YouTube now thinks I’m a sexist jerk because I watch video game reviews

I’ve been sick with bronchitis the past couple of weeks – which is a growing and uncomfortable health trend of mine, that every cold turns into bronchitis – which has allowed an interesting picture into the world of video gaming and sexism.

I’ve been watching more YouTube than I should. It comes in easily digestible chunks and much of it is easy to follow. And, honestly, I don’t care if I follow it. Mainly, I watch videos about bicycling, professional wrestling, comedy, and bicycling. However, since I’m sick, I’ve been keeping track of the unfolding disaster that is Fallout 76, plus some other videos by presenters who I found amusing.

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Witches vs. Nazis Chapter 1

Like it says on the tin: chapter one of Witches vs. Nazis, which is my current project. It’s awesome. I’m awesome. The witches are the good guys. And, yeah, I’m saying that the Patriarchy is demonic. I’m comfortable with that!

Witches vs. Nazis
by Kit Bradley
All rights reserved 2018

Chapter One

I.

Christmas Eve in the National Socialist Empire of America: a great festival where the twisted cross rose above the altar of the Kristr. In Yton, one of the greatest cities of the NSEA, the Orville Wright Stadium was full of blond, blue-eyed, pale faces in the stands, while the Untermenschen fought for their amusement. There were thirty thousand packed into the stands with the white and red decorations of Christmastime everywhere. The lights were bright on the dome overhead, buried deep in the arco. Typically, most of the seats would be regular people – middle class, save for a few seats high up – but today it was all high-ranking Nazis with their families.

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Discomfort Grotto – a Bicycling Post!

I am working to post positive stuff! For the past year or more, I haven’t posted because I find I’m doing a ton of personal care because of the fucking news. The news is like a vile music of the spheres – it’s everywhere, unavoidable, but makes you a worse person because you feel like crap all the time. So, I’m killing the news in my life as much as I can, including trying to keep news and political talk and posts to an absolute minimum. Honestly, more unites us as Americans and humans than divides us. I’d instead focus on that.

I haven’t done a post on bicycle riding in a while, so let’s go! I also want to become better at bragging. Why? Because I’m fucking awesome!

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Don’t Stop Believing iPPV from Rockstar Pro Wrestling!

My wife and I just came back from the Rockstar Pro wrestling iPPV event “Don’t Stop Believing.” This is my thoughts on the show.

I can’t make it a proper review because this is only the second Rockstar Pro event I’ve been to. Which means that the storylines are still opaque to me. I’m not even 100% sure who’s a regular to the promotion and who they brought in for their monthly PPV. Noob I am.

The big picture: my wife and I enjoyed the wrestling. Also, seeing something live means you’re seeing it differently. We were in the front row, too, so we got a bunch of it up close and personal. At one point, I was asked to hand a wrestler a chair. I, of course, did, because why wouldn’t I?

Additionally, it wasn’t an arena filled with ten thousand people. There is an intimacy involved in small venues, as anyone who listens to live music knows. You are there. With them. With bigger shows, you’re not even a face in the crowd – you’re a smear and a susurration.  You are anonymous and faceless.  Not so here.

I say this because good wrestling up close is far, far better than highly-produced wrestling seen at a distance. That must be mentioned. I found in a small wrestling venue that the immediate impact on all my senses was more intense than I imagined it would be. The sharp harmonics when someone was slammed on the mat, the crack of chest slaps, the meaty thud when two bodies collided. The spray of sweat, wrestlers spitting blood. Sure, there was no jumbotron, no pyrotechnics, but I’m well past the point of being dazzled by gunpowder and “bigness.”

Seriously, if you like wrestling, go see a show in a small venue.

Perhaps later on, when I have a better handle on the characters and storylines, I’ll go into more detail about the events.  Right now, I do not think I would do them justice.  I would certainly like to thank Rockstar Pro and all the wrestlers for putting on a fine performance. It’s a hard, painful, dangerous profession. These men and women put their bodies on the line to give us joy and I respect the hell out of that.

Also, whenever Fulton comes out, for crying out loud, let’s start changing “blood and souls.” Respect the Star of Chaos!

Skunky cologne company Old Spice makes D&D 3.5 character class – no, really!

Old Spice has created a D&D 3.5 character class. I read about it in a news story, which seemed surprised that Old Spice should do such a thing.

As I watch my beard turn white, though, I often find myself thinking, “I bet tabletop games could do well in retirement communities.” The people who started playing D&D in the late 70s and early 80s are nearing retirement age. Almost every gamer has fond memories of all-night sessions, but most players stopped playing as adult commitments – family, a career – filled their time.

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Thoughts on bad writing in video games using Rise of the Tomb Raider as a starting point

I’ve been under the weather, so I played through Rise of the Tomb Raider to pass the time rather than dwelling on how awful I’ve felt. It made me think about why writing for video games is so bad.

