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View Full Version : The Horus Heresy - Pragmatism vs. Idealism? (Potential for spoilers, etc)



Lord Fatwa
10-11-2010, 23:00
Shaking of the dust of this account, which I haven't used for probably close to two years...

Now. Based on some of the conversations between various Word Bearers and Lorgar in TFH, as well as the astrological chart thing that the Emperor gave Horus which is mentioned in one of the first two books, it is supposed that each Primarch represents a facet of the Emperor's personality. What interests me about this is that while all of these different bits of the Emperor's mind/soul/essence work together perfectly well within the Emperor himself, when he splits himself off into twenty separate, individual beings, things start to fracture. Tension and competition between the brothers is evident from early on in the Great Crusade, which then boil over completely.

For those who understand the Four Temperaments personality groupings, I think the Emperor seems to be portrayed as a 'melancholy-choleric' sub-type, in that he represents the creative, idealistic, incredibly analytical Melancholic, taking millennia to plan his unification of Terra and his Great Crusade to bring about humanity's glorious secular, psychic rule of the galaxy coupled with the driven, focussed, incredibly pragmatic Choleric, who will sanction the deaths of billions who secede from his vision of the perfect humanity; who can wait until the moment is just right to reveal himself to the world; who can, allegedly, take it upon himself to make a pact with Gods he intends to destroy to create the sons he needs to complete his plan.

If indeed the Emperor can be thusly split, then it stands to reason that his sons, as facets of his personality, can be divided as to reflect the Emperor's melancholy or his choleric. To me, those Primarchs and the legions who remain loyal represent the pragmatic side, particularly Dorn and Roboute. Dorn's gift for rendering a fortress impregnable can be likened to the Emperor's steely, emotionless resolve that has kept him sure of his purpose over what would doubtless have been many trying and lonely millennia. Similarly, Guilliman's ability to create the seamless infrastructure that made Ultramar so powerful may represent the Emperor's patience in planning.

On the idealistic side, there are many, simply by virtue of the fact that, so far, the novels have spent more time on the heretical Primarchs than their loyalist brothers. Fulgrim, who longs for perfection in all that he does, and Night Haunter, who terrorises the sin and corruption from his homeworld, both mirror the Emperor's desire to create and build a perfect human empire. Magnus, an incredibly powerful psyker, obsessed with knowing all the secrets of the universe, represents the Emperor yearning to rule - knowledge, after all, is power. In contrast to Dorn's belief that war should be fought in the open, Alpharius and Omegon revel in secrecy and sleight of hand, distrustful of any outside their own. To me, this reflects the Emperor's great care to not reveal his work of art until it was just so.

And then to Lorgar. Lorgar the Loyal. Ironically, considering the Emperor's treatment of him early in TFH, the one who represents the Emperor's faith in humanity, no matter what they lower themselves to. You would imagine that over his 40,000+ years on Earth that he would have seen such depravity and debasement in mankind that he would've just given up and tried to figure out how to end us all himself. But no. He didn't. Lorgar is born of the Emperor's belief that the human race are the rightful inheritors of the galaxy.

Which makes it so tragic that Lorgar is the first to turn away from him.

As an aside, this theory may go some length as to explain the reason why the Emperor seems fairly cold and distant towards his sons in parts of the narrative (narrative voice notwithstanding). It's like he has spent so long with all of these different idiosyncrasies working together perfectly well within himself, and he seems almost surprised that his sons aren't capable of the same thing.

Anyway... Any thoughts on this? Or have I missed it completely?

Gdolkin
11-11-2010, 00:12
Bloody awesome post mate, can;t really do it justice right now.. What parts of the Emperor would you say Sanguinius, Manus and Angron were..? :)

Lord Fatwa
11-11-2010, 07:42
Thanks mate! It's all a bit of a mess in my head at the moment, but this is my list thus far -

Pragmatists:

Lion el'Jonson - The Emperor's was able to put aside emotion and choose what path would be best for mankind, no matter the personal or public cost. I believe the Lion reflects this both in his tactical abilities and, possibly, his apparent decision to wait out the Heresy and see who came out on top.

The Khan - I really don't know enough about him. About his legion, yes, but I haven't read or seen enough on the man himself to make a judgement.

