Lesson fifteen: first you ignore them


From The Vassals Handbook – Lesson fifteen – first you ignore them


A small groups gathering. A patio. A milling of positions.

She shook my hand with her hand, soft and full. Today I met the first family. The first lady seemed always about to go grocery shopping. I looked around for grocery carts, I heard them banging in my head, I half expected to trip into one. The first lady smiled and tried hard to smile and tried to work up to smiling, primary task, necessary habit. Mostly successful. The pressures of a woman, this woman. Wearied and wearying almost; we got along.

The President was another matter. Not that we did not get along, far from it. We moved well in face of one another. You can feel the power gush from, around, in, and through him. The power pulses in, around, and through, and to you, and past and back, and to all those surround. Power is that extra energy in the air you can touch as it works on and about and you see it work on others. It works on people. It worked on us. Who were we talking to, each other? Superficially. Meaningfully. We were talking to power. I mean you can see it and feel it. To miss that was to be talking to the moon.

You never forgot for a moment that the President was there, the supreme individual of the Incorporated Estates of Earth.

I felt for the first lady. She seemed to have a hard time of it, I mean, getting on, even as she got on, famously, as she ought. She soldiered about as if in quick hitting daze of clairvoyance, as if looking for spontaneity everywhere and wondering that it was not to be found, even though almost it was. She stared as if into a mirror at herself and pretended not to, convincingly enough, as if she were the stage itself and nowhere upon it. Continue reading Lesson fifteen: first you ignore them

Lesson thirteen: next best thing to royalty


Lesson thirteen – next best thing to royalty


You know the first lady, the first family? That is, the President of the Incorporated Estates of Earth and his wife? I get to meet them! For the first time. I can’t wait. I won’t know how to act.

But first, a thought. Is it not curious that vassals never refer to the President and his wife as the “first family” or to her as the “first lady”? I have to admit, I have never once heard any regular vassal refer to them in this way. In fact, I only hear such language in the incorporated media. Why is that?

It doesn’t seem to be catching, this proper mode of address. And that is what has got to change. Continue reading Lesson thirteen: next best thing to royalty

Lesson ten: the glory of the Green Zone


[“Lessons” are temporary posts. These early drafts may come down after a few days. Any surviving or revised remnants and expanded passages can be found at The Vassals Handbook page – also subject to revision.]


Lesson ten – the glory of the Green Zone


Some call it the God Zone, others with equal appreciation call it the Genghis Zone in honor of that great liberator of olden time Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu Khan who liberated Iraq from the Iraqis nearly 800 years prior to George Bush the Second when his invading legions overran the Middle East. Whatever you call it, the Gravy Zone or the Grand Zone or simply the GZ, the Green Zone shines like a beacon. We might all live in the GZ someday, if we work hard enough and get lucky.

Originally the Baghdad headquarters of the US occupation of Iraq, today the Green Zone means the Good Life. If you’re in the Zone, the Green Zone, you’ve got it made. Everyone there that I care to know makes six figures easy. Oh sure, you wind up dodging an incoming bomb or two on many a night, but with blast walls screening off ground attacks from the Red Zone – anywhere beyond the Green Zone – you feel safe enough. What’s life without a few bombs thrown from time to time? I certainly wouldn’t know. Continue reading Lesson ten: the glory of the Green Zone

Lesson eight: the pathology of the vassals


[“Lessons” are temporary posts. These early drafts come down after a few days. Any surviving or revised remnants and expanded passages may be found at The Vassals Handbook page – also subject to revision.]


Lesson eight – the pathology of the vassals


Maybe the vassals are doomed, maybe the incorporation of full scale slavery remains the IEE’s only hope of salvation, of proper order and stability, of fiscal efficiency and economic integrity.

The latest polls of the vassals are not to be believed, are to be deplored and feared, as we continue to see these toxic numbers fail to drop. Is it possible that the vassals are inherently pathological? The polls seem to prove it. Large majorities of vassals still prefer that the ruling government, our dearly beloved IEE:


“care for those who cannot care for themselves”; “do more” for its people; provide “more services” with “more spending”; provide “health care to all” and raise taxes to do so; increase the minimum wage; raise corporate taxes; raise upper income taxes; increase spending on education and social security; reign in “greed and materialism” and “poverty and economic injustice.”


