creature of the night who "lets himself go" too many times.  Participants in Mind's Eye Theatre are often given roles to play as "narrators", a kind of assistant who acts out the scenes with various side-characters: the pool of humans a player controls, a rogue vampire terrorizing the town, one of the local werewolves or as the "Black Hats" (usually the Sabbat) the troupe comes into conflict with.
The
The Gambling Ghost, my NPC in Havok, a medieval-style, DnD-like LARP.
I looked at the images folks have posted to show what an "evil" guy Rush is and I have to say, their attempts to discredit him are pathetic.  The image where he's supposedly pointing his gun at a dog looks more like a guy with his gun at rest in his hand and not really pointing at the dog at all.  Sure, the title suggests he's "shooting the dog", but that could just be twisted humour based on how the image turned out.  Fuck, we see that film noir shit all the time, why is this one any different?  Photos can fool us with their perspective--they don't really have one--our eyes interpret one being there through devices like focus and aperture-width to provide "depth of field".  This image came out looking a bit flat, so I don't really know if Rush was in direct line with the dog or aiming his gun at him.

The flak the game images are attracting is even sillier.  Have any of these fuckwits never seen promo-photos for movies?  Some of them are just as scary-looking, but we don't castigate the creators for the themes in the images!  These were pics showcasing the scenes, costumes, props and make-up efforts of the players, and frankly, a lot of it is so well done, they should be in movies.

"Oooh, but there's a succubus!  Bring on the Spanish Inquisition!"  I rather liked the artistry of the "Angel Blood" pic--it was rather pretty--the game is about "personal horror", after all.  The images with the Sabbat ritual and the consecration of "archbishop" Kettering are all in-game things, not real-life things.  Playing out a ritual in a game is no weirder than actors performing a ritual in a movie.  Yeah, I dare you to storm onto the stage of Hamlet and tell the "witches" cackling over their cauldron are being evil for realz.  Go on, I'll wait and even attend to witness your trial and possible incarceration in a psychiatric institution.

ALL of the reports I've so far seen are like this: ridiculously biased, smarmy and just plain fucking asshat wrong.

More and more, I see the disservice we're doing to a guy who, in all rational likelihood, innocently played a game with a couple of creepy characters.  Vampires are creepy.  It's why we love them.  So he played one, or several, big whoop.  Micheal C. Hall played a serial-killer in one of the most popular TV-series of all time, yet no one is trying to have him jailed because he might really be a murderer!  In neither case should we be basing our opinions of a person on the roles they played!  Although, the long, pointy fingernails one can see in Rush's law-firm pic are interesting.  My husband has claws just like that and they give THE best head-scritches.  He can improve my mood just by scratching my back.  Purrrrrrr...  ;-)

Storytelling is as old as Humanity, so is dressing up in costumes to act them out.  They can be guides to morality, humour, satire, a celebration of someone's achievements, they create social connections and culture and LARPers, cosplayers, gamers, etc, create and tell them to entertain each other.  A good story needs conflict; a battle against an invading army, survival against a natural disaster, an exciting hunt, alien invasion (see invading army), or a study on what is evil.  WTF do you think that collection of the demented rantings of schizophrenic sheep-herders mixed with tribal stories, the Buy-bull, really is?

We NEED antagonists.  If we excised all the horrible things a character might do during a story, it would be a very dull one!  Yet, we've ritualized story-play so much that we want to limit it to only specific people ("professionals") and situations (film, plays, team mascots and sports-players) and socially shun the rest like the fucktastically-stupid, narrow-minded apes we are, all while calling anyone who still insists upon doing the activity "freaks" or, to use an older and ruder term, "savages".  After all, only grass-skirt-wearing aboriginals still dance around their fires in animal costumes these days.  We're so much more civilized than than that guy over there in the home-made fursuit entertaining the kids for free!  /snark  Wrong.  He's doing it for fun, not to serve the "Mouse" (Disney) and not because he's a weirdo, either.  We have forgotten how much of our "troupe" (group) behaviour dates from our early primate days on the Savannah: we kick out the stranger.  Or kill them.  Then we rationalize it.

This isn't about morality or even about hypocrisy.  It's about riding people for the wrong things based upon extremely poor logic.

I'm a writer (I'm not going to win any Pulitzers.  I'd rather win a Hugo or an Aurora, anyway), and some of my characters are honourless, violent and vicious people.  Others are heroes (and anti-heroes) with less than attractive personality-traits.  Does this make me a creep because I created a character that liked to rape his daughter?  What about Stephen King or Dean Koontz?  Or, George R. R. Martin, whose books are crazy popular right now and have become a well-known television series?  So many of his characters are reprehensible to each other, but do we call Martin a "freak" or think he bears a sublimated hatred and disrespect towards women for the female characters that are so often abused in his novels?

George R. R. Martin
"It's so easy when you're evil..."  NOT.
What Rush wrote in-game is never mentioned within it's context, of course: was his character an NPC (non-player-character) imposed upon him as part of his storyteller's plot line?  Maybe the character was his own, but it's not him and "Chazz" was an evil jerk who was going to the Sabbat or his final frenzy.  Rush himself may not be as vile as that diary tried to make him sound, even if he does think some stupid things, or he might really be an insufferable jerk--we don't know, because we don't know him.  He wants to repeal Obamacare and keep gays from marrying; isn't that enough?  We can't find anything meatier on the guy to steamroller him for?

Yeah, let's go with "he's evil for being a twink in a game", instead of attacking his stated views, which are pretty fucking bigoted and stupid.  The images of him on his campaign pages are fluff, where he mentions taking pix of himself with his hand on the Bible, showing him with his kid and so on, sanitized fluff such as ALL politicians make, Dem or GOP, Green or Libertarian.  It's part of that "game".  How is he in any way a hypocrite for trying to make nice with his potential constituents?  Rush is trying to show common ground with them.  He wants them to vote for him!  Oh, the humanity!  It's called "Impression Management" by sociologists.  We call it "Public Relations".  It's a pose, like any other.

