Horrible, Offensive Geekery

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Warren
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Warren » 23 Mar 2018, 21:39

In my early college D&D group, the relative danger posed by a newly encountered monster was inversely proportional to the impression given by it's name. This mattered little as I can't recall a single instance of encountering a monster wearing a collar with it's name inscribed on it. Once identified however, one might consider taking a Giant Fanged Narth Disemboweler into your care and making a pet out of it. OTOH No one has ever gazed upon the visage of the dreaded Fred and lived to tell about it.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b » 23 Mar 2018, 22:52

Warren wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 21:39
Once identified however, one might consider taking a Giant Fanged Narth Disemboweler into your care and making a pet out of it.
So long as you aren't a Narth.

It's kind of like the Purple People Eater. If you aren't a purple person...
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Warren » 23 Mar 2018, 23:14

Eric the .5b wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 22:52
Warren wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 21:39
Once identified however, one might consider taking a Giant Fanged Narth Disemboweler into your care and making a pet out of it.
So long as you aren't a Narth.

It's kind of like the Purple People Eater. If you aren't a purple person...
Well the thing about the GFND, is that while it has a great deal of heart and enthusiasm, it is not blessed with an abundance of understanding and will more or less assumed every living thing it meets is a narth. And as I recall, 'giant' in this case is a relative term as the GFND could be held in the palm of your hand.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b » 23 Mar 2018, 23:30

Eric the .5b wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 14:25
thoreau wrote:
23 Mar 2018, 12:52
Using neural networks to generate the names of new D&D monsters:

http://aiweirdness.com/post/17217072901 ... nerated-by
Weirdly, I was in a campaign years back where the desert beeple were central.
Found the link.

Basically, we ran a post-apocalyptic campaign, with sessions on Google Hangouts streamed to YouTube. We played six different games over the course of that campaign—Watch the World Die to set up the actual apocalypse, Microscope to figure out the future history (and, among other things, devise the human/bee hybrid Beeple), Machinas for really violent road-racing, Kingdom for a flashback story of political machinations, After the Horsemen for some tactical ground combat, and....Happy Birthday, Robot?

(We really worked Happy Birthday, Robot in? I actually don't remember it, but then, we play HBR at the slightest excuse...)
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer » 01 Jun 2018, 17:07

While link-diving the other day I made the not-particularly surprising discovery (or confirmation) that every single culture that ever knew about nacre thought it was beautiful, and worked it into art and jewelry -- pearls, mother-of-pearl, the inner side of abalone shells, whatever. So, weird thought: suppose human biology were different enough that instead of keratin, our finger- and toenails were made of some iridescent nacreous substance. Would we still think this stuff beautiful enough to make art and jewelry out of it (either from mollusk shells, or even from people letting their own nails grow long enough to cut pieces big enough for mosaic inlays)? Or would it be considered too commonplace to be art-worthy?
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 Jun 2018, 04:05

Jennifer wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 17:07
While link-diving the other day I made the not-particularly surprising discovery (or confirmation) that every single culture that ever knew about nacre thought it was beautiful, and worked it into art and jewelry -- pearls, mother-of-pearl, the inner side of abalone shells, whatever. So, weird thought: suppose human biology were different enough that instead of keratin, our finger- and toenails were made of some iridescent nacreous substance. Would we still think this stuff beautiful enough to make art and jewelry out of it (either from mollusk shells, or even from people letting their own nails grow long enough to cut pieces big enough for mosaic inlays)? Or would it be considered too commonplace to be art-worthy?
*points to your hair*

We might not frequently make art or jewelry out of it, but we'd probably emphasize it (within the usual cultural variations), style it, and consider it an attractive detail of a person, like eyes and hair. People might wear fake nails from mollusk shells if they didn't think their nails were up to par. Painting nails a solid color would probably be a radical fashion in the modern world., but people might put on protective lacquers or something to enhance iridescence.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer » 02 Jun 2018, 04:39

Makes sense. Most hair in colors other than black has some iridescence (the so-called "highlights"), yet examples of hair woven into art or jewelry are very rare.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b » 29 Jun 2018, 01:13

I look in Wikipedia and note that there are roughly 3 Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson Dune books for each book Frank Herbert wrote. This makes me feel bad for younger SF readers curious about This Dune Stuff.


Unrelated, there's a certain story premise in superhero stories and related science fiction, dating back to Chris Claremont's salad days writing for Marvel. It goes along the lines of "people start developing remarkable and often very dangerous superhuman abilities—and the right wing (and only the right wing, particularly religious nutcases) fucking hate them". It's the sort of plot that often wanders far afield of allegory or expressing any clear thoughts about real-world bigotry beyond, "Prejudice is bad, m'kay?". The root of this is obvious—a lot of Blues and lefties write comics and SF. But it's kind of annoying, especially when I read stories with this premise where the writers can't even depict Them Evil Right-Wingers well.

(The exception to this rule is when the superhumans/superheroes themselves are evil or corrupt, in which case they can be right-wing. See Watchmen and The Boys.)

