Monthly Archives: February 2015

For the Emperor

Is there anything that can be depended upon other than the emperor’s way? Is there a secret key to the salvation of humanity other than this? Is there a place of refuge other than this? The emperor should be revered for all eternity. Leading the masses, dash straight ahead on the emperor’s way! Even if inundated by raging waves, or seared by a red-hot iron, or beset by all the nations of the world, go straight ahead on the emperor’s way without the slightest hesitation! This is the best and shortest route to the manifestation of the divine land.

…Believe in the emperor, the embodiment of Supreme Truth, the one God of the universe! Imperial subjects of Japan should not seek their own personal salvation. Rather, their goal should be the expansion of imperial power. Needless to say, they will find personal salvation within imperial power.

Until you read the word “Japan,” the above quotes could easily be mistaken for flavour text lifted straight from Warhammer 40,000. They are in fact from the writings of Sugimoto Goro, at the time a (posthumous) national hero in Japan for his ultra-nationalist warrior ethos.  He was killed in battle during the Japanese invasion of China just before the second world war.  I found these quotes in the fascinating book Zen at War by Brian Daizen Victoria.

A reminder that the grim darkness of the far future may not be as silly as it seems.

Changing format

Hi friends,

There’s still another month until I’ll have full internet access from home. It’s not ideal. There are some good points though. I’ve done more gaming than usual since the blog’s slowed down. And I’ve been thinking more about my hobby in terms of what I want to make, rather than what I would be pleased to bring to the community.

Also, I’ve been thinking about changing the format of this blog for a while, and now I’m going to do it.

These days I find I’m less interested in long thoughtful discussions, and more interested in recording my work for my own future reference, and appreciating the miniatures and art of others. If I feel like a conversation, I’d do better to call a friend and have a game – or go to a wider online forum like the House of Paincakes – than to host one here at my little place. Besides anything else, posting discussion-starters here puts pressure on me to reply to everyone, which is something I just can’t do right now.

Related to this, I’ve come round to the idea that many (maybe most…) online media doesn’t actually need comments, and people just have them enabled out of habit. I think this is especially true for big things like YouTube, and mainstream media.  In fact I almost think that the larger the audience, the less valuable the comments will be as a whole. So what I’m going to do is disable the comments on my posts, unless they are posts I’ve specifically written for discussion.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am incredibly grateful for all of my readers and friends here who take the time to drop by and say “nice job” when I post a pic of a model or some scenery.  I just feel that I don’t actually need that validation, if you know what I mean? I make stuff for myself, and I like sharing it with the community because a lot of my inspiration comes from all over the place. And the idea that someone might get some inspiration from me makes me happy. But that’s all I really want from it. I’ve been blogging for about ten years now, starting with Live Journal at the turn of the millenium, and in that time I’ve slowly been shaving back on wordiness and trying to make my writing more spartan and useful. This is a continuation of that trend.

So here’s how it’s going to work: I’ll post work (art, models, scenery, even music or whatever) by myself and others.  I’ll credit the creators, myself or otherwise.  And that’s it.  Comments will be disabled on these posts. If you like something, please go ahead and click the “like” button.  Everything has ‘em these days, even WordPress. And I feed on sweet delicious Likes, just like everyone else.

If I really have something to say, rest assured I’ll say it! And I’ll blow it up for discussion as I always have. But I’d like to shift the bulk of my discussion from in here to out there, in the community.

Oh, and I’m rescinding my oft-broken “no more than 500 words” rule. I don’t want to feel restricted when I do choose to write.

I’m leaving the comments open on this one, because I’m excited but I’m also curious what people think.  Get ready for probably more posts, more visuals, and a lot less words. I see the Beat Ronin in the future as a place people can quickly check out, say “hey, that’s cool” and perhaps share, and then move along to the next thing.

See you soon,

James