An Interview With A Prince: Of Heroes And Monsters Of History

This interview is more or less a late response to Charles Englund’s interview with Heneral Luna last year

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, it’s your favorite high-functioning internet troll Thaddeus Grimwald here in the province of Transylvania, Romania in Bran Castle to interview Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia!

And without further ado, here comes the man himself!

Vlad III: Ah, good evening to you and welcome to my humble abode Mr. Grimwald! It is so rare to have a guest from such far reaches of the world these days! It is an honor to have you here in my home!

Made out to be 'evil' for alleged 'atrocities' committed in a time of great social and political turmoil.
Made out to be ‘evil’ for alleged ‘atrocities’ committed in a time of great social and political turmoil.
Grim: Please, call me “Grim”, Your Highness. I am merely of common birth and the honor is all mine.

Vlad III: Well, you nonetheless have the mark of a gentleman. My brides speak highly of you.

Grim: If so, you can thank my ex-girlfriend and my previous relationship.

Vlad III: Oh, must be a sore topic for you. Apologies, “Sir Grim” for being such a poor host. I don’t get many visitors in this day and age.

Let’s see here. You are from Asia, correct? A distant land called the Philippines which was discovered long ago by the Spaniards.

Grim: I see you keep up with current events Your Highness. Indeed, I am from Far East Asia, somewhere east of China.

Vlad III: Yes, I have heard of that place. I hear that it’s very beautiful there as it is always warm even at night. Not like here in Romania at all.

In fact, I believe we have kin there. In one of your islands, though I cannot quite remember the name. Capisce, was it now?

Grim: Oh, you mean Capiz!

Vlad III: Yes, that’s the one!

Anyway, while I’d like to go there, I’m afraid I don’t enjoy traveling over oceans. It’s kind of a hassle for me, I guess.

Grim: That’s okay, Your Highness.

Anyway, I came to ask you whether you know anything about Philippine history, especially from the 1980’s to the present.

Vlad III: I hear a bit. However, remember, I usually know more about the west than the Far East. I have even met that American president, “Lincoln” I believe his name was, and he tried to kill me.

Though I do know about your former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and what happened to him after he was overthrown. I have never met the man myself but I cannot help but feel a little sympathy for the poor man.

Grim: Why so, Your Highness?

Vlad III: Well, it’s clear that he was not a perfect leader and he indeed committed atrocities and acts of corruption against your people. However, his actions can be best described as “only human” and wasn’t really anything atrocious. It’s apparent that Ferdinand Marcos only wanted to do what was best for the Filipino people but that didn’t mean that he was invulnerable to temptation and corruption. Perhaps in the end, he did fall to temptation, but I doubt he really intended things to go the way they did.

He almost reminds me of myself, actually…

Grim: Could you explain, Your Highness?

Vlad III: Look my boy, when it comes to history, there are only three truths. Remember them well, because they are all too often forgotten when people get all emotional.

Grim: So what is the first?

Vlad III: The first is that everyone seeks someone to blame for their troubles. They may not say it out loud and may even try to hide it but never forget that just about everyone wants to blame someone else for their problems. It’s human nature, my good Sir Grim.

While Ferdinand Marcos might not have been perfect, as I said, he was not the cause of all the problems of your country. Indeed, if there is anyone to blame, it is some of the people who worked for him who, for some strange reason, still remain in power in your country. Marcos was simply a victim of the “blame game” since he was in charge at the time and all the issues that occurred could be laid at his feet.

Which makes me wonder how that inbred-looking man who is currently your president manages to dodge all the blame thrown at him and still have the audacity to not take responsibility for the troubles of your country. I can only pity you for having such a horrible example of a man be your leader. I loathe to even call him a “man” as he keeps blaming a sick and helpless woman for his inadequacies.

Grim: Well, his term is almost over anyway so I wouldn’t be too worried about that. Anyway Your Highness, what is the second.

Vlad III: The second is that history is not “black and white”. It’s never “good vs. evil” as a lot of dumb storytellers would have you believe. More often than not, it just turns out that one side happens to be more evil than the other.

