THE CURLINGTON THEATRE PRESENTS:
A day in Parliament
AS TOLD BY PUPPETS
Johannson enters politics…
Johannson stumbled through the musty corridors, past dank windows filthy with the mildew of times gone past. The wood beneath his feet began to creek with each step. He made his way along, finding a set of stairs, leading to a small door that would not have been out of place in Wonderland.
This was the door he was looking for. Having been recently elected in his county, it was he duty now to attend parliament diligently. However no one has told Johannson how long it would take to find an entrance. For several hours he’d walked through damp corridors looking for the door. Strangely it seemed to be moving in an elliptical fashion along the wall.
He pushed against the door and fell backwards instantly, the sheer amount of noise knocking him off his feet, the sound of a thousand tongues buzzing against his ears.
Getting up, he stepped inside. His mouth literally dropped.
What greeted him is difficult to explain. Picture if you will a giant beer keg turned on its side, so that both lids are exposed and not facing the ground. Now imagine that the lower half of the beer barrel (inside the beer barrel) someone has built a large set of seats along the very curves of the barrel, with a split right down the centre in which there is a stage. Along these seats are politicians, all shouting at once. Some of them are wearing afro wigs, some different hats, some are completely buck naked.
Now imagine that through the very centre of the barrel is a massive metal pole running from one lid to the other. This is connected to the rest of the building in such away that the whole barrel turns back and forth with the shifting weight of people in the seats.
Lastly- the politicians have cannons shooting at each other. Obviously.
Johannson still not quite believing his eyes, dropped into a nearby chair and tried vainly to take it all in.
“New here are you?” called a voice from behind.
“Yes. Is it that obvious?” replied Johannson, turning to look at the questioner. It was an aged man, carrying a broomstick, wearing a janitor’s uniform.
“All new comers have that look like they’ve just shat themselves. Let me explain a few things to you then.”
“Are those real cannons? What are they arguing about?”
“No they agreed recently to use watermelons as ammo instead. And what don’t they argue about? What you’re seeing here is the old politics vs. new politics. There’s a massive split in how the way “Vring Teh Rye” as a country should be run. The old guard are… I guess traditionalists are the best way to describe them. They’re against change, to put it bluntly although it’s not nearly as simple as that. The new guard are for change.”
“And that’s it? There aren’t any middlemen? Central politics?”
“If you tried to explain that concept to all those people up their they’d blink several times and then swear at you. As such there aren’t any middlemen.”
“HEY!” said a voice, which came from Larry, who was invisible.
“Sorry- I should say that there aren’t any visible middlemen.”
26th amendment of the day- the new administrative flag…
The parliament had calmed for a brief second as a man, who Johannson recognised as the Prime Minister took centre stage.
“Today ladies and gentlemen I wish to unveil the new symbol of our administration”. The Prime Minister pulled back the cloth on the board. A Minister from the old guard stood up.
“Prime Minister, it appears to be a blackened window.”
“Making it opaque.”
Adventures in the filing cabinet jungle...
You could stumble forever through the Byzantine corridors of Parliament and not realise that there is a hidden copy place. Within the depths of the building, hidden beneath the beer barrel of meritocracy clerks type furiously to keep up with the continuous on going debates, enactment’s, laws and trials. They format the constitution daily, ripping it up as the latest thing comes in that completely rewrites the laws of Vring Teh Rye.
To do this task each clerk has one typewriter, strapped to each hand and foot pounding away for thirty hours a day. Suffice to say, they kick the shit out of the infinite monkeys.
The task they do fills several filing cabinets a day, which go into the massive basement below the copy room where they form the filing cabinet jungle.
It is said that there are hidden treasures to be found in that jungle, documents that go back to the very foundation of the country but no one is stupid to venture in there. No one wants to get beaten up by an Ostrich.
Observe one of the clerks, typing furiously like a Hindu god, punching out 4 sheets at the same time. Looking over some of these sheets we see a references from above to something called the “Spirit of Vring Teh Rye”. Something with apparent importance because the list of references linked to such a thing is contained in a whole continent of filing cabinets...
Where Johannson encounters the Phantom Flasher...
Walking through the corridors, trying to get a feel for Parliament, Johannson had the misfortune to run into the Phantom Flasher.
It happened as he stalked his way through the scummy canteen, heading for a blackened door which would take him back to the main beer barrel.
As he reached for the door a noise came from behind him. He turned around to see a man with a mask, dressed in a long trench coat. The man pulled back the trench coat.
Johannson went instantly temporarily blind when a powerful blast of light emanating from whatever lay beneath the man’s coats hit him right in the eyes.
After eventually recovering he went into the main barrel and asked the Janitor about the strange man.
“Him? That’s the phantom flasher. He randomly blinds people with his amazing torchlight. No one knows who he is.”
Proposal 226- new system of classification…
“What is being proposed today is a new way of classifying material released through the court system and parliament. I am suggesting that we let ministers classify material with their own words, their own classification and the density and number of those words used by all members of parliament shall become the terms that material can be searched by.” Announced one of the new guard. “The classification given to such material will of course be reviewed against a set of unseen standards by the clerks.”
