Friday, October 1, 2010

Arm Chair Psychologists

My favorite part about the Gorums.

Someone writes something about a topic. Maybe the opinion is controversial, maybe it's not. The funny thing about the Gorums is that people have to read into the statement and infer something about the psychological state of the speaker, instead of taking the comments at face value.

So if someone writes something about the profound joy in slavery, they must be psychologically deluded that comes from some deep traumatic incident in their former love life. Or if someone wants to write about the thrill of dominating a woman, the people must respond that such a sensation only occurs because of some deep seated mommy issues that manifest themselves into gruesome rape fantasies.

It's so utterly bizarre. For instance, I posted two parody pieces on the Gorums- and the automatic reaction is to parse and dissect the meanings behind the parody pieces: what was my motivation for writing them and what am I trying to critique about the larger community? People can't just accept funny things at face value. No, no- they have to dissect and infer all this crap that might or might not be there.

The funny thing, to me anyway, is how terrible they are in the psychological analysis though. Most psychological analysis requires an analytical approach: define the action, attribute to its source, determine what the motivation behind that action is, decide whether the outcome of that action is good or not, connect the outcome of the action with its motivation, and finally explore numerous solutions that provide the best motivation with the best outcome. But it's important to note that each step is seperate from the one previous. You must first define the action and THEN decide whether it's good or bad. You cannot define an action as good or bad. notice a person is binge eating a lot. That is the action. It is neither good nor bad. Binge eating can be a good thing for someone who is on the verge of starvation and desperately needs calories. Binge eating is a bad thing when a normally healthy person uses it as a device to eventually purge and lose weight. This is why action and motivation are diagnosed as two separate actions. The context changes the meaning.

However, on the Gorums, the prudent diagnosis is to define the action with its motivation: "people that are femlaws are retarded monkeys who have never read a book and ruin Gor." Essentially, being an armchair psychologist on the Gorums means to assume a million and ten things about the statement being analyzed (of which, none are true) and then to slap a meaningless label on the assumptions in order to validate their criticism. To wit, the label femlaw is created as a means to insult people who choose a different play style than others.

It's one thing to be an armchair psychologist and try to break down a series of decisions into its component parts and then analyze the decisionmaking. It's quite another thing to mash all the parts together and slap a label on the whole process. The former is a method that leads towards understanding. The second is just childish and gossip mongering.

I think this is why a lot of people on the Gorums are fundamentally unhappy when they roleplay (well, they either say or imply that they are- it's equally as plausible they're lying just to gain sympathy). They have accumulated this base of knowledge thanks to the groupthink mentality that is perpetrated on the boards (i.e., the more knowledge you acquire, the better rper you become- which isn't true, but it's the myth they like to believe). And then when they try to apply that groupthink into their roleplay lives, they are surprised to discover that no one thinks like them. It's the equivalent of the D&D dorks in elementary school deciding amongst themselves what it means to be cool (creating a high level character, naturally) and then being surprised when they get beat up constantly for showing off their "coolness."

Of course, on the Gorums, it's common knowledge that THEY'RE the cool kids and everyone else is a retard. And you can't dissuade them otherwise because they have a PhD in arm chair psychology at Gorums Grad School.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Diary of a RL Gorean

Another thing I did a while ago...

* * *

A day in the life of a RL Gorean, on this 8th day of the 12th month of the Uurth Calendar 2007.

I woke this morning and grumpily slid off my comfortable warm bearskin fur. Only a few days before, I was informed that my new slave, formerly named Thena Claxton now known as Vella (as I adhere to the strict Gorean ways, I am only allowed to use names contained within the books and cannot think for myself), recently was expelled from the kajirae training academy I sent her to in the Southern lands. Disappointed, I had mulled my options for the past few days as I arranged her transport back to my authentically Gorean home. As I dined on my breakfast of stale Wonderbread (the closest Uurth equivalent I could find to sa-tarna grain) and Tang (which I surmise would how larma juice would taste like), I decided that I would give my Vella the option of free companionship or death.

After a few ahn, I heard a timid knock on my very Gorean oak door. I opened it up, and saw my disgraced kajira, her silks all frumpled- looking quite despondent.
I commanded her, "my Vella- you have two choices: become my Free Companion...or die." Inexplicably, she looked at me and asked in a mournful voice, "Master, this one chooses to take the physical challenge." I sighed to myself and chose for her as I am RL Gorean and godmod everything in my life, "you are my Free Companion now. It is done, you have your name back Thena Claxton Dovgal. Look, you're even wearing proper FW Gorean clothing now." Such is my command of Gor and its ways- it was true. She was wearing an elegant FW dress.

I desired to travel so I instructed my FC to prepare on a journey. Walking by foot can be tiresome, so Thena and I made our way to the Wagon People of Mazda. I had heard many great things about these people and their commitment to the Gorean ways. I approached one of the Wagon people but did not know his name. Luckily, I am RL Gorean and thus only interact by reading tags- his name tag identified him as Jim. I talked with Jim for a little while, before we agreed on a sale of one of his wagons, made by a Master Builder named Station. I asked Jim if Master Builder Station operated his shop outside of Thentis or Port Kar. Jim told me that my wagon was not built in Japan, but in the land of Ohio. Though I had never heard of such a place, I could only assume it was located somewhere within the Plains of Turia. My FC and I climbed inside our Station Wagon. I did not know how to operate, but Lady Thena indicated she learned to operate one at the academy. Though I am Gorean in all ways, I reluctantly allowed her to operate the wagon.

