Three generations of teaching kids to disguise themselves cleverly and strike back.
The Actor Lekain in the Role of Gengis Khan, by Unknown Author; The Hit, by Fredrick Leighton
After Obama the need for fresh leadership was clear as a bell.
Portrait of Edward VI as a Child, by Hans Holbein the Younger
All he wanted was her first born son.
The Natchez, by Eugene Delacroix
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
Dancer, by Fernando Botero
“The dark side is real.” he said while gripping her shoulders, balling up her flesh in his palm. “I’ve always known I was special, but now I have proof. They are coming after me.” He gasped for air and grabbed his throat in the corner of the ballroom.
He continued, “I feel it. I’m cursed. They have resigned me to elastic waistbands and lemon juice diets. I can’t even hear myself think…”
He was so changed, his wife thought. She let her mind wander back to their wedding day. They were just children then, and had worked for three years to be able to get married in Goa, India, right on the beach.
“Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia,” she had said, eagerly clasping her hands to his in holy matriomony. They walked back down the aisle togther over to their speed boat they had rented. His elbow was jerking uncontrollably from happiness and as he turned again to wave to the crowd, his funny bone smashed into a statue of Vishnu. A little Indian girl had ran over to them with her doe-eyes stretched open so far that you could see the whole curveture of her eyeballs and whispered something incomprensible in the same way that Jews say “Hashem.”
They immediately had to flee the country because India had declared them the most powerful of all the gods, capable of such destruction, and the Ayatollah Khomeini had called them on the phone, congratulating them on their marriage. Now they were in hiding and her husband’s reason was on fire because somebody had brought a hookah to the party tonight.
She saw that his paranoia was coming back, took a deep breathe, and pleaded, “Let’s just dance, OK?” They began to twirl around with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths as they always did when he stopped. Grabbing the back of her knee, holding her leg up at a 45 degree angle he said sternly, “No, it cannot go on like this. I must confront him.”
He walked over to the elderly gentlemen and said “Namaste.”
“Namaste” he answered, his voice trailing off.
“I must ask you why you brought that thing here today? I have a bit of a history with Indian people.”
“I am celebrating. My son has just become the President of his company in Goa”
The husband let out a cry of outrage and ran back over to his wife. “We must leave this instant! He is one of them” putting special emphasis on the final word.
“But where can we go!? We have already been to Uruguay, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo and you keep insisting that this dark force follows you everwhere. You cannot run forever, though if you did you probably would not have these health problems.”
“Shut up! Shut up! I have the answer this time” he said as he gazed meaninfully at the cat curled up under the table next to the broken wine bottle.
The Marchesa Casati, by Giovanni Boldini
Marchesa: “Ahh just me and my fine, black dogs today, how fun.”
Dog 1: Hey, I know what we could do! We could update your facebook, maybe add all the new books you have read lately like that new horridly misleading John Grisham novel about spies, or the Mata Hari thriller.”
Marchesa:”Dear me, you are quite the wellspring of education, maldito hijo de puta.”
Dog 1: “When you argue in an Oriental language it is near impossible to understand you. It’s quite becoming.”
Dog 2: “Oh, Mistress Marchesa, I have a better idea. Why don’t we write our own book and make it available for all our, I mean your, friends. Something like “Chameleon Shifters are the New Bildebergs: Tales from the Black Box”
Marchesa: “Well, I must not reveal my employers name too blatantly. I must name it “Tales from the Black Box: A Chameleon in the Big City. Speaking of which, I must go now.”
Dog 1: “Are you joking? You’re hardly discreet in that outfit. You do realize that in America Lincoln has already been shot and buried?”
Marchesa: “What do you know of being a ‘shifter? I have to make an appearance at the Intercontinental this afternoon. What am I supposed to wear–a jumper?”
She began to laugh in a manner strikingly similar to a seal.
Dog 1: No, but something that allows people to think you kiss babies rather than stuff them.
Dog 2: “Just be thinking about that book. I think Chapter One could be about the time that you got lost in a Polish village. While wandering around you stumbled upon a little old lady who thought you were the prettiest thing she had ever seen, not guessing you had just assassinated the entire bevy of church deacons and archbishops. If I remember correctly, within two weeks you had mastered the language, wooed a descendant of the Hapsburgs, and used their funds to return home to us. I remember how lonely and cold those days were without you,” he said furrowing his brow.
Marchesa: “I’m going to be late. Can’t have them thinking that I was busy taping a wire to my chest or making illicit phone calls now can I? Ta ta.”
“Don’t worry I’ll write it all up for you while you’re gone!” Dog 2 shouted as the door slammed behind her.