Friday, January 31, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Braves & Wataru, Free On YouTube!

In case you missed it, something awesome happened.

Translated:"[Work News] [Sunrise] [Hero Series] to commemorate the 30th anniversary from the start of broadcasting Start free distribution of 8 series on Sunrise official YouTube channel!!"

That's right, every single TV show in the Brave series will be free to watch on YouTube. But that's not all. Mashin Hero Wataru, featured in Super Robot Wars X, is also free to watch- and it's available NOW, SUBTITLED!

This is a promotion for the upcoming remake of the series, but hey this stuff still holds up. Boy's Own Isekai Adventure w/ Magic & Mecha. Queue up the playlist and enjoy!

And for you Voltron fans, Dairugger XV!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Pop Cult vs. The Death Cult

Of all the fan channels, Doomcock comes closest to grasping awareness of what the Pop Cult is from the inside (i.e. by being one): it's a replacement religion.

He openly calls the Death Cult's deliberate destruction of the idols of the Pop Cult "destruction of our myths and culture", and this is one such video where that's what he's on about, and he is not wrong.

Doomcock, given the limits of the Pop Cult, sees clearest of all of them so far. He clearly and unambiguously calls the deeds of the Death Cult running popular culture in the West what it is: the deliberate denigration of a culture as an Act of Conquest.

Like it or not, there is only one effective response a Pop Cultist can give to this, and it is this response that makes them vulnerable to escaping the Pop Cult:

That's right: declare the Woke Shit to be HERESY, and thereby repudiate it.

This is what they have to do to avoid the goal of the Death Cult's destruction of the cult's idols: to demoralize them enough to make joining the Death Cult the only way to make the pain of despair bearable.

I put it to you that those in the Pop Cult can be reached. If they can reach where Doomcock is, then they can be brought the rest of the way.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

My Life As A Writer: David Stewart Reviews "Kull: Exile of Atlantis"

Author David V. Stewart did a review of Kull: Exile of Atlantis, a collection of American literary legend Robert E. Howard's pre-Conan stories featuring the hero Kull.

I have a copy of this volume, as I have every volume in this series, and I can confirm everything Stewart says in his review. This is a fantastic volume, well worth buying a physical copy of and putting into your private library. You will be able to see where Howard got the ideas that would ultimately become Conan the Cimmerian, how that voice would develop, and yet this character--Kull--would remain separate and distinct from Conan.

Howard's conception of Atlantis is very much a proto-Aquilonia, with Kull already on the throne as a successful usurper, and many of his adventures concern threats to his rule. Many of the supernatural elements here show the influence of his penpal, contemporary, and colleague H.P. Lovecraft. This is most obvious in the crossover story (also featuring Bran Mac Morn), "Kings of the Night", wherein Kull falls into a dream that takes him ages in time forward to Bran's Roman-occupied England and Kull assists Bran in a battle of many rebellious barbarian tribes against the Romans. Both kings are served by a mystic/sorcerer sharing the same name, implying it is the same man, so we're following the Dreamlands segment of Lovecraft's Weird Fiction mythos and not so much the squamous stuff he's famous for.

Get this entire series of pure Howard fiction. If Kull isn't your favorite, chances are that you'll find Bran Mac Morn, Solomon Kane, Conan, El Borak, Black Turlough, or yet another of his characters to be your huckleberry. This is brilliant stuff, and as with Lovecraft and Tolkien it's clear that Howard was far more talented than he let on in life and did far more work that most perceived before he killed himself. Two-Gun Bob is an American treasure, a literary legend, and his works--his works, not the pastiches and hackups--should be read by everyone serious about keeping good fiction alive for the future.

Monday, January 27, 2020

My Life In Fandom: XSeed Second Coming on SuperversiveSF

Last night friend of the Retreat, and editor, and colleague Brian Niemeier appeared on the SuperversiveSF Podcast to talk about Combat Frame XSeed: CY40 Second Coming, writing, mecha, and all that good stuff.

That good stuff includes announcements regarding the future of the series, by the way, so that alone makes this an hour or so of podcast fun time for you. Turn on Chat Replay so you can find the links to stuff Brian mentions over the course of the episode.

This is going to be a good year for NewPub mecha fiction.

The big take-away here is that a Backer perk Brian first made use of--"Build-a-Mech"--has proven to be a fantastic success for engagement by the audience. Yakon Merkin's taken the concept forward for his Galaxy Ascendant series with backer-designed starships, and both Rawle Nyanzi and I have taken notice. My future campaign will have this perk available, and I am aiming to have at least four slots available.

And "Build-a-Starship" will be a separate Perk.

Expect me to do more Star Knight posting soon.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Razorfist's Shadowcast Hits Episode 4

Razorfist presents Episode 4 of The Shadowcast.

"The Shadowcast continues exploring the origins of The Dark Avenger with his first appearances on Film and Radio! 1937's THE SHADOW STRIKES... and Orson Welles' first appearance as The Shadow in DEATH HOUSE RESCUE!"

And yes, of course I'm embedding the episode.

I love listening to Razorfist talk about The Shadow like this. The time he takes to get his information, line up his notes, and do his presentation is not trivial. This is how you make use of history for the masses; this is how you take the past and make it something people want to know. You put the past into a present context, and Razorfist did this by (a) making the consistent assertion of The Shadow being Batman's predecessor and superior (done here once) and (b) showing how The Shadow's past prominence made the present pop culture complex possible by demonstrating proof of concept.

That's not Razorfist's explicit goal in this episode, but that is what is shown. Because this podcast series builds on his first two previous videos on the character, it's presumed that you're familiar with what's said therein. This episode focuses on fleshing out the explosion of the presence of The Shadow beyond the pulp magazine that originated the enterprise, with asides to stillborn attempts to do so, and not so much on others' creative theft of the same or the collapse of that presence after the 1950s.