This proposal was greeted with much cheering and booing and firing of cannons. Strangely there seemed to be massive shrieking from beneath the barrel as if many people had just had one of their worst nightmares incarnated.
“ARE YOU MAD!”
“If you let people write whatever they want they’ll write whatever they want!”
“I fully support this on the understanding that I can classify my documents with the term Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
“HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING CRACK BOY!”
The new guard who had announced the proposal, got up and was about to clarify his position when a watermelon cannon took him out from above.
In the court room...
Wandering again through the dishevelled, rotting wooden corridors, Johannson found himself in a strange place. He’d got there by walking through one of the rotating doors, expecting it to take him to the parliament. Instead he’d found himself in a courtroom.
“Kosef J” you are charged with a crime, whose nature is forever changing, mutating with the pattern of the law but unknowable to you. In short you have somehow pissed off someone in the administration. How do you plead?”
“I charge you as such.” The judge said banging his rubber gavel. “What is the next case, please?”
The bailiff standing in the corner stood up.
“The entire human race vs. infinity.”
Johannson ran quickly back out the door he came from.
Proposal 912 – addendum and comments to current documents…
“Honourable Sirs, I suggest that comments become allow to be attached to all documents that pass through this court in the hope that this will, facilitate communication and serve as a passing record for the ideals of the time the proposal was made.”
This was greeted with much jeering and cannon fire.
“Have you gone mad! I believe this was tried once, in a small town court. The effects were disastrous,” cried one minister.
“Hah! You can say that now because you of the “Old Guard” shut off most access to it. It’s funny how you use a piece of evidence that is only you know about and cannot be corroborated by one of us.” Shouted back a new guard minister.
“Huzzah! Now I can draw ze boobies on all ze documents.” Shouted out another who was inexplicable German.
The “debate” raged on like this for a while. However as Tim Turner stood up to speak the whole room silenced itself. Timmy generally made good comments on situations, often had insights that were useful and it paid to listen to him.
“Honourable Sir, I have to have ask this question. Aside from serving as a historic record of the ideals that went on at the time, how exactly would the situation by any different from what goes on now?”
Much cheering had erupted from the “Old Guard” side of the barrel.
Johannson encounters the fabled Press Room...
Leaning against the wall in the Old Canteen, Johannson continued to fall, realising that the wall was too weak to take his weight. He fell on his arse dust splintering everywhere.
Looking around at this unearthed shit hole, covered in filth, Johannson quickly realised that he’d found the fabled Press Room the janitor had told him about. The cameras confirmed it.
Lying about on the floor were several skeletons, long ago killed in what must have been the great sealing off of 1623, when the Parliament, inexplicably slaughtered all remnants of the outside world and locked themselves in for two years. The country flourished in that time.
Musing things over, Johannson wondered just how much contact the Ministers had with their citizens outside.
Johannson learns politics...
Walking back into the parliament Johannson found the place running as usual with much snarling and gnashing of teeth.
“What are they arguing about now?” he asked the Janitor.
“A big debate kid. They’re arguing over whether to allow new forms of media into the country or whether to stick to the traditional format of writing.”
“Ahh... why would there be a big argument over the introduction of new media?”
“Lots of things to argue. Different formats require different regulations. No one is entirely sure why the administration is pushing this and it’s not been explained very well. But mainly it comes down to something else...”
“Remember when I said it was not as simple as old guard vs. new guard? Here’s the thing... and this is my interpretation of what goes on... this place is dictated not by laws and charters but by the pure spirit of the country. Decisions are made on whether it sticks to the spirit of the country. If something is suggested which doesn’t fulfil these criteria then out it goes. That goes for our laws, our criminals and our diplomacy.”
“That’s what the old guard run by. They stick to the spirit of the place like glue because it’s how things work around here.”
“What is the spirit of this place?”
“A good question but not answerable. It’s not really definable by any means. In fact trying to define it would destroy everything. I remember the last guy that tried that- both sides strapped him to a cannon.”
“Yeah. The new guard adhere to it as well in a way. They want change to keep the very heart of this country going but they wouldn’t suggest it if they felt that it went against the whole spirit of the place.”
“So can’t they compromise?”
“That’ll be the day… wait, where you going kid?”
Johannson stood up in the centre of the barrel, waving his hands up down slowly until silence filled the place.
“Gentleman and ladies! Is it not possible to compromise on this issue?”
The place literally rang with laughter. People in China heard that and wondered what the fuck was going on.
“You’re new here aren’t you?” asked one minister. Johannson didn’t answer.
“Listen this place works as the logical extension of Internet debate laws. Therefore there can be no compromise!”
“Shh... Grown ups talking.”
The debate continued to rage on in the Parliament. The screams and shouts and booms of cannons filled the air, but nothing could silence the almighty explosion that came from the main entrance of the Parliament.
Looking in that direction, gas canisters slid out filled with highly powerful hallucinogenic gases. The 1812 overture began to play.
In the main entrance was Johannson, sitting on an ostrich, a sabre in his hand, backed by all the new ministers, who were also riding ostriches. They kicked off and rode into the seats above.