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Survivor: China's Monday Morning Quarterback – Where There Is Smokeby Sun Tzu, as channeled through AJ Mass -- 12/10/2007
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In every army, the developments connected with fire must be known, the movements of the stars calculated, and a watch kept for the proper days of attack. The fire of treachery, of burning soldiers in their camp, can cause a soldier to lose his head, but it is crucial to remain calm. After the elimination of the digger of graves from an internal attack, the six who remained were in a clear four-two split. Peih-Gee and Erik probably hoped to continue the blaze of mutiny, but in order to carry out an attack, one must have means available. The material for raising fire should always be kept in readiness, and in this case, none was present.
If it is possible to make an assault with fire from without, you do not wait for it to break out within, but deliver your attack at a favorable moment. Peih-Gee had waited too long to crack the alliance of Todd, Amanda, Courtney, and Denise. Now was not the time. Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise, for the result is waste of time and general stagnation. By not fostering inroads of kindness into the group earlier, there was little chance of gaining confidence in the here and now. Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources. Peih-Gee merely tried to woo the maker of lunches out of necessity and not of anything more substantive than the clouds, which may themselves extinguish any fire with their tears.
What was the proffer to the maker of lunches? What kingdom of riches did Peih-Gee wish to bestow upon her? Peih-Gee pointed out correctly that Denise was last in the pecking order of the ruling quartet, but merely offered her a chance to improve one slot to third.
Imagine if Denise had agreed? What risk she would have made. At best the result would have been an even split of the vote and that resulting competition might well have still seen the elimination of Erik. A kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being, nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Now, with traitorous heart revealed, Denise can be assured not of fourth, but of swift execution and fifth place. Is this really the best lot for her? I think not.
No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. Though Denise may have been put off by the loss of James, and her not being let in on the change of earlier tactics, she was wise not to let her feelings supercede her best interests, that is, eliminating Erik forthwith.
With there now being but five remaining, the wisest move is to stand firm and get the others to turn on Todd of their own will. Then, with the fairer sex being all that remains, rising above one's station would be a far easier feat. Remember, move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical. And the timing was not right to provide more kindling for the fire.
The enlightened ruler is heedful and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact. The time was not yet right for Denise to make a move… but the sun now rises on a new day and the winds do blow differently. Denise, for you and for Amanda, the time has arrived. Heed my words or seal your fate, and with it, write the name of Todd in the book of champions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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