MAD 6: A little situation

The mock United Nations conference room, which was really just a college lecture hall, felt a lot like a congested highway. You could see the traffic backed up from across the divide and you’d be struck with both sympathy and relief–but mostly relief. Here, Asia would be the long line of backed-up traffic. South America, Africa, and good chunk of the rest of the world looked on with apologetic smiles while thinking to themselves, ‘Wow, I’m glad I don’t live near North Korea.’ Western Europe, at least the German speaking parts of it, wouldn’t be the sympathetic driver or the unfortunate bastard stuck behind fifty cars. They would be the weird car pulled over to the shoulder because they couldn’t stop arguing over which gas station to stop at and needed to take a breather. (Besides, Germany had been threatening to turn the car around since they pulled out of the driveway.)

“I say it’s about time we got ours. You in?”

Austria crossed her arms and cocked her head ever so slightly to the side. “What is it that you want us to join, exactly?”

South Africa announced proudly, “The Coalition of Underappreciated States Who are Just as Important as the World Powers.” 

Australia kindly added, “We’re calling it the Coalition, for short!”

South Africa elaborated. “We’re not going to sit back and let the United States, China, and other big powers engineer the future of our world for us. We already have a robust team of promising countries on our side! Brazil, Romania, Egypt, Hong Kong, Australia, and me.”

Austria raised a brow. “Promising, you said?”

“Sorry,” Switzerland replied. “My stance of political neutrality in times of war says I shouldn’t, and my lack of caring agrees.”

“I’ll do it,” Liechtenstein said after a beat of silence. “I’m small, and not very popular–I don’t even think most people know I exist or how to spell my name… But, if I can make a difference and stop a terrible nuclear war, I want in!”

And so, a stupidly optimistic Liechtenstein joined the Coalition. But not before saying goodbye.

He looked between Switzerland and Austria almostly sheepishly now that he’d left their little group. “Good luck figuring this whole thing out. I know the European Union is kind of screwy, but… if anyone can solve a world-wide disaster, it’ll be Switzerland. And Austria too, I guess.” Then he looked to Germany, stared at him for several seconds like he felt obligated to say something but didn’t want to, ended up saying nothing at all, then turned away awkwardly.

“Hey,” Switzerland said. “It’s a mean world out there. Remember what I taught you. And always use protection. By that, I mean you have to keep your borders secure. But also, use a condom because–”

At that, an embarrassed Liechtenstein promptly spun around and took off after Australia and South Africa.

Continue reading “MAD 6: A little situation”

Allison Speaks: Take this poll, it’ll be fun

(As are comma splices)

With 201 wrapping up and my having to fly solo (i.e., get blog views from somewhere other than the Commons), I wanted to give everyone the chance hit me with your opinions. So, here’s a poll. I’ll let it speak for itself.

Poll is under the read more; have fun! Oh, and you could also check out my latest story if you haven’t already (wink).

Continue reading “Allison Speaks: Take this poll, it’ll be fun”

Paint it green

Photo by
Photo by MadGeographer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

America came in 15 minutes late with a tall pumpkin spice latte in his hand. To be fair, most everyone else wish they’d done the same. Talking about poverty, world hunger, and the inevitable death of the planet during a United Nations Sustainable Development Summit wasn’t the most uplifting way a person could spend their morning. Some countries funneled their caffeine spiked energy into making the best of it, though.

The United States slammed a fist down on the oblong table as he sprung up, and everyone looked at him with varying degrees of annoyance. “People!” He shouted, looking around the conference room. “Let’s get serious about saving the world, okay? Let me ask you something. What are we here for? We’re here to eliminate hunger, and poverty, and global warming.”

He brought a closed fist into the palm of his hand each time he punched out a word with rhythmical, increasing intensity. “Education equality, gender equality, clean water. Save the fish, save the trees, save the children, save the bees.” He pointed at different people around the room wildly for no reason other than to be doing something with his hands. “Solar energy! Wind energy! Smart cars! Gluten-free! Al Gore!”

A couple rows away, Ethiopia writhed as her important discussion with India and Kenya about infrastructure development in Sub-Saharan Africa became increasingly harder to sustain through the noise.

