Audacious Compassion 028 Transcript

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:00
Hello, and welcome to Audacious Compassion, a podcast where we explore how to find compassion in the most difficult places in daily life. I’m Gregory Avery-Weir.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:08
And I’m Melissa Avery-Weir.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:10
And we don’t have a full episode this month. We haven’t received a prompt. And I think that… we’ve chatted among ourselves, and I think that we’re happy to keep doing episodes if prompts come in.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:24

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:25
But we’ll probably stop doing a monthly show. We’ll just do an episode when it occurs to us if we’ve got something want to talk about.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:35
Or if we get a prompt.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:38
Yeah, if we get a prompt show on and send them to or hit us up on any number of ways you can reach us if you search for us.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:48
Either by name: we are the only two Avery-Weirs on the internet.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:51

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:52
Or as we are AudaciousCast all over social media.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:56
And we’ve got other projects going on. I just started the new campaign of my role playing podcast, Tabletop Garden. This campaign is “Ego Driver”. It’s a post-apocalyptic, post-colonial road war campaign using Big Eyes, Small Mouth. And that is a podcast where I chat with the players about different concepts around the game and how it influences life and values around role playing, and how to role play well, and have a rewarding time, and also do it in a healthy way.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:29
And that’s in addition to actually playing the game.

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:31
Yeah, and we do yeah, we you get to hear the rolls, or in this case, the reports of the rolls from Roll20. And Melissa is on the first campaign of that not the not the upcoming one.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:42
Yes, yeah, the Mechanical Oryx where an oryx is like a little antelope.

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:48
Well, a big antelope. You played a little Oryx.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:50
I did, and it’s three episodes, it’s great stuff. We explored some ideas around colonialism and just sort of the power dynamics of this strange society we were playing in. So yeah, Tabletop.Garden.

We also have the Future Proof Podcast, which both of us are on all the time.

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:13
And we are all of Future Proof Games.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:16 Our podcast is a monthly… a mixture of updates, sort of what we’re working on what we’re looking forward to. And lately, we’ve had a couple of sort of business meetings around strategies and sort of evaluating how the fourth quarter went as we’ve made some some business decisions. So it’s a bit of a peek into how we run Future Proof as well as, like I said, updates about our projects and things.

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:42
Yeah. And you heroically edited down and over an hour long meeting into half an hour of that podcast this last time.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:48
Yeah, 24 minutes and change. Yeah, that was… that took a bit.

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:55
So yeah, you can definitely follow us. Melissa’s been using Mastodon for a while. I’ve moved my sort of social media presence pretty strongly to Mastodon as well so I’m at GregoryAveryWeir at

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:07
And I’m Melissa Avery-Weir at

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:11
And I guess we can chat a little bit about media we’ve been consuming.

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:17
Yeah, yeah. You wanna go first or should I?

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:18
Uh, I haven’t thought of mine yet, so you go ahead.

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:21
Oh, okay. So I don’t deal a ton of social media or don’t have very strong feelings about social media generally. Except it turns out, Goodreads. So when the end of the year came around and Goodreads is like “How did you do on your goal of reading 30 books in 2018?” and even when I back-filled information for the books that I was willing to put into Goodreads, I’ve only done like two or three because I’ve been reading a lot of like romance stuff and just stuff I don’t post on Goodreads.

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:49

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:49
That’s a separate issue around, you know, feelings around those books.

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:53
What is real, real media that one wants to consume publicly all that.

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:59
Yeah. And so I was like, damn like I read a lot of stuff last year! I read a lot of stuff last year but a lot of it was fanfic or was that kind of other kind of categories of stuff. And so this year I was like yeah let’s let’s do it lower my goal number, just because let’s be reasonable I do still like these other things. But let’s like pick up NK Jemisin. Like stuff that’s been in my log to read for a while now or that I’ve only read part of the series of. And audio books are a really, really effective way for me to read books because I can listen while I’m working which I feel lucky in that because a lot of people can’t listen a spoken word while working on software development.

Gregory Avery-Weir 4:36
And some people aren’t allowed to listen to things while they work, which also difficult situation.

Melissa Avery-Weir 4:42
Exactly. And I listen to stuff the whole time I’m home so you know so I can–I got through a 16 hour book in about two days. So I read a lot of NK Jemisin… and then I started Patrick Rothfuss’s the Kingkiller Chronicals. Which is just the most tongue twister of a name. I feel like it should be King Slayer but it’s King Killer.

