Part 40: Epilogue, Part 3: A Different Interpretation
Epilogue, Part 3: A Different Interpretation
Many people have discussed the genderqueer and sociopolitical implications of the series, but the overall foundation has remained remarkably unaddressed. I've been overly harsh on the series so as not to give away the ultimate rationale behind its concepts, but in truth the entirety is almost flawlessly crafted. To understand what I mean, we first have to consider the true interpretation of the work: that the Chzo Mythos is, above all, an elaborate allegory for the Franco-Prussian War.
The Franco-Prussian War began when a militarily weaker France declared war on Prussia, a substantially more powerful superpower, arrogantly believing in its superiority. Unsurprisingly, German power quickly allied with Prussia and decimated the French legions, setting in motion what would become an incredibly involved string of allegiances and secret plans to the point where no sensible human could follow all of it. This confusion and chaos, along with the ever-changing balance of power in Europe, was a direct lead-up to World War 1, in which France momentarily saw victory and complete control, but which in turn lead to World War 2 and the reassertion of Germany's dominance over France. While the Chzo Mythos shies away from depicting Chzo's inevitable fall as more and more of his servants betray him, the similarities are otherwise impossible to miss.
The role of French demands for democratic reform, for instance, is taken by the roman military, this time an outside threat rather than an internal one, while Galdn takes the position of Italian leadership, deeply conflicted as to whether or not to help the rising French power.
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1. Long ago, there was a man of the Realm of Technology, and this man would indulge in torment for others' amusement, yet would alienate himself from those he entertained, and look down on the smiling masses, and in doing so he became known as The Disparaging Man.
2. And The Disparaging Man had long been corrupted by the arrogance of those around him, but it was through his torments that he became pure, and all around him could see that he would soon know the name of the king.
3. And on the twenty-fourth day of the final month, The Disparaging Man brought forth the first of his playings. And it came to pass that there were questions of who the emperor was, and programmers of minuscule stature, and this was the agony of the mind.
4. But during the suffering that was the first playing, The Disparaging Man brought forth the second. But while the playing brought joy to The Disparaging Man's heart, it too formed the bond that would soon become his undoing.
5. For it came to pass that the three-thousand, five-hundred and ninetieth bill was stained with ink, and the once-loved strife and power were stripped from The Disparaging Man's life, and this was the agony of the soul.
6. But on the twenty-seventh day of the fourth month, The Disparaging Man still was not pure, and he called out, "I condemn those who do not sing my praises, for I suffer for the entertainment of the masses. And while tens of thousands do gather to hear my words, for many still my voice remains a whisper."
7. And for fifty days he toiled, and The Disparaging Man captured novelty, and attempted myriad challenges, and the crowds did gather ten times greater than before, but the experience still cost the entertainer.
8. For in preparing his gift, The Disparaging Man had beaten keys to the ground, creating words and sentences unceasingly, documenting the inane. And it came to pass that as his wrists did strain, and as his arms did tire and decay, and as his eyes were glazed from piercing lights, that this was the agony of the body.
9. Before he had become pure, back when he was still an unrefined and sinful man of technology, The Disparaging Man did select his successor. And his successor had forged eight-legged behemoths, and bellowed the teachings of the War To End All Wars, and was truly fit to acquire his possessions.
10. But The Disparaging Man did take pity on another unpurified soul, and he turned to Beltom and cried, "Though you are unrefined, my love for you is vast. And if the successor does not request what is his within three passings of that which signaled my past servitude, or if the successor does rebuke my generous offer, then it shall fall to you."
11. Then The Disparaging Man turned to all who he had entertained, and who had showered his protectors with their gifts, and he said, "The three agonies have been fulfilled, and I have become pure. With this blessing, I succumb to pain and torment, and no longer do I bind myself to earthly pleasures."
12. And his next playing was one of horror, as The Disparaging Man did indeed surrender himself to the painful. And it did cause thrice the agony once fulfilled, of all forms, and it did wear down The Disparaging Man.
13. And the playing was one of warriors stretched beyond their means, of six-angled figures and unholy chimeras of genres. It was of pretension and tedium, oft-used ideas and poor design, without the light that had dulled the man's past pain. And through playing it the man suffered, and so did others suffer, though by now no light remained for cruel winds to extinguish.
14. And the fourth playing did begin in the seventh month, and it did ensnare the man once thought above such trappings, for while the purity offered by his previous pains did allow for it, no shield of strange creations could prevent the fiery sting of the greatest agony. Yet The Disparaging Man pressed on.
15. And The Disparaging Man knew the name of the king.