Saturday, August 10, 2013

Boring and Wrong Go Together

We're moving today.

I was throwing away old CD inserts. Saw this:

We were punx in a punk band playing punk rock. We also played ska songs and because of it some punks hated and gave us shit for them. Fuk 'em. Our ska songs weren't the standard horn/organ pretty sounding ska. We were pissed and hard edged about it. I love ska and we were doing it our own way, and OPIV was about creating your own style. Fuk being safe. Take the crazy risk and ride it till you fall off.


Lint, you didn't have to tell us that.

It's a million years later and besides I wouldn't even be reading this if I wasn't so completely ok about how Operation Ivy sounds that I not only have all the official stuff, but the bootleg upon the inside of which is printed this here quote from you. You are preaching to the completely converted.


You've probably heard a variation on this speech sometime in your life--the accomplished motherfucker, long after the fact, defending his or her flank against foes long vanished.

You hear it a lot in college, when visiting geniuses give lectures "Well at the time, the folks at MGM weren't sure about the violence in Bonnie And Clyde and they got angry letters from..." or "Well they told me that a graphic interface would never appeal to..." yawwwwwwn. Or maybe just laugh.

These people, no matter how much of what is good in life is given to them, remember these fights. They remember because they are a memorable part of the job of being creative or innovative: getting weird feedback from freaks. And they remember because their reasons for going and doing it anyway are part of their creative process.

And we don't.

We remember the work.
People actually got mad about this. Because the chick from the Dresden Dolls is not actually a Conjoined Twin.
In a few years, the moderators on Shannon Appelcline and Christopher Allen's RPGnet who are, at the moment, foaming at the mouth about anyone who dares defend Numenera or LOTFP or Warhammer 40k will look as quaint as folks writing in to MaximumRockNRoll to say Operation Ivy was destroying punk rock or the pseudofeminists who wrote into Spin complaining about how Tori Amos moved when she played the piano.

They aren't the beginning of something, they aren't the end of something, they're the continuation of a thing that is always there: the inevitable statistical fact that people who need to get out more have more time to write angry letters and emails and forum posts than the rest of us.

So, this, too, will pass.

In the meantime, the thing to do is see what makes the Tipper Gores of the world tick, be glad we don't know them, and remember what's important is the work.

In art, you don't win by critiquing things, you win by replacing them.

What have they managed to come up with besides Stryper and a few FATE hacks? Nothing that's ever gonna to make anyone think they were missing out.


I talk about some games and stuff.



Gort's Friend said...

This isn't an attack. I'm not contradicting the points you made.

It's just a comment that I read the note differently. I admit, the first time I read this, I heard the snotty voice of a young punk boasting about his petty victories in some silly infighting. Then I read it a second time and I heard an older voice (I swear I heard three cigarette hits)reflecting on being young and stupid. I almost heard the chuckle before he went back to the kitchen. Maybe that is because so many of my punk friends are in their fifties now.

Beyond that, well The Tipper Gore reference seems a bit odd since I don't think The PMRC has said boo since the 80s, I know Tipper hasn't. I don't think Walmart cares much either given they're stocking 50 Shades of Grey, which makes their censorship policy as dead as their "buy american" campaign and vet greeters. I guess I'm pointing out, that Lint isn't the only person still fighting the old fight.

Zak Sabbath said...

If the people who attacked Shanna Germain _yesterday_ are in any philosophical way not identical to Tipper Gore they've yet to articulate that.

A.C. Danvers said...

Stories like Lint's and the MGM remark are why I love being a sole creator/publisher. I don't have to listen to those people, ever. If I want to put Zoidberg and the hoverboard from BttF in the same game, I can, and while people can bitch after the fact if they want, what I've found is if the passion is there, the heart, they won't. Not the ones that matter. I've gone from a nobody to a top ten game on DTRPG, and that ain't nothing, so obviously I'm doing something right.

I have had a bit of sweat this past week because I really do think shit like what RPGnet is doing is escalating to the point of internet bullying and slander more and more, and I don't want to be in the crosshairs.

But at the same time? Fuck 'em. You can't please those people, ever, so I'mma keep doing what I want to do. I'll always try to tell the truth as I see it, the fun as I see it, and I can't do anything else without making myself someone else, and then who would I be?