The first book in that series is 28 hours which is for me incredibly long. That is a very–that’s some nonfiction level shit right there for the kinds of books I read. So I get into this book. It takes a couple of hours when a warm up like after reading Jemisin, it’s real hard to go to a book where it’s like, you can kind of tell everybody is white.

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:27
Yeah, there’s where there’s not express like–

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:30
Yeah, I mean it–

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:32
Fantasy often feels very European.

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:35
Yeah, yeah. So this felt interestingly standard. So it took me probably three or four hours get into it, which is never something I’d tolerate in a video game. So I get through the first book, knowing that the third book is not out yet.

Get to the end, I’m like, “Okay, good cliffhanger. Ready to move on.” Download the second book. It’s 43 hours long. 43 hou… that is day– literal days of book. And so I’m like, “Well, what are the odds that the third book is going to come out in the week it’s going to like… even me, it’s probably gonna take me a week to get through a 43 hour book.” And it turns out that this third book has been in the works since about 2011.

Gregory 6:18
That’s a long time.

Melissa Avery-Weir 6:20
That’s a long time. And I’m like, “43 hours of book to like, be sitting on a cliffhanger.” And I’m not going to remember, I’m gonna have to go back and read it again. That’s a tough… like, I’ve listened to the first 45 minutes by this point. And I’m like, it… it’s good. It keeps being good. But it’s a tough sell to go into a series that may never be finished. And I was just reminded of like, the pressure… and we struggled with this. I have struggled with this with Future Proof of, like, there’s a thing that’s been running forever, and it’s never going to fucking finish.

Gregory Avery-Weir 6:48

Melissa Avery-Weir 6:49
And how do you keep creative mojo? How do you keep the fact that you’re kind of in the spotlight about this thing? Headless Swarm is a prime example of like… we said we finished this thing and we haven’t finished it yet. I totally sympathize with Rothfus’s pressure, or you know, writer’s block or whatever he wants to call it. I don’t– I haven’t investigated it fully. But that third book is sitting out there unfinished. It was promised in 2014. It is now 2019.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:18
I cannot imagine being that author.

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:21
Yep. Or, I mean, George RR Martin.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:24
Yeah, George RR Martin’s the same, like…

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:25
And he wrote a blog post about it. I remember reading that post going, “Aw, dude I feel you.” Like, you know, small scale obviously.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:32
Yeah. Earlier tonight, we… This is so much smaller scale, but we played our Dungeons and Dragons campaign that’s been going on for a literal decade?

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:42
Nine years, because I think I started the job where I picked up some of our original players in 2010.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:49
Yeah, so I’ve been I’ve been running this Dungeons and Dragons fourth edition campaign…

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:54
Fourth edition, y’all!

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:55
…for that long. Melissa is the only remaining original player that is participating.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:01
This has been almost the entirety of my post college career.

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:04
We’ve gone from level one to now level 27.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:07
Mm hmm

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:07
And we hope to finish this year.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:11
We are finished… I am finishing this year.

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:13
Someone… things will finish this year some way

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:20
So what has been your inspirational ish media lately?

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:24
Well I was very inspired this past weekend. Speaking of long running projects in a couple different different ways. So we’re avid followers of Left Tube, as I think we’ve discussed before. And there’s a YouTuber, a leftist YouTuber named Hbomberguy.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:42
Questionable name but…

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:44

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:44
Here we are.

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:45
Harris something.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:46

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:46
Who is… he’s a goofy dude. He does good examinations of political talking points he disagrees with as well as analyses of video games and media in a cool and surreal way. Does weird artsy skit stuff with with his work.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:05
The absolute best Sherlock Holmes… BBC…

Gregory Avery-Weir 9:10
Yes, BBC Sherlock…

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:11
Yeah modern Sherlock… takedown?

Gregory 9:14
Yeah. It’s, It’s… his stuff is often mean to the works.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:20

Gregory 9:21
But he’s rarely like insulting of actual people.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:26
Right. He’s… I think he’s good at having context.

