Brett Rants


Give - Take

Talk Nicely - Big Stick

Accommodating Bend-Over Backwards Mercy
coupled with
Psychotic Over-The-Top Revenge

In Short
Heaven & Hell

Yinyang Symbol back filled with colorful static

gmic.exe input 1000,1000,1,3,0 turbulence 100,12,2,0,0 normalize 0,1 input 1000,1000,1,1,1 yinyang[-1] normalize[-1] 0,1 append[0] [-1],c remove[-1] normalize 0,255 output yinyang.png

From there, I rotated, resized, removed the alpha layer, and converted into a jpg by use of paint and irfanview.

So, easy-peasy.


The Basic Formula

{In the writing that follows this aside and forms the bulk of this article, I believe I have drifted from my original intent (and implied a policy of mercy for mercy's sake), so let me restate the problem.

I have been reading about Vikings as of late. And in a Blood Feud Society, there exist the joint need to exact revenge, lest one's group be seen as weak... and the need to be restrained when exacting revenge so that one is not seen as the aggressor and selected as a target for additional censure.

The dynamic is:
In the following, I skip over the basis of mercy. The conception is not mercy for mercy's sake. Rather, it is mercy as a pragmatic strategy.

But then, since there is not a great deal of overlap between Psychotic Revenge and a Turning of the Other Cheek, the philosophy is bound to have holes in it and fail... almost immediately.

That is to say, I do not propose an answer. For, there is no answer. Rather, I am trying to outline the constraints and explain why any solution is self-contradictory.

Of course, in in the end, I will advocate for mercy as the over-arching ideal, because why would anyone wish to fight a war they could avoid? After all, the main goal of Honour (Viking Honour, anyhow, you can define Honour however you wish) is to be in a position such that one is able to dictate when one is at war and when one is not.

And the class of violence (or really, just mean minded and petty behaviour) that constitutes War, Fighting, or a Blood Feud is not a good place to be. In short, one would be wise to avoid such activities.

And as such, Honour is the Art of Avoiding Conflict... by maximizing one's strength... until any conflict would more properly be called bullying. And I do not see the Honour in being a bully.

Do you?}

Total War

Though, the phrase Good & Evil rolls off my tongue in that order... Good, then Evil. In the world of man, Evil came first.

We lived in Hell and dreamt of Heaven.

I mean, Hell was right there at the beginning in the Garden of Eden. After all, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

But women have nothing on men when it comes to psychotic violence. Men rule the world. Why? Because men were (and are) willing to kill for it. And you (women, trans-whatever, female neuter-boys) can have it back when you pry it from our cold dead hands.

Thus, we have Evil.

It is easy to come by.

But one of the defining features of Honour (if not the defining feature) is pulling one's punches (or so I would argue). But then (again, so we are right back where we started), that implies the ability to punch in the first place... and I mean punching hard, real hard, super hard, over the top, knock your block off hard. I am not talking an eye for an eye, here. I am talking step on my foot, fail to call me sir, have a threatening look in your eye, dis (as in dis-respect) me just once, and I will end you, your family, your dog, the horse you rode in on, and anyone who may have ever offered you a kind word or succour in your entire life.

Yes, I am talking about you.

This is personal.

I will burn you in Hell for all Eternity. F! It! I will extend Eternity for an extra, bonus Eternity, just for you, kicking up the heat an extra notch so you don't ever (not for a single moment) forget where you are: Burning in Hell! In Eternal Torment!

I will torture you.

Got it?

Do you understand?

That is the first level of Honour... the willingness to destroy, utterly and completely, to torture without end... in a word, to completely obliterate one's foes.

I actually find it amusing (now and again) to flip open The Bible and read a passage at random. It's sort of odd how much The Good Book concerns itself with the total destruction of one group of pudwacks or another.

To me, it is proof (clear and simple) that The Bible was written by humans.

Hell (any Hell) is the creation of the helpless. God doesn't need Hell. He'll just F! You Up!

Don't get mad. Get even. That's what I say.

