The beauty of our weapons

This dagger is radiant with beauty – at least when seen by the one wielding it!

I was playing Daggerfall as a Linguist, probably the most underpowered character class possible to make without hacking the game files. A life on the brink of extinction, running away a lot, progressing slowly.  And then I got my hand on one of the most overpowered items in the whole game, the Dagger of Life Stealing. (Mages Guild, Grayidge, Tulune.)

The surge of elation and confidence was on behalf of my imaginary character, but I still felt it in my physical body. I also noticed just how pretty the thing looked, which was why I took the screenshot. But as the “voice in my heart” pointed out: It probably doesn’t look that good from the other side, that is, for the person it is pointed at. Isn’t that the truth for all weapons?


There are also abstract weapons. For instance, here in Norway we talk about the “strike weapon”, when workers go on strike against employers or against some perceived injustice in society. I am sure my friends on the political left see the beauty in this weapon, but it is clear that most people who get stuck at an airport or find their supermarket without milk or their doctor appointment canceled, don’t see the beauty of the weapon so clearly.

Conversely, the members of “Occupy Wall Street” and similar organizations probably fail to see the beauty of a well-ordered troop of policemen coming their way with shields, batons and pepper spray – a beauty that is plain to see for my conservative friends.

So that is the lesson I was told by the Voice in my heart. It would probably have been better if I spent more time with that teacher than with my old flame Daggerfall, but what can I say. This is what happened. Sometimes we forget the obvious: That the beauty of a weapon depends on whether you are behind it or in front of it. Even words can have the power to wound, and I remember the satisfaction of giving a particularly sharp-edged reply. There is a lesson in this for almost everyone, I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *