Saturday, July 21, 2018

Mod 'er hate

"Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word "God" as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world - to say, for instance, that both the Bible and the Koran contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish - is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of of such political correctness. We must finally acknowledge the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance."

Sam Harris - The End of Faith

I've probably watched a larger proportion of Thunderf00t's videos than of any other single poster on YouTube. Yeah, sure, he tends to ramble and knot himself in overly-verbose phraseology but hell, so do I. Being as I know very little of physics, I find his various pyromaniac videos entertaining enough. Being as I'm too lazy to do it myself, I also appreciate him running through basic estimates of energy transfer when debunking this-and-that. More impressively, he's managed to stay on the sane side of pretty much every topic from creationism to WWII military tech to Brexit to conspiracy theories to feminism and various SJW lunacy to crackpot inventions and scams.

Though really, for all his knack for pissing people off, his ballsiest moment had to have been speaking the words "group selection" in his conversation with none other than Richard Dawkins... without even immediately ducking!

In a couple of videos from earlier this year, he acknowledged that he no longer finds much reason to make videos about feminism, as some of the most ludicrous feminists from a few years ago have vastly decreased in popularity. The "crazy blue-haired feminists" pose nowhere near as immediate or severe a threat to reason as religious fundamentalists. In this Thunderf00t is, as usual, technically correct. The best kind of correct. Religious fundamentalism appears more widespread than feminist fundamentalism. But that unfortunately ignores the pervasiveness of "moderate" feminism and the very different localization of its fundamentalism.

Feminism is in many ways a placeholder religion for the post-modern age, one of the representations of the Shadow of God of which Nietzsche warned. It establishes an absolute good and an absolute evil (female vs. male) and condemns one and all for having been born into the original sin of The Patriarchy, which must be expiated by adopting and proselytizing the new faith. Like other faiths, it's fundamentally a business. It sells irrational hope (salvation through the feminist Utopia of perfect bovine peace and safety) and perhaps even more importantly it sells entitlement, the self-righteousness of the saved screeching at the infidels and launching into occasional pogroms. To some extent it has always coexisted with other faiths. If you want to start a tribal conflict, your most useful propaganda tool beyond even differences in traditional religion has always been the eternal battle cry of "save the women!"

Higher education gradually broke from religious indoctrination over the centuries. The Inquisition could not be reconciled with academic inquisitiveness. Religious fundamentalists' power base now mostly sticks to the sticks, to cultural backwaters, and the less educated the better. Feminist fundamentalism, on the other hand, is based in polite latte-sipping urbane discussion circles and especially in universities. It is in "women's studies" departments, two doors down the hall from Chemistry and Physics, that feminist scriptures are codified and feminist saints beatified. So it should've come as little surprise that Thunderf00t's main clash with feminists years ago took place within the (largely academic) atheist movement subverting itself through a new irrational faith even as it attacked the old ones.

If the intelligentsia are to stand up to religious fundamentalism, they must address the rot at the core of left-wing politics. The fundies may be the greater direct threat, but it's postmodernist objectivity-denying social justice activism and especially feminism with its overwhelming media circus which saps the only significant resistance to that threat. We've had a generation's worth of "skeptics" protesting blind faith while demanding we "always believe" all women. The center cannot hold.

And even if we ignore the uncomfortable academic and legal system seating arrangements for Fem Fundies, we're left with the much wider prevalence of moderate faith in feminist gospel. Even if most women would not describe themselves as feminist they still love the moral authority lent to them by the constant stream of abuse hurled at men by feminists. They love feminism for keeping the men in their lives on the defensive, easier to manipulate, easier to shame and guilt into servility. Male adherents love playing the "one good man" to their ever-observant mistresses, and if you're looking for any notion more widely accepted a priori than the purposeful influence of supernatural forces, look no further than "sugar and spice and everything nice." Extremists draw their legitimacy from moderates, and if a few fluorescent-haired loons have lost their star power over the past years, rest assured there are plenty more on the way.

