I think I would have respected the last episode more if it ended with 20 minutes of every named character still living putting a gun in his or her mouth and pulling the trigger. That would have been a fitting, even kind of beautiful, end to the series. It certainly would have been more honest than the version we got, where everyone went off camping.
But I do have a soft spot for Adama & Roslin's final bit.
Can I just say that linking to Donovan tracks without a clear warning is the absolute height of irresponsibility?
Oh man, I had to sit through the movie about Francis of Assisi that he wrote songs for years ago. It was all about how Frank the pusher jammed a dozen tabs of LSD up your ass and then sung you off to his harem in the hills to do fabulously decadent things. You can't convince me otherwise.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
And we put Bobby Lee on stamps, more than once, despite his instrumental role in murdering far more people. And those people were even mostly white! Though the four million he fought to keep slaves were not, and fighting for that kind of thing is the sort of thing that a lot of Americans historically have admired.
Aaron Bitman wrote:
Supposing future people "fix" things by making them better in their own eyes, but worse in ours? Supposing their idea of "progress" is towards some dystopia?
Everyone's idea of progress is someone else's dystopia. If that doesn't stop us now, why should we worry about it in the future?
Also: reading Freehling on and off, but mainly I made a project of reading Iron Man comics from the 80s since I've meant to for years. Polished off David Michelinie's run a few nights ago and started in on Dennis O'Neil. Pretty good so far. The set rate is three a night, but sometimes I'll read extras.
Very distracting how none of the artists seem to know that Tony is supposed to look like Robert Downey, Jr, though.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Now and then someone will tell me that I should not judge the past so harshly (even though I don't, really) because we will be judged harshly in the future. At this point, I tell them that I hope we're judged harshly and the sooner the better. I want future people to look back at us and think us savages for enduring all the things they've fixed, or at least made progress on. Who wouldn't?
In the unlikely event that facts could possibly enter into it:
Corey Robin wrote:
Travis Walton "UFO Guy" wrote:
What color was the helicopter? You need to know the color of the helicopter.
For reference:Unmarked black helicopters: World Government. Best stay inside.
Blue: Sheriff's Secret Police. They'll keep a good eye on your kids, and hardly ever take one.
Complex murals depicting diving birds of prey: We don't know, but a few months back they took all the children. Then gave them back, much better behaved than before. So probably ok.
Yellow helicopters: You're screwed. Believe in a smiling God.
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
You guys, Barack Obama was just here. He grabbed me by the neck and lifted me out of my chair and slammed me down on my bed. I tried to explain that, while I'm sure he's an accomplished lover, he is not my type.
Obama would hear none of it. He pressed his fingers together, like he was going to make a karate chop, and then just slammed them into my abdomen, fingertips first. Before I could even process what happened, Obama pulled out, my appendix in hand. I'll never forget what he said next, hand dripping with my blood as he stood over me:
"North Korea hacked healthcare.gov and gave you appendicitis. Put a band-aid on that, drink some Robitussin, and take two aspirin. You'll be fine. And get a haircut, hippie."
Then Obama threw the bloody appendix in my face and climbed out my window into a flying bidet that, as I understand it, became Air Force One as soon as he mounted the thing and blasted off. I got up to get the band-aid and realized that he took my Lego C-3PO on the way out.
Gotta call dick move on the 3PO, Obama.
I know I'm coming to this late, but wouldn't arachnocapitalism be a system where the rich systematically feed the poor to hordes of ravenous spiders for their personal entertainment?
I can't see any rightist going for that. They'd be too jealous of the spiders.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Circa 2002, I was talking to a Jehovah's Witness about how the different accounts of the plague in Kings and Chronicles tell a really interesting story about the evolving theology of the day. As I get about these things, I was quite excited. I mean, it's HISTORY!
He took extreme offense at the idea of theological diversity in his holy book and so spent half the time griping at me and the other half just staring blankly. I'm reasonably sure that his brain inserted Chronicles' additions into the Kings version and just ignored the rest. Bummer.
