VERCINGETORIX was the Gallic version of the Vietcong, but the war of attrition he envisaged ended in Caesar’s improbably successful siege that put the ‘barbarian’ under the imperialist Roman yoke.
Come now the contemporary tribes of the Asia Pacific, particularly the brown global younglings literally sitting on today’s ‘Gold of Tolosa’ (and I don’t mean Leyte): not content with migration, interracial marriage, corporate takeovers, cultural domination, Caesar/Tzu Hsi has embarked on a frank invasion.
It is unfair to the great Caesar to associate him with the last empress of China who was an upstart concubine to a weak ruler, mother to an ineffectual son, and a treacherous poisoner in the perception of many. However, in the planet’s balance of power, the word conquest is enough to strike terror in the hearts of the world’s sheeple.
We simply try to understand our situation when we review what happened in the Gallic wars. The continental bullies, the border borderlines and the transnational terrorists are pawns of the new owners of the universal war chest. The gold of Tolosa became the corrupting gold adorning the unguent-spoiled bodies of the women of the economic North and their clients, the new 69ers dying to plant their stakes in the neither here nor there but on the illusion, the delusion of the Google map.
In this age Caesar’s charm — his folksiness, good looks, patrician background and military genius — have become irrelevant. The conquistador has been replaced by the coquettish whores of little local Babylon’s; Caesar was a womanizer, but he was no pimp. Tzu Hsi, on the other hand, used the power of her sex and, without resorting to bayonet-thrusting attacker’s scream to intimidate, employed gestures of her little fingers to throw her son’s Pearl Concubine into a well to leave her there to die a cruel death from fractures and starvation.
For Gen Z, the opiate of the masses, the food and circuses are all old hat. For in our time we feel like gods with our technology and dumbing down, but in reality we have been reduced to mere insects. The masters of Kool-Aid indoctrination speak of soul harvests even as the international moneylenders decree population reduction.
Instead of battering rams, cavalry, archers, and Caesar’s ingenious goads, flowers, and tombstones (these were sharp metal implements hidden in trenches Caesar’s men dug and camouflaged with foliage, and on these were impaled and skewered Vercingetorix’s men who charged from their besieged fortress), we contend with decapitating fanatics, equivocating politicians, man-made supertyphoons and monster viruses, contrived stock market crashes while the anonymous conquistadores are holed up in their bunkers, their minions laughing their way to their exclusive banks, living in the sense of assured survival in spite of flybys by rogue asteroids.
Feathers in our cookies! Babies’ life liquid in sodas! A chip under the skin to terminate, or a terminator make! Soylent Green! Panic in the Year Zero! I Am Legend! The end of the world.
Vercingetorix was the heavy, Caesar was the conquering hero. Tzu Hsi was the opportunist who died wearing her pearl-studded vest, bringing to the grave her face, lopsided from a stroke. In the history of slugfests, money was made before, during and after every encounter, from every boot soaked in battle, with every sock supplied to catch the detritus of war, the singed hairs, the human hamburger.
Oh, the humanity, the dirigible of mankind bemoaned, the bonfire of the vanities celebrated and mourned. While daily Joe and Pedro and George and Francois live and love and hustle and maneuver, playing shell games over board games within a giant storyboard of snakes and ladders, a Trip to Heaven (or to Hell – “No Deliverance, Lost”).
What if the players played otherwise?
Caesar might not have amputated millions of pairs of hands of insurgents (patriots?)…Tzu Hsi could have made off with the captain of the guards and grown old and rich as, maybe, chandler to the ships of the world visiting China’s shores…and poor Vercingetorix might have treated with the great, precious, precocious Julius Caesar who haughtily rebuked his captors and told them they should have demanded a greater ransom for him, and in the same breath promised the pirates that, once freed, he would return and crucify them all…! Vercingetorix might have become Imperial Rome’s Crocodile Dundee, and the Pearl Concubine might have become, had she cooperated with her mother-in-law, the Godmother-of-Pearl of a new Dynasty.
The catalyst is either the saint or the Judas lurking in the wings or waiting against the woodwork. Put the saints together and you have Jedi, and the Judases and fencesitters together and you have all the rest: the Evil Emperor, the Sith, Jabba the Hutt, Salacious Crumb, the Stormtroopers, throw in the vampires, zombies and werewolves.
But humankind is a kind of mummy longing to be resuscitated. Even the suicidal fool themselves into believing suicide is painless and, like the indestructible cockroach, they expect redemption as they charge, sally forth into the eternal unknown, fearing not only the day’s evils but this life’s imagined travails. Hence, people now try on new clothes, houses, cars, possessions, parties, sexual orientations, gene combinations, splicing together a motley assortment of gaudy accessories like rings on pigs’ snouts or purses from sows’ ears.
Human nature remains unchanged and history repeats itself. The jock, the nerd, and the prom queen. The priest, the politician, and the poet. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Islands to be got, votes to be bought, souls to be lost. Reputations to be regained and faces to be saved. But who’s doing what needs doing? History records the play amongst the warring and pretending-to-play participants, but hardly mentions the nameless, faceless billions making a seamless garment of the world’s peoples, the mother staying up all night, watching a child with dengue; the father on board a ship, trying to arrest a stowaway whose only defense was his own feces he wiped all over himself like suntan lotion; and the children.
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