Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Note of Positivity

This morning I was feeling good, then I started feeling down, then I realized how blessed my life truly was, then I heard some news that made me depressed, then I read an old email from someone whose life I'd touched with my Not So Humble blogging, then I started thinking about how damn angry and petty I've been lately and I started feeling like a shit-heel.

So I decided to write something.

Blogger has been a great boon to my life. Not only has it provided me with a creative outlet...something that I personally need desperately, and (logistically) have a hard time getting...but it has allowed me to become part of a community of folks who share my interests and give me the space to communicate. Not to mention I get plenty of great ideas and good reads from them.

Of course, there's the whole book/game writing thing that's come from writing this blog. I can't even begin to measure the amount of joy I've received from publishing my own work. It's right up there with the joy and pride I take in my own children (the main reason I'm not doing more writing is that I prioritize my kids over myself...usually). Anyway, blogger is responsible for that opportunity as well.

Long time readers know I've often used my blog to blather on about my politics, theology, socialist values, and New Age-y crazy stuff. Some of those probably wonder why I haven't mentioned anything in the last 12 months regarding the state of my country, our last general election, our sitting president, or the direction my government has taken in 2017. There's good reason for that: I decided a while back that I didn't want to discuss (i.e. "vent") any of it, when it wouldn't accomplish anything constructive. Regarding my feelings (and who cares about those?): suffice is to say that I am deeply, deeply disappointed...and mainly disappointed with my fellow Americans. 

But no one wants to hear that. It's bad enough that a man so blessed in so many aspects of his life (i.e. me) should take the time to badmouth game designers he's never met.

So, I don't blog about that and will continue to attempt to not blog about that, unless I can find a way to be constructive. However, I wonder if I should extend the same policy to blogging regarding my game and design thoughts. The "if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all" policy. Certainly, I have done a bit of that already: there are some designers, publishers, and bloggers who are noticeably absent from the looooong list of folks I read and write about. For these people, I have taken the stance that (assuming there is "no such thing as Bad Publicity") I will not be giving them ANY publicity, of any sort. Been doing that for years.

[yes, that means that if I DO write about you...even in a "negative" way...that you are NOT on my personal black list. Take that as something!]

But maybe I should extend that policy to all my criticism. Cut the bile out of the blog. Only talk about the positive that I see -- only ADD TO the existing designs out there, not ridicule them, or tear them down, or point out "flaws" that only I perceive. 

Or maybe I should just do something "fluffy." I was reading Autokratik's blog yesterday, discussing his original reasons for starting this #RPGaDAY thing that some people do in August (I've never participated in it) and "sappy" as it might be (his word), I find that I really like the overall vibe of the thing. I'm not sure there ever was a "negative undercurrent" within the hobby itself -- perhaps I didn't frequent the correct forums -- but it's not a bad idea to shine a light on some of our positive thoughts/feelings on the hobby. Participating in such a project might be a way to try out "no negativity" for a month.

Just to see how much I can stomach.

Of course, I'm already three days behind (it's the 3rd of August as I write this). I suppose I could back date my other entries in blogger to give the illusion that I'm time traveling back to the start of the contest. Yeah, I think I'll give it a couldn't be any worse than the April A-Z Challenge. And I'll try to be as positive as possible.

Really. I promise!
: )

Not sure why this didn't show up in color.


  1. Keep it to yourself. Don't ruin this.

    1. @ Scott:

      Don't ruin what?

    2. This hobby is small enough as it is. If you bring in other contentious topics, you are likely to lose half your audience. Or at least half your audience that you have cultivated over the last year.

      Now, I have about 110 OSR blogs on my blogroll, so I would get over missing your insights. Someone would undoubtedly tell me about your good ideas.

      But you would be losing a lot of readers, and that's no fun at all.

      So I don't mean to warn you for my sake, but for yours. There has to be another way for you to express your ideas on civics, life, work and culture that wouldn't cost you some readership.

    3. @ Scott:


      Much as I enjoy having an audience, and much as I do try to stay "on topic" (said topic being "gaming"), I've never held myself to any type of content standard, save that I try to be as honest as possible. Sometimes that's lost me readers (I've received plenty of emails telling me so), but the blog is as much for me as for anyone. No one is paying me to write this. I hope to attract likeminded individuals (or at least ones open to the ideas in spewing), and the best way to do that seems to be fairly open.

      Well, and to write. Nothing loses readers like a long drought with no posts.

      Anyway, I think the point of my post is to try to NOT be negative, even in my gaming posts. Since many "contentious" topics tends to bring out the raging hater in me, you'll probably be seeing less of those in the near future.


  2. I will sometimes discuss personal things (family, girlfriend, that sort of stuff), but my blog has always been notably devoid of politics, or my feeling on social issues, except as they relate to gaming, or some other geeky, fandom pursuit.


    It's not that kind of blog. It's what I do to get away from that crap. I don't have a geek stuff blog to talk about politics. I have it to talk about geek stuff.

    1. @ Adam:

      There is that, too: the blog DOES have a topic of discussion.

      However, unlike some folks, this is my only blog. Sometimes something non-gaming comes up and I feel compelled to scribble something. Often that happens here.

      Sometimes it even influences my ideas on gaming.

  3. One of the things I like about your blog is that you do go "off topic." It gives me an insight to you. It helps me relate to you, thus gives me a better understanding of your perspective of OSR matter. In short, JB, I like your blog the way it is. I like that it is your blog, your only blog. Keep on doing what you are doing...

    1. There is only one real reason not to go off topic, JB; take it from me, a long-time ranter.

      It won't accomplish anything. The feeling you obtain for yourself in being "honest" will be fleeting. It will occur to you that you've changed no one's mind almost immediately, especially as you garner responses like those above encouraging you to keep inside your content and, as Scott says, perhaps stop reading. Then you'll be sorry.

      I've had so much trouble accepting that myself. If it had any chance of resulting in a change, it would be worth impaling ourselves. But it doesn't. It's only a bad impulse, like putting extra chipotle sauce on chipotle pancakes.

    2. @ Alexis:

      Chipotle pancakes sound like a pretty bad idea as is.
      ; )