Second paragraph: Awesome!
First sentence of first paragraph: That sounds good.
I had an extreme bout of situational depression from February to about, well, still in it I guess, but it's fading. Had a eureka moment somewhere in there and realized that, situational depression aside, I've probably been suffering from some kind of depression my entire adult life whose worst effects I warded off with heavy usage of [bubble bubble bubble].
Made a call to the union hall that didn't get immediate results, talked to my steward, he placed a call, they immediately got in touch and I have an appointment with the local's mental health team on Friday as a prelude to seeing a therapist which, I don't mean to brag, will cost $15/hour. Pays to go with the union card!
Woops, sorry, relapsed into old, politoll ways. Point is, I am learning more and more about the mental health epidemic and its connection to late stage capitalism and...woops, sorry, relapsed again.
Rest of first paragraph: Awesome!
Freehold DM wrote:
We've got a Bonchon in Lowell, but I've never been.
I do still get down to NY with some regularity. Usually stay around the Cortelyou station. Probably be down next sometime at the end of June.
How are things in Freehold land?
Or playing as much, unfortunately.
I gave up my game a couple of years ago. Too much going on, politically, and I refused to DM anymore.
Last August, however, Mr. Comrade and his girlfriend had a beautiful baby boy (Elias Tooley Weathers-Keating, how's that for a name?) and the prolonged periods of enforced free time in the life of a househusband (or, as I prefer to call it, a kept man) drove him to take up the reins of Dungeon Mastering.
5E D&D, alas, not Pathfinder. I made a male-passing female paladin with an Oath of Revolution (yes, inspired largely by Brienne of Tarth) named Sir Shelaigh "Sudsy" Sudskowski, a proselytizing militant in a splinter sect of Ilmater called (of course) the Conspiracy of Equals. Came into the game a few sessions after it started and went about trying to recruit all of the other players with leaflets I had made with info about the Ilmaterian church printed on the back of leftover leaflets from my appearance on a panel at last year's commie con in NYC, which is called Left Forum. Named ourselves the Company of the Broken Shackle.
I guess we were playing in the module in the 5E start-up box, but, of course, we quickly went off the rails, ignoring heavily dropped plot hints in order to, say, organize miners into workers councils, assassinating corrupt burgomeisters, fighting against anti-goblin and -orc racism, and driving out representatives of the imperialist-annexationist Lord's Alliance.
Unfortunately, things took a bad turn when our half-orc barbarian was disintegrated by a qbus (gender netural demon of seduction) and our half-elven rogue was transformed into a vargouille and consigned to the Abyss. One of the other players, an anarcho-nihilist fan of Max Stirner, had been f&&%ing with me for many sessions, pretending to be insane, trying to commit suicide in combat, etc., etc. and I snapped and decided to have Sudsy go all Lancelot-in-the-bushes, and started wearing spider webs on my face, spouting gibberish, and worshiping something called "the Prism Goddess". Heavy handed DM intervention as Ilmater appeared to me in my dreams and guided me back to the path of righteousness, but then I killed three or four wererats in the streets of Neverwinter who, when they died, reverted to their human forms as homeless street kids. Wracked with grief, Sudsy relapsed into insanity. I am hoping I get a chance next game to kill the Stirnerite and complete my transition to anti-paladin. Have never played one of those before.
Anyway, it's been great fun to be on the other side of the screen and give the DM as many problems as they all used to give me.
Who's still here?
Last August I finally graduated to full-time box thrower status, which was great, but unfortunately it meant going back to the overnight shift, which isn't. Have been having trouble adjusting to a sleeping for eight hours during the day schedule and spend a lot of time trying to sleep and not, so I figured, hey, why not check in with Paizo, politics or no, and see who from the old gang is still kicking.
This is just a brief hey and how do you do post; will check in later and see what's kicking.
Second Annual In Honor of Ona Judge Black History Forum
Sponsored by the Class Struggle Education League
This Black History Month forum will focus on the Haitian Revolution, and will include speakers from the Internationalist Group. For more information about the meeting, see below.
You can join this public meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
Access Code: 780-736-221
First GoToMeeting? Let's do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check
The meeting is being held at The PLAN Office, 1 Washington Street, Suite 320, Dover, NH. If you cannot attend in person, you can view and hear it by clicking on the above links, or dialing in.
Tfw, your Second Annual In Honor of Ona Judge Black History forum is tomorrow, and you've done a pretty good job building it all around town, and you've got DSA kids and SP members coming, a carload of IG members from New York, some former SAlt comrades from Providence, and are expecting a carload up from PSL Boston*; you distributed hundreds of copies of the flyer at the Portsmouth Women's March, and at the appearance of Ona Judge's biographer at St. Anselm and many, many elsewheres; it's less than 24 hours away, but you've been too busy driving undocumented workers in hiding to communist rallies in Boston and intervening into Teamster strikes and rallies for sacked UNH lecturers to actually, you know, write your speech for tomorrow, so you end up logging onto Paizo.com to recycle a bunch of the shiznit you said last year.