Within moments, Lady Thena had navigated our way through the perlious streets of RL Gor and we found ourselves passing a place with an identification sign "K-Mart." Being RL Gorean, I clapped my hands an commanded my FC, "Halt, my intended. There is the marketplace of Port Kar and I wish to rest and drink!" Lady Thena looked at me as if I had just farted (the smelly kind), and nodded slowly, "yes, my Lord. Right away." Within seconds, I alighted from our Wagon of the Station and wrote a note on a piece of parchment I brought, intending to send it to my dear friend Tarl, Ambassador of Port Kar. I looked around for a messenger bird as there are always several hundred randomly flying around the skies, waiting to be plucked from the air- yet I found none. I frowned and whistled for my tarn, sure that it would hear me and send my message...yet after waiting for many ehn, my tarn did not come. I looked up into the sky and thought perhaps the Priest Kings were punishing me for purchasing such a fine wagon and decided to enter the city unannounced, Lady Thena in tow.

As we found the entrance, I growled at Lady Thena, "greet, my intended or I shall place you back in my collar. My FC should have proper manners." Lady Thena nodded quickly and began to greet the mass of people one at a time with a "Tal Sir" here and a "Tal Lady" there. Here a "Tal Sir," there a "Tal Sir," everywhere a "Tal Lady." Needless to say, within 45 seconds, Lady Thena lost the faculties of her voice and was no longer able speak. I frowned at her as I am RL Gorean, commenting, "what did they teach you at Academy? You have displeased me, my intended." I pulled her by the shoulder and led her inside the magical gates of what could only be the market of Port Kar- what else could K-Mart stand for?

As we entered, a lady with a curious red frock waved at us and cheerfully announced, "Greetings travelers!" I looked at her with some disdain before responding, "Tal..." I looked at her tag, "...tal Carla. What is your purpose here in Port Kar?" Carla looked at me with some surprise- perhaps she had never seen a true Gorean male and instinctively knew her place was at my feet- and answered, "oh hun, I'm the K-Mart greeter!" I nodded and held out my hand, "then pass me the laws of your realm, Lady. I desire to act according to the laws as written by your Ubar." Carla looked at me astonished- I mused to myself perhaps the Ubar had fallen in combat- and asked me, "oh, do you want Customer Service to get warranty information?" I began getting angry- a woman talking back to a RL Gorean??!!! I reached into my pockets and withdrew a collar, snarling at her, "unless you wish to be locked in my steel, I wish an audience with your Ubar...NOW!" Carla stared at me dumbfounded- I knew by the way she looked (because I was RL Gorean), that she viewed the collar with longing. She turned to another lady in a red frock and asked her, "Hey, Chantelle darlin'- do you know if there's an Ubar working down in jewelry or customer service? I think this guy wants to return that bracelet." Chantelle looked at the collar in my hand and remarked, "DAAAAMNN son. That's one crunk-ass lookin' bracelet. Yo lady must've dun sumthin' off da hook to get dat! But nah, Omar be working down in Electronics today." Carla nodded in understanding and relayed the information to me, "oh I'm sorry hun, but Omar's not working in Customer Service. But Chantelle here could probably help you out." I scoffed at her, "a woman holding council with me, a RL Gorean?!! I once thought Port Kar was a glorious Gorean city, but spare me your Disney ways, foul wench." Carla shook her head and exclaimed, "OH! Disney toys are Aisle 8 in the back, sweetheart. Have a fine day shopping at K-Mart!"

I grumbled to myself and grabbed my voiceless FC and headed to the nearby tavern of this once-great city of Port Kar, though it was called a name I did not feel was Gorean- McDonalds? "Come, Lady Thena- I shall get a drink here." I stood at the entrance of this tavern and waited for a tavern slut to approach me and offer me service. Seeing that there was none in sight, I approached a man I believed to be the tavernkeeper, "Tavernkeeper, I require the services of your finest slut." The man stared back at me and replied cooly, "watch your mouth, Sir. Approach the counter and any of of my staff will be willing to help you." I considered drawing my sword and challenging him to an honor duel right then and there, but having not yet read the laws of this realm, I decided to use caution and heed his advice, "very well, Sir. But speak to a RL Gorean like that again, and you will taste the steel of my blade!" I thought the man rolled his eyes at me, but if he did- it was because he feared a RL Gorean. I approached the counter, and reading the tag again, was served by a wench wearing the most bizarre silks and was given a peculiar slave name of "Juanita." I looked directly at this Juanita and announced my order, "greetings, wench. I wish for cold sul paga and a plate of verr cheese and sa-tarna bread." Juanita looked at me and asked, "Que?" I growled at her and banged my fist on the counter, "I do NOT repeat myself, wench! Paga and cheese now!" She looked at me again with bewilderment and asked, "Quarter Pounder with Cheese? Would you like supersize?" I sighed and retrieved the collar once more, "Nay, I do not want your disney foods. Sul paga now!" Clearly, this was a slut in training as she asked again, "Quieres numero cinco? With Sprite?" Angrily, I spit on the ground, opened the collar and tried shoving it around her neck...except, the collar wouldn't fit around her neck. I furrowed my brow in frustration as I tried to force the collar around the slut's neck...but it wouldn't fit? What was happening? In the books, a woman could fit into any collar, but here- this woman's neck was too big for the collar I purchased? I howled, "this is so INVALID. You are CHEATING!" Juanita jumped back in fright at my actions and began screaming at the top of her lungs, "POLICIA, POLICIA!!!" I reached for the dagger at my hilt, preparing for combat- a RL Gorean does not fear a fight. However, Lady Thena had other ideas and ran like her dress was on fire and left the building. Deciding my FC was more important than a fight with a bunch of Disney, invalid Guards of Port Kar, I decided to leave myself.

