[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2018-02-28

Dragons can be killed

Filed under: Art,Books,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:20

I ran across this quote today (not for the first time). It occurs to me that our fairy tales might have changed, but the lesson is still the same.

“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.”
— G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909), XVII: “The Red Angel”

Sweet Halloween Dreams (begemott)

P.S. This is often mis-quoted as something like, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” It’s succinct, and it’s true, but that’s not the quotation. I care about things like that. You might not.

Tuesday, 2016-06-07

Looking back on copyright

Filed under: Art,Books,Intellectual Property,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 18:30

Prediction: In five hundred years, our current system of “intellectual property” (copyright, trademarks, patents) will be considered an archaic affront to basic human rights, rather like “creative feudalism”. It will be mentioned alongside multi-level-marketing and trickle-down economics as one of the peculiarly unchallenged scams of our era. People of the future will wonder how we could have possibly been so stupid.

Monday, 2015-01-19

A handful of figures

Filed under: Art,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 18:29

I do not paint miniatures anymore. It takes me a very long time, and I simply have too many projects as it is.

Still, by the time I stopped, I think I had gotten pretty good at it. Below are the painted figures I have held on to, from oldest to newest. The oldest was painted in the early 1990s. The most recent was painted in 2009 or so.

2015-01-17_14-11-24 2015-01-17_14-12-12 2015-01-17_14-13-06 2015-01-17_14-13-50 2015-01-17_14-15-42 2015-01-17_14-16-06 2015-01-17_14-16-16

Sunday, 2013-12-01

ProFantasy Cartographer’s Annual: December

Filed under: Art,Gaming,Software — bblackmoor @ 10:41
ProFantasy Cartographer's Annual: December

I still haven’t taught myself to use Campaign Cartographer 3, but I really enjoy ProFantasy’s monthly special maps. Check out the December Annual issue for 1930s travel guide-style maps.

Thursday, 2013-08-15

Getty Museum Open Content Program

Filed under: Art — bblackmoor @ 11:54

The J. Paul Getty Trust just announced an Open Content Program making some 4,600 pieces of art from the museum’s collection free to use. Users can visit the Getty Search Gateway to browse through the entire collection of high-resolution images, and they can all be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes so long as they’re properly attributed to the museum.

Tuesday, 2013-08-06

The Mugs of August – NSA mug

Filed under: Art,Food — bblackmoor @ 21:54
NSA

This is an official National Security Agency (NSA) coffee mug. Nowadays, this isn’t anything special. Everyone knows who the NSA is and what they do.

Back in the 1980s, it was a different story. NSA agents were my favorite government “spooks” to use in modern-day role-playing games, because not many people knew they existed, and many people who did know weren’t quite sure what they did. So if I needed a couple of “top men” to show up under the flag of government authority without revealing exactly who they were or what they were authorized to do, the NSA was my go-to organization.

Those were the good old days.

Saturday, 2013-08-03

The Mugs of August – Mashery mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Work — bblackmoor @ 12:38

MasheryMasheryMashery

One of the great things about my company is that they send me to conferences every so often. This mug came from php|tek 2012, which was a great convention held at a terrible hotel located an hour away from Chicago. It was a horrible location for a conference, honestly. However, the conference itself was really good.

This mug came from Mashery, which was one of the sponsors of the conferences. They provide API management for third parties. But what I think is neat is that the mug changes when you put something hot in it.

Thursday, 2013-08-01

The Mugs of August – DriveThru mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Work — bblackmoor @ 10:14

DriveThruDriveThru

This mug was made for me by a colleague. The logo on the front is DriveThru, which is the parent brand of most of sites operated by the company I work for. The most well-known of these, and the one I like best, is DriveThruRPG. I loved DriveThruRPG before I worked here, and I’ll love it after I’ve moved on.

The back of the mug has my name in a “hobbit” style font.

The details are kind of hard to see in photographs, but it looks great in person. This is one of my favorite mugs.

Tuesday, 2013-06-18

Arcology: The City in the Image of Man

Filed under: Art,Books,Ecology,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:58
Arcology: The City in the Image of Man

I read voraciously as a child. I stumbled across Arcology: The City in the Image of Man in the library some time in the late 1970s, and it made a huge impression on me. I immediately created some imaginary worlds for people to live in within these immense structures. I have been thinking about the cyberpunk genre recently, in large part because of some conversations with Chris Helton. I made an offhand comment about cyberpunk being the 2020s as imagined by the 1980s, but really, I think cyberpunk has its roots even earlier, in the work of Paolo Soleri and Samuel Delany (Babel 17, Dhalgren).

Friday, 2012-10-05

An observant child

Filed under: Art,Family,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:12
Grimknight by Malakai

While visiting my mom, one of my sisters, and my sister’s family a few weeks ago, I took a few minutes to change my Champions Online password because I received an email that made me suspect my account might have been hacked. I logged in just long enough to do that and then logged out again: a minute, perhaps, at most.

I did not realize that my 6-year-old nephew Malakai was looking over my shoulder while I did so (children are sneaky). Later that day, he presented me with the drawing on the left, which he had done entirely from memory. Note the things he noticed and remembered: not just Grimknight in the foreground, but the waving police officer and the insectoid spaceship behind him! I was, and am, amazed.

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