I was in the Music Thread and saw Pan making a comment about you and figured I better look in the OTD and see what's up.
I am glad to hear that you are alright, DM Cal, and I hope you continue to cheat death repeatedly.
Got this comrade/FB friend who is a Harvard clerical worker (actually, he might be retired, had a heart attack a year or two ago, haven't actually spoken to him much recently, should probably fix that) and he's always blasting his music listening all over his thread. Lots of classical stuff that I have never heard of. Anyway, he called this guy "Korea's greatest 20th century composer" and I'm all like, "sure, I can't even name a 20th century Korean composer," (or from any century, for that matter) so here I am listening to it.
Had a road-to-Damascus type conversion during my vacation in New York/Philadelphia last week.
First we went to hand out bilingual leaflets to Teamsters at NY's largest grocery distribution center in the Bronx. They were about to go on strike, but came to a tentative agreement at 6 am the next morning.
Not that we knew at the time, because we were up at 3 the next morning to be in Philadelphia at 8 to pack the courthouse on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal. That turned out to be anticlimatic because the court hearing had been postponed, but we still had a nice little demo in front of the courthouse before decamping to Reading Market for lunch. Nice place, that.
The next day I attended a reading circle. We discussed the first chapter of Daniel Guerin's 100 Years of American Labor and it was awesome. Everyone was really smart and knew what they were talking about which was a refreshing change from the organization I used to be in. One young woman even asked a question that, two or three days later, led me to understand how we've been doing trade union work wrong for the last five years.
Anyway, something happened while I was down there, and since I have gotten back, I have been so excited and full of self-confidence, it's like a total sea change. I don't think I ever realized how much Socialist Alternative's social democratic nonsense was holding me back.
I regaled the poor denizens of the secret Red Dice Facebook page about how I've been "Reaganing it" (see episode of 30 Rock) since I got back and I won't repeat myself, but one example:
Some of you may remember that we held an In Honor of Ona Judge, a Red Anti-President's Day Black History Month event last year. This year, we decided to do it again, but this time we decided to center it around Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution (and we decided to do it before recent comments by someone in the White House about certain countries, so that was a pretty fortuitous decision on our part). We learned that Ona Judge's biographer was speaking at a small Catholic college in Manchester, so we went to distribute flyers for our event. During the question and answer period, I took the mic (we call it an "intervention" in the commie biz) to talk politics and promote our event. Ona's biographer almost fell off her seat, she was so delighted. We riffed back and forth, for example, on the similarities between fugitive slaves and undocumented workers today, and it turned into half intervention/half flirting ("Well, I sent you a Facebook friend request earlier today..."). Afterwards, we got our picture taken with signs that we displayed at the Woman's March in Portsmouth. It was awesome.
Anyway, I bought a copy of her book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge and she inscribed it thusly: "To [Doodlebug], Find strength in Ona's courage! My best, Erica." (Unfortunately, she didn't include her phone number.)
Vive le Galt!!!
I think I read fewer and fewer books every year. Among other things, I'm years past, in age, when both of my parents got reading glasses.
Every now and then, I accidentally get a large-print book from the library and I'm like "wow, this is awesome! I don't have to squint!"
I know, I know, I need to go to the doctor.
Apparently, someone dumped the whole Harry Potter series into a predictive text bot and came up with:
This is pretty f@&%ing groovy.
Daily Musical Interludes
The Zero Boys--"Civilization's Dying"
Played the Stranger Things game and it was a blast. Mr. Comrade had us each choose three songs that our characters would have liked, so here was the playlist:
Roni Desrochers (Mr. Comrade's Girlfriend)
Mr. Comrade's Girlfriend had never played anything before, but apparently she was a natural at the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater they went to last month, and she took to roleplaying quite naturally. As the game took place in New Hampshire, 12-year-old Roni's cop father had given her her own .22 caliber rifle, which came in quite handy when we were attacked by a neighbor's father who had been possessed by a Nazi ghost. (Well, we didn't know it was our neighbor's father when Roni shot him. Twice.)
Barb (Friend of Ours from Occupy)
Friend of Ours from Occupy had never played anything before, either, except on one occasion when she tried to play Vampire: The Masquerade which, apparently, was a disaster. She modeled her character after Barb from the show, who disappears in the first two episodes, which was good, because those are the only two episodes that I have seen. FoOfO didn't seem to take much to the more demonstrative aspects of roleplaying, but when it was her turn she would often surprise us by coldly declaiming such actions as "I stab the Nazi in the face with the lawn dart."
