It's Monday, not Sunday, but I didn't write this yesterday because I've got so little to report. It's been very much a 'business as usual' week, I think; lots of procrastination and some bug fixing on MARDEK. I've yet to hear much from sponsor-type people, which is sort of worrying, so if I don't hear back in a few days, I'll contact them and ask whether they're still interested or something.
I'm not in a hurry to do that right now though because I do still have quite a lot to add and fix.
Since I don't have a whole lot to report, I'll mention something that's been on my mind.
Imagine a man, a billionaire, who gained his wealth from making some huge corporation or something which is really important to the world. He's got a great public image, and everyone sees him as the Father Of The Modern World and thinks he's great and nice and kind and so on.
He lives in an enormous mansion, and he has two young children, who are just toddlers at this time.
He wants them to grow up with good morals, so then they'll not end up spoiled, so he wants to use a degree of discipline. Fair amounts of it, mind; nothing too extreme and cruel.
He's got a fondness for alcohol, and since he's a billionaire, he's recently acquired a rather expensive bottle of wine, so he plonks it on a small table in the middle of one of the most used rooms in the house, where the children often play. As you do. Alcohol isn't for children though, so he takes his two toddlers to the table, points at the booze, and specifically says that they are NOT TO TOUCH IT. No. They'll regret it if they do, because alcohol does bad things to you and only grown-ups are safe to drink it. He's raised them well so far, so they say okay, and generally avoid it.
This man has a butler, but he's a bit of a mean fellow because he's bitter due to his meagre pay; he feels that his master earns billions every day so he should afford to give him much more than he actually does. So this butler has a malicious streak in him, and sees a bit of fun in mischief. He goes to the toddlers, and tells them that it's okay to drink the wine because their father said so; he basically encouraged them to drink it since they said they were old enough.
The children, being so young as to NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG and gullible because of their naivete, just trust this other adult authority figure and assume that what he's saying is true; they don't know what lies are yet. So, they go and have a sip of the wine, because they were told it was okay. They didn't do it of their own accord - they were avoiding it because they were told not to touch it - but because the butler assured them it was okay. They had no real reason to NOT trust him; their father never told them not to.
Also note that since this man is a billionaire, he has the best security money can buy; his house is full of security cameras that track everything, and he's a tad paranoid so he's always keeping an eye on them. It allows him to let his children roam free in the house while he's off doing work, and so on. So he's watching the butler tell this lie to the children, and watching the children drink the wine, and not going to stop them until after it's happened.
Now, it has happened, and he confronts the children, this nice, kind, friendly billionaire with a strict moral code. What should he, a great and loving father, do?
He should give them a stern word and explain to them why it was wrong, maybe give them a slap on the bum, etc, and punish the butler, right? After all, it was mostly the butler's fault. He should make them well aware of what they did wrong so then they can't repeat the mistake again and will learn from it, but he did sort of set himself up for this by putting the wine where he did, especially since they're just children, so he shouldn't punish them for too long. Maybe deprive them of toys for a day or two or something. That'd be a loving thing to do, while keeping his strict adherence to morality, right?
Well, he doesn't do that. That'd HARDLY be discipline, would it? Only a sissy would do that, and this man's no sissy.
He does absolutely nothing to the butler, for a start; he gets to keep his job and his wages and nothing changes after that act of mischief.
As for his naughty, naughty children, however... well! They really will need to regret this act of rebellion and defiance to their dear loving father who brought them into this world, who cared for them, who gave them a roof over their heads.
For starters, he kicks them out of the mansion forever; there's no living in luxury after a mistake like THAT! What arrogant, disobedient children they are. Ugh, it makes him SICK to think of how defiant they were towards him! Like they had no respect for authority or love for him at all!
THEN he uses his connections - and he has a lot of them, being one of the most powerful, rich and influential men in the world - to make sure that they can't ever get jobs, or earn too much money; he wants them to live as homeless vagrants and join gangs or something like that, to show how hard life is if they shun their dear father. He makes sure that there's no chance that they, their children, their children's children, etc, etc, are never allowed to come to any family reunions again; they're officially ostracised.
BUT! He still loves them, since they're his flesh and blood, after all. He cries himself to sleep every night at what he had to do to them for naively doing what the butler said as if they were toddlers or something, which they were. He decides to give them a way to rejoin the family, but they have to do a lot of sucking up in the process.
He uses his power and influence to hide a bunch of cryptic clues all over the place telling them what they have to do to rejoin his family and get back in the mansion. However, he doesn't actually come to them personally and tell them what to do; that'd be far too easy and would be interfering with their freedom to live life as they want to (that is, on the streets or in ditches). He even hires a society of Downs Syndrome people to write a book for him containing these strict rules that they must follow, which is published, but not given to them directly.
It doesn't end there, though. As he can see that these children of his - who now have many children of their own - are being rough and immoral due to their LIFE ON THE STREETS WITHOUT HIS PERSONAL GUIDANCE, and are illiterate and aren't actively looking for these rules because he never told them about them, he feels that he needs to be more clear.
He has another son that was born since these other children left, and this son is very noble indeed since he was actually able to grow up with his father. HE didn't drink a sip of alcohol when he was a baby!
The father loves this other son very much... but he feels bad about his other children's lives of misery, violence, poverty, etc, so he sends this other son out onto the streets to experience that too, and to hopefully teach these crude common people some lessons and make them better people.
It goes moderately well for a while - this son is rather charismatic and his moral conscience is strong indeed due to his upbringing - but then the father does what he planned from the start. He uses his power and influence to hire some policemen to capture this son of his, and to put him up for public execution on live television. This son is to die on the electric chair, as a punishment to make up for what his other children did. Confusing? It is, isn't it?
The father feels that in order to forgive his other, wayward children, rather than just, y'know, *forgiving* them, he must rob himself of this just and righteous Perfect Son of his, execute him before the world, then have some other mentally-handicapped people write some confusing literature about the event and how it means that he now forgives his other children... sort of. They still have to find all the rules and so on; it's just that if they write to him and say that they saw the execution and it really meant a lot to them, then he'd be more willing to forgive them and send them a copy of the rules personally. Or something to that effect.
It's a big mangled mess and the man dies unhappy, but the offspring of his wayward children still seek means to get back into the mansion, not knowing that he's dead. They convince themselves that he's merely gone into hiding or something...? I don't know.
What words would you use to describe such a man? Would they be things like 'kind', 'loving', 'merciful', 'the perfect father', etc? o_O