I hope these come out more often, with a maximum frequency of the magazine itself: bi-weekly. Monthly would do, given all else Razorfist does for his channels as well as making time for what he does away from the camera, but nonetheless I'm looking forward to the next episode. Good podcast series here, folks; subscribe and so on.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: Azeroth's Blundering In Action

From the "I Told You So" department: "Have Legendary Cloak Equipped on N'Zoth Raid Encounters or Be Mind Controlled"

This is the sort of cynical bullshit I ranted about yesterday in action. You have to use a Borrowed Power mechanic to participate in the new raid, or you gimp your raid team into the ground. As per the article, this matters only on the last two bosses, but those two bosses (a) drop the best loot and (b) are requirements for raid-specific Achievements and their own rewards. You can't cheese it either; your man get instantly mind-controlled into a hostile and murderous NPC the second you start the fight, so the raid has to kill your man and you don't quality for loot or Achievements because you were--for all intents and purposes--a trash mob NPC and not a player-character.

So what do you have to do to get that cloak? Getting the cloak itself is just tedious bitchwork; do the series of quests and unlocks the new patch content and you get the new cloak as a reward. However, the gotcha here is why you need the cloak: the Sanity mechanic on the boss fights. This works just like the new Horrific Visions and Lesser Visions scenarios, meaning that running these two--especially the former--not only powers-up your cloak, but also increases your cloak's resistance to Corruption and Sanity loss; the more you do this not-raid stuff, the less of a boat anchor you are to your team.

And that extends your active time online playing, since you need to do daily quest bitchwork to get the currency you need to do the Horrific Vision scenarios to upgrade the cloak. This is in addition to sopping up Magic Planet Blood to upgrade your Magic Planet Blood Sponge so that you can slot in Yet Another Essence to further enhance your man's ability to use broken-as-can-be Corrupted gear without taking crippling penalties as well as ensure that your man can actually use the new Azerite Armors that drop.

Do you see the issue here? The dev team--pressured by the bean-counters--are taking away the players' autonomy regarding how to approach the game. The gutting of crafting, the psuedo-esport shift in attitude towards content, and the hard-leaning into the metagame element (such as encouraging next week's livestreaming of the World First Race on multple levels) all point towards running the game with an eye to maximizing those quarterly numbers and not on long-term stewardship of a corporate IP and its brand identity.

If this were a Battle Royale game, which is ground-up designed for such a business model, I'd not complain about it. It's not. The MMORPG, be it a sandbox or a themepark--the latter is World of Warcraft--is meant to be a medium where the player has real autonomy over how he approaches playing the game. The way WOW is run now, a player's approach is routinely dictated to him such that he does not have that autonomy or it is severely restricted and this is one such layered method of doing so.

If I wanted this sort of linear approach, I'd play something else, because it's likely to be better than this simply by being purpose built for it- and here's a Russian Badger video showing off DOOM Eternal to show you what I mean.

That's how do you this sort of thing right.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Business: The Business Case For Gatekeeping

Today in "This is why you gatekeep, Young Kings", Fail Simone demonstrates why she's not credible for use on a Star Wars project.

This failure of property comprehension is exactly what Lucasfilm's Story Group--and Pablo Hidalgo in particular--is supposed to snuff out like it's Order 66.

If you are the steward of a corporate IP, then it is your responsibility to ensure that every hired gun adheres to the standards you are there to steward. That means writing and maintaining a Setting Bible (something else Lucasfilm failed to do; they rely a lot on fan-run Wookiepedia), and enforcing compliance to that bible's benchmarks. If you don't do it, your audience--your customers--will by closing their wallets, walking away, and letting your goods rot on the shelves- which is exactly what's happening with this property.

Don't tell me this isn't understood in the real world. Marvel's Kevin Feige does demonstrate this with his actions. Gundam and Macross have had decent management in this regard, to use well-known Japanese examples. The various managers for Howard's Conan have likewise varied in competence, but overall it's been good- especially since the '70s Marvel run. The point here is this: if you don't ruthlessly enforce compliance by your hired guns, your guns will shoot up your brand and wreck it. It's bad for business.

Don't hire people who hate you or the property you steward. This includes demonstrating contempt for or ignorance of it in public. That's grounds to discredit and disqualify.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Business: Author Sites As Core Business Element

"The Business of Writing" channel on YouTube is a good one for indie authors to follow as it addresses various parts of the indie author business. This episode covers something I'm taking more seriously this year: your online presence, specifically a website you own and control.

I do recommend giving this one a repeat viewing or listening--you're not missing anything if you just listen vs. watching--just in case you miss some details. This podcast is not one that goes into the weeds; this is practical implementation of proven practices. Caro--the guest--explains why you need to have your own site, and what you have to have on it to make it work as intended as well as maintain legal compliance.

Other things mentioned are good and practical advice for authors in specific niches or circumstances, such as blogging and newsletter styles varying by genre of audience. Carve out the time and give this your attention; then subscribe to the channel and look through the backlog. This is a great resource of free information by people who are putting it, successfully, into practice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: When SJWs Reveal Their Work Is A Skinsuit

This came over my Twitter feed yesterday.

MarkyX here is doing a very basic thing: pointing out the hypocrisy of an SJW organization (Evil Hat, publisher of Fate of Cthulhu, the game in question) using the work of a man they defame and despise to generate material profit and score social credit and influence within their niche (tabletop RPGs).

This is very much an example of killing a thing and wearing its corpse as a skinsuit to conceal yourself as you go about your business. The most recent version of Vampire:The Masquerade did the same thing, with it being an example of an already left-leaning property (as White Wolf's properties were) into an outright SJW propaganda outlet. The SJWs at Wizards of the Coast have done the same to D&D, to a lesser degree.

