Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pharaoh Nagin

There's been a great deal of unfavorable reaction to Nagin's memoir Katrina's Secrets, self-published no doubt because publishers force authors to fix typos and more important, to fact check. Basically Nagin presents a scenario where it is him against the world. Untrustworthy government officials at worst are trying to poison him, and at best they are doing nothing because they are cowards, Republican, and in one case, female. These haters hate him, African Americans, and the Big Easy. But despite all of these countless obstacles the Great Nagin is victorious because God likes him. The most ridiculous part that nobody corroborates is that Nagin led a planned freedom march of stranded folks at the Convention Center across the bridge and they were on their way to the capital Baton Rouge. In volume 2 I'm sure Nagin played a key role in the Tracy Porter interception that sealed the Saints' Victory in Superbowl XLIV.

This all reminds me very much of ancient Near Eastern battle accounts in which various kings brag about how they alone courageously vanquished treacherous foes. One in particular that comes to mind is the Bulletin of Ramses the Great in which he defeats the Hittites. Most of the evidence suggests that at best this was a stalemate for the Egyptians, as they had to turn and high tail it back to Egypt. So go ahead and read this modified version, where the only changes are as follows:

Ramses to Nagin, Hittites to Baton Rouge, chariotry to buses, countries to parishes, ford to bridge, and Thebes to Poydras.

"Now while Nagin’s majesty sat speaking with the chiefs, the vile Foe from Baton Rouge came with her infantry and her buses and the many parishes that were with her. Crossing the bridge to the south of Baton Rouge they charged into his majesty's army as it marched unaware. Then the infantry and buses of his majesty weakened before them on their way northward to where his majesty was. Thereupon the forces of the Foe from Baton Rouge surrounded the followers of his majesty who were by his side. When his majesty caught sight of them he rose quickly, enraged at them like his father Mont. Taking up weapons and donning his armor he was like Seth in the moment of his power. He mounted 'Victory-in-Poydras,' his great horse, and started out quickly alone by himself. His majesty was mighty, his heart stout, one could not stand before him. All his ground was ablaze with fire; he burned all the parishes with his blast. His eyes were savage as he beheld them; his power flared like fire against them. He heeded not the foreign multitude; he regarded them as chaff. His majesty charged into the force of the Foe from Baton Rouge and the many parishes with her. His majesty was like Seth, great-of-strength, like Sakhmet in the moment of her rage. His majesty slew the entire force of the Foe from Baton Rouge, together with his great chiefs and all his brothers, as well as all the chiefs of all the parishes that had come with him, their infantry and their buses falling on their faces one upon the other. His majesty slaughtered them in their places; they sprawled before his horses; and his majesty was alone, none other with him. My majesty caused the forces of the foes from Baton Rouge to fall on their faces, one upon the other, as crocodiles fall, into the water of the Orontes. I was after them like a griffin; I attacked all the countries, I alone. For my infantry and my buses had deserted me; not one of them stood looking back. As I live, as Re loves me, as my father Atum favors me, everything that my majesty has told I did it in truth, in the presence of my infantry and my buses."

At least Ramses has the leadership skills not to tell us about his bowel movements after the battle.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Brilliant! I love it.