what, today's saturday? when did that happen?

Um. No poll for today. I'm currently pretty much completely disoriented, time-wise. Vacations always do that to me.

Christmas ficlets are still up for grabs, though. Leave as many requests/prompts as you want, and I'll write at least one of them. More, if I can manage it.
So I've totally been spamming my mother and my roomie with links from The Art of Manliness - I love that site! So now I have shaving with straight razors and manly hats on the brain. Do you think Ronon would wear a hat? Could he? Also, my favorite Teddy Roosevelt quote (My mother is rather obsessed with him, for good reason - he is pretty much the form of manly awesomeness.) Here:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Rather long, but worth it. The whole speech is excellent, but this is the bit everyone quotes. :D

This quote suddenly makes me think of how easy it is to sit back and criticize how the Atlantis expedition is run, or how John deals with his second chance, and how maybe we just don't have that right. Hm.
Well, I'm pretty sure I've seen other people with dreadlocks wear hats, so Ronon probably could. He'd look pretty smashing in a top hat, I think. Or a bowler.

I love that speech. It's the kind of thing we need to hear more often than we do--I wish I'd come across it when I was in high school and struggling with the nasty combination of severe perfectionism and a lack of motivation.

I'm not sure how to apply it to SGA, though. After all, the characters only do what's written, so how many of the mistakes and flaws in character are actually their fault vs. sloppy writing? Can I call it sloppy writing? This probably feeds into my instinctive reaction being to rewrite something rather than nit-pick it.

Also: is this a subtle prompt? Would you like me to write about the expedition/John being criticized and how they/he react(s)?
Oh, yes, it would be silly of us as viewers to try and criticize characters who have no will of their own. I'm thinking of other characters criticizing the actions of the Stargate program in general, and Atlantis in particular. It is popular to portray those who try and control SGC or Atlantis from a distance like those critics TR despises, and while I do agree with that sentiment, I also see a need for someone outside the arena to judge things - a referee, so to speak. That's what oversight committees do, right? :D

I'm glad you'd rather rewrite than nit-pick. My momma always says you can't tear something down without building something to replace it. Go you and you're beautiful world-building!

I'd love it to prompt/inspire you to add to your Things Already Seen 'verse. If something else comes to mind, that's cool too - I'm not picky. What came to mind for me was perhaps John's own tendency to self-criticize, and what that means when reflected upon TR's man in the arena. John has the unique ability to be both the doer of deeds and the critic, and whether that makes his criticisms any more valid. In fandom its popular to show John as being too harsh on himself, but I wonder if that's really the case. Maybe he's his best judge. This has been running around my brain alongside of my musings about the purpose of an outside ("objective" Ha!) point of view.

Wow, I really need to be expending this sort of thought on my Augustine paper. :P Much love!
"Well," Elizabeth says, back stiff, face set in lines that suggest she would like very much to throw something at John's head. "You were certainly placed in a very difficult position and I can't presume that I wouldn't have done the same." But she does, John can see it in the way looks at him. "The IOA might not see it that way, though, so none of this leaves the room. You never told me, this meeting didn't happen, and that goes for Colonel Sumner as well." Her shoulders fall suddenly, her whole body drooping, and it's like a knife to John's heart. "I had hoped we were friends," she tells the table.

"So did I," John says, too much honesty for bare words, and leaves her to mourn a man she never knew.

The subject is never spoken of again.

(But if it were, here's how it would go:

"And you decided to act on this 'knowledge' without informing anyone?" The scare quotes are sharper than John would have expected, but they don't hurt. He's neither crazy nor a liar, and it doesn't matter if the IOA thinks he is. Not really.

"Why didn't you inform Dr. Weir? She was the head of the expedition." He'd asked himself the same question uncounted times, and the answer was always the same: partly to protect her, partly to protect everyone else. She didn't need to know.

"If you 'knew' the future, why are there only a hundred and forty-four expedition members instead of a hundred and fifty-eight?" It's like someone else is being asked these questions: he knows he should feel fear or anxiety or something, but he has no regrets--except that he is only human and so hadn't really known the future, just one set of possibilities.
(Afterward, General O'Neill takes him out for steak and beer and for the first time John actually understands that he is home, this is real.

"I didn't expect you to let them pick you apart like that," O'Neill says, cutting his steak with swift, sure strokes of his knife. John doesn't realize he's doing the same until he glances down at his own plate.

"Didn't really matter what they asked me," John says, and it comes out too flippantly, not the way he intends it, because O'Neill's eyebrows go up. "It-- I--" He sets down his knife and fork and stares at his beer for a moment while he tries to articulate what's been in his head ever since the Daedalus had appeared above Atlantis and he'd known he'd succeeded.

"I made mistakes," he says finally, slowly. "I'm not going to deny that. But I fixed them. The people that died--there was nothing I could have done differently. Even if I don't get sent back to Atlantis, that'll still be true, and right now I don't really care about the rest of it."

"Well, at least you're honest," O'Neill says, dry as dust, fork poised and loaded up with steak. "Although I'm betting you'll change your mind about that last part when you're lying in bed tonight."

"Probably," John admits, and starts in on his own steak.

In the end, he gets promoted and sent back to Atlantis, and although he guesses O'Neill must have pulled some strings to manage that, he doesn't say thank you. They both know it wasn't done as a favor.)

Edited at 2010-01-24 01:54 am (UTC)