Writing

Ode to the dead knight

It’s probably best to preface this with a bunch of facts; I’m probably a romantic at heart. All my various signs point to the sun, and Mars, and various warrior aspected things. I’m hitting my mid thirties, a time when I’m sure most people question the world in a fundamental way.

This is most likely a rant, that’s come from several sources, and I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with it. But, there it is.

The knights of literature are often the dusty old sorts. Arthur is perhaps the most famous. I always liked Galahad, who seemed far more innocent and questing.

Don Quixote is perhaps a great example of someone following the knightly ways, or at least sticking to a moral code while everyone else laughed about him.

More recently, we have Stephen King’s gunslingers. All the expected qualities of the Wild West, blended in with knightly codes and gentlemanly behavior. Just like you’d be happy having a knight at your back, you’d probably settle for a gunslinger as well.

Are we living in an age where knights are dead?

A number of things prompted my musing. Ruzkin’s thoughts on fighting and June Fight Training. Probably reading too much Roland Deschain and his sensible and reasoned ways. Sitting at MacDonalds and watching 12 year old smoking and tossing things at passerbys (who they hopefully knew anyway, not to mention the general swearing), in a time when reading about one of them doing someone in with a baseball bat would be just another statistic.

In this hyperviolent, irreverent and overly sexualized age, where are the manners, morals and sense?

Ah hah, you cry! I knew there was going to be a part when you could point and use the age card on me. I’m probably living in the wrong area, and seeing the wrong things, but I curiously wonder where the sense of self and presentation, and manner has gone. Not just a pride of self and purpose, but a general respect for others.

Where are the knights and the gunslingers?

Having said that, are they admirable qualities to look up to? Are there any knightly occupations or persons worth looking up to in this age, or do we value those sort of qualities? Knightly virtues are rather stuffy, to say the least. There are countless examples in our history of codes of honor and general behavior, from knights to samurai, and even the English gentleman, but is there any modern examples of gentlemanly behavior?

Another point worth noting, and something that I thought about when the question of Merrilee’s came up about themes. I tend to write about people are strong codes of belief, in surrounds where the world is quietly going to hell in a hand basket. There are still the hard edged Galahads swaggering through my stories.

I know one or two possibly knightly candidates in my life, but they are rare indeed, I think. And as I expected, no real points or anything on this rant, just a lot of musings and observations. I guess these things are just the musings of middle life.

Ah well, until then I still have my curious ka-tet of writers; Ruzzie, Merrilee and Cassie. Cutting rather heroic mental images in my mind, battling through a world of edits and rewrites …

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3 thoughts on “Ode to the dead knight

  1. Whew. A response to this would take a few thousand words that I don’t have to spare.

    Suffice to say, I hear you, and also mourn the loss of morals and values.

    But on the other side of the coin, morals and values in the past have resulted in oppression, bigotry and isolation of people who were ‘different’.

    We’re yet to find a middle ground as a race, and goodness knows if we ever will. But on that day that we blend morality with acceptance, values with compassion, we will truly have reached maturity.

  2. Surely core morals and values should transcend time though? Nothing wrong with being polite. It seems that even in my short life so far things have changed from things that ‘just weren’t done’ to ‘who cares’.

  3. But politeness is tied to social values. We aren’t polite because it’s a natural reaction; we’re polite because society expects it, or it used to. The change away from “us” to “me” is what, in my opinion, has caused politeness to go out the door.

    No-one is standing around pointing fingers anymore. There’s no societal backlash for not being polite. And without that societal judgement, we have no way of enforcing the moral code that requires politeness.

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