I just wanted to take a break from my review of Coldsnap to call attention to what could arguably be one of the most important issues of our time. You may think there are other things that rate higher on your radar – global warming, the price of gasoline, the Iraq occupation, why we still haven’t seen pictures of Tom Cruise’s baby – but that’s all just trivial stuff. There’s a problem that strikes to the very foundation of our Magic community and deserves your attention.
That problem, my friends… is card desecration. Specifically, the widespread problem of burning Magic cards.
Surely you’ve seen it – in the parking lots of game shops, in ashtrays around the kitchen table, in the streets of D.C. Shameful people pulling out lighters and matches and setting flame to the holiest of cardboard.
While burning Magic cards isn’t nearly as prevalent now as it was in the days of Urza block, it still goes on. The DCI records several incidents every year, and it shows a shameful disregard both for the people who shed blood, sweat, and tears to produce those cards, but also for those of us who love, honor, and respect the game of Magic.
Some say that burning cards is an expression of free speech, and that people should be free to do whatever they’d like with the cards they’ve bought with their own money or received as gifts or prizes. Some claim it’s therapeutic, a release for their extreme displeasure in their performance in a tournament, or their anger over a new Magic set or a once-favorite card added to the Banned List. But who cares what someone else does with his or her cards, how does it affect my own collection?
Burning cards shows a fundamental lack of respect for property in general. If you’re willing to burn your own property with no regard for its value, it’s not a big jump to where you disregard the value of other people’s property. If you burn your own cards, who’s to say you won’t try and burn my cards, break into my car or vandalize my home?
Card burning also shows a lack of respect for new players who might have little to no cards of their own. These cards that you so thoughtlessly burn could be donated to these unfortunate fellows to play with. What sort of message are you sending out to potential new players when they see you burning cards? How are we supposed to keep Magic alive if we don’t do all we can to lure new players into the game?
It shows a lack of concern with the environment. Do you know what sort of chemicals go into making Magic cards? While they are usually harmless to handle in their natural state, the act of burning evokes a chemical reaction that can be extremely toxic to cats, lightning bugs, and various species of barracuda. Some people are also allergic to the fumes of burning Magic cards, and can become dizzy and hallucinate.
But it’s even bigger than that. You live in a country where you can go down to the store and purchase Magic cards. If you turn around and burn them, aren’t you also showing a lack of respect for the very society that enables you both to have the money and the places to purchase the cards? Imagine what people think in countries where they don’t have enough money to buy Magic cards, or where Magic cards aren’t even for sale? In some places, you can even be shot for trying to burn Magic cards. Burning your Magic cards is like turning your back on our wonderful and free society.
Magic was the very first Collectible Card Game, and has endured many changes, good and bad. Magic cards deserve to be respected, honored, and at the very least not to be burned. That’s why I urge all of you to write to your representative at the DCI and demand they expand their Banned and Restricted List to also cover Banned and Restricted Behavior, and the number one thing on that list should be Magic Cards Are Sacred and Not to Be Burned.
I plan on taking this cause on the road and joining up with the Magic Community Values Tour, where lobbies against card desecration can join up with other like-minded crusaders. One such group is the Pro-Allied Colors Deckbuilders, desperately fighting against the insidious Enemy-Colored Deck agenda. It’s one thing to have just one set focus on Enemy Colored pairing, like Apocalypse. But when you have set after set after set chock full of Enemy Colored cards, as if that’s perfectly normal, somebody has to stand up for what’s right. If you feel as they do that the recent push in promoting enemy-colored cards and decks is a grave threat to the traditional allied-colored deck paradigm, then you might want to join the Tour too.
Make no mistake – there are people lurking everywhere who want nothing more than to take away everything that you hold dear, evil-doers who have no respect for the most important things in life like the sanctity of cards and the long-standing traditions of deck-building. We must all hold vigilant and spare no expense in time and energy to put a stop to it! Pay no attention to all of the so-called “important issues” of the day! Just listen to me, drink the Kool Aid and get angry! With your help I think we can make sure this terrible scourge is stamped out forever.