Gort's Friend said...

Well, I believe Tipper Gore and the other Senator's wives on the bipartisan council claimed they were "doing it for the kids." While the mob which seems to clamoring About Shanna Germain seem to have a much more insidious, "I just don't like this" agenda. Perhaps that just makes them more honest.

The point I was trying for was basically you started with an example of someone boasting about old victories and then ended by boasting of old victories.

By 1990, the PMRC was a straw man, a target for manufactured rebellion, a bit of a catch phrase. A victory as dead as the Comic Code or the "community values" court decisions killed by the internet. We're now over a generation beyond that.

What we have here is much more nebulous. Like most censorship issues today, it's someone arguing over revenue potential or privately run forums. The government simply isn't the choke point anymore, it's always a corporation, often one that turns to it's "community", a.k.a. unpaid users, to regulate it's traffic. Just as often it's the people who run something for themselves. Which is why "their" music sells quite a bit today, because it's not labelled "stryper" anymore, it's labelled Disney, Taylor Swift, or the other four dozen artists who specialize in producing music for a teen audience, who's parents are the choke point.

I admit I find it as odd as the people who insist all drug references are taboo in gaming forums, this despite drugs being a centerpiece of a large number of movies and popular entertainment. I think the world might be richer for a Clockers or Blow RPG, just as we were for Godfather and and LA Noir RPGs. The surrealism of restricting a discussion on cyberpunk in this way is especially vivid, as the artform was literally founded upon the sub-genre of drug addiction memoirs. As if the word game must mean family friendly, despite the audience for dice RPGs long ago shifting and staying with adults.

Zak Sabbath said...

To me it's not "boasting about old victories" it's "taking a noise that never goes away and never matters seriously".

This isn't a _fight_ . The uncreatives can't ever win in the long run. And when they do, it's because of money and power, not because of anyone's whining.

Arthur Fisher said...

Making stuff is hard. It's ridiculously hard. The ideas generally comes easy, but following through, working out the bugs and pushing through doubts to actually get the thing done and then get it on shelves is very hard.

Saying stuff sucks is easy. How easy? "You're work sucks!" That easy. Saying stuff is wrong, as in ethically wrong and bad for America and please think of the children, is both easy and makes you feel better about yourself.
Coming up for a reason why it's wrong is also pretty easy. It's so easy Marvel comics gave it a name: The No Prize.
If you found something wrong with a comic and then found a reason to explain it, Marvel would give you, literally, NO PRIZE.
Assume everything that people like is sexist, find a reason it's sexist, say it and you win No Prize.
People do it with politics all the time, too. Assume everything Bush/Obama does is evil, watch what they do and find a reason it's evil. You win.
It's ignoring anything true to follow a pre-designated template, which is kind of the opposite of art.
It's accomplishment without effort. The lack of effort shows in the lack of anything to show for it.

Zachary Houghton said...

Well, I like Stryper, but I'll also admit all the stink about Numenera has made me give it another look.

As for RPGnet, I think you're going to see topics in the main forum increasingly be taken over by the pursuit of finding out and punishing anything that could even be remotely construed as not 100% in line with the worst of Andrea Dworkin, or even remotely suggestive of any slight against any group of people.

Christian Lindke said...

I eagerly await Tipper Gore's FATE hacks for the Dark Dungeons.

Censorious behavior is censorious behavior. It is far better if one doesn't like a particular work of art - say Piss Christ - for one to make their own work of art as a contra position than to write vitriolic rants that produce little if any meaningful dialogue.

I call upon those who despise the Numenera Space Succubus to make a high quality game that is as imaginative as Monte's work.

The folks who made DragonRaid have far more credibility in my mind than any member of BADD.

Snowman0147 said...

Is it sad I want to make some FATE hacks cause I happen to like the narration system that it uses, but I hate censorship as well?

Gort's Friend said...

Let me apologize, I've since found the original thread and didn't realize you'd been banned for such a silly reason. I came late to the table and was trying to understand half a conversation.

Zak Sabbath said...

Your apology is accepted.

And appreciated.

Zak Sabbath said...

it is sad to use FATE for any reason