Saturday, September 23, 2017

Losing interest in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... (a rant, you have been warned)

I just had to use that title ... Now I need a post for it, too. Turns out it was  just a question of time. This is not about me quitting the blog or anything like this. I'm just tired right now. Thus the neglecting. I'm also tired about that OSR shit show on g+ right now. What a cluster fuck of ill-advised politics and commercialism. This will be my long-winded way of saying "Get the fuck off my lawn!". Enjoy. Or not.


Never got invited to the mob, so ...

At this point the OSR has something like 4 or 5 distinct elitist clubs that milk the masses for money and entertain the Internet with their trench warfare. The latest kerfuffle (for those not in the know) was about one of those groups mobbing a well known blogger from the digital grounds. I think what happened is somewhat represented here (even if you subtract the Pundit's usual hyperbole and his call to arms, you'll still have enough bad taste left for a mouth full of vomit).

I do not care about politics. Really, I don't. I'm not here to take sides. I came for the creative and vibrant scene. When I'm looking around now, I see a couple of friendly faces in what turned into a very poisonous environment. To some degree I'm able to take the bad with the good, but at this point I just don't care enough.

So here is the short of it: if you participate in witch hunts or think it's a good idea to parade your political views, I do not care for you. If all you do is talking about the next thing I should buy while hiding content behind a pay-wall and ignoring all the DIY efforts all around us, I do not care for you. If you think everyone around you should care about your sexuality or kink or whatever else edgy you have going and how everyone should have that in his game, I'm sorry to say it, but I do not care for you.

And there's that, too ... [source]
Behave like decent human beings, be kind and tolerant, show some fucking empathy and respect each others borders and we will get along just fine. Actions show who you are, not big talk or justifications or rewriting history. You are what you do and if that's despicable in any way, you will have no business with me. I also just might not get along with somebody. End of story. It's not everything about gaining power or earning a buck. Shouldn't be, anyway. If we, as a hobby, want to have a positive impact, we shouldn't behave like 3 year olds in kindergarten.

Shit, did you know that people in our corner of the Internet are actually afraid to take a stand nowadays? Afraid to say they don't like something because they'll get hunted down for it? Let that sink in ... 

Consequences no one cares about

I know this means little, as this is just a small blog not many care about. But in the end this is about my freedom of mind as well and for that I will trim the shit out of my blog-roll and my g+ circles. There's always the off-switch, as my girlfriend put it just this morning. In the end my actions here are without consequence for any of that. Never got considered "OSR" to begin with, never ran with the "in-crowd", so why even try to belong just to be exposed to so many poisonous people? Right, there are no good reasons.

All things considered, it won't change much of the topics here. I'll still blog about D&D and my own projects and about ways to make it all a better experience. I'll throw in the occasional review and whatever else comes to mind. If talking elf games is what you came online for, I'm all for talking about it. I just don't consider myself as a part of the OSR movement or rather, what it became.

I don't need this shit and I won't have it on my blog ...


[source]


36 comments:

  1. Yeah... it's so depressing when this happens. You would think common interests and friendship would outlast the changing winds of politics, but we've all learned that THAT is a fairy tale.

    I am sad. Not "this is sad." I mean, I am sad. It makes me feel sad.

    For now I will keep writing because I'm bursting with ideas and I'm having fun and in the end it's just for fun!

    But I'm also frightened and sad and that's a bad place to be.

    God bless, good luck, see you in a few months.

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    1. Well, a friend of mine just said that they'll destroy themselves eventually and the whole business with GGM was a huge step in that direction, regardless on which side of this clusterfuck you end up. It's just that ugly. I want no piece of it. Let them have whatever they think they are having. For me, it's just noise in places I don't frequent anymore. I'll keep writing, too, for that matter. As you say, for the fun of it :) Thanks for commenting! Take care, Scott

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  2. We have talked about this kind of thing for a while now and I think it bears saying publicly that I think your think your Rpg work on lost songs is far more ambitious than just rehashing already established ideas. That work deserves to be shared. With that said we all have to do these things for ourselves, because we enjoy it. Impact our own "comunity" in a positive way and let the rest do what they wish. Find the positive folks you want to be around a curste thst comunity. Sory this is so fragmentented typing on my phone is a strugle for me.

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    1. Not a problem, Mark. Thanks for sharing! Yeah, Lost Songs is ambitious and I will continue working on it (it is fun, too). I also hope to provide a positive (gaming) environment here, for those interested. If that's just a couple of people, that's fine by me :)

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  3. Couldn't get through the attached article. I tried a couple of times but everything that that dude writes just turns into Bla, bla, bla really quickly. Sorry. I am pretty sure that I don't give a rat's ass about it.

