(*grabs 2-litre bottle of Diet Coke*)
This post is being written a little later than usual, as I employed the Strategic Lie-In this morning, so my brain thinks its about five pm right now, instead of nine. Therefore, it must be time to watch an NFL game.
The necessity of the inevitable Monday morning sleep-deprivation really annoys me, especially given that many Americans can watch the damn game as part of a ‘normal’ Sunday evening, but decide not to, out of selfish ‘free will’, suggesting that they don’t want to watch four hours of adverts, occasionally interspersed with three hundred pound barely-literate men run into each other in surprisingly homoerotic scenes. How dare they.
I feel wronged by the rigidity of time here: I should totally be ‘given’ these four hours by someone in the States who’s not going to watch the game, so they have to get into work four hours earlier on Monday morning, and I can stumble into school four hours later that same day. Ultimately, why should geographical location undermine readiness for the next day – if I want to watch the Superbowl, is it not my right to do so?
Yeah, no. On serious note, I do find it interesting how some people can get so caught up in this idea of ‘entitlement’, from relatively harmless YouTube-based assertions that we must have a new, funny video from our favourite vloggers every week or else, to more dangerous examples of rage, where some folks think they have to right to live in an area in which everyone else conforms to their societal expectations regarding gender role and sexuality.
I suppose that we are only entitled to things if the means to entitle us is present: you can live in a homogenous and slightly repressive state if everyone in that state is okay with it, and the rest of the world is supportive and large enough to accommodate the exodus of people who used to live in that state but don’t fit the new requirements. Similarly, I should get four hours back at the expense of an American’s time if we had invented the means to transfer time (a fundamentally human imposition and codification of the eternity and perpetuality of the Universe), and all parties involved are okay with it. Sadly, this is never the case.
It would be great to live in a world where we all get what we deserve, and what we feel we are entitled to, to the extent that nations have grown promising to fulfil these desires: the US Constitution is a great example of a state built fundamentally on certain entitlements that everyone has access to.
However, these entitlements can often clash, such as the entitlement to marry for homosexual couples and the conflicting right of others to preserve their own definition of marriage; or it can simply be impossible to fulfil all of them, such as the fact that successful businesspeople deserve luxuries as a result of years of hard work, but in a world in which 80% of people live under $10 a day, I don’t see that as practically feasible in the long-term.
And herein lies the problem to solving social and economic inequality in the world: for the suffering to improve, the improving must suffer; it makes sense that you’ve worked hard for years to get a promotion and enough money to provide for your family, so why should you give it all away? The two most obvious means of solving these problems – awkward compromise or hard-line resolution in favour of one side to the detriment of the other – both generate more issues to solve, that we’ll undoubtedly try to solve in the same ineffective ways.
At the moment, I’m holding out for a third way, a radical new means of saving the world, not through the actions of one individual, faith in a higher power or sheer willpower, but an upheaval in the ways we think about ourselves as people and as an increasingly overpopulated community. To quote Bad Religion – ‘Won’t somebody please come up with something? ‘Cause Jesus just son’t seem to be impartially working; and all of the rest can barely stay in the running.’
This almost certainly won’t happen in my lifetime, and probably not until we reach an extinction event as a result of our massive levels of pollution, increasing population and international policy of ‘screwing the poor’, similar in scale and destruction to the Reapers’ invasion of Earth in Mass Effect 3, but maybe we’ll find a way to build a society in which we all get what we deserve, no matter how crazy it’ll be.
And when that happens, I’ll totally have called it, a millennia in advance.
Also, I’m picking Seattle for the Superbowl, but it’ll be damn close.