Past experience with flat tax fans has suggested to me that this is their preferred outcome.
Finally finished The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England. Nothing at all wrong with the prose, though the epilogue got a bit gushy. Just haven't had time. Very frustrating.
Now doing some actual fiction. I picked back up The Laundry books (Lovecraft meets James Bond by way of office politics.) and burned through a short story last night, then hit a novella I wasn't awake enough for. I think I'll proceed until I finish the next novel, then wear a cup and go back into Freehling.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I'm still reading The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England. Still fun, but between the daily reading for the blog and various other stuff I haven't had the time. Totally unfair. A man man in a blue box needs to come fix this.
Currently working through the chapter on food and a bit nauseated by the constant refrain of eels. You'd think the English had to eat a pound of the things every day just to keep the roads clear.
Going to have to go back to Freehling soon, though. I think I'm almost done with Kansas-Nebraska.
Include spouses, siblings, children, and anybody who shares a household with the officeholders too. They often get sweetheart deals long before the officeholder retires.
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
When you design a system of government to be broken, break it, and then hope politics doesn't happen so no one notices how thoroughly broken it is this can only be expected.
I generally think that surviving the apocalypse would indicate a failure of proper preparation. I mean let's be honest, the world isn't going to be back up and running in a day or two. The best case would probably look like Somalia does today. Not worth it.
And having sat through two episodes of that terrible reality show, I'm fairly sure that what those people need is not stockpiles but some good mental health treatment. That's why I stopped watching. They might not all be paranoid exactly, and one woman seemed to be using prepping to manage her PTSD, but there's some kind of anxiety-related problem going on and they'd probably lead happier lives if they could get some help working through and adjusting rather than staying laser-focused on the worst possible outcomes.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
At one point in the large 50s/early 60s, illicit LSD dosing was an occupational hazard of working for the CIA...or anywhere a CIA employee might happen to have access. I read about half of what seemed like a pretty competent history of the affair a decade or so ago, but then they started riffing Thomas Kuhn a bit too much for my tolerance so I dropped it and read something else.
But you know how a lot of the original OSS and CIA guys got recruited out of frat houses? It shows. They pretty clearly thought LSD was hilarious and proceeded from there. That they probably screwed up at least one guy badly enough that he jumped out of a window didn't enter into it because, well, killing people is kind of a bonus in any CIA operation.
Freehold DM wrote:
A lot of what people believe isn't biblical is sometimes biblical. :) The Book of Enoch is in the canon of the Ethiopian & Eritrean Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox church also accepts Jubilees. Both books are likewise canonical in Bete Israel communities of Jews in, you guessed it, Ethiopia and thereabouts and various diaspora communities.
The notion of X or Y not being biblical and therefore religiously just fan fiction is also, of course, not biblical. It dates back only to Martin Luther and sola scriptura. Before that, especially in the first few centuries CE, believers recognized a more diverse range of divinely-inspired texts which could have theological significance (plus, of course, "tradition"), if not necessarily quite so much so as those they chose to canonize. Enoch and Jubilees are among the many texts treated like that.
And, of course, canonization amounts to just another tradition.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
I look forward to the influx of beautiful hair, dog parks, and vague, yet menacing government agencies into future Pathfinder products. :)
You're welcome. :)
I've heard secondhand from people on the edges of the field that archaeology touching on the period and area is generally considered a bit of a laughingstock that archaeologists who just want to go about their lives and not deal with crazies prefer to avoid. It's a little bit unfair, of course. Respectable archaeologists gave up on a historical Moses and Patriarchs back in the 70s.
Despite the Congressional Globe murdering my reading for the past month...
"Emanuel van Meteren likeswise declares in 1575: Although the women there are entirely in the power of their husbands, except for their lives, yet they are not kept as strictly as they are in Spain or elsewhere."
