Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gun Freedom!

One of the more contentious topics in U.S politics is gun control (or gun freedom, however you want to phrase it). Backed and lied to by the NRA (and the politicians they keep in their pockets) and certain media outlets, there is a contingent of American citizens who believe, to the core of their being, that Big Government and dirty libruls are scheming and plotting to take away all the guns. One of the more popular conspiracy theories for the entirety of the Obama Presidency was that he was going to take all the guns away, and that lie was repeated throughout Clinton’s campaign. Everybody knows that Big Government is for regulating vaginas and bathrooms, not guns.

I’m not going to rehash all of the arguments here (blah blah blah militia, blah blah blah) because we’ve all seen them countless times and it goes the same way every time. No, I’m simply going to tell you what my views on the subject are.

I like guns. Hell, I might even love them. I think they’re a fascinating evolution of the sling, and I enjoy shooting them (even though I couldn’t hit a barn I was standing next too). I do not own any guns, however, because I’m. . . lacking in the mindset to own one safely. If I owned a gun, there’s a good chance I would have already eaten a bullet (suicides would drop if we didn’t have guns; the more determined would still take themselves out, but many people wouldn’t be able to succumb to that snap decision to self-terminate).

But that’s just me. Luckily, I’ve got enough self-awareness to know that I shouldn’t own a firearm (plus, at the end of the day, I do prefer the melee weapon, probably because I can actually hit the target with those). And I do wish countless others had that same self-awareness.

I’m also a believer in “gun control” (a terrible phrase that has done more harm than good to the cause). I think if you buy a firearm from a Wal-Mart, a gun shop, good neighbor Joe, or that guy on the street corner, there should be a background check, and a waiting period (3 days or so, can be waived by LEA in circumstances such as a restraining order that has been repeatedly violated or the like, to be determined by the lawyers).

If the background check reveals one of the following, you should be subject to greater restrictions, as described below (note these are only rough ideas):
  • One conviction for a violent crime committed with a gun: 60 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation; any convictions for felony crimes in the next year results in a lifetime voiding of the right to own a firearm.
  • Two or more convictions for violent crimes committed with a gun: 60 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 5 years from time of release or end of probation; any additional convictions for felony crimes in that time period results in a lifetime voiding of the right to own a firearm.
  • One conviction for a non-violent crime committed with a gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation; any convictions for felony crimes in that period voids the right to own a firearm for 1 year.
  • Two or more convictions for non-violent crimes committed with a gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 2 years from time of release or end of probation; any additional convictions for felony crimes in that time period voids the right to own a firearm for 2 years.
  • One conviction for a violent crime with no gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 6 months from times of release or end of probation.
  • Two or more convictions for violent crimes with no gun: 30 day waiting period; Right to own a firearm is voided for 1 year from time of release or end of probation.
  • Involuntary commitment for mental illness: 14 day waiting period; notarized letter from a mental health professional required.
  • Voluntary commitment for mental illness: 14 day waiting period.

I also think every gun owner should be fingerprinted, and every purchased weapon should have a ballistics test run, with the data from both held in a Federal database, accessible freely by state, county, and city LEA.

None of this would stop bad people from acquiring and using illicit firearms. It would, however, help to track the firearm back to its source and aid in piecing together a timeline for the firearm. Many of the pro-2A supporters would balk at these. But I wouldn’t care, because in my anecdotal experience, most of them are painfully uninformed (how? Because they’ve bought the lie that 2A is under serious attack, when it’s other amendments that are under actual attack).

So, yes, I am in favor of some degree of gun and owner registration (go ahead, start screaming at me in the comments, I don’t read them, so have a blast).

However, I also support a citizen’s right to purchase just about any damn firearm they want to purchase. Derringer .22? Go right ahead. Barrett .50 AMR? Yep. Full auto AK-47? Sure. Browning .50 HMG? Hells yeah. Scary looking “assault weapon”? Okay. Minigun? Yep.

If I were to draw an arbitrary line, it would probably be right around 15mm ammo size. Bigger than that isn’t really a gun anymore.

“But why do you need a fully automatic rifle to go hunting?” You don’t. “Need” has nothing to do with any of this. “Want” is more than adequate.

Well why not flamethrowers and grenades and mortars and bombs then? Because those aren’t guns, don’t be disingenuous.

The simple fact is that 2A isn’t going away anytime soon, and case law largely supports gun ownership. After that, it’s just negotiating the details. No one is going to use the registry to take away your guns (that would require a smaller, more consolidated nation and a truly inconceivable gun tragedy). And there’s no compelling reason to prevent the government from knowing who owns the guns since they are stolen and used in criminal enterprises.

At the same time, there’s no compelling reason to stop average people from owning the firearms they want and can afford to own.

Anyway, now you know my thoughts, so your day is a little better.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Donald Trump Racist? Does It Matter?

If you’ve paid any attention, then you’ve learned that one thing you can say to a Trump supporter that will really make them angry is that Trump is a racist. Say that to one of them, and they will (collectively) provide a host of defenses, no matter what evidence (tweets, video, whatever) you present to them.

I am absolutely willing to accept the possibility that Donald J. Trump the man is not a racist or a bigot (though I will continue to believe that he is a classist).

So let’s go with the idea that Trump isn’t personally racist. Then I ask “so what?”

If Trump isn’t a racist that means we’re looking at one of two possibilities:

The first possibility is that he’s not a racist, but then he has
  1. Knowingly used racist rhetoric in his campaign.
  2. Provided moral support to racists and white supremacists in social media (his re-tweeting of racist propaganda is well-established).
  3. Provided material support to racists by appointing Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller to notable, powerful positions in his administration.
  4. Encouraged a national atmosphere of fear, hate, and xenophobia.

And all for the advancement of his personal interests in business, ego fulfillment, and the business interests of his fellow capitalist entrepreneurs. That’s not even touching on the possible Russian connections and conflicts of interest concerning the job of POTUS and his business dealings.

All of the above does mean the man is morally and ethically unfit for the office of POTUS. This would mean that at best, he’s an amoral opportunist, and at worst, a possible criminal.

But I mentioned two possibilities, didn’t I? So, if Trump is not a racist, and the first possibility isn’t the reality of the situation, that leaves us with this one:

Trump did all of the same things described in the first possibility, but is literally too stupid or myopic to know what he did. It would have to mean he did all of those things without understanding the potential ramifications. This possibility is highly unlikely, but if it’s the case, then the man’s lack of intellect and basic insight makes him unfit to hold the office of POTUS.

