The following events either take place before the point we left our friends Bob and Fred in the previous Rainy Island story, or perhaps they occur in a multiverse where infinite outcomes are possible. In all honesty I don’t know.
The mood in the old ale houses was low…very, very low. After having narrowly won the vote, against all odds, to leave the Union of Peons it had transpired the powers that be had orchestrated events so that Rainy Island would remain in that hated union in all but name. Perhaps worse was when the great hope, the Civic Nationalist King of Libertyland, had been defeated by the leader of the Donkeycrats in what were widely believed to be rigged and gerrymandered elections.
Then some wretched Rainy Islander had caught a bad cold and the leaders of Rainy Island responded by locking the Rainy Islanders in their homes, only allowing them to go outside in order to buy essentials and requiring they wear silly looking masks when doing so. Many of the old ale houses went out of business due to the lack of custom. Medicine was developed in an effort to combat the Great Cold but a rather confusing series of events ensued. The Rainy Islanders were told by the Trusted Experts they would need one dose of medicine, then two, then three, then the idea was floated that perhaps it should be annual, or even quarterly and that it will probably be made mandatory with Rainy Islanders carrying a little book on their person demonstrating they had taken a sufficient quantity of medicine to be allowed outside. At first the Rainy Islanders were told the medicine would stop them catching and spreading the Great Cold, then the Trusted Experts realised it only stopped you spreading it, then they realised it just prevented a runny nose…sort of. This did raise questions in the remaining old ale houses over how so little was known about the effectiveness of the medicine given the thorough testing that had been undertaken and the wisdom in encouraging (pressuring even) so many people, including pregnant Rainy Islanders of any gender and little Rainy Islander children, to take it.
Sunlanders, the people who had migrated from the South worshipping their fearsome gods in their unintelligible language of clicks and snorts, continued to arrive in record numbers and it was now clear to anybody with eyes to see that the leadership of Rainy Island was not interested in stopping the influx or in fact were even encouraging it. Not only that, Sunlander communities had begun to riot in response to what they perceived as police brutality, destroying property, making demands that their communities be given more resources and insisting that Rainy Islander history and traditions be modified to make them more inclusive. Inexplicably the Trusted Experts had deemed Rainy Islander protests against the Great Cold a public health risk and were banned but the Sunlander Lives Matter protests were considered appropriate.
Fantastical plans for a utopian future where you ate ze bugs, lived in a box, owned nothing and were happy were being touted. Apparently this was necessary to save the planet and achieve gender equality. Who the particular Trusted Experts formulating these plans were and how they had come to have so much influence was a matter of some debate.
Strange things were afoot in school classrooms too but I shan’t touch on that here. With such upheaval the Rainy Islander communities were cleaved into two loose groupings, The Cringe and The Based, The Cringe largely believing the sensational tales told by the Trusted Experts and The Based being of a more sceptical bent. Oh how The Based laughed from within the old ale houses at the pitiful sight of The Cringe as they wiped their runny noses while queuing up for their 12th dose of medicine. The Based would make “memes” mockingly portraying The Cringe as possessing no agency. How could The Based ever believe their leaders, the Trusted Experts or the Rainy Island Broadcasting Corporation (the RIBC) ever again? Funny you should ask that.
The global superpower of the day was of course Libertyland which dominated the world economically, militarily and culturally to an extent probably no prior political entity had done in history. Libertyland had a set of principles for maintaining its superior position which had largely remained intact since the end of the Great War regardless of who happened to be in charge at any given time. When Libertyland did not like the leader of another country they would tell their friends to stop trading with the country, or sometimes tell the people of the country in question that their leader was not very nice and that they should use Our Democracy™ and appoint a new leader (inevitably one Libertyland did like), or in other circumstances just carpet bomb the offending country into the stone-age and tell everybody it was for trans rights.
Most countries were within the sphere of influence of Libertyland, including Rainy Island. In fact Rainy Island had been stripped of her empire in the wake of the Great War by Libertyland, hosted Libertyland military bases and the Rainy Islanders generally did whatever Libertyland told them to do which was a great source of amusement to the Sunlanders whose homelands were often on the receiving end of Libertyland carpet-bombings for trans rights.
