Guess what? By stopping the machinery of government at will, Congress has us in its thrall. That is not the way it is supposed to be. We chose them to be OUR paradoxically well paid thralls. Speaking of “pay,” their personal disbursements are the only ones unaffected by their arbitrary whim to gum up the works. Why is that? Because that also resulted from their whim. There appears to be a whimsical pattern emerging here – a consistency that becomes less and less whimsical, and more and more threatening to our wellbeing.

In ancient Rome, literally we would be the thralls, lorded over by rulers chosen diametrically opposed to our way of doing things. They supported a mad prince who did with us as he pleased. No matter what be his whim, no matter how irrational, they supported him to the hilt. When he decided to build an outsize structure for his own personal amusement, they sycophantically assented. If your fatal misery in the Coliseum that afternoon was to be his entertainment, then of course, all applaud enthusiastically. Too obvious? OK, we’ll move on.

Cleopatra barge

Cleopatra had this opulent barge, upon which she whimsically would cruise the Nile River at will. As she comfortably luxuriated upon soft pillows, topside, guess who was doing the rowing below? Right – her own thralls – the lucky ones, that is. Who knows what might have become of those of us who were not there? It could be that a cruise down the river, no matter on what level of the conveyance, might have been preferable to some unknown horror back in Alexandria. Regardless of their sex, tody-supported tyrants – of whatever era – should not be tolerated -- even though gender-unspecific they may be! A bit too much? Yeah, maybe...

OK, here’s a case where we get out of hand: Dr. Guillotine protested the outrageous misuse of the machine that carried his name. He had proposed the device to the royal court, but it never was accepted, and he never made a model of it.

Guillotine

It was not until years later that a former assistant made manifest that which was only a figment in the mind of Dr. Guillotine.

No matter who produced it, we took it, and were off to the races! We thralls were so incensed at the excesses of our fancy, unelected masters, that we grossly overdid it. So grossly, as a matter of fact, that we hurled ourselves back into the depths of thralldom, under the rule of an impossibly pompous egotist – but he was smart and knew how to govern. Too pointed? Yeah, but fair.

Digression is not necessarily a sin; historical comparisons are fair. They are fair because we are the same animal – out of time or space, or costumed differently. We react identically to the stimuli extant at the moment. Ergo, whether thrall or liege, H. Sapiens has the same instincts as those cave people who hooked up with the Neanderthals.

Whatever the modern human condition, our inter-reactions are as random as that of billiard balls in flux. We, of course, adjust psychologically to the collisions. Our instinct is to rise according to the prospects available.

Nevermore by Timothy Ramos

Therefore, when we choose other people to represent us, we must be wary of their intentions. What kind of people would call for the governmental functions affecting all of us to cease – sans even a, “By your leave...”? To them, we should direct the admonition of Edgar Allen Poe’s definitive raven: “Nevermore!”

RAVEN: “What’s that – another shutdown deadline coming up? Screw you, Poe. Find yourself a stupid crow -- I’m outta here!”

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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