Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Truth, Forsooth

One constant in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - along with the rest of this island - is the mutability of the weather. In recent weeks we enjoyed a dry and generally warm patch, but the invincible Atlantic systems have once more prevailed, and the weather has become cooler, windier and with no shortage of showers of varying degrees of intensity and longevity.

Whilst on the subject of showers, my attention has been drawn once again to that shower of ordure referrred to in this Realm as the Soothsayers. These delightful specimens - a distinct subspecies of the human race - are charged with the task of advising and informing the denizens of the Kingdom. In our distant pagan past, they chewed the hallucinogenic mushrooms and threw the bones, dispensing sage advice to those gullible and stupid enough to seek and heed it. Nowadays, all they do is chew the mushrooms and having done so, pontificate freely on matters of which they have neither the gift of knowledge nor insight. For this they are revered by the starry-eyed window-lickers and their knuckle-dragging, unreflective counterparts.

Not renowned for impartiality or objectivity, the soothsayers present their own skewed view of the world to their eager audiences. They specialise in fantasy fiction - which usually involves the rewriting of history to suit the latest trendy agenda. Most of them are (tell it not in Gath) ardent, hallucinogen-fuelled Redistributionists, although Beeby See (bless her malodorous socks) is reputed to be bound to an objective stance. This 'impartiality' is a actually a long-standing joke, which comes at the expense of the more right and fair-minded persuasion in the land.

But I digress. There's been a battle in of late between Master Soothsayer-in-Chief Prince Ruprecht Evil-Merodach and the rest of the soothsaying world. Allegedly, some of the Wicked Prince's minions have been discovered to have been listening in to the private conversations of people in the public gaze and reporting what they've heard. Shock. Horror. Take a magic mushroom - quickly.

The resulting furore has been wondrous to behold. There's been indignation tipped by the bucketload - particularly from other soothsayers. Beeby See, Guardy-Ann and Dellimell have been tutting and clucking about this like demented hens. They would never stoop so low. O tempus, O mores. Whatever. All this theatrical posturing means is that they haven't been caught doing the same things.. yet...

It just so happens - by way of remarkable coincidence - that this row has erupted at a time when the Prince - a man of substantial means and an emperor of a legion of soothsaying interests - was intent on acquiring Beesky-bee - an asthmatic soothsayer with considerable skills as a mountebank and popular entertainer. Poor Beesky-bee has been down on his luck lately, and needs some encouragement. Since the Grand Prince has withdrawn his support of the Redistributionist Faction, the knives have been drawn, and the partially impartial, illiberally liberal soothsayers have been intent on revenge. Losers hate winners...

The worthy politicos have also brought their own cacophonous harmonies to the chorus of outrage - although it's ironic that these wretches - ever adept and skilful in the subtle arts and crafts of duplicity, treachery and betrayal - have quite cheerfully allowed the governmental institutions of Northumbria carte blanche to listen in on anyone's conversations in the interests of 'security' - whatever that is..

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