One country which was positioned outside of the Libertyland Empire and preferred to remain that way was Ruskiland, as you can imagine Libertyland was a not a fan. Libertyland’s friends were not allowed to trade with Ruskiland, were encouraegd to join the Anti-Ruskiland League and host Libertyland missiles which were pointed at Ruskiland. Libertyland interfered in the politics of Ruskiland’s friends, called Ruskiland’s leader mean names like “Putler” and told their own people that it was Ruskiland’s interference which had resulted in the election of the now hated and disgraced former Civic Nationalist King of Libertyland. We learned that Ruskiland propaganda was also responsible for Rainy Island leaving the Union of Peons.
In a similar way to how Libertyland liked to keep her friends close, Ruskiland preferred that her smaller circle of friends remained loyal and as such had an agreeable leader placed in charge of neighbouring Ukuleleland. Libertyland had desired Ukuleleland as a staging point to launch carpet-bombings for trans rights on Ruskiland for a long time and when the opportunity arose used Our Democracy™ to install their own leader (this is of course disputed by the Trusted Experts but we have the audio of Libertyland agents discussing who should be in the new Ukuleleland government…awkward). This was too much for Ruskiland who immediately launched a special military operation in Ukuleleland.
The Trusted Experts on the RIBC were apoplectic with rage, what were the Ruskilanders thinking? They cannot just invade sovereign countries on a whim, who do they think they are, us? This was all the fault of that evil Putler, Ruskiland does not have any geopolitical interests or security concerns, he started this war because he is a mean old man who wants to kill Ukuleleland babies and hates our freedoms. He must be stopped by any means necessary! Soon the old ale houses were buzzing with talk of female Ukuleleland fighters single-handedly destroying forty Ruskiland tanks before breakfast and how the Ruskiland special military operation was killing innocent civilians, unlike the carpet-bombings for trans rights which were fiery but mostly peaceful.
I know what you are thinking, did The Based really believe the narrative spun by the same Trusted Experts who had them locked in their homes for months because of a cold, stopped them eating meat because cow flatulence is bad for the environment and convinced their children they have something called “white privilege”? You had better believe they did, and when Libertyland and her friends declared war on Ruskiland under the pretext of not respecting trans rights The Based where the first to volunteer and fight for muh freedoms.
The war did not last long of course, Ruskiland being no match for Libertyland never-mind the combined strength of the Anti-Ruskiland League and while there was some concern over Ruskiland’s nuclear arsenal these all malfunctioned upon launch. Ruskiland was carpet-bombed into the stone-age, Putler sentenced to life in electric nipple clamps, the rainbow flag of The Empire flew over Ruskilandand and her people introduced to all the joys of Libertyland cultural-imperialism. Libertyland was now unopposed as a global power and could expend enormous effort and resources ensuring the citizens of the empire behaved themselves appropriately with respect to social and climate justice.
Back on Rainy Island Fred and Bob are having their regular Friday catchup via Zoom this week due to being confined indoors during yet another climate lockdown. Fred is munching on crickets. After performing the mandatory declaration that they are both LGBT+ and BAME allies the software permits them to begin the video call:
Fred: I don’t know if I can stand this much longer, and I’ll tell you what, I don’t believe what the Trusted Experts said about crickets being an aphrodisiac at all!
Bob: I hear you, you just can’t trust these Trusted Experts. They said making your bed can cause heart-attacks and now bedsheets have been banned.
Fred: It is obvious they are liars but The Based just can’t win, it’s one step forward and two steps back. They have us by the balls. Is it because we have a fundamentally childlike understanding of the nature of power?
Bob: No, we just need to keep trying to convince everybody about muh freedom and the invisible hand of the market, remind them the customer is always right and we will get through to them eventually. The important thing for now is Putler is no longer a threat to freedom and is unable to invade sovereign countries…you know, like we do.
I shan’t be reviewing your kind comments at this time. A reminder to anybody who might want to fight me that my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org where you can also direct general hate mail or give me 10,000 pounds.
© Zombie_Ramboz 2022