Thursday, November 26, 2015

Appendix 'N',, and Political Correctness...

Take a really good look at this photo. Then read this post.

Reader of this little effort will know that over in the left-hand column of this page is a section of links to various blogs; these are not always people who agree with me, but they are the voices of people that I think are worth listening to. One of the recent posters caught my eye:

This had a link to a series of articles on TOR Publishing's website, which I think you might want to have a look at for yourself:

Gary's 'Appendix N', of course, is a list of the books and authors that inspired him when he was creating D&D; it, by and large, is also Dave Arneson's and M. A. R. Barker's. (Although Phil did not like Tolkein. At all.) Phil, I might also add, was reading a lot of these people back in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, before they became famous.

According to the authors of the series - I did read all of the articles - Appendix 'N' is a compendium of the politically incorrect; racism, misogyny, sexism, you name it. Well, all right; people are, in my probably constitutionalist-biased view, certainly entitled to their opinions and to have a venue with which to express them. This sort of commentary is also to be found on quite a few Internet forums (fora?), where people seem to get outraged about something at the drop of a hat.

Frank Frazetta has been added to the list of the politically incorrect, I gather. He's in distinguished company; practically every artist and / or author from the early days of gaming have been denounced in various game forums (fora?) on the Internet. We are informed that we need to be more 'inclusive', more 'accepting', and more aware of all of the social injustices that gaming has contained within it.

Well, all right, I can understand that as well; you're reading the musings of a guy who has two daughters who are on Vladimir Putin's "I think you are a poopie-butt" list, for their activism in support of gay rights in Russia and elsewhere. The Missus and I used to pay for the publication of an LGBT 'zine put out by a couple of local LGBT activists - "Spit Exchange" - so I think this family has paid their dues. (1)

Have a good look at the photo at the top of this post. Please, if you would, tell me which of these people are 'Lesbian', 'Gay', 'Bi', and 'Trans'; or, for that matter, 'Straight', 'Asexual', 'Jewish', 'Atheist' 'Pagan', 'Christian', or whatever label you want to hang on somebody. Can't you tell? Just by looking at them? I can't; I have to sit down and work at remembering that that the extraordinary and gifted role-player Mr. Lander - I never called him by his first name; he was just too civilized for anything other then 'Mr. Lander' - was A Person Of Color. (2)

My players, as were the players in the original Thursday Night Group, role-players first and foremost. We didn't much care what you were; we cared about how well you played. We didn't hang labels on anybody; we didn't worry about it. That's the way I run my games today, and that's the way I'm going to be running them in the future. If you think you might be having issues with that; I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

However, do have a look at the TOR articles first; if you find yourself being offended by the authors listed, then I would politely and respectfully suggest that you might not like the mayhem and tomfoolery that goes on in my game room. Likewise, if you find the prospect of little lead people with very little clothes on to be worrisome, you might want to stay away on that basis as well. (Yes, it has come up.)

Otherwise, come on in; pull up a chair and some dice, and make yourself at home. I'll try to be entertaining.

(1) In the interests of transparency, I should note that I stopped paying for this publication after one of the authors and their associates kept referring to myself, The Missus, and people like us as 'breeders'; this used to be the term of art in the local LGBT fannish community for 'straight' people - rather like how many 'real fans' would refer to people outside fandom as 'mundanes'; one fan I know now uses the term 'muggles'. I did point out that their comments were on the order of 'biting the hand that feeds you', but my concerns were - as has been the case so many times over the decades - ignored. I took my money elsewhere. Another of the authors was the one who recently stated that , and I quote, "Only a bisexual person of color can properly interpret Tekumel." I do have to wonder what Phil would have thought of that statement.

(2) And while I think of it, I have some news for folks: There Are No White People On Tekumel. (Humans, anyway.) And if you want to be fussy, there are two Persons of Color at that table; one of them is one of my daughters.