Tag Archives: Trump

Little Big Man

28 Jul

Little Big Man

Megalomaniac

By L. Stewart Marsden

It sounds like a period of prehistory. Megalomaniac. Surely somewhere near the Jurassic Age. Thundering dinosaurs. Sharp-toothed carnivores. Crashing through the tropical undergrowth to come down on some innocent triceratops who stopped to munch on a tasty clump of ferns or moss.

Perhaps this will be called the Megalomaniac Age Administration, where the tendency looks to seep down from the top and infect nearly every layer of staff.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning
Very, very frightening me.

– Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Was Alexander the Great a megalomaniac? How about Napoleon? Attila? Nero? Hitler? Stalin?

To some extent, I suppose you could say every great leader had the tendency. JFK, MLK, FDR, Patton, MacArthur, Sherman … Franklin, Washington?

How much of it is okay? What’s the dosage? A teaspoon every four hours? Where is the line between acceptable megalomania and that which is unacceptable and tragic?

And who came up with the idea? What entity thought, “Well, I think we need someone obsessed with him/herself and power so that change can be ramrodded down the throats of the common person?

Or, “The common people NEED a megalomaniac in order to attain a little perspective.

Who thinks that way? Probably the same mentality as when a father says to his child just before punishment, “This is going to hurt me more than you.”

You wonder what event in the lifetime of a megalomaniac triggered the condition? Parental abuse? Childhood bullies?

In those cases a person is a victim. It seems the abusers or bullies reflect megalomania more closely than someone who is victimized. Compensation, perhaps? Small stature? Small hands? Maybe a Stephen King-like event in the formative years?

One apparent result of megalomania: things end badly for that person and those close by. Family, friends, work associates don’t seem to fare well when the megalomaniac is toppled. I would use the word “peers,” but I don’t think a megalomaniac has any. That’s not so handy when it comes to facing a trial by jury of one’s peers if one is a megalomaniac. At least a trial is better than tar and feathering, regardless. Not that I would know.

That’s when the word “karma” inevitably comes into play.

Or so one hopes.

 

The Lonely King

27 Jan

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In 1685, King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes with the Edict of Fontainebleau. The Edict of Nantes provided certain religious and economic freedoms to the Huguenots, French protestants. With the revocation, Louis came down hard on Huguenots, demanding they recant their religion and convert to Catholicism, or else. The or else included loss of property, imprisonment for males, seclusion in convents for the women, torture and a variety of types of execution, including beheading and burning at the stake.

Numbers are debatable, but between 200,000 and 250,000 Huguenots fled France, many crossing the Atlantic to resettle in America. Charles Towne in now South Carolina was one of those destinations. Those who left represented about one percent of the population of France.

Two similarities strike me from that day and age to the present: the “ramrodding” of power by Louis, and the Huguenot diaspora, which included some of the most intelligent and creative French of the day.

A friend, considering (however seriously) leaving the US for places less antagonistic, got me to thinking. The poem below is the result of that cogitation (I apologize in advance for its poor literary quality):

 

The Lonely King

by Yours Truly

 

There was once a king
Who sat on his throne
Surveying his great and vast kingdom.
From the East to the West
To the ends of the earth
His realm could be equaled by none.

“Jester!” said he
To a motley-dressed clown
“Bring my fiddlers — I’m bored and want sound!”
But the clown,
With a frown, said
“Your fiddlers aren’t here,
Sire, they all have left town
And there’s no more sweet sound
To be found all around.”

“Left town? The lot of them?”

“Yes, Sire. The lot of them, sad to say,
Have amscrayed this place
Which is why there’s no music
To call for, Your Grace.”

“Why would they go and leave me alone?”

“I’m sure I don’t know,” said the clown to the king on his throne.

“Then bring me my choir, and bid them to sing!”

“Your Worshipful, that, alas, too, is a shame,
For all of your choristers — sopranos to altos,
Tenors to basses —
Have left your vast kingdom for far away places
So remote that some don’t even have names.”

“And my servants and wise men?”

“Please don’t despise them,
But they’ve all left the kingdom as well.”

“But WHY then? Why have they left me here all alone?
To mourn and to moan all alone on my throne?”

“But I am still here!” said the motley-dressed jester,
“And I’ll entertain you so your sadness won’t fester,
And agree with your wisdom and all your decrees
And serve you while groveling down on my knees!
There’s nobody else you need, if you please,
But motley-dressed, dancing clown, silly old me!”