Gregory Avery-Weir 9:29

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:29
Right? Like, here’s the situation in which this arose. Here’s why, for instance, Moffat was allowed to write this stuff, right? And here’s… let’s look at some of his other works and things like that. So he’s… I think he’s good in the sense that he’s not, like, he’s not aiming to publicly shame or or you know, kind of do some awful stuff. Yeah, he’s a hell of a Lefttuber.

Gregory Avery-Weir 9:49
Yeah, he’s a weird dude.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:50
But this weekend…

Gregory Avery-Weir 9:50
Yeah, this weekend. So this has been in the news some, but I’m sure not everybody has heard about it. He got annoyed at a British comedian who was who was essentially organized a letter writing campaign against a charity called Mermaids, which is a support organization for trans kids in the UK. So Hbomberguy got annoyed at the this, this stuff and decided to… Because Mermaids was at risk, slight risk, but at risk of being be funded from its government funding, he decided that he was going to do something he wanted to do for a while, and stream a 101% run of Donkey Kong 64. Which is pretty widely regarded as not a very good game.

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:39
I can now concur.

Gregory Avery-Weir 10:40
And also a very huge game.

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:43

Gregory Avery-Weir 10:43
And so his plan was: I’m going to stay awake. I’m going to stay streaming. I might fall asleep. But I’ll stay streaming, playing Donkey Kong 64 until I get 101% on it.

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:55
And the one the extra 1% comes from a hidden coin?

Gregory Avery-Weir 10:59
That coin doesn’t actually even count. The 101% is kind of a joke. There are coins in the game that he got the don’t actually count towards the 100, it would be 102 or 103.

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:10
Okay, because there was a coin that was only recently discovered in the game.

Gregory Avery-Weir 11:13
Yeah, we’re like for decades, for a decade, people didn’t even know that this coin existed. He streams this game and I’ll subscription money and donations go to Mermaids. And so he starts it and it’s, you know, it’s a charity stream. It’s decently popular, but it starts picking up steam. And so–

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:31
I should say he’s not the most popular person on either YouTube or Twitch.

Gregory Avery-Weir 11:37
Yeah, he said, he’s a second tier of left tuber I’d say in terms of popularity. He has appeared in videos on on more prominent folks’ channels. But yeah, he’s he’s got a following, but not a huge one.

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:49

Gregory Avery-Weir 11:49
And has, has done so for a long time without getting particularly big.

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:53

Gregory Avery-Weir 11:55
But he started getting interesting guests. He actually at the time that I showed up and was watching he had already had John Romero, the creator of “Doom” on to come on and chat and and say “trans rights.” He ended up with several people who were part of the Donkey Kong production team.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:15

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:16
Yeah. And he got the voice actor for Donkey Kong to come on.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:20

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:21
There’s a, there’s a very–Yes, there’s a very good clip where where hbomberguy asks him to say to say “trans rights” in Donkey Kong’s voice and the voice actor’s like, “Uh, that’s, that’s kind of hard, but I’ll see what I can do.” Chelsea Manning shows up and joins the stream.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:36

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:37
Famous trans rebel. The one who’s made the most news, though is US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a famous young representative–rising star, yeah. She’s the one who got people saying that she was not professional because she took a video of herself dancing in college.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:58

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:58
But she’s, I think, pretty cool. Very far left for a US representative. And so she showed up and chatted and like talked about the state of the government that’s in a shutdown right now. And–

Melissa Avery-Weir 13:11
I think one of the more interesting questions was, “can you use the tactics that you’ve used to get people to understand the tax code to get them to understand trans rights?” She didn’t have a perfectly clear answer for that. But I thought it was a really interesting discussion that they had.

Gregory Avery-Weir 13:26
Yeah, and I liked hearing, you know, in between hbomberguy asking her how to be a certain part of the level, and her saying that the Nintendo 64 was the best system, she was able to talk like, strategy in some extent. Like, what’s the best way for us to make the most difference right now? And how can we, you know, have multiple interests work together? And that was very cool.

Melissa Avery-Weir 13:48
Okay, can we talk about something very briefly? That’s all it’s a little strange. She is five years younger than us! I just…

Gregory Avery-Weir 13:57

Melissa Avery-Weir 13:58
What am I doing with my life?

Gregory Avery-Weir 13:59
I mean, you’re doing awesome stuff. You’re making cool projects here.

Melissa Avery-Weir 14:04
That’s so cool.

Gregory Avery-Weir 14:05
You’re doing advocacy. Well, we’re just taking different paths.