Why? Why, after all the IEE has done for and to the ungrateful vassals? It’s that outlier of an outlaw, that guerrilla historian Pierce Strike who keeps reporting all this, via some remote mountain hideout, no doubt, and that notorious center of insurgency, ZCommunications.

The infernal vassal insurgency is currently carried on by the majority, whose values, priorities, preferences more or less align in toxic fashion. Good thing these dissidents are weak and subject to being stomped like so many bugs.

Makes a good vassal proud to squash bugs. And therein lies the eighth lesson of this handbook of the vassals. Good vassals everywhere: avoid the swarming vassals gone viral. Work for the Incorporated Estates of Earth, and salvation shall be yours.


Lesson six: vassals at arms – Lesson seven: the demise of the vassals


[“Lessons” are temporary posts. These early drafts come down after a few days. Any surviving or revised remnants and expanded passages may be found at The Vassals Handbook page – also subject to revision.]


Lesson six – vassals at arms


Cannibalism as a saving economic stratagem? I exaggerate, I suppose. I’m the master PR guy, Stan D. Garde. They throw so much stuff at me. I’m responsible for everything all the time – the colonial wars in western Asia and the intricacies of each; the IEE’s waning influence in South America; the leaderless European Union; the many horns of Africa; constant upheaval and unrest in India; natural and unnatural disasters in Southeast Asia; the churning rise of China. Cannibalism? Let’s set that notion aside for awhile, its economic advantages notwithstanding, whatever its popular difficulty or promise.

The economy and the military, this is my concern, how to resurrect the one and how to strengthen the other. Through military strength comes economic might – the IEE and I see no way around that proposition – base reality. The only question – which way the IEE? Should it power up its colonial forces, all the better to occupy and instill profitable fear. Or should the military continue to power up for the big picture, for super global warfare, by expanding its huge fleets of planes, tanks, ships, missiles, and by further militarizing space?

The difficulty of my job is that the rulers are split – between the leaders of the occupying forces on the ground, on the one hand over fist and on the other hand over fist, the generals, lobbyists, lobbyist generals, and strategists beyond. I repeat: the occupying forces throughout Greater Oila wish for more pacifying resources, the better to conquer the Oilan vassals. Meanwhile, higher up brass and financiers press for bigger fleets and space based might.

But what if we figured out a way to wed the economic stimulus needed to revive the bankrupt banks with military power and spending? Why not give all the money to the military to run the world like one giant boot camp, or if that appears too extreme, make the world an endless string of military bases and installations – each vassal den an armed outpost, each inhabitant of earth a foot soldier, an IEE enlistee. Might this not be a solution more practical, more popular, more elegant than cannibalism? Militarize the IEE more fully, militarize earth. Totally. Continue reading Lesson six: vassals at arms – Lesson seven: the demise of the vassals

Lesson three: empire’s graveyard glory


Well here we go, off to the wars! Let’s see, where do we visit today? Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Gaza? Yes! How is the war for the everlasting expansion of the Incorporated Estates of Earth going? you ask? Very well! How do we know? Graveyards! Here we are in one going full blast, the bodies flooding in as if from some channeled hurricane of blood and gore. Now this is the sort of full employment the overlords of the IEE fully appreciate. Gravediggers rejoice! These grave diggers get no rest around here. They barely have time to jot down the names of those going under. Some bodies even come in with no names at all, and some are surely pseudonyms. But who needs names when business is booming? One look and we know the story of many a body: Mr. Shot-in-the-back-of-the-head. Ms. Blown-to-bits-from-the-sky. Child mutilated-by-shrapnel. Infant Crushed-from-on-high. Busy, busy, busy are we in the graveyards of the IEE. Continue reading Lesson three: empire’s graveyard glory

Lesson two: a vassal’s duty is debt repayment


I, vassal. I vassal. Vassal I. It may surprise readers that your author is a fellow vassal. Some vassals are more subservient than others, some more privileged. I’ve been asked to overview here not only the duties of vassals – any mere serf could do as much – but to sketch the world entire, as best known today. I’ve been asked by the lords of capital to reveal in one single work the full human condition of our time, of the time that came before, and of the time that will come after. The better to know, the better to rule and be ruled. For the first time in all history, the great epic of Earth is to be written – the tale of the IEE. Continue reading Lesson two: a vassal’s duty is debt repayment