The announcement, at last, that seemed so very far away
! The announcement that would not arrive!
This announcement is now here!
City of the Straits is now open for applications. Go here
to apply. Seriously. Go now. Go do it.
Three crucial points here. We will be accepting applications until we have reached our player limit of 15. The opening date of the game will be announced once we have accepted the applications of 10 players. Address ANY questions about the game to the mod box, not to an individual mod's email (or post office box, or twitter, or last.fm page, or whatever). The mod address is cityofthestraits AT gmail.com.
Also, seriously, go app the game. Happy Fun Ball wants you to. Trust Happy Fun Ball.
See, I find a joke I like, and I stick to it, so this post is called "City Of The Straits: This Time It's Remarkably Personal."
and I have been writing up the City Of The Straits materials - which have gone multimedia, worryingly enough - we've been talking a lot about our vision of this game. In a lot of ways, this feels like a totally new game, something we've never done before, and that's only partly because it is
new, it is
undone, and the future is as yet unwritten.
In other ways, it feels like a new game, because this is the first game we've ever run, in the last seven years of near-constant gaming, where we decided to actually grow some balls about how we created games. We have a lot of history of success, and we have a lot of history of failure, as well, though we believe that most of our failures were ideas that flew too high too soon. It would be a lie to say that those failures have not coloured how we've handled recent games, though we did not tippy-toe in and anxiously try to direct people in the direction of the plot. And it would be wrong to say that our successes didn't tell us what we did right, even when ideas failed.
This time, we're not going there. This time, we will remember what works and what doesn't, but we're not starting from that posture of defence: this time, we hold in our hands our successes and our joys. This is our
game, and we are
developing it as we find meet and fit. We are endowing it with themes of magic and pain and diversity and the world around us and wreckage and hope and blood and laughter and all the things that drive us as writers and as creators. We're dialing it up to eleven on every front, and we have finally realised something true about this game, which is the purpose of this post.
This game is our Great American Epic.
Part of it is that we're throwing out canon. There is no canon here. We're not interested in canon - we're interested in guidelines, but we're interested in what people do with those guidelines, not whether someone can play to a type defined by someone else or not.
Part of it is we're no longer interested in what other people think of what we do. If you don't like the fact that half the characters are black, or half are women, or that at least one character is Jewish, that the game is set in Detroit and that we expect that to colour how people create characters, we're not interested in having you in our game. We spent too many years bowing to the implied - and sometimes spoken - wishes of a vocal minority to keep characters white, pretty, and male to be interested in listening any longer.
Part of it is that as we've been talking over our own characters, the themes that keep coming to mind are the ones that make up any good American Epic. When you can look at your character concept and see the theme that drove Steinbeck to write The Grapes Of Wrath
, or the personality that created organised crime in this country, or the myth that powers our collective belief in the fundamentals of "being American", you can't say that you're not going to play to that.
Neither of us is willing to play a half-crippled character to appease anyone else, whether an author or a player, ever again. We play what we want to, ever and anon.
This post, however, is not a declaration of war. It is not a statement of defiance for the sake of defiance. It is, instead, an invitation to our players, both the ones we know of and the ones who would potentially join it, to start thinking in the terms we've been thinking in: we want diversity, we want personality, we want no fear, and we want courage.
I can promise this: every time we've said we're doing things differently, we've done that. This time is no exception. Though the game is open for nothing other than PB and name holds
we want to spark conversation, and to start sharing what we're thinking of, what we're looking for, and what we want. The wiki is here
. Yes, we bought a domain name. The game itself will take place on IJ.
The quick recap:
- It's a game set in Detroit with an ethnically diverse cast of characters. App what you want to play. We want people to play to the setting, but even more than that, we want passion.
- Apps submitted before the wiki is completed and the game is opened will be sent back. We're trying out letting people see our creation process.
- We're interested in, first, last, and always, personalities that have powers, not powers that have personalities.
- We're interested in your thoughts. We know a lot of people are waiting to app - tell us what you're thinking, what you'd like to see, what sparks for you. We make no promises, but we can tell you that we're bringing together more ideas and concepts than we ever have, and we want to know what that makes you think of.
Talk to us.
I have a seriously tempting, crazy idea.
I'm thinking of joining the Tea Party. Like, all officially and shit.
You can hit your away buttons now.
See, though, the thing is this: they claim this, on their website. "Tea Party Nation welcomes all patriots, regardless of gender, ethnicity or national origin to join us and help save this great country."