    My G+ habits have changed, I tend to watch individuals and collections more than communities. I get more out of it that way. Just the people that I like and admire . . . no pundits.

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    1. Sorry to expose you to it, Ripper. I don't like it myself, but interestingly enough, he's the only one that posted about the whole affair ... But you are right, it's healthier that way.

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  4. Good points, write what you want to write and leave it at that. Those who like what you like will keep reading and those who want to will complain. Ignore them, as long as you keep writing things people enjoy, your regulars are not going anywhere.

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  6. Yo Jens.

    The Pundit article, and basically everything Greg said in his interview, is blatant lies and bullshit. Here are some facts:

    The MBC is a shitposting group. It is not a secret cabal of elitist pricks. It's literally just a place where people post nonsensical memes that nobody else wants to see.

    Greg Gorgonmilk was briefly a member of that group. He posted rape porn, was asked to take it down, threw a hissy fit about how we were censoring his freedom of speech. Then a few days later he posted support for Nazis. Then we banned him. That is, literally, the end of the MBC's involvement in this whole affair.

    Here's what happened next: One of Greg's personal friends and collaborators (who doesn't want to be dragged into this whole mess and I will not name here) decided to cut ties with Greg. They were not pressured in any way to do so, at least not by the MBC. They were concerned that being associated with Greg's support of Nazis would harm their professional career. But Greg's Nazi posts were all in his private feed (which has since been deleted).

    Greg's claim that he was forced out of the community by some hidden cabal of leftist harassers is a complete fabrication.

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    1. I don't know you but you are spouting the exact same garbage of every SJW and therefore I call bullshit.

      Is it your contention that a longtime prolific and normal OSR guy decided to leave on his own and try to burn people on his way out? After never doing anything like that?

      The "support for Nazis" lie is an evil epidemic propagated by modern Nazis like Antifa.

      Bullshit.

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    2. Thank you for commenting, LS. I didn't see that mirage of the first escalation, but I did read what came after it. And that's my point. It's not about wrong or right or about in-fighting in a closed group, it's about the aftermath and, if you want it or not, everyone involved is responsible for the shit show that happened the last couple of days. Even if you are not part of "a secret cabal of elitist pricks", I'd ask you to take a close look at those discussions that had been public. No matter how you define yourself or the people you associate with, you are also in opposition to several other groups that also fight for attention in the so-called OSR. That this whole thing escalated as it did was because of the environment it happened in, not necessarily because of the topics that had been chosen. It's symptom for what's wrong with the community. In my opinion.

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  7. I am the one Greg claims is behind the whole evil conspiracy. He referred to me in the interview as "Beloch Shrike."

    I'd love to link you to the thread where he claimed Nazi punches are just as bad as Nazis, but I can't, because he deleted it. Given that you refer to Antifa as "modern Nazis," I presume you would agree with him on that point anyway.

    What our disagreement was over doesn't really matter one way or the other, though. It could have been about Greg's hatred of parachute pants, or his taste in music. People have the right to say "I don't like Greg Gorgonmilk, and no longer wish to associate with him." Removing a person from your life is not the same as forcing them out of the OSR. It isn't doxxing, it isn't harassment, and it isn't threatening. It's just freedom of association.

    Given the strong terms you've used to denounce me, though, I suspect there's nothing I can say that will convince you I'm telling the truth. It's honestly kinda surreal, reporting on something that is 100% factual, and being called a liar. I don't know if that's ever happened to me before.

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    2. The tell you used that tells me you're a leftist Antifa/BLM terrorist type is that you specifically refer to Nazis, and use them as an example of why free speech should not be protected. Greg said he disagreed with Nazis but also disagreed with punching them, which is the American response: we honor free speech.

      You don't.

      Meanwhile you are allied with people who believe the same things today that actual Nazis believed then, and celebrate commies who are ten times worse than Hitler ever could be.

      Please, go punch someone for wearing a decoration you dislike, or tear down a statue to show you're woke.

      Leave the OSR alone. And this is neither a threat nor a promise, but a prediction: if people like you can't leave politics out of THIS, it will get much worse for you before it's over.

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    3. Basically everything you said about me is true, once it's translated out of far-right jargon into actual English. But here's the thing: none of it is relevant to the current situation. I don't believe in keeping politics out of things, but I actually AM keeping politics out of this.

