Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: China's Monday Morning Quarterback – Weak Points and Strongby Sun Tzu, as channeled through AJ Mass -- 10/29/2007
View Printable version of this article
Last week, we bore witness to the first true tactical assault of the war, as Zhan Hu allowed themselves to be defeated so that they could take out Aaron, the former leader of Fei Long. Todd now seems to wield the strategic wand, yet whatever moves he would make would be reactionary to the initial strike. Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. Todd may think he is the player, but it is he who is getting played.
Numerical weakness is but an illusion. It comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us. After the removal of Aaron, Fei Long was weakened in number though they held the most people to their flag. They worked hard to make preparation against Zhan Hu.
O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy. Assuming that Zhan Hu would again forfeit immunity, Todd hatched his scheme. Acquire the idol, give it to the digger of graves and have the loss play out. Then the tables would be turned and Zhan Hu would lose one of their council in his stead.
However, Todd ignored the fact that secrecy works only in secret and now not only has he forfeit his prize, his advantage, his protection, his idol – he has also alerted nearly all others, both friend and foe, to its very existence and given them chances to move against him. He might still have been successful, for he has tried so hard to listen well to my words. He has marked well that one must form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole, which means that we shall be many to the enemy's few. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits. However, he has failed to note that others may hear my words, too. The general may indeed believe that he is the wisest in his own army, but he must not forget that the enemy has a wise leader as well.
Peih-Gee, having led the initial assault from afar, tried to ensure that her troops, though separated by distance, were still a single united body. She reached out to Sherea and was turned a deaf ear. The divine art of subtlety and secrecy works not when you are behind enemy lines. Sherea neglected to respond, and as such, wrote her own death warrant. Peih-Gee needed to change course, and force the efforts she assumed that Fei Long were making to be for naught.
My counsel has always been thus: Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances. Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.
Peih-Gee and her lovebird confidants decided to win immunity this time. The enemy who knows not where the attack may come from will be caught completely unprepared. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in their way. With no plan in place for actual effort and energy from Zhan Hu, all of Todd's machination earned him naught. Now he has lost the secret. He has lost the unity. He has lost his way.
He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning may be called a heaven-born captain. My good grace falls on Peih-Gee this week. However, know that there are short days and long; the moon has its periods of waning and waxing. And there is always time for a leader to learn from his past errors. Todd has time to do this, though the hourglass is not as full as it once was.
Until then, I diminish and remain, Sun-Tzu.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
When not speaking on behalf of long-dead Chinese philosophers, AJ Mass writes about fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You may reach him at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: China page, and take a look at our Dancing with the Stars page and our America’s Next Top Model page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
View Printable version of this article