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    Helibo Seyoman

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  1. Which version of Riddick? The original or the Dark Athena rerelease with the additional campaign?
  2. We spent some time thinking on talking about masculinity while I was studying for my master's degree (in music, so it's a bit more relevant). I'm trying to recall ideas from years ago, so I may get some things wrong or be outdated by now but I'll offer it up anyway. I'm also far from an expert and am probably going to make a bigger mess! It's a relatively common thought now, but the first thing to note is that there is a difference between biological sex and gender. People are born with male or female (or intersex). That's biological or anatomical or purely physical. Gender, on the other hand, is a social construct. What this mostly means is that there are social norms that people are expected to follow that conforms with their biology. For instance, boys generally have short hair and girls have long hair. But these things are flexible and can change over time and across different cultures. In the 19th century, baby boys were clothed in pink and girls in blue. Sometime in the early 20th century, it flipped. I remember I wrote an essay about Chopin and Georges Sand, their relationship, and how their sex and genders were considered in 19th century Paris. Chopin was biologically male, but was sickly and considered to have feminine qualities. In contemporaneous accounts, he was considered an androgyne and this was a positive aspect. The term was "angelic." Georges Sand was a woman, a proto-feminist that wore trousers around mostly-liberal Paris (and therefore having masculine qualities). She was considered in the accounts as a hermaphrodite, and this was a bad thing. But that's a big digression. We were taught that masculinity and femininity are terms for referring to aspects of the male and female bodies respectively. The obvious examples are male and female genitals. We might also say that a man's deeper-pitched voice is masculine, and a woman's voice feminine. Or that men generally grow a little bit taller than women, or that women have wider hips. But you might know tall women/short men, or men with high voices and women with deep voices, and that's where it all becomes socially constructed or socially mediated. Likewise with personality traits, like men being aggressive and labelling that as a masculine quality; there is no reference to male bodies in it. It is totally socially constructed and reinforced through culture and cultural artefacts. BUT! Just because it is socially constructed and and without any real tangible biological evidence for does not make it less real. Masculinity and femininity are as real as language! It's easy to dismiss gender issues in any regard as being without grounding but millennia of human culture is that grounding. PS. The example we were given of masculinity in women is in PJ Harvey's "Man-Size." But gender performativity is a whole other kettle of fish! --- So clyde, that song you linked. I'm not sure if your definition of masculinity lines up with mine, but here's my thoughts on it. You wrote that the emotion expressed in the song is somehow a masculine jealousy. I'm not 100% on what that means. For me, there's very little in the text of the song that supports that reading. The only part is in the performance of the song, using a man's voice (or I should say a masculine voice), but I don't think that the emotion is especially masculine. But then again, we (probably) live in different countries, come from different cultures, have different understandings of those cultures, and masculinity could be considered differently. (I'm very tired rn so if none of this makes sense, let me know and I will try to clarify) (PS gender is confusing and nebulous and I am still learning a lot about it)
  3. wowow! congratulations!!!
  4. I think I played this game... ? All I can remember is that you can arrest people and Dredd says "No parole."
  5. @marginalgloss Thanks for the links! I've skimmed through the blog and the comments and frankly I'm even more conflicted about PSS now. Something to think about. Hmm. @Beasteh TC&TC is my favourite of Miéville's, with Embassytown close behind. He really hit his stride with those two, in that the worlds are interesting but they're also concise.
