Thursday, February 7, 2008


The recent report of a nameless traveler from an antique land is in error.

The “vast and trunkless legs of stone” he saw knee-deep in desert sand were originally part of the so-called People’s Temple, a gigantic complex which was being relocated to higher ground as part of the Great King’s Water-For-All Initiative. This comprehensive collection of public works would have resulted in flooding what is now a “boundless and bare” stretch of “lone level sands” and creating a fertile crop-bearing garden, if the Great King’s plan had not been opposed by short-sighted Ministers and Representatives more interested in lining their own pockets than serving the people.

The half-sunken head with its “sneer of cold command” is actually part of a separate statue from the temple complex, and, to anyone familiar with the myriad surviving representations of the Great King, is not Ozymandias at all but his half-brother Sesostris. As evidenced by several surviving chronicles, including that of Psuedo-Herodotus, the sneering figure of Sesostris, who three times tried to usurp the throne, stands to the left of the Great King, who confronts him with a sword while offering a dove of peace in his right hand to his people.

As for the surviving inscription, because certain diacritical marks over several key consonants have been worn away by time and decay, the current translation is in error. When the marks are restored to their original positions, the inscription reads as it did originally: “My name is Ozymandias, the people’s ruler subject to the rule of the people. May the Gods look with favor upon all my works, and my people never despair.”

This is, of course, an honest error, and reflects neither on the endless history of British imperialism, which is a monument to mistranslation in all its forms, nor on the anti-royalist sentiments of the “unnamed traveler” who might possibly be just as much of an outright atheist as his friend Shelley, to whom he told this “tale.”

As for the claim that “nothing beside remains,” one need only point out the Zuggurat of El, the Pearls of Allah (a string of man-made oases specifically created as way-stations across the Sahara, and the House of Commons, which owes its very existence to the Great King’s so-called Temple of Commoners, as is mentioned in several unpublished diary entries of Simon DeMontfort, who called the first Commons as part of the Great Parliament in 1265.

In summary, we maintain that all references which equate Ozymandias with failure, futility, tyranny, and the deleterious effects of Time are demonstrably in error –- and that a great and far-seeing ruler, who has yet to be given his rightful due as a pioneer in the field of public works and the originator of representative democracy as we know it, has been repeatedly insulted by those who should know better.

If he was alive today, the Great King’s magnanimity would be sorely tested by these misconceptions. A magnanimity, we might add, which is not shared in the least by his lawyers.

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