“Look,” America said, having both found his seat and calmed down some. “I don’t want to point fingers, but China’s air pollution is a huge problem.”

“As is your verbal pollution,” China retorted flatly without looking up from his notes.

America leaned forward, craned his neck, and eyed the other with a scrutinizing glare. “Do you think this is a joke? A game? We’re in the 11th hour, here! There’s only 12 hours on a clock, China! Which means we’re all pretty much fu–”

Canada swooped in. “America, please. All we need from you right now is your presence so we can formally adopt the new development agenda. So let’s just do what we came here to do, eh?”

“Alright, okay,” America said in a tone that came off as slightly offended. “I’m ready for this. I woke up ready for this. I also woke up ready to meet the Pope, so let’s hurry this up.”

From across the table Sweden spoke up. “Can we go back to the thing about saving the fish?” Her voice softened. “I like fish. I have a two at home. Ansgard and Arnborg–”

America threw up his hands and shouted, “The Pope, Sweden!”

When they stepped out of the UN Headquarters and into the cool fall air, light from the big beautiful sun burning their eyes, they felt good. They’d ended the day with a sense of accomplishment, hope for a brighter future, and a backup plan to colonize Mars should the whole ‘save Earth’ thing not work out.

A big shout-out to Pine Tree Republic for giving me the idea to do a story on the UN summit.

Check out Behind the Scenes for a fun explanation of this story’s historical and political references.

Who Should You Fight: Security Council edition

Photo by jsab CC
Photo by jspad CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Ever thought about brawling a member of the United Nations? Here’s some advice.

United States: Go for it. He’s a superpower but he’s prone to making mistakes. Start with a jab at American exceptionalism and follow up by telling him George Washington was a socialist. You can go in for the kill while he’s having an existential meltdown. There’s a good chance he’ll end up kicking his own ass.

Russia: Don’t futz with Russia. Just don’t. A lot of countries have been down that road and they’re never the same afterward–physically, emotionally, economically. She’ll have you crying ten seconds into the match. But hey, if you think you can fight through the stream of tears, power to ya. (Hint: If you have to, use the safeword ‘Sputnik’)

France: Don’t fight France. Not saying that you couldn’t win (because you probably could), but why would you want to? This country is responsible for baguettes, which are delicious. Look, he’s already the butt of enough surrender jokes to last a lifetime. Just leave France alone.

China: You probably don’t want to do this. The Qing dynasty may have gotten beaten up a lot, but 21st century China don’t mess around. Plus, he probably knows one-hundred different ways to kill someone with just his hands.

United Kingdom: Do it. Think you’ll have trouble fighting four countries at once? Nah. They’ll spend more time fighting each other than you. Just sit back and watch until there’s only one left, then pummel the survivor while they’re in a weakened state. Easy victory.

Political Debrief no. 4

Welcome to Political Debrief, where the news isn’t really news. But sometimes it’s got news in it.

This week around the world:

China accidentally hacked into the Pentagon while trying to shop for bath robes online. The United States was very impressed, but also very angry.

Wales reported watching TV when she heard a loud thud from the bathroom and England swearing vehemently. England reported hearing hysterical laughter coming from the living room.

North Korea made bitter, vague comments on his blog and it’s still up for debate over who they’re about. His use of the word “friend” definitely narrows it down.

Twitter back and forth between North Korea and China

Germany had a glow stick accident. He’s not giving any specific details, but he won’t be able to jive for weeks. He received many Get Well Soon wishes–except from Switzerland, who sent him a congratulatory baby shower card. In his defense, Switzerland claimed there had been a “serious misunderstanding.”

Australia lamented that this morning when applying deodorant, the stick popped out of place and fell to the ground. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

India is offering free sandesh as an incentive to anyone interested in buying weapons and ammunition from him. This plan backfired, however, when people started calling in wanting to buy just the dessert.

India's Craigslist ad

Russia wrote a personal letter to Mark Zuckerberg endorsing the ‘dislike’ button. When asked why, she responded, “To destroy everything America loves using his own flawed, consumerist system.”

Earlier this week, Canada received an eye injury from her computer mouse. Without thinking, she turned it over to turn it on and the violent “on” light got her like a laser and had her seeing spots for hours.