The "damning evidence" of his character, Chazz Darling:

At first I thought you were just stupid and I wanted to stick my dick in your mouth to shut you up while I snorted a line off my new machete that was blessed by Rui (sic) but then I remembered that you were typing so my dick would really have to be in your hands to keep you from typing but since you are walking in Omaha that’s not really realistic right now.

I’m sorry, I tried.

Rae tells me that you are a Maiden, and it’s your job to be kind of stupid and that I’m not supposed to have intercourse with Maidens.

You shouldn’t believe everything that people tell you or you’re going to end up naked and sore, tied to the floor of a van marked “Free Candy.”

And stop letting people torpor (sic) you.

Okay, definition time.  "Torpor": the coma-like state of a vampire who is too low on blood to function (hasn't fed enough or has had to heal a lot of wounds, which uses blood) or has been so deeply injured, that s/he falls into this state.  So, Chazz sounds like a complete asshole since he sounds so over-the-top mean, despite his pretty clothes.  So what?  Hell, I'd mug him for that jacket (it's awesome)!  He's being an ass to another character and giving her "advice".  He's making Sabbat-sounding references; Cam don't usually talk like this in my experience.

Where's the rape-fantasy as relates to his real life and interests?  And why should any rape-fantasy be a problem anyway?  Committed couples who in no way abuse each other play out rape fantasies all the time as part of a kinky night in the bedroom.  I've even done it, and I've been raped.  A LOT.  He makes a drug-reference; my word, he must be an addict!  Fuck that.  It is expressly stated in the game rules: NO INTOXICANTS.  Ever.  Rush capitalizes the word "maiden", making it sound like a kind of title and not a reference to her age, virginity, or girlish fragility.  People have accused him of "getting joy" from writing the above silliness.  How do they know?  Rush might think Chazz is as sick a fuck as we do.  He's writing from his character's perspective and thought-process, not his own.  He's playing a fucking role.

A quick note on that; some might say that because Chazz was his character, that his thought-process and viewpoints are also Rush's.  Nope.  Actors take on roles written by others all the time.  So do LARPers.  Also, Vampire: The Masquerade has a set of traits a player must choose that are based on adjectives, descriptives of personalities, mind-sets, fears and so on.  There is even a list of negative traits one can take to be given points to buy other, more positive stats like strength or charisma in order to build a more rounded character.  So Chazz was created with some very negative stats.  This is not the same as Rush having the same traits.

Rush's silly bit of writing-fail isn't a fucking rape-fantasy, it's the way that character talks and thinks and was probably referring to events in the game we know nothing about.  The diary I link to, and the other "news" stories I'd read upon following some links around, spends far too much time castigating a man for his HOBBIES and the vile things he'd said or done while in-character.  We shouldn't be pissing on him for some stupid antagonist he'd played in a game.

Guess I'm evil, too.  Would it help anything that the character I created who raped his kid was based on my own father?  Authors do that: "write what you know".  They also murder characters, abuse them, have them commit atrocities and be victims of same. Rape is an ugly, ugly thing in the real world, and I know, personally and intimately, what it is.  I was raped the first time when I was six years old.  I hate rape-culture.  So much of what we do thoughtlessly denigrates women and puts them into the category of object, property, scapegoat, arm-candy without a brain...

What does it say about me that I would go on to write an entire novel about a rapist and his effect upon his family?  The story was cathartic as well as just a good story?  Or am I somehow so fucked up it's difficult to categorize?  I think any sensible person would go with the first, wouldn't they?  My rapist-character never becomes squeaky clean by the end, but he gets onto a very long road to becoming a better human being, something my father never did in real life, even though I'd given him plenty of opportunities to do so (he's currently on trial for his crimes).

I'm a gamer; have been since I was fourteen.  I'm a science-fiction fan and have been going to conventions for almost as long.  My first Con, I dressed as an Elfquest elf, doing fan-based cosplay almost before it was given a name!  I love cosplay.  I'm also a Furry and make the complicated costumes called fursuits for myself and others for a bit of extra money.  I write, paint, and sculpt.  I'm just a creative person who likes to play fun things like LARP.  I'm as far from evil as one could get and still be human... just like nearly every other gamer, LARPer, Furry and cosplayer that I personally know.  Really, it can be a great escape from things like being raped every weekend or beaten up every day at school.  Or, just a fun thing to do on the weekends or after school, even if you weren't being abused.  But, I learned things, too: how to more effectively socialize, something I had huge trouble with.  I had no friends in school.  Absolutely none until I was nearly sixteen.  The problem wasn't that my peers were jerks (though many of them were), but that I couldn't remember who the people who had been nice to me were.

Lovely thing, Prosopagnosia, it prevents a person from recognizing faces.  Some call it being "face-blind", much like being colour-blind.  One is just incapable of reading faces, so people like me instead learn a person based on other cues: their voices (I'm great at recognizing those.  Go figure), their gait, posture, clothes and hairstyle, even their scent.  I've got it so bad that I've had trouble recognizing my own brothers and my mother and have to keep pictures of them around so I can remember who they are!  I had no idea that this wasn't "normal" until ten or twelve years ago or why people thought I was a "snob", "aloof", or ignoring them until decades later when I learned the meaning of that new and fascinating word.  I was afraid of fucking up who was who--who liked me, who liked beating me up--and embarrassing myself yet again, so I avoided everyone and rarely spoke to anyone, even though I wanted to.  It's been a source of incredible embarrassment and abuse from folks, all because they didn't want to take the time to find out why I didn't say hi to them in the school hallway.