Now, I am back at home pagaless, slutless and in search of my tarn...I keep whistling but it never comes. Well, I shall sleep well in my furs tonight and prepare for another day, as I am RL Gorean...

A Day in the Life of a Goron...

Something I did a while ago...

* * *

The names have been changed to protected the criminally uncreative:

[16:59] Arrival: Aashe Dovgal
[16:59] Object: Aashe Dovgal, Welcome to Port Gor! Please read the rules before continuing your journey
[17:00] Aashe Dovgal steps off the gangplank of the arriving boat and scans the dock area- looking for the exit and path towards the city.
[17:01] Panther LeBored: Tal MALE
[17:02] Aashe Dovgal looks down between his legs and adjusts his trousers to ensure everything is, indeed, in place. He looks back to the panther and replies, "Thanks for noticing."
[17:02] Panther LeBored: That was an insult, MALE! *growls*
[17:03] You: it's only an insult if I'm embarrassed about being male, and I'm pretty well hung so I consider it a compliment. Thanks.
[17:04] Panther LeBored: you would look good in a collar, MALE *smirks*
[17:06] Aashe Dovgal untucks the book from underneath the crook of his arm and places the thesaurus in the panther's palm. He leans towards her, clasping her fingers tightly around the leather bindings and instructs her, "learn to read, finish this book cover to cover so you can expand your vocabulary of insults and get back to me. THEN, I might submit."
[17:06] Aashe Dovgal steps off the docks and briskly walks toward the city gates.

[17:07] Panther LeBored: HEEEEY!!!!!
[17:07] Panther LeBored: Too bad, you look pretty hot *waggles eyebrows*
[17:08] Aashe Dovgal continues walking into the city.
[17:08] Panther LeBored: Your loss. I'll have you know, I'm quite good in the furs.
[17:08] You: I'm better.
[17:10] Panther LeBored: Capture me sometime, ok?

[17:08] Aashe Dovgal arrives at the city gates. Seeing them closed, he rings the bell outside the gates to call for a Guard
[17:09] Carl Clueless: Tal stranger. Name and homestone.
[17:09] You: My name is Mickey from Rovecardophronagaard. I'm here to see Full O'Himself, the Ubar.
[17:09] Carl Clueless: Oh.
[17:12] Aashe Dovgal twiddles his thumbs, looking at the motionless Warrior. He claps his hands loudly to see if the man is still alive...and it appears he is not since there is no reaction.
[17:16] Aashe Dovgal watches a bird swoop down inside the Guard's trousers and tear off the man's penis to deliver it to his kajira. Aashe isn't sure whether he should gasp in horror at the sight or applaud the bird for its immense talent. While thinking about this, he notices Sally Scribe open the gate and walk inside the he quickly follows her.

[17:18] Slave1 whispers to sissy- "girl is SO bored!" ~giggles~
[17:20] Aashe Dovgal arrives at the tavern. He leans against the doorway for a moment and eyes the two slaves gossiping amongst one another while he waits for them to greet him.
[17:20] Slave1: Greetings Master
[17:20] Slave2: greetings Master
[17:20] You: Greetings girls
[17:21] Slave1: May girl serve you, Master?
[17:22] You: As a matter of fact, you can. I see that the kajira that served a man over in that corner earlier today didn't swallow. Go clean it up since I really don't want to look at it any longer.
[17:22] Slave1: Master?
[17:22] You: Yes? Was I unclear?
[17:24] Slave1: No Master. May girl be excused? Her Master is calling.
[17:25] Aashe Dovgal turns to his left and begins emphatically shaking the air next to him. "Tal, Sir! Is this your kajira? It is?! She's very well suited for you- takes right after you. Why do I say that? She's about as vapid as you are and her head is similar to yours. Yes, that's right- full of air. I'm glad you found a perfect match, it IS hard to find a girl that matches your personality, but you did well. Great find, Sir...enjoy your time with her."
[17:26] You: You may go with your Master, girl. He's been kind enough to pick you up. Heel to him and leave.

//In IMs
[17:26] Slave1: YOU JACKASS!! I'll have you know my Master DID IM and told me to go shopping for silks. And he's my Master, you're not, so I listen to him first. ALWAYS! Piss off!
[17:27] You: Oh, I didn't know that. Let me IM him to apologize...
[17:27] You: what a pity- he seems to have crashed. He is offline at the moment
[17:28] Slave1: YOU ASS! It is people like you that ruin Gor. Why don't you just leave and take your stupid ass out of here and never come back!
[17:28] Slave1: I'm best friends with the admin and I'm going to have him BAN YOUR ASS. How do you like that now, jerk?
[17:29] You: When your Master comes back online, please have him IM me so I can loan him the money to buy you a new tiara. Until then, goodbye.

