Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Adventures in Agendaland...

Time for another fairytale inspired post.

Once upon a time there was a middle aged blonde princess who lived in a land called Controversyville.  The princess, whose name was Knotalia, was blessed with many friends spread around lands all over the world.  Princess Knotalia was not picky about the people who were her friends, so they were a diverse lot.  Some friends were very proud knights who rode on horseback into fiery battles.  Others were more peaceful.  They taught children how to juggle and planted gardens.

At least one of the princess's friends worked for the potion pushers in a place called Agendaland.  The potion pushers were a controversial group because some of their potions were dangerous and almost all of them were very expensive.  The pushers stayed in business, though, because some of the potions they pushed were genuinely helpful to others.

Princess Knotalia led a very leisurely life in her ivory tower.  Sometimes she'd read something interesting on a scroll and decide to share it with her friends.  Most of her friends were fun loving and reasonable.  A few liked to debate with the princess.  Depending on her mood, she'd join in or decline.  A few friends could be very aggressive about certain subjects, which would sometimes upset the princess.  She'd soon feel sorry about sharing her scrolls, but inevitably would share another that would provoke uncivilized reactions.  She couldn't help it.  Princess Knotalia was cursed with a curious mind that sought out more than just cute scrolls about kittens and puppies.

The princess often got visits from one of her potion pushing friends in Agendaland.  This particular friend was handsome and exotic and had once been a resident of Controversyland.  He had a keen mind.  Sometimes he would say things that came across as aggressive rather than assertive.

The potion pusher didn't like the princess's knight friends and would ridicule them.  The knights, being chivalrous, valiant, and strong, would engage in fights with the potion pusher, who would try to dazzle them with his wit.  The potion pusher's comments wounded the princess's fans and caused acute disgust and dismay.  Sadly, there were no potions in the potion pusher's satchel available to cure those conditions.

One day, Princess Knotalia shared a scroll about a large facility where many knights worked.  The potion pusher came riding up on his donkey and began to imitate the Town Crier, denouncing Controversyville and the many brave subjects who guarded it.  Hearing the pusher's cries, some of the knights began to engage in battle.  The princess herself was invited to fight, but instead of fighting, she decided to ask the pusher what the hell he was doing in her land, spouting such nonsense.

"You came here from Agendaland to cause a ruckus in my country!" she shouted.

"No, I came here because your scrolls attracted me!  Why do you share these scrolls if you aren't interested in talking about them?" the pusher asked.

"Come off it!" Princess Knotalia exclaimed.  "You don't want to discuss Controversyville's knight program with me.  You just want to stir up shenanigans!"

"I have been very calm and reasonable." the pusher insisted.  "I am simply concerned about all that goes on in Controversyville.  It doesn't matter that I've never been a knight.  I used to live in Controversyville and I have the right to share my opinion with everyone in this land.  I know all about what's going on.  The rest of you simply choose to be blind to it.  It's my job to confront you, even if the truth hurts."

The princess thought about that for a moment and realized that the potion pusher really wasn't all that interested in the topic at hand.  She'd been acquainted with him for a long time and he was always consistent when he visited.  He simply enjoyed causing a ruckus, especially among the knights, who represented a group of people for which he had no respect.  The pusher hated Controversyville because he'd once met a wicked witch there who had caused him misery and shame.  Ever since then, his opinion of Controversyville was colored in dark hues and he had nothing positive to say about the place.  Still, he was attracted to the people of Controversyville and hung around them all the time, hoping to engage them in spars of words and battles of wits.

"I don't think you really care too much about Controversyville or the folks who live there." Princess Knotalia said.  "You think we're all stupid and nothing any of us says will change your mind, so why would you be interested in a discussion?  Why should I debate with you when your mind is made up and you discount my opinions anyway?  And even if you're right about Controversyville, what do you expect us to do about it?  Especially since so many make their living working there?"

Curiously, the pusher had no direct answer to the princess's questions.  He simply repeated that he had the right to confront the people of Controversyville no matter what.  His comments made Princess Knotalia yawn with boredom.  It was always the same thing every time the pusher visited, although sometimes he brought valuable tips on places to visit in his own land.

Princess Knotalia knew that the pusher had a good side.  It was buried within him, underneath his flowing cloaks made of bitter roots and bad memories.  And, in talking with the pusher, the princess realized that she too sometimes visited the borders of other lands where she had no business.  She'd been hurt on those borders, yet was still attracted to them.  She still felt the need to criticize the people who lived in those lands, even though she was not a resident.

One major difference between the princess's behavior and the pusher's was that the princess never actually ventured into the land where she had experienced strife.  She simply stayed on the borders and kvetched.  But she realized she did it for the same reasons the pusher journeyed into Controversyland and stirred up trouble.  She was hurt and so was he.

Realizing that the pusher had a similar problem to hers, the princess decided to crawl back into her ivory tower and watch the knights joust with the pusher.  It was much more entertaining that way.  And the next day, Princess Knotalia went looking for scrolls featuring adorable pets.

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