Leman Russ - The Emperor's decision to walk down a path of warfare and not diplomacy to retake the galaxy for mankind. It's all well and good to say that world were given the choice of compliance before they were attacked, but how much of a choice is it when there's an enormous battlefleet of superhuman warriors orbiting your world?

Dorn - Discussed briefly above, and I believe the best example of this idea. Dorn is the Emperor's resolve, and so of course Dorn and his Legion are chosen as guardians of Terra. Of course the Emperor has him by his side as half of his sons betray him. Of course it is Dorn chosen to fortify the Imperial Palace. In Dorn, the Emperor has a reminder of why he has stuck with it for so, so long. So it's no surprise to me that Dorn is the first loyalist Primarch to die after the Heresy (unless this has been retconned).

Sanguinius - He boarded Horus's flagship, and not only that, but faced Horus at the height of his fallen powers knowing it would cost him his life, and he, in contrast to the Lion, represents the Emperor's choice to pay the price himself for humanity. I have no doubt that the Emperor could have risen to prominence earlier in his life, and it would have been easier for him to unite a world not so divided at pre-Unification Terra, but he did not. He didn't do it for glory, or for power, though he desires both. He did it because it was right. Sanguinius to me is the closest of the 18 to balance between idealism and pragmatism. He believes so strongly in his father and in his cause that he will take the necessary steps to bring it to fruition, even if that means his own death.

Ferrus Manus - The heart of the Imperial ideal. Whereas Fulgrim sought to be creative in order to make something beautiful, Ferrus creates things which are practical. Despite his immense gift for technology, through the Heresy (as far as I'm aware) he is only seen making weapons for his brothers. This, I believe, reflects the Emperor's notion of what the Imperium should be. He knows what mankind needs in order for them to become the race he sees them becoming, and so while he can definitely provide other things for humanity, he won't. Your mother can bake you cupcakes all day long, but ultimately that's going to be bad for you. To grow up strong, you need to eat things that you probably won't like. Ferrus represents this part of the Emperor's view of humanity.

Guilliman - Discussed above. I believe the reason the Emperor used Guilliman in place of another Primarch when he censured Lorgar was because, if he represents the Emperor's ability to take a very long time to formulate the 'perfect blueprint' for his plans, Guilliman would have reflected best how he felt Lorgar should be using the time spent on worlds after they'd been brought to compliance; raising them up to be glorious examples of the Imperium rather than covered in glorious altars to the Imperator.

Vulkan - The equality of mankind. We all know that of all the Legions, the Salamanders work closest with the people of their homeworld, and I believe this came down from their Primarch. Vulkan represents the way that the Emperor sees all of humanity across the galaxy, be they feral, backward barbarians or Adeptus Astartes. Each have a role within the Imperium, and the Imperium requires their unity in order to function.

Corax - The Emperor occasionally raises himself above the ethics and practices of ordinary humans in order to get the job done. We see this in his attempts to break into and use the Eldar webway, despite it being Xenos in origin. We see this in his enslavement of the Dragon C'Tan on Mars so that, eventually, the red planet becomes the seat of technological understanding that it is today. We see it in his choice to send Russ above all others to censure Magnus. Corax, from what little I know of him, represents this. In his use of genetic experimentation to put his Legion back together after Istvaan V, Corax shows that he is capable of going beyond the normal reaches of polite society to achieve his goals.

Feel free to add, comment, change, rip apart, etc... I'll have a look at the Idealists when I get back from work, unless I can sign into Warseer on my useless Blackberry.

malika
11-11-2010, 08:58
But wouldn't Alpharius also be the ultimate pragmatist? Using whatever he can get his hands on to obtain his goals?

Lord Fatwa
11-11-2010, 20:06
But wouldn't Alpharius also be the ultimate pragmatist? Using whatever he can get his hands on to obtain his goals?

Also being the key word here. ;)

Alpharius (referring to both Alpharius and Omegon) is fascinating because he can be both. However... Taking into account the old Index Astartes article which painted him as a true 'youngest son', always perceiving himself to be the least and motivated by the desire to be counted as an equal to his brothers, I believe that Alpharius both represents the Emperor's mental discipline and his desire for personal glory. Let me explain...

Within the heart of any artist, there is the desire for one's work to be appreciated for the depth and majesty that the artist themselves sees in it. It's not necessarily that they want the artwork itself to be recognised as brilliant, but rather through the art the artist is made exceptional in the eyes of the masses. Part of this is because as an artist sculpts or paints or composes, they sow seeds of themselves into the work, and so when the work is praised, the praise is reflected back onto the artist.

