Life in Yamalazhoo [Archives:2008/1149/Community]

April 24 2008

By: Hashim Al-Harazi
[email protected]

You may not like my ideas, the perspectives I present, the issues I shed light on or even me as a person. I can't blame you. I won't criticize your opinion or duel against your intellectuality.

Still trying to figure out what I'm blabbering about? Well, let me lay it out for you. I'm the anarchist in your super supreme almost-perfect system, whether international or local, government or communal.

I'm that nagging voice in the back of your head telling you to go right when you should go left and vice versa, always confusing you with a million alternative solutions, jumbling up your feet and knocking down your system of logic with indecision and vacillation.

I love democracy and would die for the cause, but hey, way to go Stalin – you rock! Viva la Communism! I'm the Greenpeace activist, the hippie, the environmentalist, yet also the oil and gas tycoon. Did I mention that I'm a Rockefeller?

Let's put it this way, I'm Pandora's Box catching you by surprise and bursting into flames in your face. I'm full of contradictions, wonders and worse, nightmares – things you adore as well as those you despise.

Cutting to the chase, for my own peace of mind and yours, we shall assume that I know anything and everything, the philanthropist, the jack of all trades – but unlike any other, I actually am a master of all.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I do like talking about myself because I'm happy with my own state of mind. Insanity? Heck, I am what I am, like it or not. The world we live in today created this concoction out of me.

So, welcome to my – no wait, I mean your world, folks, and allow me the pleasure of escorting you through this fantastic voyage in a sarcastic world seemingly ruled by the most skilled cynics of our day – including me!

You want to know what's happened? Well then, take this brief ride with me and you'll hopefully catch a glimpse of my story, which in essence, is your story and everyone else's in this country of a thousand warlords, but no warriors, so read on and cheer for the system!

It's a nice, shiny day in a land called “Yamalazhoo.” Perfect weather for a car ride through the upper class residential areas. No, you don't want to go north of the city because it's crowded, there are traffic jams, it's smelly and smog fills the air. Besides, you live there anyway, so it's time for a little treat to visit the “uptown” paradise.

Oh, good question, my friend. Those are street islands used to separate lanes, create roundabouts, etc. Yes, they do have an abundant amount of space here. The plants and trees in these islands are exotic and just for show.

No, they don't belong to anyone; they're for the “public,” of which you definitely are not one. The “public” likes these type of things and they sure do have the money and resources for it.

You may say, 'What a waste,' but that word isn't common in the updated version of our dictionary. My friend, I don't think they ever thought that. I mean, come on, these people don't think in terms of bread, potatoes and tomatoes.

Besides, it honestly looks nice and denotes the existence of a civil society, if such a thing with the merest implication of being civil actually exists down in these quarters in the first place.

Yes, that building you're pointing to is the home of the official for whom you voted and elected last summer. You're right, it is a castle indeed and you should see the garden inside – a couple of acres or so. I'm sorry, did you say corn?! Of course not! It's an exotic garden, so why would he plant maze and barley when they have those north of the city at the plantation where you're working? My friend, as I said, the word waste isn't in their dictionary.

Where did he get the money, you ask? Well, from Yamalazhoo, where else! Yes, through several '”wiggle” channels, taxes, tariffs, natural resources, you know – government income. Oh, it's definitely your money, but I'm afraid it's doing nothing for you, so yes, he gets to enjoy it alone.

Hey, you elected him, not me. Oh, so you didn't vote for him and don't know anyone who did. Don't argue with me. I know you and your people represent 99 percent of this nation's population, but you're still considered a minority and the majority always wins, whether you like it or not!

It doesn't matter anyway, the word election comes from the Arabic word ilak, meaning for you. You just kick back and relax while they make all the decisions and choose what's best for you and lead on with it while you nod your head ignorantly, gleefully being screwed over and over again.

You're laughing! Good, that's a sign of you accepting things as they are and the first step to learning the “Wacheche” way of life. Nope, no common sense whatsoever here, and if you want to keep those lips of yours from kissing dirt six feet under, you'd better drop the word logic from your vocabulary and for both our sakes, keep your voice down.

So, as I was saying, my friend, in other words, the term election is a figure of speech meaning direct appointment. Why the astonished look on your face? The voting process – even down to the ballot boxes – was monitored, you say?! Interesting. By who, if I may ask?

