Saturday, 28 March 2015

Not a Proper King

He's not a proper king.

A proper king would be born in a palace, or at least a posh house. Not a stable.

A proper king wouldn't ride in through the front door, of a main street of a capital city, on a donkey. If you're a proper king, you have two choices. You either enter in majesty - on a horse, with slaves and trumpets and flunkeys and the whole apparatus of state behind you. Or you enter with an army, trashing the place, torching houses, slaughtering the enemy. What you don't do is this weird thing, where you ride in - vulnerable. Challenging the powers-that-be. The ones who hate you, whom you've refused to meet half way. Telling them to do their worst. And then letting them.

A proper king wouldn't be accompanied by prostitutes and tax-collectors. They're not the sort of people a real king hangs out with, in public. In private - that's another matter. Prostitutes - they're what you use to bribe courtiers. Or, in a lonely moment, to find some peace of your own. Or to trap and blackmail the enemy. Tax-collectors: can't live without them. Where does the money come from, if not extracting it from the common people? That's how the wheels of government are oiled.  But whores and extortioners - they're for shadows, for quiet liaisons out of the view of the common people. They're not to be treated like normal people. They're not for pouring oil on your feet at polite parties. Not somebody you'd invite to sit at the table, to be your friends, to laugh and share hopes and dreams with.

A proper king wouldn't be met with palms. Not when his throne was insecure. He'd need an army. He'd need people with swords and spears and flails and slings. Not palms. Palms tell - too early - of a victory won. Of somebody who's already a king. But where does this king's power come from? Not from legions. Not from rebel bands. Not from the will of the people - they're not taking arms for him. Where does he find his power, then., if it's not from the places all kings find power?

No purple, no armies, no horses, no slaves, no money. But somewhere, a way off, a crown is being formed.  A crown for a king. A crown for this king.

A crown of thorns.

1 comment :

  1. Brought me back to the centre.


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