"The benignity of most religious moderates does not suggest that religious faith is anything more sublime than a desperate marriage of hope and ignorance, nor does it guarantee that there is not a terrible price to be paid for limiting the scope of reason in our dealings with other human beings."

The basic propositions of feminism, its commandments, cardinal virtues and deadly sins, are less noticeable as such for their widespread public acceptance. Female moral purity and paranoia over female safety are so entrenched within our pre-sentient animal instincts as to make us accept even the most ludicrous statements like "rape culture" without a single critical thought. If anything, the feminists from five years ago have waned in individual popularity because their caterwauling has gone mainstream and they're splitting that pie many more ways. Are they less noticeable because they're less influential... or because we are no longer opposing their subversion of reason?

Sure, sure, you moderate women, you'd never make a false rape accusation. You'd never have a man fired and rendered unhireable for some bad joke he told years ago or because he had his fly open that one time or for touching you in a way that if you touched him would be considered flattery. You're tolerant like that. You're not on the warpath. You're not a Jihadist. You're a feminist moderate. You're a nice girl. You'd never ruin a man's life just on a whim.
But it's nice to know you could if you wanted to, isn't it? Gives you a little rush, holding that power over men's heads, doesn't it?

Men are being ostracized and driven to suicide or thrown in prison to be tortured to death by other inmates as rapists as soon as a woman points her finger at them. Our media over the past three decades have grown replete with depictions of women as perfect martyrs and men as stupid evil pigs deserving of death or worse, and no-one bats an eyelash anymore. Blue hair is the new normal and I have to wonder if Thunderf00t really can't notice that or if he, like Bill Maher in the past and many others, simply doesn't want to be targeted in the latest pogrom.

For my own part, looking at the world around me, I see no excuse to slack off the FEMale chauvINISM posts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Art of Femismancy, Part 7: Periki's Overlook, Serpent's Crown and the Wahaki

I'm taking time during my second playthrough of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire to tally up the supporting cast, (m)ale and (f)emale, and see how many are portrayed in a positive or negative light. Whether it's a heroic, benevolent woman surrounded by stupid, malicious males or a single mean, dumb man getting in the way of angelic women, how many times did Obsidian Entertainment need to re-iterate their chauvinistic tropes in a single game?

Periki's Overlook

Worthless Idiot (m) - recruitable imp. As with the guy with "dumb" in his very name, I really shouldn't have to explain why this one counts as negative. Imps are new in PoE2, and they're all male, and they're all loud, smelly, obnoxious, disgusting little vermin. And if you haven't played the game, that name's just the tip of the iceberg. As with Vektor (m) and Pietro (m) fecal matter is involved. Compare to the newly gendered portrayal of representatives from other monster races.

Hurwyna (f) & Seinu (f) -  expectant mother relying on Ancient ChineseHuana Secrets taught by her midwife.

Marihi (f) - highly skilled blacksmith who can repair your PoE1 weapons. No-nonsense "traditional" smith (whatever the hell that means in an island culture with no mining industry) only prettifying her utilitarian work for the tastes of the nobles. Insults Tekehu (m) and is praised by him.

Amreo (m) - old man who uncrosses his legs at the bath-house so you can have him punished by the authorities, because when men act like liberated women you have to beat them down.
Udyne (f) - centuries old war veteran soaking her battle scars at the bath-house. Helpful to Serafen and Remaro. Lays on the pre-Norman dialect even more thickly than Iselmyr or Yseyr... and yet manages to pull it off much better than them. Some of it is due to her dialogue's better flowing narration, more than just isolated caveman speak. Most of the credit must however go to the voice actress who just outright sold it, start to finish. Excellent work.

Quarno (m) - Rauataian at the bath house, trading illicitly with the Principi. Plus he's a total meaniehead who tells you to go away. Easily flattered into divulging his crime.
Tola (f) - Quarno's Principi contact. Startlingly, she's at least as susceptible as Quarno in your quest to get information for the Vailians (babbles when she's drunk) and a rare female character not portrayed in terms of her superiority (moral and/or practical) to her male counterpart. Someone dropped the ball on this one.