This brings us back to the possibility that Trump actually is a racist and knows exactly what he’s done and has done so willingly and with bigoted enthusiasm. That would make him a Nazi-supporting racist scumbag unfit to hold the office of POTUS.

The next time a Trump supporter tells you that Trump isn’t racist, try to explain all of this to the person. They probably will not acknowledge it, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Whatever the case, the end result is that the man is simply not fit to hold the office of President of the United States. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stealing Words and Throwing No Fists

So this time, we’re going to ramble just a little bit about appropriation of words and non-violent protest. Yay!

Something I’ve seen surprisingly often in the wake of Ferguson is white people (almost always, about 99%), usually middle class or better (again, I’d guess 99% in my experience) tsk tsking the protestors for the way that they are protesting, using the images and words of (mostly) Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

So many white people shaking their heads in disappointment because Rosa Parks did it sitting quietly on a bus, and these young people today are just violent thugs. These same white people like to tell everyone how Martin Luther King Jr. would be oh-so-very disappointed in the savage behavior of these people.

Now, personally, I think both the U.S. government and the SyFy channel should be all up in the business of these white people, who are clearly mediums and channeling the voices of dead civil rights leaders. I mean, that has to be what’s happening, right? There is simply no way that all these white, affluent people would have the arrogance to appropriate the names and words of these people in order to chastise those seeking justice and equality, right? That’s pretty unheard of, isn’t it?

“Martin Luther King said ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter.’”

That was Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick at the start of a press conference about a bathroom privacy bill that he supports. An affluent white man trying to use the words of the most well-known civil rights leader in the United States to promote a bill that is based on nothing but fear, lies, and bigotry. And there’s not even any proof that King said those words, so he fucked that up too.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that many of the affluent white people stealing the words of civil rights leaders are politicians doing so in order to promote bigotry and hatred.

I’m a lower-class cis white guy. It would be the height of arrogance for me to tell others how to protest or fight for their rights in this nation. It would be even worse if I tried to use the words of those who fought and died to do so. How much more arrogance does it take to do that when you’re legitimately in a position of power to restrict the liberties of others?

What does this have to do with non-violent protest and resistance? Recently, I ran across a post doing exactly that; saying that the protestors of today are doing it wrong by not following in the non-violent steps of King and Parks. This ignores that the majority of protests around the nation are non-violent, but the more egregious flaw is that doing so ignores the history of protest in this (and other) nations.

Don’t get me wrong; non-violent protest is great. It’s a very potent tool in the toolbox. Know what else is a potent tool in that box? Violence.  For non-violence to work, there must be

1.    A fear that someone on the side of the protestors (but not necessarily the actual non-violent protestors) will use violence to make a point.
2.    Violence perpetrated by the oppressors.

Those are the minimums. What am I talking about? Well, again, let’s go back to the 60s. These people say “You have to do it like King! Non-violent! Whargarble!” What these people have forgotten, don’t know, or don’t want to acknowledge is that the non-violent protests of the 60s Would. Not. Have. Worked. If not for the riots across the country. That violence, while it turned off many white people who weren’t actually allies, helped bring national attention to the cause.

The non-violence protests did not exist in a vacuum. They existed in a context that was rife with violence and (in the back half of the decade) a genuine fear held by many that there was actually going to be a straight up race war (heck, that’s what Manson was counting on). It can easily be argued that the true fight for LGBTQ rights began with the very not peaceful Stonewall Riots.

To advance your cause, you have to get attention. And nothing – NOTHING – gets attention like violence.

I’m guessing most of the people using King and Parks to chastise haven’t thought much about this, but it’s downright silly to think that King and the Freedom Riders didn’t know what effect the violence used against them would have on public perception and awareness of the cause. If LEO and observers hadn’t committed acts of violence (and murder in some cases) against the protestors, the cause of civil rights would have been set back years, if not decades.

Violence is a tool. Applying it and taking it. Tactically, they absolutely knew what they were doing. That’s why they trained to go limp. They were fully aware of what some people were going to do.

To advance a cause, you absolutely must have a friendly hand in a velvet glove to extend to the oppressors and the observers. But you must also have a mailed fist willing and waiting to strike. Because rights aren’t given, they are taken. That’s the story of humanity, that’s the way we work. You have to use every weapon in your arsenal to either bring the mildly neutral observers to your side, or at least so they support the cause in order for it to stop interrupting their daily routines.

Alleged allies will tell you that you’re doing it wrong, that you should do it like King, like Parks. A lot of them will tell you that if you don’t do it the way they’re comfortable with, they just can’t really help you.

Guess what?

Those people aren’t real allies. Allies provide support and suggestions. They do not dictate procedures and tactics. As I noted, I’m a lower-class cis white guy. In a lot of fights, I have the least to lose. It’s not my place, or the place of these other people with no real dog in the fight to tell others how to wage their battles. It’s my job to help so long as it doesn’t violate my conscience. Note I said my conscience, not my fucking comfort level.

It’s not about us being comfortable. It’s about us helping others to demand and take what they should already have in this so-called land of the free, home of the brave (so long as you’re okay with the tactics).

 Until next time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Second Chances?

Recently, a friend of friends (someone I never met) was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. This mostly-preventable tragedy got me thinking, and I realized I have never articulated my position on some things.

See, the driver that caused this accident had gone down for four – 4- DUIs. Four times this person had been caught and put through the system for driving under the influence of a mind-altering substance. And that’s only the times they had been caught. Who knows how often they drove while intoxicated and were not caught?

Lest I seem completely hypocritical, I’ll admit that when I was young, I drove under the influence once. With a car full of people during a rain storm, I almost plowed into a building. It scared the fuck out of me. That was the first and last time I drove when I was the one drinking.

I learned my lesson and I was lucky in that I learned it without harming or killing anyone. Some people have to have a tragedy occur to learn that, and some people never learn that lesson, regardless of what happens.

Four DUIs.

The system processed this danger-to-their-fellow humans four times and still let them back out on the roads.

I’m a big, big believer in second chances, so I’ll say that’s three DUIs too many. After the first one, they should have lost their license for an appropriate amount of time (6 months with no injuries to others, 1-2 years at least with injuries, and 5+ years with a fatality in addition to any jail time for vehicular manslaughter).

There are quite a few severe crimes for which I still believe offenders should get a second chance in life. Most of them would likely cause quite a few readers to call me “soft on crime” or a “bleeding heart liberal” or some such. And maybe I am. But I accept that everyone fucks up sometime or makes a really bad decision, and sometimes that decision has tragic consequences.

