Zawmb’yee Continues The Blog, Chap 9
I’m still reading the Ofuye. There is a disturbing question that comes to mind. Everything is based on the assumption that the gods were benevolent. The elite in the palace, and those in the inner villages are portrayed as descendants of those given special tools and knowledge by the gods. Some are assumed to be descendants of the prophets. They make no claims any more extraordinary than any other religion, and they have as many purported miracles and saints as any other culture, and have as much or more documentation and literature. There are convoluted explications on why bad things happen to good people. There’s a master plan never explained but constantly alluded to whenever a painful lesson is learned (could you teach me about fire without burning me — a good teacher would bring the child to the mountain cliff, but would be sure to hold his hand and not let him fall over the edge before he’s been given wings. Why would any god not have sense enough to do this? Why would any god be such a degenerate parent? If a god won’t teach, won’t help, won’t stop the children from fighting(even letting siblings kill each other, without even a stern and timely warning, ‘now children play nice — don’t hit your sister, don’t hit your brother’), if all of these are refused, no god is a benevolent supervisor, a god is at best indifferent, and at worst…
What if the gods were not benevolent. Then the elite of the book would be descendants of collaborators with tyranny, fooled by magicians.
And as in the up-top world, who is to say that we don’t suffer under the yoke of the descendants of an elite who were the greatest superstitious storytellers of all time, be it from one or many sources — talent of persuasion does not guarantee truth. Do not the innocent suffer under the unintended consequences of every exuberance foisted by the day’s extant ecstatics. Every epoch has had it’s absolute ‘Certainty of Faith’ in its primitive writing, and has had the blasphemies of the others, some of whom had noble lives off in some distant corner with compassion and kindness toward their own children.
What if a benevolent god spoke to me. Would what he said be untrue if my rhetorical skills were lacking, and no one would believe me? What if an evil god spoke to me and my rhetorical skills were great. Haven’t the Machiavellian ones always dominated with rhetoric and armies. The pacifists and idealists don’t lead armies. Don’t the greatest soldier orators steal the revolutions from the idealists?
Oh Kievifkwa! I’ve done a polemic and I’m not very convincing. What if a god told me something true — how would I convince anyone, and how would I explain its authenticity? Can I say to anyone, when I love you, I give you truth, for who am I to be a god even for a moment.
But then, there are the duties of the leader. If our enemies destroy us, how will we speak, be it even the voice of a god. Many a shaman have died when their warriors were weak, and their knowledge was lost, not for any lack of authenticity, but for a lack of weapons of war. No culture who let their warriors become weak were defended by their God. Were they? No, they were demonized by their conquerors whose weapons allowed them to claim a greater God.
And so what do I do about James who would be blabbermouth, or jester but would not be King. What do we do with clowns? Well, actually, it’s already too late. I just didn’t finish telling you about his destruction. Philosophy is so much more high-minded and pleasant. There can always be found a more intricate logic that can justify anything(oh if we only knew the premises). But anyway, the gods made me do it.
Stall, stall, stall. Wait until you hear how James got into the trotter’s race. Tragedy had become so funny, and that’s what worries me. I must not be myself if I find my growing powers amusing. I’m losing something… but the High Priestess is amused. Ha! I have spoken. Bring in the clowns.
Poor James. He must be one of many who have endured the damihaiz.
I wonder how many others have wandered into any part of the secret city, or been dragged there. Poor other Jameses.
At least, last time, James got to sleep one night. We had returned to the mevltikacle in the morning after.
By the time we got there, the Yacmyeep had already washed and shaved James, and they had removed the agroape and the eksikmazm from the floor of the mevltikacle. Most of the Yacmyeep were busy setting up equipment, but Hshwigi, Baynibi, and Naytuci were chatting. Naytuci ran her fingers through her purple hair and said, “Isn’t the filly pretty. She could be a good trotter. She needs a better name than James.” They all laughed.
“Yeah, whatever name they choose, bet on that one,” said Hshwigi pointing her index finger with the red nail polish. “You’ll probably get good odds.”
James was pacing up and back trying to get out of his handcuffs and trying to reach around to the front of his body. He walked to the end of his leash that was chained to a post, pulling until he choked and then he stopped.
James shouted, “Libikzi, let me the hell out of here now. This is ridiculous, this is insane, and they will…”
“Oh James,” said Libikzi, “You were doing so well. That’s another demerit: you address me as Pevfexo Libikzi.”
“Oh hell, Pevfexo Libikzi,” said James, “what are you doing to me? Let me go.”
