This links to my website, Jacky Paper Studios. I’m an illustrator, writer, maker-of-comics, and in all things a storyteller. I also do commissions, because eating is something I like to do now and then.
A storyteller is nothing without an audience, so please reblog!
The art of Jack Park
Jack Park (aka Jacky Paper) is me. I have an actual website now.
People are really down on Chivalry.
I mean, sure, it’s fun to poke fun of it. The pursuit of glory seems pretty silly now, as does the idea of pledging such deeds to the honor of a woman. And for whatever reason, chivalry has been reduced in the public mind into opening doors for women. At best seen as charming, if old-fashioned; at worst, borderline chauvinist.
But there was more to it than that. Most of it was about things like protecting the weak and defenseless, to be honest and true, to respect the honor of women. To always be good and right, and act against evil and injustice. To be loyal, generous, and merciful. To never lose faith, to persevere to the end. To obey their lord, unless their duties went “against the laws of God”. To strive to act well and do good. The particulars of the code vary on who you ask, but it was always about virtue, honor, courage, and service- service to God, to their lord or king, and to those who could not defend themselves. Knights were expected to act in the service of women, and in particular in the service of the woman they loved (very separate from sex or marriage, it was a weird time).
I mean, yes, of course, there are aspects that are no longer relevant, or that need to be reinterpreted to fit with a more enlightened time. Women are every bit the equal of men and should be treated as the people they are, not solely as things to protect, that inspire men. ‘Defending The Church’ is not in my mind nearly as important as defending the wisdom and goodness that religions teach us, and defending that which is sacred.
Oh, and the bits added during the crusades about not hesitating to make war against the infidel, those should probably just be ignored.
But while this was a code specific to those of certain birth, and only to men, I don’t see why it couldn’t be applied to anyone who finds its ideals inspiring.
The core of chivalry, rather than it’s particulars, is I think something to aspire to.
Honor- truly maintaining honor, not just the appearance of it, and respecting the honor of others. Courage. The pursuit of Justice. Perseverance. Generosity. Mercy. Defending those who cannot easily defend themselves. Being willing to risk yourself for another. Fighting evil and injustice. Finding strength and inspiration through love. Acting with nobility, not of birth but of spirit.
What a strange sort of world, where the jesters are the only ones we trust to be honest. Stranger still, that so often they’re the only ones who are.
Governments (and as far as I can tell this is all governments, ever) seem to alternate between being the most powerful, terrifyingly efficient things you can imagine capable of the great goods and great evils of mankind; and being things that resemble a comedy puppet show of caricatured, incompetent stereotypes, entirely directed by gophers.
Is this your card?
Of course not, don’t be silly.
They’re all our cards.
We keep the cards
We print the cards
We shuffle and deal them
and the house always wins.
We’re always open, we never close
Don’t ask for the management
They’re on christmas break
Yes of course it’s still june
Why do you ask?
Welcome to the fabulous Caligula’s Court,
hotel and casino, where your money is always good,
And if you want a job, just ask.
We don’t have to be smart,
we don’t even have to be pretty
(After all, we have such pretty suits),
So long as you can shuffle, you can deal.
Welcome to the table, young man,
oh my, why you seem so gallant and true!
You say we cheat? Nonsense, but here,
You deal and deal fair, if you’re so concerned.
Let’s just cut your hair and fit you a suit.
We’ll teach you to deal
and gamble with money,
and sometimes with lives,
And every now and then with the future.
But the house always wins so don’t worry the cost.
Oh young gallant man,
Of course you can deal!
Just let us fix your tie first.
Don’t worry, sonny boy,
we can dull that unsightly gleam in your eye.
After all, an eye is no place for a shine.
Save those for your shoes
and your teeth.
I used to think love was the ultimate good.
Some child-part of me will probably always think that.
And maybe that child-part is right.
Love is a natural force. It’s powerful, and it’s beautiful; It creates and destroys and it is uncaring.
Like the forest, like the ocean, like humanity.
And still, I think, maybe the child-part is right.
It is exceedingly rare to find someone who has wronged you out of malicious intent. It does happen; because of misplaced frustration, or as an act of perceived rather than true justice; Sometimes just as random acts of ill-spirit inflicted on the world in an attempt to fill some hole inside, or to get even with a world that has hurt them.
But I’ve found that far more often, if you are wronged by someone, it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them doing something for completely unrelated reasons, and the ripples of that action have hit you in an unintentional and unfortunate way. Empathy goes a long way towards understanding the world better.
Because sometimes shining knights are thugs in armor,
and sometimes the witch is just a tired old woman.
Because the monster we must slay is so rarely a wyrm
but something more subtle and altogether too human.
And because the fairies can be cruel,
despite the fragrance of elfin wines.
Take care, because the monster is sometimes a maiden,
and the frog is sometimes a prince,
And sometimes the granny is really a wolf.
Take care because Jack is clever, but he is not always kind.
And a prince can be charming, and just tell you sweet lies.
Take care when you walk in the woods,
not to talk at length to silver-tongued wolves.
Be kind to the goblins, but do not taste their fruits.
Heed the advice of old women and eagles.
Be good to beggars and dwarves.
Take care to tell the tales anew
to children young in their knowing,
because the old stories of magic are told to the young
to stop wicked kings and queens from growing.