Thursday 17 February 2011

Fixes and Trickses

'Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.' (Frank Zappa)

Although I have a vested interest in the cat and vermin situation in the corridors of power in Northumbria (sad to say, I haven't heard anything from Láréow yet - still waiting), I have to admit that I'm getting sick and tired to death of hearing all about it from the soothsayers: they've been warbling on about it for ages. It's getting silly.

Nevertheless, it all makes for a tidy distraction while the dirtier and seamier political processes grind relentlessly on. I received an insight about this the other day; we had a middle-aged traveller lodge with us at Caedmon's place. He was passing through Streonaeshalch on the way to Yorvik. It turned out that he was an entertainer - a magician, in fact. Although Caedmon isn't the type of human to take much of an interest in the wacky world of showbiz, he was very interested in the tricks that the traveller performed for him. For example, he made coins vanish and suddenly reappear in unlikely places; he pulled a white rabbit from a hat. Naturally, Caedmon asked him how he did these remarkable things, since he doesn't really believe that this stuff is achieved through supernatural or mystical powers. The magician - a friendly fellow - told him that it was a closely guarded secret; only other magicians know how to perform them. Nevertheless, he told us that the art of the conjurer depended on common psychological techniques: a swift and subtle hand movement here, a theatrical gesture there. The secret (without giving any of the tricks away) is to move deftly and create carefully staged distractions to avert the viewer's gaze, so that they don't actually notice what you're actually doing to create the illusion.

Following our visit from this fellow, I started pondering about what he told Caedmon, and I quickly realised that this is exactly how the Witangemot works. It all made sense! I'd already come to the conclusion through my observations that the whole political business is one carefully orchestrated stage show - and that the main characters are merely actors, putting on a show to entertain the clueless majority. The real business goes on while lesser distractions are taking place. Clever, eh?

At the moment there's currently a lot of hot air about an alternative voting procedure, and Beeby See and her merry soothsaying cronies are crooning about it as if it's the best thing since sliced bread. Whatever. While the oblivious and bovine Northumbrian people are distracted about whether they support casting one stick for the candidate of their choice - or different colored sticks for each contestant according to their order of preference - you can bet your boots that there's other stuff boiling on unnoticed in the background. Unbeknown to the serfs, the Kingdom of Northumbria is steadily being handed over to the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire) and His Royal Highness Jose Borracho, the megalomaniac, fly agaric-chewing potentate and his half-witted Flemish Hermit buddy. That's how these politico illusionists work. And when (or if) I get my information from Láréow, he'll only be confirming what I already know...

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