Notice the lack of original properties for this purpose. Notice the lack of games based on "marginalized" creators' works, something that others have done (e.g. RPG Pundit and Arrows of Indra) And when called on it, they deflect immediately with rhetorical attacks meant to DARVO the critic into submission. That's the tell that this is about power using the Leftist device of the Frame Game as the means to seize and hold it.

And it relies on somehow avoiding the reality of market economics. The most honest, and ruthless, are down with crashing every endeavor they can- so long as they retain power over the properties in question. The rest cope-think, but all of them ultimately want to make a sinecure of their positions and thereby remove the market from the situation entirely; this is why (a) they want to destroy all competition via convergence and (b) seek to suck at the state's teat instead of do honest work satisfying customer demand.

And make no mistake, these SJWs in small niches hate you just as much--if not moreso--than those in bigger areas of the economy and culture. They still want you dead, and they still think it's both funny and justified. Death Cultists gotta Cult. And if you need confirmation, look at their social media bios; you'll see Muh Pronouns--the big red flag--as often as you breathe.

They hate you. Don't give money to them. Never buy their work digitally, and only buy used print copies if you have to have it at all.

As for why the SJWs in tabletop RPGs are so vicious, it's because they still cannot undermine the fundamental fact of the medium: it's built around decentralization, where the users form self-operating autonomous groups and the will of the designer and publisher cannot be enforced at the table. They want to change that so they can enforce their will, but so far have proven incompetent at the task; may it stay that way. Also, their games usually suck to play and that's another reason for the widespread rejection.

Non-SJW RPG publishers have held on because they don't make games that suck to play. Other gaming media are picking up on this, and the tide is turning, however slowly. But if you need a hope spot, here's Russian Badger talking up DOOM Eternal, and that does look as good as the 2016 game that preceded it.

Monday, January 20, 2020

In Sadness Comes Future Joy

I saw this by email before it went public. Now that it is, I will talk about it.

Superversive Press was a small publisher, one with a mission to bring the Superversive--to build up, not tear down, the culture and all that is good, beautiful, and true--and it is unfortunate that it is now closing due to circumstances beyond Mr. Rennie's control. What else came out of this press's operations--the Superversive Podcast and the group blog--will remain operative for now. Joshua Young, writing at said blog, said it as well as needs be:

It is with great sadness that I bring you the announcement that the owner of Superversive Press has made the decision to shutter the press. His reasons are his own and personal, and I understand that running even a small company is a large amount of work. I would like to thank you, Jason, for all your hard work. It was a good run, and you brought a lot of us together.

Now, with that having been said, Superversive is a movement, not a company, and as authors, we will still be there, pressing forward with our goal of fiction that ennobles and inspires. If you were working with Superversive Press, check with your editors; most are looking at other presses we have worked with. (As we did with the Planetary Anthology.)

Given that the Press does not represent the totality of the movement, it is our intention to keep the website up and running regardless. We are discussing plans to keep the site going as we move forward and are hopeful that, beyond seeing familiar authors in new homes, you will see little change on our end.

The future is still bright, my friends.

It is. The company is gone, but the ideal remains, and the tools to make that real are now easily had. The future belongs to us.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Signal Boost: Shin Super Robot Sunday At RMWC Reviews

For all my giant robot lovers, you should not be sleeping on this weekly series of blog retrospectives over at RMWC Reviews. This is a history of giant robots in Japanese media, from the emergence of the giant robot itself to the tropes that emerged over time as each show or film tried to compete and distinguish itself. This is a new series (as of this post), on Sundays, so you can catch up fast since it just started this month.

And this Sunday's post on The Mysterians shows that the 60s were the time when giant robots in Japanese media were still a thing not strictly defined like they are now. Expect that to change when we get to the '70s and the codification of Super Robots hits like a Big Bang Punch.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Geek Gab & Jon Del Arroz Talk "Clockwork Dancer"

This week on Geek Gab, the leading Hispanic force in Science Fiction--Jon del Arroz--returns to the Gab to promote Clockwork Dancer, his new Steampunk comic book.

And Jon trolling out the gate regarding Mouse Wars shows he gets this show.

Don't skip the early show; the side talk about Joker getting so many Oscar nominations alone is amusing.

Jon's been hyping his comic all week in his livestreams, and he's hit #1 on Amazon in the relevant category (or categories), so folks are definitely buying it good and hard. He does, being a good self-promoter, recount how he came about this project and what tropes it focuses upon vs his "Steam and Country" series. He's got the hustle, and I respect the hustle.

And now I want to see Nano Templar comic books.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Narrative Warfare: When Your Demonic Cultists Wear Business Suits

Brian Niemeier isn't the only one to point out that created identity is a thing, or that fandom is a cult.

There is an irony here. That irony is that the Devil Mouse is very much like the Evil Empire of its laser sword franchise: the not-sorcerers running the military, by and large, did not get on with the sorcerers calling the shots because they didn't comprehend how the sorcery worked- they only saw the results, and so long as the results outweighed the bother they tolerated the sorcerers.

Corporate and the Death Cult work the same way within a corporate environment, and the Devil Mouse's cockup of said laser sword franchise shapes up as exactly this thing from start to finish at fast-forward speed. Both factions see the Pop Cult as nothing more than an exploitable front org meant to sucker rubes for them to farm without pity; it's just that Corporate isn't willing to exhaust them in an "eat the seed corn" manner.

Corporate wants to milk them like cows for revenue; the tells are a lack of moderate risk-taking to keep IPs fresh enough to be truly evergreen in favor of too-safe products and merchandise overloads. The Death Cult wants to funnel Pop Cultists into their ranks, which requires breaking the Pop Cultist's faith in their idols (hence deliberate defiling of the idols) and then swooping in while vulnerable to indoctrinate them; it's a grooming scheme, and not much different from how flesh peddlers groom their victims before reaping and raping them into the network to be used and consumed- and killed.

