Monday, September 20, 2004

Life Imitates Cartoons

One of the advantages of having a kid is that you get to watch kid TV programs without feeling idiotic. The Boo loves to watch cartoons, even at the advanced age of 12 (well, she will be 12 in another week). Her favorite cartoon, and mine, at the moment is Fairly Odd Parents on Nickolodean.

Timmy is the 10 year old hero, who has a set of fairly incompetent fairy godparents (Cosmo and Wanda) who grant his every wish. In one recurring storyline, he is involved with the evil planet Yugopotamia, where the citizens are all warlike and nasty (they look like green blobs with brains); destroying planets and anything that gets in the way of their conquering the universe. The Yugopotamians do have one teensy little flaw: they perceive with horror anything that is cute, cuddly, and soft as unimaginably evil and dangeros- thus leading to sweet cerealbox toy animals being able to take over their home planet in one episode. Timmy is seen by them as one of the greatest warriors of the universe because he can (gasp!) walk on cotton, hug teddybears, and (most awsome of all!) eat a bar of chocolate! It all pretty hilarious if you like that kind of thing, and the Boo and I do.

I was reminded of the Fairly Odd Parents and Yugopotamia when I was reading Captain's Quarters today about John Howard's and Mark Latham's (Australia elections) differing proposals to deal with terrorism. Howard embraces a policy similar to President Bush (that's why Australia is working with us in Iraq). Latham of the Labor Party proposes a "373 million dollar defence policy including a review, more troops in northern Australia and a host of benefits for soldiers."

Captain Ed points out:
So Labor's idea of fighting terrorism is to put more troops on the northern shore, pay them better, and conduct a "review". Which of those actions are designed to stop terrorists from killing Australians at home or abroad? Perhaps the Islamofascists will prove deathly afraid of reviews, but I believe that Howard's policies will have more of a practical effect on terrorists.

It would be a sort of wierd TV version of life imitating art, but it struck me that those who argue for "negotiation" and "using the legal system" and "understanding" as methods of dealing with Terrorism think of the Terrorists as the aliens of Yugopotamia, where you can be murderously evil and ruthless, but also deathly afraid of "reviews" and "UN resolutions" and chocolate.

Wouldn't it be nice if that were true? Unfortunately, it is not. But that is why the policies for dealing with the War on Terror proposed by the Australian Labor Party and the U.S. Democratic Party are so hilarious, and why their leaders remind me of cartoon characters.

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