When tyranny and social justice go hand and hand, it is time to make a stand for conversation. Today, I pick statues.
Democracy requires participation. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America prioritized free speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Players beware, characters are not safe in my game. With the filter of fiction as my perpetual disclaimer, I will offend with glee and great satisfaction.
Prepare with spells, gear, and wit. Just don’t forget, political correctness doesn’t exist within my fantasy.
I game master a virtual tabletop role-playing campaign on Roll20. It takes place in the same setting as my novels, a symbiotic relationship necessary given the constraints of my day-to-day life with work, family, and writing.
The following is copied from pages five and six of the text, with what triggers me highlighted in a bold purple:
Gaming is for all:
Whether you’re a player or a Game Master, participating in a tabletop roleplaying game involves an inherent social contract: everyone has gathered to have fun together, and the table is a safe space for everyone. Everyone has a right to play and enjoy Pathfinder regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identities and life experiences. Pathfinder is for everyone, and Pathfinder games should be as safe, inclusive, and fun as possible for all.
This declaration of a “safe space” implies a right to not be offended. I respect efforts to cater to the sensitivities of players, but there is a difference between striving towards equality of acceptance and enforcing an equality of experience.
In this post, I pick up Holmgren’s trail of bread crumbs and toss in other samples of censorship I forage along the way. At the end, it becomes a noxious recipe for the culture war and a far bigger problem than the loss of one book.
It starts with some Amazon reviews raising safety concerns with her pseudo-cookbook. In the brush-heavy landscape of social media, they spark a critical mass of outrage, causing the publisher and libraries to literally trash it.
This boy with the “Great” shirt is my son, Yuri. He’s enjoying a blueberry milkshake complete with a bright red straw. It was a few years ago when we were going around Hood River’s Fruit Loop, back when I still obeyed the food pyramid and consumed sugar for energy.
Yuri tends to tell the truth, but he just turned nine. No matter how heartfelt, his truth may not be mine.
Given how my understanding of diet has evolved over the past few years and shifted successfully from sugar burning to fat burning, I appreciate how tricky lies accepted in mass can be.
Almost nine years ago another nine year old boy talked to some straw manufacturers to estimate that the US uses 500 million straws a day. Updates declare that the number is much higher, but not specifically how much more so.