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The Trouble With Rust And Online Gaming In General Today

18 November, 2018

Found this video from earlier in the year.

A grown man (okay, a grown manchild!) of reasonable intellectual and emotional intelligence enjoying making a child cry.

It’s taken from his brother SebbyK’s video, which can be found without the analysis by Niccaman above (which doesn’t make Niccaman appear to be a nice human being but another smug cocky hipster) but is shorter.

Rust is one of the many Battle Royale games out there, but alliances are more important as there’s also NPC animals trying to kill you as much as the other players. You need resources to eat, sleep, find shelter, defend yourself from others and the environment if you are to survive.

It’s another of these games where there is a difference between theory and practice – theory is players learn to work together, practice being the place is full of trolling little shits either too young to be playing it in the first place and those old enough to know better trolling the kids, no one learns anything other than new ways of being cruel.

The kid in question Ultimand (Mr.Clean on Steam) was rude, arrogant, and every time SebbyK made a deal with him and his mates (the assumption is he wants to get back to his own base with the loot he has before nightfall), they tried to double-cross and kill him – and to no surprise he stops attempting to deal with them after one double-cross too many. He’s holding all the cards. He has a gun. Yet still they try to double-cross. Stupid!

Ultimand also has a ban for cheating on Valve’s online system:

It is a sign of the world we live in he tried using his notoriety from the above video to get himself into other gaming clans, not realising they did not show him at all in a good light.

SelbyK is lectured over his behaviour from someone called VelkPwnsAll – nullifies his morality card play though having such a chest-beating gorilla name.

Watching the above videos the amount of casual racism was depressing:

Closing up on what Kappa KaaNo said:

His channel is full of such crap.

The big sporty car picture. The endless vids about ‘pwnage’ and griefing other players. All the trappings of an aspiring meathead – and so much for Darwin.

Competitive online games are fun – or they used to be. They’ve changed so much since I was a kid. Now wherever you go tantrums, everything being deadly serious, and so much selfish behaviour in order to get points for oneself ahead of team goals is so much the norm I’ve given up on them.

Would sooner spend hours wandering around Skyrim once more or playing Sims 3 instead of getting miserable about what the human race seems to be turning into if online gaming is anything to go by.

Fantastic Beasts And Pieces

13 November, 2018

Underwhelmed by the hype for the new movie yet?

There’s still the old one.

If you have never saw it, the first movie was all about wants.

Which is why for the new film …

‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ – A Season One Review And Rambling Thoughts

10 November, 2018

At the time of writing, the Satanic Temple is suing the makers of the TV version of The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (the much darker reboot of the Archie comics old Sabrina The Teenage Witch) for $50 million for supposed copyright infringement over having a large statue of Baphomet similar to their own used for various attention seeking and Christian baiting purposes across the U.S. since 2015.

Don’t they look weak? Why not simply get their eternal lord and master to hand out some whoop ass, or at least a well aimed plague of flies? Okay, midges. Um, those tiny little one millimetre moving dot insects nobody quite knows what they are and are impossible to squash?

What’s the point of signing your immortal soul over to Satan, Baphomet or whatever it’s claiming to be their eternal one true Lord and Master (sticking to a story is not one of their strong points) for such little return? Even an organisation as dedicated to evil and darkness as McDonalds gives you a toy with that artery clogging life span shortening Happy Meal.

The Satanic Temple’s lawsuit is the worst case of backfired trolling butthurt perhaps in world history. What they want to do is have The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina taken off the air.

As well they might – what those Christians and Wiccans equally horrified by the show don’t realise (or maybe they do?) is that The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is a wonderfully articulated slam-dunk on ‘alternative’ or ‘dark’ religion as merely another bunch of shallow selfish mortals no different to those in every other organised religion or deluded supernatural practitioners seeking to make their dull, mundane existences more ‘magical’ or as agents of social control.

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina isn’t Satanic – it’s Satiric – which when not ripping on religion, it finds time to take well aimed smacks at the modern cult of the snowflake and contemporary power dynamics – especially the eternal pursuit of power for self-aggrandisement. It may be part Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets The Craft meets Harry Potter, but if you watch for some of the other winks and nods it gives, you begin to see there’s some strong points being made in all the gruesome fun and nonsense.

At one stage, a mouse familiar turns up with beautiful comic timing called Leviathan – that of the famous Thomas Hobbes treatise on a world where everyone’s wanting to boss over everyone else resulting a society which is ‘nasty, brutish and short.’ It’s given to Ambrose, the Spellman family amiable young warlock house-guest and occasional sidekick under house arrest after he tried to blow up the Vatican for a prank (at least, that’s what we’ve been told).

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to this week’s most bizarre headline makers.

Baphomet and all that

The Satanic Temple’s statue was copied (like almost every other devil drawing since) from one of the many open source pictures derived from French occultist Eliphas Levi’s famous picture for his highly influential book Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, which is largely to blame for much of popular culture’s version of the occult and the devil to this day.

