Saturday, October 27, 2007

End of Chivalry

Dear Kids, The battle of Agincourt between the French and the out-numbered English was fought on St. Crispian's day, 25th of October. It was a triumph of the few against the many. It also helped end the dominance in the battlefield of the armored cavalry--The Knights. Because despite of the abundance of French Knights trained in Mortal Combat, at Agincourt they were felled not by other well-trained knights who observed life long codes of honor but by arrows from the simple, not-so-aristocratic english long bow archers.

Thus the age of chivalry gasped its last few breaths at Agincourt. From then on, the field of war belongs not to the most honorably trained warriors willing to wallow in the blood of their defeated foe after a sword-to-sword/dagger-to-dagger/hand-to-hand combat where they see their enemies eye-to-eye; but to the most pragmatically trained ones who kill their enemies from a distance, hence they need not know what HONOR means. Excalibur was betamaxed out of the battlefield by arrows, and then by cannons, and now, by smart bombs from stealth bombers.

On St. Crispian's day 2007, a convicted plunderer was given pardon by the highest official of the land. It practically means that the crime never happened. Chivalry ended on the battlefield and was replaced by gunpowder long ago on St. Crispian's day. And now, SCD 2007, some would say that it is a day of infamy, others of miraculous justice. But no Filipino will be lukewarm when this day comes from now on.

In the previous post, I praised your school for taking a stand even though it was unpopular. The stand proved to be futile, and the cause truly a lost one.

But so was Thermophyle.
So was the revolt of Spartacus.
So was the stand on Massada.

So was this man's cause:

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today HE is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress

All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Chivalry may be Dead, Dear Kids, but not God.


atticus said...

"Masada shall not fall again," the Jews vow to this day.

I saw Masada 10 years ago and for the life of me, I can't see it as a loss. They lived their lives on top of that mountain and thrived (they even had a steam spa!) as a people who refused to bow to and be enslaved by the Romans. That they chose death instead of subjugation, is I think, a loss to the Romans. Nagpagud-pagod pa sila sa pagkubkob, wala naman pala silang mabubusabos.

O ha? Ang bigat ng topic natin. Hehe.

TK said...

"you can fight them in the morning.

they will defeat you.

you can hide.

they will find you...

or you can take their victory away from them.

they will remember you"

atticus said...

eng? saan galing ang line na iyan?

TK said...

from Peter Strauss. the guy who played the role of rebel leader in Masada. Come to think of it Atticus, from one point of view it is a defeat. masada evokes images of the jim jones cult in guyana which resulted in the failure of society to ...

... holy crad. I'm beginnng to sound like a prick. I need a stiff dose of Snglguy. See you in his blog, Ate Ko!

atticus said...

bwahahahaha! natawa naman ako iyo. you don't sound like a prick at all.

jim jones was different. most people did not know the juice was spiked. in masada, they knew what the problem was. (may movie pala tungkol sa masada? di ko alam iyon ah!)

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan