Sunday, April 27, 2014
King Luddite and the Green Wave
Once upon a time there lived an amiable king who was generally well regarded for his relaxed demeanor and his friendly smile. While he had been called the smiling executioner in a past, most of his subjects thought of him as a good bloke and a dab hand with a barbecue and he left most of the dirty work to his ministers. King Luddite loved tradition and the technology of the past and was very generous to his friends amongst the lords and nobles.
King Luddite lived in a huge palace and he never went anywhere without his bodyguards. He was very careful to not cause unrest and envy amongst his subjects by revealing his true wealth. He would put aside his expensive garments and make sure his bodyguards kept their distance when he regularly walked amongst the poor, dressed as one of them. Although many lived in extreme poverty, he reassured them them that he was doing his best to improve their lot. None of his subjects saw his crossed fingers behind his back as he talked about how things were going to improve. King Luddite was actually not very good at sharing and his first job before becoming King was as a money collector, and he had been very good at it.
King Luddite was the king of a small, relatively isolated kingdom and he spent much time ingratiating himself with the royalty of the largest nations. He enjoyed visiting the grand palaces of those countries and he didn't want to upset the most powerful kings and Queens if it meant that he could no longer receive invitations to their parties and balls. The king was quite prepared to sacrifice the rights of his own subjects to win favours from the great and mighty of the world.
King Luddite's belief in the old ways was such that he refused to accept the advice from his wise men. Powerful forces were at work in the world and his advisers regularly warned him of the impending dangers caused by his obsession with the black gold. King Luddite refused to listen as he did not want to give up his lifestyle and that of his affluent noble friends. It was the black gold that powered their luxurious carriages and allowed them to indulge in the benefits provided by the Black Barons. King Luddite was resolute in his belief in the black gold and he had invited the Black Barons into his kingdom to lay waste as they pleased in the search for more of the dangerous substance.
King Luddite's wise men also warned him about a Green Revolution that was spreading around the world that was rapidly devaluing the black gold and making it redundant. The Black Barons were fighting hard to maintain their supremacy and the value of their black gold by using massive bribes and gifting the world's rulers. They also spread nasty rumours about those leading the Green Revolution in an attempt to discredit them in the eyes of ordinary people. They likened the revolutionaries to terrorists and communists and questioned their mental health. King Luddite himself never let an opportunity pass where he could ridicule the revolutionaries and warn his subjects of the terrible things that would befall them if the green ideas took hold.
King Luddite was resolute in his belief in the power of black gold and he decided to make a public stand against the green tidal wave that was rapidly approaching his small kingdom. On September the 20th he decided would place his throne on the nearest beach and, with his ministers standing behind him, command that the wave come no further. He had once heard a story of another king who had done something similar and thought it sounded like a good idea. Of course he had never been a good history scholar and he had never bothered to consult his wise men.