An Admission of Which I Am Not Proud

Can I admit something to you? I’m not proud of this, but here’s a little peek into the real me, warts and all. I’m ashamed of my feelings, but I’ve gotta write them down, hopefully debilitating their power over me so that I can let go of this. It’s pretty petty, and certainly not all that big a deal in the scheme of things. But here I go…

Ever since I parted ways with the Rolemonkeys group, I’ve felt totally sick in my tummy whenever the word “Rolemonkeys” gets referenced anywhere. I find myself wishing that I hadn’t just said, “Guys, I’m leaving the group, but you can keep the podcast, the name, and all that goes with it.”

Well, okay, part of me wishes that. The other part of me, the sane and mature part, still knows I did the right thing and that it would actually have been pretty craptastic of me to make any kind of stink about the name when I left. That part of me knows that the name “Rolemonkeys” is not really mine to give or take anyway. We came up with it collectively, it doesn’t belong to me.

Nevertheless, I have to admit to feeling like I got a divorce and instead of fighting for joint custody of the children, I just blew them off and signed away my claim to something that I helped create, something that I actually had primary responsibility for nurturing and growing, just to make it easier to leave. Or maybe it’s like I left a band that I helped form. Actually, it’s very much like that. Now if I’m David Lee Roth, and I leave Van Halen, then the remaining guys ought to be able to keep the frackin’ name, right? But I’m NOT the David Lee Roth of this analogy. I’m the Eddie Van Halen. And if Eddie Van Halen leaves Van Halen, is it still Van Halen?

Now, let me be clear – I’m not changing my mind. I’m not going to go mess with those guys and ask them to stop using the name “Rolemonkeys” nor am I even going to suggest that they should – my feelings on this are entirely selfish and shameful, and I admit that.

But damn, every time somebody blogs a link to a new Rolemonkeys episode, or mentions the Rolemonkeys on a podcast, I feel gut-punched, I feel stupid. I feel sorry for myself because now, when the name and the brand and the show that I put so much work and time and money into gets mentioned, it is no longer including me. And it’s my fault for letting it go so easily.

Don’t get me wrong. This is on me. I made the choices. No gun, sword, or other weapon to coerce me. Just my need to swim in a different direction while hurting as few feelings as possible.

So. Not so much feeling the proud-of-myselfness right now. But yeah, I think it does help a bit to admit it. This whole thing’s got me bothered, second-guessing my actions and choices and wondering if I should have thought it through a little first.

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7 Comments

  1. Bah, I’m not familiar with the Livejournal setup, so if this is posted as written by “Anonymous,” I apologize. This is Lorthyne, y’all.

    Mick’s asked me to repost what I’ve written at TGTMB, so here goes:

    I thought I’d voice my thoughts about your recent blog post “An Admission of Which I Am Not Proud”

    To me, Mick, you’ll always be first and foremost one of the Rolemonkeys. That’s where I encountered you in podcastland first, and I’ve been secretly hoping that one day you’ll return and start playing with those guys again. The Rolemonkeys still have their unique charm, but they’re just not the same without Mick Bradley. Heck, you’re even listed as a “Rolemonkey Emeritus” on the new website.

    Granted, I don’t know everything that led into your decision to leave, but I was under the impression that it was primarily so that you could focus on VAM and other creative endeavors. This may be a poor analogy, but Gary Gygax didn’t lose his status as a creator of DnD when he left TSR. You helped create the Rolemonkeys, and so you’ll always be a part of it, even if you aren’t a contributing member anymore.

    I hope this consoles you a little bit, and even if it doesn’t, know that there are a bunch of us out here that have loved your contribution to both podcasting and the hobby in general. You’ve inspired me and my own games in too many ways to count, and I’m eagerly awaiting future episodes of TGMS and TGTMB.

    Keep ‘casting, writing, and thinking, man. I’m loving every minute of it.

    And, as Lonnie Ezell always says, “Never, ever stop chasing your dreams.”

  2. My Two Cents

    Bah, I’m not familiar with the Livejournal setup, so if this is posted as written by “Anonymous,” I apologize. This is Lorthyne, y’all.

    Mick’s asked me to repost what I’ve written at TGTMB, so here goes:

    I thought I’d voice my thoughts about your recent blog post “An Admission of Which I Am Not Proud”

    To me, Mick, you’ll always be first and foremost one of the Rolemonkeys. That’s where I encountered you in podcastland first, and I’ve been secretly hoping that one day you’ll return and start playing with those guys again. The Rolemonkeys still have their unique charm, but they’re just not the same without Mick Bradley. Heck, you’re even listed as a “Rolemonkey Emeritus” on the new website.