Shop Imp (m) - truth in advertisement and Ifren (m) - failed (and rude) thief trapped in a wooden puppet by Arkemyr. Both of them basically exist due to Arkemyr (making him look worse for creating and employing such abominations) and to provide counterpoints to Fassina's positive qualities.
Fassina (f) - recruitable clerk at The Dark Cupboard. Clever, sexually liberated, directly contrasted to her boyfriend in being gainfully employed. Like every other woman in this game, she's surrounded by stupid, evil, oppressive men, from a stinky imp to a shoplifting boyfriend, a whip-cracking, stingy boss and an obnoxious wooden (male) puppet. Oh that poor angelic woman having to deal with all those worthless bestial males! Though by this point in the game it's very much a case of "just a rerun heroine, just a retread heroine, just the same old heroine"
Bertenno (m) - "that flaccid bazzo!" in Fassina's words. Her boyfriend. Cowardly, dishonest, incompetent, deadbeat, whatever it takes to make his girlfriend look good by comparison.
Hamuto Stoneheel (m) - lawful neutral captain collecting Bertenno's debt at the Brass Citadel.

Tumara (f) - Rauataian who wants to get her hands on Arkemyr's epic stones. Greedy, insults illiterate islanders. However, unlike most Rauataians or especially Vailians' comments about the Archipelago (amounting to "squeeze, Rabban, squeeze") she actually makes a valid point about natives' willingness to sell off their own lands for quick profit.
Netehe (f) - Huana who wants to get her hands on Arkemyr's epic stones. For her people! Plays the cultural heritage card to its fullest. Obviously the politically correct choice here.
Arkemyr (m) - "the bringer of Foul Wind" according to Fassina. Complete stock character: the mean, stiff-necked, pompous old English boarding school master from any number of children's movies. Despite being the victim of your burglary (and really being one of the good guys, apocalypse-wise) his every description and verbal inflection is designed to make you hate him. Oh, and of course he failed to acknowledge the greatness of a woman.
Bekarna (f) - whose greatness a man failed to acknowledge. Despite being "dame not appearing in this entertainment product" her notes and others' commentary on her eat up more screen time than most faction leaders. Oh, look, it's yet another retread heroine positioned between two meanie men.
Concelhaut (m) - who's out to pilfer a woman's hard work for his own ignominious male ends. Downgraded from his somewhat dignified antagonist role in PoE1 to a cartoonish recurring bumbling weekly villain role.

Ekenu (m) - watershaper mook holding the door during the naga attack.

Guildmaster Mairu (f) - righteously indignant watershaper superior (in every way, and don't you forget it) to Tekehu, the first of many women to scold him for all the wrong reasons. Later, heroically holds off a horde of naga, unto death: "Too many, even for me." Y'know, at least Boromir had the decency not to be so smug about it. Not a word is said against her apropos her keeping a gigantic scaly slave in her basement.
Tekehu (m) - Mama's boy. Mr. 'don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful.' Obviously intended as service to female fans, but that'll come up whenever I get around to complaining about romance minigames in RPGs. He's a tomcat waiting to be tamed, the chosen one of his people, a rising star, desired by other females and therefore desirable, in short the cheapest sort of romance novel detritus.
Amusingly, his main interactions seem to be getting badmouthed by every single person you meet. I'm sure this was intended to make him even more sympathetic in a "shut up Wesley" sort of way but it vastly overshoots its mark via repetition. Ondra: "he thinks himself frail but MY heart beats in his chest. He is stronger than either of you could know." Ok, so he's a whiny, unreliable prettyboy but I'm supposed to coddle and praise him because he embodies a female's purpose? Wooptie-freakin'-doo.
Notably, he gets shoved in your face as a romance option from the very first dialogue. You meet a tall handsome prince and immediately find yourself getting lost in his dark eyes.
Who the hell gave these idiots Lit. degrees?

