Friday, June 30, 2017

G+ notification WTF

G+ is doing a shitty job of showing me notifications from while I was offline. Come on, Google project managers! Quick fucking around with G+. We're small, but diehard loyalists. Argh.

I mention this, because I very nearly missed some really important and special messages, and I worry about what else I'm missing.

Anyway, if you tagged me on something, or sent me a message, and I don't respond, prod me again, because chances are I just didn't see it. Thank you.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Suffer insanity? Thankfully not!

"I don't suffer from insanity. I host the dinner party and we dance naked in the moonlight!"

I'm sure I saw that somewhere, once. Maybe it was just on the inside of my frontal lobe....

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fiction Friday - "The Culling" Campaign Setting

Today is June 14, 2035. Or, Year 7 of The Culling, depending on how you mark time.

To this day, still no one knows the identity of The Reaper, The Bitch with the Book, The Mind Grinder, or as she seems to prefer, simply The Cullen (a bastardization of “The Culling”).

You’d think in a world of superheroes and villains, where figures of myth and legend walk the Earth, we’d at least know the identity of this creature who causes lives to end. Hell, we have the damn "Sorcerer Supreme" and even she can't figure out the identity - let alone how to stop - The Cullen.

But, let me scroll back.

May 10, 2018, 7:01 AM GMT is the moment of “The Vision,” or properly “The Memory of the Vision” - in an instant, every human on Earth over the age of nine had a perfectly clear memory of the contents of a spiritual event - a mystical vision - with no memory of actually having experienced the vision.

The great winged and blindfolded woman was clad in scintillant white. Everyone knows the color of her skin - but the color depends on the bias of whom you're asking, so no one knows shit.  In one hand, she held scales like Justice, and chained to her waist was a great book.

“Five thousand years, and still you idiots won't grow up. Cycle after cycle of self-destruction ends now.”

She touched the book at her waist. It’s size seemed to change, as if it was simultaneously every book, and not a book at all.

“New rules have been written. You have ten years to clean house, and then the culling becomes law.”

She raised the scales. On one side was a heart, and the other a feather.

“Five years from today, the deep-to-the-core, remorseless narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths will change. Their bodies will become as diseased as their minds. Some of them can be saved - if people are willing to help them. Some will be too sick, and cannot be saved. Others will be discarded by the callous around them. The choice is your’s.”

Her head turned, and she stared at us, as if her hidden eyes tore through the soul of every human.

“Ten years from today, those mentally broken whom you do not save, will die.”

The scales tipped, raising the feather above the heart.

“New rules. Extreme lack of empathy is a crime. Narcissism, sociopathy, and psychosis - the inability to acknowledge living beings as having value - is an illness today, dangerous and fatal to those around the sick bastard. Now the tables are turned, and the mental illness is fatal. Change your values, save each other. There is no appeal. The choice is your’s.”

Five years later, to the day - May 10, 2013 - world leaders, business leaders, religious leaders and millions of normal people started to develop palsies and skin diseases. It started slowly, but accelerated quickly.

An estimated 11% of the world population got sick. Some people had thought ahead, and realized those who were physically ill also had deep mental problems - narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths. No chemical or drug - not even the super drugs created by the Mega-Intelligent - treated the physical ailments, but mental health treatments worked - normalize the mind, save the body.

Then May 10, 2028 - “The Culling” - “Weeping Saturday”- an estimated 3% of the world population - human, robot and alien - fell over dead.   It's called "Weeping Saturday," because the cries of terror and anguish for those left-behind lasted months.

There were no surprises - they were all sick in the soul - they were the mentally broken who could not - or would not - repent or change.

Since that day, the “New Rules” continue. Mental health has become a priority - lack of empathy is a fatal disease.

The world has changed for the better. Oh, it's still a mess. There are many layers of “lack of empathy” before getting anywhere near the fatal thresholds of narcissism or psychosis. People still get stabbed and shot, people still let others starve, we still have hate and stupidity, but world leaders are again public servants and not extreme madmen bent on personal power.

No one - mortal, superman, nor godling - has been able to stop The Culling, nor to even touch The Bitch with the Book, herself. She literally seems invincible.

She walks the land from time to time, giving succor and aid. A few times a year, somewhere on Earth, she is spotted in soup kitchens to serve food and wash dishes. She appears in flood zones to help rescue people and distribute supplies. She never does anything superhuman, or magical. It's very mundane and very humble - she leads by example.

When asked for advice, the answer is always how a human institution can help. Directions to a shelter, or crisis counseling services, things like that. She once pulled financial assistance application forms from her book for someone who couldn't otherwise get them in time to meet a deadline. And she helped the person fill out the forms, and gave her a postage stamp to mail them.

When the righteous confront The Cullen, she responds only “What have you done today to help?”  She never raises her voice, but she does have a cutting tongue. The self-righteous always lose those arguments.

No one misses the Dr Armageddons or New Conquerors, or the City-Leveling Madmen. Those were Class E threats to health and sanity the world over. Absolute lunatics who killed and conquered without remorse.

But, 3% is a huge number - families were devastated, governments destabilized and large corporations cast into chaos.  It wasn't particularly bloody, but it was definitely a massacre.

This is Year Seven, but it will be many decades more before we really - as The Mind Grinder said - “grow up.” The only - sick - hope is that we can finally do that now, without the most evil among us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Communication is 50-50

Yes, it's a cliche, but cliches start somewhere.

You are reading what I am writing. That means an attempt at communication is happening.

I'm trying to share a point of view, and you are trying to understand my point of view (and then you can agree or disagree later).

I have a responsibility to make myself clear. To use clear language, to use words that are relevant to my point, and to include enough details or examples that you have a reference point in the myriad of possible interpretations of my words and phrases.

You have a responsibility to put some effort imto understanding what I'm saying. If my point is not automatically clear, you have a responsibility to take a deep breath and think about it. If a word or phrase has multiple potential meanings, you have a duty to put some effort into figuring out which meaning I intend, so that you can help yourself understand what I'm trying to say.

In my practical experience, people fail to carry their weight in one side or the other, leading to pointless and unnecessary conflict, especiallyion the Interwebs.

I'm sure you've seen it:
- Someone makes an unclear statement with multiple potential meanings;
- An audience member makes no effort to interpret the intended meaning, and instead either gets pissy or provides an invalidating retort;
- The original speaker gets pissy about how stupid the audience member is for failing to understand "the obvious," and/or takes offense at not being validated, and escalates the pissiness;
- Blah, blah, stupid fight that didn't need to happen.

I see it online and offline every damn day. That's why I make an effort to make myself clear ("Use more words!") and make an effort to slow down, try to understand, and try to not get pissy.

Sometimes I do a good job, sometimes I don't, but I'm sure as fuck bragging about trying harder than the average bear.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tattoo me (but not today)

I'm not sure why I haven't yet surrendered to the needle. I think because once I started, I would forever be unhappy having only so much canvas to express myself.

Maybe I need to become a tattoo artist, and convince others to be my living canvas, showing off whatever the fuck I want to put on them.


Model unknown - anyone know the model or photographer?