“Few and far between are the books you’ll cherish, returning to them time and again, to revisit old friends, relive old happiness, and recapture the magic of that first read.”
The idea of a post-apocalyptic world has been rampant the last few years. Zombies? Check. Being put into an arena to kill others your age? Check. The apocalypse is fashionable these days. Enter Gray: Part I by Loud Cadle. The first of a trilogy, this book has what others lack: reality.
Details below (spoiler alert, of course).
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Ascend Online, whose name sounds like a beloved game I used to play called Eve Online, was immediately appealing to me for that reason. When I read some other online reviews, the book hearkened back to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – a nostalgia piece aimed at video games the way that Cline’s work was a love letter to pop culture of the 1980’s.
Sadly I was disappointed.
“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” (or “The more things change, the more they stay the same”).
“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success.”
Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.
But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.
And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.
Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.
But hope is about degrees. As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.
Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.
On Memorial Day.
Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.
They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.
I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.
They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.
They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.
So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
“‘Tis the night – the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they – it is they.”