Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I think I can understand why a nation would be angry at George Bush putting them on his "Axis of Evil". It just generates an insane amount of work. It's like making the Dean's List in college. You were humming along, eating dorm food, being ignored by sorority girls, losing the better parts of whole months with the industrial-grade Pakistani hash you were scoring from Adnan over at the International Residence Hall, not realizing that all you really had to do to score a B average in college is to show up to class on a semi-regular, semi-conscious basis and remember to ask for extensions when you inevitably forget to hand in your papers.
But then you're on the list and mom and dad are all proud and they start paying for your cellphone again and they call grandma and she puts you back in the will and fuck, now you have to make sure you stay on the List with a conscious effort, which everyone knows is the total ruination of any college experience. It's not that you actually have to try, grade-inflation being what it is, it's just that the acknowledgement of expectation is exactly the thing you were trying to avoid when you started drinking a quart of engine-degreaser a day since you got there.
Same thing with Iran, Iraq and North Korea. A nation goes about its business of oppressing its own people, not cooperating with international nuclear inspectors, maybe funding the occasional suicide bombing spree as nations will. And then one day, POW! Accident a the explosives lab ironically wipes out a whole fresh crop of human bomb mules. And then later, less literally, POW! George Bush puts you on his goddamn list.
Now everyone's watching. Now there is expectation. How the hell is a nation of people supposed to live up to that? I mean, come on: evil? That's a joke in an Austin Powers movie, man. Short of a national initiative to have all people grow thick mustaches for flamboyant twirling and a program of Maniacal Cackling instituted at the elementary-school level, I don't know how they can ever really live up to the billing.
I can see what the current trend is, though: get off the list as fast as possible. It's hard to be actually evil with everyone watching. Starve a million people to death because you diverted food-aid money to build a 90-foot tall solid-gold statue of your penis and they're all "Ooh, ooh, you can't do that! Evil, we call Evil!" Next thing you know, bing-bang-boom, nuclear exchange on your own soil. Downer.
There are different strategies for getting off the list. Iraq went with the standard keep-pushing-this-shit-out-until-they-invade-and-all-this-mess-becomes-THEIR-goddamn-problem scenario. It turned out to be something of a miscalculation for Saddam personally, but the overall strategic effect has been pretty much what they envisioned. Iraq is now our goddamn problem and, if we're there, it can't be all Axis-y by default because we're America and God is on our side and and aren't we doing them some real good by raining on them the cluster-bomblets of goodness.
The lessons learned from Iraq has split the last two remaining Axisers.
North Korea has decided that while the idea of America making sure the trains to Pyongyang run on time is tempting, the whole tribunal-made-up-of-those-formerly-oppressed thing does not really appeal to Kim Jong Il, so he makes nice, or at least pretends to.
Iran, on the other hand, is more cagey. They see we've got our hands kind of tied with this Iraq stuff, so they keep daring us and daring us to do something knowing that, between the logistical difficulties of a second invasion and the presence of homo commie pacifists in Congress now, they can go ahead and do some real pioneering Evil work without worrying too much about the scrutiny and our president will have to waste time promising not to kill them right away.
Probably a long-term miscalculation, but look, this is not the Axis of Measured Consideration, is it?
The scary thing is that with Iraq relegated to Auxiliary Member status, there's a slot open. Bad people in bad places like Syria or... well, basically just Syria are staring at the ground, trying not to make eye contact so they don't get picked next. They're hoping we get impatient and move along to lesser but no less worthy targets like Sudan or Barack Obama.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.3
PS- I blew up the sonnet form. The whole thing is in iambic pentameter, though. Go back and check.