Don’t get me wrong: Rise of the Tomb Raider is an excellent game. While I’ll be using it for purposes of illustration, because I’ve just played it, many games commit far worse literary sins than Rise of the Tomb Raider. There will be spoilers under the cut to illustrate my various points about the awful writing in video games.

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Why Allen Dulles won’t be in Dracula vs. Cthulhu

I did a fair bit of research into Allen Dulles for Dracula vs. Cthulhu (which is also spy fiction – it’s got a lot going on!).  I did the study thinking that he would make a good villain.  I even angst over whether I should use Dulles, personally, or just base a character on the man – deciding that I should use Dulles personally.  His multifaceted incompetence and the extent to which he shaped foreign policy in the US demanded that, if I use the dude, I open a conversation into his legacy.  Even in my sci-fi horror novel, such things are important to me.

As I’m writing background stories for DvC, though, it became clear why that wasn’t going to work: I don’t respect him enough to believe that he could be successful with the other villains and heroes in the story.  Because he was so incompetent – indeed, one of the chief problems with the CIA then and now is that people are often promoted up from abject failure; it took a fuck-up as big as the Bay of Pigs and to get Dulles fired (and, frankly, since the lead up and cover-up to the Bay of Pigs had treasonous elements, Dulles got off light) – he makes a poor hero or villain for my style of writing.  Chumps, broadly speaking, need not apply, or are, at best, minor villains and henchmen.

So, we’re back to the main villain being an ex-Nazi, ex-Communist sonofabitch based on two of the most evil men of the 20th century.  Evil, but competent.

There is no proof too much exercise will kill you: health news is the worst

There’s been a piece of “reporting” going around saying that it’s possible to exercise oneself to death. The New York Post’s headline is “You can exercise yourself to death, says new study.” A bunch of articles share that title, or slight variations on it.  Short form: it’s bullshit.  Deep and highly piled bullshit.

The news “stories” is based on a paper that has been electronically distributed by The Mayo Clinic Proceedings titled 25-Year Physical Activity Trajectories and Development of Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease as Measured by Coronary Artery Calcium by Deepika R. Laddu, PhD, Jamal S. Rana, MD, PhD, etc. I’ve provided links so, y’know, you can read it, too, if you’re so inclined. I did.

Continue reading There is no proof too much exercise will kill you: health news is the worst

Review of The Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier

I had mostly just thought to give The Morning of the Magicians an awful review and move on. Most of the book is profoundly stupid, and often in factual error. (For instance, Piri Reis was NOT a 19th-century admiral, but a 16th-century one thus could have presented the US with anything. Radio waves and gamma rays are both forms of light, so, yeah, you can compare them. Plus, computers are binary and human-style intelligence is analog, not the other way around.  The book’s errors are numerous and multifaceted, obvious and subtle, and even worse is the broad mischaracterizations, equally untruthful oversimplifications, and the extent to which facts are taken out of context.)

However, inside the brutal stupidity that is most of the book are two interesting parts.

First, Pauwels suggests that a being of superhuman intelligence wouldn’t need to hide. Neither would an organization of such intelligences. What they said to each other would be incomprehensible to ordinary humans, much in the same way that dogs don’t understand what humans say. It would simply be lost on us.  For a fiction writer, this is a highly interesting idea.

Review of Reich of the Black Sun by Joseph P. Farrell

It’s not a good book. For me, as a writer, researching science-fiction horror, it was fairly useful but it is not good.

I’ll jump right to the biggest problem with The Reich of the Black Sun – it’s unintentionally pro-Nazi. The thesis of the book is that Nazi scientists when they discarded as “Jewish science” relativity were able to make incredible scientific and technological advances – including anti-gravity and perpetual motion machines that could power long-ranged submarines – even though the Nazis lacked the wealth and freedom of the West (and, particularly, the unbombed United States that benefited from the immigration the largest portion of Jewish scientists fleeing the Nazis). That’s not an obviously racist thing to think, but it as I read the book, it became increasingly anti-Semitic: the only thing holding back science from technologies like anti-gravity and free energy was the pernicious influence of “Jewish science.”

I don’t think this is intentional on Farrell’s part, just the ignorant blindness of most conspiratologists. Like most conspiracy theorists, Farrell is driven by his passions past the point of all reason. There is no evidence of sympathy for Nazi goals in the book, merely an ecstatic gushing about his line of reasoning that puts Nazi scientists on divergent lines of technological development that lead to amazing places.  His prior work is a bizarre theory that the Giza pyramid is an alchemical “death star,” and that it was used to destroy a planet that threatened the earth.  This guy doesn’t seem to be ideological, just passionate about his untrue beliefs.

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