[17:28] Aashe Dovgal looks at Slave2 and remarks, "and are you too afraid to serve me as well?"
[17:29] Slave2: Oh no, Master! How may this tavern slut serve you?
[17:29] You: Wait, you're a tavern slut?
[17:30] Slave2: Yes, Master. Are you not pleased with me?
[17:30] You: No, it's not that. It's just that I expected a tavern slut to act, you know...slutty. I didn't know tavern sluts acted like boulders.
[17:31] Slave2: Oh. *thinks hard* What would Master like me to do?
[17:31] You: um, act sluttier?
[17:32] Slave2: Yes, Master. And how would you like me to act sluttier?
[17:33] You: You know, all these questions really don't help. Do you normally get furred, girl?
[17:33] Slave2: No Master.
[17:34] You: How shocking.
[17:35] Slave2: Perhaps if I danced for you Master? Would you like that?
[17:37] Aashe Dovgal strokes his chin thoughtfully for a moment and looks back at the girl, "That would be fine. However, I do not want to see your ruby red lips, your emerald orbs, I don't want to notice your pillowy breasts, juicy ass or sun kissed thighs. If you mention any of these things, I'll simply leave. Is that clear?"
[17:38] Slave2: I don't understand, Master. What am I supposed to do?

//In IMs
[17:38] Slave2: Master, what have I done wrong? PLEASE tell me!
[17:39] You: hmm?
[17:39] Slave2: Master, please tell me what you want.
[17:40] You: I want to see your creativity and personality through your roleplay.
[17:41] Slave2: And how should I do that, Master?
[17:42] You: Um...I think I hear my Master calling. Got to leave. Goodbye.

[17:43] Aashe Dovgal strolls through the town square and happens upon a shirtless man clad in black, standing next to a rather voluptuous female adorned in an elegant purple gown. He stops a few feet behind them and thrusts his hands in his pocket, keeping a safe distance not to disturb them, but orients his body towards the pair to indicate that he wishes to join in conversation.
[17:44] Carla Collarbait: Tal Sir
[17:44] Badass Dudeface: Tal Bro
[17:45] You: Tal. Please continue, I don't mean to interrupt.
[17:49] You: Seriously, please keep talking. Pretend I'm not here. I'm just catching the sights of the city. Look, I'll even move away some.
[17:53] You: Um, well. I guess I'll talk. This is a pretty nice city. Do you know if finches fly this far north during the springtime?
[17:55] Badass Dudeface: Carla, you'd look soooo good in my collar. I bet you're a total slut!
[17:56] Carla Collarbait: OH Sir! Please! I am a FW!
[17:57] Badass Dudeface: HAHAHAHAHAHA
[17:57] You: so that's a no on the finches?
[17:58] Carla Collarbait: Hmmph, even if I DID submit to you, you'd just ignore me anyway...
[17:59] Badass Dudeface: Shut up, slut! Kneel to me now! HAHAHAHA
[17:59] Badass Dudeface: LMAO
[18:00] Aashe Dovgal points up the sky and continues babbling, "so like...there are birds in the sky. They flap their wings. Some of them even deliver messages, I hear. Yeah, birds. There's a type of bird called finches. I hear they migrate."
[18:01] Carla Collarbait: I will NOT kneel. Anyway, I think Full O'Himself, the Ubar, is totally into me. He smiled at me yesterday. And don't forget Paul Pwnface, the First Sword. Oh if he saw that YOU collared me, would he get upset! So I don't think you can collar me.
[18:02] Carla Collarbait: And if you want to collar me so much, you'll have to catch me. *Runs*
[18:03] Badass Dudeface: oh shit lol
[18:03] Badass Dudeface: draw bow
[18:04] Aashe Dovgal rocks back and forth on his heels as he continues to stare up at the sky, pretending to be oblivious to what just happened, "Finches. Birds. Pretty. Spring. Yeah..." He smacks his lips together, creating a loud popping sound and surveys the city. Seeing nothing of interest, he decides to leave and light himself on fire when he gets home.

[18:10] Carl Clueless: HEY!!!
[18:12] You: Yes? Nice city you have.
[18:13] Carl Clueless: Name and homestone, stranger.
[18:13] You: Oh, I was just leaving-'s not even important.
[18:14] Carl Clueless: I SAID name and homestone, stranger. Do not test me or I will cap your ass.
[18:15] You: Seriously, I'm leaving so don't even worry about it.
[18:16] Carl Clueless: Last warning, stranger. And if you want to enter the city, leave your weapons by the gate.
[18:17] You: I really don't want to enter the city, so I'm taking my weapons and homestone with me.
[18:18] Aashe Dovgal leans down and picks up a pebble from the ground and rubs it reverently, pretending it was a precious homestone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Starter Kit

I was having a conversation with a friend on what people need to know before they start roleplaying in Gor. She insisted that reading of the books is mandatory since that's the only way to properly understand the environment. As always, I call bullshit. Not only is the source text impenetrable (read: boring), but many people don't have fabulous reading comprehension. One person can read the books and decide that slavery is inherently romantic and erotic. Another can read the same text and conclude that slavery is dreary, extremely depressing and completely hopeless. These are diametrically opposed viewpoints and are both plausible interpretations (I tend to fall into the second camp, but there's no denying that the concept of slavery as portrayed by the books is hopelessly optimistic).

