Comments on TWH #178


Bob Butler

Why do you say Secular Humanism has failed? What, Christianity is a success? :-)

What a patriarch- er, interesting attitude, to say that the 14th C was a beginning. :-) The only thing I see it as a beginning of is the entrenched ideal that if you aren't of my type (Christian, European, male, agricultural, whatever) you are wrong, evil, and must be destroyed. Before that the idea of the community was a much more fluid thing, partly because the community didn't own land per se, but was rather its caretaker or even that the land itself was part of the community. Isn't it equally likely the 14th C was an aberration which is finally beginning to be resolved?

I find your argument perhaps a tad simplistic. The old way may indeed be fifty violins playing in unison, the new may indeed appear to glorify the individual. This is simply one view of the situation. The old way emphasized cooperation, so the violins would each do their own scheduled thing while working together. We call this harmonizing. If anyone was being individualistic, it was the composer working to create an effect with many people in it. Just because his instrument is 50 violins doesn't mean he isn't an individualist. Watch the film or play Amadeus for a fascinating portrayal of the individual within the system in what you refer to as "the old way".

Alternatively, Michael Jordan may be a great individual, but he must be part of a team. He can make 50 points a game, but he can't win the game all alone. It is a little sad that someone as talented as Scotty Pippin is relegated to be "support" rather than the team star, but there must be that support for the team to win! Michael Jordan is lucky to be in a society which allows him to be as individual as he is.

Imperialism is imperialism. I feel you are wrongly glorifying England. She, like all the other imperialistic countries (ours included!) used the colonies as resources to make the mother country richer. "England tends to develop her colonies..." Tell that to the Asian Indians. The only reason the English government stepped in after the Indian revolt against the British importing company was because Britain didn't want to lose such a profitable source of raw materials, not because of humanitarian reasons. Indeed, the British were supposed to rescue British citizens and impose order so trade could begin again, not set up a sweet deal for the Indians. The Spanish lost control of their colonies because they couldn't afford the monetary cost to "keep control" of them. This occurred in a time period where democracy was still a dirty word. Of course there were "one party democracies and dictatorships" left behind when the Spanish left. Nothing else was really considered a viable form of government. The Americas were a "rabble in arms," and most right thinking European people of the time expected it to fail. By the time England started to lose her colonies, the USA was considered viable. Also, England tended to help her colonies to start up their own governments, because world opinion mattered by then. It didn't so much when the Spanish were abandoning their colonies. Bear in mind too that Isabella considered the South Americans her subjects. It was Columbus who thought of them as good slave material.

In Africa the dangers of the land itself helped slow down the invading colonists. Also, the African governments are really no more stable than those of the Americas, we just hear less about them. "...semi-stable democracies..." -- are we referring to South Africa or Rhodesia, by any chance?

What did Ghengis do that Napoleon (or for that matter any medieval king -- Charlemagne leaps to mind) didn't do? I quote, "[G]overnment of exploitation and suppression, basically franchising thugs[- er, rather] nobility to extract tribute and keep occupied country in line." Etc., etc. There's no "lesser extent" about it -- dictators are dictators, and the truth is one of their first casualties.

I found the article a bit wordy. Perhaps fewer and more concise words could be used to describe what you are relating (not that mine's any better! :-)? Your final paragraphs didn't seem to sum up what you were trying to relate, causing some confusion as to precisely what precept or idea you were trying to get across. Can you sum that idea up in one sentence? It would help to crystallize the thrust of the zine.

Is not character concept uber alles a "...rigid One True Way behavior pattern...."? :-)

Finally, you must bear in mind that I am a casualty of the liberal American educational system. My PC sensibilities are outraged (no, not Player Character! Quit laughing! :-). Obviously, you are a DWEM (dead white European male) and as such have no innate understanding or connection with the delicate and sensitive truths of female superiority and male inadequacy and warping of herstory. So there. And if you buy that, I have some beach front property for sale in Florida! ;-)

Yes, Clyde the Camel was a lot of fun to draw. Also, TWH is sold at Planet Ten! I must say, you should have realized immediately what your problem with Sacrifice Lad was -- you wrote it yourself! I quote, "I walked outside and yelled, 'Grenaaaide!' No dice." Bob, Sacrifice Lad is a Roll-playing PC! Need I say more? :-)

Dana J. Erlandson

You have but to ask -- more naked men!

re dividing lines between north and south California -- beats me! I'm an import. However, if the big quake ever happens, and everything east of the fault slides into the sea, I suspect it'll become a moot point! :-)

Doug Jorenby

Thanks for your compliments -- I can live on one for days, and here I get multiples! Yum! :-)

George Phillies

Do you really see Don Quixote as a romance? I admit, Spanish is not my native tongue, but when I read the book in class [in Spain] the teacher was more than willing to shift to English to answer my questions. The overriding impression I got was that the book was a satire on the level of Animal Farm. Cervantes was comparing the Spanish nobility to a senile old man who couldn't keep his grasp on reality and thus escaped into a fantasy world. It was his determined interaction with the fantasy world, while seen by others in the real world, and how self-imposedly foolish and ludicrous he appeared, that was the focus of the story. Thus the Spanish nobility was being (and can sometimes apparently still be!) described similarly, as a group which refuses to change old, outdated, even self-detrimental ideals and rituals in order to move with the times, and help the country. Needless to say, Cervantes was NOT popular in court.

Dana Derryberry

*sigh* I've dropped out of the Vampire game -- I spooked the GM!

I found your thoughts on vampires' fascination interesting. I shan't be changing my mind, but your ideas were thought-provoking. In fact, I very much enjoyed the whole zine. Thanks!

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    Last Updated: Mon Aug 4 1997