John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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And Now, On With the Post!

Part One:

Libertarian thought in a nutshell, c/o libertarianism. It's a bit esoteric, but accurate.

Part Two -- Today's Forgotten English:

This name is given, in the Southern States, to those Germans, Irish, and other Europeans who emigrate from their own country to the United States, and sell services for a term of time to pay their passage-money and other expenses.
--John Pickering's Vocabulary of the United States, 1816

On this date in 1915, Theodore Roosevelt, in a Columbus Day address in New York City, used the coinage, "hyphenated American," which had been defined in 1893 by John Farmer and W.E. Henley's Slang and Its Analogues as "a naturalized citizen, as German-Americans." Referring to racial and ethnic divisions, the former president stated, "There is no room in this country for the hyphenated American," thus encouraging citizens to emphasize character above national origin. But such tolerant thoughts were tempered by TR's overriding sense that America needed strong institutions, such as a common language. An article in the Kansas City Star three years later confirmed this, quoting him as advocating that "every immigrant who comes here be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."

Hmm. I'm sympathetic to the sentiment, although the requirement bit is rather stiff for my taste.

Part Three:

As I mentioned earlier, I've got Middle Earth on the brain lately, and I don't know why. For evidence, just check out my new user icon!

Part of the reason, probably, is simple association. The Lord of the Rings films came out near this time for the past three years, and so it's built up that expectation in my mind. Certainly I'm eager for the extended Return of the King to come out on DVD.

Back when it came out, I picked up the Decipher Games Lord of the Rings RPG, and while it's very pretty, Decipher's "Coda System" is basically the d20 system with the serial numbers filed off and 2d6 substituted. It doesn't appear to be a bad system in any way, it's just got a lot of goofy renamings of standard gaming concepts -- "order" for "class" or "profession," "target number" for "difficulty," that kind of thing. It doesn't really seem worth the trouble to me; Decipher would probably be better served to just put out Middle Earth d20 and be done with it.

Don't get me started on MERP, you oldschool gamers. Been there, done that, have the mental scars. ;) Again, lovely books, mediocre game system.

Anyway, I think this Middle-Earth-mania is related to my recent burning desire to play Neverwinter Nights. It wasn't NWN I wanted specifically, rather it was that I wanted to play my elvish archer/rogue in any capacity, and he was inspired largely by the very cool Legolas action figure I bought a while back. (For that matter, so was this.) Strangely enough, it was the action figure that did it ... I like Orlando Bloom as much as anybody, but the elven archer character isn't a Legolas clone in the same way that Gazeddor is a Conan clone.

I'm not sure if I'm obsessing on M.E. because I want to play the archer, or I want to play the archer because I'm obsessing on M.E. ... or even if it's a meaningful distinction.

-The Gneech

(P.S. -- For the record, I thought Orlando Bloom was a good Legolas in general, but the whole series of movies made a mistake in underplaying the elvish ears. They didn't need to be Spock by any means, but they definitely needed More Bigger Earses.)
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