The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I think the older ordering is GLBT, but LGBT is usually what I see preferred now. Honestly, guys usually get to go first and a label attempting to be inclusive benefits from being aware of that and making an effort not to just automatically carry on the usual male primacy stuff.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
This reminds me of something Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a few years ago with regard to racism. I can't dig up the exact quote right now, but he pointed out that the tacit assumption in a lot of conversation is that the burden rests on the minority to decide when and when not to be offended or call someone out, rather than on the thoughtless majority to exercise their own better judgment.
I think that's both broadly true and completely backwards. It's more or less a way to dress up the old accusation that minorities don't actually have any legitimate cultural grievances and are just making trouble.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I still love you, especially in the street where I am told that goblin affection is best expressed. :)
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
When you hear from enough people who expect to use their personal arsenals to overthrow the government, you eventually realize that they're living in a fantasy world, are dangerously paranoid, or both. I take them at their word: they really believe this stuff.
Ok, keep on believing it. But people who really do believe this stuff clearly aren't in possession of the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit.
Full disclosure: I, obviously, don't think my hypothetical gun would or should be used to overthrow the government or that I have any realistic hope of doing so. Any such attempt would just be an especially reckless attempt at suicide by cop, at best. But even with that said, I don't think that I possess the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit. I'm not sure any human being has it. Thus I don't own a gun, even though I live in a fairly gun-heavy area and have, if not in the recent past, been a victim of violence.
Of course the whole pacifism thing is an obstacle too, but I don't think pacifism is required to know the limits of human judgment.
That's a substantial arsenal to authorize for what amounts to a recreational choice. I don't see why we should subsidize people living in the wilderness, let alone arm them for it. If they can accept the greater distance from emergency medical help, police, and so forth then why not the same delay for dealing with the occasional wild animal?
Most wild animals don't, after all, seek out and murder humans for fun or whatever. It's not like living in a war zone.
But if you just had to, for whatever reason, live near a polar bear migration route (polar bears are one of the more aggressive animals that can threaten a person) then that's a reason you can put down in your application.
I support a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. I used to be much more permissive on it, but repeated interactions with gun owners and advocates, online and in person, have given me more than sufficient reason to dismiss their good judgment.
But if we must preserve the evil of private firearm ownership, then I consider this a worryingly permissive system:
1) Anybody seeking to possess a functional firearm, or one that could easily be made functional, must not just complete a safety course but also a rigorous mental health examination. Anything less than perfection on either and you can't get a gun. Ever. The state picks the shrinks and is free to set as ludicrously exacting standards for the safety course and mental health exam as it likes. Failure of either results in a lifetime ban on possession and ownership.
2) A thorough background check must be completed and any past infractions, criminal or civil, result in rejection of the application and a lifetime ban on possession and ownership. If you can't drive the speed limit, why should we trust you with a machine designed only to kill?
3) The permit would have to be consented to by all local, state, and national law enforcement authorities. This consent may be revoked at any time for any reason.
4) The applicant would have to demonstrate a bona fide need for the specific firearm sought. If self-defense is claimed, the applicant must first demonstrate a present, credible threat to his or her life which cannot be remedied by ordinary police protection. If the permit is sought for hunting, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she cannot afford meat from the grocery store. Recreational shooting and collecting are expressly not sufficient cause.
5) No permits will be issued for handguns or other easily concealed weapons, or weapons that can fire more than once without being manually reloaded, whatsoever.
6) All permits are subject to regular renewal at least once a year which works the same as applying for the permit originally did.
7) If a permit renewal is denied or revoked, any and all associated firearms and ammunition must be surrendered immediately.
8) In the event of any criminal or civil charges against the holder, the permit is automatically revoked. If you are tried and acquitted, you can reapply afterwards.
9) Firearms and ammunition may only be purchased from state-operated dealers and may not be resold. A dealer may not be located in any jurisdiction which elects to forbid it and firearms may not be transported across jurisdiction lines by private individuals.
