Rick Santorum and the Anti Kitten-Burning Coalition

Burning kittens is wrong. It is cruel, it is illegal and it is, quite simply, evil. No one should burn kittens.

I am, unambiguously and without qualification, opposed to burning kittens. I am also confident that you are opposed to this too. And that latter point is why I cannot join the Anti Kitten-Burning Coalition.

The AKBC, again, is on the correct side of this issue. Its members, quite rightly, are vehemently opposed to something to which they ought to be vehemently opposed. But that isn’t what motivates them. What drives them, their central organizing principle, is the notion that they represent a beleaguered and controversial minority view. They imagine that their stance against burning kittens — sweet, adorable, innocent kittens — is something that separates and distinguishes them from most other people. They imagine that their opposition to burning kittens is a brave and exceptional stance that elevates them above most other people.

In other words, the central concern of the Anti Kitten-Burning Coalition is not a defense of kittens, but an accusation against most other people. They are not driven by their opposition to kitten-burning, but by their opposition to a make-believe faction of other people whom they imagine favor kitten-burning. That this vast bloc of pro kitten-burning people cannot be found and does not exist does nothing to dampen their enthusiastic campaign against these supposed monstrously cruel others. It is a delusion, but the AKBC enjoys this delusion.

This delusion gives their lives meaning and purpose. It makes their lives more exciting. And it enables them to bask in the idea that they are good and righteous people — or at least the possibility that they are better than some imagined faction of monstrously cruel other people.

This delusion has become a central defining trait of American politics. Imaginary monsters — other people who are imagined to favor kitten-burning or other monstrous cruelties — are a greater focus of American politics than jobs, taxes, highways and bridges, or environmental protection. Millions of votes are mobilized and cast based on the imaginary fear of an imaginary faction of kitten-burning monsters.

Here, for example, is Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, describing a nightmare of monstrous cruelty that he imagines is now taking place in the Netherlands:

“In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly,” Santorum said. “And the bracelet is: ‘Do not euthanize me.’ Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized — 10 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands — half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness.”

The happy truth, of course, is that this is all complete nonsense. Nothing like this is happening in the Netherlands. No such bracelets exist. Santorum’s nightmare is entirely false — it’s a fabricated delusion based on a fantasy apparently invented out of whole cloth by the Louisiana Right to Life Federation.

If you had any doubt about that, if you had for a moment perhaps feared that Santorum was telling the truth, then you will be pleased and relieved to learn that he was not. You will be happy to learn that Dutch hospitals are not killing off the terrified elderly because, rightly and understandably, you prefer to live in a world in which such horrible things are not happening.

That’s the difference between you and Sen. Santorum. You both agree that the scenario he described would be a Very Bad Thing. But for you that means you don’t want it to be true while for him that’s reason to wish it were. He believed this story and promoted this story because he wanted to believe it was true. He needed to believe it was true.

Rick Santorum wishes that he lived in a world in which horrible things like this were really happening. If you confront him with the facts and the evidence proving that his Netherlands nightmare is only the figment of a fevered imagination he would not be relieved to learn that this wasn’t true. He’d be defensive and angry, denying those facts and that evidence because he prefers the horrible fantasy.

Why? Why would anyone want such a thing to be true? Why would someone invent monsters and cling, desperately, to the idea of such monsters? Aren’t there enough real problems in the world demanding our attention?

I’ve been studying the Anti Kitten-Burning Coalition in its various incarnations for a long time now, and I have a few theories in answer to those questions.

1. It’s exciting to believe in imaginary monsters.

Santorum wants to imagine himself doing battle with Dutch death panels for the same reason that I spent hours as a teenager fighting dragons, trolls, goblins and orcs. It’s exciting to pretend that you’re a brave hero struggling against the forces of evil. That’s fine when you know it’s just a game — an imaginary fantasy conducted with graph-paper and multi-sided dice. But it’s a problem when you lose the ability to distinguish between the fantasy role-playing game and real life.

2. A fiendish foil for self-righteousness.

Being good is hard. If I compare myself to Jesus or Harriet Tubman or St. Francis or Dorothy Day then I can’t help but see a vast amount of room for improvement on my part. But if, instead, I compare myself to Hannibal Lecter, then I come out looking pretty good. If I compare myself to Hannibal Lecter, then I can tell myself that I am a saint and a hero and not just someone largely indistinct from everyone else, stumbling along in a self-absorbed routine of quiet desperation. It doesn’t matter that Lecter is a fictional character who doesn’t really exist, not when he’s so very useful as a point of contrast that allows me to bask in my own self-righteousness. Am I really a righteous saint and hero? Compared to Hannibal Lecter, to the kitten-burners and the Satanic baby-killers, you bet I am.

