Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The return of the king!

...Continued from

Betrayal makes for strange happenings. The king, for example, happened to happen upon his wife, the queen, doing some extremely un-queenlike things with a pot of pea soup. He felt distinctly queasy when she said, "What, I can't eat an entire pot of pea soup for lunch? I'm the queen, no?" The king was even more shocked when he found out that an entire eight pack of hotdogs (beef hotdogs!) had been sliced up and put in that pot of pea soup. Not only was his wife doing what he was not allowed to do, but she was also breaking the law. For the first time in his life the king considered having her chopped off.

The king's attorney general took a look at the evidence and decided that there might just be a case. He called up the solicitor general, discussed the matter with him, and then went to the courts to see what could be done. The courts told him that since they were dealing with a member of the royal family the courts didn't have jurisdiction, and that his best bet would be to have the king himself preside over the trial. "A brilliant idea," thought the attorney general, "but it's a pity it's nearly three weeks after purim already." Outwardly he smiled at the solicitor general and said, "A fine idea, though of course I'll have to run it by the king."

The king was not impressed by the idea. "What, you think I'm crazy? If I kill her I'll go down in history as a madman who killed his wife for eating some hotdogs, and if I don't kill her I'll become a madman!" The attorney general expressed his sympathies, but he also expressed his opinion that the circumstances warranted a trial by monarch. The king refused, and told him to come up with a solution posthaste; otherwise, it would be the attorney general's head on the chopping block.

That evening found the attorney general forlornly sitting in his local pub nursing a Guinness and trying to think of a way to get out of his predicament. He knew that the king would follow through on his threat, and he'd probably be able to sell it to the public as a sacrificial lamb or scapegoat or something. Whatever it was, the attorney general wanted no part in it. The bartender walked over to him and asked if he was planning on staying the night. "Say what?" asked the attorney general. The bartender regretted to inform him that closing time was in ten minutes, and if the attorney general was interested in staying the night then accommodations could be arranged in the local jail on charges of trespassing. At this the attorney general roared, "Do you know who I am? I've fabricated more evidence than you've poured beers! I've put more innocent people behind bars than you've seen in your bar! I AM THE LAW!"

The next morning found the attorney general forlornly sitting in his local slammer nursing a headache and trying to think of a way to get out of his predicament. He knew that the king would follow through on his threat, and he'd probably be able to sell it to the public as a sacrificial lamb or scapegoat or something. Whatever it was, the attorney general wanted no part in it. The screw walked over to him and asked if he was planning on staying the day. "Say what?" asked the attorney general. The screw regretted to inform him that bailout time was in ten minutes, and if the attorney general was interested in staying the day then accommodations could be arranged in the local jail on charges of assault and battery. At this the attorney general roared, "Do you know who I am? I've fabricated more evidence than you've had told you by prisoners! I've put more innocent people behind bars than you've seen behind bars! I AM THE LAW!"

The next morning found the attorney general forlornly sitting in his local dock nursing an even bigger headache and trying to think of a way to get out of his predicament. He knew that the king would follow through on his threat, and he'd probably be able to sell it to the public as a sacrificial lamb or scapegoat or something. Whatever it was, the attorney general wanted no part in it. The judge walked over to him and asked if he was planning on staying for the rest of his life. "Say what?" asked the attorney general. The judge regretted to inform him that he was sentenced to life in general, and if the attorney general wasn't interested in staying the rest of his life then accommodations could be arranged in the local courthouse for an appeal. At this the attorney general roared, "Do you know who I am? I've fabricated more evidence than you've heard on the bench! I've put more innocent people behind bars than you have! I AM THE LAW!"

The next morning found the attorney general dead as a doorknob. The impersonator, not missing to wish the fun, popped in for a quick hello and promised to feature more prominently next time.

To be continued...

26 comments:

Crawling Axe said...

I can’t believe you like modern Jewish music.

After reading this, I have one name for you: Alfred Schnittke. And, coming from me, this is a compliment.

Crawling Axe said...

What’s going on today? I just posted Schnittke, and then Hesh talks about collecting mandolines and you write this.

The Real Shliach said...

What the heck does this have to do with some dead Russian composer? Why can't you ever comment on the story itself?

Crawling Axe said...

I commented on your style. The dead German composer’s works are very similar to yours, in style.

As to the story, such a thing has happened in past, in fact. And lead, indirectly, to 100 Years’ War. I believe Maurice Druon wrote about this in his Les Rois Maudits series.

What would happen if they had Dr. Pepper? I can’t even imagine.

The Real Shliach said...

Dr. Pepper makes the world taste better.

Crawling Axe said...

I agree. Well, I don’t know about the world, but it makes… itself taste better.

Crawling Axe said...

Dr. Pepper for me is the taste of America. To some people it’s Ellis island, the statue of liberty, all that stuff. For me, it’s Dr. Pepper. And air conditioning.