James paced up and back, and coming to the end of his leash, tripped on his own feet and fell to the floor. All the Yacmyeep were there in their short yellow dresses with purple sun symbols shining on each breast and blue triangles under their immodest cleavages. One remarked, “Isn’t she a wild filly — she’ll probably win the race…”
Hshwigi and Baynibi came over and lifted him to his feet. Naytuci grabbed the chain of his handcuffs and pulled him backward toward the center of the floor where there was a small trotter racing cart with room for one jockey.
Libikzi, fingering her sapphire pendant, said, “James, why all the fuss? I have good news for you.”
“Pevfexo Libikzi, may I ask, um…” said James with insincere respect, stalling for time, probably trying to think of an escape plan, “may I ask what is the good news?”
Libikzi raised an eyebrow and played with one of her gold bracelets. “I’m glad you asked,” said Libikzi. “There’s a trotter’s race for novice horses. The winning prize is a full course dinner in the main dining room without restraints, and a guided tour of the Inner Cities. Seems perfect for you, seeing as you wanted to explore. No?”
“Well, Pevfexo Libikzi,” said James tentatively, “may I ask the bad news?”
“Hmm,” said Libikzi, “you could put it that way, but it’s just part of your training program, and as you advance, you will receive more privileges and freedoms. You must first train to be a good trotter. Shall we proceed?”
James was afraid to say no. He said, “Yes, Pevfexo Libikzi.”
“To qualify for the race, you must learn to trot. If you break into a gallop you will be disqualified and ineligible for a prize. But don’t worry, we can guarantee that you can’t spread your legs too far. Shall we show you?”
“Um,” said James, “uh, Pevfexo Libikzi, I guess you could tell me about this, um…”
“No, James,” said Libikzi, “we will instruct and you will comply.”
The Yacmyeep brought a chair. Naytuci pushed him and he sat down.
Libikzi said, “We will put on you a tight and narrow trotter’s skirt that will limit how far apart your legs can stretch. This will prevent a gallop and limit steps to the correct length apart.”
Aipnica Naytuci said, “Lift your legs so we can put on your skirt.”
“What?” said James.
“Another demerit,” said Aipnica Naytuci. “Shall we move to the punishments?”
“Uh, no,” said James, “Aipnica Naytuci.”
Hshwigi and Baynibi helped Naytuci pull a trotter’s skirt part way up, pushing James’ legs together. “Stand up James,” said Naytuci, and they pulled the skirt up and locked the waist belt.
James tried to run with tiny small steps, but couldn’t get far before Naytuci stopped him.
Libikzi said, “Open you mouth wide — we want to see your teeth. Now!”
James opened his mouth wide and then said, “Pevfexo Libikzi, why am I doing this?”
“Every horse must be steered, “ said Libikzi. “We must determine what kind of bit to use. We need to attach some pieces to your teeth, and perhaps an automatic tongue depressor so we can train you not to talk inappropriately — it’s usually more comfortable than a gag. When the reins are attached to a good bridle you’ll know exactly where we want you to go, and when to speak.”
James trotted out to the end of his leash, sat down, and tried to get his fingers under the belt in the back where he could reach. He stood up, trotted back to the post, turned backward and tried to push the post down.
Libikzi said, “Hmm, I think maybe we’ll have to drill your teeth a little to make a good fit. Maybe pull a couple.”
“No,” said James, “you can’t do that. It’s ridiculous, it’s…”
“Another demerit,” said Libikzi, “but then there’s an alternative…”
“Pevfexo Libikzi,” said James, “what’s the alternative?”
“Well, you do have large fleshy earlobes. We could steer you by your ears,” said Libikzi.
“Are you nuts?” said James. “What are you doing…you’re all crazy. Let me go. You’re going to pay for this, you lunatics.” James trotted out to the end of his leash and pulled. Then he trotted up and back looking for something he could use as a tool or weapon. There was nothing within reach.
“Two demerits, James,” said Libikzi. “So, shall we fit you for a bridle now?”
“No, Pevfexo Libikzi,” said James.
“Very well then,” said Libikzi. She gave a signal. Two Yacmyeep swabbed his ear lobes with antiseptic and anesthetic. “Hold still. We don’t want to rip your lobes.” The Yacmyeep punched out large holes in the center of each lobe, removing a chunk of flesh. They cleaned it and then used a rivet gun to install large earrings. They walked away admiring their work.
James trotted out to the end of his leash, shaking his head. He trotted back.
Libikzi said, “You are wild. You’ll make a good filly. I think you’ll win the race, but we don’t want to put the cart before horse. We’ll see how well you can pull the cart later.”
Libikzi turned to the Yacmyeep, “That’s enough for now. Let’s all go to lunch.” They left James alone to trot about. Yenkoi and I and our entourage went to lunch.