Reviews and Ramblings
MIDDENARDE - PART 7 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 6 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 5 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 4 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
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GM Startup Guide by PurpleXVI - 06/10/09
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DORF FORT ELLPEE by CAPSLOCKGUY - 10/19/08
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In Dark Alleys
An un-history of moderately popular ideas
A history of unpopular ideas
FATAL & Friends Repost: In Dark Alleys, Part 10
07:05pm EST - 1/01/2016
This section is ostensibly Brian telling us about SHOCKING PHILOSOPHIES that have been LOST TO THE AGES(sort of) because either the AUTHORITIES suppressed them or because they just horrified people too much. In practice it's more our beloved author being a completely useless fuckbrain about everything he touches. Let's go over his fuckups in order.
Also note that the second section of each philosophy is "tenants." Yes, he really fucks up writing "tenets" for each of them, every fucking time.
We largely went over his fucked up perception of Animist beliefs with the Animist class, but there are a few new gems here.
Anything that works via unexplainable means, e.g. a medicinal herb, is believed to work via spirits or supernatural power.
People who are physically or mentally ‘different’ than others are often considered to have more power, and in many cultures the role of shaman is often given to mentally ill people who would otherwise have no useful role in the tribe.
To recap: All animists believe everything they don't immediately understand is SPOOKY GHOSTS and they put crazy people in charge! Noble savages! Also all animist systems adhere to the exact same tenets. True facts.
Supposedly Animism scares people because INVISIBLE FORCES control things! Presumably the same people afraid of the concept of Animism live in constant terror of gravity and string theory.
One of my friends, Softface here on the forums, commented a bit on some of these as soon as the screaming migraine the writing gave him passed. I've added his quotes for the stuff I admit I don't really know well enough to nitpick greatly, as he usually knows these things better than me.
Buddhism - It looks like Varja's knowledge of karma came exclusively from the show "My Name is Earl." You have no idea how much I wish people would learn that karma is a complex idea which affects your incarnation in the next life rather than reducing it to petty aphorisms.
This pretty much sums it up, as Karma is essentially reduced to an alignment system that takes you farther or closer from Nirvana, as the book describes it. You reincarnate over and over until you're Lawful Good and then you win the game of life.
This scares people because it's "pessimistic."
Platonism & Neo-Platonism
This is Brian yanking one out to the fact that he knows the old "shadows on a cave wall"-analogy. It doesn't even have a purpose in this fucking chapter as it's not really illustrative of any current patterns of thought(I know what we've inherited
from it, spent most of last semester learning it, so no need to point that out to me) and there's nothing shocking enough about it to give it a "what scares people"-section.
The requisite element for all modern "horror" RPG's with supernatural/divine elements. To the book's credit, as far as I can tell he didn't fuck this one up.
Descartian Skepticism - It's cute that he included this. "Some credit Descartes as the first to come up with the concept of virtual reality." And those people are idiots.
What Scares People posted:
The perpetual and unconquerable uncertainty. Humans can never be sure, no matter what they discover, that what they experience is true.
How unpopular was this idea again? I do not really recall it inspiring any witch hunts, and I'm pretty sure that anyone "terrified" of these ideas would have a mental breakdown after watching a soap opera.
De Sade was mean. De Sade thought all people were fundamentally mean. Spoooooooooky. What scares people is apparently that Sade was a maniac who advocated hurting people. I really cannot see how this is a weird reaction, in fact I'd say it's pretty sane to be adverse to philosophies that involve unbridled sadistic behavior towards others.
Marxism - Starts out with "Karl Marx (b. 1818, d. 1888) was a German, atheist, economist as well as a heavy drinker and cigar [s]moker, who created the first complete economic theory of Communism. Marx died without seeing a Communist evolution." which just seems to me like needless character assassination. Plus his timeline of the History of Communism is entirely off.
Aside from that he seems obsessed with Marx's characterization of capitalists as "vampires" since he mentions it three times in the short blurb.
What scares people: Marx used the word vampires! Oh no! Dracula is a banker! No literally, what Brian says is scary about Marx's writing is him describing bankers as vampires.
You know how the Nazis basically misinterpreted and abused Nietzsche's writings? That's kind of what Brian does here, in pretty much the exact same way.
