And dissent filled The Land.
So it was that the Party of Tea and the People of Me sent out word that the
funding of the Kingdom should be halted, the monuments and parks closed,
and the Knights of the Realm, squires and mounts, go without food and water.
It was at a time of sadness.
But the Prince became aware of the magic picture show of a decade or so earlier,
and the Silver Lantern Screen made appear the Radio.
The Radio beheld the image of Edward of Harris and Cuba Gooding the Younger.
. A tale, yea it be a true one, about a man and a boy. A coach and a lad.
The viewers beheld the Province of Carolina the South, in an Age just beyond
but still within the memory of James the Crow. There was tension and turmoil,
yet teaching and tutoring and training and love.
And the Prince saw the Silvered Screen and observed the story unfold. It
was a timeless tale, yet seemingly forgotten in time. It was a time when
exceptional people were still unlearning the themes of hate from their youth
in the jousting fields and hearths of home and struggled to do better.
The Radio foretold and reflected on other times in the Land, when People
of the Dark Skin often walked in fear of harm. Fear of what was said. Fear
of what was unsaid. Although the Prince well knew the Purpled Pomposity and
Prose of his Court, the excuses always seemed to cover a basic distrust of
the People of the Dark Skin. Who are they? , Where they were born? Can the
prove it? Why should they ever be considered the equal of the Lords of Ivory/
And so the Radio went. Forgotten for many years, but reappearing for some
in the Realm to again learn The Lesson.
The Prince recalled that half a generation earlier, when there was again
a wave of hatred in the land, the spark was the Schism of Simpson. It was
the Age of Orenthal James. The Oh Jay who had thrilled the throngs
in the Coliseums and Stadia, entered homes as a favoured guest each Sunday
on the Magic Box, and even starred himself in some Silver Lantern Screens.
Lo, he was accused of slaying a lovely damsel and her friend.
The Magistrates and Barristers and Solicitors all agreed. It was the biggest
case they had seen. Throughout the Land the subjects eyes were glued
to the flickering Magic Box in their homes, villages, castles, vineyards,
fields, and shops. Even the Prince took note of the hypnotic impact of the
trial on the Subjects, and joined in the speculation of the outcome. When
the declaration of not guilty surprised some, and Orenthal James was exonerated
there was much mean speech and spitefulness.
Too often the conflict divided among the People of the Dark Skin and the
Lords of Ivory.
The Prince waited for evil words and thoughts to subside and for the Subjects
to return to their shops and furrows but it was not to happen.
At the time in the Age of Orenthal James the Prince would address his People
each night when the clock struck 12, the Stars Shone or the Moon was High.
He tried to speak wisely and with wit, and the People listened over the Marconi
Machine. Sometimes hey were turn it down so as not to awake the sandy-eyed
wrath of spouses and offspring, kin and neighbours, lovers and sloths. Since
it was late at night, the Prince could take much time, chat with listeners
on The Ameche and learn of the Subjects who worked nights in Bars and Brothers,
Fire Brigades and Food Emporia or patrolled the Realm as Guardsmen of the
One night when the talk on The Ameche again turned to Orenthal the Lords
of Ivory stigmatized and stereotyped all People of the Dark Skin as
such-and-such, who believed in this-and-that, and were scum because of
something-or-other, and the Prince felt chagrined. This came after People
of the Dark Skin had called to denounce each every Ivory visage and vowed
to vehemently vex vindictiveness because of centuries of watch-a-ma-call-its,
and who-dun-its-to-whom, and because of injustices caused by the grandfathers
The Prince was sad and dismayed. His heart felt empty. His soul was troubled.
And one night he ordered Stop It!
When the Prince had first viewed The Radio troubadours and jesters Edward
Harris and Cuba Gooding the Younger, it proved an old adage that the
amusement was not really filled with myth and mirth, but fine
instructions of The Lessons that need to be learned and re-learned. That
is why The Radio reminded the Prince of the Age of Orenthal James. He had
smiled quickly and also that that he might someday tell Harris and Gooding
that it was their finest work and they might sup together and raise a glass
of wine. But, that would be for another day, and the Story must return to
that sad night many seasons earlier ...
