When Cyborg decides to talk about his feelings, it comes out of nowhere. It’s much more frequent than he personally could ever find comfortable. Confessions of anger, joy, or depression bubble up with little to no prompting. It was hard at first learning to deal with somebody who liked to talk through problems. If it wasn’t world-threatening, issues of all sizes went happily ignored in the Doom Patrol. Even after all this time, it still throws him for a loop at how easily Cyborg will talk about the serious stuff. They’ll be moving through their day as usual when something will click in his best friend’s head and the discussion will start whether or not he’s ready for it.

“You know, for a couple of months, I hated your guts.”

He kind of hates it a little bit. It’s great that Cy likes talking and trusts him enough to talk to him. Honestly, he loves that part. That part is exactly what he always imagined having a best friend would be like. He hates it because it’s can never be just Cy talking. Because when Cyborg decides it’s time to talk through thoughts and emotions with him, it means he’s eventually supposed to return the gesture. Even if he isn’t sure what they are sharing or why.

He chanced a glance at his teammate. Eyes still glued to the screen, not a pause in the skillful button mashing, and the normal small smirk that normally means he’s losing at their game is still firmly in place. Cy hadn’t sounded angry or even vaguely upset either. But you never can be too sure. Hopefully this wasn’t going to lead to him being in too much trouble. As his full attention swung back to the digital horde of monsters they are slaying together, he realized Cy was waiting for him to say something.

“Really?” It wasn’t really a good answer but it was usually enough for his friend. The brief distraction is enough to not only securely give Cy the lead, but also leave him surrounded by snarling mouths and lashing claws.

“Oh yeah. I absolutely hated you. Just the sight of you made me so mad.” Cyborg’s character turned around. It was a little strange, watching himself be destroyed from the split viewpoint of both victim and witness.

He doesn’t want to know. He already knows. So many people have already made sure he knows exactly what’s wrong with him. Doesn’t need to hear the person who knows him best tell him too. He’s not sure he can handle his best friend in the entire world cutting his self-esteem along the handily pre-scored lines.

“Oh…why?” There’s a dim, unhappy kind of pride in the fact that his voice doesn’t shake when he asks anyway. Because honestly, he had known the whole time. Could see it Cyborg’s face. Heard the anger ringing through in every tight lipped sentence. Read it in the tight lines of his shoulders and clenched fists. Of course he had known the older teen was mad. What he hadn’t wanted to accept was the fact it was all his fault.

But then it’s always his fault anyway. He should just stop fighting it.

In the quiet, easy synchronization that they’ve always managed to slip into, he senses his best friend’s shrug before it happens. Knows he’s not going to have to start this level again before his teammate begins mowing down the monsters that have him cornered. It takes a couple seconds of very focused combos, but eventually they’ve got the hallway cleared. Only once they start moving again does Cyborg continue dragging the conversation along.

“Because you were always so damn happy. I mean, about everything. It was like you just refused to acknowledge the fact that I was upset about this,” Cyborg made a vague movement he guessed was supposed to reference the cybernetics. “I had just lost everything. And there you were, always laughing your head off at something. Always pushing me to just move on. It was like you didn’t know what it was like to lose something that important or to hurt. You were just some kid, how on earth were you supposed to get it? What it really meant to be in pain, you know?”

His grip on the controller tightened reflexively. His best friend’s tone was still gentle and easy. Not meant to hurt. Cy is obviously trying not to spook him. But Cy’s words, no matter how kind, still shake him pretty hard. Because he does know.

Please, please, please. Anything but this.

Anything at all, but please, don’t let this be when he’s expected to share too.

“But one night I was sitting in my room hating myself and this life and everything. And I don’t know why, but some dumb thing you said came to mind. I don’t remember what it was or why I remembered it, but it made me laugh.” Something in Cy’s voice tells him that maybe today isn’t going to end in an attempt to dig up the landmines of his past. Again. Still the tension he was fighting to keep out his shoulders is slow to disappear. Cy is still talking and it’s not getting any better.