      I decided I didn't want to hang out with Greg anymore. Some other people independently decided the same thing. Greg is free to continue to exist, to hang out in the OSR, to post what he wants to post, say what he wants to say, and do whatever he wants to do.

      I don't want to see that stuff, so I choose to distance myself from him, the same way I assume you don't want to see my stuff, and will choose to keep your distance from me.

      Some people want to turn this whole thing into a big dramatic clash of forces within the OSR, but it's really just a simple case of some dudes not getting along, and deciding they don't want to be friends.

      So please, Greg, if you're seeing this: feel free to bring back your g+, your blog, and your Patreon. Or don't. We sincerely do not care either way. We just don't want to see it anymore.

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    4. There you have it: he admits he's against free speech.

      One man's straw man can be another man's tar baby. You just got stuck.

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    5. Like talking to a brick wall.

      For a guy who admonished me to keep politics out of the OSR, you seem downright obsessed with finding some way to filter this whole issue through a political lens.

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    6. Werewolf Women of the SS. I'd buy an RPG like that!

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  8. First comment on this development (without tea, just woke up): behave, people, or comments will get deleted. Respect what I wrote here or at least take it serious: that shit does not fly here. So, take it down a notch, will you?

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  9. Jens, nobody in the MBC is fighting for attention in the OSR. It's a group comprised of RPG fans but it is not some kind of movement. For me the grossest mischaracterization in all this is the claim that the group has any designs on anything at all. It keeps to itself.

    Greg was kicked out of the MBC, basically, for failing to read the room. I maintain that the issue wasn't just his politics - it was his insistence on making them the centre of attention whenever he tried to push a conversation somewhere no one else wanted to go. The MBC is basically just a bunch of folks hanging out and shooting the shit - Greg didn't get that. He was combattive, rude, and when asked to stop, entitled.

    The MBC exists because having conversation in the context of "the wider community" can be strange, depersonalizing, and alienating. It's private in order to allow a greater degee of frankness. Greg complains about being policed but his behaviour made it difficult to go about one's day without being accused of like moral degradation. He was banned because people were sick of it.

    There were no, are no, will never be, any designs to "influence" the OSR. The OSR is a common point of origin, not a target. None of us asked him to delete his account. No one fucking cared if he deleted his account. He could still be active on G+, still part of Dolmenwood, still updating his blog, and none of us would be dealing with this shitstorm. This was never about the OSR. That was his and Pundit's claim.

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    1. I understand that that's how the story is told by most people by now. As I said earlier, I didn't see the original discussion, so I won't comment on it. However, what you lack reflecting is the impact it had on parts of the Internet I could observe. It was ugly, intended or not. And it doesn't stop, right? You lost members over this, so not all did agree to this version of the story? Noah went and deleted his g+ account too by now for related reasons? Actions have fucking consequences and whatever fault is on Greg's side, this cannot be reduced to one guy acting funny and getting the boot for it. That's why you guys have such a hard time justifying what happened (you also seem to tab into some sort of left wing/right wing problem I couldn't care less about ...). Also, look how all the vultures came from the shadows to feed! This is all over the place, with lots of hatred and all I heard from the MCB was "It wasn't us!". Come on, any outsider seeing this fuckfest can only think we are all fucking crazy here ...

      Anyhow, I decided it all isn't for me. Never said anything about you guys stopping what you do or pointed any particular club out to be the "worst" or whatever. Just my personal stance on these things. So thank you for your comment. I appreciate that you took the time to explain how you see what happened. Please also consider the comment I wrote further above as answer to what LS initially wrote: this is symptomatic, people out there are actually intimidated and angry and sad and afraid because of shit like this. I think 5 years ago nobody would have blinked because of something like this. I've seen people come and go. Been around long enough. This scale is new, though, and you guys stepped right into it. Sorry, this turned out to be longer than I intended.

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    2. So, the reason I'm coming to feed as it were is because I don't like that misinformation is being spread about me and the people I hang out with. There are accusations of dogpiling, threats, what have you- those are false. If this is the last post I have to see talking about Greg being "mobbed" then I'll gladly never bring it up again.

      As I understand your first paragraph, you're saying our decision to boot Greg has had ramifications on the parts of the internet you frequent. I understand such is the case because a) Greg's disappeared, b) a bunch of people are trying to understand why he disappeared, c) a number of nasty exchanges, blog posts, etc. have come out in the effort to make sense of what happened.

      So, yes, the situation is ugly. But what truly dumbfounds me is the notion that the ugliness is somehow the MBC's fault when we did everything in our power to keep it all private. It was a conflict between him and the membership. As a result, he was banned, and one of his partners decided to sever ties. That, again, was hashed out in private, and the person in question decided to contact him privately. So when I say, "this wasn't the MBC's fault", what I mean is, "the MBC did everything it could to resolve the situation quietly and without troubling the wider community or impacting Greg's livelihood."