Just like we aren't bothering to take the time to learn something about the real person Rush is.  Instead, we base our opinions on some truly biased news-stories, stupid-as-fuck gossip, silly photos and weak-minded scare-mongering from a bunch of fucking idiots who don't understand what gaming or LARP is, instead equating it to being a cult or weird or freaky or...

Me and kitty head.
Oh noes! It's one of those freaky, perverted Furry people!  Run!
Gamers come from all walks of life.  I've played with lawyers, teachers, artisans, waitresses, gas-jockeys, single mothers, students, welfare-recipients, animators, computer-programmers, the son of a prominent politician, sports fans, a priest... and politicians.  In other words, the people you call "freaks" or "childish" for a fucking hobby are your neighbours, your friends and family-members.  You're picking on your own!  We've got to stop making stupid judgments of the different.  It's bigotry, plain and simple.  We exclude blacks and browns, we exclude LGBT people, we ignore the differently-abled, we look down on women and to add to the list, we do the same to gamers, Furries, cosplayers and SF fans, who are everyone you know.

Before someone gets all up in my grill over seemingly making false comparisons between racism, homophobia, etc, with the stupid sneering we keep pulling on the creatives in our midst, let me clarify: bigotry is defined as an unreasonably-fierce dislike of activities, things or people--it does not matter what we are disliking--it's unreasonable.  And calling gamers "freaks", "weirdos", "losers who can't get a girl" and so on is a form of bigotry and is a reflection of an unpleasant aspect of human nature: we exclude the stranger.  Gamers, Furries and LARPers are apparently the new strangers to many of us without ever realizing that we're mocking people we may love and respect.

Those idiotic waves of bead-clutching (as one commenter so aptly put it) have come and gone over my nearly four decades of gaming where the overly-religious, easily-frightened by the innocuous, people with too low a fund of brain that listen to fuckwits like Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Ray Comfort or Tex Marrs, or are well-meaning, if clueless (Tipper Gore, I'm pointing at you), rail about the "evils" of D&D, heavy metal music, video games, occult symbolism and later, Vampire: The Masquerade, claiming it will lead you to Satan-worship, becoming a rapist, a child-molester, a killer...  Yes, out of the tens of thousands of players, one or two already unhinged people killed someone and the media pundits tried to link the game to their reasons for committing atrocities.  The game did not make them that way, their own individual illnesses did.  The games merely provided a prop to wrap their crimes around.  Those scares passed, and I'm sure this one will, too, but it fucking pisses me off when I see people claiming to be tolerant progressives mocking someone as a "freak" for playing a game in (shocked breath) costume, no less.  Get the coat with the extra-extra long sleeves before he games again!

False causality is a terrible place to start in any sort of reasoning.  

We watch people in uniforms--costumes--running around playing what was originally a kid's game... for money.  I guess professional sports are more "legitimate" since they're paid for and sponsored by corporations?  Is that how we judge legitimacy now?  Whether or not you're paid?  By whether or not the media makes fun of it?  How open-minded and progressive of you.  Gaming is a lucrative business to the tune of billions a year.  Tournaments can be a decent income for someone who wins often enough, and it takes as much effort and sweat as a so-called "legitimate" job, and the learning-curve is steep for some games.  The gaming-world is happily making a living for a lot of us who make costumes, props, or who write the code to the role-playing games you play on your PC.  So yes, you dear freaks are in the same fraternity as we LARPERs: you're gamers.  :-)

Creativity comes in all forms and fun is more than sitting in front of the TV with a beer being spoon-fed your entertainment filtered liberally through corporate commercials created by those corporations that are buying your politicians, screwing up your lives, poisoning your family, your neighbours, and your planet.  Fun can be had in non-competitive ways--gaming--in person: you know, social contact, something too many suggest we gamers lack?  People make their living creating those games to entertain YOU, and you have the gall to call them " childish freaks" for the type of gaming they do, simply because you either don't enjoy those kinds of games (so you're obviously qualified to pass judgment on what is "cool", "sane" or "normal" to do) or just don't understand them.

Please forgive the invasion of the Italics.  Those darned things sneak in whenever they can and fucking breed...

Seems to me that we gamers and LARPers get more social time with real people than a lot of "normal" folks sitting in front of their TV's, PC's or yakking on their phones do.  We have fun being active instead of passive consumers, using our brains for something other than stuffing between our ears by collaborating in a story with a bunch of friends an evening or two a month.  Thinking outside the box, finding unusual or creative solutions to problems, math, sewing-skills (for some, like me) art and writing all come into play in the gaming world.  I think that's something people like Rush can bring to the GOP, who so direly need it.  He just needs to get with the program and stop being a bigoted, exclusionary asshat.

People's attacks on Rush's hobby are a fuck-witted ad hominem, when you should be going after Rush's shitty beliefs and prevent him from becoming an administrator if he really is so terrible.  Go after his stated views, what he does in the real world, not his hobby.  People grow; at least, we hope they do, and he's young enough that some of his sillier ideas about policy will undergo some evolution, though, being a devout Fundie, he might not believe in evolution.  ;-)

Originally posted to TheProgressiveAlien on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

    by TheProgressiveAlien on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:39:37 PM PDT

  •  I think you're absolutely correct. A fine rant. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, FloridaSNMOM

    Except, possibly, for the allegations of hypocrisy. I've got to guess that the people who defended online gaming for one person weren't the people who trashed role playing for the other. The people you're calling out for hypocrisy may not even have seen the earlier diary.

    It's one of the problems/advantages with the extended community here that, with the sometime exception of the FP, it's impossible to lump everybody together and say "You are doing x".

