Friday, May 9, 2014

The Many Flies of The Manor

The Many Flies of The Manor
I sit back and ponder the scene playing out on a national, nay global scale, all originating from our hitherto esteemed manor. That manor, that’s hewn deep within the rocky place.

Manors are reputed for their pristine, almost priestly, allure and this manor parades its fair share of attention. One thing is striking in this manor. It suffers an infestation, a huge plague, and an agglomeration of forces with less than noble intent. It suffers an invasion, a rash of flies, least expected in a fabrication that hosts the best of men.

This manor is home to all kinds of flies, all intent to leave their prints on the hapless concoctions and displays served to the equally hapless citizenry and global audience, in this much desecrated palace that now hosts a much taunted and derided, yet, as all agree, over-meek king. Food served on erstwhile golden plates that have for a season lost their allure and glitter. Plates, still to which the flies of the manor hang in desperation for sustenance. Meekness behoves a Prince undoubtedly, but a time comes when a dog must bear its fangs lest the cat takes over its roust.

Like I said before, this manor is home to many flies.

There is the Papa fly, also known as the Agama Fly because of the semblance it bears to that specie of lizards. Every once in a while, he falls from his high pedestal where he has been delicately placed by forces greater than he. Like a child who misses the lesson in travail, he nods his head in self-adulation fall after fall, after fall.

He is ostensibly the de-facto Lord of the Manor in this dispensation. Each Lord is allowed residency status in the manor at least for one season, but no more than two. Stories abound of time past when a one-time Lord sort by much manipulation to continue his residence for a third season. In the end, the rule of two seasons was finally evoked to truncate his dastardly vision.

But back to the Papa fly.

The Agama Fly is the repository of the power of all his people. He is the supreme overlord and commander. Yet, the way he carries on, he disdains to use even 10% of his powers, appearing to prefer being an object of pun, derision and ridicule. No doubt meek and possibly intent on leaving a mark in the history books but often coming across as weak, slow, shallow, unsure and lacking in confidence.

Then there is the ever-effluent Mama fly. To all intents, she is the first among her kind, and in many ways one of a kind. She makes sure that no one forgets she is the power behind the throne. Ever protective of her prize and the throne, she is quick to step to the arena to save the day even though at the end she leaves the ring much worse for it. No one is in doubt about her imperviousness to be many bricks that are hauled at are by the Spectator Flies even though everyone wonders what it will take to rein her in and put a leash on the now loose rider-less stallion.

We also have a battery of Penguin Flies of all hues. Always turning out well dressed for the party even if the outing always ends up looking contrived and clumsy. These are the army of details of different calling positioned around her majesty. They are expected to weave their webs unnoticed in normal climes but not so in this manor. Excesses of the stallion and prevailing realities force them to step out of the diplomatic shadows to not only protect the Mama fly, but also to protect their own sustenance and integrity. Every one in the land knows that integrity is now far from their heart. Isn’t it often said, when hunger enters the stomach, nothing else can quarter there. If hunger can be so potent, what will greed or short sightedness do?

In their zest, the Penguin Flies often allow the Mama Fly enter the line of fire and thus become an object of ridicule and, as some older generation Nigerian lawyer would put it, opprobrium. Many aver that this is through no fault of theirs but the share strong indomitableness of her majesty. Others argue, they should know better and no matter the tool they have to work with professional ethics demand they come out dazzling. Everyone agrees they are doing a poor job of this. Wasn’t it said, “who plays the piper dictates the tune?”

Then come the Monitor Flies. They exist to report the goings on in the manor and be an information bridge to the world. They are the masters of sensationalism. Always looking for an angle and because we live in times of little depth, they look for cheap, story angles rather than substance.

Finally, the hanger-on flies. They are a hybrid of many species and come in all shapes and forms. The Baboon Flies - known for their verboseness and used to dispel daunting forces. The Chameleon Flies – apologists for different causes and schemes, always dancing to different tunes no one else can hear. The Cat Flies – bootlickers per excellence always applauding every move of the master. The jobber flies, enough for every occasion. They are always around the manor looking for loot to cat away to create their personal fiefdoms and perpetuate the political and economic servitude of the land.

In this manor, the Lord is not really in-charge, he is as much a prisoner as the forces that surround him. A willing prisoner but a prisoner all the same. Isn't it funny how so little we have achieved in spite of all at our disposal?

Femi Osikoya
(c.) 8-9th May 2014

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