10) Every discharge of a firearm must be reported to at least the standard currently required of police officers who discharge their weapons.
11) State officials issued a firearm in the course of their duties must surrender it immediately on the conclusion of those duties. Police must turn them in at the end of their shift, for example.
12) No firearms may be permitted in public places, permit or otherwise, or at any gathering of more than five people except at the state dealerships and, if all the jurisdictions concerned choose to permit such a thing, state-operated shooting ranges.
13) By accepting a permit, one accepts the maximum possible penalty and liability for any crime or infraction involving the firearm covered in the permit for as long as the firearm is possessed. (So if you shoot someone with it, it's always premeditated murder and you're going away for the maximum sentence, etc.) If the firearm is stolen, it must be reported immediately and a substantial (say not less than a hundred thousand dollars) fine paid. If someone stole your gun, you obviously did not have it safely and securely stored. Thus a stolen firearm would result in an immediate lifetime revocation of all firearms permits and the consequent surrender of all firearms.
14) All firearm permits are for one and only one firearm. Under no circumstances may multiple permits be issued to the same person or to multiple people living in the same household.
15) All firearm permits and their holders must be registered in a national database. A searchable index of this database must be kept available to the public on the internet at all times.
16) No firearm permit may be issued to any person living within one mile of any school, playground, or other place where minors regularly congregate.
17) By accepting the firearm permit, one also consents to regular inspections of one's firearm storage and safety to ensure that one is being a responsible gun owner. Some of these inspections will come on a regular schedule and others as surprises. They can take place at any time of the day or night.
I'd gladly hear if there are any loopholes I left open so I can close them.
It would if I hadn't been heavily overdosed on the speech. I can still swing Lincoln's second inaugural, though. So that's one village bike of Civil War oration. :)
Yeah, I know. Doesn't make them fun to read. :)
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Well, I just finished The Bible Unearthed on Comrade Samnell's recommendation and I would further highly recommend it to anyone else interested in such shiznit.
I was going to make a crack about infecting your mind with everything that passes through mine, but I think if I got someone else going through the three columns of tiny print Congressional Globe archives, either the police or the Bush administration would be knocking on my door pretty soon.
Also? That stuff is terribly, terribly organized. The archive I'm using is all scanned images, so you can't actually do a text search. There is a searchable index, but it's actually too exhaustive. I've had it return page references for Stephen Douglas that amount to him raising to answer a yes or no question. And their speeches are ridiculously digressive, full of weird circumlocutions and redundancies that would lead one to suspect they got paid by the word. I think my extended time with the Globe is one of the reasons my reading has gone to crap this past summer.
But it's educational. Sam Houston actually came off as a pretty solid dude, aside from the slaveholding. I'm reading John Bell right now and think I still hate his guts, though. They were the two Southerners who voted against the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Houston's speech is full of convincing concern for the Plains Indians (he married a Cherokee) and comes really close to making all the points that the free soil men made about the law. Bell comes off as an embittered oldster, insecure, defensive, and railing against abolitionists for pages for reasons I don't think I've yet read but which probably have to do with reelection. Or he was just an a%$#+*% trying to seize Calhoun's hidden volcano plantation so he could use the slave-powered laser to blow up the moon.
I run games via email, so my system is a little weird. Ideally, for an AP-based game:
1) Read the whole AP.
2) Read the module I'm going to be running immediately.
3) As sections of the module come into play, I read those again as I present them.
Modifications can be made at any stage of the process. Since the time lag in PBEMs is greater, I usually try to cut out filler encounters. I also sometimes have to do lengthy plot recaps because recent developments might reference things that happened real time years ago.
Most of my modifications are verbal and exist largely in my head. Unless I'm making a really drastic change, like rewriting a whole NPC, I don't use notes very often. A lot of "rewriting" NPCs amounts to using the same statblock, or the same but for minor changes, but changing the description. When I do an actual rewrite, involving something like changing a class, adding levels, etc, then I fire up the trusty old word processor and make it happen.
