Michael's Essay: Rob Ford, Magic Powder and the Cult of the Red Chamber


      These were unhappy, roistering days in the Great City. The Leader, a round and blondish man, was surrounded by enemies, like small dogs barking and tearing at his raiment. Oh, he had fought them before. Indeed, since capturing the Great City, wresting it from the iron grip of the evil Downtowners, he had turned away one catastrophe after another.

       Yet he survived. 

       And his supporters in the mysterious Hinterland cheered his every victory.  He won, not through guile or the power of arms, but by simple rhetoric,speaking to the folk in their own simple language.

    "It's ridiculous," he cried after each volley of grape.

    Many thought his arrogance, his folly would bring him down. But he prevailed. His people understood him.

    "It's ridiculous," the Leader cried. And the people nodded.  It was all the fault of the court scriveners who wanted his blood to stain the royal purple. They had seen other, earlier leaders fight off the ravages of the scribblers.

    The Great Lastman, whose only fear was being potted and boiled alive and eaten by heathen African natives. The Great Lamport, who governed with an iron will and who stood a rock, nay a continent, against the terrifying forces of change.
     "Let's not just discontinue it; let's stop it," he roared in unforgettable and sublime oration.
     But that was long ago. Now the Round One faced a horde of accusers. They insisted he had partaken of the Magic Powder which was forbidden in the Kingdom.
    They produced fuzzy images of the Round One seemingly at play with purveyors of the Magic Powder.
   His people were angry and saddened. They knew not where to turn. The Round One tried to comfort them before roaring off  in his black chariot.
      "It's ridiculous," he shouted as the crowds moved closer.
      He was not alone in his agonies.
      Far to the north, in Zombieland, two faithful members of the secret Cult of the Red Chamber were removed, torn from the conclave of the faithful.

    It was said they had manipulated the treasury of the Red Chamber to their own advantage.

    There was a hue and cry in the Kingdom. They were banished when the alleged crimes seemed to reach into the inner circle of the Lord High Chamberlain himself.

    They left the Chamber of the Select to hide their torment from public eyes and from the ravening  predations of the scribblers.

    Across the Kingdom and in the Great City, the people were perturbed.
    A great unease settled like fog on the land. The people were made to wonder why their leaders might act in such a way.
    Woe betide the Kingdom, woe betide the Great City.
    The Elders in the Great City shook their heads slowly, knowingly, for they remembered the olden times.
    They remembered when the Great Lamport declared:
   "In politics, you need more of the kind of men who will crawl out from behind the woodwork."

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