I do kinda wish I ran into more thoughtful takes on this premise. To borrow a lefty term, use some intersectionality kick: if some musclebound green dude starts throwing cars at the police, I don't think civil rights activists are going to run to his aid. (See all the talk about how calling gay marriage a "civil rights issue" was horribly offensive to black people back during the Proposition 22 campaign.) If superhumans scare people, I don't think Blue politicians are going to studiously protect their rights; they're going to talk in soothing, measured tones, then order the use of violence. (And that's even before we get into Tumbleristas going on about the need for people to check their bulletproof privilege.) And for that matter, like Blues, a fuckton of Reds would probably fall in love with helpful public superhumans/superheroes who seemed to share their values. When we get to the heavily religious folks, one word: miracles. (Bonus three-word phrase: God-given talents.)
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Post by Ellie » 30 Jun 2018, 22:14

David: Hon, come here, there's something I want you to see.

Me: *goes over and looks at his computer screen*

Code: Select all

Pucin vessenya.
Púcan vessenya.
Puncen vessenya.
Upúcien vessenya.
Pucuvan vessenya.
David: *proud*

Me: *baffled*

David: It's the conjugations in Quenya for "I boinked my wife."

Me: OH MY GOD




(David insisted if I post this, I note that the verb was one he invented, albeit derived from an existing Quenya word, and that changing /vessenya/ to /vesselya/ would change everything from /my wife/ to /your wife/.)
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Ellie » 03 Aug 2018, 11:38

I have a friend who recently got into steampunk, and she invited me to come with her in September to a local con with a steampunk track. I met her for coffee the other day and she was telling me all about her 18-year-old daughter being excited to come too and making all sorts of props for her costume, and how she [my friend] is going to go as a artisan with props made from vintage kitchen equipment and a whole class warfare backstory*. And then she finished up with, "I can't wait to see what costume you're going to come up with!"

How much of an ass am I being if I stick with my original costume idea, which was to come dressed as a giant gear?


* off topic but how much does the "punk" in "steampunk" relate to classic 80s punk subcuture? My friend keeps going on and on about how real steampunk shouldn't mean dressing up like rich Victorians because real punk is about being anti-establishment. Whereas I just thought the suffix meant a base culture layered with that aesthetic (e.g. steampunk has lots of steam-powered things, clockpunk has clockwork-powered things, and they each have their own aesthetic built around that). But oh my god, my friend has been into steampunk for about five minutes and is full on into the "make it actually punk" crusade. Sigh. I'd say she needs a hobby but I think she just found one ...
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Highway » 03 Aug 2018, 11:45

While I think that would be a hilarious way to mock some frequently annoying people, it probably wouldn't be the most endearing of actions. ;)
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Ellie » 03 Aug 2018, 11:47

Ah! I hadn't thought of how it could come across that way. I'd meant it as a joke on myself, like, "I couldn't come up with anything good" / "this is how you do steampunk, right?" I wouldn't want other attendees to think I was making fun of THEM.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2018, 12:17

I went to a couple of steampunk festivals in Massachusetts (did not dress up for them, though IIRC I did wear my skeleton-watch necklace); I got the definite impression that, for people who don't want to actually "dress up" but do want to fit in to the visual aesthetic, the color scheme you want to wear is medium- to dark brown (preferably the "leathery" shades of brown), and brass or gold color for any metal accessories -- similar to how if you want to go to a goth club without actually being "Goth," just wear as much black as you can. And the basic steampunk default look is Victorian or Disneyfied Victorian -- long brown skirt better than short brown skirt, for example. (FWIW, I'd always understood the fundamental steampunk aesthetic to have nothing to do with punk; it's basically "The Victorian look if Victorians had high technology, but that technology is entirely mechanical rather than electronic." So if you have nothing "steampunk" and lack the time to make anything, just go for a "Victorian, with earth-tone colors" look.)
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Highway » 03 Aug 2018, 12:27

Yeah, "steampunk" has zilch to do with 70s-80s punk. Of course, I mostly just think it's tacking on brass-rimmed goggles and clockwork to things that don't have them.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2018, 12:37

Highway wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 12:27
Of course, I mostly just think it's tacking on brass-rimmed goggles and clockwork to things that don't have them.
Sometimes literally. I remember in one of the shops or stalls at the steampunk festival, vendors were selling what I initially thought were more skeleton watches even nicer than mine -- but upon closer inspection, they turned out to simply be standard battery-powered quartz watches with nonfunctional brass gearwheels glued on more or less at random.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Painboy » 03 Aug 2018, 12:58

Highway wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 12:27
Yeah, "steampunk" has zilch to do with 70s-80s punk. Of course, I mostly just think it's tacking on brass-rimmed goggles and clockwork to things that don't have them.
Yeah as I understand it the term was originally a very tongue-in-cheek joke on the term cyberpunk.

