Thursday, February 17, 2005

I Need A Vacation

The headline is sort of a joke. I've been away from work for two weeks now, but I foolishly let my editing project sit (because I was too busy at work to work on it after hours) until now. Now I'm trying to get through the whole thing and it's going more slowly than I thought it would -- mostly because I'm having a hard time sitting down and doing it in large chunks. I work on it for an hour then do something else for an hour or two. I'm certain I'll get it done, but it's not really relaxing, which is what my previous editing jobs have been; something to do without really needing to think all that hard.

One of my distractions has been (finally) watching the seventh season of Buffy. I'm about midway through the season and it's already better than the past couple of seasons. It got me thinking, though. Here, try this on:

Someone's trying to destroy the world. You are trying to stop them. Do you do anything and everything in your power to stop them? Even if it meant, I dunno, sacrificing babies to rabid dogs or some such? If you fail then it doesn't matter what you did because everything is gone. If you succeed you'll have saved the world, but you'll have proven that you aren't really the person you thought you were -- maybe no one is.

Mostly I thought it was an interesting question. The practical part of me says, yes, of course you do whatever it takes to save the world, but the Captain America part of me says that you fight, but that's the time it's most important to maintain your beleifs and your morals, because without those we're really no different than what we're trying to stop. Never compromise. (Wait, maybe that's the Rorschach part of me.)

In the "who ever said Blogs didn't make good advertising" file; Glenn recommended The Deed of Paksenarrion on his blog the other day. He had good things to say about it and the subject matter intrigued me, so I picked it up Wednesday when I was out running errands. I'm not sure when I'll get to it, but it'll be sometime soon, I'm sure.

I've been fighting off one of my recurring throat colds. For the past couple of days it's been nestled quite snuggly in my left-hand tonsil and it's very annoying. Happily it hasn't spread and it feels like it's getting better, but it leaves my very tired. And did I mention it hurts, 'cuz it does.

Okay, time for bed. I'll write more later.


At February 18, 2005 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think the case of the world absolutely ending is pretty straightforward - you do whatever you have to do. Of course, really, how often do you know that an act is going to save the world. What if there is only a 50% chance the world will end if you don't do X horrible thing, or 1%? The calculus of lives gets much trickier then.

Watchmen, of course, addresses this very issue and which of the Ozymandias/Rorschach/Night Owl/Manhattan approaches one agrees with I'm sure reflects something about ones personality.

Most interestingly, however, is that the fifth season of Angel also deals with this exact issue, and, IMHO, does so extremely well. It's probably the best season of Angel, and is on my personal ranking the third best B/A season. Here, for your enjoyment are the rankings.

1 - Buffy #3 [Mayor/Faith]
2 - Buffy #2 [Spike/Dru]
3 - Angel #5 [Chairman]
4 - Angel #2 [Darla et al]
5 - Angel #3 [Holtz]
6 - Buffy #5 [Glory]
7 - Buffy #7 [The First]
8 - Angel #4 [Connor et al]
9 - Buffy #4 [Adam]
10 - Buffy #1 [Master]
11 - Angel #1 [Wolfram/Hart]
12 - Buffy #6 [3 Geeks/Willow]

As you'll note, Angel does very well. Overall, I found Angel to be a more consistent and on average better show than Buffy, although it never quite hit the peaks Buffy did during the season 2 and 3 worldbuilding. I highly recommend it.


At February 18, 2005 9:37 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Hey Lou!

I've been picking up Angel and Buffy all along. I inititially got into Buffy due to a work project, then just kept picking up the DVDs. That series led me to Angel and I've been enjoying both of them a lot. Your ranking of the two series sounds pretty much like what mine would be.

At February 18, 2005 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that wacky Lou Wainwright, star of stage and screen, or at least, of nukuler stuff?

Glen: good rec. Paksenarion (or however the hell you spell it) is a great read, in large part by delving into the grit of medieval fantasy that most authors ignore.

Nothing like adding realism to fantasy...

At February 18, 2005 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it is indeed me, "Anomymous"...

I've had the Deed of Park. books to read for years, but haven't ever got around to them. They were one of the many fantasy series that I decided not to start after having finished A Game of Thrones, because I thought they would suffer by comparison. Recently the long...LONG...delay until a Storm of Crows has lead me to start reading epic fantasy again. I'll put Deed back on the shelf.

One more digression - the best 'fantasy' series I've read since A Game of Thrones game out...easy, hands down, the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher.


At February 18, 2005 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant a Feast of Crows.


At February 18, 2005 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou! Good to see that you're still out there. I may not be for much longer. I have a flu bug that threatens to end my world, so I'm thinking about the end of the world question. My vote on it is that it depends on who you're saving the world for.
Yeah, I know I'm all feverish and loopy, but hear me out. Now I really admire the "Captain America" attitude, but it seems to me to be ultimately selfish in this instance. Sure, you've stayed true to yourself, but the world is gone. Hopefully there's an afterlife where you will be rewarded for that courage and not roasted by the votes of everyone else's souls.
If true heroism is defined by one's level of self-sacrifice (and I believe this is true) then isn't it better to forego your personal goal of perfection in order to provide a possibility for a greater good?
Ohhhh, I've gotta crawl back to bed now. Paiiiiin...


At February 22, 2005 2:07 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Hope you're feelingbetter, Scott!

OK, saving the world assumes you're saving the whole world. What you're willing to do to achieve that goal depend on what the world means to you.

If you are a parent, totally in love, etc. then I think you're likely to go further to save the world because of the connection you have with the consequences of the world ending. The lone hero just doesn't have the same motivation, and can afford the personal moral stance.

It's great to think about saving puppies and everything else nice in the world, but without a personal connection why bother?

Like in CoH, I'd be willing to spend my time riding the game world of vermin one block at a time if there were a way to make that stick, but obviously with so many players they have to have random generators. So I run blithly past muggings, etc. on my way to a mission. But I do kick some gang booty on my way, usually!


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