Let’s forget that you came late to the party and embrace that you showed up at all.
Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline; that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. This is a story of how my life was saved by cake, so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake.
So have your cake, and eat it too.
One thing to keep in mind is that a great character often has a great limitation, or in game terms, a great Tragedy. Don’t look at it as a weakness you’re annoyed to have. Look at it as one of the most defining aspects of who your character is. All great heroes from fiction — from Spiderman to Frodo to Jean Valjean
— have defining moments like this in their past, and you should too. Often, it is what a character cannot do that makes them truly come alive.
Mistborn Adventure Game
"The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually— their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on— and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same— like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?" "I wonder," said Frodo. "but I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to." -The Two Towers
Honestly, it’s quite astonishing how much misery this movie manages to pack into two hours of mostly action sequences and espionage subplots, particularly since Captain America is supposedly one of the “lighter” superheroes, compared to the unending grimdarkness of Batman. I guess this is the difference between “manpain” and “a man in legitimate emotional pain.”
this was just maybe flat out my favorite part of this review because hi, true
it’s true there is this undercurrent of pain and loss through every minute of that film these are lost broken people BUT THE MOVIE ISN’T ABOUT THE PAIN The movie doesn’t linger on their pain it’s not pain pornit’s people existing continuing still fighting despite the pain they carry like every other goddamn person on this planet (via scifigirl47)
The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable. So thin, so frail and thin, the veils were become that still warded it off. Frodo knew just where the present habitation and heart of that will now was: as certainly as a man can tell the direction of the sun with his eyes shut. He was facing it, and its potency beat upon his brow.
Lewis noted that he had just been to the current production of Les Misérables, where black actor Kyle Scatliffe plays the role of Enjolras, a nontraditional casting choice that Lewis found moving. ‘A tall, six-foot-two, strapping black man is playing this role that I have never seen a black man play before, and it made me tear up,’ said Lewis. ‘And when he said the words “we will not be slaves again,” without saying it, it just had a double meaning to it.’
Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.
Considering Lymond, flat now on the bed in wordless communion with the ceiling, Richard spoke. ‘My dear, you are only a boy. You have all your life still before you.’
On the tortoise-shell bed, his brother did not move. But there was no irony for once in his voice when he answered. ‘Oh, yes, I know. The popular question is, For what?’
"I am telling you now that you did right with Robin Stewart and I am telling you that the error you made came later, when you took no heed of his call. It was too late then, I know it. But he should have been in your mind. He was your man. True for you, you had withdrawn the crutch from his sight, but still it should have been there in your hand, ready for him. For you are a leader - don’t you know it? I don’t, surely, need to tell you? - And that is what leadership means. It means fortifying the fainthearted and giving them the two sides of your tongue while you are at it. It means suffering weak love and schooling it till it matures. It means giving up your privacies, your follies and your leisure.
It means you can love nothing and no one too much, or you are no longer a leader, you are the led.”
"And that, you think, I should find easy," Lymond said; and even to himself his voice sounded odd.
Patriotism, like honesty, is a luxury with a very high face value which is quickly pricing itself out of the spiritual market altogether. …
It is an emotion as well, and of course the emotion comes first. A child’s home and the ways of its life are sacrosanct, perfect, inviolate to the child. Add age; add security; add experience. In time we all admit our relatives and our neighbours, our fellow townsmen and even, perhaps, at last our fellow nationals to the threshold of tolerance. But the man living one inch beyond the boundary is an inveterate foe.
Patriotism is a fine hothouse for maggots. It breeds intolerance; it forces a spindle-legged, spurious riot of colour. A man of only moderate powers enjoys the special sanction of purpose, the sense of ceremony; the echo of mysterious, lost and royal things; a trace of the broad, plain childish virtues of myth and legend and ballad. He wants advancement-what simpler way is there? He’s tired of the little seasons and looks for movement and change and an edge of peril and excitement; he enjoys the flowering of small talents lost in the dry courses of daily life. For all these reasons, men at least once in their lives move the finger which will take them to battle for their country…
Patriotism. It’s an opulent word, a mighty key to a royal Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. Patriotism; loyalty; a true conviction that of all the troubled and striving world, the soil of one’s fathers is noblest and best. A celestial competition for the best breed of man; a vehicle for shedding boredom and exercising surplus power or surplus talents or surplus money; an immature and bigoted intolerance which becomes the coin of barter in the markets of power —
These are not patriots but martyrs, dying in cheerful self-interest as the Christians died in the pleasant conviction of grace, leaving their example by chance to brood beneath the water and rise, miraculously, to refresh the centuries. The cry is raised: Our land is glorious under the sun. I have a need to believe it, they say.
It is a virtue to believe it; and therefore I shall wring from this unassuming clod a passion and a power and a selflessness that otherwise would be laid unquickened in the grave.
And who shall say they are wrong?
There are those who will always cleave to the living country, and who with their uprooted imaginations might well make of it an instrument for good.
Is it quite beyond us in this land? Is there no one will take up this priceless thing and say, Here is a nation, with such a soul; with such talents; with these failings and this native worth? In what fashion can this one people be brought to live in full vigour and serenity, and who, in their compassion and wisdom, will take it and lead it into the path?
Francis Crawford, Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
There it is: Lymond’s entire speech about patriotism. I’ve excised all the expostion — the stage directions, rather: Lymond lacing his fingers and looking at his palms, the cadence of his voice — as well as the one interjection from another character. The first ellipsis indicates where the speech was interrupted briefly, and the rest indicate only important pauses.
While searching for this online (I don’t have my copy of the book right now) I found what appears above as the third paragraph (“a fine hothouse for maggots”) quoted in many, many, many places. The end, though, where Dunnett strikes the ringing blow, starting with “these are not patriots but martyrs” — and let us refrain from a long discussion on the ways in which the rising chord is her usual endpoint, even in Knights and Pawn, that exhortation is her interest as much as criticism — the end was more difficult to find. I was a bit sad that I found as a notable quotable bit the counterexample rather than the argument.
To me, “Who is to say they are wrong?” is the “We are here” of this book — really, I think, “We are here” answers the very question he poses above. “We will work together” answers it. I have said before and will say again, no doubt, how much I love the thesis of this series, raised again and again, unfolded over all those pages: the view of love, of ethics, the soul of man and man as the soul of his nation: the final words of Checkmate are the equal of this, and the response to it. The whole series is in some ways a lovely essay: begin your argument with a question, explore it, meditate on it, and conclude with your answer.