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Our crazy world

By Jackson Murphy
web posted May 27, 2002

We are in uncharted territory. When the FBI warns people that, "various terrorist elements have sought to develop an offensive scuba diver capability," you know things are slipping ever so subtly out of control. This is totally James Bond "Thunderball" territory.

Then again, when local newscasts spend a minute talking about the possibility of nuclear war between Pakistan and India, the idea of the dreaded "Scuba-terrorists" doesn't really bother you. Honestly can you really blame people for being nuke crazy when it is so damned hot? The media must have let out a collective "Yahoo" when they could stop reporting on India-Pakistan and suicide bombers and get down to business and spend hours nauseatingly pontificating about the discovery of Chandra Levy's body.

Canada's finest export, MSNBC news babe Ashleigh Banfield
Canada's finest export, MSNBC news babe Ashleigh Banfield

What terror threat color would these dastardly scuba-terrorists fall under anyway? I guess blue, since the threat is aqua related. I can't wait to see war babe Ashleigh Banfield in scuba gear. I smell ratings! It can't be any worse than the stupid night vision broadcasts she does.

Seriously when the Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill is on a twelve day junket to Africa with, of all people, rock sensation Bono of U2 the convergence of pop culture and reality is not just an aberration. The next thing you'll be telling me is that Jimmy Carter went to Cuba, Russia and America are signing treaties, or that they are making nicotine water.

But wait there's more. Over at FoxNews.com Rand Simberg is discussing the possibility of Chinese colonization of the moon. I suppose that this "Moonraker" fantasy would take the pressure off Taiwan. "Taiwan? We don't need no stinking Taiwan. We have the moon!" But it might prompt some crazy "You Only Live Twice" conflict in space.

Why is it that nations like China and India feel compelled to raise their intangible national prestige by going to the moon or having nuclear bombs instead of I don't know, lets say, reforming their pathetic backyards? And I thought Canada had a self-confidence problem, but nukes come on? I realize that chicks dig the long bomb, but this is ridiculous.

It is probably hypocritical of us to deny these nations if they really, really, really, want to spend their money on nukes and spaceships. But the US is quickly developing a Missile Defense system and the idea isn't as laughable or crazy as it used to be. And these same nations shouldn't act so snooty when we try to foil their plans, topple their governments, or organize them into groups based on their "evilness."

Anyone wonder why terrorists, teenagers, and hapless nations in the Middle East are seeking weapons, blowing themselves up, paying people to blow themselves up, or killing us? That was a softball rhetorical question. The answer of course is that destroying things and keeping people's minds off of mediocre living conditions.

I still find it utterly repugnant that most people in the Middle East don't have access to Tupperware. How are they supposed to live! In one hundred nations you can get these fantastical plastic food storage containers.

Our besieged friends in Israel? You bet! India? Sure. China? Yes comrade. Pakistan? Nope. Iran? No way American pigs! In fact only Turkey appears to be so progressive, outside of Israel, in the region. This actually makes some sick sense. When you don't let women drive or go out uncovered in public you sure as hell don't want them packaging up food in airtight containers made of plastic. Is this anyway to live?

It is easy for us in the west. We have "Celebrity Boxing" on Fox. (I think Marge Simpson was right when she said, "You know, Fox turned into a hard-core sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice.") There is at least three million people who are devotees of something called "Hulkamania" that has been "running wild" since the 1980's. Forget Allah! We have "Survivor", and "Fear Factor".

Damn it we have Britney! If I can be serious for a minute, does any nation really need more than one color of Ketchup? Perhaps not, but it sure helps in making you want to have a barbeque rather than commit mass murder doesn't it.

Bin Laden is operating without such distractions and does anyone really doubt that in the absence of multicolored condiments that he would start lighting off nuclear weapons like fireworks like his own Fourth of July celebration if he had them?

Ok, if the people in the Middle East, the Axis of Evil, and China had reality television, Tupperware, and multicolored ketchup world peace may not spontaneously materialize. But surely it couldn't hurt.

Jackson Murphy is a commentator from Vancouver, Canada. He is the editor of "Dispatches" a web site that serves up political commentary 24-7. You can contact him at jacksonmurphy@telus.net.

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