“It wasn’t until I got to know you a little better, like later on, that I realized that you were trying to help. You saw how dark a place I was right then. You were trying to bring a little light in. When I just wanted to talk about how I hated everything, you kept trying to show me why I shouldn’t. That I shouldn’t give up on myself. But that just made you seem so much better, you know?” His focus is split between their video game and attempting to shove all the sharp-edged thoughts back where they belong.

Cy doesn’t know but he does. Forgetting the bad things and thinking of the better, brighter things instead is better. Maybe sometimes you might have to make your own better things, but it still works. Sometimes you have to pile up all those shiny new better things as high as you possibly can before it will work. But eventually it works. That’s really what counts.

Cy laughed dryly as their avatars leapt across a chasm. A subtle gleam ahead beckoned them forwards. They were finally drawing in on the level’s prize. Or maybe it was another save point or just another boss fight. Or hope against hopes, it was finally the right castle and the princess was just around the corner. The storylines and quests from all the different games they are working through are hard to separate. It’s all a really big blur of expansion packs and power ups at this point.

“Honestly, that made me even madder at you. I didn’t like you because you were trying to help me. Which just made you try even harder.” The quiet laughter continued as they crept across a tiny bridge lit by flickering pixelated torches.

“It’s not a big deal.” He mumbles, trying to sound distracted and not uncomfortable. Because it isn’t a big deal. All he’s ever wanted was to help. Even if he’s not very good at being helpful, he still likes to try. So he gives fumbling lessons in slang he doesn’t completely understand. He deals with aching shoulders from repeated joint locks and ices friction burns. Sits against a shared wall and thinks thoughts so bright, it makes his eyes sting. He figures out combo strings and tries not to accidently destroy their battered game station again. It’s not a big deal but it’s all he can do.

“Well maybe not to you,” Cy’s tone is still mostly kind but there is something else in his voice. Something that makes the spaces between his words louder. “Because that’s just how you are. But it was a big deal to me. You are always there, even when I don’t want you to be. And I never remember to thank you.”

He doesn’t know what to credit the stress in Cy’s voice to. He doesn’t know why Cy likes to pull this stuff up from the past. But he does know this whole conversation is stressing him out and his discomfort is starting to bleed through. And his turn to share is rapidly approaching unless something happens.

So he flips the little mental panic switch in his head.

“Dude, like I said, it’s not a big deal!” Bright and cheerful, just like the smile. Not too tense or too forced, just enough to show he’s at ease. Chin up, throat bared to show confidence. Relaxed shoulders, fingers settling with confidence around the controller in his hands. He sinks into a slouch, practiced comfort in every loose line.

Maybe he should talk. It couldn’t be that horrible to stop running away from this kind discussion. Especially with Cy. His best friend who has kept his secrets and shared in so much of his life. It shouldn’t be this difficult to just talk. Nobody can run from their issues forever. But he lets his character race towards the light now sparkling from the entrance of this level’s final stage instead.

It’s Official: Gun Debate Proves GOP’s Learned Nothing from 2012.

In the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s reelection, there was a lot of talk about how the Republican Party would need to increase their demographic appeal. Mitt Romney’s lily-white electorate was not nearly enough to put him in the White House and discounting woman voters cost him dearly. The math no longer works, catering to the whims of the largest minority is no longer enough, the southern strategy is dead. If there’s a lesson for Republicans in their 2012 debacle, it’s that they can’t afford to continue to alienate large swaths of the voting public.

But, as I’m so fond of pointing out, learning lessons is not something Republicans do. So, at a time when they should be broadening their appeal, they’re narrowing it further. You could take this Politico article and replace every instance of “NRA” with “the Republican Party” and it would be entirely accurate:

Pollster Frank Luntz, who has studied attitudes about gun control, said on Wednesday that he doesn’t “think the NRA is listening” to the American public in the wake of the massacre of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

“The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “And they are not asking for a security official or someone else. I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think they understand most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. At gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there without any kind of check whatsoever.”