So, this begs the question: what materials would I suggest a noob read/look into before learning Gor?

Well, here's my suggested source material for someone learning how to be a warrior:

Goodfellas: The caste system works essentially like a mafia organization. So long as you pledge loyalty to your caste and follow the rules (written, like "no snitching," and unwritten, like "no fucking any wives, girlfriends or ex-girlfriends of anyone in the family), you can do anything you want and the caste will back you up. Break the rules or loyalty...and you'll end up like Tommy. There are no second chances or lesser punishments. Play the game the right way and you get rewarded. Step out of line and you get whacked. It's that simple.

The Wire (Seasons 1-3 in particular): The game is the game. You can do anything you want to anyone within the game, so long as you respect the rules of the game (like the truce on Sundays). Civilians outside of the games are treated with respect, anything can happen within the game and no one will get mad. The only thing to remember is that everyone has their role and everyone has to stay within that role. The king is the king; the pawns are the pawns. And that's how it is.

Klingon Empire (video relevance from 7:12 onward): Honor has nothing to do with morality but is simply the word used to describe physical prowess and a particular attitude towards combat. An honorable man is one who is self-sufficient and successful in combat, not someone who believes and adheres to some altruistic identity. But, as the video points out, honor used in this way is also completely malleable. A warrior beyond everything else, is concerned about being perceived as honorable. And because of this inherent desire to seem strong and infallible, he can essentially be manipulated to do anything.

Personally, I think that's about all you need to know to really understand the Gorean warrior: he's a cross between a mafioso and a Klingon. That would mean the essential characteristics of the stereotypical Gorean warrior are:
  • Someone in peak physical condition who is well versed in fighting
  • Someone who prefers hand-to-hand physical combat that emphasizes strength and brutality over agility and swiftness.
  • Someone who is well accomplished in battle (i.e., killed a lot of men and/or risked death to make some heroic gesture like defend a hopeless position or recklessly endanger his own life to save the lives of others)
  • Someone who would rather fight to the death than retreat or surrender
  • Someone who never snitches or betrays anyone in his family (be it his personal blood relatives or anyone in his caste). Or if he betrays someone, he is a) successful and b) has enough political influence to avoid being punished for it
  • Doesn't try to punish or kill anyone outside the "game." That means, he carries a big stick but never willingly uses it against a civilian unless he absolutely has to. However, he will have little to no patience to anyone inside the game. So if another warrior pisses him off, he'll draw his sword before trying to resolve the issue through words
  • Someone who willingly plays the pawn (since this person will be a new character, he will be a grunt in the army, not a well respected officer). That means that the pawn pledges loyalty to his superiors and does everything that is asked of questions.
There are probably a lot of nuances that have not been covered, but I think that about covers the larger issues: someone who is head strong, has no principles except what is told to him, is exceedingly loyal, never questions authority, and excessively violent.

And I am able to demonstrate all those lessons using Youtube clips, rather than having someone hunt and peck through 20+ books to glean a phrase here and there. I think the level of comprehension is about the same.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Definitional Disco

Another rant.

I wonder why I even bother to post to the gorums some times. The level of discourse is...beyond retarded.

I like to joke with my friends that the gorums is internet talk radio. And it totally is. People like to dispense their opinions, but try to push them as "topics," or "conversations" or, my favorite, "education."

Education is learning how to do something: learning different styles of writing, how to filter information you can react and what you can't, so on and so forth. Education generally tries to push people towards a productive end. Education on the forums starts with a post of "I hate this. What do you think?" Well, the only place that "conversation" can go is yes/no. Half the people will say yes, half the people will say no. Everything else is just posturing and spinning in circles. Opinions simply don't spur education; it just creates a heated bar fight (albeit, sometimes fun, but fun is not educational).

Occasionally though, I think there is a topic which either poses something interesting or there's a person who I think has sufficient intellect and can have a rational conversation. I don't have to play the game where we have to pretend that our opinions are educational. I guess I was wrong.

I think what frustrates me the most about the conversations is that, if someone does wish to engage on the merits of the conversation, it ultimately gets bogged down into what I commonly refer to as "definitional disco." As in, someone uses a word to define something that only includes actions that are good, creates another word to define a series of actions are bad, throws their support behind the good definition, pins their opponent to the bad word and...cue the spinning circles arguments.

Typists that express their character's thoughts in roleplay is generally referred to as thoughtmoting (from the combination of thought + emote, so it essentially means expressing thoughts in ways that are not dialogue).

Except on the forums, we have to create two words. One is narrative, which is all the types of thoughtmotes that produce good roleplay results (i.e., when someone uses thought expressions to add to the background, their character's thought process and helps create a more immersive scene). The other is thoughtmote, where someone uses thinking actions to ruin the roleplay atmosphere (by making snarky, insulting comments directed not at the character, but the typist).

Functionally, these two words refer to the EXACT SAME THING. Both are expressing thoughts in non-dialogue ways. It's just we have the defined the words to be result-oriented. Things that we like are narrative, things we don't are stupid thoughtmotes. And because the words are result-oriented, no one can agree to a common definition: what someone views as immersive may not seem immersive to another. And then you get a lot of people who shouting over one another, when they actually are in substantial agreement.

