Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Another Old One
This is another piece I wrote in 2005 and it made me giggle five years later so I thought I'd share it. When I have a new, original thought, I'll post it, but for now you can deal with my Golden Oldies.
My Israeli friend recently referenced a girl she met
at a Tribunal that the two of them had taken part in
in The Hague.
Tribunal? At first I found this a bit strange, but
she's Israeli and it seems to me that if anyone should
go to Tribunals it's the Israelis. I'm not sure why
think this is. I must confess a certain level of
ignorance as to the exact function of a Tribunal,
however, what with the wars and bombings and genocides
and sling-shot fights with giants that those people
have been through, it seems like they'd be valuable
assets to any Tribunal.
But all this thinking about tribunals made me realize
something. There will NEVER in my life be a time when
I can refer to anyone that I was "friends with at the
Tribunal." This is sad. Why don't I get to go to
Tribunals? I don't even know what a Tribunal
is! Who's fault is this? The Catholic education
system? My utter fear of encyclopedias? I think I
should write a very strongly-worded letter to Funk and
Wagnal and the Archbishop of Baltimore.
At this point I don't even want to know what they DO
at Tribunals, I just know it sounds important,
and I want in. SEND METO THE TRIBUNAL!!! LET ME BANG THE
GAVEL WITH FERVOR, OR.. MAKE THE AMMENDMENT TO THE
CLOTURE, OR... FIND THE JURY IN CONTEMPT OF DEMOCRACY,
OR... I don't care, just let me in.
Then I think I could feel like I've done something
with my life. Just to be able to casually drop into
conversation "Oh, yes my friend from the Tribunal
makes the worlds greatest cous cous!" would make me a
happy man. Not to mention the fact that I would have,
by now, made some sort of local or international
decision far beyond my capacity to understand. There
would be repercussions and I'm a man who loves
I imagine a Tribunal being a large semi-circular room,
with multiple tiers, filled with very somber looking
people in dark robes and sashes that tell everyone
which country they're from. And they sit around and
talk about "nation-building" and "fragile
infrastructures" and other things I could pretend to
understand and frown at, knowingly. Then, when whoever
was leading the Tribunal said something that all the
other people liked, I could join in with hearty shouts
of "here, here" or "by all means" or something else
affirming the majority opinion. Whatever it is, I'd
say it with utter conviction and feel extremely
I think I've taken a good first step to taking part in
a Tribunal. I've grown a beard. Now I know, women and
the clean-shaven are perfectly capable of taking part
in Tribunals, but in my own imagination, a beard would
go wonderfully well with the long robes and
the sashes, almost harkening back to the Roman Empire,
with the Senate meeting in togas with long, flowing
beards, deciding the fate of the world right before
they went to the midnight orgy.
So why not me? Why can't I have a say in the fate of
the world? Dammit, I should be there, at the Fate of
the World Tribunal, deciding who's a criminal and who's
a saint and not really caring about either. I'm not
very politcal, after all. I just want to feel like my
opinion counts more than yours.
And by the way, what the hell is a Hague?
My lips to yours.