Friday, 2 July 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 8)

‘Is there a war somewhere? Do you need more recruits for the army?’ the Ruler continued to query, as the Stranger continued to reply to the negative. ‘How can I help you?’

‘The matters I come on are closer to home for you. But I am hoping that we can solve the problems to the satisfaction of all,’ the Stranger responded. ‘Tell me,’ he glanced shrewdly at the Ruler, ‘what are your popularity ratings?’

‘Well, it’s funny you should ask that,’ replied the Ruler. ‘Actually, I’m doing very well. Amongst my people, that is. The Denebians … they seem to hate me. I try to reason with them, but so few of them are enlightened that it is almost impossible – and they just don’t understand!’ He threw up his hands in despair.

‘They don’t understand what?’ prompted the Stranger gently.

‘That I’m trying to do what the policies ask of me,’ the Ruler continued. ‘In the policies it says that we must try to do all we can to live at peace with one another. My people find that they cannot do this with all the towns and cities having the names of people who we were taught to hate. They therefore proposed other names, which were put to a democratic vote. Those names won the vote, and so I am implementing them.’

‘Have you considered carefully the source of these alternative names? Kensurit, for example?’ the Stranger put the question quietly.