The situation that prompted this post was the term "notecarded chores." To me, the obvious definition is simply recording a roleplay action onto a notecard. Simple and uncomplicated. But no, apparently, the term "notecarded chores" must refer to situations wherein the only purpose for creating the notecard is to metagame (i.e., the person requesting the notecard places demands on the notecard writer on what must be produced). Sometimes you can use the word "notecard" and people won't go apeshit. And sometimes you can use the word "chores" and people won't go into a tizzy. But don't you ever dare to combine those words, because then the shit hits the fan. Apparently, the correct wording is "roleplay logs." Say roleplay logs instead of notecarded chores and no one gets upset. The only problem is....IT'S THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING. A roleplay log can be a notecarded chore and a notecarded chore can be a roleplay log!! There's no logical reason why we have to create a totally different nomenclature for the exact same fucking phenomena!!

It's so fucking stupid. It's like when politicians have to spin a tax increase as a "revenue adjustment" or something equally retarded. I just assume that everyone realizes that the politician is making a token change to make his action sound less stupid. That everyone would realize what the action actually is. Apparently, I give people more credit than they deserve. The politician apparently does it because there is a large enough segment of the population that is apparently dumb enough to fall for the ruse. Which just happens to be the same segment of the population that visits the Gorums.

I'm not done with the Gorums. There are portions of it that serve a genuinely beneficial and productive purpose. And I know, because I have a hypercompetitive personality, that eventually someone will say something so monumentally fucking stupid that I can't restrain myself from responding (it will most likely be Aseptimus trying to explain what the law says. Every time that man tries to explain the law, somewhere in the world, a lawyer makes partner because of his complete ignorance at what the law actually is).

But blargh.

I hate how I allow myself to get roped into these "conversations," get into these "definitional discos" and the masses aren't even slightly put off by the fact that the very crux of their problem is holding onto these definitions that don't make any fucking sense. No, they want to create even more words and lingo to make their world so nice and easy. It just can't be roleplay. No, we have to have BtB roleplay and Gor Evolved roleplay, even though we have no idea what the fuck either of those terms mean. No, we can't have roleplayers (i.e., all those that desire to make the character and typist separate entities) and lifestylers (those who don't care to). We also have to have soulplayers, and storytellers, and moleplayers and god knows what the fuck else. And no one has any clue what any of these other categories mean either, except they have to exist since the words roleplayer or lifestyler can't adequately describe the differing roleplay experiences people have.

Memo to you nimrods: you are either one or the other. It doesn't mean to be a roleplayer, you must always keep character and typist (or in common parlance, IC/OOC) separate. It's just that, given a choice, you want to keep them separate. People who fail to keep IC/OOC seperate don't magically unbecome roleplayers and suddenly become lifestylers. It is possible for people to make mistakes and fuck up every once in a while. You see, words aren't defined by their outcomes because...that would be retarded. Words whose meaning depend on their result...can't have definitions. And that means you can't use them in a conversation and expect the conversation to be productive or rational...because you're not being rational!!! Defining a word that requires perfection isn't rational. It...ah hell, there I go again. I need to stop.

Double blargh.

Rant off.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chapter 3: Crescent Moon

Looking up into the night sky, it is the first and smallest of the moons. From the darkness, only a sliver can be seen; it appears in the shape of a crescent. It is the most fragile of the phases: a delicate balancing act between establishing its position in the sky and hiding itself from the reach of the sun. But where the other phases of the moon only appear once before waiting their turn again, the crescent moon appears four times. Twice, it is bathed in the light of the sun and twice it receives its shape from the pure darkness. Because of this, the crescent moon, though small in stature, commands the most power and attention.

The Free Woman in Gor performs a balancing act of her own. She is tasked with the unenviable responsibility of being able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the men of the world, but must also be the matriarch and glue of the family- the most precious commodity in Gor. To accomplish this, she must earn the respect of men by playing a strong hand in the game of politics, while birthing and caring for a large and prosperous family.

In the forest, the women know that each walks their own path alone.

At least, that is how it worked before. Panthers were runaways, escaping a life they once knew in order to one day die in the harsh wilderness. The Sa-ta-Tor did not escape. They were a group of survivalists. Where a city has a home stone to unite its people, they had a symbol. It was a simple mark: three moons in three phases over one sky. If you asked one of them what it meant, you would receive no answer at all. Then again, if you asked a man of a city what the home stone meant, you would receive a similar answer. It meant everything and it meant nothing. The symbol was a bind that held them altogether.

* * *

They finally decided to set their roots in the midst of a small canyon dug within the sea of endless greenery. There, they built a camp and family. There were rules. There were friendships within friendship. If a man somehow managed to penetrate the walls of the camp, he could have sworn they were experiencing normal city life. But no man could voluntarily enter the sanctuary of the camp. So a man would have to dream of the life inside. What it would be like if he could hide in the trees and watch them.

The trees rise above them, seemingly stretching towards the sky. Interspersed amongst them are the little huts where they sleep at night. In the middle of the clearing, a big campfire roars providing the warmth for all the women, sitting on logs beside it.

At the head sits Eve; her legs are crossed one over the other with a finger against her cheek in quiet contemplation. What she contemplates, no one in the tribe can know.

