Once upon a time, there were people, some poor and others wealthy and powerful.

Historical novels and fairy tales have something in common. Neither had indoor plumbing. The rich and poor were the great unwashed.

At some point in time, servants fill a tub with hot water for the noble’s occasional bath. Or, the rich sprinkled a few drops of water on their faces and hands from a basin. Overall, the best either group managed was a quick dunk in a stream or lake. Talk about swimming with the fishes. And, certainly not sanitary.

The peasants fertilized a bush in the forest. The wealthier folk deposited their emissions into pots for some hapless servant to empty. No matter the era, there is always someone to dispose of the ruler’s emissions.

There is nothing romantic about dirt, or a roll in the hay with a dirty person.

Lack of control and fear made the people rebel. The guillotine and the burning of witches became a national sport. Call it the gladiator games of and for the common folk.

As humanity evolved, powerful people rose and fell under the petard of their behavior. Among such folk was a charming family of minor Spanish nobility from Aragon, the Borgias. When Alonso Borgia became Pope Calixtus III, part of the family followed him to Italy to seek their fortune. Predictably, their wealth and power increased when Alonso’s nephew, Rodrigo, became Pope Alexander VI.

It is indisputable. Power corrupts and the Papacy, like any other governing body, was not immune. Back then when the forces in power lost control of reason, their enemies vanished at the point of a dagger or choked on poison.

But do not lose sight of our tale, especially the unclean aspect of life. The Pope, cardinals, and even some of the lesser clergy lived lives of indulgence, rather than virtue. They were men first, and when necessary, men of the cloth. Far too often, they rolled away from their brothel companions or mistresses, put on their cardinal or papal robes and attended meetings. There rarely was time for a bath or a wash after such romps.

Imagine the stench in a closed room while the cardinals and Pope Alexander VI discussed religious matters. But more often than not, the topic revolved around matters of gaining power over some city-state or noble. Their vengeance usually involved violence. And, the eventual outcome of more wealth through control.

Reason rarely came into play as the search for control and power was never sated. As they discovered, Karma has no mercy and tends to boomerang on the person filled with ill will toward others. We can only hope.

Although most of humanity discovered indoor plumbing, the clamor for power and wealth remains unchanged. Some call the inevitable behavior to obtain such power and the actions used to attain and keep it, evil.

Today we call the wielders of dark power, politicians, and the less than informative media. How can anyone call photogenic people who are adept at reading a teleprompter a journalist? The world turns. Many things happen, but no actual reporting of news appears. All we hear is the daily drumbeat of hatred. Truth be told, magic as well as journalism is a lost art.

When you think about it, the politicians and teleprompter readers resemble the snake oil salesmen of the Old West. They thrive because their customers suffer from the smooth-gray-matter curse of Zombies, lacking in necessary synaptic connections to think for themselves.

Today we pretend to be more civilized. Those determined to remain in control destroy everyone in their path, not at the point of a blade, but with half-truths and lost income. How is vendetta against the people different from burning someone at the stake or chopping off their heads?

There is nothing noble or cathartic about spewing hatred and hoping the ignorant masses will believe their gagh, to borrow a Klingon word for a plate of worms.

So, the people go forth into a new era created by a non-sentient virus and enabled by fear mongers, attempting to limit freedom and control our lives.

 

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