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This is meaningless for more than 99% of the earth’s population.

Posted by on July 1, 2005

What follows is one of the most esoteric things I have ever written. Hopefully, in the future, I can write more things which are like this in subject matter, only superior in quality. I think I should have a lot to contribute to the magic community, but this isn’t it, so I shall post it here, where it will be so misunderstood or ignored, there is virtually no risk of negative criticism.

For those who are so bold as to click, please remember that I considered scrapping this entirely as it didn’t feel right halfway through, and kept seeming worse and worse as I went along. I posted it because it has to go somewhere, I made it dammit.
This starts off incredibly lame, but please bear with me.
Last night, I dreamt that Jamie Wakefield stopped by the Ogre’s. I was working there, and I wanted to say “Hi!” or “Thanks for filling my early magic obsession with useful and engaging strategy articles and tournament reports,” but for a while, I just watched from afar as he talked about mono green with whoever it was that he arrived with. Eventually, I gathered up all my courage and I said “Hey, my name is Josh Smith. You don’t know me or anything, but I use to love reading your articles on the Dojo. . .” I had more to say, but he got this look in his eye right then, and I could tell that he had reduced me to RDM BEARL in his mind. I couldn’t bear to continue along the same lines, so I walked away, a little embarrassed. After a little more time had passed, he wandered nearer to where I was, and after mustering up all my courage once again, I picked up where I had trailed off: “I’m so glad you are playing and writing about magic again. . .” I got as far as “playing” when he gave me that look again. Like he was embarrassed for both of us that I would be talking to him about his articles. I couldn’t understand why someone who seemed so cool and approachable online could be so different in person. This wasn’t my whole dream, this was merely an unrelated epilogue to a much more intricate and complex dream, of which I can recall almost nothing. I did wake up shortly after the scene I’ve described though, and it made me think about magic. It brought to mind the question of what kind of people I was associating with by playing.

Now, I play because I love the game. I love games in general. More specifically, I love to win games. Winning at magic is not all I love, though. I am the sort of person who loves to be obsessed by a personality. I have been obsessed with plenty of people in my mature life. I tend to become obsessed with people who I find fascinating, usually because I think they have something I don’t, and usually that thing is a higher intellect. I place such a value on intelligence, and not much on accomplishment, dedication, hard work, and all the rest usually associated with greatness. I love intelligent people.

My fascination with people for whom I have this sort of respect, usually causes me to become a bit star-struck and I become easily describable in one word to a competitive magic player: Barn. This brings me to my point.

I think that this is a term which is harming the game. I think that it is shameful to punish those who are willing and able to learn, but for whatever reason, may not be cucumber cool while doing so. They may be annoying, they may be obsequious, and they may behave like an inferior, but they are doing so out of respect and a willingness to learn. These are two qualities which rank very highly for me, not far off from intelligence, as it were. I think it is important not to discourage the learner, nor the person from who they are attempting to learn by degrading the relationship into barn and barned. Instead, we need to do our best to nurture those who are up and coming in the game, so that one day, they can pass on what they have learned.

I don’t know why I wrote this, it was sort of stream of consciousness. I’ve been meaning to write something (ANYTHING!) for a while now, this is what came out. Hopefully, my next endeavor will be more worthy or relevant.
Perhaps later I can post something about my day to day life. It would be a physical impossibility for something like that to be any less interesting.

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