Justice, or something like it

I first read the Count of Monte Cristo when I was seven. Abridged, naturally, and definitely translated, since I still do not know how to read French. The point being, though, that when I read it, Edmond Dantes’ actions seemed perfectly acceptable to me. So what if he did not get the original girl at the end? The bad guys still got kicked hard, and god, he was rich.

The second time I read the book was when I was eleven. Four years translated to around two hundred book pages and definitely flowerier language. Now, though, the first seeds of moral rectitude had grown into strong young saplings, and, while the girl was still not a concern, the coldness of the Count’s actions, and the abhorrence of death had effects on my views on the book. No longer was Dantes a hero one could unreservedly admire. I would not learn of this term till I heard of Wolverine (mind you, I did know of Batman, but he is still a borderline case), but I had had my first encounter with an anti-hero four years ago, and recognised him for one in sixth class.

Another six years would pass before Wikipedia (see the geek links on the right) opened another portal in the deep recesses of knowledge, and I studied the psychological and sociological interpretation of a great many books I had read, including Alexander Dumas Jr.’s magnum opus. And I watched the movie, which I hated. He got the girl in the movie. And he ate the cake too. Oh, and the girl bit did bother me by now. Here is a perfectly willing lady, ready to go the mile to set things right, offering to assuage the pains brought about by another, but no, Mr. Dantes has to remain aloof and uptight, and make a complete ass of himself. He spends money on killing people and driving them mad! As Spock would put it, most illogical.

I still do not know if I am an idealist or a pragmatist. My own contention has been that my ideals have been pragmatic, and this philosophy of mine always prodded me to censure the Count. But much deeper, in  a place where  the Eye of Sauron alone could delve, there was the faintest feeling of satisfaction. It was a vestige from my reading at the age of seven. Maybe. Regardless, this part of me always believed that justice had been long overdue, and though I did not particularly condone this form of justice, the feeling of something right being done did counterbalance my compunction.

As for the girl, who, if you will recall, was a lady of thirty something now, I simply felt if she had been willing to let go and marry the guy who did her paramour in, and would be as easily swayed to the dark side, then she had lost the right to be delivered honourably. In a sense, the Count’s brutal brand of justice appealed to me. There were no means here to consider. They had been done away with early in the story. But the ends, ah. The ends were still to be tied.

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Catching up

I feel I owe everyone a list of status messages and random observations I have made over the period that elapsed between the last post and this one.

  • The wittiest, and yet, the geekiest pick up line I have heard comes from Dr. Ian Malcolm (the film version), as he explains chaos theory and remarks, “Dr. Sattler, I refuse to believe that you are unfamiliar with the concept of attraction”. All inveterate math geeks should be laughing about now. I advise the rest to turn back.
  • I was literally taxed today. And, notwithstanding the xkcd comic today, I mean literally.
  • My culinary skills still follow the same periodic pattern: exciting new discovery followed by dismal failure at cooking a well loved dish. Or two.
  • Matlab tops my list of ‘Most Hated Software’. Yea, it be no programming language.
  • Dire Straits lifts me up when I need it most.
  • I am still trying to decide on my favourite sci-fi franchise.
  • The Master of Ballantrae  makes good use of well known historical characters, and yet, remains faithful to history as we know it.
  • While people I know are covering every inch of the globe, I made the end sem resolution of finally exploring downtown Vancouver.
  • Graph theory continues to fascinate me through the sheer versatility of its arguments. It also continues to befuddle me through the abstruseness of its proofs. Therefore, it is my great pleasure in announcing that I managed a 2-hour lecture on a topic from the same field without passing out in between. Oh, and I had a larger audience than the usual class of six.
  • Kinks once told me that Naruto was the best manga he had ever read. I now have the qualification to second his opinion.
  • Other topics that I delved through in the past few days, not including my research and course content, are:
  • The Terminator franshise
  • Loads and loads of cricket
  • Boston Legal, albeit illegally
  • The largest metropolitan public transport systems in the world.
  • And some other stuff. That was inaccurate. A lot of other stuff.

Much as I would like to write a block of text here, I am afraid the will to do so escapes me for the time being. Hopefully next time. Till then, ciao!