But I also believe that most of those people can learn and change. Now, it’s widely held that external forces cannot make you change, that you have to want to change. And that’s true. But external forces can help apply the necessary pressure to force you to truly contemplate that change. That’s part of what the justice system is supposed to do.

Four DUIs.

Four times, the system caught this person, but it didn’t apply to appropriate pressure, and the offender continued to offend, resulting in a death, one that left young children without a mother.

And that never should have happened, because after the second DUI, that person demonstrated that they simply could not be trusted with a multi-ton high velocity death machine.

If there’s any justice, the offender will be charged with straight up First Degree Murder. Because getting into a car while drunk, for at least the fourth time, demonstrates (I believe the term is) mens rea. Normally, being intoxicated would discount that to some degree, but after four times, that person knew they were going to get drunk and that they were then going to drive and that’s no different than deciding that your neighbor has finally pissed you off one too many times, so you’re going to grab your 9mm and go put them down.

In this case, and so many like it, the system failed everyone involved in and affected by this tragedy. While the driver should face the maximum that the system can impose for a deliberate murder, the system itself should face scrutiny and whatever repercussions are available. Because four times, the system said “Nah, brah, it’s all good, go on with your bad self”.

This tragedy, and so many like it, have at least two perpetrators; the gun, and the hand waving the gun about all willy-nilly.

What has been done here and in so many other places cannot be undone. But you can contact your lawmakers (phone call, email, letter, semaphore, whatever) and harangue them to do something about fixing the system that allows too many third, fourth, fifth chances.

And if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spare, you can also look around on GoFundMe and the like and help out some people who have been damaged by their fellow humans and the system.

If you’re gonna drink, smoke, pop, shoot or otherwise ingest, hide your damn car keys or give them to someone responsible. Don’t become someone who needs a second chance.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I haven’t really thought through what I want or am going to say here, so this may seem disjointed.

Before I get to anything else, I need to get this one off my chest: Bernie supporters, just stop. Seriously, just stop it. I keep seeing Bernie fans posting stupid macros reading crap like “Do you miss me now?” and “65%”. Yes, he polled better than Trump and Clinton in the early days. And last night, the polls gave Clinton a solid shot. It’s foolish to think he would have magically done better. He did better than Trump in a couple of places that Trump won. So, of course, many are concluding that Sanders would have won those last night, while ignoring that he most likely would have lost a lot of the places Clinton did take. The simple fact is that America isn’t ready for a Sanders. He’s actually too far left (under American standards) for America right now.

Did Sanders get screwed by the DNC? Yeah, probably so. So what? Like me, he was an Independent. He only joined the Dem party in 2015. Did you think they wouldn’t work against an outsider who only joined for an opportunistic gain? If you did, you haven’t been paying attention to politics in your life, be it 18 or 80 years.

I get it, you feel burned. And as a result, some of you voted for Trump. So thanks for not giving two shits about the nation in your petty spite.

Anyway, just stop it. We’re all hosed together, so let’s work on figuring out how to blunt some of that.

So. . . President Trump.

I honestly didn’t think this would happen. Long before it became a common idea, I had put forth the idea that Trump was essentially trolling the nation and increasing his brand recognition even more and that at some point, it got away from him. What I unintentionally ignored at the beginning was the absolute field of crap he was up against on the GOP side.

I knew that I didn’t want a Ted Cruz presidency. What I didn’t realize was just how much everyone else hated Cruz. And I wonder even now if he knew how much people hated him before his run for POTUS. I didn’t know in the beginning that, for a brilliant neurosurgeon, Ben Carson was painfully stupid and full of hate. Kasich was too bland to do really get anywhere, and Rubio, well, Rubio just lacks a certain something. Spine maybe? He seems not insincere, but not devoted. As for Fiorina, does anyone even remember her making the run? There were some others, but they were non-starters.

On the other side, we basically had Clinton and Sanders.

This election belonged to the Dems for the most part. I knew Clinton would be the Dem candidate. I feared Cruz would grab the GOP nom.

The biggest thing I got wrong was thinking that the citizens of the United States had made more social progress than they had. I knew Trump’s isolationist, xenophobic rhetoric would strike chords with a chunk of the populace, but I underestimated the hate that still lives in the hearts of our citizens.  Hate of the other, hate of women, hate of change. That’s how Trump got the nom. He pandered to that hate, and he did it by escalating his words everything and then having a spokesperson go on TV and walk them back, with another spokesperson going on and saying even more extreme things. I also never thought that he would stoop to endorsing actual Nazis and white supremacists.

Again, I was wrong.

But that all together should not have carried to where we are today.

No, that took some other factors.

Apparently a lot of people, including Dems, simply don’t like Clinton and didn’t long before any of the email crap. Some of it was misogyny, yes, but not all of it. 

How much of the vote, popular and electoral, would she have taken if not for the past few months?  Good question.

Let’s see, there’s the email scandal. You know, that thing that has some calling Clinton a traitor (she’s not, look it up), and a criminal (she’s not, you can tell by the lack of crime). This was yet another attempt to make something more than it was in order to damage Clinton. But come on, she’s been in the biz how long now and not been busted? Either she’s not guilty or she’s a criminal super genius, and we could use a super genius in the Oval. And when that was starting to lose traction as a story (because, you know, she didn’t actually do anything), Comey came along with his new right-before-the-election letter and stirred it all up again. And then a less publicized letter that “Nope, sorry, still nothing there”, but that damage was done. That hurt Clinton. I do believe if Comey hadn’t done that (and there’s indications that he wasn’t supposed to have done it), her tally in the popular vote would be better. I can’t wait for us to find out if it was a load of crap based on incompetence on Comey’s part, or if he intentionally interfered with the electoral process. I actually have my doubts that we’ll ever find out. I firmly believe that Comey needs to step down.

I also believe that the F.B.I. needs a severe overhaul since it’s been well-established that a fifth column, if you will, has been actively working against Clinton based on some crap in a crap book. That’s not acceptable. Last time I checked, J. Edgar wasn’t running the F.B.I. these days.

Anyway, yeah, the resurgence of the “new” emails seemed designed to bring a fading issue right back into the minds of the voters.