He added, “What they are looking for is a common sense approach saying those who law-abiding should continue to have the right to own a weapon, but don’t believe the right should be extended to everyone at every time for every type of weapon.”

If you doubt my argument that the NRA and the GOP are hand in glove on this issue, consider this Bloomberg headline: “Senate Republicans Agree With NRA, Oppose New Gun Laws.” For Republicans, as with the NRA, an assault weapons ban is a no-go. As is a ban on high-capacity magazines.

But a recent Pew Poll found that a big majority – 65% – believe that assault weapons make America less secure. At the time, the poll found no partisan advantage on who was better at handling gun policy, but that was during a time when Republicans were wisely keeping their big yaps shut on the subject. After the school massacre in Connecticut, the GOP basically went into hiding. Now that NRA chief Wayne LaPierre has broken the ice by suggesting we throw money at the problem of gun violence and dump more guns into schools, Republicans apparently feel it’s safe to come out now.

And, as always, they come out on the side of their big donors. If it’s people vs. corporations, the GOP will always choose corporations. Anyone who believes otherwise is a chump. And the NRA represents corporations – the people part of it is a front. It represents gun manufacturers, suppliers, and merchants. Doubt me? When Luntz says the NRA isn’t listening, he includes their own members. His polling shows that NRA policies don’t reflect the opinions of NRA members. Instead, they call for the sale of more guns and more ammo – exactly what you’d expect a trade association of arms manufacturers to do. They represent gun owners in the same way that tobacco companies were representing smokers by denying their products were unhealthy – i.e., not at all.

And if the NRA stands opposite public opinion on this issue, so does the Republican Party. At a time when the party should be bending over backwards to attract new voters, they’re becoming more and more an elite and exclusive club of people who hold unpopular opinions.

You’d think that this would’ve been the year that they finally wised up and realized that constantly shrinking their base was a really bad strategy – not in the long run, but in the now. But you’d be wrong. Republicans don’t learn things, they tell everyone else what to think. And they’re apparently so intent on dictating the proper way of thinking to everyone that they’re completely unaware that most of us have stopped listening.


[image source]

i feel for dorian a lot and relate v much to feeling trapped and being raised in a loving but homophobic household, but he grew up SO PRIVILEGED and a lot of his Tragic Backstory is him taking out frustrations by acting out/causing scenes because he had the luxury of being able to do so in the first place. he hid out in “slums” and paid for whores and like… yes that’s sad but buddy u could afford to do that, and u could also leave those slums. what do u think happened to the elves they found him with? this + the fact that he never questions slavery until he comes to the south… man i love dorian pavus a whole hell of a lot, but he was probably insufferable in tevinter

Kanaya/Rose :: Spoonful of Descent

Title: Spoonful of Descent

Pairing: Kanaya/Rose

Rating: M


Troll boys aren’t the only ones with bulges. Kanaya puts off having sex with Rose because she knows that human females are built differently and she’s worried that Rose will react poorly. But in the end, Rose is 0kay with having even more tentacles in her life.

Warnings: Ad-libbed alien biology, tentadick, awkward teenage lesbian interspecies exploratory sex.

I thought long and hard about putting this on tumblr, but after Jabberwock manned up about her most recent Dave/Tavros fill, I said what the hell and just did it. Who needs dignity and anonymity when you have potentially incriminating porn to post?

So glad I finally finished this, though. Hopefully I can start on the next parts within the week!

==>Kanaya: Be overwhelmed by self-consciousness.

Keep reading

Emptiness 3 Quest Miracle

And lo did the people live, and die, and dwelt Death then in his ivy-clad mansion, his ivy-clad mansion and its dust. He walked and where he walked he left footprints, and in time they faded too behind.

And lo did another generation pass, and still dwelt death in dolor there; where he walked he left his footprints, yea, and his footprints would fade away.