‘Hi there, tiger! Have you heard my golden fiddle? Taught Tartini all that he knew with that I did. Then I lost it in a stupid bet to some redneck called Johnny down in Georgia. Would do anything to get it back. Would even sell my soul to myself. ***Sigh!***’

Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet was little more than a Great Earth Mother and the Horned God dropped into the Fountain Of Salmacis – a perfect transgendered pantomime baddie archetype waiting to be picked up by brimstone Protestant preachers, the Vatican and the first wave of modern horror writers alike long after the original occult revivalists of the Golden Dawn, Alistair Crowley and other ‘free will, sex and drugs’ counter-culturists had grown bored of their very own pop-up alternative god.

Wiccans and other Pagan groups have naturally objected to it and everything it stands for ever since – blaming it for delaying their re-emergence back into society by a century. Understandably, they’re very upset by the revival of the ‘witches means devil worship’ trope. By the same token they were also upset with Harry Potter and The Worst Witch which had all but killed that trope they so hated stone dead. There’s no pleasing some cunning folk.

It’s Plaintiff see…

The Satanic Temple – based in Salem, Massachusetts; nice touch! – describes itself as ‘a nontheistic religious and political activist group’. They claim to use Satanic imagery to promote egalitarianism, social justice and the separation of church and state. In other words they claim to be secularists – secularists for whom being an obnoxious little shit like Richard Dawkins is no longer shocking enough, so they decided to use Satan as a metaphor. That’s their story, and if you don’t believe it they have others. Many others.

To get real bad ass, and stick it to all those Bible bashing types with their ‘Thou shall not’ this and ‘thou shall not’ that, say you’re a Satanist. Yeah dudes, no one’s ever tried being that hardcore before.

Sorry, but they have – and in that tale lies a moral:

This is Sir Francis Dashwood, once Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequor – the second most powerful political post in Britain. He enjoyed life’s pleasures to the full even by decadent 18th century standards when the entire nation appeared to fall off the rails. But he did not allow permanent drunkenness, wenching and whoring at every opportunity across the land distract him from a zealous drive to see new ideas, philosophies and knowledge of the sciences and arts expanded as never before in the period often referred to as The Enlightenment. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquitaries.

But he also saw that absolute monarchies, especially when tied to over-powerful religious groups, had brought Europe to the brink of near total ruin with continuous warfare and as such wanted not merely a separate of church and state, but both to be held firmly in check. In those days, since ideas were considered seditious, and so groups such as his Hell-Fire Club (not the first) sprang up not only to sin as much as they liked without censure – but also to discuss and debate ideas that otherwise might have got them into trouble.

Whilst other such secret societies kept members in line with swearing blood curdling oaths (such as the Freemasons and the early Trade Unions upon the decline of the craft guilds), Dashwood’s Hell-Fire Club maintained safety and ‘secrecy’ (in reality it was one of the worst kept secrets in all England) from any member thinking of betraying the others to the authorities (all such groups ran the risk of spies and agent provocateurs) would incriminate themselves from the society’s other compulsory activities of debased orgies and ‘satanic Masses’ – the latter being in reality nothing more than the resurrection of the old Feast Of Fools some monasteries held on New Years Day where religious parody, bawdy singing and too much mulled wine was the disorder of the day. One could be cleared for turning King’s Evidence to unmask political sedition, but prison and complete ruination still await those who took party so wilfully in those other activities.

As the Enlightenment progressed, the need for such secret clubs declined, to be replaced with the more familiar ‘Gentleman’s Clubs’. The Hell-Fire Club passed into history – its one lasting contribution to the history of the world being the invention of the sandwich – and in ironic twist Dashwood and his friends were to attempt to have the radical John Wilkes jailed for ‘sedition’. Yesterday’s rebels became tomorrow’s establishment, as oft before.

Nights In White Satan

Rather like the Christian churches they profess to despise, Satanists and occultists are split into a myriad number of competing squabbling groups all claiming to be the One True soul-selling diabolical pact for power, etc, etc. Plus ça change – a point the show they’re trying to have the plug pulled on makes time and time again for those who have been watching.

The show begins with the Spellmans, the local funeral directors who use it as a means of getting human blood and body parts for Satanic rituals, being disconcerted after the body of Connor Kemper is brought in – a young local warlock viciously stabbed to death by an assailant who remains unknown even by the end of season one.

In The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina the local witches are members not of a coven, but the local ‘Church Of Night’ (itself a parody of the modern popularity for late night services amongst ‘progressive Christians’) based in a rickety abandoned Christian church. The Church of Night is Satiric more than Satanic, in line with much of the other ‘satanic’ elements of the show.

The titular character Sabrina’s father Edward Spellman (whom young Sabrina doesn’t know yet was not quite the nice dude she’s been told – hello Harry Potter! ) was the reformist leader of the local witches until he and Sabrina’s mum died in a plane accident when she was only a baby (and like Lily and James Potter’s supposed car accident in Harry Potter, it’s pretty clear from the start this story isn’t going to stand up to scrutiny). Besides wouldn’t a powerful warlock like Edward Spellman be able to protect himself and his wife from the sort of mortal accident where you have plenty of prior warning Shit-Just-Got-Real to do something about it? A car crash, sure – but a plane crash?