I see Alpharius in this light. His chosen method of warfare is like an orchestra score, with each completely independent instrument moving harmonically together through different speeds, pitches, tones, and so forth, under the masterful control of one conductor; the potential climax of which is found in the old IA article where Alpharius, having proved his point about his use of underhanded stealth tactics and therefore gained the acknowledgment of the ever-disapproving Guilliman, allows Guilliman to kill 'him', his work completed.

MEcorp
11-11-2010, 22:06
Although I really like this idea and its presentation I generally see it the other way around. Many of the traitors are the pragmatists in my opinion while the loyalists remain idealistic. Perturabo I see as far more pragmatic than Dorn; willing to shatter worlds to ensure compliance, while Dorn scorns cowardly methods and subterfuge. Mortarion and Angron are both pragmatic, Mortarion being swayed primarily by belief in victory rather than any ideals. I would also personally file Sanguinius under idealist and place the Night Haunter in his place as a pragmatist. Really I feel that these two provide a really good contrast to each other.

Sanguinius believes ultimately that humanity is good, that it can overcome and that all it needs is guidance. In the end he is willing to sacrifice himself for his ideals.

The Night Haunter on the other hand sees the evil, greed and cowardice in humanity and accepts it. He also believes that humanity needs guidance but to keep it in line, rather than to lift it up. The Haunter is willing to do whatever is necessary, going far beyond any of his brothers in this respect. Ultimately though he proves unwilling to truly sacrifice himself for his ideals.

mob16151
12-11-2010, 01:37
The Night Haunter on the other hand sees the evil, greed and cowardice in humanity and accepts it. He also believes that humanity needs guidance but to keep it in line, rather than to lift it up. The Haunter is willing to do whatever is necessary, going far beyond any of his brothers in this respect. Ultimately though he proves unwilling to truly sacrifice himself for his ideals.

To me Night Haunter is the greatest idealist of all the Primarchs. He sees the brutality of the human race, but to ensure Humanity's future he becomes the biggest monster of all. And then when he's outlived his usefulness, he allows an imperial assassin to take his head. And shatters his legion in the process, thus making them much less of a threat to the imperium.

Son of Medusa
12-11-2010, 06:51
Ferrus Manus - The heart of the Imperial ideal. Whereas Fulgrim sought to be creative in order to make something beautiful, Ferrus creates things which are practical. Despite his immense gift for technology, through the Heresy (as far as I'm aware) he is only seen making weapons for his brothers. This, I believe, reflects the Emperor's notion of what the Imperium should be. He knows what mankind needs in order for them to become the race he sees them becoming, and so while he can definitely provide other things for humanity, he won't. Your mother can bake you cupcakes all day long, but ultimately that's going to be bad for you. To grow up strong, you need to eat things that you probably won't like. Ferrus represents this part of the Emperor's view of humanity.

I liked this a lot, and would sig it if I could. :)

Thanatos_elNyx
12-11-2010, 08:29
This has been speculated before.
Horus, the Emperor's Ambition personified,
Magnus, the Emperor's thirst for knowledge personified,
etc.

Good post.

Lord Fatwa
24-11-2010, 18:42
I liked this a lot, and would sig it if I could. :)

Thanks heaps man. Welcome to Warseer!



Right. Apologies to those who were interested for letting this die, but I got freaking engaged. Which understandably took up a big chunk of my time, and so I wasn't able to sit down and nut out the remaining (idealist) Primarchs.

First though, I want to clarify what I believe the difference between pragmatism and idealism is. I don't see the idealists as being airy fairy or unrealistic at all. Gandhi, for example, was an idealist. Nor do I see the pragmatists as being heartless and believing in nothing. It's just that to the idealists, there might be a more practical way of doing things, but that doesn't mean it's the 'right' one. However, it also allows an idealist to continue onwards, believing in their own rightness in spite of any moral or ethical complications. On the other hand, to the Pragmatists,

Now, thanks to TFH, we know that each of the traitor Primarchs, as well as the Lion, were fiddled with by Chaos during their journey from Luna to their respective homes. Perhaps part of this 'fiddling' process was to create or nurture within them a belief or 'faith' (bad choice of word) in insubstantial, immeasurable things like integrity or the inherent goodness of mankind. I believe that this is the core of what separated them from their brothers, who weren't so touched by the gods in the Warp, and so are more able to put their trust in tangible, definable things.

