The curious case of the three-page rant in the old PHB
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:29 pm 
 

pro565 wrote:Ok the, here's the article.  The names have been blacked out for the sake of mystery...


Amazing post!  And there's ol' J. Eric Holmes down in the corner of the first clipping. :D


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:33 pm 
 

pro565 wrote:Ok the, here's the article.  The names have been blacked out for the sake of mystery...


LOL Man does that bring back memories...I think it was dictated that every local paper do an "expose" on D&D back in it's heyday...filled with lots of breathless speculation.  I remember a few running in my local paper at the time.  Funny stuff.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:16 pm 
 

"This is serious stuff, which parents quickly deduce when they see their children--who formerly spent their free time roller skating or disco dancing--suddenly preferring to read up on the Middle Ages."

Absolutely accurate. Back in the day, our gaming group would usually start each D&D session with a good long roller-boogie workout. Naw, I'm not pulling your leg, here are some old home movies as proof:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duq5QDp6 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ynsxk9WA ... re=related

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:00 pm 
 

Man, that is just way too cool.  Thanks for posting!  What a trip down memory lane.  And finally getting to see a picture of Jim was a blast.  To think I held that PHB in my hands!   :D

By the way, have we figured out yet where it is these days?


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:29 pm 
 

That has to be one of the worst music videos of one the sorriest bands of all time. Now I know why I never heard of them--they suck! Bland, whiney, nearly-nasal blatherings fronted by something that looks like the offspring of Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz and the some slutty feline from the Broadway opus Cats. And if that were not enough, a sax player with a pointy silver hat that looks like nothing more than a glittery pinhead.  
Wow!
If that's a "blast from the past", I'm glad I missed that one.

Breathless exposes were a constant source of humor to me when all of that was going on. Yeah, better fear something that drags your kid's head out of Fantastic Four and into Harold Lamb. Scary stuff when your kid becomes involved in a group activity that involves thinking, cooperation and inventiveness. I was frequently questioned by writer-types on this topic back then but refused to be drawn into it.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:44 pm 
 

I dont know....
I kinda enjoyed the vacumn cleaner solo he did.
And the dude with the hairy knee......... WOW
Another dude was wearing a one piece bedtime jumpsuite.

The lead singer kept voicing the words...
"My teenage heart belongs to you."

Dude musta been at least 45.

OK. I agree that is by far the worst band I had never heard of till today.
I wanted to rate them, but you have to log in to do so.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:56 pm 
 

Thanks for the article scans BTW:
I think the article should be scaned, printed and added to the book as well.
Perhaps printed out and folded into a pocket with the mini disc scans?
(Whoever has the PHB now?)


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:58 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:I think it was dictated that every local paper do an "expose" on D&D back in it's heyday...filled with lots of breathless speculation.

I agree that the article in question (and thanks for doing that, JP's old friend) is representative of its type, but as a longtime journalist, I feel compelled to throw out a couple of mitigating items in defense of the author here.

This sort of "hey, here's a trend, we'd better do a piece on it" article has almost always been handed to what are generically referred to as "general assignment" reporters, a long-suffering race of poor slobs and slob-ettes who show up for work every day at the newspaper not knowing exactly what the hell they'll be sent out to write about.

There was a great one-panel comic many years ago in Editor & Publisher, a magazine for newspaper professionals. It shows an editor standing over the shoulder of a guy labeled "general assignment reporter" as he prepares to throw a dart. The dartboard has a sign above it that says "Today I Am An Expert In ..." and the slices of the board are filled with things like "politics," "crime," "transportation," "health care," and etc., etc. And, really, that sums up a GA reporter's life much better than I can. It's completely thankless.

The over-wrought, breathless style of the piece is, I agree, a little bit much. But I only put half the blame on the writer; I can almost guarantee that someone above her in the L.A. Times food chain made it clear to her that she needed to be including some of that sort of stuff in her final draft.

Honestly, this article is at least 20 times better than most of its brethren. The writing is generally clear, most of the basic facts seem to be in order (or at least close enough for the average L.A. Times reader**), and it paints some nice word-pictures. It's better than I could have done if I had been assigned a piece on, for example, a knitting club.

+++++

**This is an important point. All of the D&D articles from this era were not written for fans of D&D. They were written for a newspaper's total readership ... a much, much larger group of people in most cases. And a group that really doesn't give 1.8 shits if something like "armor class" isn't explained with 100-percent correctness.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:06 pm 
 

Samurai Rabbi, Magic User Penguin, schizophrenic Troll, Slightly gay Cleric……."Oberon, King of Fairies"

Classic.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:36 pm 
 

Thanks for scanning and posting the article... made even more interesting with J. Eric Holmes.  It should be added to the PHB making its way around the world.  If only we could track down JP now...  :wink:

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:32 pm 
 

Just got an e-mail from Jim!
The internet is amazing...
a quick e-mail to his sister, who forwarded it to him, and TA-DAH!
Jim is currently living in Sydney Austrailia.

more to follow...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:18 pm 
 

You know what might be a nice gesture?

Get JP's old PHB to make the rounds for say, three more months, have some people who have been waiting patiently get a chance to sign the back flyleaf (Kosh comes to mind), and then have the final person in line mail it back to him. I'd be happy to kick in a couple of bucks to help cover the shipping to Aussie-land.

He might get a smile out of seeing his old manifesto and also seeing how many different places that book has traveled.  :)

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:33 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:You know what might be a nice gesture?

Get JP's old PHB to make the rounds for say, three more months, have some people who have been waiting patiently get a chance to sign the back flyleaf (Kosh comes to mind), and then have the final person in line mail it back to him. I'd be happy to kick in a couple of bucks to help cover the shipping to Aussie-land.

He might get a smile out of seeing his old manifesto and also seeing how many different places that book has traveled.  :)


I think the book is already on the way to Oz....so maybe after our Australian members see it, it can be delivered to JP? ....Also, would be nice to see a scan of the back page to see all the sigs there now....

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:55 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
Also, would be nice to see a scan of the back page to see all the sigs there now....

Mike B.


Ditto!


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:32 am 
 

Well, i think i'll be the first to see it in Australia as soon as it arrives.

Still in tansit it looks like.  :cry:

I'll post as soon as it gets here, then throw it open to who's next on the list...


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:15 am 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Well, i think i'll be the first to see it in Australia as soon as it arrives.

Still in tansit it looks like.  :cry:

I'll post as soon as it gets here, then throw it open to who's next on the list...


i actually wouldnt mind a read of that at some point. if thats at all possible that is.....

pretty cool stuff though i have to say. what a fun thing!

Bren, why not try and have it arranged so that he goes to gencon oz and then you oz guys can all get a pic with him etc and the book?

that would be very cool.
Al



  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:23 am 
 

Hi Al,

Great idea ! Will have to see what can be arranged.

Pro565 any chance of pre-positioning Jim on the idea?


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:46 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote:
i actually wouldnt mind a read of that at some point. if thats at all possible that is.....

pretty cool stuff though i have to say. what a fun thing!

Bren, why not try and have it arranged so that he goes to gencon oz and then you oz guys can all get a pic with him etc and the book?

that would be very cool.
Al


I'd like to take a look at at (in the UK) at some point as well.  However I do think once the Acaeum members have finished with it it should be sent back to Jim Perelman (permantly if he wants it).

  
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