Periki (f) - appears only in statue and soul form. Filthy liar. Caught a dragon by the tail, thus kicking off a generations-long and civilization-spanning government cover-up as to the source of Huana magicians' powers. Yet others' comments about her are nothing but admiration while her direct descriptions are shamelessly sympathetic. No, really. You hold her statue's hand, at which it literally cries a single tear which you have the honor of wiping off its cheek.
Quite the Dickensian treatment for a slave mistress. How come Master Kua (m) back in Crookspur doesn't get this kind of sympathy?
Bonus feminist points: her soul's memories begin with her brushing off a man's touch.
"One of [your shipmates] claps your back with approval.
You step back and aim a reproachful look at your mate, however friendly his intent."
Bad touch! Bad touch!
Scyorielaphas (m) - (and damn you for making me spellcheck that) Ok, pause for the inspired? accidental? humor of opening your dialogue with a gigantic, blatantly obvious dragon by shouting "Dragon!" But anyway, to further shift guilt away from the women who enslaved him, his first line is:
"Have you come to deliver me from this prison of my own making?"
When dumb, stinky boys get enslaved by the very people they tried to help, it's their own damn fault. So there.
Tekehu further brushes off any question of Mairu's treachery by instead focusing on "the gifts and encouragement" her guild lavished upon him, in true spineless millennial snowflake praise-junkie fashion.
Onekaza, when informed of the slave she's been keeping through her willful ignorance, pulls the usual "for my people" routine.
Skeereeoh-whatver's deliberately made less likeable by constantly insulting Obsidian's cheap gift to their female fanbase, Tekehu, by calling him "half-breed" - *gasp* racist dragon!
His parting shot, should you choose to continue enslaving him?
"Make no mistake. You are the only monster here."
Holy mother of hacks! That's your big dramatic finish? That line was already so overdone and antiquated that it got ridiculed on The Simpsons' Hungry Are the Damned Halloween special back in 1990 for being 1960s Twilight Zone cheese. "There were monsters on that ship and truly we were them."

Serpent's Crown

Takano (m) - useless old blowhard dick-measuring his estate's size, easily swindled out of his priceless macguffin because he's desperate because he's broke, which being he's also male gets played off as well-deserved and funny.

Nungata (f) - bounty contractor, stately old matron, eloquent, long heroic history of victories. The second woman to look down on you for working with Abocco (m) the bottomfeeder from Queen's Berth, and she only deals in high-end contracts. "A lady needs standards, after all."

Maia (f) - aside from her tough chick demeanor, her very introduction has her ridiculing both Eder (m) and Kana (m) and quizzing you on how to stop a mutiny, thus establishing her as a moral paragon

Barati (m) - bounty contractor, a.k.a. Big Chief Killumall. Seemingly exists to drop Tangaloa's name into every sentence and otherwise lay the Nativese dialect on as thick as possible. Not much of a personality otherwise.

Prince Aruihi (m) - Onekaza's foil. His first line "I say our guest forgets himself" a relatively soft rebuke of an unjust accusation of mass murder, immediately earns him a slam by his sister the queen "You are the one who mistakes this for a sparring arena." Yes, because implications of violence are beneath royalty and only a dumb male would ever resort to them. That's why Onekaza keeps TWO HUGE TIGERS by her side.
Same dull repetitive setup as the other factions. The Huana are ruled by a leader and second, one male one female, with any negative connotations embodied by the male. To motivate Aruihi to feed his city's starving underclass, playing on his sense of compassion or justice doesn't work. Only his competitiveness.
Onekaza (f) -intended as a supremely impressive and glamorous native queen... except she never actually does anything. The writers characterized themselves into a corner. They wanted Onekaza as grandiose and angelic as possible. Problem: grandeur's rarely angelic. So aside from her inexplicable telepathy and bragging about her pet tigers, she just sits back and delegates to her brother, to the guildmaster, to the Wahaki, never getting her hands dirty. Even the captive dragon under the city makes sure to note the Queen didn't know about him, just in case you were wondering whether a female faction leader might have some negative traits.
They don't.
All female leaders are always perfect.
So there.
Shut up.