      Greg shut down his account. When asked what happened, he said we mobbed him. Then people started repeating that. Unless you want to argue we should never have banned him, I truly, truly don't see what more we could have done to prevent this.

      I hope I'm not coming off too standoffish in all this. I apologize if I am. It's been a frustrating couple days.

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    3. First of all, that feeding comment hadn't been about anything you did here (or elsewhere, as far as I'm aware). I thanked you for commenting, I meant it. A proper answer to this will take a bit longer, but I wanted this to be clear, so here it is up front.

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    4. Noted. I admit I wasn't totally sure what you meant by that part - would have done better to leave it alone. Thanks for clearing that up, and for your patience.

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    5. Not a problem, Alex. Had a bit of time in the kitchen thinking about the whole thing and I believe part of the whole problem is actually mixing all those publishing endeavors with social media. That's why the "keeping it private" part didn't work: it's all turned into business ventures. That's a huge conflict between gathering socially and being a public online presence. Being a public figure comes with responsibilities (imo, not that the Internet gives a rat's ass about it most of the time). That's also how the private can have such a huge impact, because it resonates in public. It is observed. I thought about starting with that old joke about "9 of 10 employees think mobbing isn't a problem", and maybe there's something to that, too. Maybe a good private talk seeking to find an understanding would have helped with the whole situation to begin with (I don't know, maybe people tried, but my impression is that the whole situation got handled very poorly and his "behavior" is not an excuse for that). However, once it has the consequences in public it did, people will demand an explanation (the aforementioned responsibilities of being a public figure) and opportunists will see if they can get a piece of the action while you are at it (the vultures, and, boy, did they have a field day). Add the current political climate and it's really not important where it started to go south.

      Anyway, my two cents. You all are bloggers or designers or writers or artists and whatnot, you are in the public. You published stuff under the MBC label, for fuck sake. That's not really that private, isn't it? That's why reducing it to elf games is such a good idea. That and being nice to each other. Also, please don't take my post personal, it's just that I can't stand all that noise anymore. The thing with Greg had been the straw that broke the camels back, regardless how it came to pass. I hope this helped explaining my position.

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    6. Thanks Jens, I definitely see where you're coming from. For what it's worth a few of us did try to talk to him about it before he was kicked. Admittedly it may have been handled too confrontationally. You raise good points about the private/public thing. It's a tricky feature of the way this medium works.

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  10. Great post. I feel the same way, I've been thinking about dialing down(or off) my interactions on gee plus. Or possibly going thru and removing people that are toxic.

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    1. Thanks, Shane! It was heartfelt. And I can only encourage it. Feels liberating, somehow. There's so much pushing forward to the next better [insert item], it's almost hysterical at this point. Once the noise is gone, you start seeing the appeal of it all again .. the writing, the digging into the history of the hobby. I don't know, it's hard to describe and I hope it lasts. Right now it feels like the right thing to do.

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  11. It seems (at least here in America) Politics has become so polarized that it leaches it's way into even the happiest nook and crannies of our lives.
    Jens... Lets write a game or something, no?

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  12. Just to add another piece to the puzzle, the final straw on gorgonmilk and the business venture was the rpg pundit interview. The partner wasn’t aware of it until after it was posted and basically changed a confused situation into a closed case. Those who know the project can still see the google+ thread. I like gorgonmilks work, ive bought his projects and I certainly wish him the best. But on this one it looks like he was the one who made something private into a public fire.

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  13. The entire thing is certainly reaffirming my general stance on avoiding internet communities.

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    1. Well, it's not all bad. I think. But publishing and Social Media don't mix well, it seems. There are still great blogs out there ...

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  14. Scott Anderson wrote on September 24, 2017 at 6:09 AM
    "celebrate commies who are ten times worse than Hitler ever could be."

    Would you please explain to me what that sentence is about?
    Are you counting Deathtolls?
    Do you think this helps as a comment to Jens' Post?

    RdGkA

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    1. I assume you have good intentions, RdGkA, but I addressed that part of the conversation and told them to cut the tone. People seemed to respect that. Now getting back to it seems counterintuitive, tbh. If you know Scott, seek him out in private and see if you guys can talk about it, but I advice not picking fights in public in this heated atmosphere, as people are bound to say things they'd regret otherwise. I won't have it here, just to be clear. Thanks!

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