I just finished watching John Leguizamo's HBO special, Ghetto Klown. It's pretty awesome, especially if you like auto-biographies. What I liked most was his characterization of his father. Well, I liked a lot of it, but what I found most inspiration from a creative sense was his characterization of his grandfather. A Colombian communist who continues to prepare for the revolution through his elderly years. He's not actually being a communist revolutionary. He's just living in Queens, but that's always his agenda. He has to get ready.
And I LOVED it! I want that character in a story. I want a character who is wholly committed to a revolution that is never going to come, but is harmless enough that everyone lets him continue to be what he is. I want the old man who doesn't have time for the main character's shenanigans. He has to get ready for the revolution!
And then, five books in when the series is about to come to an end, everything that's been built up and won and accomplished by all the characters you've come to love will get wiped off the map when the revolution comes and the old guy was right the entire time. Because I'm an asshole like that. ;)