That's not what the Death card means

written 2007-01-29 09:52:39

So, over at the Penny Arcade webcomic, the writer was commenting on the way kids are now vs. when he was that age, ten-fifteen years ago. (The comic that day is based on a news report that, after a kid mentioned bringing a gun to his school on a networked shoot-em-up game, Federal agents raided his home and seized, among other things, his XBox 360. Okay. Why?) I liked it so much, I cut and pasted.

"I'm really glad that school was a dark and distant memory by the time presumption of a young introvert's criminality became the norm. Please understand that if a person casually mentions that they're going to pack heat after a round of R6, I think you should take a peek in the ol' Jansport. But I'm almost sure I would have been jailed for my normal behavior, or at least "treated" for it, and I have a sense that this process would have thinned my already brittle grip on the rational.


"But no, not murder especially. The urge to make a sound - some sound, of any kind - against the din of that place, whose overt and subliminal messages both are to disappear in the current, is almost overwhelming. Some of these sounds are nonsense. Some of them are out and out lies. I doubt those guys even remember it now. I only remember it because I'm ashamed of it. I don't want to disappoint you next generation, but the damage one accrues in that cursed labyrinth does remain on your character sheet."

That might have skimmed some of my audience's levels of interest or complete apprehension, but for those of us who identify with Tycho's statements here, it's pretty great.

Another inspirational quote is from Gabe, the artist of Penny Arcade, who, while speaking at their high school alma mater, took aside some obvious geeks and reassured them, "Listen, we run $#!+ on the outside." That's less eloquent than Tycho's statement, but addresses the same issue. Things will get better. It's awful right now, and we understand that, but you just have to get through.

--9:52 AM, EDT, Ada, OH

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