Tag Archives: waffle

Mawwage is wot bwings us togeffer

Okay so it was kind of weird tuning into the debating that occurred yesterday, over the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. It was one of those events with a mix of fine oratory and interesting points (on both sides of the debate) along with some truly touching moments, and a healthy dose of flat out bigotry from the opposition.

The weird thing was (a) that some of these arguments were being advanced by otherwise reasonable people and (b) that I actually gave a shit about the whole thing.

As someone whose had a long and healthy opposition to the current surroundings of marriage (cultural, legal, etc) I’d historically been non-plussed by the rush of the mainstream gay community towards it. It wasn’t something that really spoke to me as a person. It’s possibly because I’m young(er) and also I don’t neatly fit into monogamy (although I mostly get read as straight) that I just didn’t feel the vibe from marriage.

Anyway, so it was kind of weird to tune in, and actually connect with it — to feel that this was actually an important issue being debated. Weird stuff the brain :)

The “standard” model (for gender)

Okay, I thought I should post this summary, its hardly going to be exact because I’m not brilliantly read in the area (I’ve picked it up piecemeal from reading the odd theory or activist book), but its got some useful concepts in that are handy for discussion (oh and yeah, I’m aware that a lot of these areas can overlap quite happily :) My view of the model starts from the “bottom” if you will and builds layers on “top” of the proceeding layers, although theres debate about how they interact, I think some people see them as more a floating cloud of qualities. This is a really fast write up so lacking citations, although those can be provided if required. And yes this was pretty much written up to back up my comments posted in response to a recent post over on luvlymish.com. But anyway, this is the “standardish” model for gender theorists as of about nowish probably, unless I’ve missed something:

Oh, and before I forget, time for the fun last minute disclaimer: It’s only a model and The map is not the territory while its not a bad theory its certainly not going to cover everyone all the time, especially if people think each of these things is static and unchanging.

The 'standard'ish model

Other Things: Weird Fiction and Clark Ashton Smith

Anyway, in order to try and keep up the momentum of updating the good old LJ I thought I’d post about other things I’ve been getting up to, instead of just grousing about one thing in my life thats pissing me off lately.

So recently I’ve been doing prop making for Hill 936, which seems to be going okay (fingers crossed), I’ve also been reading an awful lot of really random stuff. Mostly I’ve been going through the two volumes of short stories – Out of Space and Time written by Clark Ashton Smith that gifted me with a while back, and it must be said I’m enjoying reading it for the first time in much the same way I enjoyed reading a lot of Lovecrafts work when I was younger.

I can see the stuff that other people have nicked from this, and I can see more of the back and forth between him and HPL, but also I’m just enjoying reading this weird fiction where I have no idea what’s coming next :) And that’s something to really appreciate. Quite often when I read HPL inspired work I can sort of guess where they’re going with it, because they want to stay within Lovecraft’s framework. However reading Smith is good because he’s much fresher to me and hence the stories still have that feeling where I’m reading them and just about any damn thing can happen

In particular volume 2 opens with The Last Hieroglyph, which (despite some rather overt racism) is a fantastic tale featuring all kinds of wierdness, reading like some kind of strange trip. It’s not a complicated tale, and some of the others beat it for style, I just quite like the ending, the sheer strangeness of it was really rather nice :)

Things to do in Denver when you’re locked out of your machine.

So there I was, suddenly remembering that I was supposed to do a job to unlock a door tomorrow. And I was at home. And our shitty ticketing system runs on Windows only with no good web interface (checked that first) and the only Windows box with the client is my VM at work.

“Shit” thinks I.

But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Behold x11vnc!

Basically I did this to log into my work box and start it up:

$ ssh -t -L 5900:localhost:5900 workbox.example.com 'x11vnc -localhost  -display :0'

Then this to connect to that, which opened my actual xorg desktop at work, while it was still running over ssh:

$ vncviewer localhost:0

Then nipped over to the VMware player, found the keyboard mapping wouldn’t let me input my password to log onto the damn thing, so poked the VM to enable its remote access (VNC) on port 5901 and then did this from the home box:

$ vncviewer workbox.example.com:1

And Roberts your fathers brother, access to the grumpy VM and from there the ticketing system to remember the times.

Things that I really like: Werewolf The Apocalypse

Since there was a challenge to write about things I like I thought I couldn’t resist. I was however then stumped being as much of my communication lately has involved unashamed trashing of Things That Suck(tm), so I thought it best to write something more positive, and hence I thought back to the fun times of yesteryear and remembered the goodness that is Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

While I’ve got a lot of love for several of the early WoD games (Werewolf and Mage were fantastic, Vampire was okay, Changling and Wraith were interesting experiments and the kind of thing I’d want to run sometimes when they fit ideas nicely) I think in many ways early Werewolf was my first serious modern day roleplaying game and just has a special place in my heart. I remember my first exposure was reading a copy that belonged to my cousin, and just being slightly in awe, the whole mix of heroism and defiance (well or living it up in hopeless nihilism while you can) in the face of what was to all extents and purposes the end of the world. The tribes were nicely fleshed out, character concepts good, it hooked into the punky resurgence of the mid-nineties and had a gritty feel I’ve not experienced quite the same since. I mean sure it had problems (Page XX anyone?) but just the basic book had plenty of detail to go into and ran really nicely without any of the million supplements.

And in many ways the mythology of Werewolf underpins much of the old World of Darkness, that and Mage really mesh beautifully to give a fully realised world, and while you feel the Vampires are doing stuff that matters they can’t really link into the whole mystical current of the other two games and understand the origin of how they got where they were (which possibly just adds to their tragic). The triple forces that go into shaping the WoD, Creation (Wyld), Structure (Weaver) and Destruction (Wyrm) nicely fitted together and you could see how they were originally a self supporting system that accidentally spiralled out of control. These forces were general enough to be retrofitted onto many other cultures and myths, which enabled you to really get into playing all kinds of crazy Garou from all over the place, yet they were able to communicate with the other tribes as well.

The society of Werewolves made it really interesting as well, and the culture that bonded Garou to their Tribe and also the cross-tribe bonds of Sept (geographic area) and Pack (group of garou) as well as the five auspices of the moon enabled interesting character interaction, the bonds that hold characters being both helpful for favours and greasing the social wheels and bad for keeping the younger pups in line when perhaps they know what they should be doing, and enabling some fantastic power plays and treachery.

One day I’m sure I’ll get my stuff together and pick up a copy of Forsaken to read as I hear its good, but I heartily recommend anyone who likes well written games think about giving Apocalypse a try.