Nihilism - Where to even start with this? Apparently Nietzsche was the most influential Nihilist writer, despite a large portion of his work saying NIHILISM IS BAD. STAY AWAY. He then goes on to entirely misunderstand the ubermensch, which shouldn't be mentioned here in the first place, even worse than Ayn Rand does. For some reason, he felt the need to include this: "He had a big walrus mustache and piercing eyes." and concludes with "After WWII he was so strongly associated with Nazism that no serious academic would dare discuss his ideas in a positive light." which is like some sort of anti-truth. By writing this he erased some of our collective human knowledge.
For those not up to date with the Niet and his moustache... essentially the argument goes that you should never accept any knowledge without investigating it critically, that you should never let anyone tell you how to perceive things, but instead turn things over yourself and then come to a conclusion. What conclusion you come to does not matter, but just doing this lets you rip your way free from the crowd.
If you then decide that's carte blanche to claim everything is false and start stabbing people for laughs, you're a nihilist fuckhead. If you keep your head on straight and decide for yourself a purpose rather than what people say it should be, you're a step above the crowd, an Ubermensch, who has some degree of responsibility towards the rest of the world by helping others reach that same level.
According to Brian, Ubermenschitude is entirely a genetic thing and the Ubermensch are destined to RULE THE MASSES OF SHEEPLE. If anyone needs to take a break here and just hold their head in their hands, that's understandable.
I don't think Nietzsche ever wrote anything about whether being a Nihilist would get you more fine ladies, though
What scares people: "People are initially off-put by the idea that they, and everyone else, had incest fantasies as children."
Essentially it's less that Freud scares people, more that his ideas gross them out a bit.
Despite saying that Freud has essentially been discredited and discarded by most sane people(though some individual ideas may survive among the larger establishment of psychologists and psychotherapists), a quick read of the description of Freud's "tenants" reveals that it's basically word-for-word the psychodynamics earlier in the book. I guess we know where the author's sympathies lie.
Surrealism - "Although people still love surrealist-style art, the revolutionary and anti-rational ideas of surrealism are scary. Surrealism is about acting without censorship of thought, which many associate with chaos and anarchy. Nonsense is fine when restricted to a piece of canvas, but when people try to apply it to the important matters of life it becomes threatening." Please, Varja, never write about anything related to art again, because you are clearly a child.
A sidebar ties Existentialism to Lovecraft's books for undefined reasons. Aside from that... Just about the only thing that Brian gets right is that Existentialist fiction is often heavily about a protagonist struggling with the idea that they Have To Make A Choice, that they are not required to just go along with the flow in their lives.
He helpfully summarizes the rest of Existentialism as "like Nihilism except for a few minor things." Existentialism is also the cornerstone of Atheism!
Like Freud except that he liked religion and also he wasn't sciency enough so no one ever uses him for anything scientific! Apparently this is also what scared people.
Punk - FUCK YEAH PUNK ROCK. At least he admits that there's no single statement to represent this "philosophy," and takes the time to tell us what exactly a poseur is.
What Scares People posted:
People fear punks because they don’t know what societal codes a punk has chosen to reject and thus a punk is unpredictable and possibly dangerous.
Punks = Fishmalks in IDA.
Paglian feminists believe that sex is powerful and females are inherently more powerful than men. Females are also more a part of nature, which Paglia describes as Cthonian: ugly, dark, terrible, unpredictable, amoral and gross. Out of fear of the Cthonian and a desire to reduce the power vacuum, men have created culture, society, religion and science.
If Brian is to be believed, Paglian Feminism is some sort of reverse crypto-psychotic misogynism, insisting that women cannot be intellectual... and are somehow better due to it???? Also that women should be prostitutes so they can subjugate men with their vaginas.
I don't know if this is IDA being completely insane or Paglian Feminism being completely insane or a combination of the two.
Postmodernists hate science and academia, unless the latter is taught by non-white lesbians. Also all postmodernists never create anything worthwhile, they just circlejerk words until they end up in a linguistic mess that only other postmodernists can understand.
They also think it's adorable, but completely wrong, whenever someone tries to be honest.
Preview of the following chapters:
May 98 – Journal of Genderqueer Poetry posted:
‘Passion’ by CrotchPower