On that night the Prince halted all calls and conversation on the Marconi
Machine. He had a different idea ...
The Prince would start reading the book of the life of a Beloved General
in the Land. It was the story of Sir Colin Powell of The Kingdom of The Broncks.
Sir Colins family had fled New Kingston Isle for better times in New
Holland and although he hailed from the People of the Dark Skin, he was honoured
in War and in Peace and in the Halls of Highest Ivory, for achievement and
fairness. It was a story not all had heard. That would change.
So night after night, week after week, and month after month the Prince read
hundreds of pages to the Subjects listening in the Province of Florida the
South. The Nobles who controlled the Marconi Machines and their distributions
laughed at first. A few days later they balked and threatened to depose the
Prince. Then they thought again and started listening, and wondering, and
watching, to see if the climate of hate might change.
At first the reading of the pages of Sir Colin drew little interest.
But on one Sunday the Tymes of New Holland printed something about what the
Prince was doing in his far away Province.
Not longer after the Duke of Fox dispatched a Crier and Vision Crewe to make
enquiry about this strange Prince in a strange part of the Land who was said
to defile the conventional wisdom of the Marconi Machine with a nightly verbatim
tale from a book.
The Crewe viewed the Prince and his reading and returned to New Holland with
their report that it was a good thing being done.
And so when the readings were finally completed, and the book was ended.
The Prince a bit calmer, a bit wiser, and a bit hoarse, again opened the
Marconi Machine to listeners and The Ameche callers.
The People of the Dark Skin and the Lords of Ivory still argued, but perhaps
not so much. Sometimes they laughed. Sometimes they recalled the days of
Sir Colin sweeping floors in a bottle factory. Sometimes they spoke of his
service to the Land and his sacrifices along with his men in the Empire of
Ho Chi Minh many oceans away. At the stories of Sir Colin inspired dialogue
on common interests and the things that were Great and Good about all the
Subjects, and it seemed to the Prince, at least for those moments in time,
that some of the hate had subsided.
The Prince grew older. His Fathers others sons and daughters took their
honoured places as leaders in the Realm, and the Prince spent his last decades
reflecting with family and friends on what had been and what might have been.
The Prince was wise enough to know his failures and frailties far outnumbered
any small victories. It would be for others, alas, years hence, to judge
lest the Prince imagine accomplishments that never were.
But in these times when the Prince and some others sense a new epidemic of
deep and distinct hate. It was hate not for who you really are and what you
really dream for you and your family, but for whom others think
you are. The Prince again reflected: had it not been for the Radio
he might have let it pass. He might never have remembered the Age of Oranthal
James, the Book of Sir Colin, and those times that seemed Oh, So Long, Long
So now devoid and stripped of any power or authority, the Prince just told
some old friends about the spirit imbued in The Radio and suggested they
might want to watch The Radio and learn the lessons of Radio for it could
be a good thing.
It was late. The Cougar and Rabbit were stirring in light pre dawn snow.,
The Prince had been awake all night troubled by watching The Radio, and not
yet knowing how to spread the Word. He no longer controlled a Marconi Machine.
His Heirs and former Subjects mostly laughed at his silly ideas and jokes
and on good days were polite before they wandered through their own Lives.
The Prince finally dropped off to sleep as the Sun rose and awakened a few
hours later. He noticed a moist spot on his pillow case. Then he remembered
there had been tears in his eyes when The Radio ended and the Lantern went
- Mark Scheinbaum -
(who indicates that that he at least thinks he was the
Dear friend, MARK SCHEINBAUM is a multi-topic journalist and longtime Political
He would be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting,
additionally securing a Political Science Association award for his thesis,
Cuban Foreign Policy in the English-Speaking Caribbean. Mark
would also teach Political Science, US Foreign Policy, and The Role
of The Press in Foreign Policy Formulation at a variety of universities.
Over the years, Mark has haunted many news media halls - from United Press
International, to ABC News in New York, additionally providing nationally
syndicated radio commentaries, along with special reports for CNN radio -
and much more ...