Posts Tagged ‘music’

Statesman Creative than Time

I received the following spam comment, which I can’t help but imagine as something being read by a digital voice at the opening of a synthpop song:

Oh how I favorite the music music from the , everything seemed to be way statesman creative than time.

Ashtray for a Heart

The MMO analysis continues soon. But right now, it’s time for rock and makeouts. Let’s do this thing. Parental warning: Explicit Lyrics.

They were always together. They never spoke.

Oh, there was the occasional grunt. The occasional request for a passed wire, a spare cigarette. But they never really talked. She was always obsessed with her guitars, her equipment, her makeup, all the little things that radiated her sex and hurt on the stage. She was the odd one out. Didn’t party with the band. Always there to do her own setup, her own breakdown. Showed up quiet to practice with crumpled looseleaf sheets of lust and brilliance.

She didn’t trust anyone, and as many times as she wrote that, as she sang it, you’d never guess how far it went. Her makeup box had a lock. Nobody touched her guitars or tuned them but her. Such was Maia.

He had some vague idea, but he noticed the fading photograph of her on his work shirt more often than the ghost who moved around the stage. He did party with the band, sometimes. He liked them, good guys, not overly sleazy and they rarely needed a babysitter. You could hang with them, have a few beers. He’d liked the music when he started, but it was all white noise now, even Maia’s caramel voice and aching words. Such was Blake.

After the show, as the air conditioning started to work again and sweat condensed on whatever it could, as the beer fumes and strands of cigarette smoke tangled in their noses, they’d work. He knew her routine without thinking, how she’d take apart her stuff piece by piece before she went to whatever little hole had been designated her dressing room. He didn’t know how carefully she wiped and washed and deconstructed her face before the mirror, but he knew that the siren walked off stage and came back for her instruments looking like any face in the crowd.

Occasionally one of them would ask the other to move. Occasionally one of them would snicker at a text. But sooner or later one of them would walk out into the cooking smog and disappear for the night. Him to drive off the van. Her to go wherever ghosts go when the sun rises.

So those four words were quite an aberration.

“I want ice cream.”

Read the rest of this entry »

In Search Of

Thank you, readers and/or spammers, for making Fantasy Heartbreaker the number one Google result for “Justin Bieber BDSM.” And the number nine Google result for “Justin Bieber Abstinence.”

I wish I had some kind of present to offer you, here… maybe Justin Bieber chastity porn or something, but… dude’s all underage and shit.

Let’s talk about some of my other recent search terms, though, shall we?

ideas for a really fucking awesome book

I was the number one search result for that one, too, for a couple of days. Now I’m down to three or four.

Here are some things your really fucking awesome book should have:

  • Mouth-punching by page three
  • A completely baffled child
  • Tongue-kissing by page four
  • A dated hairdo
  • A Conan the Destroyer reference
  • Nice outfits
  • At least one robot who is both turbo hot and owns their own sexuality
  • A really awkward phone call

how to dress like a wizard hobbit

No such thing. Hobbits are too happy with their lot in life to be wizards. On the other hand, it’s totally possible a hobbit might want to dress like a wizard for some kind of costume party, because that’s the kind of thing that hobbits have been known to get up to. Fancy dress. Very big in the shire.

So that kind of wizard hobbit would probably start going along in the direction of authenticity, but eventually decide on comfort and what’s at hand. So he’d start with the big black boots, like Gandalf, but then he’d decide, nah, my hairy feet are good enough, and more attractive, besides. He probably wouldn’t have a pointy hat, so he’d settle for a floppy one.

Ultimately, he’d look kinda like that little dude Tochiro from the Emeraldas/Harlock/Galaxy Express movies.

heartbreaker.com porn

heartbreaker latino gay porn

Apparently, my neighbors at heartbreaker.com are a porn site. Though I had a peek, mind, and they don’t really seem that committed to it. Name like heartbreaker, I expect passion, pain, some kind of… I don’t know… thing for men who are taking their mid-life crisis really badly. Like, uhm, school uniforms and sports cars. Or… Bon Jovi but with the dancers from Robert Palmer videos.

