Thursday, 27 March 2014
On Brothels, Boobs, and James Desborough
Over on Tangency.net, the Pseudo-activism Swine have risen up again, triggered by the news that James Desborough has been given a job (because clearly, he is a pariah who should never work again in the industry because he wrote some stupid sourcebooks about sex, and this in their minds is just like being a registered sex offender.. no seriously, on the thread in question they posted his picture with the text added below that he is a sex offender and should be required to report himself as such in his neighbourhood.. that’s the level of viciousness we’re dealing with here).
They’ve risen up to try to push the company that’s hired him as their creative director to fire him in shame, and probably to apologize and pay a fine for its sins or be driven out of business themselves, like they tried to do with Mongoose.
(to explain for those who don’t know or don’t remember or almost don’t care but care just enough to keep reading: Desborough wrote some “book of erotic fantasy”-type books that were full of pretty sophomoric sex-references; that he claims are “funny” but some could interpret as pervy (I probably would), and then he went on to double down in the face of accusations of misogyny by writing an essay where he argued that rape and the threat of rape in fantasy writing (and I presume, RPGs) is a useful and important literary device/theme; but he couched it in the sense of “Rape (in literature) is awesome!”, which infuriated everyone, which I assume was his point. So he’s an attention seeker, very open about his sex-obsession, and lacks any sense of tact or social charisma. There are certainly things worth criticizing about him, but the real point is that it also makes him an easy target, a poster boy that the Pseudo-activism Swine can hold up and pretend that every regular gamer is just like him).
But they don’t stop there! No, at the same time, there’s a very interesting thread going on where they claim that the presence of Brothels and tavern wenches in D&D is a sign that the game is irredeemably sexist, is the reason why girls don’t play D&D (that’s funny, I’ve got lots of girls in my gaming groups, including a couple who enjoyed playing tavern wenches), and is a sign that everyone who likes D&D is just a sex pervert like Desborough.
But wait... there is an important difference, and this is what pisses me off: they equate something like a single line in a blackmoor book, out of 75 building entries full of farmers and bowyers and city guard posts, a single line that says “this is a brothel”, with the fucking Book of Erotic Fantasy or Ian Warner’s Courtesans.
The latter ARE puerile, they are something you can even have a justifiable discussion about. On the other hand, when you are arguing that ALL D&D is morally questionable perversion because there’s an entry for a bawdy house in greyhawk city, then you are just attempting to engage in a self-righteous (feminist)-puritanical pogrom of political correctness.
The assertion that Ian Warner or James Desborough might be perverts is a valid one (though they’re making these assertions for the wrong reasons, like pseudo-activism). Never mind the likes of the guy who wrote Carcossa, or for that matter Vince Baker, who are both perverts of a much greater magnitude than the benny-hill sexy-party rumpy-bumpy bullshit of Warner and Desborough’s sophomoric writing!
And yet, of these four, three are routinely condemned by the Pseudo-activism Swine while the one who went around talking about how awesome it is to engage in raping the throat of a dead cabin boy in your RPG sessions (Baker), and wrote games that regularly feature much more degenerate (bordering on the illegal) sex than anything that Warner or Desborough have done, and didn’t even have the sense of self-shame to hide it behind the idea of “evil wizards” like the Carcossa-guy did.. he’s a fucking hero to them. I don’t hear any of the Pseudo-activist Swine calling for a boycott of his games. I wonder why that is.. it couldn’t possibly be that they’re a bunch of cloying hypocrites who don’t actually give a damn about sex in RPGs and just want to control and change RPGs to fit their vision, a vision that Baker is the foremost representative of, and his games exemplars of what they’d want the future hobby’s games to be?
And meanwhile these degenerate hypocritical dead-child-throat-rape-fans want to assert that the average D&D gamer who RPs their PC drinking ale in a tavern full of wenches before or after the dungeon crawl, like in VAST numbers of fantasy sources that inspired or were inspired by D&D (Conan, Moorcock’s novels, Zelazny’s stuff, Lankhmar, Thieves’ World, and not to mention literally THOUSANDS of pulp fantasy novels by lesser writers) in what is a convention of the Genre, is somehow equivalent to LARPing out acts of gang rape or something.
It is, in other words, just an absurd tactic of people who have no other interest than expressing their Hate for D&D and their desire to shut down the RPG hobby as we know it.
The Swine are using Desborough’s writings as an excuse for a crusade to take over the hobby and bully it into their vision of what acceptable gaming is or is not, but at least there they have a credible excuse. On the other hand, now they revealed their true interest (taking down regular RPGs in general) as soon as they started pushing the notion that you can’t possibly have a seedy urban setting a la Lankhmar, Sanctuary, Port Blacksand, or half the fucking cities in the Forgotten Realms. Once again, the pseudo-activism swine have overplayed their hand. They’ve shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that they wouldn’t be interested in stopping at banning Desborough or driving him out of business; they wouldn’t want to stop until they’ve driven all the aforementioned out of business, and D&D too.
So be glad; this shows you their extremism, and now we can point it out to others.
Currently Smoking: Mastro de Paja Bent Apple + Dunhill 965
(originally posted February 16, 2013; on the old blog)