“Song Jiang” of the “梁山”（Mountain Liang) painting by Janney
The main character in the novel Water Margin, the flag in his left hand was used to issue commands such as to start a fight, etc. The Chinese character on the flag, “令”, represents “Order”.
As I do my daily fast-walk along Alameda Creek levee I have been listening to podcasts of the Chinese classic novel Water Margin, aka Outlaws of the Swamp, aka All Men Are Bothers.
One of the “Four Classic Chines ” novels, written in a “picaresque style,” characters are moved to act on some mixture of political victimhood, personal skills and inadequacies, greed and honor while during their process of becoming outcasts and outlaws the book being the series of events of their coming together in a “brotherhood of self interest” to help save China.
Taking place doing the Song dynasty, story of traveling around fighting, eating, drinking with enemies or among themselves, stealing , around the Liangshan Mars) in an adventure story of over 100 chapters
In the early 1800s Suikodan, the Japanese version was published with fantastic illustrations by Kuniyoshi. In China criminals were tattooed on the face, and in Japan the combination of brotherhood of outlaws, nationalism and and tattoos was a natural fit for yakuza.
Water Margin has been adapted into several other types of modern media, such as television and film, across several different countries. In Japan, where it is known as “Suikoden”, it has even inspired several video game adaptations. Most notable are Koei’s “Bandit Kings of Ancient China” series of strategy games and and Konami’s “Suikoden” series of role playing games.
Another classic cross cultural story of the Romance of Killing genre shrouded in the romance of brotherhood, political injustice and honor. Its not much different than we see today in film and TV, and video games and music.
Perhaps Nevil Shute got it right with On The Beach, and he only needed three characters.
Why do we have these stories of killing, and why do people like them so much? Maybe that’s just the way human beings are—Is there such a thing as human nature and if so what is it? Are people, naturally good ?or bad? or just natural.
Is it something about “human nature? Are human beings “Naturally Flawed”? “Naturally Good?” “Naturally Bad?”
The Bible story is that God (perfection) created man in his image, and man was lonely —obviously man is not perfect otherwise he would not feel lonely—so God created woman.
The Bible version is that God (perfection) created man in his image, and then man was lonely —obviously man was not perfect otherwise he would not have felt lonely or maybe to be lonely was the way God designed man—so God created woman.
Since the first (in his own image) effort did not work so well, no reason to think the second would work any better and sure enough woman had two faults—curiosity and defiance” —faults so bad that God kicked them both out of Paradise, maybe God was angry at himself for failing?— I guess we could say that the Bible says that people are naturally bad or they were good to start with but they chose to become bad and now must live outside of Eden.
Hobbes, in The Leviathian suggests social order is necessary for a good functioning society but since everyone is a “sociopath”seeking to fulfill their uncontrollable impulses and desires even at the expense of others it results in a breakdown of social order.
Even if people make agreements, enter into contracts, compromise? its all to no avail, people lack the ability to control their own base impulses, the only thing that will control them is fear.
Hobbes suggests that a “super sociopath” will emerge who has the “ ability” to establish order—the biggest scumbag of all who will use any means necessary to establish order—and because social order is in the interest of everyone in society, it is the obligation of people to recognize this “great leader ” and submit to him (or her) for the good of society.
Also you could suggest that people learn to understand themselves, learn to express themselves and learn to interact peacefully with others to make compromises about social rules with which they agree to live with and enforce for the social order—this would be Liberal Democracy.
Or you could say that sitting around taking a break from shopping and having some coffee with friends is a way to deal with the problem.
“The eye with which I see God is the very eye with which God sees me.”
Nyogen The Iron Flute #67 Ch‘ien-feng’s Transmigration
Somedays I have to look for myself .
“…Sir Robert of Namur ands his men leapt eagerly on board the Spaniard, with their swords drawn. They attacked its crew so heartily that they killed them all and threw them over board, and captured the ship.”
Froissart Chronicles Book One
Is there no place for peace? None of these people were characters in Water Margin. This photo is VISTA workers in Bangor ME about 48 years ago. I never saw them again, probably never will, but people who believed they could find a way to make a difference.
A zen temple could be hiding behind a “laundry of no access.” Or maybe knot.
The Aztec Motel, Route 66, Central Ave SE, Albuquerque NM . I believe its no longer there,
Allen Ginsberg’s version:
over the top,