What this comes down to is two competing demon cults. Corporate worships Mammon. The Death Cult worships Molech. And like fictional Chaos Gods, they cooperate until it's cuts into their core objectives. That's when the knives come out, at which point either the enterprise shifts entire into one cult's control or it all comes undone when the enterprise proves too unstable to go on.

Corporate decided to pull steel in the Devil Mouse. Soon we'll see if the laser sword franchise can stabilize or if it's too late and it collapses. Even if it endures, it's going to be in a greatly diminished state, and it would take a heroic effort to fix what the Death Cult deliberate set out to destroy to induce despair. That still doesn't prevent a future attempt to do it again, or to destroy it through actual mismanagement (rather than the deliberate demolition we've seen). The Pop Cult, as a whole, still hasn't figured out that this is the actual state of things; their devotion to their idol won't allow for it.

Which is why, painful as it may seem, the best thing to do is to walk away and build anew.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Hands That Held Back The Orcs Are Gone

The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien is notoriously hostile to adaptations of the man's work outside of literature. Led by Christopher Tolkien, this policy has been in place for decades; what you have seen to date has been the result of a bad deal with a man named Saul Zaentz back in the '50s, using a license of for the core four (LOTR+Hobbit) as the basis for all the media adaptations you've seen to date. Even the best of them--the ones better than we deserved--bear that taint.

That changed. As seen on Superversive's blog:

Somehow I assumed that Christopher Tolkien was much younger, but maybe I just formed that image a long time ago. Regardless, it’s sad to hear of his passing. Outside of his father, the famed J.R.R., Christopher is probably the one most responsible for all things Middle Earth. He compiled his father’s notes and works into coherent wholes; without him, there would have been no Silmarillion, let alone any of the other works from Tolkien we’ve received since his father’s death in 1973. He’s also been a driving force in the amount of respect Tolkien’s legacy has been treated with; here’s to hoping it wasn’t just him protecting Middle Earth. I can already feel Disney circling in for the kill.

Now the Wokening of Middle Earth makes sense. None of this would be tolerated previously.

The new executors of the estate are not the hardliners that Christopher was, and the Death Cult has to know this. The recent Amazon series in the works shows this. Now they come for Middle Earth. They come for the dreamseed of the West itself. They're using "Death of the Author" to justify their corrupting of Tolkien's great gift to his people- to us. In time, they will do unto him as they did before to Lovecraft, Howard, and many others.

Unless, of course, we fight back.

Gondor calls for aid, Men of the West.

You all know what must be done. First the traitors--the Wormtongues, the Denethors, the Sacksville-Baggins--and then the invaders.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: The Pundit Talks Gonzo & Gaming

The RPG Pundit talks Gonzo and Gaming.

I can't gainsay any of this. The Pundit knows his stuff, and gonzo in particular is definitely his expertise. From defining the term to practical implementation, he's talking that good stuff that we gamers crave: How To Make Use Of Things. The definition marks the boundaries, and the techniques describe useful practices within those boundaries. The examples illustrate the Do and Don't in question.

And, in gonzo style, a lot of this is the Pundit talking about his experiences playing in this style- either as the GM or as a player. This is a good use of anecdotes; actual play matters in gaming, and having trustworthy people using their actual play experiences to illustrate something more general is exactly that appeal to practical implementation that gamers as a class desire.

And players, I think, default to gonzo because they cannot approach the game and its virtual environments any other way. It's the Forever GMs who often want to get away from this, but are thwarted because Things Happen and Away We Go.

And writers, don't sleep on this; believe it or not, a lot of this is applicable to Weird Fiction.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Return Of The Patriarchs

I have long figured that not only would Trump win a second term, but that this would begin a dynasty that Don Jr. would continue. Now the media's signalling that they see it too. Anonymous Conservative also saw this when I did, and has this to say (taken from his post today):

"I hope Don Jr is ready to go, no matter what the other forces are, as it will be a prime opportunity. President Trump is an exhilarating ride, but even now I periodically get a little pang of horror when I realize, five more years, and this one of a kind Presidency will be coming to a close, and there is no other politician out there as detached from the corruption, honestly opposed to our enemies, and even prone to shitpost on twitter for fun. In four years, there is no Republican politician which can match even one aspect of this Presidency. The idea of going back to exactly how it was, cold-turkey, with no weaning period or gradual shift, is high amygdala. High amygdala motivates. And if there was another Trump, detached from the machine, honestly opposed to our enemies, and prone to shitpost on twitter for fun, there will be a lot of Republicans who will be highly, highly motivated to vote for him, and that motivation will be peaking right as the threat of losing our glorious God Emperor to a term limit is reaching its apex. Of course we could get rid of term limits, which I would have no problem seeing, if it would bring us a few more years of this Trump Presidency in preparation for Don Jr. I can’t imagine what liberals would look like if Trump proposed it, when it was obvious he would win 2024, 2028, 2032, and on, and all of that became a fait accompli."

He'll run. Count on it. He'll also win, and again for a second term. Then Eric will run, and so on, with Barron taking his turn as soon as he's eligible at which time "God-Emperor" may not be just a funny meme and we'll be better for it being real.

And so long as the Trump have non-globalist, non-Cabal intelligence behind them they'll keep winning and America will slowly pull herself back from the brink. The patriarchs are come again, and the Enemy knows it. That's why the Clowns are going balls-out now to stop what cannot be stopped. They would rather rule the ashes than bend the knee. Expect soon a revival to hit, at which time all the orcs among us will be flushed out- and being flushed, will either flee or be felled.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Power & The Gamma Male

Friend of the Retreat Brian Niemeier posted today at his blog what Conservative Inc. wants you to believe about state power and human usage thereof. He's correct, and the Cucks are wrong--if not lying--about that relationship. It is a man-made tool, and therefore has only the desire to be used; it is amoral, not immoral, as any tool inherently is. There is a fantastic video essay about the original Conan movie that gets this point, as it was the point that director John Milus wanted to make. (Starts at the Riddle of Steel reveal point.)