So. Here goes.



ANGRON - Integrity.
If Angron had a box, or a can, or some other manner of packaging, he would do exactly what it said he would do. His Father designed him to be a weapon, and a weapon he is. He gains no satisfaction from strategy, or deployment, or the spoils of war. He wants to fight. This goes beyond his simple desire to fight though. As a gladiator-slave on his homeworld, he swore an oath to those who had fought with him to freedom, and when the Emperor snatched him away from their final battle; the battle he knew they were all to die in, his grief is palpable... Not because of those he lost, but because he broke his word to his warriors (see the short story in Tales of Heresy for more info - He's so broken up about he kills tens of World Eater captains before Khan can persuade him that they're his Legion). This trait is a difficult one to define within the Emperor himself, but I believe it's part of the reason why he won't allow mankind to worship him. While he knows that he's more than any human being could ever hope to be, he also knows that he's not a God. While it would undoubtedly be appealing to his ego to take that worship, his integrity cannot let him.




FULGRIM - Purity of intent
Possibly the best example of one separate aspect of the Emperor's personality being ultimately not working without the balance of the other parts. Fulgrim's ultimate goal is that, in the perfecting each member of his Legion, he will create a perfect whole. This mirrors the Emperor's goal to create a utopian empire for mankind, and is the reason why I believe they were honoured as the only Legion to be allowed to use the Imperial Eagle on their armour. However... While the intention is good, and indeed right, their ultimate goals are different. I believe that, once his plan had been completed, the Emperor wished that the Imperium could have survived without him, hence the installation of Horus as Warmaster at Ullanor. While he was undoubtedly hands-on and instrumental in the beginning, the Emperor desired that mankind be able to go forward without him, as Terra did while he spent years creating the Primarchs on Luna.

Fulgrim's intention was to make himself perfect. This is undoubtedly noble. His problem was that he was working with too narrow a vision. Without the Emperor's inherent faith in humanity despite the 'human condition', Fulgrim becomes increasingly frustrated, looking for outside methods (the surgeries performed by Bile for example), quickening his fall to Chaos. Fulgrim missed that he, and all his brothers, were already perfected in the Emperor himself.




PERTURABO - Self-righteousness
Where Dorn is the Emperor's resolve, standing firm against the attacks of others when they believe themselves to be right, Perturabo represents the kind of believe in one's self that allows the Emperor to not only take over Terra, but at the same time do away with religion. He overthrows his tyrannical adopted father on his homeworld, and installs the Imperial ideal as that which Olympia will live under. When the remaining followers of his father rise up during his absence in the Great Crusade, he returns and slaughters the rebels, city by city. Millions of them, and those who aren't killed are enslaved. This is all Pre-Heresy too.

I believe Perturabo is a picture the Emperor's ability to whittle down and enemy's resistance slowly and completely. We see this also in how completely he defeats the Imperial Fists in the Iron Cage. He not only understands his adversary, but uses his understanding to pinpoint flaws that he can exploit. He knows that the battle is personal matter of pride for Dorn, so instead of beating him with one punch, he slowly takes him to pieces, making him doubt himself until the final crushing moment when he realises that at the centre of the Cage is... nothing at all. There was never anything at stake for Perturabo. As soon as Dorn had committed himself, Perturabo had won. But he didn't stop at victory. He stopped at his enemy's defeat.




More a bit later. Hopefully tonight. :)

Son of Sanguinius
25-11-2010, 03:38
Now. Based on some of the conversations between various Word Bearers and Lorgar in TFH, as well as the astrological chart thing that the Emperor gave Horus which is mentioned in one of the first two books, it is supposed that each Primarch represents a facet of the Emperor's personality. What interests me about this is that while all of these different bits of the Emperor's mind/soul/essence work together perfectly well within the Emperor himself, when he splits himself off into twenty separate, individual beings, things start to fracture. Tension and competition between the brothers is evident from early on in the Great Crusade, which then boil over completely.

In my opinion, the Primarchs represent more than reflections of the sides of the Emperor's personality. I think they are his personality, or more accurately, the Emperor used portions of his own soul as the basis for the souls of the Primarchs. This makes it easier to explain why they are so acutely focused on certain aspects of the Emperor and why, as you say, things start to fracture.


