November 5th, 2018


In tomorrow's election, our Congressional district is in the still somewhat unusual position of having two minority candidates: Mark Takano, the Democratic incumbent, looks to be Japanese and middle-aged, and Aja Smith, the Republican, is young and black. Smith's Web site also makes a point of her being a military veteran. Takano is predicted to have a substantial lead. But over this weekend, the mail brought two different pro-Takano advertisements, both emphasizing how much Takano had done for veterans during his Congressional career—which looks like an attempt to undercut one of Smith's selling points, especially since I don't recall seeing it mentioned earlier in the campaign season. I wonder if Takano is less certain than the polls suggest he ought to be?

that familiar feeling

In this weekend's session of my Mage: The Ascension campaign, one of the players came up with the idea of discrediting an adversarial character by creating faked evidence that he had sexual relations with dead bodies. This led to roughly half an hour's discussion of necrophilia and other deviant practices and of ancient Greek cultural history (there are legends of Achilles raping a dead Amazon), along with puns on "necromancer." It was like being back in San Diego with some of the ruder players in my circle there—not something I had expected to see up here, with a new group recruited from available players. Apparently they thought it was unusual, too; seemingly even the previous session, which involved a player character seducing an older woman from the Technocracy, was not the usual thing. But I don't think I did anything major to bring it about, other than allowing the players to roll for such ventures when they suggested them; I thought I had entirely accepted the idea of running a campaign without "adult" themes.