ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills the "fate" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem belongs to The Ocracies series.


"The Fate of a Nation"


It began not as a national convention on how to fix
what was wrong with the country of Narr,
but with six tipsy women in a tavern
playing Cuppa Trouble with dice
and drinking boiled water
because the beer had run out.

Again.

"I swear," Pyreen said as she
flipped her braid over her shoulder,
"we could do a better job
than the government is doing
just by throwing dice."

"And game rules make more sense
than the mess of laws made by
those fool politicians," Wadji agreed,
holding up her mug for a refill.

"Rule Number One: You must
read all the rules before you can play!"
Barenda declared, and the women cheered.

Tishaar fingered the edge of the dice cup.
"Skill should count for something," she said.
"If we chose our economists from the people
who made the highest scores, then at least
we'd have ones who understand numbers."

"But chance has its uses too," Karoli pointed out.
"That way nobody could complain about
getting singled out for the jobs everyone hates."

"Maybe we could have your past actions
influence your future chances," Pyreen said.
"It seems useful, but I'm not sure where to apply it."

"You need to roll at least 7 to buy another beer,"
said Chonda the tavernkeeper, as she
poked at the pair of six-sided dice.
"and the number of your previous beers
gets subtracted from the number you roll."

"We could, if we had any beer!"
Barenda said with a laugh.

"The tea is ready," Chonda offered.

Laughing even harder, the women
rolled their dice, and Chonda brought tea
to the ones who rolled 7 or better.

"Snake eyes helps sweep up at closing,"
Chonda said, pointing to Pyreen,
who nodded agreement.

It started as a gimmick,
just a little something to distinguish
In Her Cups from the other taverns in town,
but then someone suggested gaming
to determine who should run the market square --

and lo and behold, the merchants were better managed
so that people stopped running out of stuff all the time.

From there it spread, taking on rules
from more and different games
with which to decide the fate of a nation.

The ensuing coup was bloodless,
if you didn't count a few fistfights over side bets.

* * *

Notes:

nomocracy -- government based on legal system; rule of law
This seemed like the best available term for a government inspired by game rules. Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "rules lawyer," doesn't it?

See the probabilities for rolling six-sided dice.

Rules lawyer

Date: 2014-12-03 12:16 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
You know, I'd give that place a good solid year of my time. It cannot be worse than our local city council.

Good poem, but...

Date: 2014-12-03 08:42 pm (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
I've read this twice, and I still don't know what to think of it.

It sounds a lot better than most of the governments here, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-06 11:35 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Sounds a bit like the math department at my alma mater, where the chairmanship rotated because nobody wanted to be stuck with it. I don't think they went as far as throwing dice for it, though.

It would have the advantage of selecting people who are qualified, but who can't make a career of the position and mostly wouldn't want to. That would be a Good Thing.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-03 04:23 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Her Grace approves... and so do I! Let's take over! :)

Thank you!

Date: 2014-12-03 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed this.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-03 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westrider.livejournal.com
In Internetese, Nomocracy would instead be rule by eating ;)

Geek puns aside, tho, this is a cool idea.

*laugh*

Date: 2014-12-03 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. I had fun writing it.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-12-03 12:27 pm (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (Default)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
Well... that makes more sense than anything else I've encountered...

Yay!

Date: 2014-12-03 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you like it. Governments should be varied, and if dysfunctional, should be replaced with something the people think will work better.

People thought democracy was ludicrous when first proposed.

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