For those who understand the Four Temperaments personality groupings, I think the Emperor seems to be portrayed as a 'melancholy-choleric' sub-type, in that he represents the creative, idealistic, incredibly analytical Melancholic, taking millennia to plan his unification of Terra and his Great Crusade to bring about humanity's glorious secular, psychic rule of the galaxy coupled with the driven, focussed, incredibly pragmatic Choleric, who will sanction the deaths of billions who secede from his vision of the perfect humanity; who can wait until the moment is just right to reveal himself to the world; who can, allegedly, take it upon himself to make a pact with Gods he intends to destroy to create the sons he needs to complete his plan.

I think the Emperor lies in the middle of the four or encompasses the four. Everyone likes to focus on his pragmatic side, but if the Primarchs represent his personality, he has to have particularly potent emotional sides as well.


If indeed the Emperor can be thusly split, then it stands to reason that his sons, as facets of his personality, can be divided as to reflect the Emperor's melancholy or his choleric. To me, those Primarchs and the legions who remain loyal represent the pragmatic side, particularly Dorn and Roboute. Dorn's gift for rendering a fortress impregnable can be likened to the Emperor's steely, emotionless resolve that has kept him sure of his purpose over what would doubtless have been many trying and lonely millennia. Similarly, Guilliman's ability to create the seamless infrastructure that made Ultramar so powerful may represent the Emperor's patience in planning.

I don't find Dorn to be particularly pragmatic. Relentless resolve and stubbornness to not necessarily entail pragmatism, and often times can prove to be pragmatism's undoing.


On the idealistic side, there are many, simply by virtue of the fact that, so far, the novels have spent more time on the heretical Primarchs than their loyalist brothers. Fulgrim, who longs for perfection in all that he does, and Night Haunter, who terrorises the sin and corruption from his homeworld, both mirror the Emperor's desire to create and build a perfect human empire. Magnus, an incredibly powerful psyker, obsessed with knowing all the secrets of the universe, represents the Emperor yearning to rule - knowledge, after all, is power. In contrast to Dorn's belief that war should be fought in the open, Alpharius and Omegon revel in secrecy and sleight of hand, distrustful of any outside their own. To me, this reflects the Emperor's great care to not reveal his work of art until it was just so.

It's interesting that you use only traitor Primarchs to highlight the Emperor's idealism. There is something to be noted in the idea that many of the idealistic Primarchs did turn on him, as it reflects the concept that the ultimate utopia is impossible and obsession over it leads to insanity.

I really think that the idealism of questing for a utopia is best utilized when tempered with the pragmatism necessary to realize that while utopia is impossible, the important part is the journey itself.


And then to Lorgar. Lorgar the Loyal. Ironically, considering the Emperor's treatment of him early in TFH, the one who represents the Emperor's faith in humanity, no matter what they lower themselves to. You would imagine that over his 40,000+ years on Earth that he would have seen such depravity and debasement in mankind that he would've just given up and tried to figure out how to end us all himself. But no. He didn't. Lorgar is born of the Emperor's belief that the human race are the rightful inheritors of the galaxy.

Which makes it so tragic that Lorgar is the first to turn away from him.

I don't agree with your initial statements about Lorgar. Lorgar's only true allegiance was to his perceived truth and his quest to find it. While that truth revolved around the Emperor, Lorgar is indirectly loyal to the Emperor.

But I think we all know now what happened when he sought truth beyond the Emperor.


As an aside, this theory may go some length as to explain the reason why the Emperor seems fairly cold and distant towards his sons in parts of the narrative (narrative voice notwithstanding). It's like he has spent so long with all of these different idiosyncrasies working together perfectly well within himself, and he seems almost surprised that his sons aren't capable of the same thing.

I don't think people appreciate how frightening harmony and balance can be. An integral part of the human experience is the exploration of our psychological extremes. Mental chaos, as it were. We are natural, biological creates with brains that reason. Such a combination is volatile. A person in harmony by necessity has calmed this volatility and exists, however temporarily, in a mental state separated from the overwhelming majority of the rest of us. I think the Emperor's mind and soul exhibit this type of balanced aloofness, and while it isn't constant, I imagine he would make determined attempts to maintain it in front of his sons as a method of balancing their own humours and giving them an example to follow.