On the second query, I would totally watch a gay porn remake of Conan the Destroyer featuring a Latino porn star named Heartbreaker. If you’re a pornographer and you decide to use this idea, please consider letting me write a draft. I’m talented, reliable, and used to turning work on short deadlines.

succubus dungeons and dragons kiss

One of the things about Dungeons & Dragons is that it really isn’t very nice to monsters. Take, for example, the succubus, one of D&D‘s many takes on “pretty ladies hate your saving throws.”

The succubus, as of third edition, can take any shape, speak any language, and can teleport. That sounds pretty awesome for a night out on the town, right? Fix whatever little imperfections your demon biology has with some polymorph action. Take an ethereal jaunt downtown. And then, seduce that hot foreign art student in his own language.

Good deal, right?

Unfortunately, no. Because, as it turns out, the succubus can’t kiss — or even hug — anybody without draining their levels. Yep.

Now, maybe, first date, your gentleman friend doesn’t notice. You peck him on his cheek, you say goodnight, in the morning he can’t find one of his levels and he figures it’s just coincidence.

But, sooner or later, he’s going to notice. And, you know, that’s going to take its toll on a relationship.

So the succubus is the saddest monster. A lot of times, she just polymorphs into an ooze, because nobody expects an ooze to hug.

On the other hand, she gets a bonus to Listen checks, which means you can call her when things aren’t going so well.

LARPer Girl: You need this

MC Diabeats

MC Diabeats

If you have ever needed anything, it’s a song about LARPing Vampire: The Masquerade with a lot of love and a snide sidebar about social mechanics.

Vampire: The Masquerade Ankh

#godfail

Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax

So I talked about my disconnect with the cleric and fantasy religion in general yesterday. Apparently, Gygax had a few words on the issue:1

This capable and knowledgeable individual2 suggests that data on the deities is insufficient for usefulness in an AD&D™ campaign. That religion, being so much a part of our real history, must likewise play a part in your campaign.

J. R. R. Tolkien did not agree, for he wrote many pages without mention of religion. Most of the heroic fantasy and swords & sorcery books written do not feature any particular religious zeal on the part of their protagonists. Consider Conan, Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, Harold Shea, and the list goes on and on.

I do not agree that it needs be a significant part of the campaign. As AD&D™ games depend on participant input for their character, the detailing of deities and those who serve them is strictly a part of the role playing aspect of the game.

Must all evil characters sound sinister? Does an elf have to be flighty? Need a ranger be lugubrious? Actually, the game system tells you what is necessary for a campaign, but how the campaign is role-played is strictly up to the DM and players.

I’ll admit I don’t know what Gygax means in the last paragraph.3 Gods aren’t necessary. Cool. Got that, agree. Fiction need not match one reader’s view of history. Check. Play it your own damn way. Correctamundo.

But, ah, are elves flighty in conventional views of history? Did evil-aligned personages4 actually speak in a sinister fashion? I’m really not sure what the Father of Roleplaying5 means here, even though I suspect I agree.

I should probably mention that my current campaigns tend to have gods, but I don’t really mention them all that often. I more or less assume that you must believe in something, and that sometimes that something’s real. That sometimes she talks to angels, when she has her little fits, even.

I don’t, though, typically involve gods overmuch. They get little shrines and prayers and sometimes saints6. But my desire to rewrite Dune has dwindled over the years,7 and I’ve simultaneously become very frustrated with playing or playing with Religious Character Who is Crazy Because Religion is Crazy.8

One of the fastest ways, in fact, to turn me off your game9 is to start telling me how important religion is to your setting. I don’t object to it, but if you’re at the place in the creative process where that’s what you’re most passionate about, well, then, I’m in a different place.

And do keep in mind, as I say this, that I’m someone who writes about vampires from a very Catholic perspective for money and enjoys the hell out of it. It’s just that, again, I view religion these days as something of a given.

