Monday, 19 September 2011

if i ruled the world

"Gee Brain, what're we gonna do tonight?"

Brain: "Same thing we do every night Pinky...try and take over the world!"

All the talk of China’s steadily growing economy, modernised military and significant hold in U.S treasuries has led some to fear it will replace America as a world leader. Concerns about its influence and control are, however, premature - yes, China may someday surpass the U.S. as the world's largest economy, but in doing so would not necessarily override America as a world super power.

So this pissing contest between the U.S. and China not only verified that the term 'super power' does not have any correlation to intelligence, but also got my brain a’ tickin’ and took me back to my schooldays. Afternoons spent watching cartoons until my well attuned ears heard the distinct warning bell of the back gate clicking shut, indicating Dad was home. I then had his 7 second walk from gate to door to turn the TV off and be seated at my desk appearing committed to finding the value of 'x' and thereby the cure for cancer.

But I digress – world power was where I was ‘Pinky and the Brain’ was one of these afternoon cartoons. ‘Pinky’ a dim-witted mouse, played sidekick to the Machiavellian mouse,‘Brain’, in repeat failed attempts to "try and take over the world!" Unsure of what Brain was going to do with world domination, and having failed to cure cancer as an eighth grader, I have now put my mind to wondering what it is I would do if I Ruled-the-World...
so here goes, my foray into the murky waters of power. Although I am presented with some problems that need rectifying before I dive in...

Problem 1. How do I gauge the voice of mankind? As there has been no democratic process by which I became Ruler-of-the-World, I’m going to assume a dictatorial stance - so my first rule is to remove the ‘u’ and ‘e’ from the word ‘gauge’ so that I can, well, just do what I want really...
Problem 2. How to turn such vastly significant subject matter into a concise manifesto? Well, I’m a dictator now, I don’t have to be concise. George W. Bush paved the way for me here by proving such a trivial quality wasn't necessary to obtain a status of power.

Problem 3.
Enough problems already! Let’s do this, let us change the world! (and by us, I mean me.)

War – the blight of mankind, no one enjoys it, millions die, stuff gets broken and we pay through the nose in order to engage in such destructive, senseless and inhumane behaviour. It’s absurd and immature. As children we used to fight our brother when he took our rainbow paddle pop and the grown-ups would intervene. Yet here we are (democratic nations at least) who select leaders, supposedly the most intelligent and well informed ‘grown-ups’ who, for one reason or another continue to elect to go to war and fight their brothers.

If I listen to Freud and Konrad Lorenz in their shared belief that we are an innately aggressive species, then I’d merely be pressing the snooze button on an anguishing yet unavoidable reality. So I would choose to listen to Hanson’s “Mmmbop” on repeat than that rubbish, however, such self inflicted torture is not necessary. Instead I turn to
animal behaviorist John Paul Scott, professor at BGSU, who's research has shown that there is no evidence indicating an ingrained biological aggression gene, rather that fighting behaviour among man is triggered by external factors. Take a look around, there are many people, in fact entire cultures, managing quite well without behaving aggressively and have done so for centuries.

Just as impressive as peaceful cultures are those that have become peaceful. Sweden - in a matter of a few centuries, changed from a fiercely warlike society to one of the least violent among developed nations. This shift is more plausibly explained as a result of social and political factors rather than genetics.
In order to justify war, we’ve created a psychology that rationalises it as a system of resolving conflict and thereby made it inevitable. Treating any behavior as inevitable sets up a self-fulfilling prophecy: By assuming we are born with aggression, we see such unnecessary actions as unavoidable.
So now my hippy-dippy ‘use words not fists’ liberal self is Ruler-of-the-World, my first sanction as is to ban war.

Ok, so world peace – check!

Onto my next ingenious scheme where I solve world hunger. By modifying the now redundant bomber planes in this new-found state of peace, I replace bombs with seeds. First-world nations will ‘bomb’ third-world nations with said seeds and crops will grow, people will eat. But how to irrigate these crops in barren lands I hear you ask? Well my initial reaction is to berate you for questioning me as I control you...however, it’s a fair question so I’ll go ahead and grace you with my brilliant solution.

Simple, really. Anyone who knows anything about Ireland knows that for every creepy little leprechaun they have a foot of rain fall each month (for those of you unfamiliar with Ireland, it is abundant with leprechauns, I think the last census revealed there to be about three to every drunk Irishman on an average Saturday night). With its incessant battering rain I ask the Irish to take one for the team and up-turn their umbrellas and collect all they can in their cocktail-esk devices in a toast to the end of world hunger. Now, I will build a series of aqueducts into which the umbrellas will be emptied and take all that lovely water from Ireland to the driest and hungriest places, watering the newly sewn crops, providing a sustainable food source for those in famine.
Now I’m sure you’re already amply impressed with my inspiring solutions, however, my work here is not yet done!

Global Warming – this one is the easiest. With my plans in place Bono and Angelina are left with a lot of spare time on their hands.
Now Bono and Ange (may I call you that?), I know you’ll be reading this, so I may as well address you directly. As I’ve already solved the world peace and hunger issues, you will be expected to take on less irritating and more productive roles (respectively) in saving the planet. Bono, if we could somehow harness your ego and Ange, get your ever-growing herd of a family on hamster wheels as an alternative and renewable energy source, I believe global warming could be halted within the hour.

I know, I know – how soon can I move into the White House right? I mean it’s all really just in a day’s work as Ruler-of-the-World. But, after a productive first day I’m off to pour myself a well earned glass of wine and watch some Pinky and the Brain for some inspiration on solving that eighth grade answer to ‘x’.

Given I am not a Dictatorial-Ruler-of-the-World, and will not become one in the foreseeable future, I ask you to donate whatever you can to the not so easily resolved crisis in East Africa via

Thanks for reading & I hope donating...xo

1 comment:

  1. Made for a very interesting train read young Lulu... perhaps if you ruled the world you may also consider making me something spectacular?