Welcome to The Wordpile
This author is now published on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. Please feel free to check out my e-books! Also please be aware I have chosen to remove my e-books from Amazon due to their requirement that all authors publishing with them who wish to claim the standard 70% royalty rate must specify a price that undersells all their other distributors by 20%. I will continue to refuse to do business with them until this Walmart-esque approach is abandoned.
Welcome to The Wordpile. Here, I am king. Yes, it is just one more blog amongst hundreds of thousands. Yes, in the broad scheme of things, it is little more than a tiny, insignificant drop of Java within the vast primordial HTML soup. But it’s mine, you see. My blog. My posts. My decisions. I rule. I am in charge.
Sounds pathetic? Maybe, but I’m not alone.
You see, we’re all fascinated with kings. Who tells bedtime stories about elected officials? No one. Who’s rescued by the handsome, dashing senator? No one. Which oft told tale of a benevolent leader refers to one chosen by election? Not one. The fact is that there is something grand about the concept of kings that draws us to them. It was the first major form of government, and dominated the vast majority of civilization for thousands of years – right up until around three hundred years ago. Why? Why did we voluntarily support a system where we were utterly subjugated to one man and his family over and over again? And don’t say we didn’t. If that was really true, it would never have lasted. Whenever a ruler abused his power too much, sooner or later ‘something’ happened to him. And then…we’d get a new one, and start all over again. The attraction was clearly deep. And the only thing better than having a king was being one.
While the system remained – a very long time – everyone who could get away with it called himself king. If you had control of some land and people, a tax system, and a castle, however tiny and dilapidated the caste and land, however insignificant the tax, odds were you called yourself king. Even if you were technically just the vassal of someone else with even more land, a bigger castle, and a larger tax, part of which came from you, within the boundaries of your land you still called yourself king. To quote Mark Twain in his novel ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ – which is an excellent book, by the way, filled with his classic, unmistakable brand of wry humor – “ ‘Kings’ and ‘Kingdoms’ were as thick in Britain as they had been in little Palestine in Joshua’s time, when people had to sleep with their knees pulled up because they couldn’t stretch out without a passport.” It was ridiculous and highly pretentious, but they did it anyway. Why?
Because they could. And they liked it.
And this goes straight to modern times. Though we don’t use the word, the essence – the power of control and being in charge – has lost none of its allure. The days of kings began to end with the successful revolt and flourishing of the United States of America, but it took another two hundred years for men to begin to let go of being ‘the man of the house.’ Which meant? That they depended on you – and you were in charge. It’s the magic words: I’m in charge. I’m the CEO of this division, I make the decisions, I decide if you’re hired, I decide if you’re fired, I’m in charge. I am the father, I own this house, I make the money, I’m in charge. I live in this room, it’s my part of the house, it has my stuff in it, I can put up a keep out sign – I’m in charge. And finally, the example that has inspired my own form of this hubris, an old fashioned game called King of the Hill (or mountain. Not to be confused with the television show). A simple game where one player stands on a mound of any sort, and the other players try to knock him off and claim his ‘throne’. The one who can hold it the longest gets bragging rights. In the times and places where such games were played, a.k.a before television and outside a city, such a mound might be the woodpile. In the little house books, Laura and her sister play it with the woodpile. Or possibly that was Alamanzo in The Farm Boy. King (or Queen) of the Woodpile.
Here, today and now, I play it with my blog. I am King of The Wordpile.
Yes, it is a puny, insignificant, microscopic sub-section within the vastness of the Internet. Yes, I am surrounded by giants whose sites have become bywords. Yes, even most other writing blogs are superior, featuring published authors, even New York Times bestsellers, people everyone knows and who may never know me, even to exact taxes. My income is small and my border security and immigration laws make Canada look like Fort Knox. But it’s mine, you see. And I’m proud of it. And I plan to make it the best puny, insignificant, microscopic section of the web that I can, furnished with the best my writing skills can provide. Because it’s mine, you see. And I have my pride.
Welcome to my kingdom. I welcome you, fellow ruler of whatever miniature monarchy you lay claim to.
Please enjoy your stay.