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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer » 03 Aug 2018, 13:07

A perfunctory Google search for "gear wheels arts crafts" (sans quotation marks) brings up LOTS of results such as "Amazon listing for bag of 100 different brass-colored gear wheels for like eight bucks." And Googling "Steampunk arts crafts" brings up all KINDS of things in addition to gear wheels. Looks like brick-and-mortar arts and crafts stores would have lots of this stuff too.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by lunchstealer » 03 Aug 2018, 15:15

Painboy wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 12:58
Highway wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 12:27
Yeah, "steampunk" has zilch to do with 70s-80s punk. Of course, I mostly just think it's tacking on brass-rimmed goggles and clockwork to things that don't have them.
Yeah as I understand it the term was originally a very tongue-in-cheek joke on the term cyberpunk.
Very much this. It's punk in that it is a backlash against a pretentious trend, but that pretentious trend was cyberpunk rather than glam, prog, disco, and yacht rock.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by tr0g » 03 Aug 2018, 15:42

Steampunk is what happens when goths discover the color brown.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b » 03 Aug 2018, 20:34

tr0g wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 15:42
Steampunk is what happens when goths discover the color brown.
Beat me to saying it. Also:

Image

(From Hark! A Vagrant.)

That said, the origin was a few works in the 80s that were actually sort-of going for some element of "punk", inspired by cyberpunk. (Of course, the actual punk aspect of cyberpunk was always weak to begin with.) It stuck, especially in the 90s and Aughts, because "-punk" as a generic suffix caught on in geek circles. In RPGs, it meant "setting inspired by X, but where murderhobos can fit in".

The silliness of "-punk" is why some media in that realm of super steamtech and 1800s outfits use different terms. The comic Girl Genius uses "gaslight romance", for instance.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Ellie » 04 Aug 2018, 21:40

One reason I'm wary of doing a "regular" steampunk costume is that I'm going to be so hugely pregnant by then (hell, I'm hugely pregnant now). Obviously there were plenty of pregnant people in the Victorian era. But it feels weird and stressful to try to dress like a typical character and then be "OH BY THE WAY HERE'S MY UTERUS." Another reason I wish I could just dress up as a giant gear or something equally non-humanoid.
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Highway » 04 Aug 2018, 21:56

Ellie wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 21:40
One reason I'm wary of doing a "regular" steampunk costume is that I'm going to be so hugely pregnant by then (hell, I'm hugely pregnant now). Obviously there were plenty of pregnant people in the Victorian era. But it feels weird and stressful to try to dress like a typical character and then be "OH BY THE WAY HERE'S MY UTERUS." Another reason I wish I could just dress up as a giant gear or something equally non-humanoid.
I was talking to a friend of mine who is fairly deep into steampunk, and he corrected me saying that at least he would think being just a giant gear would be funny, if you did it well, and he figured that there are plenty of other people who would think it's fun too (he added "Hell, it might become the next big thing and everyone does it next year"). So if you want to do that, you can ignore my point (although I still think that there will be some humorless folks who maybe don't take it as well, but they're everywhere anyway).
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jake » 04 Aug 2018, 23:34

Ellie wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 21:40
One reason I'm wary of doing a "regular" steampunk costume is that I'm going to be so hugely pregnant by then (hell, I'm hugely pregnant now). Obviously there were plenty of pregnant people in the Victorian era. But it feels weird and stressful to try to dress like a typical character and then be "OH BY THE WAY HERE'S MY UTERUS." Another reason I wish I could just dress up as a giant gear or something equally non-humanoid.
You could make the pregnancy an integral part of the costume... dress mostly in the "brown Victorian" style, but have a big ol' gauge mounted dead center on your belly, labeled "PRESSURE", with its needle in the red zone.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Aresen » 04 Aug 2018, 23:42

Ellie wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 21:40
One reason I'm wary of doing a "regular" steampunk costume is that I'm going to be so hugely pregnant by then (hell, I'm hugely pregnant now). Obviously there were plenty of pregnant people in the Victorian era. But it feels weird and stressful to try to dress like a typical character and then be "OH BY THE WAY HERE'S MY UTERUS." Another reason I wish I could just dress up as a giant gear or something equally non-humanoid.
If you want to do steampunk while pregnant, a 'wheels within wheels' theme is essential.
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Warren » 05 Aug 2018, 21:36

Jake wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 23:34
Ellie wrote:
04 Aug 2018, 21:40
One reason I'm wary of doing a "regular" steampunk costume is that I'm going to be so hugely pregnant by then (hell, I'm hugely pregnant now). Obviously there were plenty of pregnant people in the Victorian era. But it feels weird and stressful to try to dress like a typical character and then be "OH BY THE WAY HERE'S MY UTERUS." Another reason I wish I could just dress up as a giant gear or something equally non-humanoid.
You could make the pregnancy an integral part of the costume... dress mostly in the "brown Victorian" style, but have a big ol' gauge mounted dead center on your belly, labeled "PRESSURE", with its needle in the red zone.
Well struck sir!
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