Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shogun Vs. The Last Samurai

I sat down with Cassandra last night and watched the first episode of FX’s new series Justified (***** out of 5). After reading all the hype, seeing intriguing ads, I must say it did not disappoint. The premise is simple; angry lawman with itchy trigger finger comes home. It’s a western wrapped in the tropes of a modern, well as modern as Kentucky gets, cop show. The acting is off the charts, the writing solid, the dialogue is spectacular. I think what we were both shocked by is how much tension the show built, and how many laughs were in it. If you have FX seek this one out on Tuesday nights, it’s worth your time.

So I’m in a writing circle comprised of Dave, a writer buddy of his, and myself. It’s interesting to be creating something that then you hand off to someone in who has a vastly different style and vision than you. It’s liberating. I know I can write something hack, overly verbose, and vague and these two mad geniuses will take it and shape that raw clay into something fantastic. It’s as if a part of my brain that had been sleeping for so long is now awake. I mean sure I get a chance to ‘create’ a bit; I blog, there’s D&D, there’s talking ideas with others in my geek covenant, but all that is pretty much f’n clown shoes compared grabbing an idea out of the ether and putting it to paper. I think I had lost sight of how much fun writing without an agenda could be.

The other night I caught bits of pieces of a show on History channel about Samurai. It concentrated mainly on Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most incredible men I’ve ever heard of. Seriously, this guy was amazing. He was an expert swordsman, a painter, and a philosopher. He wrote philosophy based on his tactics in battle. Here is a taste of what he wrote at the end of his life, and in reality something that can be applied effectively to everyday life;

"The Path of Aloneness" or "The Way to be Followed Alone"
Miyamoto Musashi

The 21 Precepts
1 -Accept everything just the way it is.
2 - Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3 - Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4 - Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5 - Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6 - Do not regret what you have done.
7 - Never be jealous.
8 - Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9 - Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10 - Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11 - In all things have no preferences.
12 - Be indifferent to where you live.
13 - Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14 - Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15 - Do not act following customary beliefs.
16 - Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17 - Do not fear death.
18 - Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19 - Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20 - You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21 - Never stray from the Way.

It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity, it’s sentiment, and what each individual can take from it. How one can take this roadmap and personalize it in a personal mantra. I’m going to start searching for Musashi’s longer works so I can hopefully get more insight into this uncanny historical figure.

On that note of profound wisdom, I give you profound


- The NCAA March Madness has started and here I am, at work not even getting to listen to it on the radio. How do you spell disappointment; W-O-R-K-!
- South Park was exceptional last night. If EA’s Tiger Woods Golf 2010 was as awesome as the game Cartman and Stan were playing I’d buy a next generation system just to play that.
- Tim Tebow will be a mid second round pick and a decent quarterback in the NFL based purely upon his will and desire. He’s a giant Doug Flutie.
- I can’t wait to get my new ‘puter up and running so I can get back to reading comics. I miss them, even the crappy ones.
- The D&D group is losing to members for a while due to the complications of being preggers. I’m sad, but happy for them. It’ll be interesting to see where the rest of the intrepid adventurers go from here direction wise. As for DMing, I’m picking up Players Handbook 3 Saturday and I’m hoping to get the group all the way through the ending of the current adventure and knee deep into the next ‘chapter’.
- We had Xin Xin last night, and I’ll be eating leftovers in about an hour and it was & IS GLORIOUS!
- I am grilling this weekend, SUCK IT WEATHER!

And with that I bid you ado…

“Is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?”


  1. Interesting, the precepts list that is. There are many there that I really like, however, there are a few I either don't completely understand or couldn't see myself even wanting to strive for:

    8 - Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

    10 - Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

    11 - In all things have no preferences.

  2. 8 - I think what he means here, or at least how I'm going to interpret it is, nothing is permanent, you will see that person again.

    10 - I agree here actually. Whenever I've allowed lust or love to make my decisions the decisions have been poor. When I've taken them into consideration along with logic and the facts I've rarely erred. I think they have to be considered, but should never rule you.

    11 - Again I'm interpreting here, but I think he means do not be so fixated on YOUR preference that you can't see the merit of another's or miss the opportunity to change, evolve, and grow. Because in the end preferences are opinions, and opinions are like assholes; everyone has one, some are just bigger than others.

    That's just my opinion though...

  3. Oh and Heidi, SCREW YOU! My blog is just as