Smarter than you

Adam Waldron-Blain is a famous artist in Edmonton. More »

Verdigris (Rohrer & Klingner), Be mysterious (Walter Phillips Gallery), I am a hole in walls of buildings (Esker Foundation project space)

It was the first year when I was writing in these A5 books—I don’t have that one here or I would find the date but in 2012 when I bought this ink I got a tremendous mileage out of it. I think it’s a very emotional colour.

You know one of the first really good things I probably wrote with it was about Mark Clintberg; I just found out that he used one of the photographs in his talk. His work here is actually verdigris, as the ink is called, lighter and more electric than my letters but a little bit of the same. The show holds together in colour very beautifully, Brent Wadden’s rug is probably what I like the least but it makes a fine composition in the gallery. I like Daniel Jacoby’s film a lot.

Hannah’s show is a similar colour, maybe closer to the ink but more green; only a little. No, I am imagining a midpoint between her purple skies and green leaves, in the same tone. Also, I am little colourblind.


I am helping with a slideshow; you are wearing a surprising shade of lipstick. I am surprised to be dreaming about you these days. You press your back to mine as I am still, pressing a button on the camera connected to the projector to fast-forward.

I Like:

This is a good artist’s statement.

“You have done it Bro!”

This is a good artist’s statement.

“You have done it Bro!”

> 'Going Deep with David Rees' Is the Best Science Show Since 'Cosmos'

howtosharpenpencils:

Thank you VICE magazine for this review. I feel like this writer really gets what we’re trying to do with our show.

I am finally watching this show and it is everything.

> How Dungeons and Dragons is endorsing the darkest parts of the RPG community

sstabhmontown:

failforwardrpg:

Note: The people named in this article have a history of harassing their critics. As such I have chosen to keep my sources and any traceable information they have given me anonymous to protect them.

Three weeks ago the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons came out. D&D is the iconic tabletop role playing game, so a new edition is a big deal. It’s one of the few times that the small, insular pen and paper community gets noticed by the rest of the world. Many game websites have talked about it, notably Polygon’s piece on gender inclusive language. Yet at the same time as D&D tries to appeal to those outside the gender binary, it has been driving them away by employing two of the most toxic personalities in tabletop gaming.

Read More

This is a thing that I have spent a fair amount of time reading about in the past few weeks. It’s complicated. I wanted to mention it when Trevor pointed me to a discussion about the attempts at trans-inclusive language in the new D&D edition, because it’s tied up in those discussions, but I found it to be too much to bring to a facebook comment thread. And I wasn’t ready to address it here either.

This article comes the closest to summing things up, but is of course receiving a lot of heat for not providing “evidence” or whatever.

Most of the time I’ve been reading on this issue has been on Google+ threads where that call comes up again and again. Even people who are quick to agree that it is Wrong to Out Trans People nonetheless are all “proof proof proof you are being dishonest proof”. I am not sure what kind of proof of harassing trans people who don’t want to be named and have quit the industry and community because of it you want that doesn’t include that. Because yes: that is what happened. At least one person has left and been willing to state that it was because of this. All it took to find out details from another1 was one person who wanted to approach them, and the issue, with care and understanding rather than chants for proof.

That person was Sage Latorra, one of the authors of Dungeon World. You can see the thread in which he changes his mind from wanting to give the benefit of the doubt to being fairly certain that something bad took place here. I am nonetheless sure that this doesn’t meet the shifting standards of the proof police because it is about personal feelings of victimization and community welcome. And Sage was certainly careful not to call it that.

But the internet is not a court of law.

But in any case there is a reason that I am reblogging this and it is because of something deeper. I once saw on facebook, not so long ago, a shared essay by Zak about painting which was kind of really neat because it let me see his kind of bizarre argument techniques being used in a different area than I am used to. It made a wonderfully clear example of the ways that his politics of aesthetics can be described as “conservative” as failforwardrpg does in this article. Because it was such: an attack on the very idea of conceptual art; a call for return to the pre-modern. When Zak writes about RPGs he is careful to leverage a lot of “you can play whatever game you like” language even as he is making polemics for the superiority of one play style. It’s funny because I first knew him as a painter from a friend’s copy of one of his books in art school, well before I ever thought that D&D would be a part of my practice.

I play old-school-ish D&D too. I started playing in part because of a community that Zak had been instrumental in creating—finding his blog, and those of others connected with him, and some of their most amazing ideas, and when he wasn’t being an asshole I learned. But the reasons, some of the very first reasons that I wanted to play were tied up with the same fascination that is leading me to spend hours reading about this controversy. Because I care so much about this terrifying, normalizing conservative culture of gaming. It’s the same reason I was so sad when medievalpoc posted a link to an Ayn Rand-based critique of teaching contemporary art to kids. Because I believe in gaming as a radical practice. I think that the OSR framework fits into that as much as “swine” story-games, maybe more—since it can be a direct confrontation with the roots of the hobby, of the video game industry, and with the submersed economic and political bases of both, as well as with a tradition of DIY experimentation and copyleft. Sometimes I fuck it up, and I am constantly trying to improve my techniques of creating welcoming spaces and engaging with different people at my table. But I think that this is important work.