If you will note even, my people, the Romanians and Bulgarians, see me as a hero while others, such as the Russians, Germans and especially the Ottomans, see me as a monster or as a devil even. Some have even gone on to calling me “The Impaler” which, of course, I will not deny. All in all though, most of what I did, I did for my people. I will say that for them, I will gladly sell my soul to the Devil just so I can protect them.

I can also point out to you that other men from history also possess a “gray” portrait rather than a purely white or black one. Some have called that short Frenchman Napoleon “The Antichrist” although the French see him as captain of their nation. Nobunaga Oda of Japan was a fearsome warrior often branded as a villain by his own people, yet it was he who united them as an empire.

So you see dear boy, contrary to what a lot of people will tell you, there are rarely any real “heroes” or “villains” in history. So while Ferdinand Marcos might not have been a good leader, I wouldn’t call him a “tyrant” like some people would as, despite everything he had done, he still cared about your people. A true tyrant is usually insane and is apathetic to the plight of their own people as they live in their own world like Caligula and Nero.

Grim: Then what is the third, Your Highness?

Vlad III: The third is that history is all too often written by the winners.

Like I said with the first two I’ve said, history is never the “clear-cut” story most people assume it is. It is often complicated and very confusing.

For instance, take the American Civil War. Many simply assume that the Union simply fought for the freedom of slaves in the states ruled by the Confederates. In reality, there were Union states that not only supported slavery but actually treated their African slaves even worse. Also, there were Confederate states that did not only want to free their slaves but give them their own property and livelihood. However, since the Union won that war, it was they who decided on what to write in American history books.

Made out to be 'good' by people peddling the notion of divine endorsement of political leadership
Made out to be ‘good’ by people peddling the notion of divine endorsement of political leadership
The same can be said about history books in your country. Since it was the enemies of Ferdinand Marcos who took over after he was overthrown, it was they who decided on what to write in your history books. In the end, he was painted as the villain and his enemies were the “heroes” even though both factions had committed their own fair share of villainy. Of course, since it was poor Ferdinand who lost, it became fairly easy for his enemies to paint themselves as heroes, or even a saint as I’ve heard from one of my advisers in the Vatican, even when they are clearly just as corrupt and atrocious or perhaps even worse.

Grim: Well, that’s certainly an eye-opener Your Highness and both I and my readers deeply appreciate your insights on the history of the Filipino people. I should be going now as it is long way back to the airport.

Vlad III: Oh, you’re not going to stay for the night?

Grim: No, I really should be going I-

Wait, what the-

Why can’t I get this door open?

Vlad III: Oh, don’t bother trying my dear Mr. Grimwald, I made sure to have all my doors and windows locked from the outside. My brides made sure of that.

Grim: Wait! This isn’t what we talked about!

Dangit, I forgot to bring my garlic necklace!

Vlad III: I get so few guests these days that I cannot simply turn down a free meal when it comes to me of its own will. Fear not though, Thaddeus. Once I am done, you will become one of my children. You will be one of us. You will be one with the night and you will never fear death ever again! Women of all kinds will be attracted to you and you will never want for companionship ever again! You will finally have an active sex life!

Grim: No, wait! Stay back! I’m warning you!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I DON’T WANT TO SPARKLE!

***

GRP writer Thaddeus Grimwald has been declared missing by both Philippine and Romanian authorities. He was last seen in the vicinity of Bran Castle in Romania. If you have any information on his present whereabouts or condition, please contact his loved ones immediately. 

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6 Comments on “An Interview With A Prince: Of Heroes And Monsters Of History”

  1. There was a half upper body being, circling my house, last night. It was shouting: “Quack!, Quack!….!!1). I took my night vision binocular. The half body being with Bat Wings, appeared to be : Mr. Thaddeus Grimwald. Maybe, he was bitten by Count Dracula…and became an “Aswang”…so , I spread a lot of Garlic around my house. To drive him away…

    The victors write history. The vanquished becomes , the villains. The tragedy is, if this distorted history, is passed, from generation to generation. It is the duty of the next generation, to look and research for the Truth. Not to accept , everything passed to them, by the older generation. Use your Common Senses…

  2. A concealed truth, that’s all a lie is. Either by omission or commission we never do more than obscure. The truth stays in the undergrowth, waiting to be discovered.

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