But then I had a couple of people point me at Alek's most recent Declarations of War podcast. "You might want to listen to it," one person tells me without explaining why. Another person I really respect says "they really rip into you." Uh oh. Alek didn't say a word to me that I'd be mentioned in his podcast. I certainly never got an invite the way I did the last time Alek didn't like one of my CSM posts.(1)
Yeah. Turns out the second opinion was on the nose. For 22 minutes, from 1:18 to 1:40, I am the topic of conversation of Alekseyev Karrde and NinjaTurtle, and their guest, Connall Tara of RvB. I'm going to spoil it for you: it turns out they don't like me much. Matter of fact, other than Alek mentioning briefly that "some of Ripard's non-CSM posts are pretty good" and "Ripard is a good writer", it's a 22 minute long bash session where nobody has anything nice to say about me. That good writing Alek mentioned? I use it for evil. "Why does he do it?" one of them asks (I lose track of the voices and who is who after a while).
We'll get to that.
But let's start with this, because I think this is kinda important:
That's a graphical representation of every blog post I wrote last year. It's one pixel wide per post, so 547 pixels wide. Green represents posts that do not mention the CSM at all. That's 90% of what I wrote last year. Yellow are posts that mention the CSM, but aren't about the CSM. If I pointed you to a town hall recording, or talked about something that CCP is doing and idly wonder how the CSM will react to it, or mentioned something that Seleene posted about without giving my opinion, stuff like that... that's yellow. Red are posts specifically about The Mittani at Fanfest. I wrote six of those. That leaves 24 posts that are specifically about CSM7; they're in orange.
"Well Jester," some wag in the peanut gallery is saying, "you wrote 24 posts bashing the CSM, so of course they're gonna bash back." Nope. Those are just the posts that were about the CSM. That includes election results, my take on the May Minutes, stuff about the election, and several posts I wrote that were flat-out positive about CSM7 activities or opinions. Oh yes, I did. This post, for one. This one, for another.
But sure. I absolutely wrote some number of posts that were negative about CSM7. Counting them up, I think there are nine. But there are -- at absolute most -- 24. Why did I do it? Well, I answered that question back in August:
Why am I giving CSM7 such a hard time? That's easy: because so far taken as a group, they're not impressing me! Individual members here and there? Yes. This CSM as a whole? No. ... I don't have a hard-on for beating up CSMs. If you read my posts regarding CSM6, you'll find that overall I was very pleased with the job they did. Ditto CSM5 despite them (in my view) tripping at the finish line.And that's still mostly my opinion of CSM7, though as I can see more and more of the outline of what they're trying to accomplish (thanks to very good conversations with Trebor Daehdoow and Hans Jagerblitzen), I'm getting more of a favorable opinion of more of their members and that actually includes Alek. Sure, he's brash and mercurial and angry nearly all the time -- dear Heaven, does that Stannis Baratheon comparison fit him -- but he's also indisputably a CSM7 work-horse and I hope he runs for CSM8.
And if the bashing of me had stopped there, then I'd stop here. I have a very thick skin; I can take it. But it didn't, so I won't. The question then devolves from "why does he bash the poor defenseless CSM?"(2) to pretty much "why does he inflict himself on the EVE community at all?" Swear to God.(3) "He thinks he's helping," someone says. "Hitler thought he was helping, too," someone else says, invoking Godwin's Law (which is then mentioned explicitly to laughter). I'm paraphrasing a bit here, but not very much.
An old chestnut emerges: obviously, I only write these things to procure hits on my blog. You know: so I can get lots of click-throughs for the advertising that's all over this blog-- owait.
Er guys, the last time I checked, a lot of people found value in what I write. But let's keep it simple. Know how many straight up guides to playing EVE I wrote in 2012? 19 (add 'em to the 21 that I wrote in 2011). Know how many Fits of the Week? 50-odd. If all I did was that, the number of posts I wrote directly helping the EVE community play the game was triple the number of posts I wrote about the CSM. But I know that a lot of you think I'm a positive voice in the community when I'm writing about most EVE Online topics, because I read the hundreds and hundreds of comments you write here every month, and I appreciate the hell out of them.
For whomever asked the question, here's your answer: I do what I do because I enjoy it, and because I want to help the EVE community. I'm not a bad person because I bash CSM7 once in a while.
Then it gets worse! "Ripard isn't even an active player!" one of the three people above cries in disdain. "I know he doesn't play the game the way we do, or as much as the three of us do!" Swear to God!(4) OK, sure, let's check that. These guys are all PvPers, right? And so am I, right?
|Number of kill-mails Alekseyev Karrde is on in 2012:||562|
|Number of kill-mails NinjaTurtle is on in 2012:||171|
|Number of kill-mails Connall Tara is on in 2012:||492|
|Number of kill-mails Ripard Teg is on in 2012:||836|
Er, yeah. Guess I did that without playing the game. Oh, but wait. As those who read my stuff know, I'm also an industrialist. As I've said before, I build T1 and T2 rigs, some T2 mods, T2 ammunition, and a number of other things. Like all EVE industrialists, I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of such things. I decided to check: how many T1 and T2 rigs did I research (where necessary), build, haul to market, and sell to EVE players in 2012? The answer surprised even me. Here it is:
112,977I checked twice. That number's accurate, and that's just rigs. I didn't count mods, ammo, or anything else I researched, built, hauled, and sold. I'd say chances are damn good that unless they make their own rigs, the three players above have at least one ship in a hangar somewhere that was rigged by yours truly. Chances are, so do you. ;-) Guess I did all that without playing this game, too.(5)
Guys: for the record, I played EVE for hundreds and hundreds of hours in 2012. A lot of the people reading this blog know it, because a lot of them have me on their notify lists and some few start convos with me when I appear. (Which I don't mind at all, BTW.)
Then if all that wasn't bad enough, a really old chestnut emerges: I bash the CSM because obviously, I'm still butt-hurt about a space election I lost two years ago (Alek says one year ago, but we'll forgive him). Swear to God.(6) "Ripard's CSM run is laughable because he doesn't play the game," it is declared with utter confidence. "Just blogging isn't going to carry him through a CSM election." Er... OK... yeah.
I think I see where this is going. ;-)
Apparently CSM8 campaign season has started and I've just missed it. gf guys, g f'in f. Makes me wonder why they did it. Well, one of my readers had a theory. It's a fun theory. But maybe you guys could wait and see if I actually declare a candidacy before bashing me over it, whadaya say? Or you could remember the alternative.
(1) Hint: Alek doesn't like very many of my CSM posts.
(2) Hint: if you don't have a thick skin, don't be a public figure.
(3) It's at 1 hour, 36 minutes in.
(4) It's at 1 hour, 24 minutes in.
(5) By the way, between editing passes on this blog post, I started 16 invention jobs, four research jobs, and 15 manufacturing jobs for 150 T2 modules. Oh, and I killed three battleship rats. I'm trying to get one of my main's sec status up to high-sec level again for a while.
(6) It's at 1 hour, 37 minutes in.