26 January, 2004

Confessions of a lusty curmudgeon

Curmudgeon? Hell yeah, I am. I think I have been planning on being a curmudgeon since the first time I realized I could think. Curmudgeons are set in their ways, true. But the difference between a curmudgeon and any other thick headed sonofabitch out there, I think, is that the curmudgeon is a pragmatist; his opinions have been tested to some degree. One quickly loses the auspicious title of curmudgeon if one is full of shit. In combat, one doesn’t live long enough to become a curmudgeon if one is full of shit.
The Universe culls the herd, since society seems to want the incompetent and foolish to live as long as the competent and wise. Nature rarely rewards stupidity.
Lusty? Sure. I have a passion for life that is greater than anyone I know.  My passions manifest through integrity, as much as is possible for a mere mortal. I want nothing for free, but that which I have earned and duly paid for, I will fight for. I want justice, but am no longer so ‘noble’ (read: foolish or megolomaniacal) to think that I will be able to change the world. Hell, not Jesus nor Mohammed nor Gandhi were able to change the whole world. But they made some serious ripples in the Cosmos.
So, I just live my life, and try to send out little positive ripples throughout the Universe. That is my superpower: The never ending effect of my actions. We all have that Power, but how many of us really understand it or use it? I cannot touch the whole world, but that which I do will eventually effect everything. It is Chaos theory, as applied to my morality. Or, as Gandhi said, “That which I can do may be minuscule, but it is exceedingly important that I do it.” I probably paraphrased, but that is because I grok that statement and have made it a part of me. I, do, however, still try to give credit to the author.
The crusty old staff sergeant that is the supporting character in many a war movie and, indeed, is a recurring theme in much of our literature, that is my definition of curmudgeon. That is always who I wanted to be; the supporter, the wind beneath the wings. I was always too shy to want to be the hero. I just wanted to be the extremely competent sidekick that got the chicks because he was smart and capable. My Chosen is a Geek-slut, in a way. She gets most moist when I am embracing my crusty, competent, capable, curmudgeonliness.
My favorite superhero when I played Heroes Unlimited was a character based on the Equalizer tv series. The Equalizer was just a very competent ex-company agent that had been betrayed and now he uses his skills to help the down-trodden; pro bono, no less.
My favorite comic book superhero doesn't have a 'super' power at all (unless you would call being obscenely wealthy a superpower, but he continues to increase his wealth, so I do not put Bruce Wayne in the same category as say the Menendez brothers, or even someone who loses everything through laziness or incompetence).
He is, of course, the Batman. Batman, the Dark Knight. What else could a child obsessed with the rightness or wrongness be? What better way to control my world than through the extreme discipline needed to perfect ones mind and body, as did Bruce Wayne. (Bruce Lee-John Wayne, get it?)
OK, so he was a millionaire so he had a bit more options than I, and he is a comic book hero, so I am sure he is much smarter than me, (though I do have some game in that department), but I have done pretty well. I used the military to ‘perfect’ my body, and I used philosophy to ‘perfect’ my mind. I have more of a bear cave than a bat cave; but the Bear is my totem, not the bat. I am not the Batman, I am the Berserker.
My favorite Hollywood star is Bruce Lee, my favorite sociologist is Heinlein, my favorite philosopher is Rand. They are all each of these things, and more; just as we are all each aspects of the Other.
Bruce Lee defined his Tao as, “Take what is useful, discard what is not, and leave with that which is uniquely yours.” I find that very useful.
So, I must admit, I cheated on this weeks theme. I would not be a character that has already been created. I would be the Berserker; the non-comic book non-superhero that is in the process of Creation. I would consider myself lazy to merely drop into a character role which I did not fit, when I could create a role just for me.
It is piteous that the only Superman that modern society knows came from another planet, not from within, as Nietzsche taught.

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