Zainab Salbi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace

People in the so-called real life don’t know me as the Guru. Anonymity demands that I lead a double life, much like Bruce Wayne. (Yeah, just like that!) Sometimes it’s a hassle not revealing my secret identity to people I know, especially the ones I like, but that’s just the way it has got to be.

What they do know about me is that I’m negative (no big surprise there), but also that I’m generally “stand-up funny” within small groups of people that I know fairly well. (I don’t like strangers.) They also, generally, consider me kind, caring, logical and intelligent. On the other hand, they know I’m stubborn, resistant to change, opinionated, judgmental, grumpy and generally miserable and pathetic. (I get off on being pathetic.)

I also enjoy a good political discussion. Very much so. It is hard for me to let sleeping dogs lie. So I’ll often find myself poking people who have a different point of view. “How you liking nuclear power now?” I’ll ask. “Here’s my opinions on the latest hi-jinx in Japan, goddammit.” As you might expect, this usually goes over like a lead balloon.

During one of these discussions, I took a rather strange hypothesis out for a spin. “You know,” I said, “if the world was populated by me and only clones of me, there wouldn’t be any war. At all.”

Think of it! 7 billion inhabitants of planet Earth and all of them me. What a strange notion.

It begs the question: Would I even want to live on that planet? Would it be enough to get me to cash in my ticket off this shithole? (I’m a registered volunteer for the one-way mission to Mars.)

I can honestly answer: I don’t know.

But I do know this. That planet would not have war. I’m capable of physical violence. I know that. But only if I’m pushed to my limit. (Like the time some jackass in a pickup was in the wrong, yet still turned around and pursued my wife into a parking lot. I flew out of that car the moment it came to a stop and went right at that motherfucker. Sure, he would have kicked my ass, but in the moment nothing was going to stop me from taking him on. Luckily people in a restaurant rushed out and pulled us apart.) The point is, I’m capable of it, but I have to be pushed. A lot.

And, let’s face it. If the whole planet was me, there wouldn’t be a lot of pushing. I’m very considerate of other people and their feelings. I try extremely hard not to push. In fact, most of the time, I take a lot of shit on my shoulders rather than push back. It’s my nature.

So even though I’m not sure I’d want to live on that planet, I can guarantee there would be no war. It would be missing a lot of other things, too, like killing, rape, and theft. To be completely honest, it would probably be a hungry planet, too. I’m also deathly afraid of real work, so none of me would be out in the fields growing anything to eat.

Anyway, enough about that planet. How about this one? Unfortunately this one has things like wars, killing and rape in abundance. The woman in the following video makes some excellent points about wars, gender and power. And also some staggering financial stats that really should make all of us wonder.

https://ted.com/talks/view/id/1013

10 responses

  1. Unabridged Girl | Reply

    I don’t think I could live on planet with millions of only me. (And I never thought I’d ever write a sentence like that….Hahahahaha….)

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    1. Here’s a bit of good news. I highly doubt that my planet would attack yours or vice versa.

      It’s an interesting thought experiment, though, isn’t it? My planet would die of starvation. What would happen on yours? 🙂

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  2. I’m so glad I found you through the A to Z challenge. I look forward to visiting again.

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    1. Thanks, Sylvia. I hope that means you enjoyed the video. There is some damn important stuff in there. Women are 50% of the population of humans on Earth. Someday they’ll have the same rights, power and be treated equal to men. Until then, even here in the 21st century, we still live in the dark ages.

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  3. Gotta say, I’m bad-ass and all but I don’t even want to see myself…outside of myself, let alone millions.

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    1. I look at it like this: Currently I’m ugly. On a planet of Tom clones, however, suddenly I’d be average. And that’s a big step up for me!

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      1. Like the rationale…to extend that, I’d be of average sanity and serenity!

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  4. And suddenly I’d be good enough for all sorts of things, like President of the United States.

    Sign me up!

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  5. I have thought about a “Planet Of Me” for a couple of years now… God it would be a lazy, lazy place! Ironically I found this blog by googling “if the whole planet were clones of me”. In general, if the world didn’t have assholes – people that pissed other people off; people that drove other people – that boss that rides you SO damn hard – I don’t think we’d have gotten anywhere yet.

    In fact, I think we’d all still be sitting in caves knocking stones together. All this technology we’ve got – so many good things – all bred by conflict. Why did the first cosmonaut get to see the arc of the horizon in orbit around the planet? Why did we Americans even go to the moon?

    Without conflict, there would be no progress. When those damn aliens finally do get here to invade they might just be surprised at how far we’ve come developing shit to kill each other. In fact, we might just fend them off 😛

    Either way, I think a world of me would not be such a great place after all! I’d have been busy sitting on my ass not doing anything – and loving every minute of it!

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    1. I agree 100% with lazy. Things would probably fall apart. (I’m talking about me here.) 🙂

      You’re probably right, darn it. It’s just like Captain Kirk said. I can’t remember the quote now, but it was something about we have to claw our way, etc.

      It always seems to come down to duality. You can’t have day without night and that sort of thing. I can grok that.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

      Like

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