“There Are No Good Men in This Game”

My Other Self lately posted a review of “Vicious” by V.E. Schwab. Since it is a book rife with villainy/questionable morality/superpowers darkly used, I felt it appropriate (if distasteful, since I like to have as little as possible to do with my “good twin”) to grant access to that review within my domain.

A sample:

“There are no good men in this game.”

So spake one of the characters, and may well have spoken true. There was no pure white, and no solid black, leaving the reader to choose a shade of gray to root for. The villain or his wicked archnemesis; pick your pleasure. There were characters I liked more than others, characters I very much wished not to die, and characters for whom I wished the opposite. It was harder to find characters I couldn’t pity. Even the worst of the bad guys had their sympathetic half-a-moments.

(For the full review, click here.)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Unbalanced

Interesting fact about my evil pigeon: No matter how badly the world treats me, he/she/your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine never lifts a feather to try to make it up to me.

In stark contrast, there is my Other Self.

She seems to think it is somehow her responsibility to balance everything wrong with the world. Since everyone else is so often late, she must always be early. No one else brought their copy of the handout? That’s okay, she’s got three extra, plus pens for all. And if, hypothetically, she fears her sibling(s) is/are being an unnecessary trial to her poor parents, well then, she’ll just have to be the perfect child — be no bother, cost no time or money, be a source of smiles, laughter, and parental pride in a dreary, head-and-heartachey disappointment of a life.

Except she can’t consistently do that.

Cue the feelings of guilt and inadequacy and that she’s too much greater a burden than she, in light of the burden of others, has any right to be.

I sigh for you, ridiculous Other Self. I sigh for you loud and long. For one with passable intelligence, you are the greatest of fools.

It does not fall to you to compensate for all of humanity’s failings. It falls to them, and as they fail, so shall they someday fall to me.

The answer is not to provide a balance. It is to topple the broken scales.