Friday, February 12, 2010

See, I Think I am a Funny: Ligitimately!

"Well, I'm not a critic, I'm just a worker.
So, I'm always grateful for anything the critics say - good or bad.
- Mandy Patinkin

I am somebody! I have progressed beyond inspiring indifference, and have my first critic who cared enough to share the following at an online forum for the game Advanced Squad Leader:


Well, I checked out the interview. Not a thing he states, does he do so seriously. See, he thinks he is a funny. And I guess he is, a little bit. But not enough that he's actually published anything...

Then I checked out the guy's blog.

Seems he fancies himself a writer, and a humorist. Okay, some of his stuff is cute. Ho-hum.

It dawned on me today that his comment about Advanced Squad Leader was a commentary. He's making fun of us, basically. My theory is that he found a forum (perhaps this one), probably lurked, is fascinated by the whole internet forum dynamic, and soon learned about ASL's reputation, about the reputation of ASL's followers, followed some of the conversations, etc., etc. And in the interview, he's making fun.

The joke, as I'm sure he sees it, is that basically nobody who reads the interview will know what ASL is, and therefore it makes him seem just a little bit more quirky.

This is all just my opinion, but I utterly do not believe that anyone who studies the ASLRB and can talk intelligently about it, would not be able to play the game. To an ASLer, that statement is simply absurd. To the guy's two dozen fans, it would seem another example of the guy's quirkiness. He's JOKING, folks. I seriously doubt he understands ASL at all.

I'm not impressed, and frankly I don't expect to be hearing more about this guy in the future. His writing is not that good; if it was, he'd be published. I mean ligitimately published, not self-published or POD. I understand that getting published requires a great deal of luck, but really. He's not THAT good.

That's one of the problems with the internet: the dilution of talent. We are saturated with mediocrity or sub-mediocrity, and there is no motivation to edit or conduct proper research if all one does is "publish" on the internet. Eventually, humans will figure it out, and come to realize that just because something is on the internet does not mean it is any good or has even minimum standards. I figure it will take about a generation. My current batch of children, who are 8, 5, and 1, have grown up with the internet and have never known otherwise. Their generation will be the one to figure out that "internet" does not equal "authoritative".

Treadhead, Bloomfield Hills, MI

I am grateful and flattered, and appreciate the time and effort Mr. Treadhead put into this!

Your humble and obed’t Serv’t,
B. Freret


Anonymous said...

He is spot-on about a couple of things, B - first, that the internet is responsible for diluting talent, and second, that legitimately published writing is good writing.

It is universally understood that, prior to the prevalence of the internet, no writings were ever published that were not good. Likewise, no television shows were ever broadcast that were not good, no movies ever made or released that were not good, and radio stations never played songs that were not good. All art, prior to the internet, that was made available to the public was, in fact, good.

Everything that is not good in print, television, cinema, radio, and art, is a direct consequence of the internet, and the internet's damned dilution of talent.

I know this is true. I saw it on TV.

Bad Alice said...

The folks over at Advanced Squad Leader seem rather touchy in their role as arbiter of literary taste.

Anonymous said...

As an avid ASL gamer myself, & not having read Boudreau's post, I take offense to Treehead, Bloomfield Hills, MI's observations.

Advanced Squid Leader is an amazing game and not for the faint of heart. I mean, the amount of time, study, & sacrifice it takes to master eight tenticles of sheer killing power is beyond comprehension to you civilians.

Right now, I'm at the top of my game; I remember one time I was gnawing on a freshly defeated SL corpse (Squid Leader is not so hard to master, & makes for a shameful, prideless victory) when I turned to find myself surrounded by a group of bullhead sharks. I feverishly hunted & pecked for hours fending off wave after wave of correographed bullhead attacks & eventually both sides made hasty retreats. It took me weeks to prime my beak back towards razor-sharp ocean superiority.

