Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers -------------------- Start of message text -------------------- And in the same spirit of tongue in cheekness: The Single Answer There was once a great castle surrounded by villages. Every month the castle guards would don wondrous armour and ride forth on mighty steeds to pillage the villages. Some of the villages had brutal squires who served the castle and were in turn protected by them from revolt. Consequently the castle inhabitants were warm and well fed. They pursued courtly dance, philosophy, and the arts. Outside the castle all villagers save the squires struggled in hunger and poverty. Atop the high castle turrets were telescopes, miraculous devices which allowed the castle dwellers to observe the villages. But few climbed the turrets to reach them. For those that did often asked vexing questions. To all their questions there was but one answer. "Would you rather live in this castle or a village?" The Orphan Brothers Two brothers, orphaned by pillaging knights, grew to manhood with hatred in their breasts. Vowing vengeance on the castle sheriff, who was kind within his walls but ruthless without, and on the merchants who profited by village plunder, the brothers stole into the castle by night and charged the market square by day. Felling knight and merchant, woman and child, the brothers struck about them till they too were slain. The blood of all mingled in the dust. The sheriff addressed his knights. "In future, more orphans may come to hate us", he said. "Something must be done. Ride out and slay more villagers" The Quarellsome Priest Word of the killings reached the villages and most were sorry for the woman and child, and some were sorry for the merchant, and a few were even sorry for the knight for they knew that the killing of any man diminishes all humanity. But all were fearful of what angry knights might do. A map of secret castle entrances was found among the fallen. "Whoever made this map must die" cried the sheriff. Donning armour, the knights rode out to a distant tumbledown village where a surly travelling mapmaker, known to hate the ways of the castle, was wont to dwell. Seeing the knights coming the villagers fled into hiding leaving only a priest to meet them. "We have a map and we seek it's maker" said the knights. "Bring forth your mapmaker, that we may try and hang him". "If our mapmaker is the one you seek, that is a grave matter" said the priest. "Show me the map, and if it be the work of our mapmaker I will bring him forth" The knights were furious. "Who are you to make demands of knights? " they cried. "You harbour a man of violence who uses terror to acheive his ends. Such men are evil beyond measure. Obey us or we will cut you down and burn your village. " The Frightened Squire The knights rode to another village whose squire served the castle. "Feed and water our steeds" they demanded "And show us hospitality this night, for tomorrow we burn the village of the quarellsome priest." The squire trembled before them. "Please do not ask this. My villagers hate you. If I water steed, and shelter knight this night they will hate me. I serve the castle, but my guards are few." "Ask? " cried the knights "Knights do not ask when woman and child lie unaveanged! What matter, what villagers think? We are the champions of freedom so you must obey us. Support our slaying or be slain for the supporting of slaying." The Sick Grandmother That night, a knight chanced upon a young boy carrying a gourd and demanded to know his business. "My grandmother, who dwells in the priest's village, is very sick," said the boy,"I bear her medicine". The knight was angry. "The priest gives sanctuary to a murderous mapmaker. There shall be no medicine taken to his village." "But my grandmother will die else." cried the boy. "Such is the price of the freedom of castle dwellers." said the knight. Some standalone tales. The Brutal Squire (i) The squire of one village was so brutal that a villager committee was formed. They attacked the squire and his guards who fled from the village and ran to the castle. The sheriff sent knights to burn the village as well as pillage it. The squire and his guards were restored to power, but the village was destitute and ruined. "It only goes to show", said the castle merchants, "that a village needs a squire." (ii) Back in the village, the brutal squire and his guards were angry and more brutal than ever. The squire grew mad on his power and mocked the sherrif. "See how brutal the squire is." said the sherrif "We must help the people. Go burn the village." The Many Tapestries The castle markets sold many tapestries and embroidered hangings. The castle dwellers bought the ones they liked best to hide the walls. The Minstrels The castle minstrels played sweetly upon their lutes at courtly dances. And sang there pleasing songs of wise sherrifs and kindly merchants. They played gayly on their lutes in the great baqueting hall. And sang there bawdy songs of brave knights and wicked villagers. Strangely, those who played the loveliest melodies were most wont to use the castle telescopes. When they did, they sang sad songs, suitable for neither court nor banquet, and lost the merchants' favour. But there were always other minstrels ready to sing. The Eager Knight The castle was old, and vulnerable in places. A once mighty turret was now crumbling, outside the stout inner wall. A knight was charged with the care of its dwellers. The knight was quick of dance at court. His polished armour shone in the sun when he fought the sheriff's enemies. He flew the sheriff's flag high above the turret. An enemy, seeing the sheriff's flag flying so high, attacked the turret and slew many dwellers. The knight had failed in his charge, but he served the sheriff well. The Just Lord The sheriff swore fealty to a just but distant lord, though he broke the lord's laws when expedient. The lord's banner flew brightly alongside his own from the lances of the knights who pillaged the villages. The villagers cursed the sherrif; and often the castle; And sometimes the merchants, their fine courtly dance. And they prayed that the just lord, would ride forth and save them. Against steeds and armour, their blades stood no chance. The knights and the merchants, all favoured the sheriff. But most of the dwellers, still favoured the lord. They respected the sheriff, the plunder he brought them. Down in the dark dungeon, the few who deplored. One day came a summons. The only lord order That through solemn duty, could not be ignored. His presence requested. To serve higher duties. As befitted his service. To his ruler the lord. With banners before him. His knights alongside him. He rode from the castle. He'd rule there no more. The lord's mighty fortress. They rode proudly forward. Across the great drawbrige. And in through the door. To serve a new duty. At the hands of the jailer Stretched out on the rack. In the name of the poor. Please respond to thechat at lists.evolt.org Sent by: thechat-admin at lists.evolt.org To: thechat at lists.evolt.org cc: Subject: [thechat] FW: Protesters I chuckled, so I offer this as tongue-in-cheek > -----Original Message----- > > Lately there have been some dissidents protesting our retaliation for the September 11th terrorist attack on the United States. These people have been marching peacefully protesting our government's actions. If you meet one of these people you should pursue the following course of action. > > 1). Approach them politely. > > 2). Ask them what they are protesting. You already know but they need to say it aloud. > > 3). Ask them why they are protesting. They will say that we should turn the other cheek and try to understand the reasoning behind the attack. > > 4). Ask them to clarify: they will tell you that violence begets more violence. > > 5). Haul off and hit the protester square in the face. > > 6). When he gets up he will be pretty angry and may want to fight back. > > 7). Placate him by telling him, violence begets more violence. Give him a few minutes to calm down as you assure him that striking back is useless and unnecessary. > > 8). When he nods his understanding, hit him again. This time even harder, followed by a swift kick to the balls. > > 9). Again he may be angry and again you must tell him violence begets more violence. > > 10). Repeat steps 5 through 9 until he understands the virtue in retaliation. > _______________________________________________ thechat mailing list thechat at lists.evolt.org http://lists.evolt.org/mailman/listinfo/thechat http://lists.evolt.org/thechatarchive/ ________________ Its called *opinion*, and it's something that has *always* been respected on this list, so let's not forget that. --------------------- End of message text -------------------- This e-mail is sent by the above named in their individual, non-business capacity and is not on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers. PricewaterhouseCoopers may monitor outgoing and incoming e-mails and other telecommunications on its e-mail and telecommunications systems. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. 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