3. If the monsters don’t exist, the theory isn’t true.

The Big Theory presents an if-then equation to explain how society works. The theory offers a defense of something — “traditional morality,” sectarian privilege, patriarchy, ethnic superiority, cultural exceptionalism, nationalism, etc. — and says that if that something is not defended, then monstrous consequences will ensue. The absence of such monstrous consequences thus disproves the theory, undermining its defense of whatever it is the theorist is defending.

And so monsters must be invented. And anyone who denies the reality of these unreal monsters must be condemned as an enemy of traditional morality, or of the sect, the ethnic group, the culture, the nation, etc.

4. Imaginary monsters give our fears a face.

We’re afraid. We’re afraid of difference, of financial insecurity, of forces beyond our control, of death. Our fears are amorphous, unsettling and overwhelming. We can’t get a handle on them. So we give them a name and a face and thus can pretend that we’re up against something we can fight. Instead of the amorphous fear of something in the dark, we can pretend that it’s a werewolf in the woods. A werewolf is scary too, but now we have something to do. OK, yes, technically there’s still no such thing as werewolves, but if we pretend there are, then we can take decisive action. We can start making silver bullets. We can start locking up those neighbors we suspect might secretly be werewolves. The monsters may be imaginary, but at least they’re specific.

 

  • Catherine

    The more I watch the Santorum/Romney/Gingrich/monkey-man show, the less I am prepared to think that any of them is actually electable.  Whatever people say, women want birth control, even the “pro-life” ones mostly want birth control.
    Surely, what you have over there is a stage set for someone to step in, some one relatively normal, a man (naturally) whom the not-actually-brain-dead Repubs can feel OK about voting for.
    Jeb Bush anyone?

  • Anonymous

    I have multiple things on my mind.

    first my browser has some kind of glitch what makes reading slacktivist Very annoying.

    second
    I know of dutch christian who was taken to the hospital because she felt ill and it turns out she only had a short time to life and she could chose between a chemotherapy what could slow down the tumors but not cure her or not curing and die earlier without terrible pain.
    She decided to do the latter she only had a VERY short time to make her affairs in order if she would have taken the chemocure her life would have been a bit longer but she would have been in terrible pain and have been drugged.

    So she decided to spend the short time with her family, comforted by the fact that she believed that Jesus already conquered death  for her and that she didn’t have to fear it.

    I have to say that Santorum and fellow conservatives are showing a pathological fear of death and by fearing and running away from it they have become dehumanized, they have become the very thing they hate.

    And as somebody from the Netherlands I have to say that Santorum’s stupidity is really amusing weren’t it for the horrible consequences.

    and last I  ^&&^%$#$ hate my browser.

  • Brandi

    There *are* spherical dice out there.

    http://mightyjunior.com/system/pictures/0000/7598/round_dice_1-6_lg_thumb.jpg

    Mostly, “multi-sided” is a convenient if not perfectly correct shorthand for dice that aren’t the standard six-sided one (D&D dice).

  • Brandi

    @ohiolibrarian: Saw ads for those in Dragon Magazine when I was a kid. Wanted one but couldn’t afford it…

  • Anonymous

    I went to England for a year as a graduate student in my early twenties.

    The conversation I had with the lady at the consulate about buying health insurance should probably be bronzed. She kept explaining that I would be covered by NHS, and I kept saying “I’m not a British citizen. I can still be on NHS? What paperwork will I have to do? How much will it cost? No, wait, you don’t understand, I don’t mean emergency care. But I’m not a British citizen, you do understand, right? I’ll have to pay to go on NHS, right?”

    She finally talked me to a standstill, and I went and told my parents that I wasn’t going to have to pay for anything because I would be covered by NHS. Automatically. In full. Without paying anything.

    So my father went and called them back, because obviously I had misunderstood, and the poor woman had to have the whole conversation with him all over again.

    It troubles me that, as an American, I actually have found my encounters with the Third World more explicable than the ones I’ve had with Europe. I UNDERSTAND ‘you don’t get shit unless you have money’. I DON’T understand ‘the government pays for that’.

