Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 10:05 on 16-05-2012, Furare
Wow, did they change the definition of "victimise" while I wasn't looking or something? o_O

And I love the analogy. I would love to make a guild called "Feminazis", but I think my friends would refuse to join and the GMs would probably change the name almost instantly anyway.
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at 08:33 on 16-05-2012, Arthur B
I actually think the difficulty setting analogy works really well because it's a good counter to "duh bluh I'm a straight white male but I'm poor as dirt/life has obviously screwed me over in this, that and the other way and my so-called privilege has been no help at all/I live in my parents' basement playing videogames and send out occasional job applications which are rejected because I refuse to wear a tie to interviews and scowl at the interviewer" thanks to the whole "you can still lose on the low difficulty mode due to misfortune/PVP malice/just plain not playing as well as others" angle.

Even MRA/foreveralone Redditors should be able to grasp that one. It's speaking their language. Though I suspect they'd blame the Feminazi Guild for all their woes.
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at 05:43 on 16-05-2012, Fin
why do i always make the mistake of reading the comments?

i agreed with ian ironwoods point about “straight white males” getting the same random start in life and it just turning up in the better end of the scale, i dont see why we should be victimized for taking advantage of a good deal, lets face it most people regardless of their “difficulty setting” would jump at a fast track or free bonuses, the game is the way its is and we all just play the best we can, some with better odds

victimised. ಠ_ಠ
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at 05:23 on 16-05-2012, Michal
801 comments already? And it was posted today?
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at 05:00 on 16-05-2012, Frank
If Straight White Male were a difficulty play level for a video game, it would be Casual/Easy. Some kinks in it, like who designed the game, but a fun entry into thinking of privilege for the novice.
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at 22:28 on 15-05-2012, Michal
Michal -- oh, that DOES sound hilarious. Author? Title?

Unfortunately, I don't remember the title or author. I was thinking of buying it just for the lulz but there were something like seven typographical errors on the first page and I just couldn't do it. The cover art was terrifically bad, though.

I'm sure it'll still be there the next time I visit Well Read Books, I'll note it down then.
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at 21:58 on 15-05-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
This is old, and it is horrible on so many levels, but it made me laugh.
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at 21:46 on 15-05-2012, Adrienne
Michal -- oh, that DOES sound hilarious. Author? Title?
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at 21:43 on 15-05-2012, Shimmin
Robinson: does it work by analyzing lyrics or melody?

Well, the source of my frustration was "Children" by Robert Miles, which has a fairly nondescript one-word title, a fairly obscure composer with a nondescript name, and is entirely instrumental. At this point you might see why I was flummoxed. So I can safely say that it handles melody, whether it cares about lyrics I dunno. I'm at least a competent singer so how good it is I can't say.

Going off on a brief tangent: it's entirely possible it analyses the lyrics, since I know spectrographic phonetic analysis can pull apart speech into component sounds, so you could match for phonetic patterns. On the other hand I suspect interpersonal deviation might make this really ineffective, especially as they're going for a global audience. GW Bush vs. QE2 vs. Angela Merkel singing "Penny Lane" will sound pretty different, and none of them will sound like the Beatles. So harmonic patterns are more likely to work, even if people sing at different pitches. But I'm really not an expert.
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at 20:36 on 15-05-2012, Robinson L
Shimmin: Midomi which lets you sing into a mike and compares it to crowdsourced renditions. To my surprise it actually worked

Interesting. I don't really use my mic - probably just as well - but for curiosity's sake, does it work by analyzing lyrics or melody? Because I can remember several occasions where I've been trying to recall a song, and only gotten memorable orchestral flourishes. On the other hand, I couldn't carry a tune in a barrel of wet cement, so trying to recognize a melody from my vocalizations is likely to be a losing prospect.

Michal: A science fiction novel about evil environmentalists who have taken over the world and our oil-guzzling heroes must rise against them.