Ah, of course, several credible international and local agencies. They were there during the voting and the counting process, staked out near the ballot boxes 24/7. Oh, of course, silly me, they're only human, so how could they? So, who else was there? Only a couple of soldiers! I'm sorry, I misheard you. A couple of hundred, yes, that sounds about right. Yes, for each voting station. Oh, I don't know, there must be more or less somewhere around 300 stations.

Army, tribesmen and guns – give me a break! It's a well-known fact that Yamalazhoo is one of the most militarized societies, so you shouldn't worry about the abundance of soldiers and firearms on the scene. Besides, they're there to protect you from the much anticipated attack of “alien invaders” keen to disrupt our elections.

And they may as well vote de facto, already being there for their candidate – which is also yours, whether you like it or not, and who will win eventually, by hook or by crook, whether monitored or not. It's a totally legal and perfect system, isn't it?

So, you didn't vote because you were intimidated! My friend, if those machine guns were pointed at me, I'd surely have had a fatal heart attack! Heck no! Voting, elections and politics aren't for me. Besides, I already told you, it's a direct appointment with an almost prophetic predictability.

Please don't talk to me about those vague policies engraved in stone and recopied on paper in a hundred different rephrases and formats and then rearticulated to finally be sourced and traced back to the original stone tablets of the ever-changing loophole-filled Constitution, which no one actually cared enough to read. Very funny! Okay, let me give you an example.

A couple of years ago, an anti-corruption law was passed, supposedly ratified by Parliament. The government and even some international agencies and organizations joined in this massive collaborative effort of a mafia-affiliated orchestra playing a cacophony of transparency, democracy, yadda, yadda, yadda, and singing “America, the land of the

Ahem, I'm sorry, I forgot that the updated version of the anthem had that typo removed and replaced with, “Yamalazhoo, the land of the poor.” The clerk who plagiarized the first version might have forgotten to custom-edit it or believed us simple folks not bright enough to notice. Either way, I'd be more than glad to sing to Satan himself, if you'll pay for my gas today.

Anyway, we've strayed off the topic, so back to anti-corruption. Oh, so you do remember all of the hubbub, the media coverage and all that fuss. Excellent! Now, look out the window to your right. What do you see?

Yes, they're officials, not civilians. Those are officials – the elite noblemen, you know, the high-born. Those surrounding them are civilians, godforsaken just like, us but with certain privileges, such as the aura of authority enshrouding them due to their dangerous gear. Those aren't toys, for crying out loud! They're grown men, so those are AK-47s and that's a grenade – yes, the kind that goes “kaboom!” shredding everything around it into a million pieces.

No, they don't need a government license plate because that fancy vehicle is enough identification, in addition to the mean-looking armed-to-the-teeth men occupying it, of course.

You want that skinny hap of an excuse for a police officer to check them out?! Are you kidding?! That poor soul's bloody lips would be kissing the tarmac if he raised so much as an eyebrow. Yesterday, that same shy chap was roaring like a lion. Well, that was because it was us and we pose a threat to the system – the usual suspects of thievery and the like – and the government hates competition. Whereas in the case of its officials, it knows very well that they don't lie, cheat or steal unnecessarily.

The law above all!? The answer to that is no and that's the beauty of Yamalazhoo. There's no specific law or order. Oh, forget the legal manuscripts, laws and bylaws and all that mumbo-jumbo. I don't know who wrote that useless text anyway, wasting his time on something that won't be enforced or abided by. Oh wait, they don't recognize the word waste – my bad!

It just hit me that there surely should be a purpose to that effort. They were working for you, my friend, remember ilak, so don't be surprised. You see, your taxes, tariffs, resources and all of that income they take from you, which we talked about earlier, has paid off.

In return, they're using that hard-earned money for laws, mechanisms and personnel – like those men we saw earlier in the unmarked car (yes, I'm afraid that's from your own money too, as they certainly didn't get it from Treasure Island!) – and an iron clad system for you to abide by and be ruled with.

Now, don't be so greedy. They don't have to abide by the same laws or adhere to the same mechanisms. You paid for a service and they're providing it, so that's as far as your rights go in this transaction. It's common sense, my friend, so why that contorted look on your face?

