I decided it's about time I got around to reading that paragon of ancient literature The Art of War. Attention whore that I am, I think it's also only appropriate that I share with you my opinions on the venerable Book. My first post should pop up sometime tomorrow. In the meantime though I need to ask you guys a question. Should I do it with or without the commentaries? Should I try to figure it out on my own, or let someone else tell me what it all means?
IndeedThe commentaries make the text book-length instead of essay-length or short-story-length, but I found them downright necessary to really understand and expand upon what Sun Tzu was saying in small phrases. I personally would recommend this Puppet Press edition of the work. It's a really good book, though. Teaches a lot of stuff.
edited 30th Mar '10 6:09:51 PM by jaimeastorga2000
All right, I decided to go with the commentaries, hopefully it won't make things too long and boring for you guys. I just started into the introduction written by Lionel Giles, so here goes. Introduction: Mr. Giles, quoting from an earlier biography has this to say about Sun Tzu “Sun Tzu Wu was a native of the Ch’i state. His ART OF WAR brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, King of Wu.” Woah, I’m getting serious The Twelve Kingdoms vibes here. Anyway, apparently Ho Lu called up Sun Tzu (It rhymes!) and said “Hey I read your book and I liked it. I see you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?” Sun Tzu said “Yes.” Ho Lu pulled an incomprehensible move. “Can do it with women?” Maybe he wanted to make it harder, maybe all the guys were out warring for the benefit of home and hearth, and maybe it was just a joke. Either way Sun Tzu didn’t care. He just gave another yes. Anyway Sun Tzu got a bunch of the king’s concubines, instructed them on basic commands and then proceeded to start working on drills. The girls, and I quote, burst out laughing.” Sun Tzu reacted with remarkable patience and just started over, in case his orders weren’t clear. Honestly, I was expecting some Tough Love or Training from Hell here, but nope, he just started working with them again. The girls started laughing again. Jeeze girls are you completely brainless? Don’t you recognize that you’re Tempting Fate something awful? And he orders the two company leaders executed. Wow, that is an awfully…final punishment. I don’t know whether to call him a Complete Monster or praise him for shutting up the girls. Even through the filter of very few words and a couple thousand years they are unbearably annoying. I can only imagine what it was like for him. Oh wait, the king says “Ok, you’ve proven yourself, now please don’t kill my two favorite concubines.” Good job king. Holy crap, he just flat out told the king no…and he got away with it! I cannot for the life of me comprehend why this guy wasn’t immediately taken and beheaded. Is Ho Lu a puppet king? Unsurprisingly, the girls are a little more willing to shut up and follow orders now. Remind me to never join the army. Sun Tzu informs the king that his troops are now ready for inspection, but the king says “Good job, but I don’t want to do that.” I can’t help but wonder, is that laziness, or prudently keeping himself away from the ax crazy general with two companies of completely loyal fem-stormtroopers? Sun Tzu’s reply: “The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds.” Holy Mother of Lain, he survived firing off a direct insult at a ruling monarch, and got PROMOTED. After that the king took Sun Tzu into his service and started putting him to good use. And that's all I can do for now, I'll continue with the introduction later. I hope you keep reading.
edited 17th Mar '10 10:23:27 AM by CDRW
IndeedSun Tzu is clearly a Bunny-Ears Lawyer; he is such a badass general that he can get away with anything.
The Ant KingI'm beginning to think that The Soldier had an accurate idea of Sun-Tzu's personality.
Kill all math nerds
The Shadows Devour You.What was that interpretation? (The Team Fortress 2 one.) Wow, I guess Sun Tzu WASN'T nicer than Macchiavelli.
edited 17th Mar '10 1:35:40 PM by GameChainsaw
Hermit PurpleSun Tzu is one of two things: 1. A Gary Stu (i.e. perfect in everyway, can do no wrong, etc.) OR 2. A complete badass. OR 3. He hacked into Real Life's programming and edited it so it would favour him I'm leaning toward the last two.
Locking you up on radar since '09 See him surface in every shadow, On the wind I feel his breath
The Ant King^^This.
