Wednesday, 1 February 2017

god emperors and wonder cards


Playing board games last month, one facet was to get a "golden card".

Game dependent, it might be 'Get out of Jail, Free', 'Take half of the other players profit', 'Immunity from the thing they ask you to do' and so on.

The thing was, you'd be hard pressed to collect even two or three of these wonder cards in an average game, let alone the ability to use them all.

Some might say that the board games are not realistic because of this, and that people don't get that many carte blanche moments where they can write their own fortunes.

Although, if you get elected to the highest office in America, this seems to an available form of wish fulfilment. I can't quite fathom how the man with the pen can just keep writing new orders for the way the whole country will run.

It doesn't seem necessary to go through any sort of governing process, just a kind of Leto II Atreides God Emperor approach where it is just made so.

Now Leto II was a character from Frank Herbert's Dune series. Leto II became part man and part worm, and had sole control of a valuable melange/spice which gave humans various powers. His world-view derived from a range of other controlling cultures, using their worst crossovers as his way of working. It made him a despotic and ruthless ruler of everything. He kept humanity as a prisoner for 3,500 years.

The original book cover depicted the God Emperor, before it was replaced with the modern graphics, which in true Douglas Adams style blended the 'trilogy' of Dune books together. Yes, this was book four of six.

But there is something about that face. The hairstyle. I don't know...

Anyway, Frank Herbert's novels were science fiction, but without the gadgets. So called 'soft' science fiction. A future galaxy with parallels in the earth. Herbert explored the psychology and philosophies more than the way that flip-up communicators would work.

He wrote that governments suffer a recurring problem because power attracts pathological personalities. That power can be magnetic to the corruptible. That a drunkenness and addiction can occur.

Perhaps only the truly [insert your own word here] get to use as many wonder cards as they like. We shall see.

So what happened to Leto II? Let's just say it didn't end well.

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