Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

The Cult of Unending Poems

The German word for poetry is Poesie. It's one of the least .. "german" sounding words I've heard in the language. As I was leaving the shower this morning, I parsed my face in a different way, seeing for a moment how the bone structure resembles one of my sisters -- I don't often spot the resemblance and it's usually a bit weird when I do.

Last night was another DnD night - it was mostly mopping up after some nastiness that almost killed the party at the previous session, combined with a heavier introduction of two themes I'm experimenting with in this campaign. The second theme, political intrigue, is going to be difficult to get a good balance - DnD is much like a cross between storytelling and being a simulator, and my earlier campaigns (many years ago) were more drawn from the flash and substance of standard faire lousy fantasy books (these things became amusingly circular when TSR started to publish endless streams of awful-but-somehow-entertaining Dragonlance and other novels). I'm not the same person I was back then, but neither is this small group the same as me in interests. Making something that has substance for me as well as them is an interesting challenge. I probably don't need to worry too much though - the more life people give to their characters, the less they need the story to be interesting - being a good DM in such cases, I think, just requires a bare minimum of being decent as a simulator (although having ideas about story never hurt). I do wish we had 1-3 additional players, it's just difficult to go hunting for people. Readers: if you're in town and possibly interested, drop me a note.

As much as I'd prefer they dry up, I find the struggle of Hamas for some kind of political legitimacy to be very interesting. Both Hamas and Fatah are in a very ugly position right now, Hamas because international support is rallying around Fatah, that their neighbours are not happy about their seizure of Gaza, and because they lost democratic representation in the PA, and Fatah because it dismantled its democratic ends and is seeing its secular societal base disintegrate. I wonder whether its theocratic ends or unwillingness to take steps towards peace with Israel are a bigger put-off for international acceptance -- I suspect the theocratic ends are a bigger barrier for the Middle East (as it's part of a general populism that might topple almost every Middle Eastern government, as dangerous to the states of Saudi Arabia and Egypt as it is to Israel) than to Europe/America (which has an interest in protecting Israel for a number of reasons, from cultural similarity and theological reasons to advancing liberal progess or business interests). As an aside, I wonder if it would be a nice, neat solution for Israel to "give" Gaza "back" to Egypt. It might've been neater yet to have done so at the start of disengagement - Egypt has both the force and the will to handle theocratic forces appropriately, and Hamas may have been eliminated (one hopes - perhaps they would've folded back into the Muslim Brotherhood) in the region.

I thought this post regarding Second Life and Google Earth was interesting.


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