Now there lived a woman named Elsa in that time among the folk of human flesh; she was born, she came screaming to the world, and later died, and still Death walked; though it is said that on Elsa’s passing that he looked sideways then and sighed.

And he walked; and he left his footprints, and his footprints faded in the dust behind.

And Elsa’s daughter Elsabeth bore Brion, then, who was her son; and Brion sired Vayn; and Vayn gave rise to Elyon, who was later called the Just. And Elyon’s daughter Emma she gave birth to seven more; and they, to a brood of thirty; and twenty in the generation next; and withered then their line in the years that followed, it thinned, then, and it passed away, until only young Sasha and his sister Susan yet remained of Elsa’s line. And still Death he walked in his dusty halls and left his footprints in the dust behind—

Until time came o'er and it coated them with a dust that was of its kind.

And Sasha died, and Susan grew old and as lined as the night was dark; and she came to spend more and more of her days and nights and years sitting out and quiet by the shore; and one day her chair it tipped forward and she went sliding then towards the lake—

But at that very moment, and for no reason that is ever anywhere spoken, save, perhaps, that it was time, Death looked up from his endless trudging, from his mansion covered o'er in dust; and he twitched, and writhed, and he shed his skin, and he spread his wings, and he came to Susan, by the shore.

And he was in the form of a great bird of shadow, and she of wrinkles piled on wrinkles like unto a tangled ball of yarn, but still when Death’s wings passed o'er her, she saw a light; and he, the most beautiful of girls….

Stories to Watch: 1/30/13.

A little background on this one; Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke recently cut a “PSA” informing the public that he was an incompetent ass who couldn’t possibly be expected to do his damned job, so residents should forget about calling 9/11 and just shoot people. Sure, he sugarcoated it, but that’s the gist of it. The whole thing was basically an infomercial to sell guns, because Clarke is a corporate stooge and an NRA tool. Anyway, a Milwaukee woman took him up on that and fired a pistol in the air during a domestic dispute with her niece. Makisha Cooper told police that “that she knows her rights regarding having a firearm because she heard Sheriff Clarke on the radio stating that she could own a gun to protect herself.” She now faces up to 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines for following Clarke’s really stellar advice. Luckily no one was killed. The sheriff should be run out of town.

A rightwing survivalist nutjob shot and killed an Alabama school bus driver today, then took an autistic 6 year-old kid hostage. Patriot Jimmy Lee Dykes is today’s recipient of the NRA Second Amendment Hero Award. He’s currently using his freedoms to protect himself from government tyranny – or as a commie would put it, “engaging in an armed standoff with police.” Those always go so well for everyone involved.

The Stupidest Thing Anyone Is Likely To Say All Week Award goes to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, for this gem; “I think video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people.” Yeah, go ask Gabrielle Giffords or the parents in Sandy Hook how it feels to be so completely unaffected by gun violence. If you needed more proof that Republicans are way out in Lala-Land on this issue, there ya go.

Jim Nabors, famous for playing Gomer Pyle in Gomer Pyle, USMC and The Andy Griffith Show, got married in Hawaii to “his companion of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader.” He’s 84 years old and it’s a pity he had to wait for so long.

Two top conservative leaders are racists. Not in the “this one thing they did once suggests they might be racist” way, but in a “they gave buttloads of money to the Hooray for Racists Fan Club” way.

Another day, another step closer to universal background checks for gun purchasers.

I’m not sure Rand Paul really gets what Libertarianism is all about. Hint: Libertarians don’t take Authoritarian stances.

Israel bombs a weapons convoy in Syria.

Yes, the father of a murdered Sandy Hook child was heckled by gun freaks at a Connecticut hearing on gun violence. The audience doesn’t get to just shout things out during testimony. Any other take is bullshit. It’s not even a matter of semantics. Wingnut bloggers are so ashamed by the things gun nuts do that they’ll deny reality to cover it up.

Finally, it’s not really news, just something it pays to remember: history shows that we really need to watch out for people who feel the need to hang flags all over the place.