In an inebriated state, France confused a laundry detergent pod for candy. His mouth has been tingling ever since.

France tweets about the detergent tingling

Check out Behind the Scenes for a fun explanation of this story’s historical and political references.

An open letter to weeaboos (from Japan, with love)

Dear “Weeaboos,”

There is a problem.

It occurred to me when America walked into our meeting earlier today wearing a kimono. He asked me if I was ‘daijoubu.’ Oh, I thought, he must be interested in learning my language. “Nah, I can learn all the Japanese I need to from watching anime,” he said, dashing my hopes and heightening my anxiety.

He talked about Jrock and cherry blossoms throughout the meeting. He offered me Pocky. “Please get serious, America,” I told him. My worst fears were confirmed when he invited me to his ‘Nartuo viewing party’ and said he’d be serving only ramen and mochi ice cream.

I don't even like pocky.
I don’t even like Pocky.

Upon further research, I was appalled.

I understand and fail to be surprised by your interest in my language, traditions, and cartoons. However, your cultural fetishism makes me… uncomfortable, at best. Imagine this scenario, if you will:

An extra-terrestrial lifeform visits you. You share glimpses of your culture with him, and he likes it. He picks up on specific things–slang, fast food, and old Western films. He starts injecting words like “swag,” “dude,” and “bro” into all of his sentences even when they don’t make sense. He refuses to eat anything other than McDonald’s and apple pie. When out in public, he always wears a cowboy hat and boots and greets everyone he meets with a very try-hard, “Howdy y’all!” He won’t shut up about how cool rap music is, and listens to it loudly while driving (and this really annoys the other drivers).

Okay, the pie does look good.
Okay, apple pie is good.

He ends up forgetting that you’re a person. That you’re more than a fun language or a kind of TV show or a type of food. He doesn’t honor the struggles you’ve been through, nor the historical accomplishments of your people. Therein lies the problem.

To end in a language that I know you will understand,

~nyaaaa ^-^ Please respect my culture XDD arigotou gozaimasuuuu!!! ~


Check out Behind the Scenes for a fun explanation of this story’s historical and political references.

Allison Speaks: Let’s talk about purpose

Hey everyone, author here. Doing something a little different today. By different, I mean earnestly spilling my heart (just a little bit) to you incredible readers. And by spilling my heart, I mean talking about the purpose of P&P and fantasizing about the future of this blog. I also want to know what you want to see from me, so stick around for a little bit more on that.

Why do you blog?

P&P isn’t an edgy political blog that’s supposed to shock you with topical jokes and gritty, one-liner social commentary. Serious political topics should absolutely be discussed, but they also deserve more respect than a lighthearted humor blog can give. Rather, the goal of P&P is to make international relations relatable. Because they are relatable–we just have to think about them in the right context.

Every one of our relationships is a story, and that does not change when it comes to the bonds between countries. That’s what I want to show people. I want to show you that international politics is just as complicated and ridiculous as the personal relations between best friends, ex-friends, lovers, and family members who hate each other but still visit on holidays.

That’s why I blog. Well, that and the desire to be successful one day (but that sounds much less poignant).

If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like?

I’d have five-hundred million followers and be making $100 per day. Per day.
In all seriousness, my answer is a little complicated. Right now I have between 30-40 followers, probably get on average 5 views per day, and have 1 Twitter follower (at the time of writing this). If I could double those figures within six months, awesome. If I could triple them within a year? I will have exceeded my wildest dreams. And from there I’ll have to dream of something even wilder.

One day I’d like to look at my readership see creative people drawing their own versions of the characters and using fiction as a means of exploring IR and politics for themselves. I want a community that fosters discussion and laughs, because I love both.

What do you want to see on Prejudice & Politics?

Nothing is more important to me than writing stuff you want to read. That’s why I want your suggestions! Tell me what you’d like to see. Maybe it’s more of a series I haven’t written for in a while. Maybe you’re really interested in the relationship between Country A and Country B and want a little story about it. Maybe you think Russia is a delight (you’d be right) and you want to see more of her in future stories. Whatever it is, use the comment section below to let me know. Though I can’t make any promises, I’ll read all of your thoughts and ideas.