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  • #643100
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    New year’s variants

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    Dakka dakka dakka! Fireball, coming online!

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    March 14th & July 22nd

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    March 15th

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    July 27th

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    “A DM only rolls the dice because of the noise they make.” – Gary Gygax

    #643101
    Lockhart
    • Posts : 1293
    • Owlbear

    Far be it from me to cast a shadow of doubt on Lovecraft, but it might be in better taste to celebrate the Mythos and Monsters he helped to create rather than the man himself, who was rather racist and not necessarily ‘good people’.

    #643102
    MrGunpowder
    • Posts : 64
    • Bullywug

    Wasn’t that whole era racist? Was he even worst then the common man?

     

    Genuinely intrested here.

    #643103
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Far be it from me to cast a shadow of doubt on Lovecraft, but it might be in better taste to celebrate the Mythos and Monsters he helped to create rather than the man himself, who was rather racist and not necessarily ‘good people’.

    AFAIK, there isn’t any officially official Cthulhu Mythos Day (although there are several unofficially official Cthulhu Days), only an H.P. Lovecraft Day.

    #643104
    Daniel
    • Posts : 2850
    • Succubus

    Yeah, I’d disagree with you there, Lockhart.  We can’t exactly judge past figures by our own standards, otherwise we’d have to disown most people kicking about around ol’ HPL’s time.

    #643105
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Yeah, I’d disagree with you there, Lockhart.  We can’t exactly judge past figures by our own standards, otherwise we’d have to disown most people kicking about around ol’ HPL’s time.

     

    Indeed! They should be judged in accordance to a timeless, impartial and infallible set of morally ethicalistic codices. 🙂

    2011-04-19-Sounds-Like-I-Had-To-Clean-Up

    #643106
    Lockhart
    • Posts : 1293
    • Owlbear

    Just presenting a school of thought with a dash of sensitivities for those who might, none the less, have reservations against idolizing such points of view regardless of how common they were in the era. In the same way that Columbus who was a hero of his time and certainly no one of his era looked twice at his actions, is being increasingly viewed as a man of shame to have a named day. Though the comparison may not be as apt because in comparison, Lovecraft was more of a common man than historical figure as Columbus.

     

    Edit: While I’m not particularly any sort of activist in my own behaviors, I’m more so voicing my opinion that the website, as a public face, be more sensitive in issues of discrimination, and that placing the face of a man who was rather unapoligetically racist (regardless of the excuse) on a banner that would appear even once a year regularly is not something in-keeping with that vision.

    #643107
    MrGunpowder
    • Posts : 64
    • Bullywug

    That’s fair. I`m writing a Pathfinder campaign that has racial slavery as a main theme right now. It is staggering how common racist has to be for this system to even exist. That makes most of our modern societies Lawful Evil in alignment… Sad.

    #643108
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Yeah, I’d disagree with you there, Lockhart. We can’t exactly judge past figures by our own standards, otherwise we’d have to disown most people kicking about around ol’ HPL’s time.

    From RevolutionSF.com:

     

    I agree with Dave. Don’t bother trying to minimize it or apologize for it. I mean, in one of his lesser-known stories the big shocking horrifying reveal at the end was that a sexy woman turned out to be (all in italics, of course) A NEGRESS! Fuck that guy.

    On the other hand, man, do I love the stories where he pulled his head out of his racist ass and concentrated on squid-monster metaphors for existential dread.

    The real issue is whether a reader finds his work worthy despite the worst parts of his personality. Plenty of writers and artists who have created great works have been appalling assholes. Lovecraft’s brand of assholery hits us especially hard because it has been so perniciously destructive and is still so insidiously widespread.

    I am not a Lovecraft scholar, but I am a historian and I have issue with applying standards of today against historical figures. I do not condone the behavior, but when you think of the greater context in which they group up pretty much EVERYONE was racist, sexist, and homophobic, You would have to be extraordinarily enlightened not to be. And brave. And perhaps crazy, because you would be ostracized too.

    As late as the 1960s Canadian white women who married outside their race could be institutionalized by their families as crazy, because sane white women didn’t do that. So we can be all smug in our privileged world with actual civil rights and point fingers, but we didn’t live in HPL’s world. We have only an academic idea of how people were indoctrinated with what we now consider intolerance. We didn’t live it, and we have no understanding of how hard it would be to break out of that mindset.

    And if someone argues that racists change their minds all the time now: Yes, but they are living in a society where their ideas are seen as out of step. They are in the minority. It is a much easier transition than the other way.

    All of this is just a long-winded way of explaining that Lovecraft’s racism doesn’t negate his accomplishments. But his accomplishments don’t negate his racism. (Enter, cognitive dissonance).

     

    Just presenting a school of thought with a dash of sensitivities for those who might, none the less, have reservations against idolizing such points of view regardless of how common they were in the era. In the same way that Columbus who was a hero of his time and certainly no one of his era looked twice at his actions, is being increasingly viewed as a man of shame to have a named day. Though the comparison may not be as apt because in comparison, Lovecraft was more of a common man than historical figure as Columbus.

    Edit: While I’m not particularly any sort of activist in my own behaviors, I’m more so voicing my opinion that the website, as a public face, be more sensitive in issues of discrimination, and that placing the face of a man who was rather unapoligetically racist (regardless of the excuse) on a banner that would appear even once a year regularly is not something in-keeping with that vision.

