Oh, Lady of Spells

I’ve been playing some D&D via the Roll20 virtual tabletop. It’s a wonderful way to be social and connect with people right now. I think it helps everyone relax and escape for a few (or several hours). Escapism gets a bad name, but I think it’s essential to human happiness. After all, aren’t sports an escape from the monotony of everyday life? Doesn’t the US pause everything on Sundays during Football season to not worry about anything but their fantasy teams? In Europe and most other places in the world, Soccer plays a similar role. Sports are a reason to be passionate and excited. To hoop and holler for something that is otherwise meaningless. D&D is much the same. We laugh and care about a shared story. We pretend we are Gnomes and Elves and Dragonborn mages. Our DM tells us people need the help of mighty and brave adventurers. Isn’t that what everyone wants? For others to need them? Don’t the athletes on sports fields feed off the crowd? Without the crowd would sports matter in the slightest? Of course not. The difference being, I suppose, that D&D between socially inclined nerds needs observation, for players are the participants and the audience.

In this spirit, I thought it would be fun to write out some prayers to the god my character, Vilda Hoindidde, follows–Mystra, the Goddess of all magic. As Vilda is horribly cheesy, so too are her prayers. I’ll likely showcase this in our next session.

 

A Call For the Favor of Mystra

Mother, mother, mother of mysteries

Please take my prayers as humble inquiries.

Don’t shield my eyes from the knowledge of history,

All I desire is a series of victories!

I Live In Washington State

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee announced he will temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities statewide — such as gyms and movie theaters — due to the coronavirus. Restaurants will be take-out and delivery only.

 

The order will last until March 31.

Via Kiro 7 News

This is the headline as of last night.

I live about 40 minutes north of Seattle, along the I-5 corridor. Anyone who isn’t living at the bottom of a bog has watched the COVID hysteria unfold. That’s not what I want to write about today. I want to write about people.

Last night, restaurants and bars, my gym, just a 5-minute walk away, was ordered to shut their doors. This is a huge hit to the economy, that is obvious. But what is the government going to do to mitigate the damage?

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to the same place they were during the Great Recession (2007-2009), in order to boost the economy. But does this help the bartender who is suddenly out of work for the next two weeks?

The average cost of an apartment in Seattle is just over $2,100 with an annual increase of 4% each year, according to Rentcafe.com. What do the bartenders and servers, the chefs, line cooks, and dishwashers Washington now do? What do the people who work at recreational facilities do? Single parents with mouths to feed who work wherever they can? Students with loans, who still work part-time to make the rent?

Depriving people of this income is a difficult decision to make. It sounds like it was one that needed to be made and the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, is probably right to do it–but in addressing one problem, he created another.

How will any of these people make rent? Pay for utilities? Childcare? Suddenly a full paycheck will be gone from their income.

This brings me to the problem that Inslee has created–yet not addressed: If a large percentage of people are having their income halfed for at least a month, and perhaps suspended indefinitely if things get worse, then should landlords and property management companies be entitled to collect their fees? Now, I know people who work for management companies, utility companies, and those who live off the rent paid them needs enough money to live on as well–but how many people will no longer be able to pay up?

I believe this emergency is an immediate argument for a UBI. It wouldn’t fix everything, but it would take a huge burden off everyday Americans. Everyone should be hitting up Andrew Yang right now to figure out how this could be implemented within months. A VAT (Value Added Tax) on 500 of the biggest most profitable companies would likely go a long way toward this. Sure, it might hurt some profit margins for huge corporations like Amazon–but so too will the fact that a huge portion of the population has not money to buy anything with. Do we let these people get evicted? Do we let them go without power, water, heat?

I can’t understand the consequences of what is happening right now–and neither can anyone else. I wonder when we’ll come out of this. One thing’s for sure, though–it will be a far different world than the one we left behind when we locked outdoors.

Comic Review: Bitter Root #6

Bitter Root #6

Image Comics

Writers: David F. Walker & Chuck Brown

Artist: Sanford Greene

It’s been some time since readers had the pleasure of catching up with the Sangeryes family. The first, and wildly popular, arc ended with on a knife-edge with little light on the horizon for this demon/racist hunting family. With the start of the second arc, the monstrous animals bred from racism threaten, not just Harlem, but the entire world.

Bitter Root #6

As a rule, nobody can fight hatred on their own. Everyone needs help, and that’s what the Sangeryes look for in other families who have a long history of demon/racist hunting. However, the news they bring, the cause for alarm, isn’t necessarily welcomed by other factions. In fact, some go so far as to blame the Sangeryes for the problem in the first place; it’s a severe case of victim-blaming. As is only fitting and truthful in terms of historical context, the accuser of the Sangeryes is a white man–it’s like white people blaming black people for racism.

Read my full review on Sequentialplanet.com