ABC’s United Nations of Globe Trotters
Night falls and hurricane winds batter the mountainous region with marauding apathy, extirpating thick root-entrenched trees with incongruous grace and dexterity, blasting out chunks of terrestrial alpine dominion and smashing boulders into cosmic dust. Midas the Haggard Leader with a Hemp-Woven Codpiece is chief of the itinerant tribe whose name translates to They Who are Heavenly Burdened. As the members of his tribe huddle together against the storm in the center of their cave, he understands that his duty lies in easing their anxiety. He calls for his Sacred Pipe of Dreams, and through its creative influence, he recites the oral history of his tribe as Erasmus the Tribal Apothecary prepares the Nocturnal Elixir as an anodyne against the mass emotional stress incurred from harsh atmospheric violence of the Wild Earth Zone.
As the moon crests over the tribe’s cave, Midas begins his incantation, “Oh, mighty Jimi Hendrix Page, my personal Muse, grant that I may recite tribal history with the wisdom of Albert Einstein, the charity of Cupid, and the clarity of Timothy Leary. Our people are the chosen people of Lady Coca-Cola, the goddess that refreshes. Our humble tribe is one of twelve separate tribes that once co-existed in peace within the confederation of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters. Now, our twelve tribes are spread throughout the planet, but it is our prayer to you, my Muse, to bring us back together as one nation.
“Long before the existence of the confederation of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters, a complex tribe named China existed, and it had the largest population and longest tradition. Originally, they were a mostly secluded group of smaller tribes that bitterly fought amongst themselves, yet from this savage violence was born a philosophy and art that embraced simplicity and peace. China’s architecture was elegant, and their celebrations were inspiring. Rumor has it that China invented an incendiary devise to make brilliant, colorful explosions in the sky, and this process is still used to this day by tribes worldwide to heighten their festivals and military parades.
“The philosophy of China was peaceful, so it wasn’t long before the tribe of thugs called the NRA forcefully took the incendiary devise, modified it, then used it to violently overtake other less powerful tribes. The NRA absconded with China’s art, science, and philosophy of peace and sold it to a barbaric, militant, heathen tribe called Capitalists, who were then morally saved when Microsoft preached that Lady Coca-Cola could help them receive the riches they deserve by accepting Coca Cola as their exclusive savior, the sacrosanct pause that refreshes. The Capitalists joined Microsoft to form the super-ultra-megatribe called Christians who then became the most powerful tribe of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters.
“The Christians are narcissistic, materialistically motivated hoarders of wealth and power, and their leader, Gilded Midas of Gop, often goes against the suggestions of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters, blatantly breaking inter-tribal laws and justifying it with rhetoric that, although ambiguous, connotes compliance with the laws, and this hypocritical justification is obsequiously accepted by the leaders of the ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters to whom Christians donate ludicrous amounts of money.
“Together, the Christians and the hierarchy of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters developed a philosophy based on greed and an aggressive form of moral rigidity that condones condemning reprehensible behavior of opposing groups while ignoring their own shortcomings. This philosophy can best be understood through the story of Curious George W the Lesser.
“Curious George W the Lesser’s father, Curious George Senior, was also a leader of the powerful Christians, but in attacking the insignificant tribe of Iraq, he forgot to force the philosophy of the Christians onto the nefarious, arid tribe. Eight years later, his son Curious George W the Lesser preemptively attacked a different tiny tribe and tried desperately to make them embrace the philosophy of the Christians. He really wanted to rule Iraq because it boasted of a huge supply of black gold, which Curious George W the Lesser coveted, and he gained wide support by claiming that this teeny tiny country had magical weapons of mass destruction and by claiming that a previous attack on his tribe was linked to it, a terrifying attack that was actually the malevolent action of a totally unrelated group. The weapons of mass destruction were never found (the fact that these weapons were never used in Iraq’s own defense was never questioned), and although Iraq never fully embraced the ideology of the Christians, Curious George W the Lesser was hailed as a mighty hero who couldn’t conjugate irregular verbs and was prone to insipid redundancies.”
Midas the Haggard Leader with a Hemp-Woven Codpiece suddenly realizes that his cottonmouth has made it difficult for him to speak. He looks happily down from his pelt-laden throne at his tribe, belches loudly, which makes the children giggle, smiles broadly, then exclaims, “It’s time for a break. Good Coke Almighty! Am I thirsty! Musicians! Play an interlude while we have a quick repast.”
The Amber Lethean Jug of Inebriate Liquids is brought forth, and as Midas receives inspiration from the Sacred Pipe of Dreams, the rest of the tribe snacks on fruits and vegetables. Afterward, the tribe settles back around its leader, and Midas continues his tale of tribal history.
“NRA has already been mentioned. It is the second tribe of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters, and it supports the right to bear portable weapons of destruction at any and all cost to public safety, even the mentally impaired are allowed to possess a weapon. Portable weapons are also encouraged in schools to protect children from ursine attack. Practically any member of this tribe can legally carry a weapon in public unless she is a member of a sub-tribe called Muslims.
“One of the early tribal leaders of NRA was Charlton Heston, who was also known as Moses or Ben Hur for reasons we no longer understand. Charlton belonged to a guild called Actors. Not much is known about this group except that they were very pretty people who sometimes thought that because they were beautiful—an obvious auspicious gift from Coke Almighty—actors had things to say that were more important and thereby more meaningful than the dreary, aesthetically challenged majority. Unfortunately, the pulchritude-impaired majority most often accepted the ideas of not only the pretty but the wealthy as well; they sequaciously acquiesced to the fact that it was their own fault that they had neither looks nor wealth.