That's right, in contravention to Robert Howard (who did not hold to such a position), Milus went all Nietzsche: it's Will that matters, not steel or flesh.

Power wants to be used. It gravitates to those who have what is required, and that is the will to act. By itself, it does nothing and therefore is nothing, as it lacks agency; in time, unused power dissipates and is destroyed, as with anything forgotten and neglected. This is no different than any other tool, and it is a very feminine energy; there is good reason why power is personified as a woman--as a queen or princess, usually--and you just had it laid out for you.

And if you know the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy, you now get why the Cucks rarely get power or do well when they have it while resenting those such as the God-Emperor who do. They--as a group especially, and often individually--exhibit the psychology of the Gamma Male.

Even after allowing for the fractal nature of the Hierarchy, wherein you see relatively more and less masculine folks among the Cucks, this frame aptly explains why the Cucks keep at the Tolkien metaphor regarding power and its usage. Feminine energy repels itself, as like-aligned magnets do; notice that masculine men are, at worst, apathetic towards power- they know their limitations and don't seek positions beyond their utility.

And, in typical Gamma fashion, the Cucks lie about Tolkien's take on the Ring. The Ring is not amoral because it is intelligent, being a part of its maker- an extension of Sauron and his rebellious will. It is not a mere tool; it is a non-organic part of a supernatural entity's material form, no different in function to the phylactery of a lich, and therefore being with it is being with him, whispering into your ear as Sauron did to the last king of Numenor before the fall thereof.

Power, real power, is not that. It is a tool, nothing more. It only wants to be used, and it does not care to what end; weak men wield it foolishly, as do most women, which is why we have our notions of what effective leaders look and act like, but if that's all that want to use it then power will go there because it's better than nothing at all from its perspective. This, by the way, is why Libertarians and Anarchists are wrong; they deny this reality of power.

The Clowns serving the Enemy know this about power. It's why they seek to seize it and hold it, shutting out all threats to their position, and we're seeing this happen now as they see rising threats to that position. But, like anything else feminine that goes out of order, it cannot resist the inevitable check-and-correction that comes sooner or later- nor does it want to. The Manosphere guys get this; they call this sort of a thing a civilization-scaled Shit Test, and the answer given to men dealing with women doing this applies to civilizations also.

And yes, this is why the dominant religions of the world--especially the true one--are masculine in their energy. Men wield power as they lead women and children, and the good kings are also the good patriarchs, the healthy Alphas of men leading and caring for the legions of Deltas getting the grunt work done under the direction of the Bravos. Power is satisfied by men wielding it as women are satisfied by men leading them: the stronger the confidence, the greater the satisfaction, and that applies to Gammas also- those few you cannot rid yourselves of, which is what you should do with dispassionate ruthlessness as if exterminating vermin or killing wolves coming at your herd.

Fear not power. Accept it as part of a man's duty to seize it, hold it, and use it--wield it--as you would your rifle or your wealth: for the betterment of your women and children, whether they like it or not, to the limit of your ability. Boromir Did Nothing Wrong.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: The Meta Matters In MultiPlayer

Be it tabletop or online, any game that involves multiple people cooperating towards an objective inevitably has a metagame element that comes to dominate actual play. This is most noticeable if the game promotes pick-up play. Known as "pugging", from "Pick-Up Group" (PUG), as opposed to playing in a (more or less) static team roster, this metagame arises due to the known gamer psychology of minimizing risk and effort for maximum return and performance.

The tell is this: "What is the best (X)?"

When you participate in pick-up groups, you are playing with people you don't know; you haven't conducted the necessary team-building required to allow for customizing group performance to account for whatever it is that you have to work with. Minimizing the risk of incompetence and stupidity in your pick-up group means focusing on what you can control, which is what player-controlled thing (a character, an army build, etc.) that man in the group brings.

In RPGs, this means looking at what elements are required for a group to operate and choosing the option that (a) has the highest performance and (b) is least able to screw up executing that role. In D&D, that means there's a Best Spell List for spellcasters and a Best Group Comp, both of which are informed by what the PUG environment allows; players who bring what is best get group invites, and the rest get benched.

In MMORPGs, this gets even more blatant and even encouraged. As I write this post, I'm listening to a podcast live show discussing what tanks will be best in the upcoming patch for World of Warcraft and if there is any difference between the various endgame content choices. (i.e. Best Mythic Plus vs. Best Raid vs. Best BG vs. Best Arena) Once the score-or-so of guild-writers publishing their guides and put out their videos, the meta is set and you will conform or you will get benched.

Why? Because they don't know you. You might as well be a bot to them. You're there to fill a spot to do a job, and being Best--being on-meta--means the risk of you not meeting expectations is as low as can be had. This is as impersonal an environment as working a Corporate job, be it office or fast food or whatever else is depersonalized enough to make a man into a cog.

And so there's a lot of crying about what is and is not Best. Because the rest get benched.

The counter-argument is always "But (Y) is viable!" and sometimes accompanied by spreadsheets, videos, etc. showing this to be so. For Classic WOW, this is routinely done with the Paladin class. To which the answer is always "Twice or thrice the effort and skill to get the SAME RESULTS", and it is an effective counter because it shows that being viable is not enough; it's both "get best results" and "with least effort" that informs the metagame.

