George II, le Schrub (fragment)

On the plains of Frankistan, the warre councill meet in an abandoned republick

Wolfwit (an aide): What say'st thou of the prisoners, Sire, unauthorized combatants of the plain?

Roomsfield (field marshall): We'll shackle them in Cuba, and do them worse than dogges, e'en tho none there had a hand in it – (whispers) that we can prove. u2018Tis nothing, and le Shrub him selfe shall take it like a pretzel to his bosom.

Wolfwit: But how, milord, shall we spin it for the people, the dim-brained beasts, when three or four – their names thou ken'st, may crave to know it meets the laws of war?

Roomsfield: Of Chomsky and his ilk, pray, mind me not, for they like insects ever buzz my tent and dryve me spare – and e'en here in Frankistan.

Pearlygate (a groom): My lord, news is there! And none too good, as tho't were not sufficient to the daye, the Moors grow restless and hold their hatred close, they say.

Roomsfield: A drone or two will stay their tongues and thus the sleeping wogs of Dar'll bide the night, and of our courses unaware…. Heark, someone comes. u2018Tis Cheaney.

Cheaney (viceroy): Goo'day, my Noble Lords, and may ye ever so abide, stalwart, true, and bold, as the chicken wears the hawke his hyde. I come from our Great Souveraigne's stowe, he greets you all and bids me Say his minde….

Roomsfield (aside): If mind he have – but, oh, I do forget my selfe….

Cheaney: What's that, milord, hast thoughts for us to bare? Come out of thy shell –

Roomsfield: u2018Twas nothing, Sire – for the twinkling of an eye I beheld in thought my share in smithies that the great flying drones do build, with all their fire…

Cheaney: Yea, in this bold warre, we here much treasure to our Owne estates shall gather and engross, withoil, I meant withall. A mighty thing – of one kind and unical, but not affix'd to our standard now, nor must we say alowde such things. For lyttle birdies do sing kuwait, kuwait, and a word to the wyse is a poke in the eye.

I must read you of our Sovrein's thoughts….. [puts on reading glasses]

Cheaney (reading): u2018We, Georgilius II, stupor mundi et stupor Tuesdi, King of Thisse and Duke of Thatte, Oure Noble men in Armes do greete and to yowre better understanding and ratiocination of oure Cause, do mind yowe all, Viz: Evildo'rs there are, who hate us solely of our freedom, which they disrelish much, yet nonetheless We seeke no wider fields [note to our selfe: save oyle], no territories grandized; for all We ask and strongly crave is that the Universall world Our pow'r do honour, and reckon Us the Finall judge of all thinges, spirituall and worldly, [No, I can't intervene in the Alabama Governor's race, I – We – are instructing our thegns, and stop interrupting me – Us – while We are working!]…..'

And further more, our king doth say: u2018And as to Baghdad, a towne in Jersey as Our hooded and privy Court of Unseen justice hath declared, which cometh so under Our souvereigntie and Our most rightfull jurisdixion, We instruct and bind you, loyall thegns, to beleaguer, siege, and tredd it under foote, so that Our writ shall run and Oyle may flow, and waste away the memory of gasoline at dollars twain/the gallon. Do this, Our faithfull servants, and leave No tern unstoned. Salutem ad vos omnes, Nous George le Deuxieme, votre pissante Sovereigne et Seignior de toute le monde. Per fidem et per gemmas familiares.' Hic expliciunt litterae Georgii II.

(to himself:) Methinks he meant u2018puissante.'

Wolfwit: By my fai', he saith a mouthfull and halfe again, and so our taske is sett: invade, o'erthrow, and last, bestryde the global, worldwide sphere and bring it under lawe. Democracie – whate'er that be – we shall engendre, And nations build, tho' pale Buchanan like it not, and natter negativo. To kick his shin I'm fain, but we have other bidness. Leave them to their brooding, and some (I wene) unto their lazy faires, there is no matter in't. For should they bold and troublous wax and, restless, cry u2018Regime change starts at home,' Our sovereigne's Fiery Eye shall spy them out, howeverso they roam.

