Friday, January 5, 2007

Return of the King

So my first official day on the job, I spend in a freezing vault, tapping on a laptop keyboard, trying to count to one hundred.

They never tell you about the sexy jobs, in the brochures.

Thankfully, I'm finally home, in a warm house, tapping on a laptop keyboard....never mind.

This is kind of one of those Tigerhawk, things "I know to be true, but can't prove."

Used to be, when the King got uppity, you'd go, lop of his head, and set up a new king. Then, when his descendants got uppity, you'd go lop of his head. After awhile, this got tiring. So, over a long weekend and some crumpets, people settled on this idea of limiting the powers of Kings. A little Magna Carta here, a little separation of powers there. A couple of weeks went by, and folks decided, well, instead of calling them Kings, we call the Presidents. In all but a few backwards places (House Saud, The Little Emirates, etc) Presidents began to replace Kings. Now, forward, progressive places, like the United States, France, Venezuela, Iran, Russia and whatnot have Presidents (yes, I know, some great places have Prime Ministers, but let's not ruin the story).

Well, this is all fine and dandy for the little man, but who is he, anyways? What about the Kings needs? Well, needless to say, the King gets a little P.O.ed, having to submit himself to the will of the people, every two, four, twenty, "next revolution" years, and tries, every so often, to push the djin back into the bottle. A little rule here, we'll curb this, but not that, okay, it's time to curb that, now let's limit this...all, of course, in the name of tranquility and the common good.

You ever read James Clavell's Tai-Pan? I like this line [heavy paraphrasing] "If the King of England decreed that only he could write in vermilion ink, then every Asian trader would send him a letter offering to supply the ink...written in vermilion ink."

See what the King has to deal with, day in and day out?

So it's in the King's interest to find a way to do that. And mightily he struggles. A few days ago, I put up a toon about religion being the opiate of the masses.

In the hands of individuals, it is not. In the hands of the State? Well, "All hail the new King, different from the old King."

Remember the Balkan Wars? Not the latest ones, but the Balkan Wars from 1912-1913? The one that emboldened the Serbian Black Hand to assassinate Archeduke Ferdinand. Assassinate him not because he would be King (autocratic), but because he would not (classically liberal).

History is like that. The passion of our times are often merely doormats to nightmares down the road.

Of course, this is all crazy talk. You know, things I know to be true, but can't prove.

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