The Candidate

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“I am a Gungian!” he shouted. “I believe in the Great God Gunga and His Holy Scripture, GunGana! Gunga has anointed me to be your leader in these dark and troubling times. Yes. They are dark. Like, black dark and that in itself is troubling. But I am here now, and we will be great again and free once more.”  

  

“Sure” they responded suspiciously. “Good start. Glad to hear from you and you look a lot like we do. Because we could and would not listen to you if you were not really like us. We would never even support you if you were not totally like us. So, why don’t you tell us more!”  

  

“Well, I believe that you and I - well especially me - but anyway, we’re special people; that we’re much better than everyone else because GGG – I call him GGG because I have a great relationship with him – well GGG is the best most greatest and most wonderful. I mean I really truly literally for sure love him. He made me smart and because I am so smart, I became super-duper rich. So, in a way, he made me rich. I’m rich by the way. Did I tell you that? Well, not just rich. But super-duper extra amazing, fantastic rich! All because Gunga made me like you and made me a smart man. I’m smart too. I’m rich and I’m smart. Like not just smart. I’m really a super genius smart. The smart people had to create a new category of smart for my level of smarts. I’m like a Smartan! From Smarta!” 

 

The Great God Gunga ruled over all the land. He was not the only deity in this place, but he had a good thing going and he was starting to squeeze every other deity out of the worship market. Gunga followers, called Gungians, believed that if you were rich and powerful then that meant you were blessed by Gunga. If you were poor and lived in dire shit, then that meant either you didn’t worship Gunga or if you did then you did not really believe in Gunga, or you were worshiping some other not as real, powerful, and benevolent deity on the side.  

  

What would you do if you were poor and lived as a shit stain on the world? Yup. You’d probably switch camps pretty quickly and ask the Great God Gunga to make you rich and powerful. But there was another catch. Unless you looked like all the rich powerful people then chances are even if you were extraordinarily lucky and did become rich it did not guarantee you anything. It just means you were a little rich. Like whoop-de-friggin-doo for you.  

  

As they listened to this new man on the scene, the crowd desperately wanted to be excited, but they'd been fooled so many times before that they were still doubtful. Yet, he looked like them, talked like them, was rich like they were hey, what could it hurt if they let him speak some more.  

  

“I believe," he continued unabashedly, "that GGG wants us to get rid of all the other fake deities and make him the one true real for sure deity. I believe our believing that GGG – don’t worry I call him that all the time and he’s cool with it – is the bestest and because of him we are superior to all other humans. I believe that when GGG made us, he made us look like him and if you don’t look like us then you don’t look like him and if you don’t look like him then you can never be a real true Gungian. Hail to Gunga!” 

  

Collectively all eyebrows raised in the crowd. What did he just say?  

  

Did he just announce their sacred psalm out loud? No one had ever done that before. In fact, some others had tried and those non-Gungian believing people were so pissed off they raise a holy stink about it. Hell, they even came close to a revolt. The Gungians couldn’t have that. It would jeopardize their way of life and negatively affect the fat cheques they got every month.   

  

“You heard me! I said it!” he shamelessly continued his rant. Seeing he had their attention, he doubled down. “In fact, if you’re not Gungian and you don’t believe in my friend GGG – yes, he is my friend and he is also my close personal confidante, I tell him everything - and if you don't believe in my friend GGG and in the sacred GunGana then you must hate this country. And if you hate this country – which by the way is the most best most fantastic, tremendous, beautiful country among all our countries in the whole world of countries – which reminds me of that amazing song we sing about our country. Have you ever heard it? It’s a good song too. If you hate this country, then I hate you. Now I know GGG said not to hate, but he didn’t say not to hate everyone so that must mean that you can hate some people and if we should hate anyone it’s the people who don’t like GGG and who don’t look like us. Now I don’t care if you believe me. It’s the truth and the truth is the only thing I speak. So, leave if you don’t believe me and don’t like the truth.” 

  

After taking a second to pick their jaws off the floor the crowd started screaming with insane delight. Yes! Yes! He was the one! They did not believe they would live to see the time when the thoughts they’d harboured secretly in their hearts all along would be spoken out loud. Oh, for how long they had felt persecuted. Sure, they weren’t really persecuted, they were after all the ruling class but still they would never dare say that out loud for fear of a general revolt. But here he was, this man who spoke their deepest darkest thoughts out loud and fearlessly at that. They were giddy with excitement and overcome with joy. 

  

Non-Gungian believers in the crowd started feeling apprehensive. Could this be true? This man was straight up saying shit that should get him in even deeper shit, but these people were cheering him were cheering him on. Weren’t they afraid people would revolt? They tried to raise a stink right there and then, but something was happening that they’d never seen before.  

  

The more this mad charlatan talked the more brazen the Gungians became. The more brazen they became the more empowered they behaved. The more empowered they behaved the more they too began to repeat his rhetoric. He had started a vicious cycle and he was at its head.  

   

Non-Gungians in the meeting started thinking…this is not going to end well. They would have to keep their eyes on Nassim Blau.