Henceforth I will no longer be associated with Chronicle City or Angus Abranson.
I have many fond memories of Angus, staying at his home, talking with him and Dave Allsop late into the night about SLA Industries and plans of various kinds. Visiting him at the Leisuregames store and playing opposite his characters in the Camarilla LARP society.
When we went into business together it seemed like a good idea, I had secured some funding and wasn’t sure how to proceed. Angus’ contacts and my creativity seemed like a good combination. Unfortunately we both fell into a deep depression – amongst other problems – and the company never achieved even 1% of what it could have before we ran out of time and money.
I wish I could say I feel no ill-will, because of those fond memories, but unfortunately it has become increasingly apparent that, while I have strayed true to my guiding principles and ethical standards, others – including Angus – in the industry and around it have not.
This is not just about the recent blow up around the new TSR company. I have been under sustained reputational, personal and professional assault since 2010, with little or no support from friends and co-workers. Friends and colleagues stand up for each other, in my world, those who don’t probably aren’t truly friends.
I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror without shame, and I can’t do that if I compromise on my values of truth, fairness, equality and creative freedom. Unfortunately much of the RPG industry and its community no longer share my values, or even tolerate them. There’s a climate of fear, self-censorship and social-media expediency over truth and creativity that I simply cannot abide.
It’s hard to maintain a friendship, or professional working relationship, with anyone who compromises on those things that I hold most dear. Equality, creativity and truth. It’s hard to maintain a relationship with anyone who goes along with the mob.
Truth is, many of my relationships have been strained over the last ten years, personal and professional, and I’ve eaten a lot of shit and forgiven a lot of personal betrayals and abuse to maintain those friendships. That shit-eating and tolerance, too often, hasn’t been reciprocated.
I am utterly done with being let down by people I would have fought tooth and nail for.
I am fortunate to have found more friends and colleagues who share my values and value my commitment to principle. This isn’t to say it’s not hurtful to lose old friends and colleagues, it most certainly is. Rather it’s to say that it’s time to commit more to the newer friends in my life who share those principles and values, even when we disagree. To associate with new friends and work partners who will defend and share my values, and me, as much as I will them.
If any of those I’ve fallen out with in the past few years care to apologise for what they did and to recommit with at least some of the values I hold dear, my door will always be open. Meanwhile, in all my endeavours, I will continue to prioritise the importance of truth, creativity and ethical professional conduct. Mob or no mob.
PS: Here’s the content of a FB post I put up recently, which explains my mindset around this.