Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scary movies: scammers or screamers?

And lest you think brain-rot is something quarantined in North America, have a look at this one:

This epic masterwork, recorded in ENGLAND, is potentially even scarier, because they've made the questions even easier: how many colors do you find on the Union Jack? How many colors do you find on a four-colored card? What's your own currency? Who's your own prime minister? Name a British car manufacturer.

Now, I would LOVE to see one of these movies made in Australia, and maybe also in New Zealand -- and Canada. Woah. These would be the stuff of which nightmares are made. Anyone game to go out and make one?!

It could be argued that these movies (which I call "Nightmare on Doom Street Part I, Part II" and so on ... scroll down to the previous post to see the American one) are all a complete set-up.

But, I put it to you: what kind of Americans or Brits would deliberately participate in something that will get their own people, brothers and sisters of their nation, viewed as complete morons?! I don't buy that solution to the problem. It would be traitorously un-American and un-British to do this; you couldn't get people to do it. Could you?! Or --

It could also be argued that there were loads of right answers to those simple quiz questions, and the right answers were edited out: that's much more proabable --

But here's your problem: those questions are so fundamental, ALL answers should be right; you should be weeding out the .05% wrong ones to make US'ns and their Brit cousins look faultlessly smart, not editing out the right ones to make 'em look, er, well, not quite so smart.

The questions fired at the American masterminds were incredibly simple, too: Name a country beginning with U. Find Korea on a map. What's the religion of Israel? What's the currency in the United Kingdom? Who's Tony Blair? How many kidneys does a person have? (Do you know what planet you're living on?)

(Don't get me wrong: most ordinary Americans (and English) in the street are the nicest people in the world -- some of them are in these movies. They're beautiful, beautiful people. I lived and worked in Alaska for 15 months and think of it as my second home; I have family in Texas, and in Alaska, and I was born in the UK ... in other words, I have a foot in both camps, as well as my third foot being planted in Australia (I'm a citizen). So I'm utterly impartial here. I'd be howling with laughter and in just as chill a sweat if the Aussie and Kiwi versions of these videos were to appear)

The problematical facet is this:

These beautiful people who identify Australia as North Korea (or Iran; change the printing on the map, and they zero in with unerring accuracy on what they can read), and believe Israelis are Islamic, and Kofi Annan is a hot beverage ... and there are five colors on the Union Jack, and George Bush is the English Prime Minister ... are the very same people who VOTE.

They're the folks who elect our jingoistic politicians, carefully install them at the pinnacle of the most powerful free-world governments, put them in charge of foreign policy, show them where the buttons are -- the nice, big red ones that launch the intercontinental ballistic missiles, place them officially in control of these buttons, and then ... go away and leave them to it.

They're also the self-same people who enlist in the armed forces, and follow orders to the letter.

"Yes sir, the Israelis are all Muslims, sir!" And what do we do with Muslims, these days? Omigods.

"Yes, sir, this bloody great island continent in the South Pacific [you know, the one with the koalas and the kangaroos skipping about, and the weird looking bridge on the harbor that looks like a coat hanger] is North Korea, sir!" And they're trouble, with their nuclear bombs and their missiles that can reach Anchorage, so we oughtta blast 'em. Well ... darn.

Now, if these movie are a scam (and ordinary, street-legal Americans and English folk were paid to act dumb for the cameras for five minutes), which I'm sure a lot of US'ns and UK'ns reading this will be praying -- the doodoo only gets deeper. From the American and English perspective, it reveals a traitorous element in the public that'll knife their own country in the back for a lousy few bucks or quid ... and look deeper. Take another look, from the cosmopolitan perspective.

Slap this on YouTube, and it will be seen in every corner of the world. It's being seen everywhere, right now. It's funny at first; then, when the questions put to these street-legal voters turn to who should be nuked, one stops laughing.Here's the stinger: the American one has been seen sixteen and a half MILLION times already. The English one has "only" been seen about a million times.

Don't ask yourself what regular Americans and English folks think about the videos. Rather, wonder what people in Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan ... the target nations, most likely to be nuked, are thinking? Feeling.

I'll tell you what they're feeling: dread. Fear. Anxiety.

Now, Americans and British are certainly going to take umbrage at being depicted as chronic morons (in fact, if you go to YouTube to view these movies, the comments are mostly from irate nationalistic viewers who are claiming the whole thing was set up. Certainly, I wish I could believe they were set up ... but I have this sneaking, crawling squirming feeling, the videos are absolutely genuine.

And it's not the fundamental stupidity of people that bothers me; it's the fact that these folks are not only allowed to vote, they're actually encouraged to.

I think people should be made to take a test before they qualify for voting privileges. I think it should be a 10-point quiz, that goes like this:

    1) Who wrote Beethoven's Fifth?
    2) Luke Skywalker's father is: a) Princess Leia b) Ben Kenobi c) a Jawa?
    3) What color is the Red Baron?
    4) How many college grads does it take to strike a match?
    5) Doctor Who was recently elected president of which small African nation?
    6) How many sharp points does a carving knife have?
    7) If you use scissors to cut a sheet of paper in two, have many pieces do you have?
    8) What is the Pope's religion?
    9) What is the capital of Los Angeles?
    10) Butter is made from a) cocoa b) Vaseline c) olive oil?

Award yourself one point for each correct answer.

What's more, I'd make a rule that if anyone scored less that 3 points in the above quiz, they're not allowed to bloody vote!

AND I'd make wannabe politicians take the damn' test, and if they scored less than 5 points, they not allowed to run for bloody office!

AND I'd use the test results (computer collated, analyzed to death by Zogby International, with a resulting 800pp document detailing why this planet is more than likely doomed to a lingering demise, death by sheer stupidity) to dismantle every bomb and warhead, nuclear, biological, chemical or explosive, on the planet. Because nobody, nowhere, no how, is qualified to be in charge of the buttons!

There. I feel much better now. The ocean is calm and blue ... calm and blue ... caaaaaalm and blooooooooo ...

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