7/20/2011 | Share this article:By Carl S ~
"Alice, you stand accused, and yet you have brought an attorney. Why?” asked the Chief Magistrate.
Image by **tWo pInK pOSsuMs** via Flickr“Why?" asked Alice. “To defend me, of course. What a silly question. Why would you ask?"
"We will ask the questions, young lady. This is Wonderland, where we conduct the proceedings without questions."
"And just how are you to find out the truth of the allegations against me without asking questions?" asked Alice.
"Truth? We have the truth already. We don’t need a silly brat talking to US about truth. Why, our very witnesses and experts are the truth themselves. We need no others. Would that all government bodies functioned as ours."
"But I don't understand," said Alice. "How can you ignore all the evidence?"
"Evidence? What is evidence, when all of us know that you are guilty? That is authority enough. Why, we know in our hearts, beyond any doubt; and "reasonable" can be damned!"
Just then, the March Hare jumped to his feet, and shouted, "OH! She is like this all the time! Why, just the other day she was reading the Queen's history and said, 'I can't believe this!'"
"I say!" the Queen remarked, "What is the meaning of this? An impertinent child DARES to question us? OFF with her head!"
"Your majesty, that is an excellent point,” said the Chief Magistrate. “But let us play with her as the cat plays with the mouse. Let us first have the witnesses for the prosecution, who are the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth. We will have need of no others. In fact, verily, Alice does not have to be present at all, if her countenance and demeanor are offensive or cause discomfort to us."
"Really!" cried Alice. "You call this a fair trial, over which you would condemn me? Why, without questions and evidence, truth itself is a mortal victim!”
"Oh my dear," said the Queen, smiling condescendingly. "No one said life is fair. Your ways are not our ways, and our ways are the Queen's ways, for I alone am the Way, the Life, and the Truth. You obviously do not understand my ways of wisdom."
"Oh," said Alice, “but I do understand that you are threatened, all of you, and angry, when even a child would question you. And I now understand how absolute power corrupts absolutely!"
"Silence!" shouted the Queen. "You have no right to question at all, you disobedient, proud, willful, child. How dare you speak thus?"
"Your Majesty," said Alice. "This trial is utter nonsense; its claims and assumed authority are contrary to all that is fair, true, and honest. This grieves me. How can all of you be so indifferent to these things and consider yourselves morally superior beings?"
"My dear child," the Queen sneered, "Obviously, you have not been paying attention."
"And obviously," said Alice, "no one DARES pay the slightest attention to anything I say. I wonder why?"