Am I making any sense?

Lord Fatwa
26-11-2010, 07:04
Firstly, you are making great amounts of sense.


In my opinion, the Primarchs represent more than reflections of the sides of the Emperor's personality. I think they are his personality, or more accurately, the Emperor used portions of his own soul as the basis for the souls of the Primarchs. This makes it easier to explain why they are so acutely focused on certain aspects of the Emperor and why, as you say, things start to fracture.


Agreed. Absolutely. I think I was trying to imply this without actually having the words to do so. I'm not sure how I missed it, but this is a very eloquent way of putting it. I like.



I think the Emperor lies in the middle of the four or encompasses the four. Everyone likes to focus on his pragmatic side, but if the Primarchs represent his personality, he has to have particularly potent emotional sides as well.

Again, I do agree with this, but to a point. When the Emperor made the Primarchs, he was making warriors. With this in mind, there are characteristics that relate to warfare and generalship and those that don't. I think the only sanguine trait that I can identify the Emperor bestowing to his sons is the sense of paternity they feel towards their Astartes. However, others may have more insight than this.



I don't find Dorn to be particularly pragmatic. Relentless resolve and stubbornness to not necessarily entail pragmatism, and often times can prove to be pragmatism's undoing.

Yeah, I know. I need to flesh that out a bit more. I'm in the process of drawing up a continuum thing showing where each Primarch would sit in between the extreme idealist and extreme pragmatist with the Big E in the centre. Dorn's pretty close to the middle.



It's interesting that you use only traitor Primarchs to highlight the Emperor's idealism. There is something to be noted in the idea that many of the idealistic Primarchs did turn on him, as it reflects the concept that the ultimate utopia is impossible and obsession over it leads to insanity.


I really think that the idealism of questing for a utopia is best utilized when tempered with the pragmatism necessary to realize that while utopia is impossible, the important part is the journey itself.

I honestly don't believe that the Emperor ever intended the Imperium to be a utopia. I think he knew it was impossible for an imperfect race to create a perfect society, however, I think he knew that we could do a lot better as a species. Liberty from 'faith' and the Imperial Webway would have made life a hell of a lot easier for the fledging empire, and I think that was his goal. I think he sold it as utopia so that people would get behind it and give their best to the idea of the Imperium, so that the actual Imperium could flourish, and I believe that's why the more idealistic Primarchs rebelled, as they believed in the perfect world.



I don't agree with your initial statements about Lorgar. Lorgar's only true allegiance was to his perceived truth and his quest to find it. While that truth revolved around the Emperor, Lorgar is indirectly loyal to the Emperor.

But I think we all know now what happened when he sought truth beyond the Emperor.

I know. But the thing that sticks out to me the most about Lorgar after reading TFH was his loyalty to the human race. It wasn't just about discovering the truth, it was about humanity knowing the truth, even though it might hurt them. Lorgar, I believe, was committed utterly to the betterment of humanity. As soon as he 'realised' the Emperor wasn't, he turned away from him.



I don't think people appreciate how frightening harmony and balance can be. An integral part of the human experience is the exploration of our psychological extremes. Mental chaos, as it were. We are natural, biological creates with brains that reason. Such a combination is volatile. A person in harmony by necessity has calmed this volatility and exists, however temporarily, in a mental state separated from the overwhelming majority of the rest of us. I think the Emperor's mind and soul exhibit this type of balanced aloofness, and while it isn't constant, I imagine he would make determined attempts to maintain it in front of his sons as a method of balancing their own humours and giving them an example to follow.

Absolutely. And not only that, but before they were scattered across the galaxy, I'm sure the Emperor intended for the Primarchs to grow up together and learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses and indeed learn from each other during their youth. This would create much more of a brotherhood between them and allow for a lot more cohesion. As it was, they grew up isolated from each other and so were left to 'feed' only from the part of the Emperor's soul/personality/chakra that he had imparted to them, which in the end drove them further apart instead of bringing them closer together. Bearing in mind that the Emperor had tens of thousands of years to make peace with these warring aspects of himself, and so would have been a fairly good teacher to his young sons.

I hope to add further to the above list of idealists tonight, but I may not be able to, as apparently I'm required to help my fiancee write a guest list for our wedding.

I'm not looking forward to it.