One of my gifts in this world is the ability to rant. Some of my friends are talented doctors, others are gifted techno-philes as well as scientists and the like. Me, I complain. It’s a God given gift that I can’t ignore because I feel that it would be wrong to deny my true nature. My gift has been handed down through the generations, and I’d like to think I’ve really made it into a finely honed talent; I’ve embraced it. With that in mind…

Jay and I were watching a recent “America’s Most Wanted”. Honestly, I haven’t watched the show in a good decade but it happened to precede something I did want to watch. The show featured a con man and pedophile who went by the name Stryder Starfyr, which sounded like Star Fire. He had a long list of incredible stories which included claiming to be from a long line of Celtic kings. With that, he managed to convince a group of people to follow him and begin to form a commune. Let’s just stop right there for my rant since I’m going to avoid all the criminal activities that soon followed.

His name is Stryder? Here you are a full grown adult and someone comes up to you and says “Hi, my name is Stryder.” At what point does your brain check-out and you say “now here’s someone I can trust”? Let’s just assume you’re not up on J.R. Tolkien’s work, do you at least pause when he adds the last name that sounds like Star Fire? Even still, he presses on and says “I’m from this long line of Kings and I want to start a new Kingdom here with you as my followers.” As an adult, what sort of drug induced naïve coma do you have to be in to say “hey, that sounds like a fine idea, in fact, the kids have got to see this!”? (Again, for emphasis sake I’m not blaming his very young victims; I’m just terribly surprised that this particular con worked.)

I mean I do get that part of the 1970’s where people dreamed of living in communes leading idyllic peace-filled utopian lives, but I thought the 1980’s made us a bit more jaded (and a tad more greedy). When I hear about people being reeled in by things like this these days it makes me want to give them a pat on the head and feed them a cookie, because you shouldn’t be mean or cruel to simple people.

I guess it ultimately may be just me. The kind of things that work on me are a lot different than this (I’ve known too many fantasy roleplayers in my life – heck, I’m sure I’ve been made their Geek Queen by now – all hail me!) and I’d like to pretend that cons that would work on me are a little more complex (like Beth, there’s something on your mouth – works every time). Seriously, if you’ve just popped on over from the Shire, please just scamper on to the next Dunedain you come across or simply sail on West with Bilbo and the other Keepers of the Rings. I’m not buying your goofy little utopia here.

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