We can quibble about whether this is a "great" country or one that's really, really fucked up, but the thing is - there is utterly nothing about my politics, which are, at best, liberal, that makes me not-a-patriot.
According to Merriam-Webster, patriot means "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests".
The fact that I'm not waging revolution in the streets suggests that I support America's authority and its interests. I don't love this country the way I love, say, gin, but I'm pretty sure it's preferable to living in Chad. Let's face it: all those things that people currently dismiss as "first-world problems"? I have those, and I have them because I live here. And I like them. So I'm happy living here.
I'm certainly happy living here because I don't have to deal with armed insurrection in the streets. I may not like the people who choose to become police officers, but I find a police presence is better than no police presence. I respect all significant laws of the land. I, in actions if not in words, respect America's authority by allowing it to have some say in what I do as I conduct my daily business. I don't, for example, evade my taxes, and I do carry the state licence that proves I can operate a motor vehicle.
So that's the first part of their statement out of the way.
They are concerned with gender, ethnicity, and national origin next; not a problem for me, since I'm Whitey McWhiterson, born right here in the US, and they don't seem to, on the face of it, have a problem with women in the ranks. That's out of the way.
To save this great country - well, again, we can quibble about whether it's great, but on the face of it, I like living here. So I'll concede that one on the basis of the rest of the argument.
See, I think this country needs saving too.
I think it needs saving from our pollution. I think it needs saving from fiscally-irresponsible corporations. Hell, I think it needs saving from corporations period. I think it needs saving from the fear-mongers and the hate-mongers, and the people who preach something they don't believe because they get money for pandering to the fears and hates of morons who can't figure out a gimmick to make a buck when they're smacked with it. I think it needs saving from people who think that the right to bear arms means the right to bear them right into Wal-Mart. I think it needs saving from the companies and individuals that tout America First and yet manufacture and sell products made overseas, to the detriment of the American economy and the workers at the bottom of the food chain. I think it needs saving from people who don't understand that what we pay for now is what we get later, and think that it's not worth paying for the health care or the education or the feeding or the support of someone who is not-them. I think it needs saving from greed, from hate, from inattention, from me-first, from not-in-my-backyard, from a national posture of arrogance, from the belief that enough armed people can effect a change somewhere we have no business being, from our dependence on oil, from the death penalty, from the people who want other people to shut up, from your god, and from Puritanism run amok.
I think it needs, above all, to be saved from ignorance, fear, and the beliefs of childhood. Life was easier when I wasn't making the decisions, sure! That doesn't mean that the 80s were a wonder time that should be brought back.
I think, therefore, that the Tea Party had better reconsider their welcoming statement on their website and think about whether they want me in their party - because you bet your ass I wouldn't be working for their definition of what will save America. I'll be working for mine.
And I'll be doing it under their umbrella. In their names.
Why not? They're doing all kinds of shit in my name - I want my name back. I want the right to call myself a patriot back. I want people to not assume, if I call myself a patriot (I generally don't, but that's not the point) that patriot means I want to burn the niggers and the fags and the ragheads. (And the Tea Party had better not try to argue that they don't, because their actions speak otherwise.)
Most of all, I don't want to see their America. Their America is not one I know, recognise, or love, but I seem to be trapped here with a significant number of total blowhards who think they get to dictate out of their own fear and moronic idiocy what I think and do and know and care about. And that shit cannot stand.
So, since the Tea Party and I are in agreement according to their welcoming statement, I think I should join them. I want to save America too.
- Tag it!:all things strive, and now: a rant, bad idea bear, bring it, come in alone, go directly to guantanamo, i am no longer playing fair, laughing in your face, not my first rodeo, playin' politics, the last k-mart before mordor, we are now at defcon 1
- Hearing:"Welcome Home Son" :: Radical Face
HAY GAIZ, GUESS WHAT?
So, it turns out that if you run into Lost Tribe Guy, even if you're talking on the phone to your mom (who, btw, will be VASTLY entertained by the whole thing) and you decide to hang up and talk to him, the conversation will last an hour.
And further, it will be an awesome hour: lo, filled with seriousness, with comedy, with references to Andy Samberg, with discussion of whether allowing one's roots to show makes one look like a crack ho.
But verily, there is a point that it will turn out has been forgotten, and that point is this: IT IS SUNNY OUT.
