Sorry. It's not as mellow of an FFF as it usually is. In fact, there's a hint of piss and a dash of vinegar involved.
They say every story needs a conflict.
I would rather my story have none.
"Oh but that's so BORING!" the emotional ones say. "It's not HUMAN!"
These are usually the same people who tilt their heads at me like Cocker Spaniels when I yearn for calm and logic.
I am in a conflict right now. It's with someone I have known for many many years. That's one of the worst parts about it. Why are we in a standoff? The reasons don't matter. At least not in reference to this post and I'm certainly not going to air them here. I'm thinking about conflict more in the overall sense.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something." --Winston Churchill
As someone acquainted with literary concepts, I'm not oblivious to the bitter irony and contradiction that is Jon Nichols. I have long held a fascination with human conflict. I've read so much about war. I've played so many tabletop war games. I consumed Jane's Defense Weekly the way other boys read Road & Track. My G.I. Joe collection was gigantic and I fought battles with them well into high school. That Indiana backyard was filled with machine gun nests and killing fields. The grass flowed red with the blood of the loathsome communist oppressors and the turbaned terrorists. Die hard the hunter.
But in practice, I really don't like it. As a mode of living I find that it just...I dunno, falls flat at best.
"This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games." --William S. Burroughs
Yes, Bill. But why???
In the end I must say: No sir. I don't like it. Tolstoy knew all about it. And he wrote War and Peace, y'know.
Half the battle is always on my side. At least half. I might have been stricken but it's my anger and Viking-like thirst for vengeance that perpetuates the conflict. Again, why?
Sometimes, as a martial arts instructor once told me, you have to just walk away. Despite the cost.
Stop the bleeding. Contain the collateral damage. Make do with whatever you have left because in time what you might have left is nothing. The soothing of righteous indignation is poor solace in that case.
"I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth -- rocks!" Albert Einstein
I sure do make it a helluva lot harder on myself.
"What's so civil about war anyway?" Ah, civil war.
So what then is the solution? After it all, this might have to be it:
"We're fighting for the gods of war. But what the hell we fighting for?"
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