Of gods, kings and queens

O God, God

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable

Seem to me

All the uses of this world.

— Shakespeare, Hamlet

I think the king is but a man, as I am

The violet smells to him,

As it doth to me

The element shows to him

As it doth to me.

All his senses have but human conditions.

— Shakespeare

Since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II a few weeks ago, many people here and abroad were made even more aware of the monarchy and what it means. Some were all for it while others were totally against it, including many British folks. What is true is that The Queen certainly made her mark on not only her country, but the world, and as they say in show business, will be a hard act to follow.

Seventy years is a long time to hold on to any position and she turned out to be Britain’s longest-serving monarch ever. She’s the only queen that most people knew. Interestingly, many people aren’t even aware that she wasn’t the only queen who existed in today’s world, there are others.

Margreth of Denmark, Mathilde of Belgium, Maxima of the Netherlands, Letizia of Spain, Silvia of Sweden and others. And there are numerous kings, emperors and princes too, past and present, such as Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Sultan Bin Muhamed Al Qassami of the United Arab Emirates, Gustaf of Sweden, Harland of Belgium, Leslie of Lesotho, Abdulah of Jordan, Albert of Monaco and many other potentates who reign supreme.

But somehow, Queen Elizabeth II was more known. Then there were numerous gods and, of course, God. So, ‘Of gods, kings and queens’, that’s what we’ll explore today, right after these responses to what I had to say about ‘Strong desire’.

Hi Tony,

The fact that men think about sex 19 times per day on average means that some men think about it more and some less. Some days I will think about it more when my significant other is around the house all day, mostly weekends, and less but still more than average when she’s not around. I don’t have a clue why my desire is so strong, it must have something to do with my partner who tells me that sex is all I think about. She may be right.

Cecil

Teerob,

The answer is clear cut and simple, men have a stronger desire than women. It doesn’t take a team of scientists or researchers to find that out. Just ask any man who’s been married for 10 years or more and you’ll get the same answer. The wives always have an excuse not to indulge, you’ve written about it. Remember ‘Shop lock’?

Maurice

Mankind has always had a need to worship and also to be led. It’s like sheep that need a shepherd to guide them, showing them what path to take. Mankind also needed deities to worship and find solace in. It was Karl Marx who said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

This has been so since the dawn of time, even predating the Bible, when early man found security by worshipping gods of nature such as gods of the sky, the earth, the trees, the sea. The ancient Greeks had many gods, including Ra, the sun god.

There were numerous gods in ancient Rome, as there were in Egypt, China, Africa, Mexico, Peru and even in old Jamaica where the early Taino inhabitants had Zemis. You dare not displease the gods, and many of them had to be appeased in various ways, including ritual animal and human sacrifices.

Even during biblical days people still worshipped different gods, including Baal, considered to be a fertility god. Nowadays most religions worship only one deity, although He goes by different names, God, Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh, El Shaddai, Adonai and more. Despite worshipping the same God, religious zealots dislike the teachings of other religions and will kill in His name.

Millions of people have died throughout history all in the name of God. The Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church and all hell pop loose. The Crusades of Europe claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions, as they killed each other in the name of God. The battle cry was “God and King Henry are on our side.”

God and the king, both juxtaposed in one cry. What makes a king anyway? Well, historically, kings were those guys who seized the opportunity to uplift themselves by taking charge of situations, amassing wealth, seizing lands, subjugating people and garnering the respect of the people.

The question was often asked, “Is it better to be loved or feared?” Some kings were loved, others were feared. But kings were basically dons who saw the opportunity to fill a need, being benevolent, taking care of the people and solving problems. Solomon was a wise king, they said.

As they became stronger, their reign expanded and their territories grew far and wide. Their power grew, and you know what they say about power. The Bible is replete with kings such as David, Solomon, Herod, Nebuchadnezzar, Saul, Rehoboam, Nadab, Ahab, and others too numerous to name here.

Some were benevolent, others were brutal tyrants, but they were kings who ruled supreme and had the best of their worlds. As Mel Brooks repeatedly said in one of his comedy movies, History of the world, “It’s good to be the king.” After all, who’s going to question the word of his majesty? He can just take whatever he wants, including any wench who catches his fancy, including other men’s wives.

“The king sent for her, she has to go by royal decree.”

Henry the eighth was notorious for his wanton ribald behaviour and did exactly as he pleased without any backchat from anyone. This included bedding many women and marrying often, sometimes discarding his wives when they displeased him. Some were imprisoned in the castle dungeons, while others were beheaded.

The history of kings and queens is laced with violence, debauchery, usurping, land-grabbing and subjugation of people who they referred to as commoners. Even the British monarchy has a dark history that is shrouded in exploitation, land-grabbing and slavery. Kings and queens are tainted by their brutal past. King Leopold of Belgium is reputed to have killed millions of Africans in the Congo during his reign, with figures that surpass those of the Holocaust.

How do you think they amassed so much enormous wealth, ill gotten loot, lucre, lands, handed down through centuries of questionable deeds?

But people still love and revere their modern day kings and queens and, of course, their offspring who now bask in the wealth, adulation and opulence handed down through their lineage. By dint of birth. It’s simply the luck of the draw why one baby is born in the royal family while another is born in abject poverty.

They are born in the lap of luxury with many gold spoons in their mouths, and dem don’t have one ting to worry dem. Or do they?

Time and the world have changed and many modern day kings and queens, potentates, supreme rulers no longer wield the power that they once had. Back in the day a king or queen could mobilise an army and invade another country by a simple decree with no questions asked. As for their subjects, “Off with their heads.”

Now, many are merely figureheads, relegated to perform in the pomp and ceremony of functions and waving to adoring crowds. Still, some kings in certain parts of the world wield real power, but for the most part, kings and queens nowadays don’t really have much say in the running of countries.

Nevertheless, they are wealthy figureheads with wealth that is virtually uncountable, or, as we say, numberless. Yes, it’s good to be the king, but kings and queens are still human and have feelings just like ‘commoners’, sometimes leading to their fall from grace.

Being king or queen does not prevent them from falling in love with commoners, giving up the throne for love, adultery, fornication, libidinous and loose behaviour.

After all, they are men and women first, and kings and queens after, even though they are placed on pedestals and revered, almost worshipped. I always remember the line from a comedy play by late actor Reggie Carter, who defended The Queen’s royal status when someone said that The Queen was just another human being who used the toilet just like us. His response, “The Gueen does not defecate,The Queen does not defecate.” Such is the mystery, allure and lore of royalty.

Despite all the historical dark clouds and scandals that hang over the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II was loved, respected and revered by many. This was shown by the number of people who stood for hours just to view her coffin, and also by the millions of people worldwide who watched her funeral, the most watched television event in history.

The old saying goes, ‘The king is dead, long live the king.’ In this case, it’s ‘The Queen is dead, long live The King.’ She’ll be a hard act to follow. It has been mankind’s destiny, fate, to love, admire, respect and even fear gods, kings and queens.

More time.

seido1yard@gmail.com

Footnote: Again, the meteorological office got it wrong by issuing bulletins that forecast heavy rain from tropical depression, then Tropical Storm Ian, for Saturday, September 24, when all other overseas weather channels said otherwise. This resulted in the usual mass hysteria of people rushing supermarkets and all sports cancelled, except horseracing. Saturday was a beautiful day, and I knew it would be so because I watched the weather reports coming out of the USA, which are accurate. This happens too often, making people cynical and doubtful of the Met Office’s forecasts. It’s like Chicken Little and the boy who cried wolf combined. Not only do we want forecasts, we need accurate forecasts.

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