New spaces for new parents

I was officially born in the 17th century.
My homeland was England.
My parents were many.
They conceived me in coffeehouses.

I was officially born in the 17th century,
When the crowns of Scotland and England united,
When James VI, King of Scots,
Ascended to the throne of England as James I;
When civil wars between roundheads and cavaliers
Ended in Parliamentary victory,
At the Battle of Worcester.

I was officially born in the 17th century,
At the time of Interregnum,
Commonwealths, Glorious Revolution,
William and Mary
and the English Bill of Rights.
Reformation and proliferation of literacy:
People learnt to read the Bible,
Then chose to be curious and explore,
Secular literature and novels
In circulating libraries.

My parents were many.
They conceived me in coffeehouses,
Scattered around the city,
Spread throughout the country,
And finally reached abroad:
Another Revolution,
on the other side of the Channel.

My parents were many.
They met at intellectual bacchanalia,
In reading societies and clubs,
‘Cause that’s where news was communicated.
Freely criticizing politics and governments,
They engaged in conversations
in an environment of confrontation,
Social status set aside,
To listen, exchange, formulate,
Understand and comprehend.

Another William called me ‘mistress of success’,
Blaise thought I was ‘the queen of the world’.
Being well informed and debate in social networks
Was a duty, before being a right,
As my parents’ opinion would guide the rulers,
Ideally in the interest not of few, not of many,
but of all.

First heeded by governments,
They quickly learnt to manipulate me,
They muzzled me and domesticated me,
Taking away my freedom and relevance,
With the unofficial excuse by which
My parents were too ignorant
to even have a voice.

Now those coffeehouses have changed their shape,
Intangible, virtual, ethereal,
New spaces for new parents
To develop ideas, opinions,
And exchange;
Not currencies or stocks
but information and views.

I am my parents’ voice,
My name is Public Opinion.

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