Thursday, April 24, 2008

Let Them Eat Stop & Shop Day Old

Today's equivalents of the arrogant utterances from Versailles in the 18th century might be today's arrogant utterances from the White House, and the current throw back utterances from the Vatican.

Louis XIV, liked to be called the Sun King, George W. Bush informs us that God told him to invade Iraq, the Pope claims that he is the Vicar of Christ.

Each of these individuals is a mere human being whom other human beings find a need to set upon a throne. What really fascinates me and also invokes my gag reflex, is that those who need to enthrone someone, do so in spite of the reality that those whom they enthrone live lives of luxury in stark contrast to the peasant level lives of their worshipers.

The kind of governance in place doesn't seem to matter much. Louis XIV was King of France, George W. Bush is President of the US, Benedict is the Pope of Catholics. Each one was set on a throne by different means.

I've never been in the White House and I've never been in the Vatican, though I have been in both buildings vicariously through photo images.

I have been in the Palace at Versailles.

Each of these buildings is a monument to opulence and extravagance. The opulence differs only in degree.

The occupants of these buildings, whether they occupy them by virtue of their blood relationship to previous occupants, a suspect electoral process, or chimney smoke and mirrors disguised as the will of God, knew what they were getting into.

Occasionally the current occupant has high minded ideas and ideals, which don't require living in decadent opulence. Barack Obama might be such a person. The previous Pope might have been such a person. Clearly Louis XIV was not.

What fascinates me is that the public which elevates such people to a thronal position might vehemently object to any attempt by their ruler to live more like the ruled. The exceptions to that point of view have been, notably, about the attitude of the ruler. Louis XIV exhibited contempt for his subjects and paid with his life.

The Pope waves to the crowd from his Popemobile, signifying
caring, but from behind bullet proof glass. George W. Bush fractures the English language, walks with a swagger, likes to be photo-opted cutting brush on his ranch and is thought of by many as a guy one would like to have a beer with.

It's not so much the Alpha Male or Female behavior that interests me, it's the behavior of those of their subjects who exhibit the need to elevate someone to the throne, to become the authority, more in the sense of power than in the sense of knowledge and wisdom. This behavior of the submissive, the voter, the worshipper extends even to the point of overlooking factual evidence that their leader exhibits behavior, expresses ideas and values which are clearly antithetical to,
and not in the interest of, their subjects, their flock and(arrrg) those they refer to as "my friends" or "my fellow citizens".

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

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