Anyway, despite all of Zak’s posting about how he has queer friends (and despite his supporters constantly decrying the continuation of this controversy, he has continued to make it the prime subject of his game blog and a lot of his public discourse with this as the central message) I didn’t find this whole thing terribly surprising. The reason that so many seem to be wilfully blind to his methods of toxicity are the same that his “my woman-gamer friends don’t find X problematic so therefore you are actually attacking them personally when you mention that other people do and that makes you antifeminist” refrain seems never to be questioned. I came to my current understanding led by a strong feeling that Zak’s techniques in defending himself in public were some of the strongest examples of his killer entitlement that I had ever seen.

“actual LGBT people” whatbut Zak fights gatekeepers right (especially fake lgbt people)

But you know what the silver lining is? The one single, essential thing that Zak has always been right about: there’s kind of no reason to buy the Official book anyway. Even if you do, it is your responsibility, through play, to make your own damn D&D—and make it better.

That is what the game is about, to me.


  1. Edited for clarity that this is not the same person, but another who was bullied for trans-related issues 

hfml:

catdad:

Dolly Parton - Stairway To Heaven (Live)

Oh my god.

yass gawd

ok

(previously)

On “The Mezzanine”, chapter seven, by Nicholson Baker

I have been leant a couple of books lately; this one was given to me after a conversation about my work with Kristy Trinier, a discussion about my particular interests in little details and daily rituals. But it is taking me a surprising time to read.

I am not in the habit of reading from books. I think it is a skill that I lost in university, probably during a course on early 20th-century British literature that was the least enjoyable of the English courses that I took, although I periodically think about revisiting the texts that I didn’t pay enough attention to. It was a trade I made subconsciously as I learned about my abilities to talk about things I didn’t actually know about. I wrote part of the final on a book I had not read (The Well of Loneliness) and got a reasonable grade for it, probably a B+.

This means that when I am putting my day together, this book doesn’t immediately spring to mind. Nonetheless, when I picked it up today, on a quiet and slightly hazy summer evening after a couple of loud ones, feeling a somewhat tired but positive kind of specificity about myself, I was really happy to remember with an incredible clarity the words that I had left off on. Without even remembering the page number, I found my way to the end of the right chapter, just by the last sentence of:

Will the universe of all possible things I could be reminded of ever be mostly an adult universe? I hope so—indeed, if I could locate the precise moment in my past when I conclusively became an adult, a few simple calculations would determine how many years it will be before I reach this new stage of life: the end of the rule of nostalgia, the beginning of my true Majority. And, luckily, I can remember the very day that my life as an adult began.

Less expected, although foreshadowed in an earlier chapter, was that chapter seven would explain how this occurred on the day that the narrator learned that it was possible to apply deodorant without taking off his shirt. The chapter ends with him getting a cup of coffee from the really good place on his way to work (to go though, I don’t hold with that).

The other reason that I am reading this slowly is because I have a very strong tendency to stop in these places. I feel that I am understanding the point of chapters better than I ever had before. Here we are with the coffee only a few minutes later and I look forward to enjoying this moment of simultaneous completeness and continuity for maybe several days before I read the next chapter.

This August I will be in residence at John Snow House in Calgary to work on my podcast.

If you want to come talk about something on it during that time let me know.

Also: here is an article about what kind of spatula you should buy.

This August I will be in residence at John Snow House in Calgary to work on my podcast.

If you want to come talk about something on it during that time let me know.

Also: here is an article about what kind of spatula you should buy.

Adam Waldron-Blain is one of the organizers of Manhunter, hybrid game of hide-and-go-seek and tag.

I think it’s from here

Adam Waldron-Blain is one of the organizers of Manhunter, hybrid game of hide-and-go-seek and tag.

I think it’s from here

But the Tamarians’ version of allegory, if that’s indeed the right name for it, cuts both ways. On the one hand, it fetishizes myth in the manner of allegory, but on the other hand it musters that myth in the interest of serious sociopolitical action, as evidenced by Dathon’s willingness literally to die in the name of myth. So Benjamin’s concerns about the abandonment of the present don’t seem to apply to the Tamarian situation, offering further doubt that allegory is the best way to describe their communication process.

A “Star Trek” Episode Shows the Next Phase of Human Communication

sttngfashion:

A very cool piece on Darmok!

h/t @52stations

(via sstabhmontown)

This is pretty great.

This week I had a few conversations about how I understand ritual to function, kinds of magic, especially swearing of oaths. I think this is close in some ways, and also is close to the reasons I love games.

latitude53:

We’re excited to announce our summer off-site project facilitated by New-York state-based Irish curator Paul O’Neill: Our Day Will Come will take place in The Quarters downtown starting in July.

The project will continue over the next year, linked by zines as well as participatory workshops. We’ll be announcing lots more details soon—in the mean time, read a little bit about our plans on our website.

latitude53:

We’re excited to announce our summer off-site project facilitated by New-York state-based Irish curator Paul O’Neill: Our Day Will Come will take place in The Quarters downtown starting in July.

The project will continue over the next year, linked by zines as well as participatory workshops. We’ll be announcing lots more details soon—in the mean time, read a little bit about our plans on our website.