Wednesday 16 November 2011

The Emperor's New Heavy-Handed Parable

Once upon a time there was an emperor who cared very much about his appearance. When two tailors from exotic lands visited his country, he summoned them for an audience and demanded the most splendid outfit that money could buy. Night and day the tailors worked and finally, after delaying the outfit by a week to allow for additional polishing of the buckles and fastenings, they dressed the emperor, and all the courtiers agreed that it was the finest and most magnificent outfit they had ever seen. So pleased was the emperor that he decided to stage a parade such that all his subjects could witness the clothes. As he strode down the street to the adoring cheers of his people, one small child shouted “But the emperor is naked!”, and the crowd gasped!

“Wait a minute” said someone near the child “he’s not naked at all, what on earth are you talking about?”
“I’m the lone voice challenging the tissue of lies built on vanity, fear and pride” replied the child “only my brave innocent voice can expose the truth!”
“Yes, but… he’s wearing clothes”
“All right, yeah, he’s wearing clothes… but the crown’s a bit wonky. And I don’t like the cut of the pantaloons at all. They promised us the most magnificent outfit ever, he think he all that, but he ain’t all that, nuh-uh.”
“That’s an entirely different issue, though, I mean I’ll grant you the shade of purple of the frock-coat isn’t entirely to my taste, but nevertheless it’s pretty magnificent. Perhaps the courtiers were overstating the magnificence somewhat, but not to the point of lying about the existence of the clothes entirely. Anyway, weren’t you that kid who kept shouting ‘wolf’ the other day?”
“Nah, that was a different kid. He got eaten. By a wolf as it turns out.”
“Wow, that’s ironic”

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