I did something different when I started a sandbox game. I wrote a rough scenario, a lot like the Adventure Background section of an AP. Proper names, basic details of the locations and what really happened in an assumed order. Then I threw it at the players, they chose a different path, and I ran with that. They still ended up at Point B, but they took a detour around Point A3 and have taken several more since. They've also opted, at least so far, to skip some stuff I put in for them. That's fine too. I think my entire "adventure" is less than two pages of typed text but it's working really nicely.
That's just it. Nobody is perfectly rational. Nobody has their BS filter running 24/7. Brains really good at thinking up excuses and reasons for the things we do which are really dumb ape stuff, whether in the heat of the moment or just from all the bad code we process from thousands of years of accumulated cultural crud. One of the absolute best is "I never really thought about it; it's just how things are done."
We've all done it. The name I go by in person is androgynous. Back in grade school, other boys used to work me up into an impotent rage by making it clear they meant the female version. It was insulting and infuriating because it is my name, after all.
It took me years to actually ask why I cared if they were calling me a girl. I just understood that being a girl was somehow bad, even as I knew plenty of girls and was even friends with some.
I do not understand gender policing. Really, really do not understand it, on any level.
I think there's a tremendous amount of insecurity involved. Everybody knows that traditional gender roles are artificial, very silly, and hopelessly narrow. No one wants to actually live like that all their lives. Given that, you either admit it and try to be who you actually are and risk ridicule and censure, or you join the gender police. Or you stand aside and silently support the gender police.
Plus, of course, certain people benefit tremendously from traditional gender roles and many will not lightly yield their advantage.
Neurotypical humans are basically monkeys who are completely at the mercy of their monkey instincts and who rarely have the capacity for rational thought or behavior. That is the only conclusion I can really draw here.
I find when I proceed from an assumption quite similar to that I predict behavior much more reliably than when I do otherwise.
I think it really depends on the social contract the group is operating under. The usual one in D&D/PF is that interaction skills simply do not work PC vs. PC. I'm not totally in love with that social contract and can see plenty of situations where the game could be a lot more interesting with a different one.
But honestly, what's the outcome if not that the hobgoblin is gay and that's the end of it? That the DM says your PC isn't really gay? That the DM rules that, as gay as your PC is, the seduction works anyway? That's far more obviously problematic, on top of a situation that in many groups is problematic in itself.
Of course he is. Don't you think his followers look to him for moral guidance? I'm playing a cleric of his right now that surely does. The Midnight Lord is the god of love and beauty to him and he, as a sacred duty and act of great compassion, wants to share that love and beauty with the world. Together he and those who he helps make a joyous noise unto the heavens. Through the act they are exalted and approach the divine in holy ecstasy.
I have a lot of fun with the fact that, since this is fantasy, his conceptions of love and beauty can be taken as humorous. But then I make sure to subvert that too because ultimately, he is a very bad, very disturbing person who has an E in his alignment.
It's a given that a person who worships a god takes moral cues from that deity and that deity's teachings. That's part of how religion works. Not all of them will cover the same issues as morally meaningful. Not all who do see the same issues as morally meaningful will agree on how they are or what one ought to do when presented with them.
Just like they do on Earth.
Now I'm going to spend at least half an hour thinking up hilarious ways for Harry to walk in on Dumbledore and a boyfriend I'm tentatively casting as Ian McKellen. Or maybe he uses a pensieve loaded with Dumbledore's memories and gets a really hot time from back in the day.
Also, random question for the other dudes that like dudes here: is it uncommon to like, like, masculine men? All the other gay and bi guys I know only go for effeminate girly types, and I mean I like those too, but really manly men are just YEAH! I dunno. It just makes me feel weird.