Nelson, The Simpsons

A game designer

Oh, and if your main original idea is that Christianity Was Wrong, well, then, you can show yourself the door. I’ve got my own opinions on Christianity by the loads, a fair few of them unfriendly, but I nonetheless don’t need another game designer going “ha ha, I wrote the end of the world just slightly different from Revelation, buy this big WoDalike to find out about it.”

Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man

The device I'm employing here is actually a "straw man," but I like this picture better.

Oh, and by the way, sorry, if the Celts were a world superpower I think I’d be awfully tired of them, too, so don’t think “ha ha Christopher Lee was right” is going to sell me on your latest “dark fantasy epic” either.10 And by the way, we all know that fairy tales are dark, that Santa is creepy, and that Lilith was Adam’s first wife.11

God save us.

_____

  1. Upon which I am committing the violence of adding paragraph breaks and footnotes. Just like a real Bible scholar!
  2. Read “noob.”
  3. Which is one of the reasons I gifted him with paragraphs, so that I don’t have to say “that bit where he goes all wibbly right at the end there.”
  4. Such as orcs and Hitler.
  5. Roleplaying has two dads. Deal with it now, and get over it, because one day you’re going to hear about the three-way it had with that goth couple back in the nineties and ALEENA WILL NEVER BE YOUR EMOTIONAL SAFE PLACE AGAIN.
  6. I like saints.
  7. Though, you know, give me a call if you get the RPG license.
  8. One of my many not-insurmountable frustrations with EVE and 40k.
  9. Faster, even, than being a famous goth band who starts your sales pitch by calling me a corporate sellout.
  10. Oh! This is ranting! I see why you do this, Internet!
  11. Well, according to some Roy Thomas of medieval theology, anyway.

Who Waits Forever, Anyway?

More people than care to admit to, and Queen goddamn knew it. I think that’s called irony.1 But there really is a thing that fills our dreams then slips away from us. We call it “the past,” but at one time we were very invested in it as the present and the near-future.2

Nostalgia gets thrown around a lot as an accusation in the gaming community, and there’s no wonder some people are very defensive about it. If someone consistently called me an “employee” as a pejorative, I’d no doubt get defensive about it, regardless of how cheerfully employed I am.

The conventional view, I guess, is that if you’re nostalgic about things, then they really weren’t that good and you’re only fooling yourself now. Shame on you for thinking you were happy.

I think that view’s stupid. There’s a limit to how far nostalgia can go, of course, and the problem with trying to go back is that you’ll find you want to bring people with you and they never remember it quite the same way.

Affection for the past is nevertheless a wonderful and important thing. Our past experiences make us who we are, and if we only ever remembered the shitty ones, we’d only ever be the sum of our unpleasant past.

I don’t think that acknowledging nostalgia for things like old video games or old roleplaying games means that those games weren’t any good. I was surprised, recently, at how good the environmental narrative in Maniac Mansion actually is.3 And I’ll take a stand for the lowly mongbat as one of gaming’s funniest monsters any day you care to name.

Yet, I’m also nostalgic for these things. It’s important not only that they were good, but that I remember them as good. I think, as a gaming community, we should really embrace that.

To quote John Higgins, from the introduction to Elegia: “…nostalgia is a potent and powerful force within the Retro Revival of pencil-and-paper role-playing games.” Yes, it is. We should acknowledge that, and we should harness it. Imagine the hell out of it, sure, but remember what you used to imagine, too.

Playing with old toys isn’t just about remembering the past, but we shouldn’t pretend that remembering the past does, itself, have value. I’m never going to hear “Maria” for the first time again, either. Still a great song, and still precious for its link to the past.

And I’m going to blast the shit out of it until my roommate wakes up.

____

  1. I think. I’m still technically on irony probation thanks to purchasing Jagged Little Pill in August of 1995.
  2. Yes, my understanding of nostalgia is entirely based on Highlander. You think that’s bad? I learned about true love from The Terminator.
  3. If there’s anyone who can get off my lawn, it’s the Day of the Tentacle kids, but I have a hard time caring about even that.