    That aside, this was both well written and well worth reading.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:18:54 PM PDT

    •  Nope, I'm not accusing anyone specifically... (3+ / 0-)

      ...from that old diary of hypocrisy, but us as a "collective", if that makes sense?  It's mostly the fellow who wrote the Jacob Rush diary that got under my scales (and a couple commenters who obviously couldn't figure out the difference between a role and the person who played it), as he seems to have made a common error that I see too often: gamers are weirdos, into the Occult, they're freaks, losers, etc, and we aren't worth taking seriously or worth voting for (if any of us ran for office) and it's okay to laugh at us because we play "silly children's games".

      It bothered me that we as a community defended Lachowicz, who played "silly children's games",  but we saw nothing wrong with joining the Republicans in being judgmental jerks to Rush, doing the same thing they're doing--to one of their own, yet.  So, I'm not calling out anyone as individuals, but chastising a rough group for being rude in a commonly-stupid way.  (shrugs)

      I see little distinction between online role-playing and live-action role-playing, BTW: they're both done in real-time with the online RP having a semi-direct contact with other players (the chats), while the LARP is in person.

      To be clear, I fucking hate Rush's ideas.  He strikes me as a bit of a poser and possibly a jerk (few who deny gays the right marry are anything but); I fucking hate bigots more.  I get all pissy over people being gits to folks with body-modifications, too (piercings, tattoos, etc).  Possibly because I'm in that crowd, as well?  Perhaps I'm personalizing things a bit too much.  LOL  (points to her many piercings and the big, obvious, 1-inch stretched lobes)

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:44:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I'm trying to point out is that "we, as a (0+ / 0-)

        community" very seldom do anything in concert. Except (mostly) try to elect Democrats.

        Personally, I think gamers and medievalists are "normal" and furries are a bit strange, but that comes from having known a bunch of the first, and none of the second, rather than having a bias (that I know of) against furries. I'm fairly certain that there are some users with totally opposite experience. And, btw, that's a lovely headpiece.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:07:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. :-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          I made it for a customer.  There's a full costume that goes with the kitty head: body-suit, tail and paws for hands and feet.  >^__^<

          I realize we don't do anything in concert, as you put it--no one is that unified.  I was just pointing out a Bad Thing (TM) in some people's behaviour and was trying to keep it from being too personal, otherwise, I would have named names.  But, as the opinions expressed were not actually malicious, just stupidly ignorant, I wanted to correct some misconceptions about LARP and gamers in general.

          As some say, "your mileage may vary".  No one has the exact same experiences and their responses to those experiences are as individual.  I just get shirty when folks use one negative example to judge an entire, non-homogeneous group like gamers in a negative way.

          I know bias can show up in many forms, some truly ugly and just as many really harmless ,and thinking Furries--for example-- are a "little weird" is based on a lack of knowledge, as you readily admit.  See my sig line.  :-)

          And I'm a Furry.  Now you know one.  BooGAH! Argleargle.  LOL

          If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

          by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 11:07:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You would probably be interested to know that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, FloridaSNMOM

    my late husband was a direct descendant of Tyendenaga, also known as Joseph Brant. As a Canadian and someone of First Nations heritage, I'll bet you know who that was.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:59:52 PM PDT

    •  Yep, though I'm not related to him... (3+ / 0-)

      I'm not even of his tribe, though my People speak an Algonquin-related language.  I'm Innu/French.  Sadly, I don't speak my People's language and know very little about our traditions, save what I've picked up from various Elders over the years.  My grandfather had been packed off to one of those Residential "schools", his braids cut off, beaten for speaking his language or practicing any Anishnaabe traditions and rarely got to see his family, except in summer.  Tradition died, he married a white woman and my mother grew up speaking Quebecois French in Montreal.

      Me, I grew up in Winnipeg--my mother moved there permanently after her father had been stationed in Shilo back in the '60's (an army base) and I grew up knowing next to nothing of my heritage until my mother told me of it and showed me the various letters and other records that confirmed it.

      I have no claim to anyone really famous like Brant, though (lucky you! :-D), unless you consider a certain circus strongman who'd been billed as the "Strongest Man in the World" and is the unofficial hero/mascot of Montreal: Louis Cyr.  He's my great-great (however many, I think three) uncle on my mum's side.  LOL

      I'm a mixed-breed nobody with pretensions of being a writer/costume-designer.  Though I see that I haven't gotten all of the typos and other oopses in my text.  Crud.  I hope I can edit them.  It's my first Diary: I hope folks will be gentle.  :-p

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:25:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hate Winnipeg. Actually, I don't, but my (0+ / 0-)

        favorite Canadian band, The Weakerthans, seem to! LOL.

        I am a HUGE fan of The Weakerthans.

        SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

        by commonmass on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:35:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Their music is pretty fun, actually... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          Pity they hate their hometown, though there is much to hate: racism, institutional poverty for First Nations, the asshats who are currently raiding the head-shops and have forced my favourite, Wild Planet, to close (grrr), really crappy street-maintenance and Mayor Sam Katz.  :-p

          But, we have some cool things, too: an awesome independent music and arts scene, tons of gaming opportunities and thriving gaming stores (last I heard, anyway) a city in a frakkin' FOREST--really, stand on any tall building and look out to the horizon, it just might remind you of that "jungle" scene in Star Wars with buildings peeking up out of the tall trees.

          Oh, and May the Fourth be with you.  :-D

          I haven't lived in Canuckistan since 2009, though, so I'm sure a lot has changed in the 'Peg.

          If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

          by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:55:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think they really hate Winnipeg, (0+ / 0-)

            it's just a song. It's actually properly called "One Great City", though that's ironic.

            Canuckistan seems to be suffering from some of the same problems UnitedStatesistan is suffering from.  

            SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

            by commonmass on Sun May 04, 2014 at 11:01:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, Harper is a nasty, but more polite... (0+ / 0-)

              ...clone of folks like "Dubya".  :-p  Panders to the money and allows Big Oil to dictate policy so the rules can be altered to benefit them in ways that would get any "ordinary" citizen arrested.  (snarrrrl)

              Idle No More is a huge protest movement against some fucktastic decisions by our so-called Liberal Party: Big Oil has been given almost free reign to use northern waterways for various purposes, including fracking, and the kicker is that most of those waterways (if not all) pass through one Reserve after another.  The First Nations who live up there rely on those rivers and streams for food and drinking water, and the Big Oil companies are gonna poison them.  Who gives a fuck about us Indians, right?  Sheesh.

              Canuckistan: the land where one can have a "Liberal" Party that really isn't, oxymorons like the "Progressive Conservative" Party that just make no sense, so-called free education and tax-free status for us First Nations (as supposed reparation for things like the Residential schools and other crap) that we have to jump through so many hoops to actually GET that most of us can no longer be bothered to try for and a media mostly owned by our very own version of Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, who has been indicted on more than one occasion for his far-from legal shenanigans.

              The real "for the People" party is the NDP (National Democratic Party), but they routinely get stomped on in the voting because of money.  As always.  Sadly, they have their major flaws, too: too many follow the money as much as the (not)Liberals and whatever the "Progressive Conservatives" have morphed into since the late the nineties when their party was virtually killed (the Reform and a few other scary little, racially bigoted, religous-voter based creepers).

              If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

              by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:12:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Just because you are (bad guy) (3+ / 0-)

    does not mean you are (bad (guy)).

    warning: snark probably above

    by NE2 on Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:26:50 AM PDT

    •  someone watched Wreck-it Ralph (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      "Just because you (play) The Bad Guy doesn't mean you are a bad guy."

      We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

      by ScrewySquirrel on Sun May 04, 2014 at 05:18:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        "Being bad isn't bad, and sometimes, being bad is good..."  That movie made me laugh SO fucking hard.  <3

        Wonderful that it used gaming as a trope to tell a sweet story, too.  And the Owl-City songs kick butt.  I normally listen to doom-and-gloom (TM) Goth/Industrial, but his music is SO perky, even a die-hard "hate everything" dedgrrl like me sings along.  (giggles)

        If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

        by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 11:11:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. >^__^< (0+ / 0-)

      Exactly.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:56:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As to the GRRM ref, anybody up on what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    The Armageddon Rag carries for hidden references ?

    Anybody done a thesis on this book ?

    I have little idea what he's doing, apart from pushing the plot forward.

    I'm more into Sean Stewart. Hooked from Tori Beauchamp in Mockingbird and the great/unique plot line in Galveston. But GRRM is soooo popular ?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Sun May 04, 2014 at 03:43:16 AM PDT

    •  Didn't say I liked his writing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013

      LOL  Merely used him as a prop to make a point.  (Giggle)  And I haven't a foggin' clue as what "hidden references" there might be in his stuff, either.  :-D

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:57:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a longtime fan of the Armageddon Rag ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... are you suggesting there are hidden clues to A Song of Ice and Fire in there?

  •  I LARPED for years and years. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    Still run a game when I can, though it's hard with a three year old. I've played some truly despicable people in my role as ST/GM. Doesn't mean I like their thought process or that it's my own. Now that said, the problem I had with Rush was IIRC he was a "family values" conservative and that showed a baseline level of hypocrisy.

    •  Well, I had trouble... (0+ / 0-)

      ...seeing it myself.  I mean"family values" can mean a LOT of things and I think it can include a safe, consensual and group-bonding pastime like LARP in there.  :-)

      But, I understand what most folks mean by "family values", these days, and they aren't any "values" a sane person would ever hold to, so I get you there.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 11:19:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember not too long ago when lots of people (4+ / 0-)

    here were posting all sorts of outrage-machine against some Gopper candidate or another because he was a WW2 re-enactor and had photos of himself in WW2 Nazi uniform.

    When I made a few comments pointing out that WW2 Nazi re-enactors are not actual Nazis, any more than Civil War re-enactors are actual slave-owners (I have done Dark Ages re-enactment myself, and I know people who do WW2 re-enactment), I too became the target of the outrage machine for "defending nazis".  (sigh)

    Some of us here, alas, are sooo hyper-eager in our partisan bashing that we lose our fucking minds while we are doing it.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun May 04, 2014 at 06:18:58 AM PDT

    •  I was a long-time member of the SCA... (0+ / 0-)

      ..before the cliquey snobbery got to me and I left.  Not big on "holier than thou=I'm more Period than you" behaviour.  I got into it because of my interest in history, crafts, costuming and ancient fighting-styles, but when I saw someone rake over a friend of mine for wearing close-but-not-quite period footwear with his garb, I blew a gasket and chewed them out for not understanding that we do this for fun, not because it's a religion-replacement.  They didn't understand me, though.  Not unexpected.

      My friend (the fellow who got pestered for the shoes) is a blacksmith, a for-real, very talented and skilled one who maintains a forge in his garage and makes period pieces for historical groups and does blacksmithing demonstrations for the Festival du Voyageur every year.

      Another buddy of mine was into Civil War re-enactments, too and has a fascination with wars in general.  He collects war memorabilia and I had no ethical problems with giving him a lovely enamelled Nazi Party pin and a WWII-era German coin as a Christmas present one year.  He seemed to appreciate it, but I'm not certain if he thought I was giving him a pointed message (we've argued on opposing sides regarding certain civil rights groups, most notably women's rights and the right to hold protests of whatever sort), if he thought I was calling him a Nazi or if he really did like receiving possibly rare items to add to his collection.

      I think it was the latter, since he recently asked for my "find cool stuff" mojo to help him get a set of WWII Afrikaner goggles he wanted for a period outfit he was putting together.

      An interest or fascination in something horrible (Nazism) is nowhere even close to the same as holding the same beliefs.  So sorry you got chewed on by idiots for trying to point that out.

      Personally, we need guys like this to keep us reminded of the horrors we can perpetrate on innocents because of ideologies.  Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:30:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  winnipeg, eh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheProgressiveAlien

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun May 04, 2014 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

    •  Yeeeeeessss... (0+ / 0-)

      Problem?  :-D  I live in the mountains of San Bernardino, now.  Just recently watched three families lose their homes to a fire, poor folks right across the lake from us.  I was one of the first people to call it in.   One poor guy had to rescued off of his deck by the fire-crews while the flames ate his house.   (cries)  This drought is killing everything...

      And, seriously, that tacking an "eh?" at the end of sentences is an EASTERN, like Maritimes, thing.  I grew in Manitoba, where we sound like North Dakota.  LOL  I almost never use it, and I know few who ever did.  Too many folks use, "huh?", though.  Ppfft.

      >^__^<

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Sun May 04, 2014 at 11:16:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll just have to beg to differ with you on "eh". (0+ / 0-)

        I have bEEn there and done that.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:40:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ??? I'm sorry??? What? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm confused, I think.  I'm not shitting you.  I knew very few people in Manitoba (Winnipeg, at least) who actually used the "eh?" suffix.  I know I don't use it, anyway, and I was born and raised in Winnipeg.  :-)  I did encounter it on occasion, but it wasn't an every-day sort of thing, and invariably, the person using it came from the Maritimes.

          Seriously, Canadians don't have a "uniform" accent: we have regional accents just like the U.S or Britain has, just not as many.  Some of the distinctions are subtle, though: a rounding of a vowel here, a nasalization of a consonant there, phrasing differences and so on.  Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV fame did NOT sound like any Canucks I knew, though their "accents" bore some resemblance to how folks I knew from the Rez talked.

          I have some suspicions about how they came up with that pastiche and I think it had more to do with Torontonian accents than the rest of Canada.  You do know there is more to Canada than Toronto "the centre of the Canuck universe", right?  LOL  :-)

          If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

          by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:38:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excuse me for being grossed out by a candidate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, Batya the Toon

    who publicizes rape fantasies. I won't criticize that as being hypocritical. It's right in line with his party that wants to control women's bodies and has promoted legislation to mandate vaginal probing.

    •  I have no issues with someone... (0+ / 0-)

      ...being grossed out by the guy.  His publicly-stated views are repugnant to me, too.

      I DO have a big problem with attacking someone for a hobby when that hobby is not all there is to the person, nor does it have anything to do with his personal beliefs.

      The note he sent to another character in the game as "Chazz Darling" is NOT Rush's viewpoint, nor is it likely to be how he really thinks.  I can't stress that enough.  An actor is NOT the role.  Chazz was a creep, yes, and the note is creepy, but it was consistent with the role Rush was playing.

      Christopher Walkin plays creepy characters all the time and we don't try to equate his beliefs with that of his character!  It's flat-out STUPID.

      "Chazz's" note is also not a rape-fantasy: he's not offering to do any such thing to the character.  He used it as a kind of warped emphasis in his comment about something the other character was doing that "Chazz" thought was stupid.  He was being a troll, in other words.  It's a snarky comment, nothing more.

      I've played many characters who's personal beliefs did not match my own in any way.  I've played villains; they can be FUN.  I've played murderers and gang-members, honest folk and heroic people.  Are you going to dare to make the same ridiculous leap of logic and call ME a real killer, villain, gang-member etc, because of some roles I've played?  I've played God of War.  Am I Kratos?  No.  I've played a ghost, too.  I'm not a ghost in real life...

      The GOP's bad-habits of trying to limit our rights has nothing to do with a game, either.  I'm sure there are WOW players in the GOP, or even other LARPers, they just don't tell anyone, like it's some kind of dark secret.  This kind of nonsense is just one reason why we tend to not tell people of our role-playing hobbies.  No one likes to be called evil just because they found it fun to play an evil character.

      I am female.  I have been raped and I think we are chewing on an admittedly foolish fellow for the WRONG THING.  Chew on his stated beliefs and hoped-for policy, not a hobby that has NOTHING to do with those policies or his beliefs.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:54:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  right on (0+ / 0-)

    I called out that diary too.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:00:38 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for doing so. (0+ / 0-)

      :-)

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:55:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So we're attacking Rush & you're offended? 2 bad! (0+ / 0-)

    If you knew a damn thing about Florida, Progressive Alien, you'd realize that the piously hypocritical, fact-free voters in CD-3, CD-6 and just about every other congressional district in this brain dead state will vote in the devil to prevent reasonable, responsible Democrats, let alone progressive candidates, from winning office.
    This isn't a game, kids. It's for real. Winners cut throats, lie and steal, but they get control. So whining about our "hypocrisy" is just plain stupid. Who do you want running this asylum and deciding our fate in Congress; us or them?

    Either we primary the Pres or I'm voting for Nobama

    by Gator McLeod on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:26:47 AM PDT

    •  Knowledge of Florida is not required... (0+ / 0-)

      ...to call out people being assholes to someone for playing a fucking game.  Get a grip.

      No, politics isn't technically a game, but it's often played like one, and the moves and counters made in each "round" make a difference.  No, I wouldn't vote for Rush.  I wouldn't vote for him because of real-world things like saying it's okay to not give gays the right to marry, or that it's just fine and fucking dandy to force us ladies to submit to probing of whatever sort or to prevent us from getting birth-control or to defund Planned Parenthood because: ABORTION!

      Nerd-bashing a guy for something he did in a game is beyond silly, it's fucking asinine.

      Bash him for real stuff, okay?  You know, stuff that actually happened?

      Like you, I'm fed up with the most ruthless bastard always getting into power, and like you, I very much prefer that the Progressive, pro-environment, pro-woman and gay rights, and anti-racist groups get the scepter.

      At least, on that we agree.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like you play (0+ / 0-)

    old style World of Darkness, pre-retcon. It seems to me the new version is just too watered down and "politically correct."