Social media . . . Anti-Clinton forces masterfully used social media against her. It’s pretty well established that many people only read headlines, and that many who read more than the headline only read the first part of an article or item. And that we remember headlines, especially negative headlines, while forgetting retractions or the material below the headline. It’s an old trick. And boy howdy, did people rely on that basic bit of psychology. There were so many anti-Clinton headlines, ranging from the believable to the outrageous that even Snopes couldn’t keep up with them. But we remember negative headlines. Way to shape the voter headspace. There wasn’t nearly the volume of anti-Trump headlines, and many of those were simple reporting on actual things. But frankly, I’m pretty sure many people don’t care about facts or truth unless they align with the narrative in the person’s head.

Don’t forget the Reds. No wait, I mean the Russians. The Reds are running the country now. We all know that the neo-Soviets have been actively interfering with the election (which I personally consider to be an act of war), thought for Trump’s benefit (he does love him some Putin) or just as an anti-Clinton measure. And we’re probably going to let them get away with it. Which means it’s going to happen again.

Wikileaks/fugitive and alleged rapist Julian Assange. At some point in the past, Wikileaks released some documents that uncovered some uncool shit on the part of the U.S. government. As a result, the name “Wikileaks” gained some measure of credibility. Assange and other anti-Clinton forces have traded on that credibility during this election. Because Assange has some sort of beef with Clinton. They did so be releasing quite a large number of emails, including those that indicated the DNC worked to undermine Sanders (see above). But frankly, so far, there hasn’t really been anything terribly shocking or evil in those emails.

But there didn’t have to be anything actually there. Why? Because we remember negative headlines. Suddenly, Wikileaks was breaking all kinds of news and most of it was crap. But by combining negative headlines with the word “Wikileaks”, that gave those headlines even more traction in the minds of readers. Readers who didn’t read a single leaked email, let alone the what, 50k or so? Was Assange doing this on behalf of the neo-Soviets? I have no idea. Maybe, but maybe he just wanted to screw Clinton over since, as I said, he seems to have a personal problem with her.

Let us not forget the role the 24-hour scramble-for-ratings media has played in all of this. You know, the liberal Mainstream Media that the right likes to whine about? The same LMSM that has spent a year propping Trump up while scrambling to make every single bit of information about Clinton seem like a HUGE scandal. If you think I’m kidding, go back and look. The media has effectively ignored or only glossed over most negative stories that have come out about Trump except for the Pussy Grabbing, while pounding on Clinton like she was a stubborn nail. How often did they talk about the multiple rape allegations (including a mildly retracted one by an ex-wife)? How often did they talk about Clinton’s health, on the other hand?

No, as I’ve indicated for a while, the Fourth Estate has long been a semi-abandoned crack house. It needs to be burned down and rebuilt.

And with all of that, as of this writing, the popular vote stands at

Clinton: 59,796,311
Trump: 59,589,821

What happened the last time the Reds lost the popular vote but won the electoral college? Anyone? Bueller?

Right, a depressed economy, a destroyed surplus, a greater degradation of Constitutional rights. Oh, let’s not forget the more than a decade of fucking war most of which served no actual legitimate purpose.

The biggest problem that I see, among all these things, is a perpetual problem. Look at those voter results. Go ahead, take a look, I’ll wait.


There’s still about one-half of the country’s potential voters who Are. Not. Voting. I have to say, I’m actually moving towards the idea of voting, at least in POTUS elections, being mandatory.

I know that today, it seems like hate has won a big victory. And it has won a victory of some sort, but it’s not as big as it seems. The people against Clinton threw pretty much everything at her and she still took half the popular vote.

Assuming Trump follows through on his campaign rhetoric (and honestly, who knows if he will?), with Congress being tipped to the Reds, the next 4-8 years are probably going to be rough. I think we’re going to see a fair chunk of our progress rolled back.

But she still took half. That means of the people who cared enough to vote, an awful lot of them are still trying, and still want a better nation.

We lost this battle. Let’s not give up and lose the war.

Stay safe, and help keep others safe.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Person of Interest

"You are being watched.”

I don't recall how I got started on PoI. Most likely, we were looking for something new to watch, someone mentioned it, and I figured might as well give it a shot. Hell, we watch Blue Bloods and it's not all that good. And this looked like it was in the same niche as The Equalizer and Burn Notice, using modern surveillance fears as the launching point. Right from the start, I enjoyed the fight choreography. It was stellar, especially for a CBS show and their older demographic. And it was decent. As with many shows, the weekly victim/criminal of the week was nothing exceptional. But the characters held my attention and the seasonal arc was okay.

Little did I know at that point that what I was watching was the beginning of one of the more intelligently conceived and executed television shows on the air. Because who would’ve thought that this simple pseudo-extra-legal vigilante program on a channel that mostly caters to an older demographic would go on to address the creation of artificial life and the responsibilities that come with it? I certainly never expected it to actually address the core gimmick, The Machine, the surveillance state that we find growing more pervasive every day. I sure didn’t expect the show to be one in which we find the heroes and everyone else living in a modern techno-dystopia. I never expected the show to actually address the sacrifice of freedom for security. I didn’t expect the heroes to be soldiers in a war between two human-made gods. A war between machines for the very essence of humanity.

No, all I expected was a pretty basic helping people in need program, with typical TV resolutions and clich├ęs. But they gave me genuine, flawed, no, broken characters. Characters that you would expect to be fixed eventually. And while they changed, shifted, and got better, I think it’s fair to say that at the end, those remaining were still broken. But they were better people than they had been.

I didn’t expect much from this show. I did not expect thoughtfulness, care, depth, and brilliance. But that’s what they gave us. Thank you for that.

If you haven't watched Person of Interest, do yourself a favor and give it a shot. 

“The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. The Government considers these people ‘irrelevant’. We don't. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You'll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number's up... we'll find you."

Friday, June 10, 2016

6-10-16 Game Forum Answer Bag

PC Red Flags (OP by candidgamera)
What player character traits immediately set your GM's mind on high alert?
I've got two that popped into my head while I was pondering the subject.

1.) Pacifism in a game that includes combat. And I don't mean technical pacifism where they only fight to knock someone out, or pacifism in a game that runs 90% on social interactions ... I mean a Dungeons and Dragons, or Star Wars typical adventure campaign wherein a character will not swing or fire a weapon at enemies even if he or his party members are in danger. Had this one crop up twice (though both times, the character ended up breaking the pacifist vow when the player got pissed off about something, so it was poor roleplaying on a couple of levels).

2.) Serious mental illnesses, particularly in systems that have no way to model them. I seriously knew a dude in a D&D 4E game who decided his character was Claustrophobic and addicted to drugs. Nevermind that it's called DUNGEONS and Dragons. Nevermind that, as of the start of the game, our characters had been slaves for months, with no access to drugs. He was still going to be addicted, damn it, and he was still going to curl up into a ball in any underground space when he failed one of his self-imposed will saves.