The king sighed a sigh, and nodded,”You’re right.
Those silly old fiddlers, those out-of-tune singers,
Those supposedly-wise wise men,
Those fat, needy people, all stupid and lazy —
Why together they drove this king crazy all day and all night!

“I’m far better off here alone and without them!
Here on my throne with my kingdom about me.

“Who needs all that so-called music? Who needs the riff-raff?
I’m far better off alone on my throne
with my beautiful hand-carved elephant tusk staff
To decree my decrees with a sneer and a laugh.”

To wit, he said, to the clown kneeling there,

“Get me my quill and my parchment post-haste.
I’ve a decree to declare — why there’s no time to waste!”

And he whiled the days on his throne all alone,
(The exception, of course, was his true, loyal clown)
And made his decrees which the clown did declare
To the large empty kingdom, with pomp and with flair.

Disclaimer:
Any similarities between the King and any person living in the District of Columbia on Pennsylvania Avenue are purely, most sincerely, absolutely coincidental. And that’s the purely, most sincerely absolutely alternative Truth!

***

My Facebook post for November 17, 2016

17 Nov

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So, basically, nothing has changed. A different set of people are worried and frightened; a different set of people are the targeted bad guys; a different set of people can do no right (no pun); a different set of people are scrounging through the internet trash bins for “proof” of their particular biases; a different set of people … yadda, yadda, yadda.

The die is caste and …

We’re still going to hell in a handbasket.

The apocalypse is upon us.

The media is lining up to vivisect everything and everyone.

It’s Trump’s fault.

It’s Hillary’s fault.

It’s Barack’s fault.

It’s the fault of the DNC.

It’s the fault of the RNC.

It’s the fault of the Libertarians.

It’s the fault of the vote-wasters.

It’s the fault of those who didn’t show up at the polls.

It’s the fault of those who DID show up, but weren’t supposed to.

It’s the fault of the privileged.

It’s the fault of global warming.

It’s the fault of legalized marijuana.

It’s the fault of crack/cocaine.

It’s the fault of binging on Netflix.

It’s the fault of road rage.

It’s the fault of carbon imprints.

It’s the fault of solar power.

It’s Al Gore’s fault.

It’s George Bush’s fault.

It’s Putin’s fault.

It’s SNL’s fault.

It’s Wall Street’s fault.

It’s the fault of immigration policy.

It’s the fault of NAFTA.

It’s the fault of Conservative Christians.

It’s the fault of Liberal Christians.

It’s the fault of the Liberal Media.

It’s the fault of Fox News.

It’s the fault of whiney losers.

It’s the fault of the Basket of Deplorables.

It’s the fault of a constipated Congress.

It’s the fault of the Electoral College.

It’s the fault of lax gun control.

It’s the fault of threats on the 2nd Amendment.

It’s the fault of Roe v. Wade.

It’s the fault of attacks on Planned Parenthood.

It’s the fault of Vegans.

It’s the fault of McDonalds.

It’s the San Andreas’ fault.

It’s the fault of ____________________. (Fill in the blank)

So here’s a thought.

Print this out and fill in your own reasons for why our nation is caught up in this eddy of no return.

Put the printout on a fire-safe base in front of where you live at midnight tonight. (Be sure you have a bucket of water close by.)

Strike a match and burn the paper of faults.

From space, a sea of lights should be detectable by long-range satellite cameras, and that sea will slowly spread from the mountains, to the prairies, to the seashores, white with foam.

It will be like the recent Super Moon. Only it will be the Super Light of America symbolically destroying all of our excuses, and in the resulting ashes, perhaps we can then stand up and turn to each other and extend an open hand to greet one another.

Hi, my name is Skip. I’m part of the problem.

“Hi, Skip!” return humbled Americans.

Then we form a HUGE circle around the world, and we sing,

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Or, for others so inclined, “We are ONE in the spirit …”

Or, “We are the world …”

Or, “We are the champions …”

Or, the theme from “I Dream of Jeanie.”

ALL of us are better than this. ALL of us are needed to form a more slightly imperfect Union. Well, the word slightly is probably an understatement, regardless of your perspective.

Share if you agree.

I know EXACTLY WHO OF YOU is NOT going to do this, and IF YOU DON’T SOMETHING HORRIBLE AND UNIMAGINABLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU!!! On the other hand, if you do, all your wildest dreams will come true!

 

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