    I much preferred the original "Cainite" version, the original Camarilla and Sabbat and so on.

    Pretty much gave up playing and caring about the game when they did the retcon.

    Anyway, I basically agree with your points in this article.

    It always amazes me that people who can spend their time collecting baseball cards and playing fantasy baseball get all nerd-bashy when it comes to role players and comic and sci-fi fans.

    Diff tor heh smusma.

    •  Yeah, when I saw the Fourth Ed stuff... (0+ / 0-)

      I nearly cried, it was so bad.  I preferred the Third Ed game-world.

      Mind you, if I just took the 4th Ed on it's face and played it as if I knew nothing about the previous games, it might not be as terrible as I think.  LOL

      Forgive me, but I do not understand the last sentence.  Could you please translate?  It looks Fannish, but not like any Fannish I know.  :-p

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 11:04:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I don't LARP (0+ / 0-)

    I am a cybergoth, and get a lot of the same criticisms because you're supposed to grow out of it so what's wrong with you if you don't, you're devil-inspired,  etc (which, since you listen to goth and industrial etc. you've probably heard). I think anyone who does things even a little differently get nailed for it in general because they aren't following traditional societal assumptions. I also think that people who play roles get crap because they are trying to understand a character that may very well be out of their comfort zone, and understanding motivations seems to be anathema to many people.

    I live in Pomona.  Air's so bad right now I'm not supposed to go outside.  Drought = fires and more fires. .. I feel for your neighbors.

    •  Ouch... The fires are going to be scary (0+ / 0-)

      this year, I'm afraid.  O___O

      And I've definitely gotten the "yer a devil worshiper" bullshit from ignorant, clueless, anti-logical people.  I've certainly played characters who did things I'd NEVER do in real life.  Yes, play outside one's comfort-zone, learn what might motivate such a person.  It might just teach you how to handle a situation where you might meet such an individual.  I mean, role-playing is evil?  Really?

      Tell that to all the businesses, medical personnel and military people who use role-play to prepare people for hairy situations!  Oy.  (eye roll)

      I have to check on the air-quality whenever I go out at all: asthma.  Poo.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Longtime RPer, occasional LARPer ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and I definitely see your point.

    However, this:

    ...but do we call [George R. R.] Martin a "freak" or think he bears a sublimated hatred and disrespect towards women for the female characters that are so often abused in his novels?
    I don't think he hates women, but he's definitely bought into the notion that men's subjugation of women (with all the rapeyness that involves) is a universal and inevitable trait of human nature.

    And similarly, yeah, I am going to side-eye the hell out of anyone who thinks that fictional (yes I understand that they are fictional) rape threats are a great way to give depth and realism to his fictional character.

    •  Are you so certain of this? (0+ / 0-)

      I'd like to see some actual proof, other than someone's opinion that might be based on nothing more than how he tends to write females in his books.  Obviously, I'll be going and looking into this myself, but if this turns out to nothing more than a cheap shot at a popular writer with nuthin' to back up the assertion other than he has women be raped in his books, I'm gonna come back and rake you for it.  >;-)

      I don't think he hates women, but he's definitely bought into the notion that men's subjugation of women (with all the rapeyness that involves) is a universal and inevitable trait of human nature.
      I used him as an example of a popular writer who uses some rough scenes for us ladies and brutal imagery in his stories, not because I'm particularly fond of his stuff.  I'm somewhat indifferent, actually.  I think his Game of Thrones series is long-winded and takes too effing long to get anywhere, but I also understand that he's writing what amounts to a far-seeing saga of these families and that it takes time for events to fully unfold.

      He's developed a "culture" vaguely based on European medieval stuff, and he might just be keeping "true" to the model: women were very much second-class persons who's only real purpose was as chattel to be traded around to cement one alliance or another.  Whether or not he's "bought" into the idea of male dominance is still left open for me.  He might just be cynical about how quickly humans can learn and change.  People are fucking stubborn and generally stupid, and set-in-the-grain behaviours like our cultural nonsense about women being sex-objects, pets, second-class, arm-candy, punching-bags, or cum-dumpsters has definitely got to change, but I don't see it happening soon.  There are far too many cultures and thousands of years backing this bullshit rapeyness (I like that word), for it to change tomorrow, even if I wanted it to (and I do).

      Martin writes from that perspective, I think, and it might not necessarily be what he himself truly believes.  He might not have bought into the notion of the inevitable tendency of men to subjugate women, but he may well acknowledge that's how things work at the moment.

      But, I wonder if you've even read any of his books.  I can name several characters of the female persuasion who are not only strong-willed and intelligent and go against the norm of the passive, obedient female, they eventually beat out the men in the "game" and win their place.  If I were to be of the sort who formed my opinions of a writer's character based on what s/he wrote, I'd have to say that Martin wanted to create well-rounded characters and not your usual card-board cut-out heroes and heroines and may well have a deep respect for women.

      But, being cynical, I'm going to do some digging and see if your assertion is right, even though I have my doubts.  I've been disillusioned with writers before: Orson Scott Card turned out to be a complete fucking right-wing-nut and I really enjoyed his Ender series and the Alvin Maker stories.  (sigh).  I had a similar jolt when I learned that Anne Rice, another favourite, had gone over the edge and deeper into her religion.  That bugged me rather a lot, but then, I'm a loud-mouthed, obnoxious atheist.  :-p

      And similarly, yeah, I am going to side-eye the hell out of anyone who thinks that fictional (yes I understand that they are fictional) rape threats are a great way to give depth and realism to his fictional character.
      Well, that's just plain dumb, man.  Sure, Rush used a really immature ploy as part of his character's actions, but that in no way suggests that he himself might engage in icky rape-fantasies personally.  Jeez.

