So yesterday at 11:00 AM CST the Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Kickstarter, kickstarted.
They were shooting for 70,000 and as I write this (less than 24 hours after launch) they are at… let me see… Just over $230,000 pledged and I haven’t even done mine yet. :D
So if you have money burning a hole in your pocket and have fond memories of Mage (or race memories of it being the best background ever!) then I thought I’d just point you all there as my fond hope is that it can beat the near 700,000 dollars which Exalted 3rd Ed. pulled in.
Mage 20th Kickstarter
Not sure if theres much interest or not, but I figured since I’ve snapped the pics with my phone I might as well share them here! I’ve had a decent response from posting them on my Twitter feed, so heres a bit of the stuff I’ve been doing to relax.
You’ve got to hand it to the Brits. It has been nearly 250 years since their taxing of the colonies set off the American Revolution and during that time they have remained vigilant in their holier-than-thou judgment of the United States. Making it worse still is the ultra-British way that this cockiness is portrayed, not with swagger and bravado, but with a snootiness that belittles the very need for a debate. It presents itself in curious ways. For every Monty Python or Led Zeppelin, you get 13 excruciating seasons of Are You Being Served?, but it is all delivered in the same golden container, awaiting our praise or else. It is this unilateral belief that unwavering support of their British by-products will eventually lead to universal acclaim that has prolonged the careers of the brothers Gallagher and David Beckham. The trouble is that sometimes they are right. Sometimes it is the Office or Adele or what-have-you and in those instances they are sitting there with a disapproving monocle waiting for the world to catch up, which brings us to Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes as source material is a trap. To a large extent, the modern portrait of detectives and mysteries were born in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hallowed pages. From Batman to CSI, the intellectual sleuth who outwits his opponents is now a beloved archetype. And whether it is Monk or Psyche or the Closer or Law and Order: Criminal Intent, we are presented with a flawed, yet brilliant protagonist whose eccentrics belie his abilities. The saving grace of all these characters is that they are merely an homage to Sherlock. They are derivative, but gain freedom in that separation. To the contrary, Sherlock Holmes will always be held to its source material. Moreover, it will also be held to the standard of its string of offspring. This legacy becomes a burden, but it doesn’t stop us from having a Sherlock Holmes franchise of movies, a Sherlock Holmes TV series, and another Sherlock Holmes TV series (Elementary) all in simultaneous production. Of course, only one of the three is worth its bandwidth. The movies tried to give a modern feel in a dated time period and it was a huge failure. Elementary tried to give a modern feel in a modern time period and it also failed, perhaps more epically. The BBC’s Sherlock has a classic feel in a modern time period. Note that I changed out dated for classic, because the show could very easily feel dated and end up in the junk pile with the other two offerings. Instead, the show masters the art of updating the environment, but maintaining the essence. Last night’s episode (which those damn Brits saw months ago) had a classic set up where the villain maneuvered and manipulated the situation to outsmart Sherlock, but failed to realize that Sherlock’s logic and actions aren’t bound by traditional tenets of morality. For those who DVRed the episode, I’ll let you watch it before I start with the spoiler.
Few would argue the genius of Arrested Development’s run on FOX, but the argument gets a little spicier when examining season 4 on Netflix. As a self-described fanatic of the show, I embraced the new season with vigor, turning down social engagements and family responsibilities to settle in to a TV coma. When the big day arrived, I only made it through three episodes before I lost the excitement and interest. The show seemed to be trying really hard, but coming off a little desperate. “Hot Mess” was being served up as a catchphrase with a laugh track and I wasn’t buying it. Furthermore, the story arc for episode 1 followed the fall of Michael. Up until this point, Michael had served as both the straightman and the identifiable protagonist. He kept the show grounded in the face of mounting and competing lunacy. Suddenly, he was fulfilling the role of the flamboyant, the pathetic, and the self-absorbed. Personally, I blame the new format, as following one character was either going to lead to an episode worth of Michael reacting or a break from character to supply the other tropes we’ve come to expect. Whatever the cause, it led to dissatisfaction and disengagement.
Fast forward a year and I found myself in a new routine of rocking my infant daughter to sleep at night. This was usually accompanied with some drafting on MTGO. However, a rocky patch with Theros created a window of opportunity for alternate entertainment and I decided to revisit season 4. I am not ready to call the season a success, but I did enjoy several of the later episodes and am planning to rewatch the season to find/appreciate some of the jokes I missed on the first viewing. What was your impression of Arrested Development Season 4? Let’s get some conversation going in the comments section.