I know of many gay men who prefer traditionally masculine types in partners. It's not quite my taste, but there are enough of them that it's a pretty well-known type.
stuart haffenden wrote:
The couple of late controversy includes a half-orc. I don't see why gay dwarves would be any more difficult than gay humans...or any more acceptable to the haters.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Haven't made any progress on Swords Against Death I am afraid, but I did start The Bible Unearthed by Finkelstein and Silberman in what I hope will be a run of Comrade Samnell recommendations.
Goblin puppets dance in the street? :)
Came to the conclusion after two weeks of not touching the damned thing that I need a little break from Freehling. I'll finish him, since he came to the door with this pizza I don't remember ordering and all, but I was out of town today with my mother. She needed a sewing machine serviced, and you can read that however you like, but there's also a nice Barnes & Noble down there so I picked up Mythic Adventures (with a lovely lavender spine, no less) and a pleasant surprise: I really dug Ian Mortimer's The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England a year or so ago. I go into the history section and the books come to life and dance around me singing showtunes for a while before parting to reveal The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by one Ian Mortimer.
Yes, please. The cover even includes a fellow in the pillory. There are not enough pillories in gaming, I think. Might have to do what I can to fix that. After my guys are done with the bestial barbarians they're currently negotiating, I suppose.
I don't really get the whole jealousy thing. I really don't. And the thing is that it's not always a problem from the significant other (although it has at times been a problem since no one is considered 'safe' for me to be friends with...which had more to do with insecurity than anything I'd done). I've had more trouble with it from the friend side. too many people equate potential with inevitability when it comes to attraction. :/
I think that they think you're either gay or straight and just kidding around about the other one and don't get that attractions to and relationships with both sexes might just be roughly as personally intense and important to others. My best friend is bi and it took me quite a while, partly because we don't really talk about his interest in women together like we do his interest in men, for it to finally dawn that he really was just as turned on and interested in women as in men and not just really sexually versatile.
Then I revised my idea of sexuality continua from a line to a triangle, which also explained a lot of situational sexuality I've read about.
Let's assume, just to be maximally charitable, that Assad did the chemical weapons strike.
Any attempt to punish Assad for using chemical weapons will involve killing large numbers of civilians, something he wouldn't mind at all. That's how cruise missiles, drone strikes, and honestly military intervention in general work. (We'll kill some low-ranking military people too, I suppose. They at least signed on for the in harm's way business.) So we propose to punish a guy for murdering a bunch of his people by murdering a bunch more of his people. On the theory that, maybe, even if it does not deter him it will deter others from using chemical weapons if they know that the US and UK will totally have their backs and help them with the killing by other means.
There are, of course, far less destructive means to accomplish that goal unless the assembling of large piles of corpses is an indispensable part of the plan. We could, for example, have a precision-target strike to kidnap Assad and haul his ass to the Hague. That would, I know, be hard. But isn't minimizing the number of innocent people we kill worth a little difficulty? A CIA agent with a garrote, if our bloodlust really has to be sated, works just as well. Either one of those would actually serve as a potential deterrent, as they would make it clear to the actual policymakers that their personal safety is at stake if they go chemical.
I don't support either of these options, but they are both much less murderous in design and probably in execution and the killing involved in both would be targeted at actual belligerents rather than poor bastards with the wrong street address.
Or we could do something really crazy and try to do the best we can with a very bad situation. Given the practical constraints and the profound limitations of military solutions, nations of good conscience should do all they can to facilitate the evacuation of Syria and the resettling of its refugees in some safe, decent place where they can, with the help of their new hosts, rebuild their lives. We couldn't save everyone, I know. Not everyone would have the means to leave or be in a place where they were able. Not everyone would want to leave. But for those who just want a stable, decent, freer society we have plenty of wealthy nations that should be happy to help them out and go on crowing about how virtuous they are for doing it.
It wouldn't be cheap and there would be difficulties in implementation, but I bet the long term cost would be a lot less than the blood and treasure of a war.
This will not happen.