Game designers ignore this at their peril, especially those running online games. They have data gathered in real-time as to what is best and what is not. They can figure out how to bring underperformers up to the baseline established by the Best. They routinely fail to do so. Sometimes it's ego. Sometimes it's incompetence. More and more, I find that this is in fact deliberate as a means to improve player engagement- which they then monetize one way or another. Revised player-required materials prompting re-purchases (edition treadmills, cardset changes, etc.), microtransactions to allow whales to shift their player-objects (decks, armies, PCs, etc.) to whatever the meta now favors- especially if you can gift them to others, and so on are just easily-thought of examples of such monetization.

For now, the only way to avoid the meta is to make and maintain that static group. That way you can exploit team-building of trust to compensate for off-meta player choices, but even then it comes at a cost. If you're going to be doing something like the World First Race that MMOs like World of Warcraft do, being off-meta inhibits the odds that you'll finish in the Top 10- nevermind winning. Know your limits, and choose your goals, accordingly.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Reality Of The Pop Cult Problem

Pop Cultists, when confronted with the reality that there's plenty of not-Brand alternatives to Big Brand they're whining about:

And the fan channel complex that enables this is the worst of the lot. Could be pushing alternatives, but don't because outrage about Big Brand brings in revenue while promoting alternatives--being #BrandZero--does not.

I suspect that this is not accidental, but not necessarily deliberate.

Let me unpack that.

It is not accidental in that a lot of the social media changes meant to promote Big Corporate over smaller alternatives, such as NBC or the BBC over Mike Cernovich. The effects are intended to affect news media to control political narratives, but have the acceptable benefit of exerting control over cultural narratives as well. As politics is downstream from culture, the effect is accepted because it is seen as a delayed-onset political narrative shift.

It is not deliberate because this specific form of control is not the objective. The objective is to control the 2020 election cycle in the U.S., and hopefully influence elections elsewhere, but cultural control was not in the minds of the Big Social galaxy brains pushing these changes through. They weren't thinking in cultural terms as such, even if it is clearly cultural control that they pursue. This is not the Big Picture Team at work, despite seeming so; this is the mid-level management tier implementing directives from above.

And the Pop Cultists go along with it because they're long accustomed to the false religion of their cult satisfying their religious needs, however improperly and imperfectly, so they are disinclined to go outside the boundaries proscribed by the Pop Cult. Hell, many of them won't go beyond the specific idol they worship- not even entertaining other idols, nevermind going outside the cult. (See above pic, again; "read" is not just metaphorical, but literal for many Pop Cultists.)

We've got a lot of work to do if we're going to make #BrandZero succeed.

This is a cult. Approach the problem accordingly.

Friday, January 10, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Bandai's "Obsolete"

Bandai teamed with YouTube recently to put out a six-episode original series called "Obsolete".

Which has this premise: "In 2014, aliens begin to trade consciousness-controlled robot “EXOFRAMES” with earth. The military potential of the EXOFRAMES disrupt the current world-order."

The series explores what disruptive effects this trade has on human civilization, and it's exactly what you expect out of Big Idea SF put forth by people who make most of their money selling model kits: well-executed action set-pieces showing--not telling--the high concept premise playing out. This won't consume your life; it's akin to the 2003 Clone Wars series in that these are a series of quarter-hour episodes. What it should do is get you looking at the real-world exoskeleton development that's been going on for over a decade, if not longer, with a renewed appreciation for the potential for disruption once such a technology gets into the hands of disfavored actors.

And yeah, this is a fictional presentation informed by historical--especially recent history--examples.

If there aren't any related kits or other merch, I'll be surprised. Bandai's not one to shun monetizing content they produce.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Myth of the Absent Throne

Today's Sabaton History video gets into the United Nations and its very mixed bag results in peacekeeping.

Let me make this clear: I find this institution to be fraudulent from its roots and favor its abolition. That doesn't mean that its record should be shunned, only that they be presented in their full and complete account with no redactions for any reason- something routinely done for political reasons. Those missions not sabotaged from within are often suborned or otherwise corrupted; trafficking is a common problem.

The reason that the UN routinely fails its stated aims is because--like any other attempt at recreating The Tower of Babel--it's premised on the claim that Mankind needs a single sovereign entity to govern it, while simultaneously denying that such a sovereign already exists. Mankind cannot be "conquered" or "united" because it already is under its Creator, God Almighty.

This persistent belief hings on a myth of an empty throne, which is a metaphor for a certain lack of comprehension regarding the very object permanence that we expect our children to grow out of very early in life. The idea is this: if there is no one right there, telling you what to do and punishing you for stepping out of line, then no such power exists.

They perceive the lack of immediate consequence for a lack of consequence, as proof that the throne is empty--that there is no sovereign--and not as the mercy that it is. That lack is there to allow the errant to course-correct before the damage is done, or too great to withstand and recover from, and also to grant the incorrigible enough rope to hang themselves. Then, when the hammer comes down, the sovereign can--and does--say "You did this to you." and the real punishment hits: being forced to confront the reality that you could have prevented this at any time simply by obeying your Father.

And that, folks, is far too much for most to take. That is what breaks them. Not the injury. Not the pain. Not the chronic disease. The reality that they did this to themselves, and like children--like what they are--they refuse to accept that responsibility. They point to the empty throne and claim it's not possible because no one's there, not realizing that no man need sit on a throne to be Man's sovereign. Your father is still there, even when he's not home; your Father is always present, even if you refuse to see Him. Once you see it, you don't need a man on the throne to accept that Man already has a unifying sovereign- and to demand such is heresy and blasphemy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Reporters That Were Not There

Last night, I made the following Tweet.

Put the video in that quoted Tweet up in another tab and hold it for a moment. I'm going to show you what I'm talking about.