“The third tribe of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters is called the NBA, which is a group of very talented individuals who don’t work well together as a team. To be a citizen of this tribe, one has to be very tall and arrogant. This tribe is embraced by Capitalism, so they receive very large sums of money to play a trivial game that involves throwing a ball through a hoop. For some reason, the citizens of this tribe become very concerned about whether or not they can throw the ball through the hoop, and this is confusing because they are treated better than any of the citizens of any other tribe.
“The NBA is also a pretty hostile tribe because once a tribal member is no longer able to place the ball through the hoop, he is exiled from the tribe, regardless of how good he once was. Everyone is eventually kicked out of the tribe, but new replacements are always ready to gain entrance. It is a fleeting paradise where one lives as lavishly and as morally corrupt as one wants with impunity, but because of the youth of its membership, the tribe named NBA never holds any real power; they merely party until they are exiled.
“Starbucks is an agrarian tribe that specializes in a very addictive plant from which is brewed a magical black liquid that keeps its drinker awake and anxious for hours after it is consumed. Starbucks, who also makes major financial contributions to the Christians, has been allowed to grant one magic black liquid purveyor temporary membership to each of the other tribes. This highly honored, temporary citizen knows the secretive process of making the magical black brew, and he helps the confederation maintain control over the twelve tribes by keeping all supplied with the addictive liquid.”
The tribe erupts in approval, waving their hands in the air as if there were no repercussions. When the enthusiasm dies down, Midas continues, “The tribe of Iraq was mentioned earlier; it is a small tribe that incessantly starts fights with the other tribes but is easily defeated every time. It is an annoying tribe, but it helps the Christians remain ever powerful because of its persistent unruliness, which helps the tribe of Capitalism to maintain military dominance, allowing its elders an opportunity to overstate Iraq’s potential danger and to stock-pile tangible weapons of mass destruction against the imagined threat, which, in turn, profits the Industrial War Complex; it is a never-ending cycle.
“Big Pharma is the confederation’s sole supplier of medicinal herbs. It is the tribe that has successfully lobbied the confederation to be not only the sole purveyor of medicinal herbs, but they also have made it illegal for any other tribe to experiment with them. This allows their leaders to destroy alternative yet effective, easily obtainable medicines that are manufactured at a much lower cost to the consumer. This allows Big Pharma to charge ridiculous prices for the medicines they have purchased at a very low initial cost. Profits are big league! As you may have surmised, Big Pharma makes major monetary contributions to the most powerful tribe of Capitalism.
“The seventh tribe is called Marlboro, which is a tribe that smokes the dried leaves of the tobacco plant that is addictive and kills whomever smokes it, but the smoke from the plant can’t assist one to enter the cosmic realm of ethereal awareness that the Tree of Knowledge does. The tobacco plant is really popular among the pubescent members of the tribe, which has inspired a group of querulous parents, who can’t control the aberrant actions of their ill-behaved children, to blame Marlboro for their respective children’s indulgences; unfortunately, ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters, in a desperate act of bureaucratic acquiescence, rallied around these pitifully unqualified parents and created laws making it illegal to provide samples of this herb to the adolescents who are too feral to be controlled by their lethargic parents. It’s sadly funny that the members of this tribe decry big government unless it’s to force their children to not smoke or force women to acquiesce control of their anatomy.
“Free Credit Score Dot Com, the eighth tribe of the twelve, is the tribe that has maintained the records of the confederation of ABC’s Wide World of United Nations Globe Trotters. It provides free reports to all citizens of the twelve tribes, but they have many hidden fees that must be paid upon receipt of this report. Failure to pay results in major penalties including, but not limited to, name calling and taunting by song.
“Beatles is a musical tribe led by a tetrarchy called the Fab Four, and they have revolutionized popular music and hairstyles. Within the tribe, the Fab Four are so celebrated that young women instantly become pregnant upon seeing them in public. Collectively, they worship a group of gods: Lucy, who is a sky goddess with kaleidoscopic eyes; Eleanor Rigby, who keeps her face in a jar by the door; Michelle, who works for Ma Bell; Jo Jo, who was a man who thought he was a loner; and a fool on the hill who has eyes in his head that see the world going ‘round.
“Wall Street is the tribe that maintains the confederation’s finances. It is composed of pasty-white, corpulent and glabrous middle-aged men with heads too large for their frames and who wear very expensive suits. The citizens of this tribe are morally lax and so ruthless in pursuit of shiny objects that they often do unconscionable acts on other tribal members, even kin, to obtain their desires.
“Lost Vegas is the penal tribe where those convicted of debauchery, lasciviousness, or solicitation are kept under guard, except for the very wealthy who are allowed to keep their many mansions while the victims of their avarice wallow in Corporate waste, the mire produced by the same Sardanapalian assholes who steal the victim’s meager possessions. Since prisons are privately owned, and the wealthy are excluded from Justice, prison owners make large monetary contributions to the confederation who invite public officials to arrest minor criminals that will fill up the myriad jail cells so that the owners and their stockholders can make a substantial profit.
“And the last tribe is Xanadu, where Alph the sacred river ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea. There was a thirteenth tribe called the Cherokees, but their lands were taken from them by an ephemeral barbaric tribe called Uncle Sam, and they were forced to migrate to lands not conducive to their particular lifestyles; both powers ultimately waned along with China.
“Unfortunately, since the great Babylonian Breakup, we’ve lost contact with all other tribes, so our coffee, cigarettes, medicinal herbs, basketball, and portable weapons of destruction are gone, but when the prophecy is fulfilled, we will unite in the Stadium Rock Festival Reunion Tour of Everlasting Freedom, and we will once again party like it’s 1999.”
Midas The Haggard Leader with a Hemp-Woven Codpiece finishes his story, and Erasmus the Tribal Apothecary prepares the tribe for its nocturnal ritual. Outside the cave, the storm rages wildly, scattering flora and fauna helter-skelter in the electric maelstrom.