Motare o Kozi

Baltia (f) - Vailian expedition's sole survivor, trapped in vines. Sent to their deaths by Director Castol (m) and specifically Castol, not his (f) assistant. They were tracking another (Huana) expedition sent to their deaths by Aruihi (m) and specifically Aruihi, not Onekaza (f)
The Green Lady (f) - menpwgra in the swamp, introduced as "The Rotted Lady" and she's "a very powerful woman" in the words of your quest journal. Sure she's a murderously parasitic blight upon all that breathes, but being female that's of course everyone else's fault but hers, and she can effortlessly be redeemed through dialogue back to her status as an ancient, wise guardian of the land.

Ori o Koiki

Kipeha (f) - plucky archer guarding the main entrance

Auata (f) - xenophobic islander. Likes Tekehu.
Aparo (m) - xenophilic islander. Likes Ruasare.

Tangara (m) - tribe's enforcer, repairing a purchased construct. Whatever happened to the Wahaki being isolationists?
Burapo (m) - tribe's mystic, stinking up the place with his burnt offerings.
Ruasare (f) - yet another idealized female native leader, because you can never paint with too many colors of the wind. By dint of savage nobility, the Wahaki tribe are all pretty glamorized. Sure they murder and pillage random passing ships, but they're totes not pirates, bro. Everything they do is entirely For My People and therefore justifiable, ekera.
Their leadership follows the usual structure from other factions. Burapo and Tangara are slightly ridiculous, inept, unimpressive old farts while Ruasare herself is described as mighty in battle and mighty in bed, blue-blooded going back millennia, last bulwark against foreign aggression, honorable, reliable, etc., etc. The most severe character flaw they could come up with for her? She likes fruit.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


"I got my propaganda
I got revisionism
I got my violence in high-def ultra-realism"

Nine Inch Nails - Survivalism

Spoiler alert: about Frostpunk's end-game (second screenshot) though as it's a strategy game most may not care.

So let's talk about a little city sim called Frostpunk. Think of it as Banished with a chance of flurries. Long story short: buy it!

Welcome to Niflheim.

Population: l'etat. Which is moi.
Plus a few hundred random schmucks who exist solely to sing my praises. If they don't, I'm sitting pretty up in the high tower with my thumb on the thermostat.
Plus a steam powered mecha workforce because why not.

Post-apocalyptic fiction has made a slow comeback this past decade, after petering out after the end of the Cold War back in the '90s. One might blame the near-collapse of Western economies in 2008 for such pessimism but the truth is the wall has simply accumulated so much writing that even hoi semi-literate polloi can get the gist of the message. Our world is overpopulated and under-regulated, overheating through its latest mass extinction. AK-47s are more popular than i-phones, nukes just as prolific and under less control than ever and millions of displaced superstitious hillbillies are displacing the politely self-destructive population of Europe. Our society's aping the beginning of the twentieth century from foppish prissiness to fascism right down to the fad for patent medicines and investment crises. So whether by invasion or infection, by fire, flood, famine or fallout, we know the end is coming. We know that if we live through the next few decades at all (unlikely) we'll likely find ourselves starving around campfires out in the wilderness telling our half feral, flea bitten grandchildren tales about the Before Times.

So survival games have multiplied and survival themes have colored other genres. In addition to this angle, Frostpunk shares Banished or Surviving Mars' much more coherent thematic focus than we expect from the game industry. Both its artistic flair and conservation of detail would earn welcome nods from Poe and Chekov. From the very first frame zooming in through the windblown snow to your citizens' hopeless, Oliver Twisted faces to the sight of a city full of smokestacks roaring through the darkest, coldest nights as massive automatons gingerly tiptoe among the industrial-age dwellings, immersion never slackens.

Even the town grid feeds into this central survivalist aesthetic. Does that panorama above look a little fish-eyed to you? No, it's not a special camera angle. In a highly inspired move, buildings are placed not on the usual Cartesian plane of most city simulators but on a polar (get it, Polar?) grid surrounding your central lifeline, the coal-powered generator, at 0,0. More than any other strategy game town hall or command center, more than even Homeworld's Mothership, the generator in Frostpunk embodies the hopes and fears of your populace. All habitable buildings are oriented toward it, half your industrial effort goes toward keeping it stuffed with coal and straying from it can mean death for your citizens.