Below is a video by a man named Anton Petrov. He's one guy doing videos about astronomy and space tech on YouTube. He uses the exact same green screen tech that the mainstream media does. He uses it correctly and for an ethically neutral purpose of minimizing the disruption of presentation that his face being in frame presents. Plenty of other YouTube, Twitch, DLive, BitChute, et. al. others such as my friend Oliver Campbell do this very thing for that very reason. Again, pay attention to the outline around Anton's figure. That's the tell that green screen is being used.

You see this used in completely ordinary ways every day on the local news when the weatherman presents the report and forecast. It's the exact same technology.

Why, therefore, do you see the exact same tells when CNN or MSNBC or the BBC has someone claiming to be on-station someplace but you see that very same outline around their figure? They're not actually there. They're lying to you. They're not on-station. They're in a studio, which can be climate-controlled, pretending to be someplace they're not and reading off a script.

They are using that very same technology to commit fraud, and one of the replies points out that--as we've come to expect from the MSM--they're being noticed now because they are too lazy and stupid to keep ahead of the tide of technological development. They should be using the higher-grade stuff that major Hollywood films employ, but they don't.

Don't believe the hype.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Layers Of Deception In Practice

Today's post at Anonymous Conservative had the following statement:

I had not heard this take on the reason behind the migrant scam, in this next pic. TLDR, the governments in Europe limit indigenous people to borrowing $8,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance, it takes 18 years to grow such a debt resource, and then most do not borrow it. The migrants are brought over, and are given about $21,000 per year in emergency loans for two years because arriving in Europe is so challenging, which they all take and immediately put into the economy. 1.7 million migrants in Germany alone, at $42,000 in debt per individual, magicked up $71.4 billion in ether money that was flooded into the economies, presumably with the usual suspects keeping a cut. He implies there is about $13,000 in additional debt per migrant which they could be demanding, but which is disappearing somewhere, and the migrants never bother to ask for it. He says studies examining this scam are coming out this year, which fits with the idea of a Counter-Intel Op about to do a big reveal of the Cabal. Click for full size image:

And the image.

To which I can only say "Embrace the power of 'and'", because fuckery like this has many layers to it and using this to fuel the debt-based central banking fraud of an economy is but one of them. Socially engineering entire countries so that elites get the policies they want by replacing electorates that won't with ones that will? Sure, there's another layer. Replacing faithful nations with godless ones via relentless propaganda, bribery, and a little ultra-violence by protected thugs when the former pair don't do? Add to the pile. On just this invasion scheme alone one can detect upwards of a score of layers to it, each put there by a beneficiary to the scheme, and thus allow the perceptive to begin mapping out the network required to make it happen.

Including, of course, the narratives required to cover for it.

Lies are networked. Once you start seeing the ties, you can unravel the lattice and find which knots to cut for maximum effect. The rest is entirely dependent upon the means available and the will to execute. What men creates, men can abolish- and men most definitely created this fraud.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Using Statistics To Lie For The Cause

With all the FUD going on, it's serendipitous that Freedom Alternative put out a video on lying for propaganda purposes via statistics. Narrative Warfare in practice.

This video is applicable not only for general media bullshitting, but for academic bullshitting demonstrated by academics successfully hoaxing journals by aping Death Cult tropes in their fake papers. The Death Cult groks Narrative Warfare, which is why it freaks out when someone opposed to it also does and begins turning it upon them.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Warfare In Galactic Christendom - Space Is The Place

Warfare in Galactic Christendom is, on the whole, a limited affair. Outside of the Crusades, the belligerents aren't out to actually obliterate the planet or wipe out all live on it and so on. They're fighting the party holding the objective; they want to take and hold it for themselves, so destroying it is not on the table because they don't want to incur the costs of rebuilding it from scratch.

Sure, space colonies can get wrecked and castles can get smashed, and so on, but outright Exterminatus and similar weapons and techniques are not done because it crosses the line from "We accidentally shot up the reactor core" to "Fuck this planet, with orbital kinetic-kill bombardment using asteroids. The terraform corp can clean up the place for occupation."

Not that it hasn't happened, or that the means do not exist. It has, and they do. It's that the Church has successfully restrained the nobility from doing so, sometimes using self-interest and sometimes using sanction, and it helps that the Church being ubiquitous ensures that a noble wanting to glass his neighbor fears the Church retaliating against him for doing so.

Which means that planetary warfare, as one would expect, is automatically going to go bad for defenders once they lose orbital supremacy and the invaders attain that high ground. Without severe defensive measures to thwart it, and offensive systems to counter-attack, an attacker can just besiege and englobe a planet--blockading it--and starve the enemy out; only if the timetable disallows this does the script deviate away from this.

Most warfare, therefore, not only happens in space but also within a planetary system and not in deep space. Most of that action happens in orbit over the target planet or its Lagrange points. This is why the Navy is the dominant form of the military institution, followed by their Marines, albeit influenced significantly by the feudal nobility and its own norms.

All of this will be seen in the following Star Knight books, though I won't be spending paragraphs doing "As You Know" infodumps on it.

As for why warfare runs on giant robots? Nephilim. Giants of inhuman flesh and bone required giants of super-powered steel to slay them, and there were legions of them as well as those men who served them. Yes, Red Eyes, Zuzu, and Gori are all of that cursed blood- and they are not all that remains. Then the similarity to a knight's panapoly allowed the institutional inertia to accelerate and now we're here.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Brian Niemeier, Geek Gab, Mecha & "CY40 Second Coming"

As of this post, it's about to start. See you in the chat.

