After the utterly bananas beginning, there wasn’t really much to write about except the strange and lazy behavior of the Mayor himself…which the writers themselves would explicitly point out. So there just wasn’t really much original commentary to be done for most of the last year. But now that Feducci’s god awful term is finally over and done with, this seems like the appropriate point for a retrospective. Despite the soaring rhetoric and grand pretensions, the defining feature of this administration is how completely inconsequential it has been. Feducci came, Feducci failed, Feducci hit on a different scheme that has nothing to do with being Mayor of London, Feducci blew up the Mayoral residence for some reason…
Which isn’t to say it wasn’t an active or uninteresting term. This was an administration where the Mayor was constantly besieged by protesters. An administration where the Mayor would ineffectually attempt to instigate violence against his opponents. An administration where the Mayor would hand out bogus titles in exchange for secrets. An administration where Lettice, the Mercy could sneak in and imitate the Mayor, sending out Christmas cards in his name and pilfering his gun collection (I suppose this means that, technically speaking, London has had four Mayors – Jenny, Feducci, Lettice, and the Contrarian).
But let us not forget that Feducci originally ran on the promise of transforming London over the course of his one year term:
A message that was taken up and repeated by his supporters:
[quote=Edward Warren]Citizens, I implore you to choose the candidate who’s plan will touch the most lives! The plan that gives the people the fair chance they need right now! For a better London, for a Fair London, I implore you!
And further emphasized by Feducci in his victory speech:
Yet, none of this happened and June 1895 to June 1896 turned out to be a fairly unexceptional year. All these showy promises to transform London went absolutely nowhere.
[quote=Business and pleasure both]
They say Feducci takes his meals at gambling tables, watching as Londoners cut each other to ribbons or lose everything at roulette. He keeps meticulous notes about each game, and is said to retire to his study to peruse them. But to what end? Is he planning his next moves? They do say he is increasingly furious that the games he arranges mean nothing; that he wants to have already upended the board. They say he is taking the names of London’s deadliest, or at least her luckiest. Perhaps we’ll see in time.[/quote]
We did see in time – and it was all just busywork, an expression of frustration and a substitute for clear ideas. Real revolutions are hard, while taxpayer funded parties that pretend to be revolutions are easy.
A party is all Feducci’s term amounted to in the end: a sort of phantom class war over empty titles and honors, where real talk of social reform was drowned out by bitter aristocrats complaining that their butler was now the duke or whatever of the Prickfinger Wastes, an empty stretch of good for nothing rock. London’s politics were certainly more active and eventful during Feducci’s term, but they were also far less substantive.
One notices the complete absence of the Masters from this picture; they weren’t on Feducci’s mayoral card, they didn’t turn up in any of his festival appearances, and they weren’t at the wedding. In contrast they were everywhere with Jenny. If Jenny was a game piece in their various competing intrigues, then Feducci was a total irrelevance. This is because the bandaged prince fits so neatly within their system for ruling London that they didn’t even have to bother with manipulating him. He’s even furnished the Bazaar with a major love story! What better service could a Mayor provide for them?!
If watching him has taught us anything, it’s that Feducci is skilled at gaining wealth and power, but he doesn’t know what to do with it once acquired. His perfectly organized campaign featured fantastic promises and no realistic plan. His administration was very showy and very incompetent, the only accomplishment being the conversion of Blythenhale into a garish casino/dueling arena and then the conversion of that into a smoking crater. The wedding was a romantic triumph, yet a complete disaster in terms of basic organization (consider how the whole thing could be completely derailed by a single bad hiring decision made by a desperate, overworked subordinate).
The pattern emerges of a man who delights in advancing and amusing himself while actively avoiding any real work. He is never satisfied with what he has; at heart he lives for the high stakes wagers, not the winnings – everything won becomes something to gamble with later. What would he do if he actually managed to become Prester of the 77-Kingdoms? Probably the same thing that happened after he became Mayor of London: boredom, disappointment, and scheming for yet greater things, whatever those were.
The result is gambling and scheming as a sort of perpetual motion machine. Virginia makes clear that she and Feducci were thinking about their latest wager not in terms of years, but centuries:
Naturally very few present day Londoners will actually be around to enjoy the winnings, should Feducci somehow beat the odds, which he probably won’t. But the beauty of this scam is that all present day failures and disappointments can be waved away in the name of the glorious future to come…someday. In the meantime, life in London goes on as usual. This is why, whether the wedding succeeds or fails, it is utterly inconsequential to the city. A lottery ticket whose status won’t be known within your lifetime simply doesn’t matter. Hence why the massive divergence in storylines, a successful wedding or a failed wedding, can be safely allowed.
However, it wouldn’t be entirely true to say that nothing whatsoever has changed in London as a result of Feducci’s term. If you let the marriage succeed, the Captivating Princess and Feducci wile away their time turning the Albion Wing into a giant casino/trophy room at the taxpayer’s expense (Blythenhale, just larger). With the results of his latest grand plan kicked safely into the distant future, one can’t help but notice that the only person potentially enjoying any tangible benefit from Feducci’s term of office is…Feducci himself. This, and his spiteful destruction of Jenny’s former residence, neatly sums up his administration rather well, I think.
At least Jenny’s blatant nest feathering resulted in a school.
edited by Anne Auclair on 7/3/2018