Creating people's geographies
Thank to my friend Abe in Sydney for forwarding this. I had initially missed this bit of larrikin Aussie humour last month, but then I’m not a regular reader of Murdoch’s The Australian! Oh go on, its just pokin’ a bit of a fun, in a grim way. I’ll accept all the convict jokes on Australia’s behalf ;)
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Through the glass, darkly …
USA Inc recalls faulty post-invasion democracy products
THE WRY SIDE
Emma Tom | The Australian | 22 November 2006
PRODUCT Recall: Yankee-Style Democracy. The United States of America Incorporated (also trading as Adore Us or Feel Our Wrath Pty Ltd) wishes to inform customers that a quality problem is affecting certain batches of our Yankee-Style democracy product.
This is an isolated issue relevant only to the following brands:
* Yee-Ha Yankee-Style Democracy (issued in Afghanistan from October 2001); and
* Sucked In Saddam Yankee-Style Democracy (issued in Iraq from March 2003).
USA Inc is conducting a voluntary recall of both these products as a safety measure due to the identification of several small problems by our company’s quality control team.
In Afghanistan, shortfalls in manufacturer supervision mean that the Yee-Ha merchandise has become contaminated by foreign substances, including remnants of Taliban. As a result, there is a strong possibility that this product may dilute beyond recognition or spontaneously combust under certain operating conditions. Other likely side effects include electricity shortages, school closures, forced marriages, underage brides, women-whipping, widespread poverty, attacks by tribal militias, systemic corruption, a raging heroin trade, escalating warfare, increased suicide bombings, beard length policing and the arrest of kite fliers.
USA Inc apologises for any inconvenience.
Affected customers are asked to sit tight and continue enduring specious Western grandstanding about constitutions, parliamentary elections and well-dressed presidents. Reminding us that these democratic trappings have become little more than a tokenistic facade, that Afghanistan has seen a four-fold increase in violence in the past year and that a vital opportunity for nation-building has been squandered will not be appreciated.
The good news vis-a-vis Iraq is that no traces of peanuts have been identified in the Sucked In Saddam stock to date. USA Inc is pleased to report that incidents of allergy-related anaphylactic shock probably aren’t occurring more frequently in Iraq than anywhere else.
A number of other issues, however, have been brought to our firm’s attention.
USA Inc acknowledges that structural cracking in the police, media and justice components of this commodity may be contributing to poor democratic performance and – of particular concern to head office – oil leaks. The Sucked In Saddam brand has also been found to contain fragments of glass, gravel, exploded cars and body parts, as well as presenting a choking (and pink misting) hazard to children.
Other unexpected side effects may include hostage-taking, fundamentalist rampages, torture, staggering daily body counts and all-out civil war. Once again, sorry about that.
If you’ve had contact with the affected product, simply contact USA Inc on one of our toll-free phone lines, quote the relevant bar code number and wait for your full, no-strings-attached refund.
Ha. Just joking. As you’ve probably guessed, the only way we can weasel out of this one is to suggest that you, the Iraqi customer, are to blame. We have, therefore, decided to ignore accusations that the culprit here is actually our hubris, short-sightedness and failure to plan an exit strategy by stamping a best-by date on our product’s lid.
After all, despite extensive publicity campaigns, most of you Iraqis have ignored the detailed instructions accompanying your Sucked In Saddam shipment.
This is obvious from your stubborn failure to have hidden weapons of mass destruction, your self-centred refusal to welcome US soldiers as liberators and your antisocial insistence on blowing up your neighbours in the aftermath of our stock’s arrival.
Like certain conservative American media commentators, we here at USA Inc are sick to death of hearing about squabbling Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, and your country’s overall lack of gratitude to us for freeing you from the clutches of Saddam.
Don’t bother pointing out that even the vile mustachioed one was better at imposing law and order and delivering basic utilities than we have been.
Caveat emptor is the relevant proverb here. (Oh, OK, maybe the Latin for invaded beware would be more accurate, but we’re a busy company and don’t have time for trivial matters such as foreign languages, foreign nuances and foreign histories of entrenched sectarian violence.)
Once again, thank you for your attention and – provided you manage to sort out this silly mess you’ve got yourselves into – we hope to liberate you at USA Inc again soon.