Eh, a pacifist character can work in just about any game, including the kind of pacifist that will not attack under any circumstances. And such a character breaking and attacking isn’t necessarily poor roleplaying. In fact, depending on the circumstances, it could be great roleplaying.  As for #2, that can also work in a lot of games. It’s all dependent on the player and the GM.

By Godfatherbrak:
I had a new player tell me, "my character is an orphan loner."
Me: "No he's not."

Then you maybe shouldn’t try to GM.

By Blackwingedheaven
Kender. Always kender.

Kender aren’t a problem. Shitty players allowed to play Kender are a problem. I’ve never had any problems running or playing one.

By LeighTheDwarf
I've never been a GM before,

Shut the fuck up then.

By EvilSchemer
I had a player one time make a character who was severely allergic to air. In concept, it was kind of neat. He had to wear an oxygen mask to breathe. In play, he got really pissy whenever it became an actual liability.

That’s actually pretty decent. Hell, it’s a requirement for a couple of species in Battlelords. But yeah, the player shouldn’t get pissy when it’s an actual hindrance.

By jerandall
Player: 'My character has [socially unacceptable beliefs such as virulent racism or sexism] but it fits his culture because [he's an Orc / Klingon / whatever].'
Me (GM): 'Nope.'

Then perhaps you should not be a GM also. Because that’s pretty easy to work with and can generate some tremendous roleplaying.

By thorya
For me it's "I'm going to multi-class."
For new players that means I want to do all the roles and I will be upset when I do none of them well. For experienced players it usually means, I found a loophole I am going to exploit.

Then you’ve got shitty players and should find a new group.

By Devil’s Avocado
Amnesia. It almost always means "I want the GM to write my background for me but will complain if there's anything I don't like in it".

If they complain, tell them to shut the fuck up. Taking amnesia is shorthand for “Gamemaster, do whatever the fuck you want to do with my background and origin!”

Yeah the pacifism one on Dungeons & Dragons is a real irritant. So you get a share of our XP and treasure... but refuse to do anything at all to help earn it? (this was AD&D when most XP was from killing monsters or the amount of treasure you collected from killing said monsters).

If you think that the only way the character can help is by taking up arms against an enemy, then you’re a fucking moron. That’s a problem with you, not the other character or the game.

By sulldawga
The player who wants to play the same character concept, regardless of the rules or setting.

Especially when you're running a gritty realistic sandbox D&D game and the guy still wants to play his female 12 year old mage. So she's smart enough to cast spells before puberty but dumb enough to think dungeon delving with a bunch of inexperienced murderhobo-wannabes is a promising career path?

You should get a better grasp on the difference between Intelligence and Wisdom.

Most of the remainder of the thread is bickering about the “red flags” already discussed. Essentially, it’s a thread by people who should either not run games, or should find new players.

GMing advice--reconciling players who have different political opinions? (OP by MistahJ)
I need advice about something very specific that's happened with a gaming group of mine.

Okay, so normally politics don't come up with my gaming groups. Ever. And normally I have a rule that says "leave that at the door, this is about elfgames, please." Usually there are no problems.

But I've run into one problem with one particular group lately. I tend to try to be inclusive with my content if people request stuff they want. One player has requested something--it's nothing major--it's just that one of my players (we'll call him Z) wanted his barbarian hero to save a Prince rather than a Princess, with a romantic plot there. Not a big deal to me, and my group never spends any significant screentime on romances anyway. I thought it was a very minor thing. It's arguably the tiniest piece of LGBT content I could include. It would just be for this part of the plot; Z said he doesn't want to make it a huge focus or anything.

One of my players (we'll call him R) is very upset. R doesn't like this being included. He's ridiculously upset and says that if I allow this as a GM, I am violating my rule about leaving politics at the door. I was floored. R and I have never argued over anything; he's typically been one of my most exemplary players (always on time, never misses a session, pays for snacks if I'm hosting, has often helped new people to the group adjust or learn). But Z is also just as exemplary a player.

“R, shut the fuck up and play the game. Bitch about it if, at some point, your character is required to engage in homosexual sex. Until then, hush. If it’s so bothersome to you that you can’t play, we’ll enjoy having you back for the next game, gimme a call.”

Bam! Problem solved.

By Godfatherbrak
He would never call saving a Princess and having a romantic subplot political. His prejudices are making something political that is supposed to be romantic.

Yeah, pretty much.

By damiller
I'll probably regret this but...

Then maybe you should rethink how you’re going to say it . . .

I don't think R is out of order for letting you know that a topic in the game is making him uncomfortable. I don't care what the topic is. If it were about rape or racism no one would be upset at R, in fact he might be applauded. The fact that R seems to have views that are not currently acceptable is besides the point.

Awesome. You just compared a same-sex romantic sub-plot with rape and racism. No wonder you knew you might regret your post. You were aware beforehand that you were going to be a dumb fuck.

I am not a therapist, I am not gaming to change or challenge anyone's views. And presumably no one is there for the that reason.

No, you’re not a therapist. You’re also not a thinker, from the sound of it.

For me in this game as a GM if Z wanted to save the prince great, but there would be no mention at all of any romance. I'd say, great you saved him, fade out, next player.

Because you suck.

By the OP
Very hard to try to find balance with this. I feel like he's entitled to his beliefs and opinions--it's just a matter of what degree do I feel comfortable letting those beliefs influence my group's game.

Of course R is entitled to his beliefs, even if they’re stupid. R is not entitled to screw over the game because of them, and his or her misguided notions of what is political. As was said above, if it were male/female, R wouldn’t have a problem. That makes this R’s burden to carry, not yours, not the other players. This would be different if R’s objection were to any romantic sub-plot, but that’s not the case according to what you’ve said thus far.

By Michael Brazier
Let me take a different angle on this: have you considered the political effects within your game's setting of a homosexual Prince?

Let’s not, since that’s not important to the topic at hand.

By baakyocalder
Me, I'd be more willing to side with R since the 'saved the royal, get a romantic relationship' meme is stale.

Then I’m comfortable determining that you’re
A. An asshole
B. Don’t actually understand what’s being discussed and should shut the fuck up and pay attention.

By RavenMM
Maybe it's a non-american thing, but I can't understand this divide between non-political and political some people express here.