Let me tell you, internets, I have the weirdest-shaped sunburn I've ever had! I assume that I don't have sunburn on my left shoulder because of my head, because it's all over my right shoulder, the right side of my chest, and my feet.
Oh, and the right side of my FACE, too!
Ouch. Lost Tribe Guy is le awesome. Sunburns are not.
For utterly no reason at all, I am contemplating changing my username.
Please, encourage me to just going back to changing my hair; it's easier.
- Tag it!:lj monkeyshines
- Hearing:"Memorial" :: Explosions In The Sky
I am getting REAL tired of being told that my experience with X product is obviously false because it is not the speaker's experience. I am also getting REAL tired of explaining that I have no interest in Y product because it doesn't work for me.
I'm not actually sure how people can hear me say "I want X product" and think that I have said "I want a testimonial about the wonder of Y product because I don't realise that Y product is ever so much better, as I have only recently crawled out from under my rock." (For reference, I crawled out from under this particular rock while the speakers were still in grade school. Literally.)
In other words, I crawled out from under that rock FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. I'm very aware of the options, I've tried most of them, and I've made a decision.
Y may be great. It doesn't work for me. I want people to stop trying to sell it to me, because trust me, I have heard it alllllllll before. (Last Friday, in fact. Last Friday was the last time I heard it.)
I feel like I've just announced that I'm pregnant and now I'd like to hear all the disaster stories disguised as "funny" stories, every time I try to buy this stuff. Or, you know, talk about it in public. Or in private. Or say the words of the name of the product in some order or in pig Latin.
It's kind of like saying "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!" apparently.
Maybe the next time this happens, I'll just stare intently at the speaker and start singing the Star Spangled Banner, because that would make about as much sense.
organised a mix cd exchange, in which I claimed the prompt of "awesome vocals".
I hope these vocals are awesome.
And I really don't know how like four songs wound up referencing Alice In Wonderland. I really, really don't know how that happened. Serendipity counts as direction, right?
Specs: All files either mp3 or m4a; uploaded to mediafire as a .zip. Total file size is about 184mb; 35 songs included. Covers and tracklisting under the jump!( Outside An Aging Picture ShowCollapse )
- Tag it!:music whore
- Hearing:"Oxycontin Blues" :: Steve Earle
I have comprehended a new thing.
I get really uncomfortable the very rare times that someone says, essentially, "Are you married?" as the follow up to finding out my name and clearly as the preface to asking me out. For a while, I figured that it was because my skeeve radar goes off - I am not the sort of person you just ask out, ask anyone who's seen me - and I distrust why you would ask and assume it has something to do with a lifelong desire to have someone you can debase and abuse and rah rah, my self-esteem is showing again.
But now I get it. (Yes, it bugs me for several hours when it happens, because I get annoyed that I evidently project "easily victimised" on all spectra.)
It bugs me because you don't even care to know me.
When the sum total of the information exchanged is "Hi, I'm so and so, I was watching you across the room," (or similar) and I say "Nice to meet you, I'm thus-and-such," DO NOT FOLLOW THIS UP BY SAYING "So, are you married?"
Hand to god, I will start responding to this with "No, and obviously we're totally compatible, because we are both carbon-based."
I like to laugh at the relationship surveys as much as anyone else, I really do. I like to mock Cosmo and the rest of them just like I like to mock cheerleaders, Oregon, and the colour mauve.
But dude, let me tell you: asking me if I'm married means that you don't even care. Srsly. If you really, truly, gave a shit (and didn't want someone you thought you could beat into catering to your filthy fetishes and living in your basement wrapped in only a burlap sack) you might want to try asking ... oh, maybe about ANYTHING I HAVE INDICATED I CARE ABOUT, given that I'm standing in the tech department and acting vaguely teacherly today. There are THINGS THAT COULD BE DISCUSSED HERE.
We could: find out that we're in a similar course for a similar reason! That we both really like X, Y, and Z! That we've both had Access/Visual Basic/Web Servers/Underwater Basket Weaving, and that we both found it fun/challenging/bloody impossible/ticklish! That we think the weather is being awfully crappy lately, but it looks like the sun is coming out! That I don't like X cuisine, but you know a fantastic X restaurant, meet you there at six? (Okay, whatever, I know that sounds like dialogue from a lame seventies movie.)
Apparently, Cosmo actually got it right: women like to be friends first.
In short, saying "Are you married?" when ALL YOU KNOW IS MY BLOODY NAME, is saying "I don't care about you as a person AT ALL," even if you don't think it is. You may think it's the most pragmatic statement ever, because it indicates that you'd like to ask me out, and it might even be that you choked in the clutch and said the wrong thing.