That sounds hilarious.
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at 18:30 on 15-05-2012, Michal
Oh man, I saw the worst self-published book at the used bookstore yesterday (I have the feeling that the author himself might've dropped it off). A science fiction novel about evil environmentalists who have taken over the world and our oil-guzzling heroes must rise against them. I'm still chuckling at the idea that ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD. Somehow.
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at 07:20 on 15-05-2012, Adrienne
Apropos of nothing at all, i hate my industry sometimes: https://adventuresandjapes.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dell-and-sexism/
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at 02:35 on 15-05-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Ooookay, new rule for any future playthroughs of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat:

Only venture outside between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
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at 01:38 on 15-05-2012, James D
Right now, I'm thinking it's gonna turn out that the monster is a bloodsucker and it tears all their faces off. Either that or a controller.

I'm hoping for a chimera.
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at 01:06 on 15-05-2012, Frank
Maybe the Paranomal Acitivity guy is updating the Baba Yaga tale.
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at 00:55 on 15-05-2012, Frank
I've only read Fun Home. It portrays lesbians decently, obvs; but it seemed that gay men (two maybe?) were less decent. But that read was five years ago so perhaps I'm misremembering or putting my own baggage into it. Anyway, it's a typical grahpic memoir --or is it memoir graphic novel--of the 4 or 5 I've read published in the 2000s. Your mileage may vary.
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at 00:38 on 15-05-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
The guy who came up with Paranormal Activity has done a little sightseeing in East-Eastern Europe.

Right now, I'm thinking it's gonna turn out that the monster is a bloodsucker and it tears all their faces off. Either that or a controller. (Mind you, given how the movie's is set right in the middle of Pripyat proper, there's also a pretty good chance they're going to get kicked to death by angry snorks while about thirty Monolith snipers point and laugh.)

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you are terrible.
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at 22:08 on 14-05-2012, Ibmiller
Just out of curiosity, has anyone here read Alison Bechdel's Fun Home or Are You My Mother?
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at 17:13 on 14-05-2012, James D
Nah, I'm sure we'll get something else, unless he keels over first. Wasn't there a part about how in order to lift Latro's curse, he'd need to get the original god who cursed him to do it? I'd imagine that would involve some sort of explanation, cryptic though it will undoubtedly be.
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at 14:28 on 14-05-2012, Arthur B
Since it is Gene Wolfe it is very possible "battle on temple stairs" is all the clue we get. :)
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at 13:36 on 14-05-2012, James D
It's been years for me too. I remember it was during a battle on some temple stairs, so that seems reasonable, but it's Gene Wolfe so who knows?
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at 08:27 on 14-05-2012, Arthur B
As to how they're portrayed in modern fiction, Gene Wolfe's Soldier of Sidon series features both pantheons, and while the Egyptian gods are definitely more standoffish, neither really comes off as the bigger assholes. It was the Greek gods that punished Latro with the recurring memory loss, but then we don't really know what he did to deserve it yet (Gene Wolfe better not die before he finishes the series...).

It's been a while since I read the books but isn't it heavily implied it's something to do with him desecrating a temple during a battle?
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at 04:46 on 14-05-2012, James D
I don't know about assholish, but as to the being more standoffish at least, isn't that how the Egyptian gods were portrayed in the myths themselves? The Greek gods were lustful and interacted with people on a personal level all the time in the myths, whereas most of the Egyptian myths I remember were mostly about gods interacting with other gods. I'd say the Greek gods were overall bigger assholes, though, given that they had a tendency to mete out absurd punishments to people for one-upping them (or even trying to one-up them) all the time. The Egyptian gods seemed to operate on a larger scale, with less concern for individuals.

As to how they're portrayed in modern fiction, Gene Wolfe's Soldier of Sidon series features both pantheons, and while the Egyptian gods are definitely more standoffish, neither really comes off as the bigger assholes. It was the Greek gods that punished Latro with the recurring memory loss, but then we don't really know what he did to deserve it yet (Gene Wolfe better not die before he finishes the series...).

So, to answer your question, the modern fiction I've read that deals with Greek and Egyptian gods bears up some of your observations, but not all.
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at 03:55 on 14-05-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Started reading some Roger Zelazny and a question arose: Is it just me, or is the Egyptian pantheon generally portrayed in modern fiction as more standoffish, indifferently cruel, and overall more assholish than the classical Greek pantheon?
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