Its current high priest (and Dean of the Academy For Unseen Arts – their Hogwarts) is Father Faustus Blackwood: charming, handsome, intelligent – and a lying, conniving dirty snake-in-the-grass with all the integrity of a TV evangelist. His sole motivation is his own aggrandisement and the continuation of his legacy through a legitimate son and heir. He was also the one with the most to gain from the death of Sabrina’s parents. But you kind of guessed that much.

He rules his dark flock with an iron rod, but one found to be brittle once Sabrina, brought up more with mortal friends in a mortal school and now being expected to switch to his Academy of Unseen Arts against her wishes because she’s turned sixteen – does what no one has ever had the guts to do and starts calling him out on his shit – and the rest of her magical community into the bargain. Even Satan gets a mouthful. The very fact Sabrina has a witch’s powers without having signed up to any Dark Lord fan club is the strongest indication from the off that maybe no witch really needs any controlling authority or to grovel to an approved deity for all eternity – you know exactly where to look for the parallels there.

He lies to Sabrina to get her to agree to her Dark Baptism (in which she signs her name in blood in Satan’s Big Book of Awesome BFFs). He excommunicates Sabrina’s entire family when she backs out of signing up literally at the last second – only to blow the very kangaroo court he set up to legitimise Sabrina’s rightful rejection of a sham deal – and the beginning of Sabrina discovering this other world her two guardian aunts belong to is every bit as petty spirited as the one she’s expected to leave behind.

He claims to receive instruction from ‘our Dark Lord’ on matters with no sign ever this has been the case (it’s the show’s best drinking game): reinstituting practices Edward Spellman had banned without so much as a ‘baaa!’ of protest from Baphomet. At one stage he backs out of a sacrifice on the Feast Of Feasts when a congregation member is chosen by lottery to be eaten by the rest (the lottery having been fixed), claiming Satan has bid it so, only for one over-zealous member to sacrifice herself and the mob dives in to chow time – including him – thereby disobeying Satan by his own words minutes earlier.

Blackwood has a certain ‘Madam Satan’ (masquerading as a sexified possession of Sabrina’s favourite mousy teacher Mary Wardwell) in his corner – the show’s chief antagonist in the wings like Littlefinger in Game Of Thrones – supposedly sent up by the Devil himself to ensure he collects on that Sabrina soul he was promised by her parents all those years ago, but it quickly becomes apparent whether she’s telling the truth or is one with her own power seeking agenda is another matter.

Mission from Satan aside, she is every embarrassing menopausal midlife crisis woman teacher you’ve ever known, slinking sexily along the corridors in tight clothes and fuck me stilettos – the Mutton of Baphomet dressed as Lamb of God – abusing her position for mild flirtation with her male students flittering those shopping bagged eyelids – and over familiarity with her female students she ultimately sees as competition for the males. Miss Jean Brodie for Generation Cosmo.

The other primary antagonists to Sabrina are the Weird Sisters, Blackwood’s bastard daughter Prudence Night and her two adopted orphan sisters who object to their father’s insistence that Sabrina joins their academy (although in an unguarded moment later with Madam Satan he all but admits it’s under duress from down below ‘that doesn’t mean we don’t allow her to suffer a bit’). Mean Girls in lacy collared Wednesday Addams dresses sassing around.

One black, one oriental and one ginger – yes, again you suspect that was on purpose, America’s three greatest self-styled ‘persecuted minorities’ – from the understandable to the ridiculous – using their privilege of morally whacking everyone else on the head about their supposed ‘unchecked privilege’ to make themselves more equal than others. You get the feeling they’re a subtle warning to the viewer ‘this is where it all ends if you’re not careful’. Certainly they’re a bit of an anachronism in comparison to the rest of the magic community encountered.

Some will roll their eyes at the concept of black or oriental Satanists in the first place (the Satanic Temple for one – who despite protestations to the contrary do appear to be whiter than the KKK) as another show pandering to government and TV schedulers’ representation demands. To cut a long story short, American’s black community had their own supernatural traditions which meant missing out on whitey’s Satanic Panic craze and sticking to their own oral traditions, particularly hoodoo, where the Bible is a sacred text and vessel of power – the complete antithesis of this lot who see it as the book of a ‘false god’. Oriental Asians have their own tradition of shaman concepts with more parallels to Native American beliefs and to whom white western Judeo-Christian notions of magic and the occult are worlds apart and – to be blunt – highly primitive.

But this you suspect is the point – two girls who in normal non-adopted circumstances would be in families who wouldn’t touch this mumbo jumbo with a ten foot barge pole. All three are victims of time and circumstance, but one they do very well out of.

