Wednesday, November 17, 2021

WHY I PUBLISHED... #4: Wight Power!

 Here we go...

'allo all!
On October 25 we made 10 new releases available from ; eight for sale, and two freebies to entice purchase.
Packing and shipping from that initial avalanche of orders is DONE! But while there are other duties, I'm going to take a few minutes every day or five to explain why I decided to publish the items I did, and I will do so in order from what I expected to be the most generally acceptable to what I expect to be the most controversial.
Now coming in at #4... Wight Power!
First off, I want to say that this post is the opinion of the publisher, James Edward Raggi IV. The author has his own thoughts on his instagram page, the first post of which is here:
Now this is at #4 in possible trouble for one reason: All the possible controversy is in the title. And the title is simply wordplay, since the adventure takes place on the Isle of Wight and one of the possible complications in the adventure is a reanimated corpse. And as naive as this may be, as much as I knew that people's knees were going to jerk hard at the title (I kept the title secret until it went on sale because I didn't want to catch all the shit without people being able to see the truth of the matter for themselves), I believe that what something is, is far more important for judging a thing, than what something could be mistaken for being. And I released things this time around, three of them in fact, that are substantively more subversive and disturbing in their actual contents than this book.
And there isn't anyone that's going to tell me that something so stupid as the concept and ideology behind "white power" is so important, that the words are so sacred, that wordplay and puns and generally goofing on it is some blasphemous act. Fuck off with that shit. I have no respect or reverence for "white power," either the words or the concept, and neither should you. I also have no respect for people who would insist that I should have respect for it, either the words or the concept, and neither should you.
And I don't know who needs to hear this, but "wight" and "white" are words with different origins and different meanings. Anyone who says they are the same thing is wrong, or is lying to you.
Anyone who has read any of the actual book and still says that the title is some sort of racist signal, or anyone who knows who the author Alex Mayo is and still says that the title is some sort of racist signal, is either a blithering imbecile, a vicious liar, and probably both.
But I know how people are. I know how the internet is. I knew that people were going to react to the title, I knew that most people don't look into things, I knew that certain people were going to assume the worst when they saw the title, and I knew that certain people were going to use the title as a weapon against LotFP, honesty be damned.
So then... why when Alex pitched me the title and concept along with a few others, was I immediately drawn to this one? Why would I volunteer for at the minimum being harassed by morons, and at worst being branded for all time (the association is only an internet search away!) as an absolutely horrible person (by those that don't already think that of me, of course)?
Because fuck you, that's why.
I'm going to break it down more than that of course, but that's basically it. Do we have the freedom to create or don't we? If we do, then fuck off and leave us to it. If we don't, then I don't want to be here anymore, in this job, on this Earth. It's the only thing that makes life bearable. I'll go out with middle fingers extended.
And I've felt kind of neutered the past couple years. I don't deal too well with real-world things. It's one reason why I enjoy fiction and art and publishing and all the things that occur in the mind and imagination and don't participate in the real world so much. So when Alex offered this to me, it felt like I was being confronted with Big Questions in Life.
Who am I? What do I believe in? Am I going to keep my head down and be scared of twitter rando opinion forever?
And I've told this story a bunch of times before, but it's relevant and worth repeating: One reason my tastes are as they are, one reason my tastes are as they are, one reason LotFP looks the way it does, is because of the Satanic Panic and general anti-D&D attitudes in the 80s. That devil-may-care 70s attitude towards presentation in the original books was simply superior, and they ruined most everything by watering down what they presented and how they encouraged their player base to water down their imaginations.
The forces today that want to bowdlerize creative work and sand down all the interesting edges and features aren't the same as the people who did so back then, but their influence and pressure is having the exact same effect. I don't have any respect for the people who put negative pressure to conform to certain views in the 80s, and I certainly don't have any respect for the people who are doing it now.
Your modern day Pat Pullings with their misdirected trauma, and your modern day Thomas Radeckis with their bullshit social theories about media, can all go eat shit. Leave people alone.
oohhhh trivia: When deciding how to reveal this book to the world during the release day livestream, I had something more fun in mind than just taking it out of a bag to show off the cover. The idea I had was to pretend like I had no idea how "wight" was pronounced. I was going to say I thought "wight" was Welsh in origin, and pronounce the word in that exaggerated Blackadder-phlegm-joke way. I'd say "Wicchhgt Power! It takes place on the Isle of Wicchhggt" and act completely clueless about it resembling a sinister phrase. But I didn't trust my acting ability to make it seem even remotely convincing, and I definitely didn't trust my ability to do it without cracking up.
And underneath the catchy title, there's one hell of an adventure there too. Faction play, a mystery, weird science, and multiple threat vectors. Sort of like how Towers Two had a lot of insanity laid over what was essentially a small-scale old-school sandbox setting.
#3 soon!