Saturday, September 28, 2019


Elves. More unsubtle allegory.

TriadCity's Elves are a defeated and displaced people. They're Native Americans, they're Syrian and Honduran refugees flooding Barmalindar and less seemly encampments in the other Thirds. Their remnants are riddled with alcoholism, they live on the dole, and those who don't live by selling a packaged and clean-scrubbed version of their cultural history.

Younger Elves are radicalizing. In the University milieu they join underground circles on the far-left. They're among the most accomplished Liberators. There are rumors of Elf-Orc alliances and secret cells operating in Rubble City and inside the barbed wire in Maboj Bot Ob.

The allegory is unsubtle but there is a more nuanced component. We're commenting as pointedly as possible on the racialism of the MUD tradition which descends from Tolkien and D&D. Why are the bad guys always black, why are the good guys always white and outnumbered? Helm's Deep, Zulu, The Green Berets, the climactic battle at Winterfell with the Night King: beleaguered bands of white brothers who slaughter the subhumans. Exactly the point and purpose of the mainstream MUD tradition before TriadCity. We turn it around, turn it inside out, stick it up its own ass. Bonus question: what race lives in NorthWest? There are a lot of pareus and breadfruit trees over there.

The Elves help us make fun of the smarmy near-left. Elvish epigones who appropriate and bowdlerize their culture, and argue among themselves over "Who are the true Elf-friends?" Dressing in worn blankets 'cos that's what the real Elves do.

Elves in TriadCity are not Tolkien's superspiritual superbrains with the brawn of Orlando Bloom. They're passed out drunk on Sanctuary Island, or huddled in detention centers in Maboj Bot Ob. Or fleeing with heads down from the Elvish Ghetto off MacArthur Boulevard in NorthEast. They're held in contempt by everyone in NorthEast and nearly everyone in the South, while even the generous NorthWesterners resent them for their drain on public resources.

Robert Natkin, abstract

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