In CAOS, this manifests itself in all three being exempted from the normal rules of behaviour expected of the other students because they’re Blackwood’s daughters. They’re spoilt, entitled and vindictive in a manner which would have made even Draco Malfoy in first year blanch, with Prudence Night being television’s most punchable character since Cersei Lannister. She has ‘mudblood’ issues towards Sabrina – ironic considering her illegitimacy leaves her place in the pecking order highly vulnerable the moment any legitimate children are born to Blackwood.

Prudence is the only person stupid enough to think winning a lottery to be sacrificed to Satan (Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire meets Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery) as a victory over the hated ‘half-breed’ Sabrina (who jumps in only to save her idiotic tradition obsessed Aunt Zelda offering herself up as family matriach): milks being queen for three days for all its worth – right down having Sabrina wash her in a milk bath while feeding her macaroons to having an orgy in the Spellman family’s spare room with her Academy friends just to show she can. Could have been worse – she could have told Sabrina to lick her out, in fact considering what else she’s been shown to do during the show, more’s the wonder she didn’t.

Even when she realises much later, the hard way, that she’s dodged a bullet, she still insists she gets to sit on the queen’s Throne of Skulls for a few minutes (again, simply because of its exclusivity, making her a very special little snowflake) and can’t wait to find an excuse to start hating on Sabrina again for old scores she largely instigated in the first place. She’s no Paris Geller who learns (eventually) from her mistakes.

The other two, Ginger Dorcas and Oriental Agatha, cause a mine collapse out of self-righteous justification that it was owned by a family which centuries ago persecuted witches. There’s little doubt though they did it because they could, purely for the fun of it, and not caring about the consequences – namely ‘stone thrown in the pond causes ripples, sinks to bottom of pond and hits unexploded atom bomb. Shit happens’ .

All three are particular vicious towards Sabrina because she’s the half-witch daughter of a supposed ‘traitor’. Again, draw your own parallels. When it gets to the stage they try to kill her by hazing (uncovering in the process the Academy of the Unseen Arts horrific back catalogue of student deaths which Dean Blackwood thinks is no biggie), even Sabrina’s stuffy Aunt Zelda draws the line, and Blackwood realises this is one witch he can’t afford to cross.

The only likable character from Sabrina’s expanded social world is Nicholas Scratch. He makes no bones about having a romantic interest in Sabrina, but unlike the other witches and warlocks envies mortals capacity to love, for they can only feel lust as he knows from a previous ménage à quatre with Prudence and both her adopted sisters. To them it is a natural function with a prescribed purpose for pleasure and reproduction, not a means of bonding to mutual affection (and takes part in Prudence’s orgy in the Spellman’s spare room by way of demonstration).

He also doesn’t have much time for Satan: he is the atypical teenager discovering the holes of his parents’ religion once old enough to reason out stuff for himself – the biggest one being a deity who wants his followers to only have love for him, merely lust for one another.

Scratch even risks his own life to save Sabrina’s estranged boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (and dirtbag father) whilst giving him a few home truths that for once he needs to man up and not throw away someone worth fighting for, especially someone risking her own life to defend him and their mortal town yet again – her friends and the jerks alike.

There is one unintentional dark joke moment at the Academy when the choir sings the Manson Family’s prison a capella ‘I’ll Never Says Never To Always/Always Is Always Forever’.

Sabrina and the Scoobies

Why Sabrina is able to outmanouvre the mortal hating traditionalists of her new witch circles every time is that she’s got past experience in dealing with misogynist traditionalist bigots within that very world they want her to disown. Dealing with Blackwood’s patriarchal bullshit’s a cinch when Baxter High’s principal Hawthorne is a Jock-loving assturnip who thinks blacks and queers need to remember their place no matter how much the times have changed. He gets spiders from Sabrina on the house (and in the house) for his trouble. He gets a lot worse from Madam Satan once his usefulness runs out.

(A staff from a Hawthorne tree incidentally is one of the few guaranteed non-magical weapons against a witch. Those pesky easter eggs again).

If Sabrina is Buffy, she’s got a far better gang of Scoobies at her back, although it’s only when matters get going they realise it and it is clear by season’s end are only really beginning to discover what they’re capable of. Much to the frustration of Madam Satan, who underestimates mortals at every time because she like the other witches and warlocks has no concept of love (it’s Harry Potter time again – hi Voldemort!).

Sabrina’s best friend and long time co-conspirator of ‘cunning plans’ is Rosalind Walker – the daughter of a local church minister whose parents were both involved with the Black Panthers (she tried to start a Daughters of the Black Panthers Club the previous year – which considering she appears to be the only black girl in the whole school seemed a bit silly). Roz is a budding rights activist who knows from experience the path to justice is by using much the same stealth and guile as those who seek to thwart you in a hick town like Greendale (which is more Midnight Hollow than Stars Hollow, with the dreary charm only to be found in seaside resorts and abandoned fairgrounds).

