October 02, 2007


Story time!

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful kingdom of smart, freedom-loving people. They decided that they needed to form a more perfect union, so they held some truths to be self-evident and set about passing some laws to ensure domestic tranquility and some other really good things.

Slowly, over time, the smart, freedom-loving people of this beautiful place in which puppies and ice-cream were plentiful, the people grew complacent and lost sight of the rational foundations for their liberty. Some people shouted quite vociferously that the our wonderful land of freedom had come about by some mystic provenance. Others blamed global warming.

One thing is true: everyone agreed quite early on that murder should be illegal and so they passed a law that said that murder is illegal and that murderers should be punished harshly indeed. Murderers across the land were all very sad, but had to admit that they didn't want to live among murderers either.

At first, people said that murder should be illegal because it violates an individual's right to his own life, not to mention his person, property, and general freedom from having other people's ill-temper being upside their heads.

As time passed, however, some folks looked to their holy books and found a quaintly stated form of the same law. The law books said, "Murder is illegal" and the holy books said, "thou shalt not killeth thy neighbor, neighbor's wife, nor neighbor's ass."

It wasn't long until several high magistrates of the land who were going around saying that murder is wrong because the Ghost of the Small, White Bird said so. Quite in spite of irrefutable arguments that there is no such thing as the Ghost of the Small, White Bird.

The magistrates were intractable and obtuse about everything about which they felt the Ghost of the Small, White Bird had spoken and the Ghost of the Small, White Bird was quite a talker. Not only was it wrong, according to the bird, to murder, it was also wrong to allow women to teach, it was wrong to eat shellfish, and it was wrong to suffer a witch to live. In addition to being very chatty, the Ghost of the Small, White Bird was apparently jealous of other made-up things like witches, mermaids, and garden gnomes.

Fortunately, for the people of this fair land, women were widely recognized as satisfactory, nay, competent even at teaching, shellfish was regarded by most as delicious and completely edible, and witches had long agreed that turning someone into a newt is rude even if they do eventually get better.

But the magistrates who believed in this imaginary Ghost of the Small, White Bird were clear that they didn't think women should teach, shellfish should not be eaten, and witches should not be allowed to live. They also recognized that they couldn't do anything to stop the women, shellfish, or witches, though, and endured their continued presence in their land. Although they never came right out and said that they thought that all the laws in the land should be based on those given them by the Ghost of the Small, White Bird, the magistrates did continually try to pass laws accordingly. They weren't always successful thanks to people who, for reasons of their own, weren't so into listening to what the Ghost of the Small, White Bird was alleged to have said, but the magistrates did try.

The magistrates who believed in the Ghost of the Small, White Bird were quite popular among the commonfolk and it seemed that with every passing day they grew more popular. They grew popular not just because they claim to commune with the Ghost of the Small, White Bird, but that was undeniably a part of their campaign strategies.

Some people, seeing how influential the GSWB Magistrates were getting, complained about the lamentable rise of religion and how it influenced the law in the decaying land of these pretty much freedom-loving people. They said that these magistrates who were citing religion as their reason for making laws were being theocrats. They said, "To make murder illegal because you think the Ghost of the Small, White Bird told you is theocratic!"

Other people of whom we charitably assume are well-intentioned people even though what I'm about to tell you might make you think they shouldn't be issued drivers licenses or be allowed to tie their own shoes without supervision said that the even though they agreed that the Ghost of the Small, White Bird is obviously foolish, the description of those magistrates as "theocratic" was an exaggeration. "Their popularity is distressing, yes, but there are other, more pressing issues to worry about in our fair land."

It wasn't long before a dopey sort of bloke with a funny accent claimed that the Ghost of the Small, White Bird called him on his mobular phone to tell him he would be president. And while people were busy fretting over whether or not a theocrat could hold the office of president, senator, representative, or chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, that dopey bloke laughed his way to the oval office in the big white castle of the president of that fair land. And while the debate continued to rage over whether or not one could actually see a forest when there are so many trees in the way, more magistrates who thought they could hear the Ghost of the Small, White Bird chirping in their ears were elected to office to help pass laws against teachers, shellfish, and witches.

The End

This story brought to you by commenters on Diana's site whose foolishness astonishes me.

General Pace is a theocrat, by the way. Mitt Romney is one, too. George Bush thinks he hears the Ghost of the Small, White Bird.

Mine isn't a very good story. Hopefully it didn't put you to sleep because it's time for people to wake up and call a spade a spade and a theocrat a theocrat.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at October 2, 2007 02:11 PM | TrackBack

I believe the Objectivist term for the two dissenting commenter's at Diana's is, "concrete-bound."

Even if you didn't like your story, I thought it was witty.

Posted by: Justin at October 2, 2007 03:51 PM

Though I really don't get where you got the small, white bird thing from.

Posted by: Justin at October 2, 2007 03:52 PM

In Christian mythology, the Holy Ghost portion of the Trinity sometimes manifests itself as a dove such as at the Baptism of Jesus.

Posted by: Flibbert at October 2, 2007 05:48 PM

Ah, Flibbert, you're a real peach! That was quite entertaining.

Posted by: Diana Hsieh at October 2, 2007 06:00 PM
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