Just wars, just pieces, just doing the grand

Now that the roads are open again to plebeian traffic, all us proles can get back to the business of life. Or, if you are a patrician, to the life of business. No more buntings and bill-boards and tamashas and one-man poster parties. So stop making faces. Cease and desist from muttering under your breath at the pretty pass that the ship of state has come to – if you will pardon the mixed metaphor. And climb on board the bandwagon.

Which, by the looks of it, the rest of the country (bar a few party-poopers within the walls of the capital and in the more discerning suburbs) seem only too happy to clamber on – at the drop of a shawl! The provinces and those buth-packet types on the periphery appear to be only too happy with the circuses – even if there is a pitiful (if you will pardon the pun) little problem about the bread they eat. Or don’t get to eat, these days…

Of course, there are the nitty-gritty details like who’s going to foot the bill… for the tamashas, that is, not the paang. Pity. And there are also some extra nagging worries about whether all this is coming out of international donor funds (Ah, shock! Oh, surprise?). Or whether the Treasury it is that will simply dig deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets. Because you can bet your bottom dollar it ain’t party funds that spread light and largesse all-round in the dizzy week leading up to the weekend.

By the way, was it a big old boy’s nostalgic birthday bash that this rape of time, plunder of space, and pillage of effort was all in aid of? Or was there a more, er, mature, reason – such as the inauguration of a second term in office? Some wits claim they can’t make up their minds as to which is the lesser of the two evils. Whose idea was it, anyway? Ours… as in: we, the people? Or theirs – like… they, the servants of the public we elected to high office and a hard time serving the people?

Just wondering!

Then again, one can’t be too churlish. After all, this is not any old somebody’s big bash. It’s the do of the year for the man of the hour. The hero of the moment. Yesterday’s populist outsider and tomorrow’s popular choice. No, folks, they aren’t paying me to say all these kind things! I’m only too happy to blow out the candles on the cake. For there must be a reward for the commander-in-chief who won the war. The head of state who won back our image overseas. And the head of government who’s lost not a single battle to date… with his friends, colleagues, and political opponents alike – eh? Credit where credit is due. Even if it is to the, um, angelic one incarnate…

Just saying, aney! Don’t dispatch the TID, aiyo! Which reminds me. In order to host the celebration of the century (let’s not pull any punches), it was necessary to execute some fancy footwork. First, we had to demonstrate to the powers that be over the sea that we were merely a paper tiger – that our bark is worse than our bite. This we accomplished by our junket to the diplomatic capital of the world. Where, by dint of going about stirring up apathy wherever we went, we proved that we were a spent force in the PR circles of the developed world.

That came at a cost. And never you mind, dears, a cynic is simply someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. All of this expense on publicity stunts, and pats on the back from the state and its grateful citizens … with hardly a thought for the lost generation of souls who have disappeared under the post-conflict radar. Not even for the ever-present voters who were waiting for the day when the PTA and Emergency Regulations would be nothing more than a nightmare from which we were all trying desperately to wake…

Not that all of this moaning of peace-doves in immemorial elms and the murmuring of innumerable peaceniks among the bees is of any interest to the ex-war hawks and incumbent propagandists in, for, and on behalf of the government (if that is what it is). Weak minds like those of the opposition may seek to stifle their thoughts and real feelings about the fuss and bother being made.

But it is the strong thinkers in our society who strive to define and control the very language of thought that we must guard against. For it is the spinmeisters who represent all of this vast expense and inordinate celebration as legitimate who leave the worst taste in decent, common or garden, and civilized mouths.

Savour it. Just fed up! At all the hype sans hope. And hoop-la in la-la-land. And hypocrisy on the part of hangers-on who should know better. But can’t quite bring themselves to cut the umbilical cord. Good thing it’s not Thanksgiving until next Thursday. Or we’d have had a whole load of other tripe to swallow cold turkey, too. Like how the US is our new BFF? And then our goose in sweet and sour sauce would have really been cooked, Szechuan-style! And my fat would be well and truly in the fire…

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