Kevin Bouchard (Me)
Kevin, quickly renamed "La Bouche!" by Roni's player after he did something awesome (and he always did awesome stuff), also walked around in a sleeveless denim jacket with a Dokken backpatch. While fighting Nazi ghosts and government agents, La Bouche also found time to get fired from his job at the ice cream stand, buy weed off a Jamaican guest-worker, and make out with the girl whose father ended up being possessed by a Nazi ghost and that I got Mr. Comrade name after a girl who had a crush on me in third grade.
Speaking of 19th century American history, Mr. Comrade and I stumbled across this 2006 History Channel program about Reconstruction that was pretty awesome.
Especially the second part. I thought I knew something about Reconstruction, but I had never heard of the four incidents of anti-Klan organizing that the film demonstrates: Parson G. Brownlow, the self-proclaimed "Rebel Ventilator" and governor of Tennessee who faced down Nathan Bedford Forrest and the first iteration of the KKK; D.P. Upham, a Union soldier from Massachusetts who moved to Arkansas after the war, became a successful "carpetbagger" and then, if the dramatization is to be believed, became a one-man 1860s antifa; the Lowrie gang, Lumbee Indians from North Carolina who waged war against the white supremacists and, in a move of great bravura, stole the $20,000 reward money that was posted for their capture; and Lewis Peacock, an East Texas "scalawag" who...well, actually I already forget his story.
Anyway, I looked them up in all the books I've got on Reconstruction (Foner, DuBois, etc.) and only Brownlow showed up in the index (of some of them).
Later that week, we attended a "teach-in" about the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, and I sold my copy of Foner's Reconstruction so now I need to get another copy before he comes and visits Lowell in the spring.
Anyway, Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War
I was very happily enjoying The God of Small Things when after 100 pages I ran into a child molestation chapter. What with all else that's going on in the news, my stomach couldn't handle it, so I put it down and picked up an Edgar Allan Poe collection and decided to read the three C. Auguste Dupin stories. 'Cuz an orangutan slitting Parisians throats and stuffing dead women up chimneys is more palatable to my American tastes.
[Puts on Comrade Anklebiter hat]
Non-fiction-wise, Kropotkin's going swell, but I wish I had read it sooner in life. It's surprisingly dry, and skims over the narrative in favor of class analysis and economic investigation (like most of the French Marxists I've read) more than I thought it would have. I was hoping for more rousing depictions of orators declaiming "De l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace et la Patrie sera sauvée!" and whatnot. But, if you haven't read an anarchist or communist history of the French Revolution and were yearning to, I, thus far, recommend Pyotr's.
As a sidenote to Comrade Samnell: Mr. Comrade and I, after resigning from our former sectarian Trotskyist organization, had a meeting with some comrades up from New York from a competing sectarian Trotskyist organization and we got to talking and I ended up buying more of their literature than I could afford, and in one of their pamphlets entitled "Marx on Slavery and the U.S. Civil War" I ran across the following paragraph:
The capitalist nature of plantation production using slave labor has also been elaborated in several recent studies, notably by James Oakes, Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (1998), and Joyce Chaplin, An Anxious Pursuit: Agricultural Innovation and Modernity in the Lower South, 1730-1815 (1993). Much of this scholarly literature was in response to Eugene Genovese, a former Marxist become reactionary, who praises the reactionaries of the Old South. In his first major work, The Political Economy of Slavery (1961), Genovese polemicized against references to "planter capitalism" and those who saw "the plantation system inseparably linked with the international development of capitalism," arguing that planters were "precapitalist, quasi-aristocratic landowners." The bankruptcy of this analysis is mirrored in Genovese's own evolution."
One of the comrades who made the trip told me that he took courses with Oakes about twenty years ago and Sam might be interested to hear that he said Oakes was just as nasty and arrogant as Genovese was reputed to be.
Stranger Things (I'm watching it, too!)
Mr. Comrade made me sit down and watch the first episode from the first season the other night. I was entertained, although I've put it on the back burner as I watch all eleven seasons of Cheers that are streaming on Netflix. [DJdD](I remember responding strongly to Kirstie Alley as a barely pubescent goblin, but I'm only at the beginning of Season Two and hate to admit, much like Sam actually, that I'm responding strongly to Diane, too.)
Even better, Mr. Comrade announced this morning that he's currently ploying up a scheme (scheming up a ploy?) to induce his latest girlfriend (they're looking pretty serious, folks) into gaming (she's never played) by running a rules-lite Stranger Things game. (She keeps breaking their agreement and keeps watching ahead of him.)
I am excited because I haven't played anything since Patrick Curtin came up to visit back in July.
Who died earlier this week. :(