Thus saith the Bard:
A short time ago in a sea  far, far, away there was an island named Ithaca. It was not so very different than any other place. There were the normal goings about that occur in any city where the inhabitants secretly hate each other yet rally around the shared greater hatred for foreigners. People could say that it was a shining city on a hill if it weren’t for the coal ash besoaked walls and low lying anthrax clouds.
The whistle from the factory each day heralded another venture to the bar which softened the hard blow of returning home and the church bells signalled the rush to the colosseum to find out what the score was in the big Bears vs. Martyrs game. Life there was as simple as life can be which is to say it was as wretched and demeaning as ever, but supplied with enough wine and denial to keep procreation an acceptable life choice. 
Days went by without a care in Ithaca, at least within the privileged class. Afternoons found many a goat-fattened bottom planted in a dais, perched upon a veranda watching the wretched of the earth below. They drank their mint juleps and nibbled cucumber sandwiches while deciding which human emotion to seal off from their perview. Theirs was the life of luxury and they were envied by none.
In the shadow of their haciendas were the ever hunched and squatting masses, set about in their toilings and common violences which were the inspiration for religious saints and the subject of newspapers’ neglect. The poor of Ithaca were as the poor of anytime or place to theologians: But a dream appealed to feigning piety and a nightmare revealed by prophets to their shame. To the politician before the election they were the banner and after the election the toilet paper. To the middle class, they were their unadmitted equals, to the upper class their moral superiors.
Ithaca was a quiet place, a tranquil haven for respite and reflection during the breaks between army-conscription raids and parades honoring the glorious dead and unfortunate injured. All was well on the heavenly isle, the site of many epic poem and love ballad. 
Of Ithaca it was said,
“There is a mountain there, which a public works project aimed to craft into a volcano  
high Neriton, covered in forests. Its discharge rather than lava was to be the city’s effluvium
for its citizens nary minded being shat on so long as it was in grand style.
Many islands lie around it, very close to each other,
Doulichion, Same, and wooded Zacynthos–all a bunch of losers just sitting on unused oil–
but low-lying Ithaca is farthest out to sea,
towards the sunset, and the others are apart, towards the dawn and sun.
It is rough, but no one promised you a rose garden.”

Yes, there were many a song that left the lips of trollops concerning that wonderous land granted by Providence, espousing Liberty, and granting Hard Knocks.
To potential visitors, the chamber of commerce called gilding the lily what actual residents called polishing the turd. It was a stunning place to see and many who lived there couldn’t shake the stun from their faces.

There were many great monuments and gods and statues putting form to virtue but no greater figure existed than the living icon of the Great King, Majestic and Beardy.
He was a self-parodying simulacrum of ‘kingness’, a former Hollywood actor of chimp-hijinks cinema and baseball team owner. He was a modern cowboy and an anachronism in his own time. He stood as tall as a candy machine and dispensed Snickers when gut-punched.
He was King Ulysses S. Groan, man of little words and short sentences.
Born and raised within the 45 square miles of his home, he never intended to leave it.
And though he was a grand schemer, we all know about the best laid schemes of mice and men…
they’re gang aft a-gley.

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