But yes, it was very cool. And he ended up lasting 85 hours or so?

Melissa Avery-Weir 14:15
Did it go that long?

Gregory Avery-Weir 14:16
It was 80-something.

Melissa Avery-Weir 14:17
Okay, I left–I wasn’t there after maybe 54 hours.

Gregory Avery-Weir 14:20
And raised 300-some thousand dollars.

Melissa Avery-Weir 14:24
330-ish, thousand dollars.

Gregory Avery-Weir 14:25
The most raised by a single person on a stream. So yeah, that was really inspiring. It was really cool to see… So the Twitch chat was full of folks who were, you know, doing the twitch chat thing, and just pasting the same thing over and over, and so on. But it was very positive in feeling.

Melissa Avery-Weir 14:46

Gregory Avery-Weir 14:46
And there was the definite feeling that a lot of the people who were watching did not have a sense of trans or queer community wherever they were, you know, they maybe they’re young people, maybe they’re just, you know, remote. And there was a lot of expression that, like, this was a feeling of support and community that they hadn’t felt like this, maybe ever.

Melissa Avery-Weir 15:08

Gregory Avery-Weir 15:10
And that was very, very cool that this served as, like a way of being like, “Hey, folks, you’re cool. You’ve got folks who care about you.” Even in the abstract, like, there are people who are like, “Yes, I want you to have what you need.”

Melissa Avery-Weir 15:25
Yeah, like, we don’t have to have a super deep personal connection for me to care about you. You don’t have to be one of the “good ones.” We just care about all of you as human being.

Gregory Avery-Weir 15:34
And it’s real shitty, that this that it is necessary to raise this money. And that this money is being raised by folks rather than by governments, or very rich people.

Melissa Avery-Weir 15:46

Gregory Avery-Weir 15:46
But it’s still really cool that we’re able to come together and do all this. So that was, that was very, very nifty.

Melissa Avery-Weir 15:52
Now, you mentioned the copy-pasting. I will say that for a group of that size ever–I mean, anywhere from 14,000 to 25,000 people watching when I was watching.

They were a very good chorus, because poor–everyone thought hbomberguy had put pizza in the oven.

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:10

Melissa Avery-Weir 16:11
At a certain point. And then all of a sudden–I assume 10 to 15 minutes after that point–the entire chat erupts into “Hey, check your pizza. Your pizza is burning. Check your pizza.”

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:22
He’s like, no, it’s fine. It’s fine. The pizza’s in the fridge.

Melissa Avery-Weir 16:25
It took him several minutes.

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:26

Melissa Avery-Weir 16:27
But there were several instances of you know, “You missed a coin.” Or get someone to say “trans rights” or like whatever.

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:33
Or in a part in the level where there was nice level there’s a loud chorus of “Abolish ICE.”

Melissa Avery-Weir 16:38
Yes, yes.

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:40
That was, it was, it was a very cool experience to hang out this past weekend.

Melissa Avery-Weir 16:44
Yeah, I was not expecting AOC to show up like, just because people were pestering her on Twitter. So.

Gregory Avery-Weir 16:54
So we’ll still be around. Audacious Compassion is not over. But we’re not going to be be striving particularly hard to get it out every month or on any sort of regular basis.

Melissa Avery-Weir 17:06

Gregory Avery-Weir 17:06
But please, if you have a question or an idea of something you want us to talk about? Hit us up.

Melissa Avery-Weir 17:11
Or if you think a friend does, send it to them.

Gregory Avery-Weir 17:13
Yes, absolutely. And we’ll keep the site running and so on. So send that stuff to That’s a v e r y dash w e i

Melissa Avery-Weir 17:25
My impression is that there are people who have prompts who keep forgetting send them in.

Gregory Avery-Weir 17:29
Yes. So send them in.

So social media is AudaciousCast. I’m Gregory Avery-Weir and you can find me on mastodon at

Melissa Avery-Weir 17:42
I’m Melissa Avery-Weir and you can find me on mastodon as (ed: now

Gregory Avery-Weir 17:49
And together we run Future Proof Games which you can check out at It’s a little video game studio and we’re putting out a cool little game for the 2019 Asexuality jam.

Melissa Avery-Weir 18:02

Gregory Avery-Weir 18:03
Talk to you later.

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