  • Brandi

    @Triplanetary: d100s do make superb cat toys, though– and may even keep them from trying to roll your other dice during a game.

  • Anonymous

    “but that’s the beauty of the AKBC myths. You don’t have to paint yourself as being awesome, you just have to paint yourself as someone who opposes those awful kitten-burners. And that’s easy!”

    Even better, you paint yourself as being incredibly brave and persecuted, because the kitten-burners control our society, and oppress and condemn all anti-kitten burning people, or even those who do not themselves burn kittens!

  • Hawker40

    I received a email from a conservative relative claiming that if Steven Hawking had to depend on the British Health System, he’d be dead today and that would be a tragedy, and Thank God that as a American Steven Hawking had access to the world’s best healthcare…

    He absolutely refused to believe me when I told him that Sir Stephen Hawking, CH CBE FRS FRSA, Professor of Mathmatics at Cambridge, had been born in London and was a British citizen from birth.

  • Alicia

    “‘I know you have uninsured adults, but the government pays for health
    care for children if their parents can’t afford it, right?  You don’t
    let CHILDREN go uninsured.  Er… do you?”  “Wait… you mean people
    there can actually go BANKRUPT because of medical expenses?  I will
    never complain about the NHS again.”  And so on.

    To be fair, we do have the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to do that first thing. It’s still a travesty in general but we at least managed to address that. In 1997.

    He
    absolutely refused to believe me when I told him that Sir Stephen
    Hawking, CH CBE FRS FRSA, Professor of Mathmatics at Cambridge, had been
    born in London and was a British citizen from birth.

    Well, the Communist wizards who run Britain are doing excellent work with necromancy these days.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the voice synthesizer. It’s got an American accent. If we heard Hawking speak without it, it would be more evident that he’s a Brit.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the voice synthesizer. It’s got an American accent. If we heard
    Hawking speak without it, it would be more evident that he’s a Brit.

    I love the story – though I can’t cite it, I’m afraid – that originally, he hated the voice synthesiser, but it was the only one they had. Later, the nebulous ‘they’ approached him with a voice synthesiser that could replicate a British accent… and he wasn’t interested, because by then he’d gotten used to his voice.

    There’s something exceptionally charming about that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I remember reading somewhere that during the Depression DV cases spiked and while not commonly reported, men would leave their wives far more often than in the 1920s.

  • WingedBeast

    I want to present Option #6.  (Somebody else already handled 5.)

    6.  No need to research.  That’s just how your worldview worked.

    We’re not ones to question our own worldview mid-sentence.  We state our views and we state what we believe.  Some of us, some of us with some humility before reality, state what we believe in terms of our own fallibility.

    IIRC=If I recall correctly.  YMMV=Your Mileage May vary.

    We’re a fallible species in general.  But, there are places where admitting fallibility is both internally and externally viewed as a failing, as though to say that you’re not as sure as those who claim that they could not be mistaken.

    So, if you act as though you may not be mistaken.  The natural reality that would extend from Rick Santorum’s reality would be that somewhere, in some place where healthcare is paid for by the state it must be also controlled by the state and, therefore, they must be killing old people.

    To Rick Santorum, it has to be happening in one of those nationalized health care nations.  He just picked one out at random that wasn’t England.

  • Mau de Katt

    “And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They
    go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget
    purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there
    with sickness.”

    The ironic thing about Santorum’s quote is that, if the Teabaggers and Neocons do gain/regain power, and if they do get everything running in this country exactly the way they want it, this IS what would happen.  (Remember the Teabaggers actually cheering that “just let ‘em die” approach to dealing with the non-insured?)  If they ever get total control, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they did find a way to euthanize anyone who couldn’t afford care, especially if they were on the wrong side of the political/religious/social/racial spectrum.  (After all, eliminating those Evil Godless Kitten-burners is What Jesus Would Want.)

    I’ve pretty much decided that the way to determine what the modern-day Repugs really would do to this country is what they are accusing the Liberals/Democrats/Non-RTCs/anyone-who-isn’t-themselves of wanting to do.  Just like it’s been shown that the way to determine what a Republican politician or Conservative Fundagelical Pastor has been getting up to is to see what they’ve been accusing the other side of doing, or have been frenetically speaking out/preaching against.