Some may not enjoy having their playing style tied down to such an alpha and omega central structure, and may also feel restricted by Frostpunk's lack of randomization. Unlike other, usually sandboxy city simulators or base building games, Frostpunk is limited to pre-fabbed scenarios with scripted events and timelines. While tempted to bemoan this, I'm reminded of my own comments vis-a-vis Sir, You Are Being Hunted: sufficiently testing randomness to see that it truly works might have eaten up much more development time than simply creating individual scenarios.

As it stands, each of Frostpunk's scenarios is a joy the first time through and provides enough variation via citizen deaths and whatnot for at least a second and third run. After all, it's not so much a game about the events affecting you as about your own actions:
As the leader of your stalwart band of refugees, you must do whatever it takes to ensure your colony's continued survival.
Whatever. It. Takes.
The design of the technology trees with their gradual slip from keeping the peace to overcompensation to outright tyranny charts a beautiful slippery slope. When the time comes to take that final plunge into sadistic despotism you'll probably realize, belatedly, that this is what you've been doing all along. It's better writing than you'll find in all but a few cRPGs or maybe Alpha Centauri, and your technology path is as much a matter of roleplaying as of sheer necessity.

Just how much of a control-freak oppressive bastard are you willing to become?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Lives of the Saints

Here's a funny story:
Way back in 1913 Emmett O'Davids, born to a Catholic Irish family in Kilburn within London, died a tragic death as he championed the cause of Irish Nationalism. O'Davids had previously come to the authorities' attention on several occasions, having been described as "one of the most daring and reckless of the London Irish militants" of his time. He was jailed for two months for throwing stones at the window of a cabinet ministers' meeting, which he "meant as a warning to the general public of the personal risk they run in future if they go to Cabinet Ministers' meetings anywhere" and once hid in the heating system of the Palace of Westminster overnight in an effort to speak directly to the Prime Minister. He was not charged with any crimes for this and other such acts of infiltration, but only when he escalated to setting fire to the postbox outside Parliament. Determined to continue, he was further arrested while trying to throw a stone at a car he mistakenly believed to be carrying Lord Asquith and for attacking a protestant vicar's wife with a bullwhip, having again mistaken her for Lady Margot Asquith.

On the morning of 4 June 1913, O'Davids obtained two flags bearing Irish colours from his favourite pub in Kilburn and traveled by train to Epson, Surrey to attend the Derby. As the horses were passing his position, he ducked under the guard-rail flags in hand, rushed onto the track and made a grab for the reigns of Amner (King George V's horse) as it rushed past at ~55 km/h. He was (predictably enough) knocked to the ground and rushed unconscious to the hospital, but died two days later of his injuries.


How much sympathy do you have for this ludicrous character? Not much? Just another thrill-seeking violent extremist who seemed more interested in making a spectacle of himself than making a rational case and ended up dying a classic, stupidly reckless Darwin Awards death.

What if I were to remind you that I'm actually citing the exploits and death of the feminist Emily Davison, with genders flipped and Irish Nationalism substituted for women's votes? Now how much sympathy do you have for her rather than him? A lot more, I'm guessing.

Regardless of what you think of Irish separatism (I'm no particular fan of it myself; it was just a handy reference) the marginalization and demonization of the Irish and their poor living conditions both within and without their little rocky sham of a homeland compose an exceedingly well-documented slice of history. In fact, in the same year as Davison's death, 1913, this was going on in Dublin: union strikes, lockouts, destitution and hunger. I specifically omitted the often lamented suffragette penance of getting force-fed in prison when they went on hunger strikes. Compare to: "The "Kiddies' Scheme", for the starving children of Irish strikers to be temporarily looked after by British trade unionists, was blocked by the Roman Catholic Church and especially the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who claimed that Catholic children would be subject to Protestant or atheist influences when in Britain." Yes, within a year of Davison being denied her self-imposed martyrdom, Irish children were dying of actual starvation and the ultimate complaint against feeding starving kids was that it might interfere with their superstitious indoctrination.

