Saturday, June 18, 2011

Freedom of Speech! HUZZAH!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I finally decided what I needed to write about concerning the LotFP RPG Grindhouse Edition/Greg Christopher controversy.  First of all I do not want to add fuel to this fire, and I hope I don't, but I think if you are reading this, and can do it without getting emotional or pissed off, then hopefully I can make some good points, without creating more controversy.

My position in this whole thing has been that I had no problem with what Raggi published.  Is it something I would have bought?  I doubt it.  I've mentioned elsewhere that I thought the art that I saw wasn't that great, ( with the exception of the cover ), and yes, I thought it was immature, and that is my opinion of the art.  MY OPINION.  An opinion I'm not trying to force on ANYONE.  If you like it, that's fine with me.  I'm glad you enjoy it, ( not that you need my permission ), after all everyone deserves to be happy, and enjoy life.  What you do/read/watch in the sanctity of your own house is your business; as long as it doesn't harm someone else.

On the flip side, Mr Christopher has every right to his opinion.  He feels that the LotFP RPG Grindhouse Edition shouldn't have been published.  As per the whole Freedom of Speech argument, he's allowed to write about this on his blog.  The truth is we don't know how many gamers out there, that know about LotFP:GE Edition, think the same thing.  We will never know.  So I'm not sure about the whole social contract thing, but he's free to make that statement on his blog.  Is it true?  I have no idea.  However, he's free to make any statement he wants.  Now, to be perfectly honest I don't agree with him, because I am a firm believer in Free Speech, and Raggi should be able to publish whatever he wants.  I hope my POV is clear now.

I don't buy the fact that many people feel he was trying to speak for them.

One problem I have with this whole mess is that Raggi shouldn't get upset, and it seems to me he did from reading one of his posts.  He wanted to publish some controversial material, and when it created controversy, he shouldn't have gotten upset.  Maybe he wanted a different type of controversy?

Now on to something that's very important, and something that a lot of people forget about.  Freedom of Speech is a right. However, with that right comes responsibility.  The most common example being you shouldn't yell fire in a crowded theater.  Someone might get hurt.  I've written two other posts about this controversy, and let them alone without posting them. I mulled them over and decided it wouldn't help anything to post them.  They weren't exactly rants, but they lacked any content that warranted me to post them.  It was cathartic for me to write them, but for the greater good I left them unposted.  Chances are they will just add more fuel to the fire.  I didn't want that, enough damage has already been done.

I made comments on someone else's blog, and I was called among other things a quisling? A Pope? A Ned Flanders type?  I found it all very humorous and wonder if they actually read my comment, or even understood my point of view.  Maybe I'll go back and copy the anonymous comment and post it.

In the further spirit of full disclosure I will say I called some of the commenter's and bloggers immature and full of hypocrisy.  I don't agree with using offensive language and/or insults, in an attempt to make your point.  I think it dilutes your whole message, and is an unintelligent thing to do.  I know many would say they don't want to infringe on Greg's right to free speech, but from what I read, it seems they want to do the very thing they're upset about.  Don't infringe on my freedoms!  But they feel that they can infringe on his.  That's hypocrisy.

Today I stopped following about a half a dozen blogs.  My reasons are my own.  I value my time, and what I do with it.  I seriously doubt any of the blogs will miss my support, nor will they realize that I'm gone.  No big deal.

Finally, due to something Raggi said in a post, the one where ( it seems to me ) that he's upset by the controversy his controversial material created. ( Which I thought was his goal? ) His blog is one that I stopped following.  I can't support him or his products.  I can defend his right to publish what he wants, ( within reason ), but I can no longer support him, or buy any of his products.  Which is a shame, there are some items I wanted to buy.  Vornheim: the City Kit, was one of them.  Oh well, I'll spend that money on something else.

All in all, I'm not mad or upset as many of the other bloggers and people who commented on blogs seem to be.  The insults were humorous, ( the ones aimed at me ) and seemed kind of out of context to what I wrote?  I don't know, maybe I will post them just for clarities sake, and see what other people think.  Then again maybe not, time to move on to better things.

I could go on, but I feel that I made my position clear.  Do I think this post will help matters?  No, but I feel I had to write it.  You don't like my opinion?  Feel free to move on, stop following my blog, whatever.  It won't bother me.  It's odd that since I've made some comments over the past couple of days, I've gained some followers.  I had dropped to 53, but now I'm up to 56.  Go figure.  I really don't want to draw traffic to my blog through controversy.  I would just as soon lose those followers that WANT the controversy.

