Various Little Things

Thought AvP was bad? Check this out. (via Andrew Olmsted)

Following that theme, a reader tips me off to a write-up on Jib Jab’s THIS LAND IS MY LAND political parody, mentioned here last month. The video got 18 million hits in July.

This is the 30th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. Here’s a good Q&A with GG. I count myself among those who do not buy his claims that Tolkien had little or no effect on his game design. I read that about twenty years ago in Dragon magazine and I didn’t believe it, and I do not believe it now. Points for consistency, though. (via, of all places, Instapundit)

That Air Force Major who got busted for bringing back unauthorized war souveniers was actually trying to equip an army equivalent to France’s it appears. You must check out the pics. Unbelievable.

I’ve been calling the Global War On Terror the Fourth World War since long before I began this site. In 1996 I wrote a short article called “How the United Stated Won the Third World War.” I haven’t had time to check out the whole thing, but here’s a World War IV article that tries to draw strong parallels between the early 1950s and the early 2000s. (via Belmont Club) (And if any family or friends have that old article of mine, distributed via email, send me a copy. I don’t have one, and I’m quite curious to see exactly what I thought back then.)


  1. Dweeb! Do you remember which issue it was in? Anyway, why wouldn’t you believe Gary? The appearance of elves, dwarves and halflings is just coincidence. As is the cloak and rope of elvenkind, and the blue glow of magic weapons. Nothing to see here… Oh wait, if I know all that, it means I’m a dweeb too…

  2. See, I always imagined magic weapons glowing a more yellowish color. I mean…when my…umm…dweeb friends…would talk about AD&D. (Dammit! Did the ‘A’ in AD&D give me away?)

  3. Sorry, Buckethead. I don’t remember which issue of Dragon had GG denying Tolkien influence on D&D. It was around 1983 or 1984. You’ll have to go through your collection issue by issue…:) I didn’t actually own that particular issue. I read it in Don’s Hobby Shop in Mankato, MN, which is where I got all my D&D and Traveller stuff and where I spent countless summer hours reading for free what I couldn’t afford to buy. I think it might have been in that Sorcerer’s Scribe column that Gygax used to write in Dragon. Or whatever it was called. I remember that he claimed the relative weakness of magic in Middle Earth more or less proved that Tolkien wasn’t an influence. Gygax gave as an example Gandalf trying to bar the door in Moria against the Balrog. He said in D&D that the hold door spell was relatively weak and that if Gandlaf was in D&D he’d be able to battle the Balrog with magic instead of running away. (Never mind that Gandalf ended up battling and defeating the Balrog…) I also don’t understand why halflings in D&D were originally called Hobbits if Tolkien wasn’t a major influence. Granted, it’s not a major point, but Gygax doesn’t just say that many sources, including Tolkien, influenced his original design. He goes out of his way to make sure that everyone understands that Tolkien had virtually no influence at all. It seems kinda’ paranoid to me. Maybe he used to be afraid of getting sued? (I think that’s exactly why he dropped the name Hobbits.) It’s sort of like George Lucas bending over backwards to assure us all that every change he makes to Star Wars was Supposed To Be There All The Time. It just doesn’t make sense to me.