Dover Beach - by Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be trueThis poem has always held special meaning for me. It is during times like these I reminisce on why. So much of what he says about the world rings true in my life experience. But the condition of the world, now as much as it was then, is not what's important in this poem.
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
On Wednesday I learned of the craven attack that killed Sean Smith, known to all of us as Vile Rat. This is not the first time, nor is it the last time, such attacks will come. History is replete with them. Today the favorite target is the U.S. In Victorian times, when Matthew Arnold wrote this poem, it was PAX Britannia. The reasons for such attacks are best covered elsewhere. I frankly do not care at this moment. That's not what's important.
What is important is us. Just as Matthew Arnold implored of his new bride so long ago, I implore of us, the players of Eve Online, to be true to one another. I do not reference the out pouring of grief and condolences flooding our virtual community. That is expected, normal and not what I mean.
It is true I do not believe I can ever ride the Goonswarm hegemony wagon. It is true I suspect Vile Rat would have done everything within his considerable power to hegemonize me. That, to me, is who Vile Rat was. But it wasn't just about him. As has been pointed out, he was the quintessential public servant. He did not seek fame or glory, only results. He would not want his efforts going to waste. I fully expect he'd want another to pickup where he left off and to not let everything he accomplished whither and die. That is what I mean when I say, "be true to one another."
It is a tragedy to loose Vile Rat. It would be a travesty to lose one iota of what he loved, what he worked to build. He believed in Eve Online. He believed in his Goonswarm. He believed in a community that is more than pixels on a screen, or a server rack, or thousands upon thousands of lines of code. This game is so much more than just Internet spaceships. If you do not believe this, look into your heart. How does it feel? Mine aches - but there is also a pride in who he was and what we are. This does not happen if it's "just a game."
Being true to one another means NC DOT takes advantage of Goonswarm's grief to try and turn the tide of war. Being true means the Vile Rat Charity scam in Jita just might work. Being true means pirates log on, find an unsuspecting pseudo carebear and pop him. They then hold the pod for ransom. Being true means high-sec war-decs, LP farming, ninja salvaging, can flipping and the thousand other dirty tricks Capsuleers play on each other every single day don't stop. They don't slow down, not even a little.
Now that the shock is starting to wear off, consider this. What would Vile Rat do? Now go out and do it.