Hopefully, next time I can post some cool game content.  Well, that's my goal anyway.


  1. > I do not want to add fuel to this fire, and I hope I don't

    Take a queue from War Games. "The only winning move is to not play." Truer words re: online flamegasim have naught been uttered.

  2. @Norman - Not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but I think I stated my position on the subject fairly well. I am playing, and I am on the side of Free Speech, not Greg Christopher or Raggi or anyone. You have the right to say or write something I disagree with. I have the right to discuss it, or write about it. Fairly simple concept. Am I misunderstanding what you are trying to say?

  3. > Am I misunderstanding...

    I was commenting on the quote I quoted. I'm claiming that it's impossible to comment and not add fuel to a flamefest. The culmination of War Games happens when WOPR, AI trying to win WWIII, realizes the only way to win Global Thermal Nuclear War is to not play. Same is true of flamefests, only way to win is to not participate. I was trying to say it humorously (I also flipping love War Games and can't pass up a chance to quote it). It was directed more towards your readership (as obviously you've already "played" and thus "lost")

    I almost added bit like what you said in your comment about "right to say". But, I thought it was too obvious (it's your blog of course you can say whatever) and ruined the funny.

    btw I didn't even read your post past the part I quoted. I want to win. i.e. I'm not participating in the flamefest.

    bbtw your reaction, thinking I was attacking you or arguing with you (or my misunderstanding of the tone of your comment) is indicative of what happens in flamefests. Total utter waste of time.


  4. ACK... Norman I just reread what you wrote, ( I guess I'm tired, my reading comprehension is subpar right now... )and while I understand that mentality, and for the most part agree with it, I was really bothered with the injustice of some of the hypocrisy I was reading. Yeah, I just wish you had read my entire post. Sometimes YOU HAVE TO PLAY. And no I really didn't think it was an attack or arguementative, I was just really tired when I read it. That's why I asked if I was misunderstanding what you said, otherwise I would have just attacked you, well, I wouldn't have, it's not my style usually. I'm a usually fairly easy going, and laid back kind of guy. =)

  5. Zanazaz,

    I want you to know this is the only public reply to anyone that I am making about this subject since writing my Box post. You are special :)

    I agree with most everything you have said here.

    I have three observations on this whole fiasco.

    1. If I had said 4e D&D should not have been published, or the D&D movies should not have been made, or anything like that; I would have caused zero controversy (in the OSR at least). I know that if you asked the participants arguing against me about either of those properties before this whole thing happened, they would have agreed without hesitation. This speaks directly to your arguments about hypocrisy.

    2. The word "allowed" kept sneaking into people's language about this, even though I never used it to my knowledge. But they wanted to imagine that I said Raggi shouldn't be allowed to publish because that would be a call for censorship. I repeatedly said I am not trying to censor anyone, just express my opinion, but the censorship straw man could not be destroyed. Once people grasp onto a thing, they cannot be dislodged easily.

    3. The number of anonymous comments skyrocketed during this whole thing. I don't know who they were (though I have suspicions) but I think it is sad that people (a) have to resort to that to support me often to prevent being personally attacked as I was and (b) to deliver insults and attacks that they are unwilling to stand by with their own name.

    C'est la vie

    Like you, I am moving on.

    FYI my old blog is in your blogroll, not my current one. You should fix that. If you want to keep me around, of course. :)

  6. If it's any consolation, I am pleasantly unaware of the controversy you speak of (and described) and look forward to posts that remind me of why I still like table-top games despite not really being able to play them and have to live vicariously through the exploits of others.

    I'll be over here in this corner.

  7. @ RR - Be glad about not being aware of this mess. Nothing really got accomplished, and it was all kind of pointless ( on both sides of the arguement ). I was mainly on the side of Free Speech, but I think most people thought I was on the side of censorship. ( I'm not ), And I was called everyting from a quisling, coward, Ned Flanders, and Pope Zanazaz. Many bloggers in the OSR blogosphere resorted to insults, and offensive language, which really left a bad taste in my mouth. It's one thing to discuss things in a rational manner, it's another to resort to personal attacks on someone. Makes those grognards look bad, in my opinion. They're free to resort to such things, and I'm free to ignore their blogs from now on. Hopefully soon I will be back to fun gaming posts, but this whole episode has left me lacking in creative energy.