Friday, 10 December 2010

The Travails of Bold Sir Julian

This is a guest post by Valdemar

All the kingdom’s nobles have been unanimous in denouncing Julian of Assange, founder and prime artificer of WikiGuns.

The prevailing view at court is that Sir Julian is a traitor and should be subject to the full severity of the law i.e. roughed up a bit, stretched a bit, stabbed a bit and then burned a bit. ‘Exactly which bits get what treatment’, confided a leading courtier, ‘would of course be subject to royal prerogative, but we all know his majesty likes a laugh so they’d probably keep the scoundrel conscious, or at least breathing, for as long as is inhumanely possible.’

Elsewhere at the palace there has been much discussion of the sheer irresponsibility of randomly handing out so-called ‘firearms’ in a society where aristocratic warriors who have loads of time to practice with big swords should always prevail, as Our Lord clearly intended they should. Indeed, all across Christendom there has been consternation among the landed gentry that any knave or villein can now pick up a weird-looking iron tube attached to a bit of wood and – through the most fell and heathenish alchemy – slay their social betters, or at least have what some squires are calling ‘a decent shot at it’.

‘For nigh on a twelvemonth this organisation has been casually slinging around matchlock muskets like there’s no tomorrow,’ quoth a leading Plantagenet around yesternoon. ‘What this chappie with what is very nearly a girl’s name doesn’t seem to realise – or just plain doesn’t care about – is that to an armoured knight these things are just poison. High speed lead poison, to be precise. One volley from a few dozen peasants equipped with WikiGuns, and the time-honoured practice of trampling the stinking banderlog into a bloody pulp is gone. Along with your horse’s head and probably half your face. It really is appalling.’

While giving Julian of Assange a first-class ticket to the fiery domain of Asmodeus is of course a priority, more scholarly heads have been scratched far into the night over the wider issues raised by WikiGuns. How can a feudal society based on hereditary privilege survive in a world where the skills of mere artisans can be wedded to what’s been termed the ‘vaguely-motivated mucking about’ of maverick alchemists to produce such scary contrivances?

‘The very concept of anything new is in itself distressingly novel to most of us,’ observed Simon of Penge, a pious hermit covered in dung whose opinions naturally carry tremendous weight throughout the land. Simon has been offering conselling to fair damsels, most of whose gallant swains were left looking like badly-made collanders after the latest release of WikiGuns into the field of chivalry.

Some more savvy men-at-arms say that the only way ahead is to adopt WikiGuns methods. ‘With a brace of pistols each, we can shoot the buggers first, then go old school and squash them,’ opined popular blue-blooded thug Sir Lionel ‘Bang Bang’ de Montfort. He added: ‘It should keep us in the saddle for another couple of centuries, I reckon. Then it’ll be the Second Coming, so no sweat.’

But others feel that there should be no compromise with mere ironmongers. One option being considered by the Court is that all forms of metal production, plus the vital sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre industries, should be seized by the crown. This may be one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on New and Alarming Things That Cause Problems. It is expected to deliver a hard-hitting report by St Tadger’s Eve.