Cheaney: Well said, brave lad, thou'rt in trim, and risest up the ladder (to himself:) but for my part, abroad with you, for who can trust an adder?…. I, aw, my thoughts got out of traine… The oylie bird gets the world — No, I mean to say, the early bird gets the worm; but never mind, it's rimes we need and numbers plural. Call PoinSin'ster!

Pearlygate (interjecting): I fain would push the Button!

All: Hold thy knavish tongue, Pearlygate, thou bloody stupid wanker! Just bide a while… The Button may yet have its day….

(Enter PoinSinister)

PoinSinister (classified): There's figures in everything, yer Grace, in amplitude and size, but whate'er they compass great or small, we know them on this wise: Our mighty Universall eye – by wiles classified and hidden, seeks out to know if an' all the wights are doing what they're bidden – but, more, at our shrouded, bushie stowe, whose dread name no man utters –

Roomsfield: DARPA PANOPTICON! The Pyramid his Eye! I knew a man once, he worked in stone, a mason then….. Well, shut my mouth….

(The sound of swords unsheathed…)

PoinSinister: Stay your sword hands, bold Knights, we few these things may know, for we are wise and good, unlike the lambs who putt us here. But for the record, mind that anywight who saith the words my Lord was lately out with, wide and side and out of doors, shall suffer fine of $500,000, and for thirty yeares rot in prison under durance vile most foederal, tho' there's some discretion in it. It hingeth on the judge… but they are with us…. Whose butter smears their bread is well within their ken; they are not dim but bent.

Pearlygate: But I want more news of Dar-, that thing we do not say –

PoinSinister: Well and good, bold fledgling Knight, u2018tis on the ground of (nods gravely:) Need To Know (aside:) and we all know thy need. With clever tools and odd devises, sparkfed, quick, and nimble, all worldly things we see (and hear) and store them in One Place unphysical, whilst thimble readers sort things out and make our knowledge total… but if ever we're in court, my friend: we've never spoke, all this is anecdotal…

Roomsfield: This inner lore we here lay bare, not for the mean and low, those common broadsheet scribblers with their u2018publick right to know.' Call ye to mind the idle japes and empty words I told u2018em, of u2018known unknowns' and those u2018unknown.' I very nearly sold u2018em. And when I predicated thus: u2018The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' — some thought me Harry Stottle. The rest, the silly, idle fools, took recourse in a bottle.

Scientia est potentia, Bacon saith. To know what things is, is to grasp them tight, and so to bind them, and like Prometheus the fire, to bend them to Our Will. Surveillance total, just descryved, is father to this miracle, – permit me this small jest – for melding Latine with the Greeke, all empire is empirical.

PoinSinister: And of such hue I'll further own, ere our discourses flag, Sir Tom of Ridge, he hath a poke – it is his great Black Bagge….

Cheaney: By Immortal Caesar's ghost, I say, and by my jewels familiar: u2018tis done! We've made quick work of it, tho' I do myne owne back pat. The best and brightest, we – and on to Universall Empyre! Away with rights and Bills, old hand-stained rotten parchments, which beckoning paths do block. They mock our Will, Our soveraign 'is Will, that is….

All: Away with chartered rights and bills! Praise Petroleum, our god alchemical, known to George, our lord supreme, in all his rocks and layers. For strategy and stratigraphy in euphony cohabit — yes, the stratum's the thing, and that's the bottom of it. So pull the wool and blind the side and wink the hood! Why! — legally – we swear and hold — the thing does not perplex us: Iraq, Iran, and Araby were ever parts of Texas.

Chorus:

And so we play'rs have strove to find out reason's awful rime

With numbers culled and calibrate to sound the dreadfull tyme

We've done our best to plumb the depths and fathom all the friction

Tho' running up against stone walls bedeckt with Legal fiction

PoinSin'ster's men their damn'dest doo as bulwarkes of the Secret state

With bits and bytes like gods to see, with which they calculate

And George le Shrub, his rule be long, and Heaven help his toyle

A tyme he's had, much like his dad, and endeth up with Oyle

Oyle's well that ends swell.

November 18, 2002