Observations:

  • Doing "Build-a-Mech" as a crowdfunding backer perk was a great success. Yes, doing it myself in multiple forms.
  • There's an XSeed tabletop game in the works. Woo.
  • There will be a Book Four.
  • Cole & Anspach's Galaxy Edge series has proven that the rapid release paradigm really does work, but it takes effort to set up to get the full effect. That effort requires resources that most newpub authors don't have, which is why Brian's taken a patronage approach via crowdfunding.
  • Successful crowdfunding for authors works best when you have the manuscript done and ready to edit, at the least, before asking for backers.
  • Blogs are coming back due to there not being another medium that can do what blogs do for reader engagement. Social media is being recognized for other purposes and usage thereof shifting accordingly by the savvy users.
  • Lifestyle brands might as well be open grifting, be it corporate or indie.
  • Time to touch up the Lore page and put in some more entries. Scribble that in for the coming week.

Friday, January 3, 2020

My Life In Fandom: "Appleseed", Anime's Forgotten Cyberpunk Classic

Folks know about Ghost in the Shell, and plenty know of AD Police and Bubblegum Crisis/Crash/2040. Akira is a classic, but one other title once well-known in popular Japanese cyberpunk of the 80s has since faded: Appleseed.

There have been post-2000 adaptations, but none are as good as the 1988 OVA and the original manga--if you can find it--is still better than all the adaptations to date.

If you're familiar with GITS, then the set-up is familiar. You have a masculine female lead, a cyborg male support character, plenty of intrigue and politics with philosophical commentary, mecha (Landmates, just too big to be powered armor; you pilot it mostly via motion controls.), and the noir tropes and themes cyberpunk inherented from detective noir. The protagonist is a counter-terrorist operative that gets wrapped up in government intrigues, and doesn't always come out the winner.

Compare the dates between this and GITS' original manga publication and you'll see that this is Shirow's Kull and GITS is his Conan.

It is unfortunate that this Shirow property is mostly forgotten. It can be distinguished from GITS if handled properly, which it hasn't since the '80s OVA, but I doubt we'll see it due to a lack of normie-friendly merch opportunities; cheesecake figurines and cyborg action figures only go so far and Landmates are not the breakout cutesy characters that the Tachikomas are.

Give it a chance. Watch or read as you can find them. You can see where he would go with GITS for yourself, while enjoying a distinct story of its own substance.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Brian & David Talk Mecha On "NewPub Talk"

Last night, my colleagues David Stewart and Brian Niemeier held a podcast talking about the mecha genre and NewPub. You can find it archived below.

Brian has his post about it here.

If you watch, be certain to have the Chat window open; as much talk went on there as did between David and Brian. If you've been paying attention, you'll find that certain cultural trends Brian, myself, and a few others like Jeffro Johnson have noticed and commented upon may have applicability here to varying degrees- mostly on the Western side of the matter.

In short, the Dead Egg Division of frustrated Bitch Lit authors turned their pity positions in OldPub into power positions by 1980. During this time the malaise of misery porn in the West that polluted popular science fiction got stymied only due to Star Trek and Star Wars, with some off-brand examples getting some traction because of this (e.g. The Black Hole, released to theaters in 1979). "Respectable" opinion shat on them and the tradition of the Pulps they--Star Wars in particular--they represented.

It's not a surprise that, outside of the BattleTech brand, you don't see major Western mecha SF anymore. A lot of those who would go that route got shut out by the Bitch Lit Brigade running OldPub, so they're in the NewPub field now and they're doing fine. Below is a partial list linking to Amazon Author Pages.

This is in addition to myself, Brian, and Rawle. Add your own below in the Comments.

Brian will be on Geek Gab again this weekend. See you all in the chat.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Real Story of Economics Leaks Out

In a follow-up to yesterday's post, the Supreme Dark Lord also noticed what Anonymous Conservative did. First, what he read (from here):

By midway through the Obama administration, the CIA and FBI were creating “extensive digital legends with increasing sophistication,” as one former senior official puts it, with cooperation from key government agencies like the Social Security Administration, Health and Human Services and the IRS.

U.S. intelligence agencies also work with “friendly digital companies,” like commercially available ancestry databases, to alter personally identifying information, say former officials, and also backdate work histories. Concerned about digital leakage, and cognizant of the need to strictly quarantine deep-cover intelligence officials from their organizations, U.S. officials have adopted a strategy of “eclipsing” these individuals slowly into their cover identities before they are allowed to undertake their missions.

The CIA and FBI both concluded that every person connected to these organizations’ “black side” undercover programs had to be completely sealed off from the rest of their colleagues, say former officials. This firewall is an immensely complex undertaking in a world where electronic emissions from a single cellphone traveling, say, from CIA headquarters in Virginia to an unmarked office building nearby could blow multiple undercover operations. The FBI has also struggled with this transition. As of a few years ago, “none of this was completed yet, and none of it was even remotely being done easily,” says a former senior official.

The CIA, at least, had its own past practices to draw from, especially in its training of NOCs, say former officials. Years ago, the school for NOCs was entirely quarantined from that for normal future CIA operations officers, who undertake rigorous instruction at “the Farm,” a Williamsburg, Va.-area base, say two former senior officials. NOCs “never came to the East Coast” and were trained at separate secret facilities, says one of these former officials. But because of their often “rebellious” attitudes in the field, and in order to “increase their behavioral consistency,” senior CIA officials decided to move their instruction to the Farm. This move produced better-trained NOCs but also increased the threat of exposure. As of recently, the programs were sealed off from each other again, says a former senior official.

The pressures of the digital age have led the CIA to favor flexibility and deniability. The agency has formed a new reserve officer program to allow spies to work in the private sector, especially the tech industry, says a former intelligence official. The program is designed to allow those operatives to maintain their clearances so they can return seamlessly to the agency after a few years, says this person.

Another measure the CIA has used involves paying companies to gather intelligence for the government without even knowing it. In the last several years, the CIA has ramped up its use of “cutouts” to pay third parties to gather intelligence for them unwittingly, posing as data brokers looking into trends in the oil and gas industries, for example, says the same former official.