A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
As I said on Tuesday, the world is a mess (“Let’s Fix The World”) but here are three more things that would fix the problem — if only we’d start thinking outside the box.
Bring Back Bullies! — When we eliminated bullies from the classroom and the playground, we unintentionally created a bigger problem. We produced an entire generation who a) don’t understand the world is full of nasty, evil bastards and b) don’t know how to handle them when they show up. I’m lookin’ at you, Vladimir — or Donald ( whatever your pleasure.) So, every time some pipsqueak Kim Jong-Un dick-tator starts waving his nuclear weapons around, the entire world has to come to a screaming halt while we try to figure out what to do with the guy. This is a waste of time. It would be far better to have the bullies show up in the first grade (like they used to) and we could learn how to deal with them long before it gets to nuclear-warfare-scary. That way, we’re not playing around with these nutbars for years when we should be concentrating on serious things.
Build Some Useless Stuff — This isn’t my idea, but it’s brilliant. What we do is take all the students coming out of university with worthless degrees (art history, media studies, leadership, philosophy etc., etc., etc.) and put them to work building a bunch of massive, useless monuments. Things like Stonehenge or the Great Pyramid or the Great Wall of … uh — well — maybe a wall isn’t such a good idea — but, anyway, stuff like that. This would keep these half-educated cretins so busy they wouldn’t have time to sit around bitchin’ about their lot in life, blaming the 1% and causing trouble on Facebook and Twitter. And they’ll be too tired to be constantly yipping about “safe zones” and “cultural appropriation” and why we have to change the he/she pronoun to some made up “ze” bullshit. The result would be the rest of us could quit wasting a ton of time, trying to placate these malcontents — and we can get on with trying to solve the world’s real problems. Plus, we’d get a pile of new roadside attractions for selfies and such.
Buy Things — It’s pretty obvious that our world is crap at solving problems. Just take a look! When we tried to feed Africa, we ended up with Sir Bob Geldof, stumbling around like a tramp looking for a hot meal. When we tried to halt Global Warming, we ended up with Al Gore whose personal carbon footprint is the size of Milwaukee. And now that we’re trying to solve the refugee crisis, who do we find on the front line? George Clooney and Susan Sarandon! (Why don’t we just ask Sean Penn to run the UN and get it over with?) However, there is one thing our consumer society does extremely well: we know how to buy stuff. We need to use this ability to our advantage. For example, if we’re serious about saving the African White Rhinoceros, why don’t we just buy them all? (There can’t be that many left.) We buy them all, stamp them with “Property of …” and hire a bunch of Los Angeles policemen to look after them. Poachers might be mean and ruthless, but there’s nothing on this planet meaner than the LAPD! And, honestly, how much would it cost? The EU spends 100 billion Euros every year on foreign aid: a few rhinos would be a drop in the bucket. Another example. Want to end poverty in Mali? Buy it! Then send a couple of boatloads of liberal arts graduates (from item #2) over there to build pyramids, and you’d probably get your initial investment back in a couple of years from tourism alone. This could work for everything from saving the rain forest to stopping the cocaine trade. Plus, if we just use the money Western politicians waste every year, nobody’s going to feel the financial pinch. So this year we buy all the whales and tell the Japanese and Norwegians to go hang; two years from now, we buy all the heroin in the world and burn it in the Libyan desert — because we bought that the year before.
Actually, the sky’s the limit. All we have to do is quit wasting our time and think about it.