  • Anonymous

    ” I spent hours as a teenager fighting dragons, trolls, goblins and orcs.” Me too… as a “teenager”, last week… for the past 30 years… ;)

  • Anonymous

    Your question is going to have me giggling all afternoon. Often, it would have caused my pedant reflexes to kick in, but I think a quiet “woosh”, is what is called for. Or an inventive tale of a game that is played with a pair of linked Möbius dice. 

  • friendly reader

    I cannot believe these words are about to be typed by my fingers, but to be fair to Rick Santorum, I do think he cares about things other than his theocratic issues. He has proposed a number of policies to try to encourage manufacturing jobs to return to America, which is part of why he’s gotten a boost in Rustbelt states like Michigan and Ohio. I don’t think his policies will work, but I do think he genuinely wants to address them.

    Either the media doesn’t cover these issues because they aren’t as horrifying/controversial, or he doesn’t talk about them as much because he knows he’ll get free attention from his other issues. The man has no budget for advertising (certainly compared to Romney) and taking on the role of the persecuted righteous man gets the religious right press jumping to cover him.

    But this isn’t to say that he doesn’t 100% believe the theocratic stuff he says (he totally does); he just knows that the current right-wing audience will pay more attention if he focuses on that rather than on manufacturing jobs. Santorum may come across as more natural than Romney, but he knows how to play the game.

  • Anonymous

    On a side note, one of my brothers accidentally set a cat’s whiskers on fire. Man did that stink…

  • Michael Cule

    Yes, the Dragon Bone. I recall seeing one only once but they did look cool.

    And of course there’s an app for it. Several types: one of them on IPod Touch got a lot of use earlier this evening when I left my dice bag at home (Bad Michael!).

    I believe it can be set to create dice of any number of sides even ones that don’t exist as natural solids. (D23 anyone?)

  • Anonymous

     I spent the entire summer of 1978 in a futile quest for a set of “real” dice to go with my Holmes Basic Set, which came with the dreaded chits. Eventually we just played the game with 3d6 until we found a set.

  • Anonymous

     “eliminationism” is perfectly cromulent to this forum..’)

  • friendly reader

    …It’s also quite likely he believes his theocratic issues > manufacturing jobs… after all, so long as Satan is attacking America, our economy will never recover! I can’t decide whether it’s more gracious to believe that or to believe he’s a media manipulator… oh the choices you leave me with, Santorum!

  • Bificommander

    In case you’re curious, yes, the Dutch media is aware of Sanatorum’s quote. So far the political reaction has been lackluster. The left wing opposition has requested the forgein affairs department at least brings it up, but no such luck so far. Partly, this is because the right wing government feels our economic ties and being invited to summits is more important.

    But I think the fact that this government needs the support of the SGP in the senate (Basically the leftover voice of when the Netherlands was deeply calvinist. These guys are the oldest political party in the Netherlands and never seem to have changed their original election program except to add a few new technological and sociological advancements to the list of things that are sinfull) and ESPECIALLY the PVV in both the senate and congress. The PVV is the living proof that you having fundie Christian roots or voters is not a requirment to run a far right, conspiracy theory driven, racist political party that loudly proclaims its support for the common man while defending tooth and nail the tax breaks that benefit the extremely wealthy individuals.

    So yeah, we don’t have much ground to mock the American people’s tastes, considering some of the wackjobs we voted into parlement.

  • Anonymous

    It just occurred to me while I read that fact-checker article on euthanasia that the most liberal positions on euthanasia are analogous to the (mainstream liberal) view on abortion that was advocated in the 1960s: Euthanasia / abortion shouldn’t be available on demand (that would lead to abuse), but, if it is really wanted, the person’s case should be given to a panel of doctors and they should decide whether or not it’s legal to perform the procedure.

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, we do have the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to do that first thing. It’s still a travesty in general but we at least managed to address that. In 1997. 

    I’m going to reiterate a point I made a few weeks back: If we wanted to offer universal health insurance, we should have started with the children, not the elderly.

    Given benefits, a lot of elderly people will decide they’ve earned them. Give children benefits and you can teach them that they need to pay their country back once they become adults.

  • MulderTheHypotenuse

    The problem I’ve always had about railing against the Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition is that, inevitably, the people in question are portrayed as willfully denying what they know to be true in order to spread a false agenda.

    And that’s great. They probably are, you know? But then when they turn around and make the exact same claim at us – that we secretly believe in the weird PMD god of LaHayeism, but that we stubbornly act otherwise – it has a distressingly familiar ring.

