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Saturday, June 25, 2011

aspiring tyrant, despot or autocrat

Six thousand baboons on horseback, half-starved and crazy-eyed. The smell of blood and horse manure. Those were the days. I could thunder across the plains in a long beard and these apes would piss their saddles. Not anymore. Tyrannies are a dull electronic affair now, no longer hard-fought, but creeping, established by stealth and subterfuge.

So sheathe you sword, stranger, you will not need it. You will see no blood, no plunder, no rape. You will see the images - lots of them - but that's all. The images are all that matter these days. They can be disseminated to baboons worldwide almost instantaneously, but usually they are touched-up in studio first, enhanced and then narrated by “experts”, political idols and other baboons of repute.

Your tyranny will not by like mine, stranger. It will be more complex. In my day, we adhered to simple, time-honored precepts from wiser men than ourselves. Me, I followed only one: men must be either pampered or crushed because they can get revenge for small injuries, but not grievous ones*.

I feared only the dagger and the phial of arsenic, and to protect myself from both I had a fortress of men that I maintained and – it follows – pampered.

You, stranger, you will fear extradition, infamy, courts of law and complicated jurisdictions. Your enemy will be the emboldened baboon with a keyboard. Your path will be riddled with sycophants, bureaucrats and do-gooders, and behind them will be an army of baboons afflicted with the sickness of this modern age: self-importance.

I pity you, stranger.

You want my advice? Drop it. It isn’t much fun anymore. Buy a yacht. Go sailing.

…mmm, but I see you’re determined.

Well, you have money, yes, but no territory and no man to rule over. You can’t conquer land these days, not successfully, not like we used to. Some territories can be bought, but these are intemperate, depopulated zones; you could rule there in peace, but I trust this does not interest a man such as yourself.

To rule in this day age – to really rule – there is only one territory of any significance. It holds within itself all territories: it is the baboon’s mind. You rule there, stranger, and you can control the baboon without force, like magic.

An old-timer like me cannot tell you how to do this, not in this modern age, but I can tell you what you must achieve, that has not changed and it never will.

It is very simple, stranger: YOU must tell the baboon who he is; you must never permit the baboon to discover this for himself.




*Machiavelli, The Prince

Thursday, June 2, 2011

letter from the galaxy (flats and tubulars IV)

(flats and tubulars I) (flats and tubulars II) (flats and tubulars III)

Thank you for the footage of life where you are. I enjoyed it, but this mister sir attenboro narrates like he is pacifying a crowd of children. I silenced him mostly, except for the section on so called “primates”. There I wanted to know what he had to say because they reminded me much of your descriptions of “flats and tubulars”, and I had to wonder to what extent the two are related, if they are not one and the same

So, yes, it was interesting, but it did not help me to find you on a map, you bozo! Your so called “Terra” is just a speck of dust in a swath of stars. And this “Sun” you speak of, the star you say you are orbiting, no one has ever heard of it. Not here at least. I’m not saying you lied, Lui, maybe you got the name wrong, maybe you weren’t paying attention again. And perhaps it is not clearly visible in the sky, so just ask someone, don’t be embarrassed; they won’t expect you to know that as a foreigner.

Anyway, I hope it was worth it. I hope you’re not now asking yourself why you consented to be frozen to absolute zero, why you consented to 3450 days of capsule-sleep, and why you consented to leave behind everything you love. Do they have that where you are, Lui, love? It is possible under twice the gravitational pull and with all these aggressive quadrupeds in your midst?

I really hope you don’t regret it. I really I hope you’re not constantly asking yourself how our weekly game of Quadboard went (Gaorman and Storm are still upset with you, by the way), and I also hope these so called “flats” you couldn’t stop talking about are as “stimulating” and “fascinating” as you pronounced them. I’ll be honest, if they are at all like these primates on the footage you sent me, well, was it really worth it?

Look, let me just let it out, ok: Damn you, Lui! You’re a real jerk, you know that. I have NO idea where you are, and did you bother to send me even a few words to let me know you’re ok? No. Just some footage of creatures croaking and furry quadrupeds who do nothing but eat, sleep and attack each other in broad daylight. In the footage I watched five spotted quadrupeds attack a clayish giant with a flexible pipe hanging off his face, the “elephant” so called. They clambered onto its back, they tore at its flesh. It was horrible.

I hope you can deal, Lui, because let's be honest, you’re not exactly an adventurer. It worries me. You have to be quick on your feet with all these predators. And with twice the gravitational pull out there, compared to these quadrupeds you must be something like a tranquilized “baboon”.

I don’t hate you. I don’t envy you - god knows! - I just miss you, Lui. That’s all.

From afar, yours always,

QB

Ps- Storm won the Quad in three