Monday, March 19, 2012

Dark Age: Feudal Lords Remaining Needs and Wants

After completing some more trades, my "need" list for Dark Age: Feudal Lords is now down to one card, marked "promotional" -- and so there is not much point in my trying to acquire it by buying more boosters or decks, since I'm pretty sure it isn't found in any of them.
  • Supply: Artifact: Efficiency Bot

With that card, I would then have a complete set, which is my main goal for this collection. I'm also looking for second copies of any of these:
  • Leader: Clergy Ann
  • Instant: Once More Into the Fray
  • Leader: Warhead Leader

To trade, I have duplicates of every other Dark Age: Feudal Lords card, including the very rare foil cards. I also have a few remaining wants for Mythos, especially New Aeon, if you'd be interested in trading for those, and I'd also be willing to trade away some of my Iron Crown Enterprises Middle Earth cards.

If you'd like to trade, or sell, leave a comment with an e-mail address. I won't publish your address, but I'll get back to you. (Comments on this blog are moderated, so I will see it listed for my approval).

Monday, March 12, 2012

This is Satire

I've been hearing several conservative friends, even some who claim that they dislike Limbaugh, or don't regularly listen to him, defend his comments about Sandra Fluke on the grounds that what he was saying was intended as satire. Having listened to El Rushbo's comments, I find that I disagree with this claim, and believe it to be a desperate last-ditch defense of the indefensible.

According to Wikipedia: "In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon."

There seems to be an unwritten aspect of satire that I heard pointed out on David Feldman's comedy podcast during a round table discussion: it works up, but not down. This kind of humor in personal attacks has to be used by the less powerful against the powerful, not by the powerful against the less powerful -- otherwise it's comforting the comfortable and oppressing the oppressed. The sympathy goes -- or should go -- in the wrong direction, and so the weapon misfires. If Limbaugh's attack is considered in the context of the glorious history of genuine satire, with that in mind, it's easy to see why it was a critical failure, and it is revealed for the bullying that it was.

This is my attempt at satire in the style of Rush Limbaugh. Had he said the following, would it have felt less vicious, and would have have been convincing when he claimed it was satire? How about if I said it? What if one of her fellow law students said it?

And we're back. In this hour, more about the contraception debate, and we'll be talking about Sandra Fluke (pronounced "Fluck.") Sandra Fluck. Sandra Fluck. Quacks like a duck. Loves to... promote the use of hormonal contraception to relieve painful dysmenorrhea.

You know folks, we did the math. Sandra Fluck claims that it costs $3,000 per year for her birth control pills. We did the math. For that money she was apparently taking 186 birth control pills per day. She has effortless, pain-free menstrual periods.

Her estrogen levels are so high, that we discovered, via some information we found on Feminazipedia, that she was actually moonlighting as a superheroine, bringing pain-free menstruation to all her fellow classmates, even the men! Her vaginal muscles are so well-toned that when she does Kegels, it transmits shock waves of sensation right through the entire liberal media.

She projects a sort of force field -- a contraceptive field, if you will -- so that in a radius of about three quarters of a mile, sperm cells are rendered inert and utterly helpless. It's truly amazing, folks. Her level of dedication to the cause of reproductive health is truly amazing.

And if she happens to find a young man she finds attractive, and would like to get to know better -- well, by happy coincidence, she's protected against unwanted pregnancy. Isn't that neat?

We'll be back after this message from Sleep Nazi Beds.

The following is not satire:

What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

OK, so, she's not a slut. She's round-heeled. I take it back.

I want to know, who bought -- Ms. Fluke, who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade, or your contraception? Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school? Wouldn't you be just as likely to go broke in high school and junior high as you would be in college?

I'm not questioning her virtue. I know what her virtue is. She's having so much sex that she's going broke! There's no question about her virtue.

She's having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk, but she made it up there.

She wants all the sex that she wants all the time paid for by the rest of us. She wants no consequences for it, or to it. She wants a penalty-free, moral-free life where everybody else pays for the mistakes that she makes as a consequence of the way she lives her life.

If this woman wants to have sex ten times a day for three years, fine and dandy.

You don't need birth control if you're not having sex. The woman wants unlimited, no-responsibility, no-consequences sex, and she wants it with contraceptives paid for by us.