It illustrates the vast difference between Roz and the real life parallels her character points to (which is maybe why reception to her has been lukewarm) – she learns, restrategises, tries again, but most of all she keeps an open mind. There’s been reviews calling her ‘brash’ – showing these morons haven’t watched the programme even once. Roz is anything but. Opinionated, yes, but not obnoxiously so. She doesn’t ever think she knows better than anyone else – she believes simply in her right to think and speak and that of others to do the same.

She’s smart and assertive without trying to railroad everyone around, and knows that pointless gestures are no substitute for pragmatic progress towards your goals however small (again, compare and contrast to the ham-fisted Weird Sisters). The notion of role models based on shared gender or ethnicity is repugnant, but if such are to exist, Roz Walker is a superb one for young black girls – which is why in all likelihoods she’s being ignored by the mainstream media and the Black Lives Matter mob alike in favour of the repellent ‘my way or the highway’ Prudence.

Roz and Sabrina form the WICCA Club (Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association). Despite the bullshitty title and preamble about ‘female empowerment’, it exists primarily to end the isolation of the bullied Susie Putnam (the jocks regular punchbag due to her androgyny) without bruising her ego that she’s being ‘adopted’ by them as a human pet, and as a means of discussing classic literature banned from the school library for being ‘offensive’ (ie. anything remotely left-wing smelling). The acronym is chosen as a clear wind up, but considering Wiccans are the ‘good’ co-existence with mortals positive witches fighting against the Satanic ‘bad’ ones, you wonder whether this could a clue to future events as much as a jest. As a group they blend easily and seamlessly, the few relaxed moments the group shares in the show feel cosy and real – in contrast to almost every other stilted, terse social gathering in the show.

This all stands Roz and her friends in good stead when she learns she is slowly losing her sight due to a genetic condition (just after succeeding in getting the school to allow her and her friends to have a club for books banned from the library) – only to learn from her grandmother that it’s actually down to a centuries old witch’s curse on their family tempered by developing ‘Cunning sight’ where she can detect residuals of used magic on objects and witness past events. Her life like Sabrina’s is going to change no matter what she does – that doesn’t mean to say she’s going to be a victim of events. Not Roz.

For those watching closely, John The Conquorer root – the single most important Hoodoo magic ingredient named after the single most important hoodoo ‘trickster’ figure – gets a mention in the show, so this could be a hint Roz is going to develop her own powers from a different set of magic traditions in time as alluded to earlier. In episode one, she also appears strangely well versed in Sabrina’s birthday falling on Halloween on an eclipse being a big deal in terms of cosmic alignment. She even asks Sabrina at one stage if she stuck pins in a voodoo doll to thwart Principal Hawthorne. You start to wonder whether she sensed there was something different about her friend for some time before. She is a minister’s daughter – and who’s ever heard of one of them who didn’t take a peek at the other side some time to see if all the occultists were as bad as they were painted?

The final member of the trio is Susie Putnam, the freckly farmers girl so pale you’d think some local vampire’s using her for post-workout hydrating, who has troubles outwith bullying. Her closet gay uncle is possessed by a demon acquired in the local mine, and she’s getting regular visitations from her ancestor Dorothea Putnam, a pioneering frontierswoman in her day whose pragmatic dress sense brought her similar conflicts with those objecting that she didn’t dress ‘like a woman ought to’. Dorothea brought thirteen witches to America to escape persecution – inadvertently sending them to their deaths as a result at the hands of local mortals as the Massachusetts witch persecutions spread from Salem (and the existing witches using them as sacrificial lambs so they might be kept safe) – started by her own kin.

Anyone of high school age will know the almighty baggage the surname Putnam’s got from ‘The Crucible.’ – and therefore the problems perhaps yet to come. She is taunted by the said demon as an ‘abomination’ – the face value is that’s to do with her androgyny she is tormented about by the jocks. But demons don’t care about gender specifics surely? They may however take great exception to the family with the most blood on their hands for Salem.

It is one of the most famous – and devastating – parts of one of America’s most famous plays when Giles Corey calls out Thomas Putnam for putting his daughter up to accusing their neighbours of witchcraft so they can buy their forfeited land (which only they have the wealth to buy) once they’re executed – ‘this man is killing his neighbours for their land!’ – and yet he is the one who is jailed and tortured slowly to death by crushing because in pointing out the obvious he’s speaking out against the wealthy and powerful, which in the Land Of Nothing For Free has never been a good idea.

It’s clear however in this tale the Putnams have fallen – like most American farmers – very far since those times (with irony, their meagre remaining farmland includes the mass grave Dorothea buried the thirteen witches). You can guess however how much danger Susie and her family will be in once the local witches and warlocks discover who has been hiding in plain sight in Greendale. The Thirteen may honour Dorothea’s blood debt in sparing them, those others are more likely to see it as an account needing settled, if the Weird Sisters behaviour with the mine was anything to go by. As if Susie doesn’t have enough troubles to seek.

