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Category Archives: Quotes

“Who said life is fair?  Life isn’t always fair.  Where is that written?” The Princess Bride (movie)

There are people, every now and then, who remind us that life isn’t always fair.  People who, if life was fair, would never have anything bad happen to them, but they suffer.   Such is the case of one of my aunts, who passed away yesterday morning after (if I’m remembering right) a 2-year battle with cancer.  And this battle followed her divorce, which I’ll just say was justified.

As I struggle with this loss, I keep coming back to the same two ides:  1) Appreciate the blessings you’ve been given, not many of us deserve them.  2) Make use of the time you have.  You never know when your clock will stop.

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“The irony of all existance is that ‘Good’ would be totally impotent without the contrast of ‘Evil’.”

From The Flight of Dragons. 

Ok, I’m a nerd.  Most people would not consider Star Trek fodder for literary or personal inspiration.   To paraphrase: I enjoy being a nerd.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn was penned and directed by Nicholas Meyer,  who is likely the most significant reason for the fabled Star Trek “even movies are better than odd movies” phenomenon (the second, fourth, and sixth installments are generally considered the better movies, first, third and fifth – not so much).  In my opinion, The Wrath of Kahn is the standard by which all Trek movies are measured.

What has always stood out about this movie, to me, is Spock’s decision at the climax of the movie.  His self-sacrifice saves the day.  I have always felt that the nobel self-sacrifice is the gold standard for any hero.   The willingness to give your life (as opposed to merely “risking” it) because it’s the right thing to do is what makes a character truly a hero.  “The needs of the many outweigh . . . the needs of the one.”  This is a theme that will doubtless crop up more than once, as I write about my inspirations. 

As I grew older and was exposed to literature a new element showed itself in this movie, though.  (As an aside, the best books and movies are the ones that can continue to be enjoyed, even as we grow older and wiser.  Or after we’ve watched it dozens of times.)  Sprinkled throughout this movie are literary quotes, in particular from “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Moby Dick”.  In many ways, Kahn is Ahab, obsessed with killing his “White Whale”.  In a much more general way, Spock takes the role of Sydney Carton – sacrificing himself for others.  What is important to me about this, though is the reminder that works of fiction are intertwined.  No work exists without its predecessors, even if they are far removed from the work at hand.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Fantasy can be inspired by the bible, romance can be inspired by science fiction.  Literature is all a family.

 

One of the blogs I follow often has quotes of the day.  I thought I’d follow suit:

“When I was young, it was my ambition to be one of the people who made a difference in this world.  My hope still is to leave the world a little better for my having been here.”  –  Jim Henson.

I think it’s safe to say he succeeded.  And we could all do worse than trying to follow in his footsteps.