And not one person says, well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?

Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to have so much sex that she can't afford it anymore.

The moment the activist, Ms. Fluke, asserts her right to free contraceptive, to handle her sex life -- and it's, by her own admission, quite active.

Oh! Does she have more boyfriends? Ha! They're lined up around the block.

[Fluke is] struggling financially. Why? Just quote her. Her sex life is active. She's having sex so frequently that she can't afford all the birth control pills that she needs, is what she's saying.

[T]he Democrats are putting on parade a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman. She wants all the sex in the world, whenever she wants it, all the time. No consequences. No responsibility for her behavior.


During her testimony, Sandra Fluke said nothing about her personal life in general or sexual behavior in particular. Rush Limbaugh recently entered into his fourth marriage, and is childless. In 2004, customs officials in Florida seized 29 Viagra pills in Limbaugh's luggage, labeled with his doctor's name as the patient, as we was returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Limbaugh was between marriages at the time, and had been traveling with four other men. Viagra is usually dispensed in lots of thirty tablets. The Dominican Republic is a popular sex tourism destination. Limbaugh has not denied inappropriate behavior; in fact, on his radio show, he said "I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it."


See also: Ad hominem, subtype "Abusive"; Double Standard; Hypocrisy

Friday, March 02, 2012

Mythos: New Aeon Needs and For Trades

I'm still trying to complete a set of scarce Mythos: New Aeon cards. I've completed a few purchases and trades and my needs and For Trades lists now look like so:

Alex Cordry
An Unexpected Calamity
Chrysler Building
Cité Tatoue
Colour Out Of Space
Darkness of the Void
Delta Green, Alpha Squad
Dr. Carl Jung
Evoke Doppleganger
Fractal Creatures
Frivolous Lawsuit
Grasp Of Cthulhu
Henri Zann
High Priest of Elvis
Hitman from Medellin
Joe Schienfeld
Lefferts Corners
Maison Nationale De Santé
Motion Sickness
Nuclear Winter
Plastic Explosive
Radiation Suit
Rue D'Auseil
Shoggoth Lord
Shuttle Icarus
Temporal Lash
Terrorist Strike
Yithian Psychic Possession
Yog Sothoth
Yucca Mountain Project
Yuggoth Attacks!

For Trade:
B-Movie Script
Call the Unnamed One
Chakota Beast
Cthulhu Statuette
Enthrall Victims
Giovanni Angellis
Giulio Cesare Hotel
Hound of Tindalos
Howard Lovecraft
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Lascaux Caves
Monatomic Translocation
Museo del Palazzo Venezia
Obsessed Federal Agent/Obsessed Agent in a Mi-Go Braincase
Porta Portese
Professor L.N. Isinwyll
Star Vampire
United Nations
Zanthu Tablets: A Conjectural Translation
Acid Rain
Area 51
Bank Vault
Billington's Woods
Blink of an Eye
Brother of the Yellow Sign
Crop Circles
Cthulhu For President
Day the Sun Stood Still
DBZ Spacelab
Disturbing Portrait
Eiffel Tower
Emergency Medical Equipment
False Dawn
Fragmentation Grenade
Gilman House Hotel
Going Postal
Government Quarantine
Haz-Mat Team
Hitch A Ride
INTERPOL Headquarters, Italy
IRS Auditor
Johnny Booger
Ju-Ju House
Look to the Future
M16 Assault Rifle
Make Them Pay!
Maple Hill
Massa Di Requiem Per Shuggay
Mental Suggestion
Night at the Opera
Obed Marsh Memorial
One Small Step
Operation Nemesis
Police Investigation
Prophecies of Nostradamus
Reverend Baxter Lully
Robert Bloch
Serial Killer
Serpent People
Smugglers Tunnels
Temple to Aesathog
The Mall
Time Flux
Time Machine
Unexpected Eclipse
Whispers Pulp Magazine Collection
With Neighbors Like These...
Wreck of the Hellene
Zanthu Tablets
Dawn Biozyme Research Lab
Men in Black
Mr. Shiny's Burger Palace
Ozzy Orne
Camp Bright Star
European Space Agency

If you can supply my needs either by trading or by selling please get in touch -- leave a message with your e-mail address. Messages are moderated, and I won't publish your address.

