droid

Well-known member
TBF though, when you have been at war almost constantly since 1811 and for 92% of your existence, when you have an economy inextricably interwoven with war and violence and have created systems that can surveill and catalogue virtually everything down to the atomic level, when you have created weapons that could literally destroy all life on earth and then used them... I think you could lay a pretty good claim to being the greatest. After all having better tools for killing is arguably what defines the greatness of empire.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
ofc I agree the Judge has everything to do with the context of mid-1800s America and by extension that entire history of colonial violence etc

but I also think you could put the Judge in early 1940s Eastern Europe or ca. 1220 Khwarezmia. that's kind of the point of the Judge.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I think you could lay a pretty good claim to being the greatest. After all having better tools for killing is arguably what defines the greatness of empire.
if previous empires had access to those tools they very likely would not have hesitated to use them

I would modify that to "better tools for killing than your contemporary peers"

this is kind of a tangent from Blood Meridian itself tho
 

droid

Well-known member
if previous empires had access to those tools they very likely would not have hesitated to use them

I would modify that to "better tools for killing than your contemporary peers"

this is kind of a tangent from Blood Meridian itself tho
Ha, yes ofc, this isn't a moral point, its a practical one, the culmination is in terms of ability, not intent (though one might make that argument).
 

version

Warehouse Operative
The scene that really stuck with me was the momentary pause in the violence when The Kid and all the animals gather round the burning tree,

"It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jedda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before the torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets."

Someone apparently worked out this takes place on Christmas Day.
 

version

Warehouse Operative

Pynchon's on about this in Mason & Dixon too. There's a war going on between the Chinese and the Jesuits and a Chinese geomancer pops up stating his opposition to the surveyors carving their lines into the American landscape, claiming they're " . . . scars upon the Flesh of the dragon of Sha,"

“Earth, withal, is a Body, like our own, with its network of Points, dispos'd along its Meridians,— much as our medicine in China has identified, upon the Human body, a like set of Lines invisible, upon which, bead wise, are strung Points, where the Flow of Chee may be beneficially strengthen'd by insertions of Gold Needles.”

. . . “To rule forever,” continues the Chinaman, later, “it is necessary only to create, among the people one would rule, what we call . . . Bad History. Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,— to create thus a Distinction betwixt ’em,— ’tis the first stroke.— All else will follow as if predestin’d, unto War and Devastation.”
 
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