Of course, they're above the law – they created it! You don't tell your children to go to bed at 8 p.m. and expect them to retort that you should too. This makes sense because aren't they like your parents? Don't they know better? Who has control of everything around you? Who sets the rules, prices, salaries, taxes, working hours hould I go on? Simple and pure logic of illogic, my friend.

There's a law governing them too, but it follows a different set of rules, that is, the law of the jungle. In other words, the rule of the strong. It's like this, the deeper your pockets are, the stronger you are and the stronger you are, the deeper your pockets will become in direct proportion.

The weak involuntary aid in the rise of the strong, while the strong in turn pick on the weak and parasitically balloon in wealth, authority and muscle. The more wealth you acquire, the stronger you become, with the exceeding authorities and even law and order becoming an increasingly relative term.

A perfect system, isn't it? Yes, it's been like this for as long as I can remember and it will remain so for as long as I can foresee. Change, a handing over ell, I guess, after all, they're humans with a limited life span. They'll pass away with their children taking over and continuing to build upon their fathers' legacies. Of course, they will.

You don't build a house over a lifetime simply to hand it over to stranger at the end of your life instead of your own offspring or, at the very least, your family. What sort of flawed logic are you employing? You most certainly don't expect them to give away such an empire – especially to the likes of you! What planet did you come from anyway?

But, my friend, it's Yamalazhoo, which means anything and everything is possible, so the answer to your question is yes. You can become one of them if you pay good attention to me.

In Yamalazhoo, there's an ancient and hidden secret art known only to a very few and it's called the “Wacheche.” To become one of the “chosen,” you must learn the Wacheche. The process is erroneous, long and involves many sacrifices at first, but it pays back handsomely.

The technique is known as “wiggling,” wherein you basically wiggle your tail at the very sight of a carefully selected candidate from among the chosen. Forget about dignity, morals or any ideals you may have and bury them with the rest of the bones in your backyard.

You'll wiggle at that chosen one until he takes notice of you. You'll be obedient, you won't bite at his shoes or trouser hems. You'll roll when told, jump, sit and fetch too. More wiggling won't harm you, as long as you're at it.

You'll be a loyal servant to a master. Remember that you're expendable and a nobody crawling face down in the dirt, so never look your master in the eye. Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Soon, you'll master the Wachehe.

You'll start seeing things from a different angle because you're slowly grasping how your master looks at the world around you. It's a type of insight. Your master just ruffled your hair and scratched behind your ears. Excellent! Be a good pet and lick that hand generously.

Wiggle even more, concentrate, focus your energies, become your master's tool, duplicate his every move, his thinking patterns, how he carries himself. Wiggle harder! Wiggle! Bravo!

Your master just bought you your first gold collar; you should be jubilant. Don't mind the chain gripped tightly in his hands and jerking your collar; you'll soon get used to it. Bark in appreciation! Wiggle!

Are you feeling the sensation yet? Yes, that's the “third eye” opening up, my friend, and the light is coming in. Wiggle! Don't ever forget to wiggle and never stop. “Enlightenment.” You now know! You're a royal hound. Over time, as evolution has it, you'll walk erect on two feet.

Wiggle and wiggle some more. Fear not, that's just you wiggling out of your own skin and becoming your master's image, a duplicate, a chosen one. Rejoice as the light pours over you with wealth, power and authority.

Hmm o, real wisdom and knowledge aren't part of this enlightenment nor are they important to you anyway as a chosen one. Be done with such useless questions and enjoy your moment. Yes, bow down your head and drop your ears. Good boy! You're wiggling intuitively now, how admirable. You're a brilliant student. You'll forever wiggle now. Congratulations, that's the “ultimate Nirvana.”

What are you pointing at? Oh, that! That's just the devil cashing in your soul, Mr. Chosen One – among many. You'll come to realize that the term “chosen one” is relative, i.e., a low breed to some and a noble steed to others, but that's the beauty of the pecking order.

The more you wiggle, the higher you rise, soon becoming an expert in the ancient art of Wacheche, enlightened through the “ultimate Nirvana, and so enchanted by the euphoria that you cease to be a human being from the land that time itself has forgotten. You yourself will forget about the millions around you who are dying of hunger, disease and conflict as you finally become a proud and loyal official of Yamalazhoo.