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|And it's over in a second.|
|Okay folks, this one is coming really out of left field and I apologize in advance for the humongous non-sequitur that this rant will be to American eyes.|
As I've stated before, me no Merkin. I'm from the meta-deep South, way farther South than any of you picture when you hear the word "South". I was born and raised in a third-world country where I still live, and where I'll continue to live if nothing too crazy happens on the geopolitical level.
I like it here, I really do. Countries like mine - you don't hear that often. But I'm one of the few who actually likes this place. It's a bit chaotic, it can be rough around the edges sometimes, but living here is kind of like I imagine the Far West must have been back in the day - everything is new, everything is freaking huge, and all remains to be done and achieved, provided we don't fuck up too badly.
Which peripherally leads us to today's rant.
There's a small archipelago in the South Atlantic that my country likes to claim for itself, although it has long been under foreign administration. The grounds for and against this claim are unimportant, as I'm not here to join the centuries-long dispute but to shed the smoke screen on this non-issue. Because the thing is, these little crumbs of land in the middle of nowhere happen to be our local version of you guys' War on Drugs: every politician uses them as an excuse for the "I Have No Real Platform" platform.
In my 43 years I've seen the most diverse assortment of administrations, both de facto and elected, seek and take office in my country, all of them ferociously opposed to one another, many of them bent only on filling their own pockets before their time was over, most of them pretty ineffectual if not downright harmful. One or two were pretty OK though, including perhaps the current one. The two things upon which all of these different governments -and 99.99% of the population- have unanimously agreed are:
1- "No more military coups, guys." (Damn right)
2- "Dose islans, dey ours." (Wha... oh boy, here we fucking go again)
Local consensus over this subject is so widespread that not even the military dictatorship's final act of murderous douchebaggery managed to instill a minimal degree of doubt in the collective.
You see, in the early 80's, shit was dripping dangerously close to the fan for our local version of the Standard 70's CIA-Sponsored Right Wing De Facto Latin American Government. Economy was in the shitter, morale was at an all-time low, the sweet after-orgasm of the '78 FIFA World Cup was finally waning, and the locals were starting to wonder why people aged 16 to 30 were so prone to vanish in thin air lately - especially their mothers. Those goddamn ladies just wouldn't shut the fuck up about where their 30,000 kids had gone, and the official explanation that "UR KIDZ R IN CUBA/NICARAGUA/SALVADOR BEIN KOMUNIST LOL" was starting to sound a little hollow.
And then, the Military had a brilliant idea - the oldest idea in the Book of Shitty Government, actually: they could unite everyone again if they found a common enemy! (Yer welcome, Dubya!!)
Giddy with excitement, they scooped up a handful of 18-year old kids on mandatory service, and promptly invaded the pretty little islands.
You got to give it to the guys - if the ability to think "outside the box" is really as big an asset as they say, these muhfuggas were thinking outside the fucking zip code where the box is. Because no matter how this little adventure went, there was no way in hell the First Fucking World as a whole would, like, say this wasn't cool of us, right? Right?
73 days and a couple hundred dead and maimed swarthy kids later, it became pretty clear that their little war game had been the last nail in the de facto administration's coffin. Elections were held a couple of months later and some form of democracy returned to the country, not a square inch of the pretty little islands having changed hands in the process.
And that's where the current bipolar madness began.
Every subsequent administration has consistently agreed that:
The de facto military government was bad, bad, bad.
And the war was wrong, wrong, wrong.
And Dose Islans, Dey Ours, Ours, Our-wait, what?
Every single political campaign in the last three decades, by every single candidate no matter their political stance, has consistently had "Dose Islans, Dey Ours" as a prominent staple. And it's not like no one gives a shit - it's one of those things that gets instant cheers from multitudes, no matter when or where the speaker brings it up.
Let's analyze this from an outside perspective:
Have you ever heard about Mexico's claim of sovereignty over Hawaii? No?
Wow, maybe that's because it would be a fucking retarded thing to claim, and even huero vato loco carnal Mexico knows that.
Because, you see, these pretty little islands down there - they happen to be inhabited.
By fucking people. And sheep, but that may be negligible right now.
And all it takes is one plebiscite.
One tiny little poll, with a Yes or No question.
Do you guys want to switch buddy-buddies from Her Majesty to that country over there, Yay or Nay.
And yet, it will never happen.
Because the country that effectively owns these islands will never, ever as much as consider entering negotiations with us smelly natives.
And because my local politicians, unpolished as they may be, fucking know what the result of such poll would be, especially since we still haven't picked up the, oh dunno, 18,000 to 25,000 landmines we left there at the time. They know that if some day a hung-over UN Special Committee on Decolonization were to brain-fartedly direct such a referendum to be carried out, we would end up looking like the biggest jackass losers in the universe.
I mean, look at this rock, and we're not even Europe.
That's why local politicians will never stop using this unrealistic sovereignty claim as their version of Free Bird, while at the same time carefully keeping the actual international negotiations at a sufficiently low tone to not accidentally trigger a mechanism that would leave them without this beloved crowd-pleaser.
And I'm up to my fucking nose with all that shit.