To her right is her Second, Gretchen. She looks into the eyes of her En, and knows no good can come from that look, so she mentally prepares herself to silently clean another inevitable mess. Her hands look strong and rough. Her eyes are lakes of calm, scanning the entire camp to ensure that she bring peace to the places of turmoil.

To her left is January, her self-proclaimed rock. It’s a subtle movement, a simple touch to Eve’s shoulder. Words are whispered though no one can know what they are. All they can know is that they bring a smile to Eve’s lips, something no one else in the tribe can do with such seeming ease.

At the foot of the fire lies Azalea. Her body is turned towards the warmth of the fire, drying herself after receiving a bath courtesy of a wild tharlarian she was hunting. Her hands reach to her long hair and she squeezes out the river water. Only Azalea would be fearless enough to think she could hunt a tharlarian alone.

Jayda stands close by, waiting for the moment to chastise her sister. Of course, every sister knew better than correct Azalea. To do so would be suicide. But there is a triumphant smile in Jayda’s eyes; even if she cannot voice the words, she is happy knowing that, for once, she is not the one breaking camp rules.

From somewhere in the distance, a quiet thud of an arrow hitting a tree trunk can be heard. It is Kathy, splitting arrow after arrow into the same spot with her bow. Behind her stands Quruni, unsure of whether she should be standing or kneeling. There seems to be a natural attraction between them: the one who collected slaves and the former slave. They seemed like a perfect match.

Suddenly, his ears fill with a sweet sound of a flute wafting through the night air. The tone begins with a sorrowful long bass sound. The note holds and then changes into a rhythmic pulse. She cannot be seen, but Lily is perched somewhere in the trees, looking out into the vast expanse of the forest as she plays. She shares her gift with all those deep into the canyon and beyond. The range is so deep and the music so beautiful that it is not inconceivable that many men of the forest outposts would sneak to the edges of the forest in hopes to catch the faint whisper of such music.

The music brings Becca to her feet. She is beauty incarnate, seemingly chiseled from marble. She is breathtaking. Her perfectly formed and rounded breasts; her slender hips sway in time to the beat. It is an intoxicating sight; any man witness to this scene would succumb to his desire. Of course, it is not just men that would be hypnotized by such movement. There is a slight movement just behind Becca. It is Night. Only, Night’s hand is not reaching out to touch Becca. No, her fingers slip into her furs. Her eyes are filled with lust by the simple movements of her sister. Her lips form into that familiar “O” and then produces the ever satisfying sigh accompanied with it. It is no wonder why so many men, even when caught and humiliated when placed in a collar, have no desire to escape their reality immediately.

…And then, a bang out of nowhere. It’s Nosyrb, throwing her…no one can really know what she was throwing. Whatever it is, it is loud and bright. The blast echoes in the canyon, distracting everyone. But no one can be mad at her for long: the pure joy on her face would make anyone laugh. Of course, the noise makes Jenny roll from the side of her hammock and stare at Nosyrb. If eyes could kill, Jenny would have exacted a gruesome death on her sister. It is the look that has sent a chill down many a man's spine, reminding him of the warning: when you came to the forests of the Sa-ta-Tor, you would live in a constant state of fear. With one simple look, it is easy to know why.

Kneeling by the logs, it is Madison holding her knife. She is skinning some small forest creature. While her hand expertly separates skin from muscle, she chatters happily to Solange, who stands above her. Solange has her hand placed on Madison’s shoulder, just as a mother would do when guiding her child through a task. In fact, that is exactly what is happening.

Sitting near them is Bhakta, the broken soul. The sorrow in her eyes is evident as she stared into the fire. There is an unspoken longing in her body. Of everything within the camp, it is her expression that is most familiar.It is the look of the woman who needs no independence but is stuck in the middle of nowhere, alone with her thoughts. It is the look of a woman who needs a Master. Almost on cue, Maria slips behind her sister and covers her eyes with her hands. Maria’s joy is contagious. Before long, both of them are laughing and holding one another. Whatever lonely hunger there was disappeared with the familiar touch of a friend. The camp jester lives up to her title.

Sylvia, the newest and youngest member of the tribe, stands at the edge of camp, with a finger in her mouth. She watches the whole scene like an outsider; she does not know where she fits in. Almost in understanding, a chilly breeze floods the camp, bringing goosebumps to her skin. The forest beckons her closer to her sisters and she finds a seat by the rest of the sisters by the fire. They accept her without a word; she had never needed their acceptance, she just needed to take her place amongst them.

There were more names and faces that pass through that camp. Sometimes they stayed for a few days; others stayed for years. But each, once they were accepted within the ranks of the tribe, became family forever. There would always be a spot for them around the campfire.

* * *

A panther tribe cannot exist completely on its own. Sometimes the forest is kind and offers total sustenance: food, shelter, and clothes. Other times, it cannot provide enough. In those times, a panther must seek trading points, exchanging goods and services from merchants and other dealers for things that they need. While a panther is not known to be a social creature, circumstance and timing dictated that sometimes she could not choose to walk her path alone.

