Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to Recognize Villains

This is what I have learned from cartoons, myths, fairy tales and fables about
politics and human nature.

Villains always attempt to conquer the world. They always fail. They almost
never learn their lesson, unfortunately.

Villains rarely change their villainous ways, even if their villainy is pointed
out to them many, many times. They're not only ignorant of goodness; they're
ignorant of their ignorance. This double ignorance is the worst ignorance of all.

When the King appears to be dense, it is not a ruse to cover the fact he is in
reality quite clever. That only happens in bad stories and good parodies of bad
stories. When the King appears to be dense he really is dense.

After a Kingdom has been around long enough the royal family de-evolves to
the point that the King looks like an inbred if good-natured mutant, one who
looks as if he should be playing a banjo.

If the King is dense it is always the Villains who are advising him and really
running the show. This means the Kingdom is being run by Monsters. This is
not a good thing.

When all of the above happen it is time to reboot the Kingdom and start
Version 2.0.

The Villains are never that bright themselves, although they are bright enough
to fool a dim-witted King and many of the peasants, which certainly doesn't
say much for the smarts of many Kings or the peasants.

The not-so-bright King and the Villains who advise him invariably think that
a powerful Kingdom means a great big army with more catapults and
crossbows and implements of war than the Kingdom knows what to do with.

Most of the peasants are too busy watching the ox-races to pay attention to
what is going on with the King and his Villainous advisors and what they are
doing to the Kingdom.

The peasants always whine about why there are no jobs but never can quite
make the connection to the great big army with more catapults and crossbows
and implements of war than the Kingdom knows what to do with.

The Villains always tell the peasants the Villains are patriots, but in reality
they are scoundrels. Patriotism is not the last refuge of a scoundrel -- it's the

The Villains are loyal only to their evil selves and their evil causes, and
certainly not to the King or the Kingdom or the peasants, all of whom they
would sacrifice in a heartbeat to further their evil ends.

The King never figures out the Villains and their nefarious schemes until it is
almost too late. The peasants also never figure it out until it is almost too late,

The peasants almost always figure it out before the King, after many of them
come back dead and maimed from the Kingdom's military adventures in
foreign lands.

The Villains have no problems whatsoever sacrificing the peasants for
whatever wars they con the King into starting. In the minds of the Villains
"peasant" equals "cannon fodder."

The Villains believe it is their right to rule because they are so much smarter
and wiser than the dim-witted peasantry, who they believe couldn't cut soft
butter with their foreheads.

The clueless peasants are always shocked when the Villains snatch them away
from the ox-races, enslave them to the military, stick a sword in their hands
and march them to battle in foreign Kingdoms. None of the Villains, however,
know which end of a sword to grasp.

Some of the peasants are so dumb they actually believe the King is smart and
the Villains aren't evil and really do support the good of the Kingdom. These
Really Dumb Peasants are the biggest supporters of war, as long as other
peasants fight it. Like the Villains, they don't know which end of the sword
goes where.

The loudest of the Really Dumb peasants often become PR shills for the
Villains. This generally involves yelling at the peasants through a megaphone
that they should be grateful the Villains are really protecting the Kingdom
because they are so smart and really do know what they're doing.

Wars supported by the Villains are never in defense of the Kingdom, although
the Villains always claim they are. Villains, being villainous, are always
two-faced fibbers with ulterior motives, which they always deny if anyone has
enough of a brain to see through them.

The Villains always make out like bandits on taxes extracted from the
peasants and booty from conquered Kingdoms, since the Villains believe
money and power are their just dues.

The peasants doing the fighting never get any of the swag.

The Villains always claim the Kingdom is under attack, and criticisms of
them or their actions are traitorous. They smear and try to silence those who
see through them as being anti-Villain. Minus the tragedy, this is really quite
funny since Villains are always traitors.

The wars of the Villains never go as planned. The Villains will then claim they
never supported them in the first place and it is the King's fault.

Occasionally the peasants get fed up enough to chase the Villains out of he Kingdom with pitchforks and flaming torches. Unfortunately this is pretty rare and is used as
a last resort instead of the first.

Villains will always be with us. So will Stupid Peasants.

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