Some are arguing that having homosexual relationships are not political because they exist in real life (which of course they do). Well, COmmunism, Liberalism, Mocharchism, Sexism and a whole other bunch of different -isms also exist in our world - yet they seemed to be banned by the gms "no politics" rule.
I say you should have a talk with your players what they think your no-politics rule mean and then decide a common interpretation, so that nobody is blindsided by a topic they thought would not come up in play.

That is not a “non-american thing”, it’s you being stupid. A homosexual relationship isn’t anywhere near the same as Communism, Liberalism, and what not.

No, this is a "you’re stupid" thing.

By the OP
Okay, so I met R and Z for breakfast to talk; R specifically asked for Z in his message.
It was a weird talk.
R let me ask him questions, and it turns out that yes, there was something going on in his life that makes him not want to see a gay couple in a RP.

R's brother came out as gay less than a month ago, and there was a really bad break with the family. R's brother left and refuses to speak to R's family any more. Religion was the big starting point of how it all blew up for R's family, too. R is still feeling hurt. He also said he's been clinging pretty hard to his religion because he picked the rest of his family and religion over his brother, which has him a lot more 'militant' than he really is. He conceded he was venting too many RL frustrations into the group.

Man, that’s rough for R’s brother. R can go fuck right off though.

Z surprised me by being really sensitive about this; I thought Z wasn't going to compromise at all (and I didn't necessarily see a need for Z himself to compromise--plus, Z had been super angry during the initial disagreement when his character romance was first broached), but Z thought about it and asked R there was anything that might make this a more tolerable subject for him. R explained he was frustrated because LGBT content is being allowed, but my "no politics" rule has kind of barred some of his favorite topics from the group, so that was another reason he was getting frustrated. Z apparently knows some of R's favorite tabletop games, and asked R if the compromise could be that Z's character can have the barbarian/Prince relationship, but...the group would play Dark Ages: Inquisitor after this campaign, which Z knows R really likes.

R was surprised at the suggested compromise and asked if Z would even be comfortable playing that game because of the blatant Christianity themes and had assumed Z wouldn't play it. Z pointed out that there was room for nuance in that sort of game, and so long as R didn't demand he play a "perfect Catholic," they could probably enjoy the game and all its political nuance. He also said it was a game where it would be fun to have characters have religious and philosophical disagreement and that Dark Ages: Inquisitor's appeal for Z was precisely in that sort of thing. R and Z both agreed playing that particular tabletop might be cathartic for them both, and they both conceded that they might fight IC, but they'll stop fighting OOC. They'll let the dice decide what happens if they disagree and asked if I'd allow PvP. It'll be our "heavy game" after this light-hearted hack n' slash elfgame.

It’s nice that you all worked things out, but you’ll notice R is still being an ignorant douche, so you’ll want to keep an eye on that.

Splitting the party? (By Seiberwing)
There's a single person in a few groups I've run with who always plays the mysterious rogue-type character (which is fine), and in the games I've been in with her always seems to find a reason to be away from the rest of the party for long spans of time (less fine). I'm told she does it a lot.

In one of the two games I've been in with her she spent most of it somewhere else. I've also been in games where the party seemed to split apart often and for long periods, meaning that there were long spans where the rest of us just went out to 7-11 or lounged on the couch doing nothing. I don't entirely understand the appeal of breaking up when it means folks have to wait for the spotlight to get back to them, but no one else seems to have a problem with it. Possibly it's IC, but it's not bringing the fun. The one time we made it work out was when the GM swapped back and forth between us, giving a few minutes to each group (for those in combat, a full round before moving to the ones fleeing the area for a few minutes), which made it less excruciatingly dull for me.

What are your experiences with this issue?

What issue? Splitting the party? That’s not an issue. It’s something that happens. You go back and forth if each group is engaged in something, or, if they are not, you tell the players with the unengaged characters “Hey, run and get me a soda pop please and thanks”.

That was what tended to happen with the mysterious rogue person, which they seemed to be totally okay with. Which confused me, as mentioned. Why would you not want to be doing more actual playing?

Doesn’t matter, because it’s not your concern, and your understanding isn’t required.

So, a PC dies… (By Caplin)
I was playing Horror on the Orient Express, and sacrificed myself to blow up a bunch of cultists. This effectively ended my participation in the session for the evening, though I wondered if I might end up playing an NPC at some point.

Has anybody come up with innovative approaches to solving the PC death problem?

Well, first you would have to define the problem. I don’t see one in your post. Your character died. In a CoC game. It happens. You move one.

Oh, you mean what will you do while the rest of them forget to mourn? Right. You start pondering your next character and how to integrate them into the game. The GM might give you an NPC to run for the rest of the session. It really depends on what’s going on in the game at the time.

The rest of this is mostly some not great ideas and the on-going “Well I don’t allow death in my game unless the player wants it” which is stupid, since the OP said they sacrificed themselves, which means they wanted it, so shut the fuck up.

[DnD5e] My best player is a Gamergater....what do? (By TheDiceMustRoll)
So then he asked me to add him on facebook, and his profile picture is Vivian James. His wall is filled to the brim with tons of links from KotakuinAction, most of which is having a tantrum over a woman saying...something or a person getting screamed at(BTFO, apparantly) by random nobodies on twitter.

I broached the topic with him and he got pretty defensive. I didn't want to start a fight in front of everyone but he talked about it a bit and he does unfortunately live in a fantasy world where 'SJWS' are trying to ruin just about everything good in the world. He even opened the player's handbook and pointed at the little blurb about gender stuff on the character creation front page and cited it as an example of "SJW Cancer".

So I'm at something of an impasse here. He's actually until recently come off as a really cool dude, and like, my other players are good at playing their classes, but they dont know the setting like he does and they probably wont enjoy playing without him due to him sort of uh, elevating the style of game.

So should I kick him out and go back to just running more traditional quests? It's guaranteed to be less fulfilling for me. But....he's from fucking gamergate........

What do?

This is pretty simple:
Are you comfortable with this person playing so long as they keep their vile beliefs and views out of the gaming space?
If Yes, then continue to play until they actively make the space unpleasant or toxic
If No, then you tell them thanks, but their presence is no longer required.

By JetstreamGW
Just in case it isn't: Y'all have been playing together for how long? It didn't come up before, just don't discuss that sort of thing. Who cares about someone's political views, if you don't discuss politics?

Indeed. I mean, who cares if JoeBob is a Klansman if we don’t talk about race? Because some people need to be excluded. Period. Some views are so vile that simple ongoing association effectively validates them. If you don’t hold that position, fine, but don’t act like it’s some fucking mysterious thing you don’t understand.

