Saturday, 13 September 2008

A visit to Utoforia

"Your highness, there are two men to see you"
His supreme Highness, Thomas Lefarrel, looked at the gold-plated intercom reluctantly. With a casual flick of his finger, he sent one of the waiting servants to the device, where he pressed the talk button.
"Send them in"

The two men entered a few moments later, after the cursory security checks, and walked across the huge marble floor to his Lordship's regal table. As they crossed, it would have been impossible for them to miss the huge picture of Lefarrel staring benevolently across the room, or the many gold or jewel-encrusted pieces of art around the room. They were shown to a pair of imposing, red velvet seats across from Lefarrel, where - once his Highness granted permission - they sat down. As they did so, one of the servants moved silently to the open window, shutting the grant oak shutters to drown out the noise of the crowds of cheering subjects outside.
"And," asked Lefarrel, "how may i help you gentlemen?"
"Your highness," Started one man, "This has gone too far."
"If you are referring to the subjection of workers in the downtown districts, it is regrettable, i admit. But it was necessary for the people to remember they owe their leader respect!"
"No Sir, this... Experiment"
"You mean the Ape-Men? If you mean to tell me it is 'against the will of God' or such, then silence! I act through the will of God, and my -"
"No!" Interrupt the second man, "All of this is an experiment! You are not Thomas Lefarrel, the dictator of Utoforia. In fact, Utoforia isn't even a real Island. This is all an experiment in social psychology, and it has gone too far! You are Tom Leister, you live in the East end of London, and it's time to stop this."
"But..." he started, then turning "Jenkins, you've served me loyally since you were my batman in the revolutionary wars..."
"Actually, Jenkins is a method actor from Hull. All your staff, the crowds of admirers, the Generals who brief you daily - we faked it all. Now come home. Your family miss you, and we have to pay extra if we don't return all the furniture tonight."

There's no philosophical point to this. If we look inside ourselves, we probably recognise most of our live is built on illusions and falsehoods, it's just not always so clear what they are. Personally, I'm pretty sure I have an army of ape-men.

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