it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

you feel it twist and you hear it crack

'I was reading only the other day about Bismarck, that hero of nineteenth-century politics, that sequel to Napoleon, that god of blood and iron. And he was just a beery, obstinate, dull man. Indeed, that is what he was, the commonest, coarsest man, who ever became great. I looked at his portraits, a heavy, almost froggish face, with projecting eyes and a thick moustache to hide a poor mouth. He aimed at nothing but Germany, Germany emphasised, indurated, enlarged; Germany and his class in Germany; beyond that he had no ideas, he was inaccessible to ideas; his mind never rose for a recorded instant above a bumpkin's elaborate cunning. And he was the most influential man in the world, in the whole world, no man ever left so deep a mark on it, because everywhere there were gross men to resonate to the heavy notes he emitted. He trampled on ten thousand lovely things, and a kind of malice in these louts made it pleasant to them to see him trample. No--he was no child; the dull, national aggressiveness he stood for, no childishness. Childhood is promise. He was survival.

'All Europe offered its children to him, it sacrificed education, art, happiness and all its hopes of future welfare to follow the clatter of his sabre. The monstrous worship of that old fool's "blood and iron" passed all round the earth. Until the atomic bombs burnt our way to freedom again. . . .'

'One thinks of him now as one thinks of the megatherium,' said one of the young men.

'From first to last mankind made three million big guns and a hundred thousand complicated great ships for no other purpose but war.'

'Were there no sane men in those days,' asked the young man, 'to stand against that idolatry?'

'In a state of despair,' said Edith Haydon.

'He is so far off--and there are men alive still who were alive when Bismarck died!' . . . said the young man....

--H. G. Wells, The World Set Free

We are mostly, secretly, optimists, here in this here genre. God help us all.

holyoutlaw on the path to growth as an artist. (as scientifically determined! with science!)

Lawrence Watt-Evans takes a orthagonal tack. (As for me, the sitting here talking about it thing is a vital part of my process and growth. I've come much farther in 5 years of writing in a community than I did in fifteen of writing in a cave, so to speak.)
Tags: free online fiction, link salad, science!, writing craft wank
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