    I suppose the difference lies in choosing to believe what your eyes and ears tell you as opposed to choosing to believe what an idiosyncratic interpretation of some ancient text tells you, but it’s still the same claim made from both sides. Any argument one levels in their direction can have its exact language mined and used to attack back.

  • Richard Hershberger

     “the dodecahedron is actually the little-used 12-sided die,”

    D’oh!  Right you are.  But back when men were men and giants strode the earth, we didn’t use no stinkin’ non-Platonic ten-sided dice.  We used twenty-sided dice, i.e. (and I just looked this up to get the spelling) icosahedrons. 

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I actually remember on another forum I was on, someone posted a video of a girl throwing a bunch of puppies in a river.

    A ferocious debate then erupted, with the common consent being that real rural men didn’t have a problem with it, and it was only city-dwelling cowards that thought killing puppies was wrong.

  • Richard Hershberger

     Right you are.  The mind is the first thing to go.  Well, for a proper D&D-playing nerd the body was never there to begin with, so it never really had the opportunity to go…

  • Amaryllis

     Folks are poor and desperate and getting poorer and more desperate.
    Worse, they’re starting to think things are never going to get better
    and that there’s no hope for them. When you put people in that position
    and leave them there eventually the social fabric is going to fray.

    Have you seen this article?

    One of the books reviewed in James Gilligan’s Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others, in which he analyzes U.S. rates of violent deaths, deaths by murder or suicide, since 1900.

    He found that for all but fourteen of the 107 years, his combined
    homicide-suicide rate fell when Democrats were president and rose under
    Republican administrations. (Eisenhower and Carter accounted for twelve
    of the fourteen exceptional years.) Gilligan’s most specific
    surmise is that these linkages result largely from unemployment, which
    tends to rise under Republican presidents. An inability to find a job, he says, is the foremost driver of feelings
    of shame and worthlessness. …Gilligan, a professor of psychiatry at NYU,
    conjectures that “[these deaths] are the tip of the iceberg…underneath which are
    many times more people who suffer grievously from these stresses but do
    not respond to them by killing others or themselves.”

    He considers another explanation. Republicans muster their majorities
    from just above the median, pitting “members of the lower middle class
    against the very poorest lower class.” So when they take power, they are
    basically telling Americans who are first to be fired that they no
    longer count. What I take Gilligan to be saying is that those who are
    subject to the humiliations of being poor at least sense that when a
    Democrat is in the White House someone there cares more than would be
    the case if there were a Republican.

    Caveat: I haven’t read the book myself, and I’m sure there are questions that could be asked about methodology and underlying assumptions. Still, it’s an interesting pattern, isn’t it?

    We’ll have to see if the Obama years end up being another exception, if the severity of the recession outlasts whatever feeble hope still exists. As you say, there are large parts of the country where it’s not looking good.

  • Amaryllis

     Ugh, sorry about the formatting there. And Disqus is being uncooperative about letting me edit.

  • FangsFirst

     

    “College is a liberal conspriracy to make your kids listen to Phish!”

    …I think I’m opposed to college now :S

  • FangsFirst
  • FangsFirst

     Gah! A Pogo reference! I must always call these out.
    Because I use Pogo characters when going incognito around the web…

  • arc

    I always find these sort of things tough to think about.

    The Enlightenment rationalist autonomy individualist side of me agrees with Fred when he lays blame at people’s feet for pretending to believe in stuff.  I mean, there’s a certain way of thinking about it were it’s obvious that these days, there’s no excuse to believe rubbish like this.

    How likely do you think it is that the Netherlands really is killing off the useless elderly with great gusto? Even if you think they’re a bunch of tight-fisted doped-up loveless dutch prostitutes and johns (jans?) who are just itching for an excuse to off their oma, and/or you think your source is trustworthy, you might think the probability is as high as 80%, in which case there’s still a 20% chance of it being a goddamned lie, so take 5 minutes out and google it!  Once upon a time these things might be difficult to ascertain (you might have to learn Dutch and order a Dutch newspaper or get a dutch pen-pal or something), but no longer.

    But the empiricist causality sociothingy side of me thinks that this surely has a psych-sociological explanation.  This is hardly the first time this sort of thing has happened, and I think Fred’s points 1 and 4 are particularly apropos.  Other people have already illustrated better than I can the difficulty – often desperateness – of people’s situations.  Many people were living life close to the edge even before the recession – I can’t remember the statistics, but there were substantial numbers of people spending a lot of their weekly income on paying off interest for this and that.  People get told the world and a life both fulfilling and prosperous is theirs if only they work a bit, but then end up working three pointless jobs for peanuts in a desperate attempt to keep the bank and credit-card company at bay.  I guess it’s emotionally clear that something’s very much awry, and the likes of Santorum manage to redirect it onto evil liberals and the Dutch.

