Emperor Vanity ascended the throne through hapless blundering. Or, so we thought. We could not believe such a stupid and terrible man could pull of such a magnificent stunt. Or, so we told ourselves. It was impossible. It would require a complete and total abandonment of all sense. Reason would have to fail. Numbers would need to lose their value. Everything we worked for collectively would just have to suddenly cease to matter.

Out in the barren wastelands, he lurked and amassed his will. He lurked in the margins of society as he studied their moves. His shrewd eye looked for weakness. He devised a ruthless, brutal strategy. The audaciousness of the coup was its chief strength. The country had never seen such a seamless and impossible rise to absolute power.

He flat out won. Historical scholars won’t argue over the finer points of this particular event. They would reach a unilateral consensus that we were, collectively, asking for it. Up to the fateful day he marched his armies through the town square, we denied it. And, by the Gods, did we pay the price for it. On one fateful night, we lost everything we held dear. It all just vanished in a puff.

It seemed an impossible nightmare born out of the fervent imaginations of vapor-addled seers cavorting in the night. We never imagined he would build up such an army of unmoored and ignorant peasant folks. These people, whose stupidity was so monumental, that it could be harnessed like LIGHTNING.

He rode into town on a golden steed. Bearing a standard of hate and fear and lies, he appealed to anyone who felt wronged. He gathered people so desperate for some form of vindication. They wanted a reckoning for the unbalanced and twisted world. They demanded our heads, those broken people scrabbling in the dirt.

While the elite pampered and pandered in their salons, they neglected the growing resentment. Their greed pulled all knowledge and culture toward them. It deprived the countryside of the colors necessary to foster a healthy spirit. So, they turned dead inside. Poisoned by the venoms of hate, prejudice and envy, they festered in the swamps of intellectual abandonment. He gathered them into a legion.

With this army, he rose. He took us all by surprise. Our very own Nero came to lead us all into the collective flames as he played his fiddle. He danced as he bowed and grabbed his gilded instrument. He twirled and smiled as he struggled to reach the fret board with his very small hands. But that didn’t bother him anymore. He finally got the bastards who made fun of him.