[image via AP]

Pairings: Bokuaka, Kuroken, Kagehina, Tsukkiyama, with mixtures of a million other qp ships jfc (kenhina, akaken, tsukiaka, bokutsuki, bokuhina, akayama)

Words: 33,700 / 188,000+

Summary: relationship-centric chapter: construction of new, powerful friendships; rebuild and strengthening of the old; affirmation and overlap and more love than you’ll know what to do with; but as always, a lingering sense of dread and regret–there’s a certain fear

Are some subjects really objects?

A number of years ago it was observed that there is more than one type of intransitive verb (i.e. of verbs describing an action, state or change where only one noun is involved – of which many examples to follow). This is true of many languages, including English.

Sometimes, the subjects of intransitive verbs behave like the subjects of transitive verbs (verbs with two nouns involved, as in Lucy plays football, Harry loves Ancient Egyptian etc.). For example, a typical property of the subject of a transitive verb is that it can be described with the verb plus the suffix -er, e.g.:

  • player - “one who plays something”
  • lover - “one who loves someone”
  • writer - “one who writes something”

Some intransitive subjects can also be so described: workertalkerswimmer, runner etc. But others can’t: we don’t say arriver “one who arrives”, dier “one who dies”, beer “one who is” and so forth …

But there is evidence that the subject of many of this latter group of intransitive verbs actually functions a bit like a transitive object. The object of transitive verbs can often be described with a form of the verb called the past participle, placed before the noun, for example:

  • Hannibal destroyed the city (sentence) / the destroyed city (noun phrase describing object)
  • tourists frequently visit this attraction / the frequently visited attraction

Note that often an extra adjective or other modification is required for the sentence to make sense: the loved library is a bit of an odd thing to say but the much-loved library is fine; likewise we probably wouldn’t say the eaten hamburger but we might say the recently eaten hamburger or the half-eaten hamburger.

We can do a similar thing with some intransitive verbs:

  • the sun rose / the risen sun
  • the man fell / the fallen man
  • the recruits arrived recently / the recently arrived recruits

This suggests the subjects of these verbs actually behave like the objects of transitives, as previously discussed. Note as well that these intransitive verbs are amongst those which can’t take the -er suffix, and furthermore that verbs which can take this suffix don’t allow the pre-noun past participle construction: we can’t say the talked man “the man who talked” or the swum woman “the woman who swam”.

This idea that some intransitive verbs at one level really have objects, instead of subjects, is for various complex reasons referred to as the unaccusative hypothesis. Of course, at another level these “objects” do behave like subjects: e.g. in a sentence they usually come before the verb; if they take the form of pronouns they have the subject forms Iheshe rather than the object forms mehimher;etc. Thus we say I fell not fell me, and so on. There are also various complications (which I won’t go into here, because they are, well, complicated) which suggest the unaccusative hypothesis in its simplest form may be inadequate, and that some refinement is needed.

However, the hypothesis still usefully highlights a couple of things which seem to come up again and again in modern linguistics. Firstly, the way things appear “on the surface” may mask other properties. The noun Lucy looks like a subject in both Lucy talked and Lucy arrived, but in fact in the latter it seems also to have some “underlying” object properties which don’t show up so easily. Secondly, close inspection of the details of a language – including details which we might not think obviously relate to whatever it is we’re thinking about – can help reveal these underlying properties. It is this sort of close attention to detail that has allowed many of the advances in linguistics that have been made over the course of the last few decades. And even the complications I just alluded to may be useful here, in helping us come up with an even better theory.

Are some subjects really objects? was originally published on CamLangSci

The Argument that 99-Percenters Offer No Solutions is a Really Stupid Argument

Imagine you’re driving along and you hear a sound somewhere under your car. “Ka-chung, ka-chung, ka-chung…” You’re going to take that to a mechanic, right?

Now imagine that the mechanic asks you what you want to do about the sound. “I want you to fix it,” you tell him.

