A man I didn’t know died recently, serving his country in Iraq. This man was a friend of people I’ve never met in person (only through the Inter-web). But I grieve for his loss, and share the pain of others who grieve as well. His ‘last message’, in the first link, is a spectacular read.
There are few more noble or romantic notions than dying to protect the innocent, even with the family this man will leave behind in a much less romantic side of the story. And as tragic as that is, the reality is such: War is, in the words of Deep Space Nine’s Captain Ben Sisko, “A very messy, very bloody business.” And like Captain Sisko, who is asked by another character if he’s “prepared for that”, we aren’t always sure of the cost until it hits close to home. As to whether it’s right or wrong, that’s for people smarter than me to decide.
I don’t talk about politics often here, and that’s intentional. I prefer to listen and learn rather than get into heated debates (as politics often does) based on my own inadequately informed opinions. I do believe that a lot of people could stand to listen more- not just in the arena of politics, but in any walk of life. Listening is an underappreciated skill.
Speaking of DS9, I caught most of “In The Pale Moonlight” (where both of the above quotes are from) a couple of weeks ago, which is in my opinion the single best episode of any Trek series ever produced, despite some obvious over-acting from the lead. This was in part because of the facets of a Federation/Dominion war that it really explored.
For all of Star Trek’s talking about “seeking new life and new civilizations”, it was just as much the exploration of character and humanity that made the shows as good or bad as they were, and having the peaceful, noble, everything-is-perfect-in-the-future Federation have to deal with the consequences and changes endured in a war really gave the DS9 series some dimension. But the characters and stories are why I love Trek, and why I enjoy writing collaboratively for it, as I do in my spare time.
All in all though, I’m enjoying life right now. It’s as busy as it’s ever been, but I can’t ever recall being this content. I’m dating a wonderful, beautiful woman who, for reasons that elude me, tolerates my continued interest in her. It’s early in the relationship, to be certain, but I think we’re both happy with how things are going.
Now that I’ve written it down (for those of you not on Facebook, anyway), I’ve probably jinxed the whole thing. But at the risk of becoming ‘that guy who gushes about love all the time’, I had to share it. I’ll try very hard not to be that guy. That guy’s annoying. Like Golden Grahams, outside of that ever-so-small moment where they’re the perfect mixture of cereal and milk, which is like a split second. WHY, GENERAL MILLS, WHY?!
On that less than dignified note, I’m out.