Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading of other blogs out there that share focus with this one. In the very near future, I’ll have two more to add to the list.

As with the others, the reason that these blogs have kept my attention is that they are the work of enthusiastic fans of this hobby that have a real drive to share their creations and thoughts with others. In this Time of Now, it is very easy to have a blog whose sole purpose is to engage in edition-bashing and pointing out the sheer superiority of the blogger’s preferred form of the game. To merely be a stone upon which to stand while spitting vitriol down on others too foolish to accept their declarations as the One True Way.

You may have noticed that I engage in very little edition bashing around here. It’s simply not something that I have the time, patience, or desire to engage in. I’ve never been much for orators, although I can appreciate a well-crafted speech and/or argument. I subscribe more to Mark Twain’s statement that "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive. But lightning does the work." And from what I can see, I’m not the only one who believes this.

It is for this reason that I feel the “old-school renaissance,” or whatever one wishes to call it, has a better chance at achieving its aims than many other movements. It is a revival effort that is composed mostly of people who spend more time doing than inspiring others to do the “doing” for them. An effort driven by people who know that the best way to attract people to its banner is not by cajoling them or attacking the things that they hold dear, but to present their love of the old game through example and creative efforts. To produce, rather than reduce.

Like any social movement - and I use “movement” rather loosely, as our aims, while noble, are nowhere near the level of such true movements as those for civil rights or women’s independence - there is always a need for outspoken advocates. We have those here, but even the most vocal are backing their statements with creations to supplement their words. I’m grateful for their presence, since I myself have neither the desire nor skill to fulfill that role.
Instead, I do what many of the other bloggers listed over to the right do: create and share my love for the game. Any time that I spent trying to assail the towers of Edition X, Y, or perhaps someday, Z, is time better spent on providing my own contributions to supporting the older ways of the hobby through my own creative efforts.

When I think about the old-school renaissance, the analogy that most often pops into my head is that of a potluck dinner. We’re a group of individuals gathering around a common table. The price of admission to this gathering is that we all have to bring something to the event. It’s alright if you don’t always have something to bring since there’s plenty to go around, but if you really want to make the party better, you’ll make a point of bringing something in the future.

To continue the analogy, I didn’t even know that these potluck dinners were being held until I happened to wander by and catch the smell of cooking I hadn’t eaten in years. After getting drawn in through the door and having the chance to sample from the table, I remembered how good these dinners were and how great the food was. I decided that I’d make it a regular habit of attending these dinners, but only if I could bring something to the table myself.

That’s been my unofficial mantra and the agreement that I made with myself before I started this blog. The day that I feel that I’ve nothing more to share than my presence, is the day I shut this whole thing down. I know that not everything I bring to the potluck is going to be a winner. Some of it will be overcooked, some of it half-baked, and others will simply not be to everyone’s liking. I’m fine with that. I can always replace last week’s Three Bean casserole with this week’s German potato salad. Maybe that’ll go over better. The point is that I’m not arriving empty-handed and trying, in my own little way, to make things better than they would be without my presence.

In closing, I’d just like to say that I wish that I had known about these dinners a little sooner. Although I’m a relatively late-comer to the table, the reception that I’ve received from those here before me has been both kind and encouraging, and I hope to extend that warmth to those who come in after me.

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