On Andrew Breitbart

I've had a few hours to think it over and so I feel I can write something about Andrew Breitbart and his death that is no longer an immediate gut-level reaction.

First of all, it seems to me that he was one of the first people to die by Twitter, or at least one of the first famous people to do so. Not directly, but suicidally -- sort of like "suicide by cop." Twitter has already claimed some careers and reputations -- think Anthony Wiener. It seems bizarre to talk about the profound importance of Twitter, but for protest movements, politics, and organizing, it is extremely important. It was pretty clearly his addiction, and he was tweeting, it seemed, as he went for a late-night walk near his home. The autopsy report is not available yet but it seems likely to me that he was a man who was professionally angry. Not just angry, but enraged. With Twitter he was never forced to return to the embrace of his family life and decompress. He could carry his rage with him and carry on arguments around the clock. Social media became a sort of positive-biofeedback-loop of rage for him. We aren't really designed to behave this way. It's a terrible strain on our bodies and brains. He was a year younger than I am, and it strikes me as a notable warning about social media that we should all take seriously.

Second, having read a bit about his career and exploits, it strikes me that as he is just a year shy of my age he must have had a fairly long and largely unrecognized life and career prior to the last few years when he became wealthy and famous. He has been promoted as an inventor of social media, one of the founders of the Huffington Post, and of course he didn't invent social media, but he did seem to exploit it in new and revelatory and disturbing ways. Revelatory because it revealed just what we've become -- how vicious, how tribal, how corrupt. And he was celebrated for this. I can only imagine that he understood this, at some level, like Stephen Colbert putting on his conservative pundit character, except in Breitbart's case, the self-conscious fury took him over and stuck to him and wouldn't come off, like Jim Carrey's character in The Mask.

Third, sadness. I do feel sad for him, and for his family. He has four young children; I have five. His death is currently being attributed to natural causes, but I don't think it's natural, exactly, for a 43-year-old man to die of a heart attack. This didn't need to go down as it did.

He was a bright and energetic man who came to believe, or at least to pretend to believe until he believed, that we are somehow very different, and that these differences are important, and not just important, but important enough to lie, cheat, and steal over, to attack by any means necessary. Because that is what he did -- he was the right's attack dog, and not just the right but the rabid right, on issues that under scrutiny turn out to be vapor; shibboleths; talking points and fabrications. He used means that were so beneath the term "journalism" that actual conservatives were repulsed and the only possible thing that neoconservatives could say in his defense was "well, whatever it takes."

His supporters probably would not be comfortable with Malcolm X's "by any means necessary," but seemed to be comfortable with Breitbart's comments calling for "capital punishment" for his critics. He wasn't winning converts, and wasn't winning for his cause, but was in it for, it appeared, fame and money, which makes this the saddest of all. One wonders if he suffered from bipolar disorder, and if so what his family suffered with him. Because after destroying ACORN, had he won some sort of victory worth winning? After getting a certain Mrs. Sherrod fired, based on a lie, had he achieved something worth achieving? Eyeballs, page counts, ad clicks; a legacy of dishonesty and vicious attacks. That's it. History may eventually judge him kindly, but unfortunately "the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones" (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar).

It is unfortunately true that some people seem to exist only as a counter-example, as an object lesson in how not to live one's life. It's as if in recent years he rediscovered himself as an attack dog; he found a talent for attacking, and after being carried around on the shoulders of his party and celebrated for it, it became addictive, and earned him a lot of money -- and became a ride he couldn't get off. I am sure that he was not, for his whole 43 years, this object lesson, but he certainly became it. Some good will come out of it, I believe; already, many institutions of journalism (The New York Times, NPR) are starting to publicly and humbly consider their responsibility not just to give face times to "both" sides of an issue, but to the truth.

I read that he was a nice guy in person, and that in college he wrote really funny and slightly surreal things and I have a feeling I would have liked to have known that guy. But Vader was seduced by the dark side of the force; and it's a harsh mistress, and Karma's a stone bitch. It was no way for a decent, talented family man to live, and no way for him to die, and I do pity him, even though he, or at least his persona, would would have had nothing but contempt for my compassion for him.