    That is certainly a fair point; however, the same argument could be made about other geek culture coryfees. For example, Gary Gygax (along with the other designers of the original incarnations of D&D) has also been accused of blatant racism and sexism. (Fair warning: Don’t click that link if you want to avoid flamingly aggressive posts with lots of swearing.)

    #643109
    Lockhart
    • Posts : 1293
    • Owlbear

    That is certainly a fair point; however, the same argument could be made about other geek culture coryfees. For example, Gary Gygax (along with the other designers of the original incarnations of D&D) has also been accused of blatant racism and sexism. (Fair warning: Don’t click that link if you want to avoid flamingly aggressive posts with lots of swearing.)

     

    I don’t want to necessarily get into a debate about each individual placed on the banner and celebrated. Certainly no man is without faults, espiecially when lives are examined in close detail. However, I was specifically mentioning Lovecraft because his faults, you don’t have to look that closely to see them at all, and they’ve been examined and written about in more detail than a tumblr conversation.One can argue whether Gygax’s creation of his fantasy world represent some hidden discrimination he held in the real world, however it’s only speculation really. However Lovecraft out and out wrote essays and Journel articles promoting a racial discriminating agenda.

    #643110
    Daniel
    • Posts : 2850
    • Succubus

    So what you’re suggesting is that we honour the product of his works, rather than the man himself, which is agreeable, I suppose.  On the other hand, is an author and their work so easily separated; are we simply heading into one of those discussions as to whether it is possible to support a product while disagreeing with the political/moral views of it’s author?

     

    I, personally, have no problem with HPL being a racist, xenophobic, homophobic assmonkey.  I cannot see how it is possible to judge somebody by the socio-historical indoctrination they were raised in.  I would also question the degree to which his works could actually have an impact on a modern consciousness.  That said, I like to think as myself as a balanced intellectual.  I would not be able to accurately gauge the level of influence this would have over somebody already cognitively weakened by social or psychological pressures.

    #643111
    Lockhart
    • Posts : 1293
    • Owlbear

    So what you’re suggesting is that we honour the product of his works, rather than the man himself, which is agreeable, I suppose.  On the other hand, is an author and their work so easily separated; are we simply heading into one of those discussions as to whether it is possible to support a product while disagreeing with the political/moral views of it’s author?

     

    I, personally, have no problem with HPL being a racist, xenophobic, homophobic assmonkey.  I cannot see how it is possible to judge somebody by the socio-historical indoctrination they were raised in.  I would also question the degree to which his works could actually have an impact on a modern consciousness.  That said, I like to think as myself as a balanced intellectual.  I would not be able to accurately gauge the level of influence this would have over somebody already cognitively weakened by social or psychological pressures.

     

    Well, it is important to mention that, really, the Chtulhu Mythos was not a sole effort of Lovecraft. If it had not been for his collaboration with other authors on the shared universe aspect, such as Robert E. Howard, who wove aspects of the mythos into the sword and sorcery of Conan, it’s possible that the Mythos would not have been such an engrained aspect of RPG/geek culture as it is nowadays.

     

    Secondly, my worry is not that lovecraft will influence modern-day minds to aspects of racism, but rather, that we associate the website with aspects of Racism. Say, for example, someone of race, who has experienced discrimination and is sensitive to it, is aware of Lovecraft and his racism checks out the website. They see Lovecraft’s face proudly displayed on the banner. Are they to think that RPGMP3 is a website of open-minded, non-racist individuals, or are they to associate those who would display a racist’s face proudly as being racist themselves? It may be quick of them to come to such an opinion, but not unreasonable for them to leave the website and look elsewhere for RPG audio and discussion to hedge their bets.

    #643112
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Dang, it’s a good thing there aren’t any feminists on the site; Carrie Fisher’s sweater melons look so nice on the Star Wars Day banner. 😉

    Oh, and @[member=”Daniel”] – don’t you think for one instant that that “assmonkey” remark hasn’t been reported to the Monkey Anti-Defamation League. 😛

    *And in his house in R’lyeh, Great Cthulhu snorts in amusements at the silly mammals and their capering antics, flicks the SNOOZE button on his non-Euclidian alarm clock, and goes back to sleep*

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    #643113
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Problem solved? 😉

     
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    #643114
    Daniel
    • Posts : 2850
    • Succubus

    Secondly, my worry is not that lovecraft will influence modern-day minds to aspects of racism, but rather, that we associate the website with aspects of Racism.

     

    With all due respect Lockhart, I would argue that this is where your argument gets a little silly.  To look at it from another angle, if I went to a Disney discussion board on the day of Walt’s birthday and saw a picture of the man himself on the splash page, from that would I infer that the occupants of that page were Nazi-loving buffalos?  Yes, I suppose your argument has a kind of merit to it, there is every possibility that somebody would come along and be put off by a little picture of HPL.  On the other hand, there is even more chance somebody would be put off instead by the sexualised banter, use of cuss words and the emergence of Pencil Monkey’s face.

     

    In conclusion, your argument has merit, even if I believe your last post to be a little daft.  Ultimately, however, the decision comes down to Hal.  I personally, would happily have old HPL up  on his birthday; you wouldn’t. Such is the way of things, I guess. 🙂

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 65 total)
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