The least believable element of my gender-bent narrative above would have to be that some random Irishman caught Westminstering after dark would get away with a warning in 1913, unless that warning came in the form of several cracked ribs and a standard "assaulting a pig" prison sentence. Especially as a repeat offender. In fact, screw the Irish. Compare feminists' glamorized "suffering until suffrage" to any political conflict from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, be it class, ethnic or religious, even within the relatively humanist Europe. The phrase "with kid gloves" doesn't even begin to describe these girls' treatment. Most kids would've been deemed unfit for suffragette-quality gloves!

There's a good reason why feminists have advertised themselves as "intersectional" these past couple of decades. They desperately need to leech some legitimacy from other social movements, or else their entire propaganda machine will at long last collapse under its own hypocrisy and irrelevance. So whenever you hear one of those sappy documentary/infomercials about women's suffering at the hands of men (the hagiography of our modern age) go ahead and read up on those women's actual quality of life and treatment compared to other social norms within that time and place. Compare the constant concessions feminists have extracted for themselves compared to other activists, the tactics they employed and the much less frequent or severe repercussions they suffered. Look at the real issues, not the overemotional, fanatical glorification of women to which we're born and into which we're further indoctrinated all our lives.

Try to imagine a male atheist ambushing an Anglican nun in a London street in 1913 and whipping her to make some sort of deranged quasi-point about the need for secular schooling. Arrested? He'd have been lucky to make it out alive as half a dozen nearby men rushed to tear him to pieces.

You are instinctively pre-programmed to favor women. Your subconscious instincts are being used against you.
Wake up.

edit 2018/07/13:
Shortened title because it was the bothering the me.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Punkier than Thou

"And oh, Mrs. O
Can you teach us how to keep from getting cold
Out we go and you watch us as we face the falling snow
What a show
With our hairdryers aimed heavenwards
And fifty-foot extension cords
You really have a way with words"

The Dresden Dolls - Mrs. O

Spoilers: Frostpunk ... is both frosty and punky.
I hate game achievements (nobody should be telling me how to play) but I have occasionally glanced at such lists. Call it morbid curiousity, seeing how others choose to judge and pigeonhole me. Good Old Games is almost as guilty on this account as Steam, shoving the achievements list in your face every time you fire up a game through its distribution program.

My most recent acquisition is a post-apocalyptic frozen wasteland base building game. Longer story to follow. Short version: if you're a fan of Tyranny or golden oldies like Alpha Centauri filled with harsh decisions, you owe it to yourself to try Frostpunk. Keep your citizens warm, fed and generally alive in a Cocytus in all but name... by any means necessary.
After several failed starts I finally managed to win the "A New Home" scenario and got to glory in watching my town's furnace pumping at overdrive through the nailbiter of a final challenge. Then upon embarking on a second expedition I happened upon this observation:
I'm well aware these usage statistics may mislead. I've always found it unlikely that so few people who buy a game will actually play it to the end. Only 40%, really? And that's twice the proportion of some others like RPGs. Still, when discussing two closely related feats within the same game I can safely say I'm comparing apples to apples.

Only 3/4 of the people who finished the scenario did so by doing the thing by which you finish the scenario. While a fully upgraded main generator is not the only way to heat homes, it does cover a wider radius than its smaller counterparts, and seemed an obvious choice to me even on a first attempt to fully heat hundreds upon hundreds of citizens' houses.

At first I started wondering how everyone else had managed to cover all that ground. After all, the game's not all that difficult once you learn to juggle its options, and I could think of several. Steam hubs? Hot rations through the religious tree? Endless automatons performing all labor?

Sure, any of those might work. Then it dawned on me that maybe not everyone was obsessing over saving every last possible remnant of humanity, like myself. An area with radius length one is much easier to thaw out than radius length four, and you can probably still get credit for finishing the scenario with even just one survivor or one household. The suburbs? Corpsecicles.

So... yeah... in a game which already has you leading a desperate last bastion of humanity with an iron fist, in a story already centered on making a hellhole even more hellish, you assholes managed to somehow make things even worse by adding neglect to deprivation, drudgery and oppression. So it goes.

This fucking species, I swear...