Liberty Leading the People, by Eugene Delacroix; The Turkish Bath, by Ingres
Wen Jiabao, Premier of China: “I have just ‘stumbled upon’ an interesting new site. It seems that Karl Rove has received 3 purple hearts and the highest naval honors for saving 4 children from a burning submarine. I never knew he had so much dignity.”
Right Hand Man: “Oh yes, Your Premierness. So many interesting things can be found on the Internet, especially through the all-powerful phenomena that is Twitter. It’s where I find all my news for your daily security reports. For today I have prepared a report on why Neil Armstrong is as big of a liar as Czar Nicholas II. The moon? All lies. The most important celestial bodies are Father Tiger and Mother Bear” he said with two slight nods of his head.
“Bring me my oracle bones! I must know the future of this internet.”
“Before I do this I should explain. The Internet has also been causing a lot of civil unrest. You see, a leader of a local harem, who moonlights as a porn star, has been organizing a union of young ladies of the night in large-scale protests for their rights. I think we could capitalize on this idea, however, maybe restore the Geisha system, only more global, sleek, and trendy. The Japs stole the idea from us anyway, just like they stole the idea of the Ronin. Lying, cock-sucking dogs…”
“Control yourself and answer my question or I will bring out the waterboard! What is ‘porn’?”
“Well, women get paid for sex and men videotape it.”
The Premier roared with laughter. “That’s called marriage!”
“Well, men don’t get paid in marriage.”
“Have you heard of a dowry? I get paid all the time in legal tender–sheep heads and sometimes family heirlooms–old scrolls and the like. We here in China love all equally.”
“But you see, there is no love involved. Some American women even claim that they feel that their husbands love them less because their husbands like to watch women gagged and beaten, with other women, bleaching their assholes, or sometimes even vomiting.”
The premier stared at him blankly, unable to comprehend his stupidity and misunderstanding of Western culture. “What’s your point?” he said at last?
“Well, as I said, we fear that it will only cause more civil unrest. 12 men already killed themselves after the retirement of the most notorious Lady, the current one’s predecessor. We’ve already blocked google, but this is a persistent force, like a DNA string mutation.” He chuckled. “Saw that on Twitter.”
“Here’s what to do. Listen very carefully. Go to the Forbidden City and have the guards show you to the Purity Room.
Walk 23 statues to the back, and then 23 to the left and there you shall find a gilded lion. His eyes are actually 2 bones, which are the two elbow joints of the holy oracle, the only relics left of him. Pray on them, and then bring them to our Harem “Princess.” She thinks she’s Internet royalty, well, I’ll give her the royal treatment. After making her kiss them, bring her and the relics to me.”
The civil rights leader entered the room naked with her ukulele.
“Why hello, my princess,” the Premier said, taken aback. He crossed and recrossed his legs as she sat cross-legged in front of him.
“Hello, I hear that you are displeased with my speeches and rhetoric to my fellow ladies.”
“Did I say that? I meant only that your words are strong. You have so many rights right now, like the right to possess me.”
Right Hand Man leaned in and whispered to the Premier “Don’t forget that she’s a subversive and dangerous criminal. She would take us down for a fresh hookah and sequined dress.”
The ‘Princess’ sensed the nature of his comments. She knew men very well and replied “I will do anything for my country. I have committed many errors in my life and tonight won’t be another one.”
“Ok let’s discuss civil rights? Have you read Sumner’s What Social Classes Owe Each Other? He has a lot of insight on what people might owe the Premier of their great nation.”
The ‘Princess’ stared at him in disbelief. “It’s you who ought to take care of us, give us liberty and give us…”
“Death” the Premier answered.
“I see that this has been a mistake. Please have somebody accompany back to my harem. Good bye.”
“That went well didn’t it?” the Premier asked Right Hand Man