Well I suppose my point is this, being an avid Advanced Squid Leader takes a proprietary effort in one's life & I highly doubt Mr. Treehead, Bloomfield Hills, MI's dedication is sincere, having the audacity & ignorant pride to announce he's found the time to cultivate three future non-master ASL gamers from his netherloins, and on top of that find the time to peruse humorous posts about topics he only wishes he was an authority on.

What? Oh, it's SQUAD...? Oh, hmm. Well, maybe he does have a point then. But mind you, if you ever switch over to deep sea warfare, be careful which submerged wreckage you choose to claim, rest assured I'll be looming quite near.

--Professor Inkwell, Professional A(Squid)L gamer, Regalia Hills Motor Park, KY, USA, Earth

B. Freret said...

I wasn't going to explain my ASL reference in the interview, but now I will a little, just in the hopes that I don't offend anyone I hadn't intended to offend.

I am obsessed with the game, in part because it is so complex. I have much respect for the people who produce material for it and who play it. They are, in my limited experience, like any group of people, most (but of course not all) are goodhearted and well meaning.

I wasn't mocking the game or anyone who is interested in it, except myself. And Treadhead.

Christian Bell said...

B., as you’ve implied, if anyone’s spending the time to write that much to criticize you, then you’re on to something good, which you were already before this character wrote this. The worst thing is when everyone just ignores you.

There are so many directions to go with this one! Any shots I could take at this guy he’s already done by himself, completely without a sense of irony.

“That's one of the problems with the internet: the dilution of talent.” Stop it—I’m trying to drink coffee here!

“We are saturated with mediocrity or sub-mediocrity” C’mon, man, this coffee is nuclear hot!

And, yes, no offense to gaming folks. I was there myself in a prior life, though not with ASL. Offense to the easily offended who also serve as the arbiters of what's funny and/or literary.

Ben said...

You sure stirred up a mess here Boog. I'm almost proud of you.

Wendy (aka quillfeather). said...

You put the cat amongst the pigeons in this one, B.

Excellent post, indeed :)

M.Dorosh said...

Treadhead is actually Bruce Bakken, a writer himself, who has had a little bit of actual stuff "published" in the hobby community. His "Panzer gegen Panzer" in the ASL Annual (in 1993 no less) is notable mostly for its pedestrian style. He posts a lot of things on the internet and one gets the impression he is a frustrated author taking his frustrations out on others at this point. I hope you won't judge the ASL community based on the thoughtless words of one person - good luck in your future endeavours, be they at the computer, or, perhaps, someday, the game board. The community is always looking for newcomers who are genuinely interested in the game. And if not, it was still fun to see it mentioned by a gifted writer, even if in jest.

Anonymous said...

Do Not listen to M. Dorosh. He is a CANADIAN.... From the plains of CANADA no less. But the ASL communities will band together to fend off any "attacks" against their "HOBBY". So enjoy the popularity while it lasts..... Or else......

Anna Lefler said...

This has got to be the best chain of comments I've come across in a long, long time.

I always knew you were "a funny," Boudreau, but I never knew you were such a lightning rod of controversy.

~ Anna
(diluting the talent pool since 2008)

This Cat's Abroad said...

How like you to name-drop ASL just to seem quirky.

That guy is a Wanker Extraordinaire.

Adoring Fan

The One and Only John said...

Tagged you here

Donna Carrick said...

You sure got those ASL buggers on the ropes, Boog! I mean, wake up and smell the less-expensive indie ink! We're here, and we're SPd. Get over it, already.

I'm sure the ASLr who posted this did not miss the irony: Just because he was able to access a NG on which to vent his opinion, does not make him an expert in anything other than venting.

Let me just say: this humble writer thinks you really are funny, and enjoys your adventures both virtually and really!

Graham Woodruff said...

Ooo snap.

Graham Woodruff said...

PS - I'm with Ms. Lefler (above) re the entertainment factor. I have no clue what's going on, but I'm having a great time.