Saturday, July 30, 2022

Is Columbia a City of Secrets?

Well, the primary election is over and there are no more secrets, at least about who won and who lost. I’ll have a few more words on that soon, but first…

Apparently Columbia has plenty of secrets yet untold, according to the tweet from Moe Lane.

The full Columbia, Maryland: City of Secrets. “This was one of the first RPG settings that I did for the Patreon, and I finally put it all together in one place…

Who is Moe Lane? And why did he make what looks like a game out of our secrets? Well, according to Amazon, Moe Lane is:

…a stay-at-home father and unrepentant geek who is interested in fantasy, science fiction, and roleplaying games. He's had a variety of jobs over the years, from retail worker to political New Media blogger/digital activist; but now he writes books, short stories, and gaming supplements. He finds it all very, very restful.

He has a website/blog where he informs the reader that he is “…an evil giraffe. Who no longer blogs about politics.” His blog used to have a right -wing political focus, which may explain the underlying assumptions in Columbia, Maryland: City of Secrets.

Columbia, Maryland. It is arguably the second­ largest city in the state, and it’s definitely one of the most affluent areas in the country. Virtually everything about it, down the lake that centerpieces its geography, was constructed in the mid­1960s: the area is as artificial as Brasilia or Washington, DC. Columbia was carefully designed to lack a unified city government, to subtly discourage the presence of individual churches, and to take full advantage of its proximity to Baltimore, Washington DC, and I­95. And pretty much nobody living there knows anybody else’s business at any given moment.

As Mr. Spock would have said, “Fascinating.” 

Read the rest if you’re interested in the premise of the game. I’d have to disagree with the last sentence of the above paragraph, however. There’s a whole lot of people knowing other people’s business going on here. Sometimes too much. And yet, I don’t really know any of my neighbors. Hmm…

UPDATE: Mr. Lane was kind enough to unlock the full description of “City of Secrets” for us. You can see it here.

It was with this knowledge simmering in my brain that I came across the next tweet, which I found somewhat alarming:

Welcome to the network, Phelp's Luck Pool! We are now LIVE at Phelp's Luck Pool in Columbia, MD! Stream the pool live or watch on demand for 30 days. For a chance to be featured, send us your highlights! 

If you think you have any secrets left worth protecting - - for Heaven’s sake - - don’t go to the Phelps Luck Pool. Now folks will be watching your antics live or saving them for later. Daring swimsuit? Your date is not your spouse? Awkward leap off the diving board? Too many trips to the ice cream truck? Live Barn is watching. Yikes.

Why live stream a community swimming pool? Why Phelps Luck? Somebody, somewhere is a monumental busybody and/or has too much time on their hands.

Of course, I was completely off base here.

Launched in 2015, LiveBarn provides Live & On Demand broadcasting of amateur and youth sporting events. Our patented technology and camera system automatically follow the flow of the game - similar to a traditional television broadcast. LiveBarn currently broadcasts from over 1,000 facilities, including hockey, baseball, soccer and basketball venues. We are constantly adding new venues and features, further cementing our status as the largest amateur sports broadcaster in the world.

It’s about swim meets. See for yourself. I personally find it a bit creepy but then I have never been into youth sports. What do you think?

In the meantime, I’m still pondering Columbia as a city of secrets. And since I am who I am, I’m imagining all sorts of silly and outrageous secrets just for fun. Those are almost always better than the real ones.

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