Guest Post by Greg C re: The Current Drama on G Plus in the OSR - A Must Read IMHO
Note - this was originally posted on Google + this morning. I read it and immediately asked +Greg C if I could share it here at The Tavern. He agreed and here it is - Tenkar
We all want to be somebody. We want to be recognized. We want to be popular and have lots of friends. We want to be pursued by the opposite sex (or the same sex, whatever the case may be). We want fame and power and money.
They call out to us like whispers in the dark.
But you have to keep your ego in check. You can't let your self-worth get wrapped up in the delusions in your head. You need to stay grounded.
I remember when I first joined Google+. I remember the rush of going from a blog where 3-5 people commented per day to G+ threads with a few comments per minute. It was a wild time. It felt good to grow the number of people following your words, your ideas, your passions, your feelings. It was amazing.
But this world, this social media landscape, it can't become your reason for living. It can't come to dominate your life. You can't spend all your time thinking about what other people are thinking about you. We used to have social norms to keep this in check. As the Devil (or Al Pacino) famously said.... Vanity is my favorite sin. Those norms are washing away.
But in the social media world, there is no one holding you back. No one saying "maybe you are going too far here." Quite the contrary, there are hordes of people pushing you to go further because it entertains them.
What we need now, in our political leaders, in our communities, in our lives is humility. Have the humility to know that you don't have all the answers. Have the humility to know when to stop obsessing about something. All the fiction that we read and discuss speaks to these values. The Jedi from Star Wars, the Prime Directive in Star Trek, the Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings... what is the lesson? Power corrupts. It destroys everything it touches, especially those that wield it.
This week, those of us in the RPG community have watched Zak Sabbath/Smith experience a full-scale nuclear meltdown. We have watched as his own creative collaborator, someone who knew him well, deliver the most eloquent point-by-point breakdown of exactly the kind of toxic behavior that Zak had engaged in. We have watched tonight as word is leaking out that he is sending private messages to people who have done the simple act of Plussing a post that shared this information.
Zak is after a Holy Grail. He wants to be the King of Kings. He wants the power to decide who is good and who is bad. Who belongs here and who doesn't.
He has laid out the philosophy of how to achieve this on his blog (http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2017/09/sarah-schulman-on-communities-and.html) and in a recent public thread by Arnold K. He believes that there needs to be an organized effort to find and purge people from the community that are deemed undesirable. Unfortunately, what he fails to see is that HE is no different from the demons that he believes himself to be fighting. Like Robespierre before the gallows, he now finds himself hoisting his own petard.
I am not a religious man, but I know that pride cometh before the fall
In the pursuit of the Grail that he seeks, Zak has become precisely the wrong person to hold it.
It is somewhat fortuitous that the man who played Indiana Jones was himself able to resist these forces. He is a humble man. He doesn't throw wild parties. He doesn't try to have sex with every woman in Hollywood. He lives a simple, humble, and rewarding life. So when Harrison Ford resists the allure of the Grail at the end, it is authentic. He doesn't want the fame and the stardom. He avoids it whenever he can. He truly doesn't want the power of the Grail.
If you want peace in your life, if you want to be truly happy.....
Indiana...... Let it go......
I would like to ask anyone reading this to please, stop focusing on the people that you hate in the roleplaying game community. Stop suggesting ways for people to be punished. For voices to be silenced. Stop spending your time discussing who to exclude and what to defame. Build something. Draw a map. Write a piece of game content. Make some miniature terrain or paint a goblin. Do something fun.
Walk out of the temple with empty hands and live your life.
I'm going to cut my grass tomorrow, visit with my neighbors and their new baby, and design a dungeon for my kids to explore the next time that we play D&D. My son told me that he was tired of playing video games, he wanted to play RPGs with his family. He is the future of roleplaying games. Not me. Not you. Not Zak.
Let's move past this shit forever. The time has come.
If you plus this post, or you share it, Zak may block you or send you a private message telling you that he cannot associate with you any longer. I can't protect you from him. But I shouldn't have to. And that is the larger lesson.
Everyone must make their own choices. I choose to reject the Grail. No one should have it. We must all be free to do as we please.
I hope you will join me in this rejection and in the tolerance of others.
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