27 Feb 2013

On The Campaign Trail: Vultures


I didn't know why I was here or what in fact I was doing. Some random dingy motel away from the spacelanes, just a wannabe reporter and his ZX-20 hoverbike. My head throbbed from the ugly hangover that was creeping in. The Fear. All night spent with my head in papers, notebooks scribbled full of words, a jangled old mess now hazed by the many bottles of beer and liquor consumed. I clutched at the fabled CSM White Paper as if it was some kind of holy scripture. It wasn't. 

Deadlines looming. Three days ago I holed myself up with the best of intentions. A full on no-holds-barred review of all the candidates. This would be a high-speed chase of kamikaze journalism. Who was I kidding? Who were these people? What did I care? I'd rather be anywhere else right now.

The night was dying and a new morning was rolling in. My eyes sat heavy as I tried to welcome in the new sun. I closed the blinds and jabbed at the papers in front of me. The name - Xenuria - was at the top of my list. 

The blurb from the Jita Park Speakers Corner was short and straight to the point. The key platform subjects being Risk vs Reward and New Player Experience. Was Xenuria looking to grab the New Vote? I couldn't tell for sure but coming from someone who had failed in his attempts to win a seat at previous elections (on some wacky policies it has to be said) it might seem to be a valid tactic. By focusing the campaign on PVE content and the New Guy, would the PVE crowd and the New Guy get his vote?

As I typed away and tried to make sense of my notes a podcast looped in the background. Something from Xenuria that grabbed me was the word - unique - was Xenuria unique? Xenuria claims to be a unique candidate. Is this a good thing? The impression I had was that Xenuria was flirting with playing the role of potential court jester on the CSM. Is there even room for such a character? I feel that a Chairman could utilise this kind of representative on the panel, use him as a hero or a villain depending on the subject piece. I took a step back from what I was writing just to make sure that what I just said made sense. Was I really championing Xenuria? Yes, yes I was. He could be a diversion tactic, the Chairman would be the Puppet Master and he would control all the strings.

I dived deeper into the pages from the Speakers Corner. The Vultures were circling. A few serious posts were met with the inevitable question of 'breasts being made available for male avatars' and other digs along the same agenda. Then came the Black PR Gang, the henchmen of the other candidates--the tough guy bullies. An ugly history of alleged links linked in chat channels and pictures that eventually turned into videos and in turn get turned into websites and then ... it goes on. I don't think many would fall for the obvious attempt to blacken his name. The thread was starting to look like the usual smear campaign and shambles.

After an ISD cleanup it started to resemble a more meaningful election thread. A few posters claiming to be Xenuria supporters swearing their allegiance. Then back to the questions in which Xenuria answers admirably. Although some accusations of pandering to the masses and avoiding certain topics are thrown his way. Overall the thread made for an interesting read. 

I couldn't quite decide whether somebody who has their own "safe mode" social blueprint would be taken seriously by the masses or how high up he would be on the average voter's list. Xenuria is definitely a character. He brings with him the Circus of Troll crowd, where you admittedly don't know if it is a troll or the others just find it easier to call it Troll, and he is always pegged down by the other candidates because of this. The question is are they genuinely scared of his campaign or are they merely poking fun? I will watch this candidate with veiled interest.

I jammed the send button to the editor--The Man with the pay check. The vultures were gone now but the hangover wasn't. I needed to clear the head and prepare for my next deadline. I grabbed my helmet and my black jacket and headed out to the parking lot. A crisp blue sky and a rolling desert lay ahead of me. I twisted open the throttle and the blades spun into life.



  1. Very well done. Love the imagery.


    1. Thanks. It was a bit of an experimental post.

  2. Interesting read MB!
    I have said it in the past, and will say it again.
    Perhaps you should forget about editorializing on CSM issues and instead consider running for a seat yourself.
    You have my vote my friend.