Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Conqueror's Catechism (Part 2 Droit de Seigneur)

Bad tidings... Part 2 of The Conqueror's Catechism

II. Droit de Seigneur

To the conqueror goes the spoils, no matter the time or place
To call them winners quite seriously understates the case
The authority of the people is vested in the person of one man
Or, rather often, in the initially secretive cabal or clan
The ruler's rules are the quintessence of tyranny
Euphemisms abound around their common acts of piracy
The tyrant's temper tantrums are always to be feared
That's the reason many societies know of the droit de seigneur

And so palaces and country estates, in short order, become overstuffed
Pheasants served under glass, wine in fine goblets, even diamond encrusted
Diamonds and pearls, jade, emeralds and other precious jewels
Nightly bedding of the latest beauty, everyday a renewal
Daggers, swords and other trinkets, such were their treasures
Sculptures, paintings, fandangos, and other paraphernalia
Later, of course, will come the customary Swiss bank accounts
Or the more sophisticated transactions in the Cayman Islands

At the time that you swiped those totems off the table
Their importance was ill-understood but plainly valuable
But over time, these mansions belie the insatiable appetites
And to be frank, the lure of black gold only inspires delight
Pardon the misquote of the Bard at this stage
To the conqueror, 'tis a minor outrage
The belief that any law was written in sand
Or rather: all the world's a treasure island

Cast yourself back to the self coronation
   of Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor
A vivid tableau reenacted
   by the Central African cannibal named Bokassa
True, there would be Waterloo, and exile on St Helena forced him to quit
And, for the latter, a bloodless coup courtesy of Giscard and Françafrique
There is the occasional peril of the mutiny, call it an occupational disease
For it was long understood by all that there is no honor among thieves
The conqueror's blade is not an easy game for the novice to play
There are no cheat codes,
   a few wrong moves and you find yourself slayed

il etait une fois eyadema et mobutu

Conqueror's Catechism, a playist

A soundtrack for this note bookended by the cool ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs, and heavy on the reggae angle of things. (spotify version)

The Conqueror's Catechism

A few articles of faith
  1. To Loot Without End
  2. Droit de Seigneur
  3. The Dictator Dictates
  4. An Iron Fist
  5. The Ruler's Rules
This piece went beyond a haiku to become positively Talmudic in scope, hence I'll split it and dispense over the next week. Or you can wait for the book...

I nominate this internal displacement for the Things Fall Apart series under the banner of Fallen Angels.

Next in Part 3: The Dictator Dictates

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Writing log: Concept: May 1, 2006; April 2, 2021

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