She’s alienated from her family members and doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere: the irony is all the parts which make her an ‘outsider’ make her perfect for Sabrina and Roz’s Scooby gang (she even wears a Velma Dinkly orange chunky collar pullover in one scene – jinkys!). Like Roz, she’s developing some innate supernatural talents of her own.

Though a fighter (she is a farmer after all), she is kindness personified, and with Roz both are the complete antithesis of everything about wrong about Greendale and the Church Of Night/Academy for Unseen Arts – a shitty world doesn’t mean you need to become as shitty as it to survive it. The good guys are the good guys no matter what team they’re batting for.

Which brings matters finally to Sabrina’s family: her aristocratic and autocratic Aunt Zelda and her more mumsie Dawn French clone English Aunt Hilda. Although both are in the Church of Night, the two represent Satanism versus Wicca schools of magic at their rawest – one selfish and power seeking, the other altruistic and nurturing. Hilda is a mother – Zelda a governess.

Zelda does not come off very well in all this (Miranda Otto – who has been middle aged since she was twelve years old – was born to this role) – she even kills her sister in a fit of temper for giving Sabrina ‘bad ideas’ and buries her in the resurrection cemetery to pop up again later (a running gag which looks lifted straight from The Young Ones ‘grow anything compost’ sketch).

She’s sort of like Emily Gilmore’s, the grand matriach of Gilmore Girls, including her ability to bend and soften once in a while against expectations, but apart from an ‘Allo ‘Allo piece of levity where she and Father Blackwood do the All Puritans Are Closet Perverts trope (from a timing perspective, hilarious), by contrast is not a likable character the more you get to know her, and the more you marvel at how Sabrina turned out. Her attitude to mortals is that of Pure Bloods to Muggles you-know-where, and ends up backing Sabrina into a place where she’s forced to call her out as much on her shit as much as she is forced to call out the Church of Night. At the end she does something so utterly stupid you lose whatever patience you had for her.

When you learn how badly she’s treated sweet Aunt Hilda down the years (an out and out sweetie), it’s next to impossible to forgive – and no wonder Hilda begins to drift more and more away towards the mortal world she fits in better as she realises how much it has been the making of Sabrina – and towards the end into the lives of Sabrina’s friends at what may prove an important crossroads with our heroine otherwise engaged.

Skipping Ambrose aside (Sabrina’s Greek Chorus and token gay fuck machine fan service), Salem (shadow demon in ultra cute purr monster form who turns anyone that tries to hurt Sabrina into torn newspaper shreds in an eyeblink) and her codeine boyfriend Harvey (nice but dopey), this finally brings matters to the show’s protagonist – who it is impossible to describe and quantify until after you illustrate the world she exists within.

Sabrina reflects our poly-cultural times. As much as Christianity’s dominance has melted over the last decade in the modern secular non-atheist heat, so in turn has the occult. It’s no longer the formidable force it was in its eighties and nineties horror heyday. This is reflected in the shabby Church of Night and tumbledown Academy of Unseen Arts in an abandoned railway station, it is reduced to scrabbling an existence with dwindling numbers and even more dwindling resources. A Satanic coven reliant on the human offal from an undertakers one of them runs to function at all is more whooped-ass than whoop-ass, no matter the pretentions of its office holders and elderly members. Like many of faith, their chosen deity’s end of the deal hasn’t measured up to the sales pitch.

You get the feeling this is what has really stung the Satanic Temple – when all the lurid headline grabbing stunts in the world can’t take away from the bitter truth of being a Westboro Baptist Church freak show whose only power came from being to shock and outrage it’s ‘enemies’ as a shabby counter culture retro relic, and now doomed to go down with them.

One of the most powerful moments in the series – and a sign perhaps of what will come to pass – is when Roz and Susie find themselves swapping notes about their own supernatural experiences and realise that Sabrina’s a witch (part orchestrated by Madam Satan hoping they’ll disown her when Sabrina’s already at her lowest ebb) – but Roz’s sweet succulent granny tells her there’s a time when even supernatural matters call for plain old fashioned common sense.

When the final showdown comes …

… the bond is strengthened.

Miss Cougar’s crass reaction to this only serves to demonstrate further that even the oldest most experienced Satanic witch still possesses all the emotional maturity of a spiteful child and will never see the bigger picture. End result, the crassest cunning plan of the lot which alerts both the Spellmans and Sabrina’s Scoobies that once this is all sorted, there’s some supernatural assturnip out there who is a loose cannon around the town needing terminated with extreme prejudice before they gets everyone killed – witch and mortal alike.

Sabrina isn’t perfect, far from it. She makes the mistake of seeing the prize but not the consequence after the mine disaster – but learned from it, fast. She believes in the same freedom of choice the Dark Lord’s minions claim their way offers if only she’ll sign the own blood dotted line – but they really don’t get that she intends holding them to the terms of said contract to the very letter – every time, no matter how she is bullied, manipulated, cajoled and blackmailed into their world.

