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On Being Subversive, Relevant, and an Artist

Just as an FYI.. while I am occasionally vulgar I may be a little more so this time and from now on. Don't worry though, it is not vulgarity for vulgarity's sake.

I am blessed with having friends who are from all walks of life, all political affiliations, and many racies and cultures outside of my own. It allows me the benefit of having many points of view on a given situation and in that crucible I can form my own opinions. That I can navigate the myriad of views and still be considered a friend is credit to them and to myself. I am rich when it comes to this.

Today I was pondering my recent writer's block when it came to both novels and my game designs. Some of it was the thought that 2016 could financially be a lot like 2015 even if I do find some success in writing. Some of it was and is a bit of fatigue with the ideas. I am passionate about them but sometimes you need to do something else to refresh yourself. Finally I realized that I was going through some self doubt and self frustration. Things I could have or should have been that would make a difference in my life right now. All the regrets that we say are not regrets, because that would be unprofessional.

I fight these doldrums with reminding myself that I have been relevant in people's lives. I have saved a few lives in fact and that alone counts for something. I am the father of a beautiful little girl, have been a good friend and lover and at times great. I was a good husband, not a great one, but I was good. I am a great stroyteller, a brilliant writer, a good game designer and module author (not great at those yet) and baby I can drink like a fish who swims in oceans of bourbon. Oh and I am a track director for a great convention. I have had success and relevance.

But relevance as an artist is what I seek. I have done my time in the trenches, worked hard, been the hardest worker at several places where I was employed and generally have nothing to prove. I have had however, a hard time understanding WHY I want to be a writer and artist in general (writing = art). Was it just to be rich and live the life of richness? Well self sufficiency is nice. Was ti to be famous? Well I would rather be Stephen King than Herman Melville, but being Herman Melville would be cool too. At least while alive. Was it to change minds? Gosh you know, I think that is very true. I have never been satisfied with the status quo or even that which seeks to replace the status quo. I rebel against everything. Its a crazy way to live.

The word subversive has often been part of my lexicon, thanks to a good Canadian friend who really was the first to make me consider it (even though he may not even know it). Over time I have realized that I want to be subversive, not rebellious. Why is that?

In my mind, rebellion comes in two forms. The first is a general anti-authoritarian, anarchy style who just does not want anyone to tell them what to do. I cannot stand that kind of thinking, but I understand it. The second is the power of the oppressed or supposedly oppressed who want to replace the status quo with their own version of being, THE MAN. They are generally not interested in making society or the system better, they are interested in power and making society and the system work better for them. That is not to say there are not legitimate gripes or a need for revolution and rebellion; there certainly is in our own society. It is not all about power, but generally at the top of the most humanitarian and well meaning rebellion are people who understand power and its uses.

So I am not a rebel. What I have wanted to be is subversive. I define that as forcing you to question everything you do and think, every day. I do not necessarily want you to change but I want to think about what you believe. I want you to question all of your facts and figures no matter how well put together. I want you to put yourself in your opponent's place and consider their point of view. And I want you to never stop questioning even as you move confidently forward, because you can do both.

I am not quite there yet. I feel as if I am a little bit subversive, but not to the extent I want to be. I am working on it as a game designer, writer, and artist. And I do want to be relevant, that is not to say famous although that is fine too. But I want to relevant in the fields I choose to contribute too.


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