Here Comes The Judge…

Over the weekend, while Peggy did her shift at the animal hospital, I listened to Bob Dylan’s “Whitmark Demos.” These were songs he recorded just to get the copyright down – or so that his agent could sell them to other performers. There are some wonderful renditions on these acetates, even though some have complained that they were done rather mechanically. His version of “I’ll Keep It With Mine” – which appears on the end of the second CD in the set – is one of my personal favorites. I suppose it’s one of my favorite songs. I like all the Bob versions and I like the Nico version. I will, as it happens, listen to anyone cover that particular song.

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had

Another song I like from these demos is “Bob Dylan’s Blues.” Listening to it made me think about the friends I used to play D&D with in Junior High and High School. Most of these people I have lost touch with and, even in the days of Facebook, cannot bring myself to, you know, make the effort. I sometimes wonder what they are up to, but when I get information along those lines, it usually just depresses me. Most of them haven’t changed very much. And, of course, some are dead.

When we played D&D, as I recall, I was always the GM. Even the older guy who taught me how to play D&D wanted me to run the games after I learned how. I used to view this as the way my friends from that time tended to lean on me – staying at my home, eating my parents’ food, asking me for help and emotional support they had little interest in reciprocating, etc. But I have come to see the issue now being more about my own beliefs and desires. I really wanted to create my own worlds and universes. Failing that, I was more eager to explore things like the Judges Guild’s City State and the Wilderlands – or Traveller’s <b>Third Imperium</b>. My friends, whatever else was going on with them, obviously weren’t as motivated.

Still, I often wonder what motivates some to gravitate towards the GM role and others shy away from it. Could it be a kind of passion? This would make more sense to me if I didn’t see some of my same friends still wanting to play characters long after I had stopped wanting to GM. Obviously, they really enjoyed playing – but obviously it was never enough for them to want run their own campaign. In the same sense I look at the people I know who have made solid commitment to work in occultism vs. those who have flaked away. What makes some people want to stick with it and prompts others to bail? Did I want to GM, back in the day, for the same reason I still feel committed to magick?

One old friend of mine played with me in the City State. When I returned to it, after a period of more than 30 years, I instantly remembered the last time his character had strode down “Ox Cart” road. In some sense, that memory was not completely unlike our last walk together while he was alive, we when we made our way down the edge of the Hudson river on a wintery afternoon.

The pleasures derived by the demiurge are different from the pleasures that are experienced by the creatures trapped in his or her creation. To excessively anthropomorphize the creating deity obscures this fact. God may take vast delight with the world, but that joy might be very different than yours.


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