Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game Night

Sometimes when Quakers want to share juice (coffee, whatever) they huddle around folding tables and play board games long into the night (maybe even to Quaker midnight, about 9 PM on the USA west coast). Yes, Monopoly is such a game, but I suspect they're playing something rather more clever, such as Scotland Yard, or Stratego, or even Chess?

Chess you say? Isn't that a war game? Are Quakers hypocrites then (snicker, sneer)?

Ever since our Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) embraced computer games in some editions, I've had an easier time explaining how metaphorical violence still falls under the heading of "not using outward weapons".

Mercutio and Tibalt
have their face-down on Facebook, playing Mafia Wars, don't "take it outside" in a blood and guts kind of way, too messy for real theater.

The audience doesn't seem to mind that the actors get up and live to act again another day. Since Greek times, we've gotten away with that, although some Roman audiences got greedy.

Speaking of board games, what about games with playing cards? Like War for example (sarcasm)? Do Quakers smoke, drink and play poker then? Chuckle. "What kind of religion is that?" asks the Church Lady?

If you're a Puritan, then maybe the whole idea of religion for you is to prohibit stuff, prove your soul is saved by how you're able to avoid the temptations, which include just about everything except reading the Bible while rocking back and forth and muttering curses.

As a matter of fact, many Quakers consider smoking an unhealthy, nasty habit, don't need to blow a lot of money on expensive drugs and alcohol (unless you count fine wines and cheeses... and chocolate), and always lose at poker on principle, and so won't play (wisely, saves pennies).

Quakers in our Pacific Rim clime have been known to shake and shuffle the Mahjong tiles quite a bit, lots of clicky noises. I've played that in the Philippines and would consider it identical to a playing card game. Indeed, playing cards are no more than a poor man's Mahjong chips.

So by this (dubious?) reasoning, yes, it is obvious to me that our Faith & Practice permits the use of playing cards, though only in moderation and not while wearing too much mustache wax or lipstick (there's what I'd call a bias against cosmetics, if not an outright prohibition -- more about banking on natural beauty and saving pennies, less about moral condemnation of those who do happen to love tattooing themselves (which some Quakers have done (though sometimes only discreetly))).

Speaking of game nights, 4D Studios set up at E-Room on Division last night, where the main hall is sometimes given over to bingo or whatever. LW did her podcast recording from the anteroom, a busy enough venue where customers have some screens to ogle at as well (our first TV ad?). She got through the whole thing on one pint, saving the 2nd for schmoozing. Sometimes, with enough vodka, even Freedom Train derails, however tonight was not about goofing off.

I took in the final minutes of the Blazers game in Minneapolis right before show time, a victory for Portland's team, then read the interview with Gorbachev in The Nation, before queuing Howard Zinn. That's life in and around the Laughing Horse Collective, where you've got access to Dominic's professional grade video library. Lots of Chomsky on earlier, some Michael Parenti.

After the show, LW huddled with some special guests, inviting them to our "private party for prototyping" in our bat cave or sandbox, where we'll notch it up a bit with the multi-media (experimental), looking ahead to future venues around Gotham. That's Saturday. Pssst to Wanderers, Pythonistas, Intel friends... videographers. Tonight: another gig, at the Roots place on SE 7th, check web site for details.

Egyptian Room