Apologies to Stephen King.

There is a short story by the illustrious(ish) Mr. King called “Everything’s Eventual.” Leaving aside the story itself — which is fantastic, but not particularly relevant here — that is kind of how I feel this week. I’ll start work on the new job… eventually. My tomato blossoms will set fruit… eventually. Connor will finish potty training… eventually. This month’s week o’fun will get here… eventually. Mer will post my LBtC guest post… eventually (ahem). I will buckle down and do some serious work at Schizodigestive… eventually. On and on it goes.

I’m having trouble updating this site, because the same things are not-happening every single day. If it feels this repetitive on my end, I can only imagine what y’all think — I mean, most of you could probably write these entries for me. “Hey, I’m still unemployed and/or nebulously employed! My garden is pretty! Connor is cute and he said something witty! Some people make me angry because I have a huge superiority complex! Now I will make a meta-comment about how boring and/or repetitive I am and end this entry with an unsatisfying conclusion!” It’s a wonderful formula, really, but sometimes I am disenchanted with the entire idea of text in a box.

Life is okay, right now. I am still kind of worried about our financial situation, but I think that will go away once I start work on the new job. I am upset about the tomato-salmonella thing and very anxious for my plants to start making fruit. I am free-floating through the week, waiting to have solid, constructive things to do. This is a very boring process. Next week I will rampage through the apartment on a pre-guests cleaning spree, start some real work, do some cooking so I have something for the food blog… and maybe I’ll write a serious update then. In the meantime, I have a question for you: Is it more heroic to make a hard, morally poisonous choice and figure out how to live with the consequences, or more heroic to sacrifice yourself rather than your morals — in which case you die, and do not have to live with any consequences? Please discuss. My brain is all tangled.


5 Responses to Apologies to Stephen King.

  1. Anne says:

    Have you read On Writing by Stephen King. It’s very good. He is underrated as a writer imo.

    Is it more heroic to make a hard, morally poisonous choice and figure out how to live with the consequences, or more heroic to sacrifice yourself rather than your morals — in which case you die, and do not have to live with any consequences?

    I think I’d agree with the Wiki definition of hero – “came to refer to characters that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice, that is, heroism, for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.” – I’m not big on making morally poisonous choices, particularly with my newfound understanding of karma. And who said dying means no consequences thereafter?

  2. sarawr says:

    I said it, actually; as far as I know, the existence of an afterlife has not been proven, and in any case you wouldn’t have to be figuring out how to, say, live with yourself after killing a loved one to save the world. It is, I suppose, possible that you would be punished or rewarded for that action in some afterlife, but that is still not the same as dealing with the direct consequences of such an act.

    My point is, presented with a morally poisonous choice (kill a loved one to save the world, let the world burn to save a single loved one — something along those lines) is it more heroic to, you know, make the choice and struggle to understand and live with it — or is it more heroic to somehow, if you were magically granted the ability to do so, simply sacrifice yourself (assuming this would cancel out the tough choice)? In that scenario, the presupposition of an afterlife isn’t particularly helpful, especially if you consider that sacrificing yourself just because you know you’ll get to go to heaven (or whatever) is kind of… well, selfish. “Oh, this is too hard; I’ll just commit suicide and get to party with the angels!” I’d like to take that out of the equation, for the purposes of this question.

    I have read On Writing and, well… I love King as a storyteller, but could the guy be any more smarmy and self-aggrandizing? Sheesh. ;)

  3. Anne says:

    I didn’t get the smarm from On Writing, but I may have given him the benefit of the doubt. M thought it was a useful little book.

    Sorry re: afterlife. If sacrificing myself was an option that would achieve the same ends, at this moment in time I would definitely choose that one.

  4. sarawr says:

    Oh, Anne, don’t be sorry! I think I came across more harsh than I intended in that comment. What I meant was, basically, let’s deal with this world and not what comes after. In that case… is it more heroic to make a tough choice and live with it, or to refuse the choice entirely and insist that — wait. You watch Buffy, yes? The situation I’m thinking of is the one at the end of The Gift, minus the deus ex machina of “OH WE HAVE TEH SAME BLUD LOL!”

  5. Anne says:

    I am totally with you on dealing with this world while we’re in it! That’s why kabbalah is so meaningful to me and why I get annoyed when some religious people are all about waiting until they die and then everything will be perfect, so they maybe don’t focus on making things better now. Maybe because there is this little bit of me that says, but what if you’re WRONG?! What if you live your life in misery but tell yourself it’s ok because Paradise awaits. What if the kabbalists are right and your next life will be about facing the issues you didn’t face up to this time, and learning the lessons you didn’t feel you needed to because yay eternal bliss? Don’t quote me on that btw, total kabbalah newbie here.

    I’m still all over the self sacrifice rather than sacrificing someone else though.

    Oh. Buffy. How I miss thee.

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