It’s a beautiful parody of the Faustian pact trope – they are the ones needing to be careful what they wished for. Who’s ever heard of the devil making a deal to get what he wanted in which he was the one that lived to regret it? This may be that one time. Sabrina may dress like Little Red Riding Hood but the similarity ends there.

Sabrina is very much her own person – even with an aunt as domineering as Zelda. She’s half-witch, half-human, and sees no rational reason why she can’t be part of both worlds at once and or has to choose any one side completely and irrevocably. She’s clever, rash and has a heart as big as a whale for anyone and anything who deserves it and even those who don’t – and is willing to throw away her own life for it.

She even gives the Thirteen the opportunity to back off and leave unscathed after they’ve just tried to kill the entire first born of the town (bit biblical for Satanists, don’t you think?).

Season one has ended with her friends thinking they’ve lost her to the dark side …

… but fool if you believe it. She knows someone’s got it in for her mortal friends until they got what they want – her. That’s doesn’t mean to say they’re going to get to enjoy their prize. Season two could be the beginning of some well earned payback – Halloween 2019!

All Hallows 2018 – The Art Of Abigail Epstein (Spookyscones-HalloweenScones From Sims 3) Inc. Blobbily Spirits

1 November, 2018

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By way of remembering absent friends – and a very good friend to the Sims community in her time.

No, not dead – someone who left the Sims 3 community to return to arts and crafts.

Abigail Epstein, a talented artist from Rochester, New York, was once upon a time Spookyscones/Halloween Scones in the Sims 3 community: blogger/Simblr, a creator of small mods and other Sims 3 bits and pieces, also the creator of the Soggy Bottom Island game map.

She had a rather surreal sense of humour… think They Might Be Giants or ‘Pinky and The Brain’ and you’ll get the picture.

Her Blobbily Spirits remind you of the cute little invasion spirits from the Ambitions ghost hunter career,  don’t you agree?

Please find a collection of thirty eight poster pictures (thirteen are in a separate one for Blobbily Spirits only), twenty six square paintings (fourteen are in a separate one for Blobbily Spirits only) and fifteen murals available as pictures for your Sims 3 game.

The poster pictures use a mesh with many thanks by Yarona at Sims Modeli, the square pictures use a mesh by OrangeMittens from their old website Indigo Sims (RIP!), and the wall sized murals use a mesh which comes once again with many thanks from Helen-Sims, so you do not need any stuff packs for this to work – it’s all base game friendly.

Finally, there are thirty six different patterns – there is a named wall print inside the download for each, shown in variable lighting so you will have a better idea of how they will look in game. Sorry, but these are Sims3packs only – patterns in package format can be temperamental for some Simmers’ set ups and thus not worth it.

Download

To use, download, unzip, and drop the contained folder into your The Sims 3\mods\packages folder and they should show up; or double click on the Sims3packs and they will install themselves – remember always do so one at a time and makes sure the Sims 3 Game Launcher is completely finished and fully responding (ie. no red dot, white x!) before attempting to install another Sims3pack.

Enjoy!


Love Abigail Epstein’s art style?

Love to have it for your own home or to gift friends and relatives?

She sells all manner of items, and even does commissions, so this year spare your lost will to live in another shopping mall on another Black Friday, fighting through hordes of butterflies of doom and ninja octocats all for this year’s must have Bluray disc (next year’s tea cup placeholder) and ‘sofa shop’ something unique to cut a dash with your Christmas/Hannukah/Yule/Yalda/Fruitbat ª, etc. cash.

Buy from Abigail now before she becomes famous and everyone jumps on the bandwagon like with Banksy.

Help fund a friend of Simming.

Her Etsy is here.

Her custom fabrics studio is here.

Her shop for cushions, curtains, sheets, tablewear, wallpaper and tea towels is here.

Note:

ª Have no idea if there is a festival called Fruitbat, let alone in winter. If not, there should be.

The British National Party: Managing To Outstupid Even Diane Abbott

28 October, 2018

Three cheers for the BNP’s ability to make itself look stupider than any of the so-called anti-fascist or anti-racist groups could ever manage in a lifetime. Better still, they managed it in a piece involving one of their regular soft targets – Diane Abbott.

If you want to induce instant rage amongst anyone Afro-Caribbean in London, you have two easy options. One is to ask them what they think about the Notting Hill ‘carnival’. Started by Afro-Caribbean immigrants and local white hippies wanting to reintroduce the community fairs back to London celebrating local traditions which had been largely banned in the capital down the centuries as ‘subversive’; once local authorities saw it was a way of making lots of money, it was highjacked by the race relations industry, bent politicians and the sort who would sell their grandmothers for gold, and is more an excuse for Guardianistas to get drunk and smoke pot in public in Britain’s largest corporate sponsored mass frottage outside of a One Direction concert at Wembley.

The second way is to ask them what they think of Diane Abbott.

The flappy mouthed Abbott epitomises everything wrong with British politics: holding a seat where a tin of dog food would win so long as a Labour Party rosette was stuck on it, with no change to her job prospects despite every demonstration over the last twenty five years of being breathtakingly unsuited to the post. As with most British parliamentary seats, the ‘safer’ the seat, the greater the stupidity of the incumbent. She is often wheeled out as a ‘spokesperson’ for black communities despite having little contact with any outside of election time, with predictable lack of results.

Abbott’s main claim to fame is loudmouthed populist left-wing rhetoric on race, feminism and socialism to appeal to people’s worst instincts – for and against her – juxtaposed with barefaced hypocrisy (even by Parliamentary standards). Demanding private schools be banned, she sent her own children to them. Demanding private healthcare provision be banned didn’t stop her using one to NHS queue jump because she ‘needed’ to. Demanding MPs be stopped from having second jobs, she became a newspaper columnist and regular TV pundit.

Her live TV interviews are frequent trainwrecks due to her lack of even the most basic knowledge on issues she is supposed to be her party’s spokesperson for, which she believes she can substitute for with bluster. Imagine a beached whale being given the Charlie Sheen roast for an approximate idea of how bad she is. But because she is Cambridge University alumni, she is given successive high profile jobs – so much for the ‘people’s party’, every bit as bad as the Tories.

No surprise therefore that Britain’s racist far-right love her as their favourite pantomime villain – especially the BNP. They were back to foaming at the mouth about her this evening in a fashion almost as predictable as her.

‘We don’t have time to waste!’ it says – which certainly appears to be the case for the BNP’s website manager at any rate.

One eagle eyed member, Robert Fernshaw pointed out someone as cretinous as Diane Abbott was clearly in charge of it.

Scrolling down the page, he was correct!

To prove this wasn’t merely some accidental copying of a previous headline onto a different article.

Lastly, to prove Robert Fernshaw is a part member and not an opponent wanting to cause trouble for them.

Oh dear! Let’s see Adam Walker’s gang of losers explain away this one.

The British National Party: Not Letting Facts Get In The Way Of Making Idiots Of Themselves Again!

21 October, 2018

It’s been a bad week for what’s left of the British National Party.

Not only did they have to put up with the aged bigots pub crawl called the National Front claiming the BNP’s chairman had resigned and the party was in chaos (it wasn’t – in any case, it’s always hard to tell!), but every attempt to get the British press to take notice of them in the wake of the release of Islamicist bigot Anjem Choudary has been met by complete indifference.

Which to be fair is largely the attention the general public gave to the release of Anjem Choudary, most suspecting rightly this was a feeble attempt by the Tories to take everyone’s eyes off them making a complete mess of the Brexit negotiations once again. When Tinfoil Theresa gets her well overdue sacking, a job as an EA Simguru is surely hers for the asking.

Even so, the BNP sank to a new low in their Twitter trolling with this piece of rubbish tonight.

What was The Times article it was linking to?

Anyone with an active interest in stamping out paedophile scum on sight (not merely showing concern for cynical political motives, yes that means you BNP!) knows who Tom O’Carroll of P.I.E. is – his antics in the National Council of Civil Liberties with the blessing of Labour’s Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt almost resulted in that organisation’s collapse as members and affiliated organisations disowned it in droves.

It is a pity however the BNP aren’t very good at checking on dates, the above happened on 16th February 2016 – two years ago!

Do keep up! The following day, the BBC had reported that he’d been expelled.

How strange that the BNP did not bother to mention this!

All parties have the problem of disreputable, disgusting people sneaking in, the bigger the party, the harder to see them in the crowd, and when they have common sounding names it is even harder to spot them. It is hardest of all when in the case such as the above, the nonce scum had relocated from London to Barrow-in Furness – almost three hundred miles away!

(This is a common tactic amongst paedo scum in the hope of being to restart their sick activities undetected in a new place)

The fact O’Carroll he was flung out less than a day after he was exposed for what he was – considering the BNP’s history of dragging its heels when it comes to throwing out Nazi worshipping cranks and other sickos (their party founded by the biggest one of the lot – the jackboot fetishist John Tyndall), perhaps people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?

You only have to look at the Labour25 website it linked to, which contains such ‘interesting’ comments posted by them as this.

Once a bunch of anti-Semitic, gay hating Nazi loving scumbags, always a bunch of … yeah, you get it!

News From The Nutters: Don’t Get Mad, Get Guardianmeme

6 October, 2018

As the most ridiculous newspaper in the world lapses further and further into self-parody under the editorship of Katherine Viner, you can cheer yourself up at least by creating your own headers for the sort of bullshit its array of smug writers would come up with given the chance.

All you need to do is go to Guardianmeme, choose your favourite smugger, create the header, press download and have fun.

If you want some ideas, you can always go to the Guardian Headlines parody website, but here’s a few of my own to give you some inspiration:

If anyone is upset by any of this – especially the last one – please first ask yourself why the right on Guardian has always been controlled by a white middle class heterosexual editor?

Voice of radical liberalism with a social conscience my arse!