Put up or shut up. The best war ever.


Liberal MP Trudeau and Conservative Senator Brazeau fight during their charity boxing match in Ottawa

Canadian Members of Parliament, Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau boxing for charity.

Someone once suggested that, instead of sending young men and women to war, we should round up all of the world leaders, put them in a field somewhere and let them duke it out among themselves. Sadly, this suggestion, while a good one, won’t solve the issue that war is profitable. The above photo is from a boxing match that took place last year between Canadian MPs Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau. This match raised $230,000 for Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. If this kind of cash can be raised with just one local match lasting just 2 and a half rounds that didn’t even air on pay per view, imagine how much could be earned by a world leader boxing tournament.

We could separate the world into 4 quadrants, using the equator and the International date line as our lines in the sand. Each quadrant would have their leaders fight each other until there were two winning fighters left, then both leaders would enter the quarter final round, boxing the winning rulers from other quadrants until there were just 4 heads of state left to enter the semi finals, then the winning 2 would fight each other in the final match for all the marbles. The United Nations could oversee the matches and negotiate the terms that each match would be fought over… free trade, oil etc. I can just see Don King salivating at the thought of all those dollar signs.

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Putin the Punisher.

I would pay big bucks to see Vladimir Putin taking on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey or Angela Merkel taking the piss out of David Cameron. In North America, it would be a tough call for the Vegas odds makers between Barack Obama, Steven Harper (the commonwealth countries would have to put up their heads of government, though it would be funny to see the Queen in the ring with her crown and knighting sword!) and the young Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto. Every country would participate, except, of course, Switzerland, who would get an automatic bye.

Of course, we’d need an undercard. What better way to whet our appetites than to have the religious leaders of the world (aka the other war mongers) beat each other senseless?

I would be glued to my sofa to see this guy,

DalaiLamamad

pounding on this guy.

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The election of a new Pope would sure be a different proposition if he had to put up his dukes.

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Terry Crews as the American President in the movie Idiocracy

This might really separate the cowards who hide behind 18 year old kids, doing their dirty work for them from the real leaders who are willing to get punched in the face for their convictions. Unfortunately, we would likely end up with a world akin to the one in the movie, Idiocracy where we elect the strongest and not the smartest, although its not like the smartest are in power now, so maybe it wouldn’t be so different after all.

The Tipping Point


When did it become a bad thing to be educated in North America? I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. It’s hard not to when you see scientists, economists and other great minds vilified by idiots on a daily basis. When the media is more interested in whether or not the Secretary of State is wearing make-up than in the job she is doing.

One of my favourite comedy films of recent years is called Idiocracy. It’s set in America 500 years in the future and is about how the country becomes  a uniformly stupid human society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights. It shows where the country is headed unless it changes it’s current course. Athough it’s a comedy, it brings up some very real points. Even as technology is moving at lightning speed, the average person in North America is not getting smarter. It only takes one look at the nightly TV lineup to prove this. The American government is slashing funding for education on a very consistent basis. Tech jobs are being outsourced to countries who ARE funding and pushing the education agenda. So my question is when… or, more importantly, why is it more important to be cool than to be smart in North America?

My theory of when the tipping point occurred is that it became too dangerous to trust the scientific intelligentsia in the 1940’s. This was during the time when the Manhattan Project was formed and carried out the task of creating the world’s first atomic bomb. This group of highly intelligent men of science embarked on a very dangerous path when they said yes to a government contract, effectively tossing aside their morality in favour of scientific curiosity. When the Manhattan Project was disbanded in early 1947, was when we saw the emergence of Rock and Roll music and culture. The two things may seem like two completely separate events, but to me, Rock and Roll was a rebellious backlash against the evil, dangerous and untrustworthy scientific community. It was during the emergence of the Rock and Roll era that it became more important to be cool than to be smart.

The smart are never cool and the cool are rarely smart (or if they are, they must hide it under a facade of jokes). This is also when bullying started to happen. The smart kids became nerds, geeks, Poindexters and squares. They were teased, hazed and beaten up on, while the jocks and cool kids/rebels were lauded and celebrated as aspirational. This kind of social change created generations of adults who passed down this mindset to their kids and so on until we have a world where Education is getting less funding than the President’s Helicopter cost over the last 6 years. It’s this kind of thinking that got George W. Bush elected… twice. This kind of thinking also make the kids from Teen Mom and the Jersey Shore into celebrities. Smart people don’t vote for a President because they think he’d be fun to have a beer with or emulate 15 year old girls who got pregnant, just because they are on TV.

Snooki from the Jersey Shore

There are small signs that the pendulum may have started to swing back the other way. The current US president is smarter than the last by by leaps and bounds. TV shows like the Big Bang Theory are showing us that you don’t have to make a drunken ass out of yourself in order to be looked up to. Scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson are becoming more and more well known as household names and personalities in their own right. Even rock and rap stars are involved in projects like the FIRST Robotics Competition that encourage students to explore science and technology. Let’s just hope that this next scientific boom will learn from the scientists of the Manhattan Project and won’t favour curiosity over morality like they did.