World of Nicecraft

I love my guild in World of Warcraft. We’ve got close to 500 characters, so there are always people to talk to (and maybe do an instance run with); monetary help getting the starter mount; and a free set of netherweave bags to carry around all that phat lewt. I don’t think I ever would have stuck with World of Warcraft for this long without the smart, easygoing, fun, grown-up people of the Pig and Whistle Explorers’ Society. We’re an Alliance guild on Kirin Tor founded by and for members of the RPGNet forums. No one calling each other gay, no one writing like an ICanHazCheezburger server that gained sentience, no one whinging about us taking all the good gear.

I especially love our guild boss. There’s remarkably little guild drama, as close to zero as I think it’s realistically possible to get. I haven’t seen any problems crop up since the boats started sailing to Northrend, but before long there’ll be enough guild members to start the endgame raids. Here’s his pre-emptive strike over raiding arguments.

I’m instituting a zero tolerance policy right now for anyone belittling another guild mate about their raiding prospects or the speed at which they level. I won’t get in to a he said, she said about it. If you feel that another guild member has insulted you, or said that you’re never going to raid or whatever, take some screen shots and send them to me and I’ll review them. Anyone proven to have insulted the speed another guild member levels or demeans their future prospects with the guild will be removed from the guild. No strikes, no slaps on the wrist. Do not make me turn this car around, I will drive home.

Lee Greenwood: artist, visionary, public servant?!

In a bizarre decision even for Dubya, he’s appointed Lee Greenwood to the National Arts Council. Lee “God Bless the USA” Greenwood. Several people on RPGNet have put forward the question “Why be mad about Lee Greenwood? Not liking his music isn’t enough. He’s had a number of hits, including one song that pretty much everyone knows, and he’s got name recognition. He’s been in the business for a long time. What more criteria could you want?”

I’d like to see an artist appointed who aspires to something more. More than financial success, more than a loyal audience, more than a love of the nation. We as a people need popular songs and lavishly reward the lucky slobs who get it right. Since the beginning of recorded music, the pop stars we always have with us, but in the final analysis there’s rarely anything special about people who can come up with a few hits. Musical culture is more specific and atomized than a few generations ago, but I think we understand that our tastes are not universal. I can certainly respect skill and influence in music I’m not crazy about. As for Greenwood’s undeniable love of the USA, I’d submit that fervent patriots are not in short supply.

I’d rather have seen a musician appointed who pushes the boundaries in music like Laurie Anderson. Someone who reaches across genres and generations like Mark Mothersbaugh. A musical trailblazer like Chuck D. An elder statesman like Herbie Hancock, Lucinda Williams, Alex Chilton, Willie Nelson, or Emmylou Harris. Or indeed, someone as skilled and important as Bush’s other NCA appointment, conductor JoAnn Falletta. If you’re going to bother appointing people to a National Council of the Arts, then commit to someone with a vision, something to share, somewhere to lead us. Otherwise, it’s the artistic equivalent of appointing Michael Brown to FEMA.

In the spirit of post-election bipartisanship

Some intelligent, insightful opinions from Republicans.

This is merely the plan, already tested and found wanting, of giving prosperity to the big men on top, and trusting to their mercy to let something leak through to the mass of their countrymen below — which, in effect, means that there shall be no attempt to regulate the ferocious scramble in which greed and cunning reap the largest rewards.–Teddy Roosevelt

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed–Dwight D. Eisenhower

I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it–Abraham Lincoln

We need more of the Office Desk and less of the Show Window in politics. Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight.–Calvin Coolidge

It always pays for a nation to be a gentleman.–Teddy Roosevelt