Story Setting – What’s Important

“Setting” covers a large field of elements—not just the place and time but all the extensions of those things. A story taking place in Ancient Rome is not merely a story in a city in Italy in the first century. There is the architecture (which looked different when it was new compared to the ruins we see today). There is the dress, but that is more than the costume that covers the body of an actor. The toga had social significance to the people in Ancient Rome beyond its aesthetic appearance and specific functions, and at certain points in time,…

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The Essential Elements of a Story

Stories of all lengths, formats, and in all types of media have three core areas that make them up: Setting Characters Plot The setting is the place and time in which a story takes place. It can be explained explicitly, or it can be inferred by context, but all stories take place in a where and a when. Even a fantastical story about a man trapped in oblivion has a place and a time. The characters are the sapient or sentient beings (to be very broad) that act out the story. Most often, characters are people, but they could be…

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A Propagandized View of Debt and Forgiveness

Certain issues have been so heavily subject to political messaging that normally rational individuals will be unable to hear arguments outside the frame established by propaganda. Debt is one of these, and for some, the messaging surrounding the concept runs so deep that they will, during the context of the topic, forget the normal meaning of words. “Student debt forgiveness,” as the name should imply, involves the forgiveness of debt. And yet, church-going Americans who have a firm grasp of the forgiveness offered by God through Christ, suddenly forget its meaning entirely any time you mention student loans. They immediately…

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Gun Violence: Illness and Incompetency

There have been three mass shootings recently – one each in New York, California, and Texas – and the familiar swirling, impotent talking points of the left regarding “gun control” are once again being parroted by all the talking heads, the gist being that these things wouldn’t happen if only we could get rid of the guns. This is neither feasible nor desirable, and the causes are different than the left would have you believe, but before I explain that, let me turn aside to point out a few things. First, two of the recent shootings will be memory-holed because…

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Silent Scream

For those reading in the future, there is a good chance that Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court of the United States decision recognizing abortion as a constitutional right, will be overturned by the same court populated by different people. An opinion draft was “leaked” by someone within the court, and now crowds are gathering around the houses of justices, attempting to intimidate them into changing their minds. This is the biggest domestic political event in my memory – bigger than Obamacare, bigger than Clinton’s impeachment, bigger than Donald Trump’s election. In fact, God may have placed Donald Trump in…

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Pit Bulls

Ah, pit bulls, the dog breed most associated with the unexpected act of mauling children to death. Statistically, it’s true. “Pitbull” as a breed range has the most attacks, injuries, and deaths associated with it. But for all the data and anecdotes, there is no shortage of people willing to defend the breed, attempting to rehabilitate its reputation with their own anecdotes, poor attempts at probability and statistics, attempts to justify and explain behaviors, and of course, cute dog pictures. Yes, there are other dog breeds that harm people. Yes, how one raises and treats a dog has an impact…

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The Best Time to Collect Gaming Hardware (and software)

I just bought a PS VR in 2022. I paid under 100 dollars for it, and it came with 2 move controllers. It was, in fact, the same package Sony still sells on their website for 350 dollars. It was a deal, I have to say, because it’s a great piece of tech and the exclusives for it are unique and fun, and though it was a used piece of equipment, it was barely touched. I like to collect unique tech, especially gaming tech when I can, and timing can make that a whole lot easier when it comes to…

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American Radical Religion: revolution as revivalism

The last year or two I have been doing research into the many Christian and Pseudo-Christian religions that have arisen in the United States, particularly those that had their birth in the first part of the 19th century—the so-called “Great Awakening.” This includes the ancestors of the modern-day Mormon churches, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, along with the many variants of Charismatic and Pentecostal Protestant Christianity. I’ve noticed a few patterns, though these are not universal, nor has my study been exhaustive. Generally, I see a sequence that goes something like this: A charismatic leader preaches novel heresy as a…

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Shadow Warrior 3: Modern games, epitomized

Shadow Warrior 3 is a game that epitomizes everything, both good and bad, about modern games. It’s a beautiful-looking game, full of color and a complex Asian-inspired aesthetic, and it runs extremely well for all its fidelity, maintaining a smooth 60fps on the PS5 during all but the most chaotic, explosive moments. The gameplay is simple and repetitive but plenty of fun, consisting of platforming sections in between arena-like areas where the player must slay hordes of demons using a vast variety of weapons, abilities, and environmental hazards. It’s a far cry from the 3D-Realms Shadow Warrior of the 90s,…

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I’m Writing This on the Steam Deck

Yes, I managed to get one. I pre-ordered it the first few minutes it was available and still didn’t get one until a few weeks after “launch.” That’s the world we live in right now – computer hardware is hard to get for gaming applications. I wonder if things will ever loosen up (perhaps after a few more bitcoin crashes?), or if the memory of going down to best buy and picking up a console when you decided for yourself to get one will be another one of those memories, like being able to show up to the airport a…

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