Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Random Musing: Carl John and Other Thoughts

Sometimes I write, and I feel uninspired.  Stupid.  So I write anyway.  I listened to Neil Gaiman's
advice on Writer's Block once, it was simple.  Write whatever feels like it should be written.

So here we are.  Writing what should be written.

Typically I don't just "blog" out something.  I like fiction writing and setting musing and all that.  I've never considered my life interesting enough to share.  It's this sort of nagging reminder that I should keep my mouth shut.  No one else cares, so why should I?

His name was Carl John.  If you haven't heard of him, I'm sorry.  Your life clearly needs something like him.  Carl John, King of Sweden.  And Norway.

Carl John is interesting for a key reason: he was born french.  As in, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte.  You don't make people like this up: he was elected to become the heir to the Swedish royal family.  AFTER he had served as a general for Napoleon.  Napoleon had made him a Prince.

So let that sink in.  What does this have to do with me wanting to blog.  Carl Fuckin' John has always appeared, at least in conversation, when I seem to be unable to get anything done.  A frenchman that served under Napoleon (the two had a rocky relationship, so maybe it makes sense) who got elected to be King of Sweden and Norway.  How it happened also sounds strange: a Swedish courtier initiated, and because Carl John had been kind to Swedish prisoners, the Riksdag of the Estates (Riksdag is the most metal name for a body of government; this goes without saying).  The courtier, Baron Karl Otto Mörner, offered him the gig without anyone's approval.

The Swedish government arrested Mörner.  And Carl John more or less set up Sweden to be an enemy of Napoleon.  Guess who thought the idea of Bernadotte being King of Sweden was absurd?  Yeah.

Carl John is one of those figures of history you have to go double check.  Like, you don't believe it happened.  His line is still the dynastic line of royalty in Sweden.

Things like that make me excited for Crux, although its hard to fit some in.  The President of Ith, Adais Silverune, is modeled off of Andrew Jackson.  I find Jackson interesting as a character, like Carl John, even though the man's presidency sort of frightens me in its scale and precedents.  So I've done it before, could I use Carl John as the basis of something?

I don't know.  Part of what makes Carl John's rise to King so interesting is how much it screwed over Napoleon.  Not the cause of his fall, but obviously the guy didn't mind sticking it to his old boss.  That ain't so new, it seems.

So maybe the real point is that sometimes, opportunities find you.  But that seems misleading.  It implies some sort of reward for not working for those opportunities.  That isn't what Carl John did.

I think, he is a example how people get pushed into power.  That I think is kinda more interesting to ponder for something.  It strikes the same cord that Paul Atreides does.  A figure who comes to be King who shouldn't even accept it by someone who shouldn't give it.  Who does something no one else can dare think to do.

Something to let boil in my head I guess.