    Granted, I don’t know everything that led into your decision to leave, but I was under the impression that it was primarily so that you could focus on VAM and other creative endeavors. This may be a poor analogy, but Gary Gygax didn’t lose his status as a creator of DnD when he left TSR. You helped create the Rolemonkeys, and so you’ll always be a part of it, even if you aren’t a contributing member anymore.

    I hope this consoles you a little bit, and even if it doesn’t, know that there are a bunch of us out here that have loved your contribution to both podcasting and the hobby in general. You’ve inspired me and my own games in too many ways to count, and I’m eagerly awaiting future episodes of TGMS and TGTMB.

    Keep ‘casting, writing, and thinking, man. I’m loving every minute of it.

    And, as Lonnie Ezell always says, “Never, ever stop chasing your dreams.”

  3. Mick, I can completely understand what you mean. I am also a creator and have strong feelings of ownership over what I create or even help create. Several years ago I had an early interest (that was going to lead to an offer) in my gaming system (what lies behind the Land of Karn) but they wanted to strip out my setting and just take the system. I wouldn’t even consider it. It was like asking to take my baby from me and changing it’s name and never letting me have a hand in its growth. I realized then just how much my creations meant to me.

    Plus I am really glad I didn’t because it never would have even been published. It was several months later that D&D 3’s OGL was released and they went that direction instead. I not only would I have lost the rights to my own game, but it would have been shoved aside for the thing that I disliked so much that it eventually lead to my creating it in the first place (earlier versions of D&D though, not 3).

    I think you did the right thing and I am glad to see you are sticking by your decision, but I really do understand your feelings here and am kind of on your side about how it must feel. It would be like giving up Dragavan Games to some other group, even friends, and seeing it continue on without me. You hang in there and know that you are a good guy who did the right thing and are still loved and respected by your fans for what you did help create (and are even still listed as part of that creation in some form, and I believe always will be).

  4. Mick, I can completely understand what you mean. I am also a creator and have strong feelings of ownership over what I create or even help create. Several years ago I had an early interest (that was going to lead to an offer) in my gaming system (what lies behind the Land of Karn) but they wanted to strip out my setting and just take the system. I wouldn’t even consider it. It was like asking to take my baby from me and changing it’s name and never letting me have a hand in its growth. I realized then just how much my creations meant to me.

    Plus I am really glad I didn’t because it never would have even been published. It was several months later that D&D 3’s OGL was released and they went that direction instead. I not only would I have lost the rights to my own game, but it would have been shoved aside for the thing that I disliked so much that it eventually lead to my creating it in the first place (earlier versions of D&D though, not 3).

    I think you did the right thing and I am glad to see you are sticking by your decision, but I really do understand your feelings here and am kind of on your side about how it must feel. It would be like giving up Dragavan Games to some other group, even friends, and seeing it continue on without me. You hang in there and know that you are a good guy who did the right thing and are still loved and respected by your fans for what you did help create (and are even still listed as part of that creation in some form, and I believe always will be).

  5. Well, whenever I hear “Rolemonkeys”, I think “Mick Bradley”, so perhaps that will temper your regret somewhat.

  6. Well, whenever I hear “Rolemonkeys”, I think “Mick Bradley”, so perhaps that will temper your regret somewhat.

  7. I can understand attachment to what you helped create but it sounds like you yielded the RM name to your co-hosts when you decided to leave. It’s ultimately up to the listeners of the Rolemonkeys if they accept the sans-Mick version of Rolemonkeys shows and that is neither an evaluation nor a condemnation of your contribution. Brands go through seasons. Whether it’s Leno replacing Carson, Rebecca Howe replacing Diane Chambers, or Poochie coming alongside Itchy & Scratchy some people stop watching, some keep watching, and new viewers came aboard. It sounds like the Rolemonkeys are at an analogous point in their history. There’s nothing wrong with a fondness for the past but remember the reasons you left if you’re feeling sad. From what your co-hosts have posted here it sounds like you’re considered an honoured alumnus, not merely someone that left the show. I’d advise you to focus on and enjoy your new/re-focused creative directions and take joy in what you helped create. Yearningly looking back won’t do any good. Just ask Orpheus.

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