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:44:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, yeah, NO... (0+ / 0-)

      (Rakes you hard)  Sir/madame, here are Martin's own words and if you are further interested, the opinions as expressed by the actors who portray the many ladies in the TV series (I'll link to the page later):

      Martin's answer to whether or not Game of Thrones is in line with feminist ideals is kind of charming in a nerdy, deeply old-school sort of way. "I've been asked that before, and every time I answer, I get in trouble. There have been times in my life when I've said I am a feminist, but in the '70s and the '80s, I would get letters from women saying 'No male can be a feminist. You can only be an ally.' I wouldn't use the term because of that." Obviously, that was a different time, so we're going to go ahead and take that as a tentative "yes."

      Certainly, talking to him about his female characters, it's clear that he takes them seriously in the way that some authors, unfortunately, do not. Hearing him describe his intentions in writing both men and women, Martin says that his chief concern is creating interesting characters, good characters, and that during casting he made a point of weighting acting experience over physical appearance — is not unlike Joss Whedon's well-expressed philosophy. "I don't know if I am a feminist, but I certainly believe that women are equal people, that there are all types of women. There are brave women, there are cowardly women. Most people are some combination of things...I believe in individual characters."

      (emphasis mine)

      Much of what I could find in a quick search only gave me a bunch of opinions from people not even involved with the series and what I saw there was as laughable in their attempts at "logic" as what I saw here in regards to Rush's hobby.  One reader even suggested, that because Daenaerys was only thirteen when she was given to Kahl Drogo as a wife that their first night together was rape merely because of her age, and insisted upon calling Drogo a paedophile.  No, it wasn't and he wasn't.  That person was looking at it from a 21st-Century point of view, which invalidates much of what they said in regards to the supposed immorality of child-brides.

      I personally hate the practice, further, I DO think Drogo is a paedo, but only by TODAY'S standards, not by his.  In my opinion, it's more of the women as "property" bullshit, BUT, and this is a huge but, within a culture we know little about (I am talking real ones, here, not the fictional one of the books), or are assuming superiority over (a kind of bigotry in itself: we usually call it "paternalism".  In other words, we can be patronizing as fuck to other cultures not our own, making the mistake of judging them by our standards, not by theirs), a girl marrying at 13 is not only not unheard of, it is right and proper.  For them.

      Also, in the marriage-night scene in the book, Drogo continually asks Daenaerys "No? No?" as he undresses her, carefully stroking and caressing her in his tentative first seduction (he doesn't speak her language), implying that not only would he stop if she asked it, he was being careful to show respect for her as a person, not treating her as property (within the bounds of his culture as it's portrayed).  While there was a certain amount of expectation that Daenaerys would give him what he wanted, she acquiesces anyway--because she WANTED to.

      Not rape, as Daenaerys is considered an adult by her society (and Drogo's) and she does not appear to feel coerced.

      This character later goes on to become a major leader for the entire Dothraki people, who grow to worship her.  So anti-woman is GRRM, yes?  No, I don't think so.  Like the man says, he is more interested in creating characters with depth and with realistic personalities, complete with conflicting morals in a lot of cases.  Why?  Because that's how people really ARE.

      I agree with Martin that a lot of current fantasy novels use tired tropes and cardboard characters to tell their stories, and I've noticed that the books that have more than pretty prose, IE; character development beyond the black-and-white hero or anti-hero, are the ones I tend to enjoy more overall.  Pity he personally missed the "tired trope" of the primitive plains-dwelling Native American/Mongol-like Dothraki when he could have done something else.

      But, he's basing his novels/ cultures on rough approximations of medieval European ones, with all their warts, plus the addition of the Mongol/Hun raiders that caused so much damage in Europe in those years.  Thus, it still works, even if we see the Dothraki as being cliché.

      Anyway, your hypothesis about Martin "buying into" the whole idea of the inevitability of female subjugation by men seems to be off-target and looks like it's based on the same error in logic that I shoot down in my article: we canNOT judge a writer's (or player's) morals by what they choose to write (or play).  Martin wrote what he did because it served the needs of his long-spanning tale, not because he sees women as objects to be oppressed.  He can write horrible things for his characters to go through, all without EVER agreeing that those horrible things are justified or moral in the real world.

      It would be more accurate to say that he writes societies where women are subjugated and he places female characters in those societies that not only go against their supposed subjugation, they tend to turn things on their heads while doing so.

      A short list of characters who do just that:

      Cersei, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Daenaerys, and Catlin.  There are more, but I haven't gotten very far in the series, yet, so I haven't encountered the others (like Brienne).

      Here's a link to the page where I found this stuff: http://www.refinery29.com/...

      Admittedly, it's not much an "interview" with Martin, since the actors are being paid a bit more attention to, and Martin is only quoted briefly, but I quoted the relevant bit.

      Consider yourself well and duly "raked", sir. :-)

      If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

      by TheProgressiveAlien on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:28:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Madam, actually. (0+ / 0-)

        And you seem to be arguing against an idea I haven't actually proposed.

        Martin doesn't approve of men subjugating and/or raping women, and he doesn't write his sympathetic characters as generally approving of it either.

        But he thinks it's human nature, like other forms of violence.  He has gone on record as saying that he felt it would be unrealistic not to have his fictional society be full of deplorable subjugation and rape.

        He writes excellent female characters -- deep, complex, varied, with their own motivations that aren't necessarily centered around the men in their lives -- but he felt it necessary, for reasons of "realism," to write those characters in a society that would denigrate them and their accomplishments and ambitions because of their gender.  In several such societies, actually -- the world of Game of Thrones has at least a dozen discrete cultures, of which every single one is misogynistic to one degree or another.

        I'm not criticizing Martin for approving of this, because he very clearly doesn't.  I'm criticizing him for not being willing to write a world where misogyny isn't the norm, and for assuming that it's inevitably going to be.

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