“Sorry,” he’s says. “That’s not specific enough. I need you to tell me exactly what needs to be done. What component I need to replace. What tools I need to do it. I need step-by-step instructions on exactly what repairs you want done.”

“I’m not the mechanic,” you answer, “you are! I just want you to fix the noise. I don’t know how to do it.”

“Come back when you have real solutions,” the mechanic says.

That’s the problem facing the American people and, specifically, the protesters in the streets of New York and other cities right now. The problem is obvious – unemployment, a tax structure that’s way to lopsided toward those at the top, corporate crime and runaway greed, out-of-control higher education costs, etc. Our entire economic system is going “Ka-chung, ka-chung, ka-chung.” Yet, when the protesters point out there’s obviously something wrong here, they’re dismissed by politicians and the media for having no solutions

But here’s the thing; it’s not their job to have solutions. That’s what we hire politicians for. In our metaphor, they’re the customer, not the mechanic. Yet the media is constantly asking what the customer plans to do about the noise, then snicker behind their hands when the customer shrugs.

Even Paul Krugman comes close to falling into this trap – before sidestepping it expertly. In an excellent piece on the protests, he praises protesters for correctly identifying the problem and addresses the “no solutions” argument.

A better critique of the protests is the absence of specific policy demands. It would probably be helpful if protesters could agree on at least a few main policy changes they would like to see enacted. But we shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.

Yes. It probably would be better if they came out with wonky policy proposals, but that’s what policy wonks are for. As critiques go, “they don’t have solutions!” is just plain dumb. Thankfully, he pulls out of the media argument with the last sentence of the paragraph. But this is perilously close to calling the criticism valid.

I’ve been pushing this a lot lately, but that’s because I think it’s important; go to We Are the 99%, scroll through a few pages of posts, and see if you don’t notice something. That’s right, a lot of the stories are extremely similar. There’s a big, big problem out there, all of these people are pointing right at it, but the media are pretending – completely illogically – that if you don’t know how to fix it, the problem must not exist.

The Washington crowd should not be looking at average Americans for solutions. That’s not what we pay them to do. The American people need to tell them what they’d tell that mechanic; we’ve told you what the problem is, now quit being a dick about it and fix the damned thing.

Or we’ll find someone else who will.


Meat Less Mondays / Alternative Diets


Meat is a tender subject for me, it’s easily my favorite food. Steaks, seafood, and pulled pork are all things I crave on a regular basis. The worst part to my addiction to bovine and swine is that it’s one of the priciest items on the grocery bill. The average American consumes approximately .21 pounds of meat per day (according to the USDA). Realistically, I think it’s far safer to say we consume .5 pounds of meat per day, especially if you’re a carnivore like myself.

Which means at $3.79 per pound for ground beef, we consume about $1.90 per day in delicious animal flesh. I’ve never considered being a vegetarian or vegan (I’m afraid I would starve to death) but looking at the financial data definitely makes it more tempting. At $1.90 per day your average vegetarian saves around $693.50 a year on being meatless. Vegans would save even more considering they don’t buy milk, butter, eggs, cheese, and a bunch of other random things.

One caveat to this whole comparison is it’s difficult to estimate how much vegans would need to spend on substitutes to ensure they are getting the correct amount of vitamins and nutrients.

I’d really like a bite of that $693.50 in savings per year but don’t think I can manage going full vegetarian. However, I do think there are a few different techniques we could use to get a piece of that veggie loving action.

Meatless Monday’s for example (no meat every Monday) would save the average American $7.60 a month or $91.20 a year. It may not seem like a ton of money but it also requires essentially no effort (cooking with no meat involved should technically be less work). We could also step it up and cut meat out two times a week and save $182.40 a year. That’s a decent chunk of change and if we add in 6.8% compounding interest over 2 years, we’ll save a total of $402.85!

However, I have another idea, what if we simply used half the meat required for our recipes? If our lasagna calls for 2 pounds of ground beef, reduce it to 1 pound. If all year long we cut our recipes meat requirements in half we would save $346.75 a year! It’s the best of both worlds, bacon and eggs in the morning. While we simultaneously save $765.84 over 2 years at 6.8% compounding interest.

