Sunday, December 22, 2019

Today’s the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of winter, it’s been pouring down rain all day, and for the fourth day hand running I don’t really have anything in particular to write about. Because it’s raining, Otis can’t go outside and has already spent all day napping, so he’s pouting, too.

And since I’ve been playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker all day, I really don’t have anything interesting on my mind. I mean, I could talk about the game or my history (or lack thereof) with tabletop role-playing games or even how I got into computer RPGs, I suppose. I really don’t care to, though. It’s a fun game and I highly recommend it if you’re into stuff like Baldur’s Gate or Pillars of Eternity.

I don’t know how it works, but I had breakthrough with the game. So now I’m speeding through the second half and in case I have noted this yet, it’s a pretty good game. Extremely involved and layered, it’s one of the best paced CRPGs I’ve every played. Many sword-&-fantasy type games let the player get sidetracked with too much too do and too many sidequests. One forgets what one is supposed to be doing. Take The Witcher 3 or Skyrim; there is just so much to do, either with off-the-path quests in the former or all the toys to play with in the latter, the grand goal gets lost in the noise.

Doesn’t mean they’re not fun, mind, but I do like a nice, tight story. One of the things that keeps you on your toes in Pathfinder is it has regular events the player has to keep in mind while running their kingdom or they’ll get wiped out. I know a lot of players really don’t like it – and I’m pretty sure there’s a way to cut it out or let the computer handle it – but I dig it. If you’re going to have kingdom resource management going on, make it be a pain in the ass. Dungeon crawling’s the fun part of running a kingdom, everyone knows that.

I’ve put in a mess of hours into it, but that’s more getting used to the game’s system (class, race, leveling up, building a character, etc.). Plus, the dad-blamed DLC was leaked out like video games do today, meaning you wind up having to pay twice for the damn game. I’ve had to start over a couple, three times because adding DLC to the game monkeys things up, I find. I may do that with Pillars of Eternity II, especially since its DLCs are more involved in the overall plot than Pathfinder’s.

Anyhow, I’ve been digging back into my Tom Wolfe today, as well, particularly the essays that make his 1970 book Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers. I’ve become frustrated with Twitter socialists/communists/leftists over the past week, especially ones for whom things like “identity politics” are little more than “distractions”. Far too many of them you know are going full-on bourgoisie once they leave college or knock someone up/get knocked up. For now, they’re just playing and over the past two decades, I’ve grown tired of them. It wouldn’t do to name names, but if one’s spent any time on Left Twitter one gets a mouthful of podcasts and YouTube vlogs, most of which aren’t worth paying attention to. Granted, most of Twitter isn’t worth paying attention to, sure, but here we are.

The only real News of note today is first-term Alabama Senator Doug Jones is making noises about voting for Trump when impeachment hits the Senate, saying it all depends on how the “dots are connected”. You’ll remember Jones won the seat vacated by then-Attorney General Jeff “Evil Gnome” Sessions, beating out Dominionist authoritarian racist judge Roy Moore partly because black women turned out for him and partly because everyone found our Moore was a predator of teenage girls.

Even then, Jones barely squeaked out a win. He’s been a fairly conservative senator, which surprises no one, and he’s facing re-election against, humorously enough, Session. After disappointed Trump by not toadying quite hard enough, Sessions was booted out of the AG job and is trying to get his old seat back. Right now, polls are saying he’s got a handy lead over Jones, but if Jones thinks throwing in with Trump will keep him in office, he’s drinking some bad buttermilk.

For one, the base of the Democratic Party is black women and bending a knee to Trump is the surest way to piss off that constituency. Only three percent of black women voted for Trump, and despite what Candace Owens wants to think, his numbers haven’t budged much.

In any event, the Trump Administration is whistling past the graveyard, pretending a unique take on the wording in the Constitution means he’s not actually impeached until it goes to the Senate. A distinction without a difference, if there even is one. The base naturally swallowed it like a second-hand Valium, making it more of that subtle threatening Trump and the GOP do to Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats. The “second civil war” they promised if impeachment didn’t come, so I doubt Pelosi’s going to blink due to such cheap-jack tactics.

Okay, that’s plenty. We’re heading into Christmas week, so there’s no telling if anything interesting will happen tomorrow. Nevertheless, we’ll be right here, so do swing by.

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