Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Penis Parables: The Little King

Once there was a little man from a wide, flat land. He was neither wise nor smart, but there were smart people who knew him and they hoped to make the man king so they could rule the land they lived in. The little man would do as they advised because they were his advisors. That’s how it was.
One day many of the people in the land went to their town squares to select a new king. The little man’s advisors carried him on their shoulders throughout the land, calling out to the people: “Look! Here is your king!” And the people looked about them to see what their neighbors did or to hear what they said. Many of their neighbors repeated what they had read or had seen elsewhere. Others simply repeated what those people said. And some said nothing at all or made jokes about the weather. Many people never even went to their town squares. They stayed home and watched the pictures on the wall or went to work. Some said: “One king is like another. I still need to feed my family.” Some just yawned and went back to sleep, because many of the people in this land liked very much to sleep. When they slept everything seemed better.
Soon it was time for the people to decide who would be king, the little man or some other man. So, the little man’s advisors lowered him from their shoulders and placed him on a giant mechanical tortoise, saying: “See how much he is like a king!” and the tortoise was led by the advisors to the great white castle by the river, not far from a tall, tall tower. “The people have spoken!” the advisors said. “Here is our king!” And the somber judges in their somber robes agreed. And, most of the people who were not sleeping said: “Yes, I guess he must be the king. He looks like the king and he acts like the king.” And those next to them, not wanting to appear troublesome, repeated what the others said, except for a few who no one wanted to listen to because they were always complaining.
So, the little man became the little king and all the advisors became the king’s advisors, and most of the people went back to sleep or off to work. Then, the little king rode the giant tortoise, led by his advisors, all across the land. Every time he left the great white castle and passed by the tall, tall tower, the little king looked up and said: “This is mine because I am king and I can do anything!”
Now, nearly everything in the land seemed to need the sunny syrup in order to work. Everyone used sunny syrup. It ran the giant tortoise. It ran their wagons and their mowers. It heated their homes and businesses. It even unstuck their sticky hinges. Without sunny syrup most everything would stop. The land would grow quiet, the air would become still. Sunny syrup ruled, and whoever ruled sunny syrup seemed to rule the land; and the little king’s advisors ruled the syrup and so, seemed to rule the land. But, the little king’s advisors were not content. They were greedy and wanted more. They wanted to rule the whole world! “We need ALL the sunny syrup!” they said. So, they set about making sure the world’s sunny syrup would be theirs. However, there were some problems.
One of the problems was that most of the sunny syrup was in other lands where other people lived. This wasn’t a big problem though, because they were OTHER people and didn’t need the sunny syrup as much as the people in the land of the tall, tall tower. The little king’s advisors made sure they could get as much sunny syrup as they wanted and if the other people objected the advisors advised the little king to send soldiers to the other lands to convince the other people otherwise. Some of the people in the land of the tall, tall tower objected too, but they were mostly the ones who always complain and no one paid much attention to them.
Another problem was that the sunny syrup made the sky grow dark. The more the people used, the darker it got. There was a big debate between the king’s advisors and the king’s magicians about this. The magicians said: “One day the sky will grow so dark we will not be able to see!” But the king’s advisors said: “Nonsense! The sky is vast and forever. It only gets a little dark at night. Besides, sunny syrup gives us light!” The magicians grumbled and mumbled among themselves, some of them not wishing to upset the little king’s advisors who might take away their magic castles, some wishing they could find another place to do their magic, and some not wishing at all because wishing is very unmagicific.
Still another problem was the elves. Among the people there were elves that always caused mischief. They made the people uneasy, disturbing their sleep. Elf messages were always appearing in the town squares or attached to the trees saying outrageous things like: “Sunny syrup sucks!” or “See the light!” or “Down with the king’s thing!” Also, elf pranks were forever being discovered, like the time some of the king’s advisors slipped on a slick of sunny syrup secretly slathered on the sanctimonious Senate’s slippery steps. But, worst of all, said the king’s advisors, were those vile little doubtables, kernels of doubt slipped into the sleeping people’s dreams. “Bad enough the people are losing sleep over all those stupid messages”; the little king’s advisors said, “Those damn elves are disturbing their dreams as well!”
So, the king’s advisors called upon the king’s guards to find the elves and punish them. But the guards were people too (at least most of them), and they had their own doubts. Elves, you see, are invisible. “When you think you’ve caught one”, said the corporal of the guard “It just turns out to be another person.” “Nonsense!” barked the king’s advisors, “They are bad people who disturb the people’s dreams. They are nightmarists!” And the little king was encouraged to make a proclamation declaring war on nightmares. He appeared before the people on the back of the giant tortoise saying: “All for one! Obey today!” waving his sword in the air. Many of the people became excited; their lives were kind of boring anyway and the new war seemed like something nearly everyone was cheering about so they put up flags and decorated their wagons and said bad things about elves.