I believe that the concept behind alternative diets will be different for everyone and your dietary needs (and mental preparation). Hopefully the data I calculated above can help you figure out the best way for you to save some money on meat. If you’re unsure of anything because of health issues be sure to talk to a doctor or nutritionist. I also found this awesome comparison by LearnVest comparing daily meals between different diets, you can read that here.

If you have any other alternative diets I’d love to hear about them in the comments. My next post is about an alternative diet I’ve personally been using since November and it’s saved me a ton of money. I can’t wait to tell you all about it and it’s financial impact on me.

Meat Less Mondays / Alternative Diets was originally published on Student Debt Sucks!

Cthulhu Fluxx Takes You To The Brink Of Your Insanity

Cthulhu Fluxx combines the frenetic gameplay of Fluxx with the beloved characters of H.P. Lovecraft. If you’re unfamiliar with Fluxx, it’s a card game that starts simple: each player has three cards, and you draw one card, play one card. From there, you can change the rules of the game, depending on what’s in your hand. Suddenly, a few rounds later, you’re drawing three cards and playing two, or drawing four, playing one, and you’ve got a hand limit of one card.

Sound confusing? It’s not. It’s a simple game where you make the rules as you go. The way to win is by fulfilling whatever the present goal is. For Cthulhu Fluxx, that goal is related to the Lovecraftian universe. And, since it’s such a dark place, there are also some Ungoals, too – meaning there are ways you can lose to darkness. Certain characters can be drawn and placed in front of you with an action. If you draw Keepers, those are good characters – the Socialite, the Poet, and the Reanimator are just a few. The Creepers are the bad guys who prevent you from winning – this includes the Body, Shoggoth, and, of course, Cthulhu. Creepers have Doom counters too, which adds to the chances of everyone losing. Put Creepers in front of you automatically; Keepers you play within your regular actions.

Goals and Ungoals have various criteria, each one tickling the Lovecraft geek’s horror bone. “The Whisperer in the Darkness” goal says that the player with the Professor and the Fungi on the table wins. The Dunwich Horror Ungoal says that if the table’s Doom count is six or more, and Yog-Sothoth is on the table, the game ends with no winner. Well, actually, the winner is Yog-Sothoth!

For me, Fluxx is a really fun game that can be played quickly and without that much competition. There’s not much to dislike about it: it’s super portable, easy to learn, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space to play, so you can really bring it anywhere. My friends and I played it in a diner booth the other day, and even when the food was on the table, we had enough room to keep going. But some people don’t like the frenetic energy of it, and avoid it at all costs. I played it with both kinds of people (as well as some newcomers!) and found that, no matter what, I enjoyed it. And being a Lovecraft nerd only helps with Cthulhu Fluxx.

tl;dr – Cthulhu Fluxx is a super entertaining game for anyone into Fluxx, Cthulhu, or any kind of fast social game. It’s quick, easy, portable, and most of all, fun!

Original Article

Stories to Watch: 2/1/13.

Greg Sargent has a real nice send-off piece about Hillary Clinton’s political career arc from First Lady to Secretary of State to 2016 possibility. Really worth a read.

In case you missed Clinton’s departure, the video is here.

Complaining that America doesn’t have a “White History Month” is like complaining that the Vatican doesn’t have a “Hooray for Catholicism Day.” It’s a really stupid and clueless and silly complaint. Knock it off.

The NRA put out an “enemies” list of organizations and – more concerning – individuals they’ve deemed enemies of freedom. It’s kind of amusing, until you consider who this list is being addressed to – the NRA’s membership base, who are mostly people who believe that the Second Amendment is a blank check to kill “tyrants” and many of whom are unhinged gun fetishists. The first thing I thought of were the “wanted posters” anti-abortion nuts put up of doctors they want killed.

Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen 13% in the last five years, bringing them to their lowest level since 1994. Credit goes to “new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy.” Notice anything different? Yeah, me neither. Industry didn’t crumble and America didn’t collapse. As always, Republican talking points are laughable BS. Cutting emissions was so painless you didn’t even notice it happening. So let’s do it some more.

Despite having a movie out titled Bullet to the Head, Sylvester Stallone comes out in support of gun control. Some on the right will laugh and say that’s hypocritical, but I’d point out that drama ain’t real. The last guy you saw play MacBeth probably wasn’t a big supporter of regicide.

Geraldo Rivera’s stated reasons for a possible Senate run as a Republican are hopelessly incoherent.

The Super Bowl ad Big Soda doesn’t want you to see.

Republicans have given Harry Reid a pretty much immediate chance to regret completely fucking up filibuster reform. Nice job Harry. Now start over and get it right.

Finally, attempts to soften MLK’s image and give him a conservative makeover are bullshit. He was a radical, believing in social justice and economic equality. He was pro-union, anti-war, and anti-violence. If King’s legacy doesn’t fit nicely with your political agenda, then change your agenda. Don’t vandalize King’s legacy.

[photo via Reuters]

Plunder for gold in Scallywags! ARRRRRRRR!

Who doesn’t like talking like a pirate, and everyone should love it on September 19th, but it’s more fun when it’s done with a purpose. Enter Scallywags, a quick game appropriate for youngsters and adults alike. If you’ve ever wanted to plundering without the risk of walking the plank, here is your chance. And on this raid you can bring the kids along!

Let’s dive into Scallywags, and afterwards listen to game designer Chevee Dodd talk about his game on our podcast!

The point of the game is to acquire more pirate booty, gold pieces, than anyone else. Do they do this with cards that have a picture of gold coins like other card games would? Nope! The game comes with pieces of gold! Alright, they are really plastic coins, but it is a sturdy and unique game component. On the face of the coins are values ranging from zero to eight. Pieces of eight anyone? Way to keep with a theme! And they don’t take the easy way out and print a 0 on the zero coin, they take the theme all the way home an put a Jolly Roger on those. The only thing I wish were different about the game is a better contrast on the number side of the coins. They do have raised embossing of the numbers, but the coin is a little difficult to read at times.

There is a different mechanic for taking face up and face down coins, so you are encouraged to dump them out onto the table so there are a random number of face up and face down coins. And besides, the chaos of cascading coins onto a table top is just plain old fun. Once the coins are sufficiently randomized in the center of the table, everyone gets dealt 3 cards and the rest of the cards are placed next to the coins. At this point you can either play a card from your hand or take a face down coin from the pile. If you play a card you get to draw another one to replace it.

Use of the cards are the only way to get the face up coins. There are cards that let you give a face up coin to an opponent or take one for yourself. Other cards let you do things like look at some of the face down coins and take one of them, steal a coin from an opponent or merely swap a coin with them, and put another pirate’s coin back. All of them are titled things that keep with the theme. My favorite card is the one that stops someone from taking one of your coins which is aptly titled, “Hands Off Me Booty!” I tend to shout that one a little too loud when we play.

The game ends when every player has 6 coins in front of them. No player may ever have more than 6 coins in front of them. This becomes paramount near the end of the game since you want to try and get high number face up coins away from other players and maybe get low point face down coins out from your pile of treasure. For your last couple turns it is possible you do not have a legal play with this 6 coin limit, so you’ll have to discard a card and draw another.

The game is easy to learn and plays quickly. This definitely isn’t a game where players get distracted since it’s so short between turns, so I think it would work out well with kids. It does have a little strategy involved if you play it with adults. Pirates are forced to keep their booty in order in front of them, so you can remember that sinister player across the table stole your eight for his second coin and you can try and swipe it back later.

You can plunder a copy of it for yourself here or at your FLGS.

tl;dr - Aimed at kids, but still fun for adults. No one’s going to choose walking the plank over playing it.

Original Article