Kill all math nerds
Damn, I'm at work and they filter out videos. Now I'm going to have to wait hours before I can see that. I need my instant gratification! Edit: That was AWESOME!
edited 17th Mar '10 4:42:44 PM by CDRW
Well, here's my second post. Wish me luck. Introduction Continued: All right, let's see. There's a bunch of historical data that's important to historians but not me, names, dates and so forth. Apparently they're not even sure Sun Tzu was a real person. Heh heh. Speaking of his decendent, who was called Sun Pin (and also Sun Tzu): "It seems likely, then, that 'Pin' was a nickname bestowed on him after his mutilation, unless the story was invented in order to account for the name." That's doubletalk if I've ever heard it. Wow, apparently Sun Tzu defeated an army of 200, 000 with an army of 30, 000. I don't care who you are, that's good. Let's see, history of his surname and family history. Possibly interesting later on, but not yet when I don't really know anything about Sun Tzu himself yet. Oh, and now Mr. Giles is saying that none of the info he just quoted is accurate. I feel cheated somehow. Is this guy just trying to flesh out his wordcount? Yeah, yeah, a historian is obliged to give all the info he has, but still.... "...may be dismissed as chronological impossible." TYPO!!! [[Natter Quotes from other historians about how wise Sun Tzu was.]] Apparently Sun Tzu wrote more after showing his original 13 chapters to the king, and there's supposed to be 82 chapters alltogether, of which we only have fragments...but most if not all of them were probably forgaries. Thanks for crushing my dreams of mysterious conspiracies Lionel. Ah, reason why they think he might not be real. ..."the TSO CHUAN, the greatest contemporary record, makes no mention whatsoever of Sun Wu, either as a general or a writer." Maybe the guy was a jackass and everybody just tried not to talk about him? I like this, from Yeh Shui-hsin: "The story of Ho Lu's experiment on the women, in particular, is utterly preposterous and incredible." More Natter as Lionel tears into the thinking of one of the many historians he has quoted. I have to admit, my confidence in the competance of historians, both ancient and modern, is quickly waning. It seems they don't do much more than pass on rumors long after anybody who cared is dead. And that's enough for now. I think I'm going to do this liveblog in a series of frequent but short posts. Don't get alarmed if I go a day or so without posting though because I'm a bit of a flake. As for the intro, at this rate it'll take three or four more posts like this to get through. I'm just going to cover the little bits I find interesting because I want to get to the actual text as soon as I can.
The Ant KingHistorians still can't sort out whether Percy Shelley was an atheist or where Christopher Columbus was born. Why would they be able to figure anything out about Sun Tzu? Does anyone else think that Sun Tzu will be a Memetic Badass by the time this thread is through?
Kill all math nerds
IndeedWell, modern historians usually focus more on the life and culture of large groups of people rather than minor biographical details or the possible existence of a few important people, so... it wasn't always that way, but even now that the great man model has fallen out of favor it still seems to haunt perceptions of the field like psychoanalysis does for psychology.
edited 17th Mar '10 7:13:13 PM by jaimeastorga2000
I'm back, bitches!^^ Definantly. This is TV Tropes; we can make anyone badass.
^^ I guess that makes sense. It still makes things frustrating though. ^I consider that a challenge. I will now find someone that you can't make a Memetic Badass.
IndeedI think the solution to that problem is clearly Shinji Ikari.
RELATIONSHIP FLAG KITTAAAAAAAActually no Super Robot Wars made him Bad Ass so the answer is Scrappy Doo and Jar Jar Binks .
Rock OnJar Jar you're a genius!
RELATIONSHIP FLAG KITTAAAAAAAScappy Doo! Make HIM a Memetic Badass THEN you win.
Rock OnHe's a talking dog; isn't that freaking amazing enough? Or how about the fact that he often get separated from the group while they investigate occult phenomena, most of which turn out to be fronts for smuggling or organized crime. Yet, with all these hardened criminals, there's never been a Shoot the Dog / Kick the Dog moment. Coincidence? I think not.
Are you saying Scrappy Doo is so sexy that even the worst criminals couln't bring themselves to shoot him?
The Ant KingThe reason Mystery Inc. always restrained him from attacking the monsters was because they feared his rage would end the world once he got going.
edited 18th Mar '10 10:22:57 AM by Myrmidon
Kill all math nerds
I've got it. You can't make the z block from Tetris a memetic badass.
The Ant KingThe real reason Hitler died was because the z-block fell on his head.
Kill all math nerds
Rock OnWhich Z-Block? The good one, or it's Evil Twin?
The good one, because Good Is Weak.
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