However: it reeks of desperation. If I were the sort to accept desperate offers, I would be living in Pakistan with some guy I met in a gay club in Valencia years ago. It's also REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING, because I am fundamentally tempted, every fucking time, to say "No, but I only got out of jail a week ago." Or "No, but only because I ate my husband." Or "No, but I'll marry you if you'll be my getaway driver - I think the cops are on their way." Or even "No, how big's your life insurance policy?"
At least ask me out, first! It's my job to say that my husband/wife/god/dog forbid it! That's how you get to know people!
I do not negotiate with terrorists, I do not pay with only pennies at the store, and I do not cater to desperation.
I also totally love the double shot of looking racist when I turn people down. "It's not your race I object to, it's the fact that you want it to rub the lotion on its skin that I object to."
I also have trouble believing that I'm discoursing on the art of getting a date. Let's take off the eau d'desperation and talk about other things! Like that you should not ask YOUR INSTRUCTOR (ie, me) whether I know X person at Hempfest. I hate to say it, because I LIKE hemp (hemp, not, not, not (infinitely fucking NOT) weed) as a concept. I think we should use more of it! I think it's awesome, ecologically friendly, and makes fucking durable paper. I also like hippies! I AM a hippie (in designer boots).
But, and I hate to say it because it turns me into my mother, I don't think "Ah, Hempfest - a joyous celebration of the miracle of hemp, which is totally ridiculously and arbitrarily mistreated by the government."
Instead, I think "Ah. You're one of the dicksmacks who ruins every fucking music festival I ever go to, you stoner bastard. Let me take your totally private and personal drug and jack it up a totally private and personal region of your body; I still haven't forgiven you for the business about looking for the cops under the fucking bed."
Bonus points, of course, if you also tell me that you've designed LOTS of web pages already, and you TOTALLY know what you're doing, even though you:
a) cannot put your style code in the right place;
b) cannot use the right fucking code in the first place wtf (wtf because I had LITERALLY WRITTEN IT ON THE BOARD);
c) cannot figure out how to upload an image to your server;
d) do not listen when I explain the somewhat complicated process;
e) do not even realise that I explained the process;
f) clearly cannot hear me over the sound of your own awesome ... which is obviously why you're taking an evidently (supposedly) remedial course in web design and I am instructing it. Like, for money and shit.
I am just on a tear today.
Oh, and other!dude? If you come back to my lab again and sit there and play games, I will throw you out. I haven't forgotten that you're Broken USB Drive Guy, and I hate you.
Aside from all that, I failed to file my unemployment today because I was in so much pain I forgot, I have like WAAAAAAY too many fucking textbooks to read this weekend (I get to do remedial networking AND remedial Operating Systems because I don't have the slightest clue what a kernel is, or a web garden, but the one makes me hungry and the other makes me think of bees, because dude ... worker processes? Yes, I AM a Mac.) and I need a Sherpa for Fridays because hauling 2 computers, FIVE textbooks, a calendar, and my files/power cords/etc around really sucks.
Seriously. I picked my purse today because I could put two of my damn textbooks in it. This apparently triggered the textbook gnomes, and my bossish person gave me four fucking more.
To read over the weekend.
Last point: I hate pirates, I hate Simplicity, and I hate sleeves, and I want to finish the fucking coat so I can post the pictures of it, but I also want to NEVER finish the fucking coat, because the fucking coat is fucking evil. I may buy a camera, but I also may save that money and pour it directly down my throat, in the form of bottles of gin, because that would be less painful.
How are you?
- Tag it!:bring it, completely mystified by humanity, do not want, five types of crap, i have become the vb monkey, inbred cretinous gnomes, laughing in your face, laws of cass, vince doesn't live here bitch, you fail at an epic level, you make me socially maladjust
- Hearing:"Hollaback Boy" :: Cobra Starship
And, of course, what I wanted to do today included spending $600 that I don't have on two sensors, a battery, battery terminals, and labour.
All I can say is that this time, they need to fix the car right the first time. It will be impossible for me to find the money from anywhere to fix it again if they figure out later that they didn't solve the entire problem.
Also, I hate cars and their necessary upkeep. Or rather, I love cars; I hate spending money on them. Can haz fulltime job nao?
- Tag it!:untagged
- Hearing:"Phantom Limb" :: The Shins