But if a person can't get even, then they are just a twit, a crybaby, the sort of person who will crawl back into their hole and dream about revenge, and create a mythical place called Hell.
'Boo-hoo! God is on our side! You sinners are going to pay! Just you wait and see!'
It's the voice of a loser... someone who has already lost... and who is not to be feared as they are entrusting their revenge to another... non-existent entity.

There is no Honour in that.

Honour is a blood soaked mess.

It's someone's body chopped into a million F'ing pieces after having been fed through a meat grinder as their family (horse, and dog) watch on, knowing they are next.

Seriously, what kind of horse would give such a turd-ball a ride?

What kind of worthless dog would have accepted food from such wretch? Only a cur, of that you can be sure. A real dog would have bit the F'er!

But then, that's only half of the picture.

I mean, don't be fooling yourself and walk away with the misguided belief that Psycho Boy Violence is Honour. Psycho Boy Violence is nothing more than Psycho Boy Violence.

For Psycho Boy Violence to be Honour it has to be coupled with its direct contradiction.

Total Unconditional Mercy

If Total War is the first side of the Honour Coin, the other side is Total Unconditional Mercy.

It's turning the other cheek.

It's having compassion and mercy.

It's forgiveness.

{But before I go on, let me reiterate that the basis of mercy is avoidance of conflict. It's not a Moral Decision, it's a pragmatic one.

Fine, it can be a Pragmatically Moral Decision... in that it benefits the self. But the avoidance of Evil (i.e. other people's Evil Actions) is not rooted in these same other's avoidance of Sin; but rather, in one's own accumulation of Real World Power... such that others fear the consequences of behaving poorly.

It's mercy because mercy works.

The converse isn't wrong. It just doesn't work nearly as well.

I'm not a Fallen Angel.

I'm an Enlightened Demon.}

For whatever reason (probably because I am a Psychotic Animal at the core, a Demon in the midst of a lifelong Trial By Fire), I do not find writing about mercy to be nearly as much fun as the converse.

I sometimes wonder if it's because I don't have a pile of Nuclear Weapons in my garage. Heck, I don't even have a garage. So, let's just say, I don't have a gun on my night stand. And I no longer sleep with a sword.
'You'll never take me alive, coppers!'
Which is all to say, compared to Rambo, I am quite powerless. And so, talking about restraint of power... isn't as much fun, as it happens on a much lower (abstract and nuanced) level.
Why are you cutting me off? Oh, you must be in a bigger hurry than I. Please, go ahead. Let's face it, my life is a study in killing time. What does a minute here or there mean to me.
Actually, since I don't drive (and being cut off in traffic is what I was imagining as I wrote the above), I was just playing with words.

But I get a bit antsy waiting for the doors to open on the train. I'm always jostling for position in the unstructured queue. I always get the seat I want. And when the first rush is over, my second, third, and fourth choices (of seats) are almost always still available.

So, really, I should back off a bit.

Besides (length-wise), this section is getting out of hand.

So let us just say, the other side of the coin is quite simple and everyone knows it.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Do not do unto others that which would elicit an anger response in yourself.

Be F'ing Polite!

Be F'ing Aware!

Be capable of destroying them all... and then, don't.

Be capable of getting the train seat that I like... and then, don't hassle it.

Have the ability to create Eternal Damnation (I'm looking at you here, God). And then, don't.

It's A Mystery
With No Answer

If I have expressed the concepts correctly, they are at odds with one another.
The proper response in any situation is not known. There is no code. I mean, plenty of folks have tried to create codes. But there are always edge cases.

Life is an edge case.
If both apply, then that's Honour... it's nothing more than the ability to make the right decision in the moment, to be able to exercise one's freewill.

And I cannot tell you what's appropriate... because its complicated... and it depends.

But I can tell you (for me), the next obvious step in my life is to pull back... assume I have power... and to let the train queue run its course... and allow this metaphor to expand into whatever other aspects of my life seem appropriate.
Honour (True Honour) is being able to answer in the affirmative for both.

And this in turn begs the question: Can it ever be Honourable to fight a fight one could avoid?

But the answer to that, of course, depends upon what particular fight a person has in mind.

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