  6. I have recently read Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Miéville, poster child of the New Weird. I have read a few of his other books. I really enjoyed The City and The City and Embassytown, and I liked King Rat decently enough. Now I'm two thirds through his Bas-Lag trilogy, and I have some Assorted Thoughts: Perdido Street Station is absolutely crammed with interesting ideas, from severe body horror to friendly hell-dwellers to a rejection of Tolkien-esque fantasy tropes. Sometimes, this is to its detriment. I don't particularly care for elves and orcs and dwarves and such, and PSS avoids all of this in favour of a bunch of much stranger creatures, like the man-bird Garruda and the extremely sexually dimorphic Khepri. These all have different cultures and ways of living, but they're all overlapping in the city of New Crobuzon. All of these details are interesting, but the story focusses on the invasion of some monsters into the city and the efforts of "rogue academic" Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin. There are a bunch of subplots that weave through this, but some of the story is lost in all of the world details, which is the same problem as the Lord of the Rings just in a different skin. There are a few revelations that happen towards the end that made me feel manipulated, and not in a fun way. I found this book to be mostly a slog, but I spite-read my way through it because I have enjoyed some of the other things that Miéville has written. The Scar is much better! It's the story of Bellis Coldwine and the pirate city of Armada, a conglomerate of stolen ships and scraps. Again, there are a bunch of New Weird fantasy races all living side-by-side. Despite the fact that PSS and The Scar are pretty log (~800 pages each), the latter was a much easier read. There is a smaller cast of characters and they are all contained on this ship-city, and they are much more developed. All of the world details didn't feel like fluff this time, but rather relevant information that also fleshes things out. Some of the twists and turns are obvious to see from miles away, but there are still a few surprises. I really enjoyed The Scar, way more than Perdido! The problem is that I don't know if anything in the setting would make a lot of sense if you just jumped in here, but maybe... ? Anyway, I am interested now in the last of the trilogy, Iron Council.
  7. The Flop House is good! All of the Max Fun ads are terrible and do a poor job of capturing the enticing parts of each of the shows. The best episodes are the ones where they watch a film that ends up as "good-bad" in their final judgements, especially the ones that are completely crazy. They all have a deep appreciation of movies, but they have wildly different tastes. Someone has been keeping track of their recommendations, and once you know that Dan watches whatever, Elliott likes old movies, and Stu likes schlock you might find something you like. You will in time come to love Elliott's letters songs!
  8. in its tummy!
  9. I'm a relatively recent TAZ listener but I have some opinions. Mostly parroting what others have said. The impression I get is that each of the McElroys wants the show to be something different. Justin wants it to be entertaining and Clint just tags along. Travis has more experience playing tabletop games and has more confidence in the mechanics of D&D. Griffin wants to tell his story. All of these things are clashing! With FatT, everyone is confident in the mechanics, understands that the tone is going to shift wildly between comedy and tragedy from session to session, and ultimately everyone has confidence in Austin as a GM. However, FatT is an actual play podcast and TAZ is a comedy podcast that uses D&D. It does get bogged down in LORE and STORY a bit too often, and the players are shut down from doing something clever or interesting by Griffin a few too many times. He's just not as talented or experienced as Austin as a GM! That's the long and the short of it. It should also be noted that not everything the McElroys do is gold. MBMBaM took several years before they weren't awful, and even now they sometimes go off on a jag that isn't that funny (I know humour is subjective! but for me the quality of their podcasts varies wildly). TAZ has brought up very different problems, like scope: this whole story has been going on for YEARS now at this point. I suspect they didn't expect to take this long to do, and they occasionally mention that there are long gaps between their recordings. It's easy to forget all the details when there are a lot of moving parts. When the current campaign wraps up, I hope they do some shorter form stuff and use a few different games. I'm still enjoying TAZ as light entertainment and not some great work of fiction from a GENIUS STORYTELLER.
  10. @SuperBiasedMan @Twig Aw man, that's like 30 hours of post-fantasy actual play podcast that you're going to make me make myself listen to now. I already listen to too many podcasts and now I listen to too much of too many podcasts.
  11. I would say that was a successful "Um, actually" on my behalf, because it showed me to be a real ding-a-ling!
  12. Friends at the Table chat: Is anyone else finding this current season a real drag? I loved Counter/WEIGHT once it got going, Marielda was fun... but I don't really care about any of the characters or conflicts in the current game in Hieron. I didn't listen to the first season because the audio quality wasn't great, and this seems like a sequel to that, so I don't get any of the callbacks. I am tempted to drop it until they start a new campaign. (I am wrestling with the sunk cost fallacy! Also I don't really give a shit about fantasy) The Adventure Zone chat: I started listening to TAZ a few weeks ago to get my actual play fix. I'm enjoying it! A few too many situations are resolved through combat, but it's really just a vessel for jokes. I think Griffin really gets into it and wants to emulate FatT at times, but the others just want to put on a good show. Travis really shines in TAZ, whereas sometimes he's not as quick off the mark in MBMBaM.
  13. I'm going to "Um, actually" this but Shawn is just an anglicisation of the Irish name Seán, which the the Gaelicised version of the name John or Jean. +1 for schoying horne though