I miss being able to blog about things in the world. Writing here helps me process and understand things. My comprehension of reality has reduced while I’ve been busy. Anyway, to spare you lengthy tortured posts, here’s some quick thoughts.
Shipwreck: A ship on a reef leaking oil, and the election just changed again. Our PM is under pressure from the media for a change, and he’s not coping. Key has been protected from tough questions his entire premiership for this reason – he can’t handle the pressure while keeping his smiling “nice Mr Keys” persona going. It won’t cause a huge desertion of the National party by voters, but expect Key’s preferred PM #s to drop and the Greens to continue to gather up votes.
OvalBall: I’ve never seen our country like this. The Rugby World Cup really has become a national celebration (even as the promised economic benefits fail to appear, SURPRISE). When we roadtripped up to Hastings and back a few weeks ago, the whole route was lined with festive signs. All Blacks flags in so many windows, flying from so many cars. And so many other flags! And every little town dressing up in global-village finery for the visiting rugby teams. A genuine spirit of love for the game, huge applause for the little-guy teams when they play well. It’s quite a wonderful atmosphere. I’m genuinely delighted. (Of course, if the All Blacks lose to Australia this weekend, there’ll be… well, not riots. But it will be rough. And hard to avoid even if you care not one tiny fig about rugby.)
Occupy: Yes yes, the Occupy Wall St movement has a vast overrepresentation of university-educated hipsters, and elides differences between middle class and working class, and hasn’t articulated unifying principles, and harbours madness on its fringes. It is important to note all of these things. But for heaven’s sake, don’t mistake these concerns for justifications not to celebrate the appearance of a genuine grass-roots societal justice movement that is driving the conversation in the US. (The US being the society whose abject brokenness all other Western societies are striving so hard to match.) There isn’t a completely different movement that does a better job waiting in the wings. This is the shot we get. Wish it well.
Who: loved Matt Smith’s performance this season of Doctor Who, but my enthusiasm for the show as a whole is at a very low ebb. Moffat as showrunner has lost me completely. His big villains are a complete failure of storytelling craft, and the more you try to forgive that, the more holes show up elsewhere. I stand by my earlier call: Torchwood season 4 > Doctor Who season 6.
More news related to ICONS, the new RPG for which I have a minor co-author credit: all sales from the forthcoming EPUB and MOBI-format editions are going to relief efforts around the Gulf oil spill. So if you like those formats, consider making that purchase (when it becomes available).
Adamant Entertainment and Steve Kenson will be devoting 100% of the proceeds of the 2010 sales of a special EPUB and MOBI-format release of ICONS: Superpowered Roleplaying to relief efforts surrounding the Gulf oil spill.
On April 20th, 2010, an explosion on the BP operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed eleven crew members, sparking the greatest environmental disaster in United States history. Current estimates put the amount of oil being discharged from the broken well at above 1,050,000 US gallons per day, with no end in sight, devastating wildlife and fishing communities along the Gulf coast, potentially moving into the Florida Keys and up the Eastern seaboard of the United States by later this summer.
“My grandfather was a clammer, and worked on the water nearly his entire life,” says Gareth-Michael Skarka, Director of Adamant Entertainment, “and my brother has worked as a fishing captain — I wanted to do something for those whose livelihood depends on the sea, as well as contributing to ongoing conservancy and clean-up efforts. It seemed to me that a game encouraging players to become a hero represented the perfect outlet for this.”
“New Orleans is a place very dear to me,” adds Steve Kenson, designer of ICONS, “and I’ve wanted to be able to do something for this tragedy.”
ICONS is the newest superheroic roleplaying game designed by Steve Kenson, published by Adamant Entertainment– now available in PDF and shipping to game stores world-wide in the next two weeks. The game is currently also being readied for release in the EPUB format for sale on Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Sony via Smashwords.com and for the Kindle-ready MOBI format for release via Amazon., and should be available this month across those sales sites, and for download via DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
From June through December 2010, all proceeds from the sales of the EPUB and MOBI versions of the game will be donated to the Gulf oil spill funds of Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, and The Greater New Orleans Fund, who are providing critical services to Gulf fishermen and communities directly impacted by the disaster.
Oceana, an international ocean conservation group, works to restore and protect the world’s oceans. For more information, please visit http://www.Oceana.org.
For more information on the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Oil Spill Fund, please visit their website.
The “Be A Hero” editions of ICONS will be released in June. Watch for further announcements of their availability on Adamant Entertainment’s website, or via Twitter at AdamantEnt.
Reuters 30 May 2010:
Although the Obama administration has put the blame squarely on BP, polls show Americans are losing faith in the government’s ability to mitigate the disaster.
In his second visit to the Gulf in the 40-day crisis on Friday, Obama faced criticism that he responded too slowly. He told people in Louisiana that they “will not be left behind” and that the “buck stops” with him.
There is not much Obama can do other than apply pressure to BP to get it right and put his best scientists in the room. The government has no deep-sea oil technology of its own.
I, personally, don’t understand why Obama hasn’t swum down to the leak and used his super-breath to blow all that oil down into the centre of the earth, then used his heat-vision to weld the top of the pipe shut, then flown over the surface of the ocean at super-speed and scooped up the oil inside a gigantic satellite dish, then poured it gently into a gigantic tank for later use. I think it’s because he doesn’t love America/because he is a corporate tool. Curse you Obama!
[The scale and the depressing inevitability of the oil disaster make me furious, but not as much as the fact that BP’s gonna emerge from this with little more than scuffs.]