Monday, March 26, 2007

my tyrannical dictatorship

I have decided to take a leaf from Sarakastic's book, and create a list of rules for when I have my own tyrannical dictatorship. Sara is merely going for princesshood, but I'm feeling grumpy, and a dictatorship seemed appropriate given that I am currently up to my ears in Nazi Germany, so much so that I'm not quite sure where I live anymore.

1) I would send long-winded and unintelligible academics to a gulag. Judith Butler would be at the top of my list. Has anyone else had the joy of reading Judith Butler? Here's a choice example: "To claim that gender is constructed is not to assert its illusoriness or artificiality, where those terms are understood to reside within a binary that counterposes the 'real' and the 'authentic' as oppositional. ... Certain cultural configurations of gender take the place of the 'real' and consolidate and augment their hegemony through that felicitous self-naturalization." [Butler, Judith (1989) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London: Routledge.] Enough said, right?

2) Today I watched some of the Cinderella movie with a Maori voiceover. Didn't understand a thing. But I have decided that in my dictatorship, if children want to watch cartoons or movies, they might as well learn another language while doing so. Therefore, Spongebob will be in Russian, Shrek in Mandarin, and the Simpsons will be in Gaelic. You will be able to choose to have subtitles - thereby, improving kids' reading as well as their language skills!

3) Petrol will be kept at a fixed rate of five cents a litre. That is, unless you drive a ugly great fuel-consuming attention-grabbing four wheel drive and don't live in the country. In that case, you will subsidise everyone else's fuel reduction, plus pay fully for your own. Ha!

4) Every day, people over ten years of age would have to learn a new word, and prove it to a state-sponsored official who would ring every residence every evening to check up on you. And it would have to be an interesting word, and you would have to justify learning it, and you would have to spell it exactly right.

5) I would personally have to approve every song that came onto the airways. Rappers would be treading on thin ice; likewise earnest boy bands. No more Hallmark card Christian hymns; in fact any hymns that mention the word 'passion' or 'hold me close' would be gone. Any songs that were played too much on the radio, enough so that I got sick of them - gone.

6) No more coloured blazers, especially pale blue or pink, with a contrasting tie. Yucky! The only exception would be for very dark colours, such as navy, I suppose. But you'd have to apply for a special exemption.

7) No more piano accordions. As the Far Side cartoon goes, 'Welcome to heaven. Here's your harp. / Welcome to hell. Here's your piano accordion.' There would also be a limit on the numbers of children learning violin or flute, and if you wanted to do violin or flute but couldn't get in, you would be put into a class to do something much cooler, such as bagpipes or didgeridoo. On the other hand, no more jokes about recorders. Recorders are noble instruments.

Well, that'll do for a start, I suppose. Plenty more time to plot.

An aside: I think I'm developing RSI (or OOS) again in my left arm. Grooooaaaaan. I'm right-handed but I've had it quite badly in my left arm before and I have a feeling that practicing CPR on Saturday wasn't fantastic for it.


Sarakastic said...

I laughed as soon as I read "tyrannical dictatorship". I've insisted for years that being a princess is just another word for tyrannical dictatorship but it sounds nicer & I get a tiara, great post

Stacy said...

I love it! I've never read Judith Butler, but I have grudges against many different literary theorists.

LEstes65 said...

I will be happy to live in any world ruled by you and/or Princess Sarakastic. Count me in.

And hope the arm feels better.

JenKneeBee said...

If I ever have kids I'm SO making them watch cartoons in a different language! Fantastic idea!