By neowolf
It's all down to what you can tolerate. If your personal ethics makes associating with him intolerable, well then, that's it. You've answered your question. If not, then the suggestions as to how to just avoid the topic like it's the plague are your best approach. If he's perfectly agreeable in every other way, and you're comfortable doing so, compartmentalize him to just a gaming friend and leave it at that.

As a side note, if this is a make it or break it issue for you, while it's certainly sad, it's not something you can help. It's nothing for you to feel guilty over.

Well, darn, I should have just waited and quoted this person for truth.

By ClassDunce (a known asswipe)
Oh yeah. It sounds like he's a total piece of shit. He showed up to the game actively helped everyone enjoy it more and kept any and all personal toxic opinions to himself. Until he was asked. What a piece of shit.

By Blackwingedheaven in response to ClassDunce
Strangely enough, a person can be a lot of fun to hang out with and still hold beliefs that make him a total piece of shit. The two things aren't mutually exclusive. If you find out someone is a member of a hate group, it's important to evaluate how much you value "having a good time" versus "not dealing with people who are in a hate group."

There’s not anything I can add to that.

By Sunsword
I would unfollow him on Facebook. But if it doesn't come up in your games, and he isn't a distracting player, your essentially booting him because you disagree on an issue.

No, the person would be getting the boot for being a misogynistic shit stain who endorses swatting, doxxing, and rape and death threats. Because vidya games!!!

Don’t be a fucking moron.

By Moonmover
I don't see what his political* affiliations have to do with your D&D game. If everyone at the table is having a good time and he isn't offending any of you, then why are YOU the one bringing politics into this?

You clearly lack an understanding of what Gamergate is. It’s not “political affiliations”, it’s a mother fucking hate group.

By conduit (member for 2 months with 22 posts at the time of this posting)
Let him stay. If for no other reason, being in an RPG group is an exercise in empathy. Players, and their characters, have to try to see things from the other point of view, and learn to think critically about motivations. It could be good for him.

I've been gaming with many of the same people for a decade. I've seen people change for the better, over time. I'm not saying that a game group is a panacea for every ill, but I really think that positive interactions with good people in a creative environment fosters mental health.

For all anyone knows, this could just be an embarrassing phase. Maybe he doubled down because he got called out and became over-defensive. Maybe he's in a bad place right now, and is grasping at straws for some kind of thing to hold on to. If there's a chance this dude is redeemable, you oughta try.

Fuck you. It’s not the OP’s job to try and make the gater a better person, and especially not during their happy fun hobby time.

By Black Vulmea (often wrong on things)
Shunning doesn't redeem pariahs; it breeds them.


By TheMouse
I think that the nicest I'd have been able to pull off in response to the, "SJW cancer," comment would have been, "And I'm the Social Justice gods damned Game Master, and if any more of that bullshit sticks its nose so much as a quarter inch into my game in the future, you're out."

I'm plenty willing to give people some slack when it comes to accidentally saying something offensive or not having thought through a particular perspective. But GG is a hate group. They make bomb threats and shit. The degree to which I'm willing to extend slack toward such individuals if very, very limited. And I value all of the trans, gay, female, etc gamers who might potentially join a gaming group too much to give a GGer any leeway.

Fucking right.

By Gilda (3 months as a poster at this time)
It's up to you if you're willing to play with someone of a different tribe than yourself.
I'll just say that as a Christian, I don't kick people out of groups I'm in for Christian-bashing on Facebook.

Christian-bashing isn’t really the same as belonging to a hate group that has literally attempted to use terror as a weapon. As in, the fucking definition of terrorist.

Lot of hate group apologists in this thread.

By Jigawatts
Being unable to game or be friends with someone who has differing political viewpoints is myopic and small minded. Dont be that guy. If he is respecting everyone while at the table, thats all that matters. And sounds like he is an awesome roleplayer anyway.

Lot of GamerGate apologists in this thread also. Interesting how many people keep trying to classify this as a political difference. Doing so either requires no knowledge of GamerGate, in which case, they need to shut the fuck up, or a deliberate attempt to excise from discussion the truth of GG.

Disclaimer: I think Gamergate is stupid, I think complaining about boob armor/sexy attire is stupid, I think complaining over the new Ghostbusters movie is stupid, I think complaining about Black Widows characterization/role is stupid. The rage/trigger/pile-on culture that has risen in the last decade is ridiculous and silly. People take entertainment far too seriously.

Awwwww, someone thinks they’re edgy and cool and above the concerns of the too-sensitive internet people. In other words, Jigawatts is a fuckhead. Oh look, they’re not done:

I'll be honest, I dont know much about Gamergate, I thought it was more of a conservative/liberal standoff type thing. I remember the original accusation levied was that some girl had slept with a journalist in order to get a good review on her game, with the opposing side saying that had not taken place. I had also heard there were some extremists, some on the one side who were threatening violence and rape, but I also remember hearing a story on the other side threatening violence in that they were going to find someone and literally castrate them. Seems like both sides have some issues. Honestly I tend not to waste personal time or brain space on these things.

So Jigawatts decided, with no actual knowledge of the subject, to come in and tell everyone that they’re wrong, myopic, and small-minded. Man, living in righteous ignorance must be fucking nice. Also with a nice helping of “BOTH SIDES!!!!!”

I will say this akajdrakeh, my personal policy is to treat everyone I meet with respect, and to continue doing so until their actions dictate otherwise. Using politcal stances as an example, I have friends that are both super liberal and super conservative, their political viewpoints have zero impact on my ability to call them a friend. My initial response to this thread was based on the information the OP shared in his first post, and what I saw described was a person whos actions hadnt dictated anything to constitute his removal. If this person has personally threatened people (or taken other such deplorable actions) then that would indeed change things, but everyone should be judged solely based on their personal actions.

This is bullshit. Which Jigawatts would know if they weren’t such a stupid mother fucker.  Fucker’s trying to vaguely walk back their position. But only vaguely, enough to hope they don’t get jumped on anymore. Fucking chickenshit.

From shosai (joined same month as this post, 3 posts at this time)
I think you need to first determine if he actually harbors the toxic views that we're projecting onto him. Since he's open about his opinions, instead of speculating about how he feels about women and minorities in games, maybe just ask him? From his play sessions, it sounds like he's gotten along with female players fine, but you know him better than we do. Has he ever encouraged or aided in threats against other people? What about his facebook posts? If he just dislikes Anita Sarkeesian or twitter e-celebs its one thing, but if he's ever actually hurt people then he needs to go.

