Once upon a current time a wanderer in search of freedom came to a strange city upon a hill. It was full of rural backwoods, and farming meadows. There were great rivers, lakes, and knolls at the town’s edges and wonderful bays where the town touched the coast.
But as he walked down into the town center, full of bright brick towers and strong steel castles, he began to notice odd and upsetting things. People of all kind, soldiers, women, even children, sat huddled in the streets with no home or place to go. Paranoia infested the land like the plague, and all the citizens were constantly looking over their shoulders at their neighbors, suspicious, fearing and slowly hating others for some reason or another. Sometimes it was because they didn’t wear the same sort of jacket, or hat, or shirt, or locket, admired the clouds in the east and not in the west or they ate this, or didn’t eat that, but the wanderer doubted these were real reasons, and he doubted most of them really knew why they hated their neighbors so much, and perhaps they didn’t care to learn.
On one street he found men bowing to a golden bull, and shoving each other in a mad rage to view changing numbers on a screen. But whatever they saw never made them happy and neither did the pieces of paper they kept handing back and forth, but they were always too busy to notice this. He witnessed hordes of people gathered around the apothecaries or down alley’s, in secret, all wanting some pill, or plant, or capsule, or batch of powder, dreaming that it would finally be the one to fix all their defects, and bring back the happiness and love they once felt, until hours later when it didn’t.
Soon the wanderer felt quite sick and confused so he asked the citizens where he could find the rulers of such a place. So they took him to a grand alabaster building where they say the source of all the trouble lay. And there stood a ridiculous sight.
In the court were two monstrous creatures. One was an equestrian beast with a hide of cobalt blue. It kicked up onto its hind legs roaring and batting it’s hooves at the other monstrosity in front of it. A crimson red Elephant trumpeted loudly and attacked attempting to gore the other creature in its side. It was such a nasty fight that the wanderer doubted either could be winning. And on the sidelines stood the two kings, one clad in blue, the other in red. Both egged on their terrible creations, placing bets, throwing endless pieces of paper into the fight. It never ended and the kings never wearied of the childish violence and in fact worked whole crowds into a hypnotic and violent hysteria.
The wanderer was told that this is all they did anymore, and had for a long time. Some of the old folks remembered, faintly, a time when the kings actually ran the town instead of battling each other, but even the old folks were unsure if those days had ever really existed, or if it was just fanciful thinking.
The wanderer was astonished and he asked the people why the two groups bothered to attack each other. No one could answer, because no one really knew anymore, it was just the way of doing things. The wanderer then asked if they ever tried to change this.It was then that the people brightened up and explained to him that once in a great while they voted. The town would work itself up into a terrible frenzy and then, after a lot of mean and terrible things had been said and done, everyone would throw their ideas into a ballot box. A group of men in a mysterious club called the Electoral College would take the suggestions and throw it into a river to be lost and then proceed to do as they pleased. And this would start all over again after a long while.
The people seemed very satisfied with their system and after hearing this the wanderer shook his head and walked right out of the town, off to find freedom somewhere else, where sanity might exist, and kings didn’t play around with their terrible animals… or people’s lives.
But still there was something like hope lingering the air as he left, for something in his words had caused a few of the citizens to stop and pause, and think, and question. And so the first sparks of a coming light were ignited and a small glow emerged upon a hill.