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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Conceptual Inertia

Inertia: objects in motion will stay in motion; objects at rest will stay at rest. I don’t blame my parents for sending me to public school, and I don’t blame the baby boomer generation for abandoning their children to the system. They assumed that the institutions and culture that they experienced remained intact and unaltered; there was never an assumption that in the years between 1970 and 1980 education in America would be totally converged into politicized indoctrination camps. There was never an assumption that universities would become value sucks whose certifications gave no economic security. Of course, you have…

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Odd changes in writing methods

One of the things I started doing at some point was writing my books in the same format as the paperback, that is, on a 6×9 or 8×5 page (depending on the projected length of the book) with the appropriate margins and fonts. I’m not sure when I started doing this, but I think I started a year or two ago. Before that I always wrote in a more standard manuscript format: 8.5×11″ with 12 point Times New Roman font, single-spaced, with half-inch indents. I liked this form factor for a long time because it put a lot of words…

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A Propagandized View of War

A viewer asked me about Starship Troopers on Saturday’s stream. I’ve done several videos on the book and movie, and written at least one article about it, but it keeps coming up. That’s probably the power of Heinlein’s ideas, but again, I want to push back a bit. Before that, let me sum up: Starship Troopers (the book) is known for its ideas. There’s not much story there, and I don’t care for it as a result. It’s not a great story by Heinlein. Lots of the ideas are in pop culture, primarily “power armor” and the “bug hunt.” But…

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Games that Inspire – The Legend of Zelda

Usually, when an author discusses influence (or is asked about it), his focus is on books, not other forms of media. Perhaps there is some in-built prejudice against taking inspiration from other forms of media besides the mighty novel (although no writer ever seems to decry being inspired by Shakespeare). Maybe movies are too low-brow (certainly if you mention Star Wars); if so, games are positively Neanderthalic. Call me Ugg-ugg. There are many games that have inspired me as a writer, though not always for the writing that was within them. Games, since they utilize sound, music, visuals, words, and…

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A Kind of Lenten Fast

The holy season of Lent is upon us, and as part of the tradition, people will give up specific pleasures for the duration of the period of fasting. I know many people who view this as an opportunity to reduce vice, and certainly, that is a good thing to do (and not just during Lent), but I think approaching fasts from such a perspective defeats the point a little bit. The point of penitence (as I see it) is not to improve oneself by removing vice, but to bring oneself closer to God by removing ease and pleasure – to…

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It’s okay to be alone

I’m not sure who needs to hear this (going live AFTER Valentine’s day), but it’s perfectly alright to be alone. I tend to promote family and I push back against those that say someone should NOT have a family. Anti-natalism is a Death Cult philosophy. Children are a tremendous blessing, and so is marriage, despite how both are often portrayed in popular media. However, these are not things that everyone needs to have to be complete, nor (more importantly) are they things for which everyone is destined. Being single can be a tremendous blessing as well, but either of these…

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The Modern “Pagan”

I put out a little thread the other day (actually 2, since I wanted to elaborate on Paganism). In one go: Mass hypnosis is a fun concept, but I think disordered religious sentiment makes more sense. Remember pagans never called themselves anything; so the followers of the Death Cult, State Cult, and Scientism only have those labels because we have found them useful. 1000+ years of domination in the west by Christianity and Islam has made people forget that religion doesn’t usually resemble these faiths, especially when it comes to self-identification. Milius was right when Conan asks, “What gods do…

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