Read the thread. Including the VERY FIRST POST that establishes that the person in question does harbor these views. Fuckwit.

From Nahash (3 posts in 4 years)
I feel that this is very much a case of missing the nuance in the potential views of someone else, and believing that they are extreme in some fashion that they may not be. Not everything is black and white, not everything needs to be full of hate and opposition. People can hold moderate or even contradictory viewpoints. People who believe in different things can still be friends. That's my feeling.

Yeah, OP! How can you miss the nuance in supporting the terrorization of people because of them being women who dare to have opinions on things?!?!?!?

The rest of the person’s post is more apologist, tone-policing, tolerate intolerance bullshit.

And hey look! Coincidentally, with all these new and/or low-count posters showing up to defend the continued presence of the GG in the game, we find that this thread is linked to in one the main places on the internet where GGs like to socialize with each other. I am shocked and amazed at this development.

I hate half races (By Death; join May2016, first post) (note the the OP on the thread is also all in bold text)
I just want to say, half races are lame. How do you cross an elf that lives thousands of years with a human that lives 100 years? Or an orc with a human. Just because its DnD and there is magic dosent mean that science still doesn't exist. Genes and stuff. Different races have completely different genes & different creators.
Its kind of like mating a male lion with a female tiger, you have offspring, but it can't reproduce.

I just think the world should know how much I hate this half race bologna . I flip threw DnD Players guide, Human, Dwarf, half elf, half orc, half halphling, half gnome, gnome, Dragonborne. wtf.

o by the way hi I'm Death

That’s nice, now go fuck off and try to come up with an original thought, or at least a more original argument for your position. Also, you’re not Death, you’re a fucking sockpuppet, and I’ll put money on that.

Huh. 173 posts in the thread, and we have yet to hear back from the OP . . .

It's 2016. Can we please get rid of the girl gamer/PC stereotype? (By Lemue, one month on the forums)
When I started gaming and DMing, back in 1979 girl gamers were a rarity. I've absolutely no clue why, unless it may have been in that timey old time, boy gamers might have felt nervous inviting us girls into the game.

There isn't much more creepy than guys thinking that because you're a girl gamer you are a) single (often not true) b) looking for a date (often not true). No. We are girl gamers looking for a good game.

And then even creepier is guys who want to play girls who want to be ninja strippers. Ugh. But even that I can deal with if they focus on RP.

Meanwhile 30+ years have passed, and many of us have taught our DAUGHTERS to play these games.

Maybe a little respect, decency and less of the "I want to play uncle creepy" madness

Yeah, you know some people are working on that, but they’re outnumbered by the assholes. And here is the very first response:

By RogerBW (5 years on, all of 42 posts)
I've not witnessed the problems you describe. I think the male gamers I know have tended if anything to be slightly over-deferential to female gamers, on the basis that they probably have more social opportunities than we do and we'd like them to come back.

Oh. Well, fuck, go home, everyone! Roger hasn’t seen it, so it’s not a problem or a thing that happens.

Stupid mother fucker, that’s what RogerBW is.

By IanTheMoxious
I've only witnessed poor treatment of female gamers at one shop that is now closed. My personal group is usually 50 to 75% female. As somebody said above, I generally see female players treated with more respect than males.

Seriously, go home everyone. Ian agrees with Roger that there is no poor treatment of women in gaming, because the behavior at the one place (because Ian, though they don’t mention it, has been at every gaming table during every game ever), so clearly this is not an actual problem.

By Churchill
Not this thread again...

Someone call the cops! Someone’s got a gun to Churchill’s head and is making them read a thread that they don’t want to read about a subject they don’t want to read about!!

By DavetheLost
I guess I have been lucky.

Yes, you have, by being a male and therefore not really subject to the sexism that the OP is talking about, you stupid fuck.

Then the thread devolves into an argument about what does and doesn’t qualify as roleplaying, with a dose of VictorVonDoom talking about how the subject clearly isn’t a problem since he’s never seen it in his vast expanse of gaming experience. A position that he ends up tripling down on.

By DeathbyDoughnut
. . . I do find it unfair that threads like this pop up again, and again and again all over the internet, preaching about breaking stereotypes against women while simultaneously reinforcing stereotypes against men.

Right on! How dare the people subjected to this behavior in far, far greater numbers and an even greater percentage or players not talk about the menz with equal time?

By Michael K (one year, 73 posts)
I feel uncomfortable continuing this discussion because I feel that I cannot say where the boundaries of in-thread behavior exist. As a final word, I would not deny the experiences of female posters.

Except that you’ve been doing that. That’s why you feel you can’t continue within the rules the mod just reminded everyone about.

By Got no guts (one month, 83 posts)
With the fear I will suddenly for some reason be cut off by red text for some reason:

If you think that’s going to happen, that means you know you’re about to post some bullshit and are grabbing at pre-victim status.

As a just post adolescent guy I guess I can answer to that question on behalf of some of them;
A) No, we/they don't believe that you are single. or B) looking for a date.
It does mean that (In the opinion of an awkward gamer) You are pretty smart. And probably nerdy. And that you have atleast something in common with the really socialy awkward adolescent gamer. And whats the harm in asking if you are single, right?

Because they’re there to play a fucking game and not get hit on by dipshits like you?

By Nibbler
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I think the social awkwardness in RPGs comes from both sides.

If a girl shows up to a con, just like if a guy does, a good chance exists that she's gonna be socially awkward and not have a good understanding of social cues.

In fact, anecdotally, when I think back on this MOST of the girls at cons are pretty weird... along, of course, with most of the guys.

So this creates a ton of misfired social situations on either side.

I think, really, both parties in these situations are often 'Strangers in a Strange Land'... guys, sitting at a con table with the rare girl (in my neck of the woods, it's still roughly 3/1 ratio, and back in the 80s it was more 10/1)... and girls, sitting at a con table with a bunch of guys.

We're all pretty nerdy folks.

No, we’re not all pretty fucking nerdy, dipshit. And hey, anecdotally, you can’t speak to MOST of the girls at cons because you haven’t interacted with anything approaching a significant percentage of them.

Then there’s a significant derail about sea-lioning and the comic it comes from (look it up).  Also, by the time VictorVonDoom picks up the thread ban, you get the impression that he’s a GG apologist and sexism denier, but is relatively good about staying just inside the rules.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe next time there will be better questions and fewer shit stains.