The art of the trade was difficult to perfect. The Sa-ta-Tor were immaculate. They would scout a suitable location for days. They would pick a dip in the terrain as the spot for their trade point, marked by a small fire and surrounding logs. They always made their own trade point. The traders- Rahn, Prometheus and Shand were the regulars- would be attracted by the smoke of the trade fire; they would come and see nothing. There would only be a note, informing them that if they waited, a trade would be conducted. For some reason, they always waited. The cover of darkness would come and envelop the trading the point. Without warning, the panthers would begin to emerge from the shadows, filling the trading point. Gretchen would approach the trader, Azalea opposite her. The others would form a ring; there would be no escape from this point. And then Eve would appear and sat down, directly opposite the trader. She sat because she did not fear them. There would be no escape from the negotiation: either it would be successful or he would gain nothing. The trader could never win the confrontation. He could only hope to accomplish his task without injury.

Of course, artful negotiation was not enough; the parties had to meet first. Eve was smart enough to know that men would not be naturally inclined to trade with panthers. Why would they? What did they have to gain? So, as it was with everything in Gor, it became a game of politics. She needed to cull relationships and friendships with people. She had to make men trust panthers in areas of neutrality.

* * *

Once, as the Sa-ta-Tor were returning from a pilgrimage to the Sardar, a silkened kajirus followed them into the depths of the forests. Showing interest, the Sa-ta-Tor took him back their camp were they enjoyed him for a few days. Eventually, they decided to sell him off when they discovered from their trade point. A man stood there, sent by the Ubar of a faraway city. He had been sent to collect the favorite kajirus of the Ubara. Failure to return the kajirus unharmed, the man warned, would result in a war of sorts. Men would flood the forests until the slave was returned.

The threat was shocking. Starting a war over a kajirus? The man was sent away with a message for the Ubar: the Ubar himself would have to return to the post. But he would return to purchase a sleen.

A few weeks later, a grand caravan arrived. The Ubar and his companion emerged, draped richly in the robes and jewels common of their city. Eve took her customary seat opposite the Ubar and informed him that she had a sleen to sell. The Ubara shrieked and screamed to high hell: she wanted her boy, not a sleen. The Ubar managed to finally silence her after a long while and then motioned for the En to explain. With a wave of her hand, a huge sleen was brought from behind the hill controlled by several panthers. The Ubar looked confused as Eve demanded payment. He continued to look at her and she continued to return his gaze. Neither said anything as the sleen thrashed about and the Ubara screamed in fear at being so close to an untamed beast.

Finally, something seemed to click in the Ubar’s mind and he motioned for a great amount of coin to be brought. After the coin was laid out in front of Eve, the sleen was handed over to four very confused looking guards. Just as the panthers turned to slip back into the forest, Eve looked to the Ubar.

"Ubar, I suppose it would do no good to send such a fine beast on such a long journey without food."

She plucked the boy from the shrubs by the post and tossed him in front of the sleen. She nodded to the Ubar, collected her coin and disappeared.

She had protected the forest from potential danger. He had received the kajirus back. He lifted his gaze, catching her eye from across the crowd and paused. A smile found his lips and he tipped his head in respect. They had both exited the trading point with their reputation in tact.

* * *

It is said that every panther walks her path alone. Of course, that cannot always be true. Every once in a while, a situation arises which requires a strong hand at the game of politics and a large, supportive family. Without those ingredients, no woman can truly survive.

Chapter 2: New Moon

The moon rotates around the planet. This is not an interesting or new observation; it is a simple law of science. Every cycle is the same. Every cycle is inevitable. The new moon is the first phase. It begins the dance between the sun and the moon over the sky. The new moon signals a new beginning for, at that moment, the moon retains no shape. The moon rests high in the sky, but it cannot be seen directly by the naked eye. Only those that pay careful attention can notice the black circle in the sky, surrounded by more darkness, and know that the moon is still there.

A woman cannot live alone.

She didn’t know where she was supposed to go. She simply trusted her feet would take her to the place she was needed. Armed with only a quiva and her wits, she wandered aimlessly. At first, the path took her westward to the coast. She begged, borrowed and dealed her way up the Thassa and eventually arrived at Port Cos. The people of the city would not accept her. Why would they? She had no companion; she wore the tatters of a dress that barely covered her body. Just outside the city walls though, she knew why she had been compelled to come here.

Eve met the first in the forests just outside of Cos. Unlike Eve, she was angry. A fire burned in Kathy’s eyes that sparked the idea. Then came Jenny, who presented an ever-present calm. Next was Lily. Gretchen. Quruni. January. Nosyrb. Azalea. Becca. Caly. Night. Eris. Jalav. Solange. Madison. Jayda. Maria. Bhakta. Alastair. Sylvia. Some came to the forests as slaves. Some came as Free Women. Their stories were different, yet all the same. Something compelled them to the wilderness; something drew them to seek each other. Together, they became the Sa-ta-Tor, the Daughters of the Light.

The camp grew too big for the small island of Cos. So the women left everything behind and started anew in the north. They found their way to the Northern Forests. They met other panthers along the way, living at the edges of the forest, close to places like Laura and Rive-de-Bois. The Sa-ta-Tor was not content being so close to men. They drove deeper into the woods where none had dared brave before. Soon, the legend grew: to find the Sa-ta-Tor, one needed to travel the farthest north and most eastern point of the Forests that a man had ever traveled…and then go deeper for another week. Only there would men find the thirty women that comprised the very first band of panther women.