Invoking Mammon to Spite Moloch

“Get woke, go broke.” It’s pure cope. But more than that, it’s evoking a vice (greed) as some counter, or some consequence, to the ideological propagation of the greater death cult. You need to take your arguments to a higher level, specifically the spiritual and moral level, because the “woke cult” is ultimately a moral vision, and to defeat a moral vision, you need a superior moral vision. As a practical matter, virtually no individual suffers any kind of consequence, especially financial, for participating in woke ideology. In fact, they receive benefits from it, usually financial, even when their ideological…

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High School, Forever

Seems a little odd that brands (D&D and MTG) built on escapist fantasy would circle back around high school, doesn’t it? When I look up on Twitter the people who create such things, one of the thoughts that doesn’t pop into my mind is, “This looks like a person who was happy and socially successful in high school.” Besides the nerd brands, we have a vast swath of similar Harry Potter fans who are in their 30s, yet still write fan fiction about a wizard high school. What I’ve realized from interacting with these sections of millennial fandom is that…

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“If you don’t push, you’re lazy.”

Around 15 years ago, I sat in on a little talk with Apostolos Paraskevas, a Greek composer and guitarist (among other things) working at Berklee College of Music (in Boston). I got to spend a couple of days hanging out with the guy, but the best thing he said came in that little informal talk with some composition students. One of the college students asked, “How do you compose music?” Apostolos got this odd look on his face, then he smiled slightly and said, “Asking a man how he composes music is like asking a woman how she gives birth.”…

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“Acceptance” and the Death Cult

Fat acceptance. Tattoo acceptance. Queer/trans/gay/poly/etc. acceptance. These things are actually tools of the death cult. Remember that the death cult doesn’t just want you dead, it wants your culture, your people, and your religion dead. It often offers nominal life to you as an individual in return. Acceptance movements in general operate along three common layers to the death cult: A seeming appeal to the good A usually tacit appeal to the self A result that furthers the goals of the death cult (see above) Let’s take “Fat Acceptance” as an example. We should accept fat people. It’s what’s inside…

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Auto-Allegory, or how Starfire is a Terrible Mother

I don’t like to give publicity to garbage like this, but it’s such an instructive moment for writing and understanding people I can’t help myself: Basically, this is about DC superhero Starfire’s daughter (Raven, I think), who is an angsty 90s-2000s goth girl who is also obese and a lesbian, and of course resents her beautiful mother. The surface level complain is obvious – this is bad fan fiction and denigrates established characters, pushes a gratuitous woke agenda at the expense of a good story, and is generally low-quality writing and art. Add to that the fact that it will…

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Adaptations

It’s not hard, or at least, it shouldn’t be when you have 100 million + dollars to fling around. So why so much failure? Because “Hollywood,” as the collection of producers etc. that run the business, doesn’t care a lick about the stories that they adapt. They adapt things like books and movies for two reasons: There is already a built-in fanbase (in other words, some guarantee on a return on investment). The key elements of the story have already been filtered in the free market to have wide appeal. In other words, the book was already successful, so a…

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The Millennial Obsession with Harry Potter

It’s a curious case – Millenials, particularly in the “literary” and “writing” (I use those terms as ironically as possible) community are constantly referencing Harry Potter, particularly when it comes to some of the basic parts of the moral play, such as Lord Voldemort, who represents whatever current-year evil they happen to be personally obsessed with (usually just orange man bad). Why? Why so much obsession with a children’s book series, to the point where people put their Hogwarts house in their twitter bio? Yes, you are so Gryffindor, Miss Keyboard Warrior! Here’s my basic explanation: Mythological vacuum Social reinforcement…

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ICONOCLASM

I recently talked about iconoclasm in Magic the Gathering, and while that is topical, it is just part of the greater iconoclasm of our day. Expect all images of white males, even Christ, to be under attack from now on: Let me be clear that I am using this term broadly – statues and art are not necessarily “icons” that must be purged for religious reasons. The removal of images inherited from the past does represent a similar motive in that is, in a sense, religious, but it is done for different reasons. Icons in the church have been removed…

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Contemporary Christian Music

I had some recent discussions with some fellow authors, and the subject of “Contemporary Christian Music” (CCM) came up. It’s a kind of music that I am intimately familiar with, having grown up in a protestant church that, like most evangelical churches of middle America in the 1990s, foisted upon both young and old the idea of “modern” worship music as an alternative to “secular” music. This took different forms depending on the target demographic – for the general congregation, it was bland rock music driven by acoustic guitars that featured “Jesus is my Boyfriend” lyrics repeated dozens of times.…

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The Book is Better

How many times have you seen a movie and though, “Man, the book was so much better,” or had a friend who read the book say the same to you? I can definitely say that the cases where the movie is better than the book are far outweighed by the reverse – probably in the range of 20:1. In fact, the only writer whose work seems to function better on screen than on paper is Stephen King, and even then there are plenty of books in his exceptionally large canon that are much better than their cinema counterpart (anyone remember…

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