Meanwhile, the sky was growing darker. Nights seemed to be getting longer and people were using more and more sunny syrup to keep the lights on. Some of the little king’s magicians begged him and his advisors to find other syrups to make things run, to use less sunny syrup so it would last longer and not make the sky so dark. The little king’s advisors scowled at the king’s magicians who said these things. They sent them away and hired new magicians who said things they liked to hear. They told the little king that the old magicians had been encouraging nightmarists, and they boarded up their magic castles.
Then one day the little king was returning to his great white castle on the giant tortoise after a long day of cutting off mountaintops with his shiny sword. As he approached the tall, tall tower he saw something that made him mad. Someone had painted “DOWN WITH THE KING’S THING!” in big, bold, black letters right on his tall, tall tower. “What’s this??” demanded the little king. But, no one knew how it got there, not even his advisors or magicians. The little king was very upset. When he got back to the great white castle he called for his father. The little king’s father told him not to worry, that he would fix everything as he always did, and he tucked the little king into bed, patted him on the head, and said goodnight.
The little king soon fell fast asleep and all seemed well. He began to dream about riding the great tortoise into the sky. Dark acrid smoke poured out from the back of the mechanical tortoise making it hard to see from behind where he had come from, but the little king didn’t care because up ahead of him were mountains of gold and valleys filled with silver. He dreamed it was all his and that he could fill storehouses with them forever. He dreamed the little birds and animals flocked to him and that he could play with them until he grew tired and then throw them away for newer, different ones. He dreamed he could do whatever he liked, wherever he pleased, and that everything would be as he wished for as long as he wanted, all because he was king of the vast, vast land.
But then he noticed a small tingling on the back of his neck. He began to feel uneasy for some reason. The little king quickly looked around for his advisors, but he was all alone on the back of the giant mechanical tortoise. He was all alone and up ahead loomed the tall, tall tower and it was getting closer and closer, faster and faster. Now the little king was becoming afraid. He called out to the tortoise to turn away or slow down, but the tortoise, as always, was silent. It floated closer, heading right toward the tall, tall tower. The little king was now very frightened, just like when he was a child. It seemed there was nothing he could do to stop the tortoise. If he jumped off he would surely fall to his death. Just as the little king was about to cry out in terror, as the giant tortoise neared the very tip of the tall, tall tower, he heard a loud hissing sound. To his amazement, the tortoise had impaled itself upon the tip of the tall white tower and had punctured. All the sunny syrup was running out of the tortoise and its deflated skin was draping itself around the tall, tall tower like a giant sheath, and the little king was perched at the tippy, tippy top, hanging on for dear life.
Soon, the great tortoise had completely deflated. It wrapped the tall, tall tower all the way around, and the little king was stranded way, way up on top. He looked down far below. It was a long, long way down, but there at the base of the tall tower stood his advisors on the grass looking up at him, scratching their heads and discussing among themselves what should be done. The little king called down to them, but they seemed not to hear. “What can I do?” wondered the little king. “It’s a dream”, said a soft voice from nowhere, “You can do as you wish, remember?” The little king was very amazed to hear a soft voice from nowhere way up on top of the tall, tall tower. Perhaps the voice was smart like his advisors far below who seemed not to hear him. So, the little king asked: “What’s the best way to get down?” But the voice from nowhere was silent. The little king was a little confused. He thought he might have heard a sigh, but it was high up where he was and it could have been just the wind blowing along the tortoise’s skin. The little king asked once again: “What’s the best way to get down?” This time the voice answered softly: “Use your common sense”.
Just then the little king saw one of his advisors below raise a megaphone. He heard his voice call out: “Stay where you are. We’ll get help.” The little king did not want to stay way up high where he was. The wind was getting stronger and his grip on the tip of the tall, tall tower seemed to be getting weaker. “What shall I do??” he cried. “Do the right thing”, the voice from nowhere replied and just then the little king felt his grip loosen and began to slip downward. He became VERY afraid, but suddenly he was awake. It was a dream, after all.
The days grew darker and the people slept on as well as they could. The war against nightmares continued, but the people’s enthusiasm had waned. There were fewer flags and decorations, many were limp and fading and beginning to look drab. The little king found excuses for putting off speeches and briefings. His advisors seemed to be talking among themselves more, falling silent when the little king entered the room. He tried to find some of the old royal magicians, but they seemed to have disappeared. He wanted to ask them about the darkening sky. The little king told some of his advisors to find some magicians who knew about the sky, but there were other matters that required his attention and his advisors were concerned about the upcoming reselection for king. The little king felt out of sorts. He tried to act like nothing was bothering him. He tried to tough it out. His advisors continued to talk quietly among themselves.
The elves were still leaving messages and planting kernels of doubt. There seemed to be more and more of them: elves, messages, and doubts. The sky also seemed to be getting darker and darker. No one, not the little king, nor his advisors, nor the magicians, not even the elves seemed to know how it would turn out. No one seemed to know how the story would end.


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