The Real Shliach said...

And pea soup with hotdogs.

le7 said...

I really could go for some hotdogs right now....

but Dr. Pepper tastes like cough syrup.

The Real Shliach said...

Hotdogs are good.

Dr. Pepper is better.

le7 said...

It tastes like cough syrup.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh ye of little taste.

Funny that no one has seen fit to comment on the story.

le7 said...

Well "I AM THE LAW!" feels like it's from a movie...

The Real Shliach said...

Not that I can recall.

le7 said...

I'm just saying... without trying WE ALL rip off popular culture.

The Real Shliach said...

I suppose so.

Crawling Axe said...

Re: “I am the law” — It’s the motto of absolutist monarchy.

L’√Čtat c’est Moi (“I am the State”), attributed to Louis XIV. It means that he is France. Not he is the servant of French society (American model). Not French people serve him, and he rules over French society (more tempered monarchist model). He IS France, and France is he. They are one and the same. And, as a result, he is the law, the first and the last.

An extremely powerful idea. I don’t know if this is how Judaism views the Jewish king (seems not), but this is a great moshul for, lehavdil, relationship between Hashem and the Universe (and Torah). It’s not that Hashem is separate from the Universe and rules over it (and provides us instructions in Torah). The Universe is an aspect of Hashem, and Torah is Hashem. V’dal.

In reality, Louis XIV probably said: Je m'en vais, mais l'√Čtat demeurera toujours (“I depart, but the State shall always remain”). Which is not to say he didn’t believe the above — but he probably believed it in the sense that he was bottul to the State, and as a result, he became the State, and the State became him — his whole definition of himself was that of France, French society, French state and its ruler (and vice versa, at least ideally, the direction in which the France was going was the exact direction in which the King saw fit.)

In this sense, the definition of the monarch still exists even today. Queen Elizabeth II sees herself as the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom and Blah-blah-blah. That is her essence, the identity and everyday reality. She puts on shoes, because it fits her role as the sovereign of the Commonwealth. She goes to vacation in Belmoral, because she physically needs vacation in order to function as a human sovereign of the Commonwealth.

Now, since she is a bit more modest than the Louis, and British are smarter than French (not just British of today relative to French of Louis’s time, but in general), the Queen delegates her powers and aspects of her “statehood” to her ministors, to the arch-bishop, she (officially) takes the laws passed by the Parliament under advisement (although nowadays, she just signs them). All of this has become part of tradition to preserve the state of monarchy and at the same time allow UK function as a modern state, but at least in principle, the queen very much is the State.

Whether politically or socially the two systems of monarchy make sense (I personally think they both are ridiculous, and despite the cuteness of the British system, it still costs tremendous amount of people’s money), the last second is a great moshol for a chossid.

Alright, la Fin.

(Also, Judge Dread uses the exact motto — “I am the law”. But, I think he is much less impressive than Louis XIV or even the Queen Elizabeth II.)

The Real Shliach said...

Very nice!

(and who is Judge Dread?)

Crawling Axe said...

Thanks. You too.

(No idea.)

The Real Shliach said...

Thanks.

(I don't believe you)

Crawling Axe said...

(OK, here’s one of those TV judges. [Not judges of TV, but judges on TV. Actually, I still don’t know — the whole thing is fake, right?] I’ve never seen him, so I don’t really know if he is more impressive than the Queen, but I would imagine he is not.)

Crawling Axe said...

he*

Cheerio said...

interesting little side note.
too bad the attorney general had to die. he was a far more interesting character than the slightly disturbing amanda.
CA - some VERY interesting stuff there. for once when reading a blog, i actually felt like i was gaining valuable and intellectually stimulating knowledge. until we went on the judge dredd side note.

Cheerio said...

and does anyone know why the british still have a monarch? i mean, whats the point?

Crawling Axe said...

Tradition. Something to hold on to. National pride. Resistance to change. I mean, the Queen is the symbol of the UK. You come to UK, you have... what? Fish and chips? It’s a major symbol of the country. In Europe, symbols are much more important than in the US.

If you go to the Queen’s web-site, you can read justification of constitutional monarchy as a way to keep the country together even between different parties taking power (liberals vs. conservatives), and in general — the woman has been around as a head of state for something like 60 years, taking active role in state affairs from early morning to late evening, opening letters, answering them, meeting with ministers, meeting with the PM, and so on. She is an amazing source of advice and wisdom.

At least in theory. In practice I don’t know how much it all really works. Thatcher said that one shouldn’t think that her meetings with the Queen were mere formality — they were very involved. But in the end, the Queen hated Thatcher, and Thatcher still pulled out the country out of socialism with her own hands despite the Queen’s animosity.

I think, in the end, it’s 90% all about symbolism, national pride, all that stuff.

The Real Shliach said...

One word: tourists.