    Also, you’ve got a media that loves to paint a picture of a world filled with monsters (making it easy for Santorum to play the same game), and it seems to me most people end up ill-equipped with the necessary skills to distinguish fantasy from reality, so I think the education system’s surely playing its part, too.

    From this perspective people are very much the victims of circumstance, not the authors of their own dream-world.

    I’d like to know more about how this kind of displacement happens, though.

  • arc

    also, using non-Platonic solids is sacrilege and an abomination! Desist immediately, or our graeco-roman civilization will collapse into debauchery and plasticine.

  • arc

    also, also, personally I always feel a bit inadequate when I compare myself to Hannibal Lecter – I don’t have his refined senses, ear for music, publication record, problem-solving ability, resolve, etc…

    Maybe I should see someone about this… 

  • Lori

    I love the story – though I can’t cite it, I’m afraid – that originally, he hated the voice synthesiser, but it was the only one they had. Later, the nebulous ‘they’ approached him with a voice synthesiser that could replicate a British accent… and he wasn’t interested, because by then he’d gotten used to his voice.

    There’s something exceptionally charming about that.  

    The voice is so important to Hawking that there’s a tech whose job it is to preserve it, exactly as is, in the face of obsolete equipment and Hawking’s increasing physical limitations.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/01/03/the-man-who-takes-care-of-stephen-hawkings-voice-speaks/

  • P J Evans

     The war they love to talk about so much as ‘saving democracy’ (WW2) was full of women working in factories and labs and other non-traditional places. They’re trying very very hard to ignore what their mothers and grandmothers (and, for the youngest, possibly their great-grandmothers) did for several years.

  • Tricksterson

    Santorum’s more like the computer.  Logan gives it the truth, which isn’t the answer it wants so it assumes he must be wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Eng/100000651362623 Peter Eng

    Morilore, the difference is that you’re comparing yourself to a real person.  Rick Santorum can’t say, “Well, I’m better than Jack the Ripper” and be happy.  No, he has to invent Death Panels and Baby-Killing Pro-Choice Feminazis as his comparisons.

  • Tricksterson

    What they really mean is “allow women to work for themselves, decide what work they want to do and, horror of horrors! keep the results of the labor and decide what they want to do it themselves”.  you know, like free people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Eng/100000651362623 Peter Eng

    “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!”
    “Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…”
    “The dead rising from the grave!”
    “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”

    (I’ve just quoted Ghostbusters in a relatively serious way.  I am so weird.)

  • Tricksterson

    Mr. Santorum:
    Aristotle was not Belgian
    The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for him self!”
    The London Underground is not a political movement.
    These are facts.  I looked them up

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    ESCHER: The Roleplaying Game. System would use dMobiuses, dTesseracts, and dInfinities. Published adventures would include the VERY adults-only module “(Pi) girls, (i) cups”.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    The entirety of the White Wolf line uses d10s EXCLUSIVELY. Not that this isn’t a point in your favour. 

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, in retrospect a better design would probably have used only percentile dice, but the others were cool (for some deeply nerdy value of “cool”).

    There are some RPGs (most notably the Warhammer 40K RPGs by Fantasy Flight Games) that use percentile dice for non-combat rolls and d10s for everything else.

  • Tricksterson

    I…must…have…this…game!

  • Mau de Katt

    We’ll have to see if the Obama years end up being another exception, if
    the severity of the recession outlasts whatever feeble hope still
    exists. 

    It will, if the Republicans and 1%-er powermongers have their way.  They’re doing everything they possibly can in the political, social, and monetary realms to tank his presidency.  

  • esteban

    why do israelis get mentioned? because they are the easiest scapegoat for the new paranpoia about Jews which you can see in that leftwing Santorum Chavez of Venezuela. why not get hot and bothered about north korea or even china…the paranoid hate fillled need for scapegoats is alas universal. i loathe the present repugnican candidates but paranoia and viciousness are everythere…and of course is directed at the most vulnerable targets, gays and Jews, but not the totalllly virtuous chineese…aas WH Auden said, the human heart is as crooked as a corkscrew


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X