Dictatorships Have Upsides
I know, I know. Across the globe, from dictatorships to liberal democracies, from autocracies to plutocracies with some oligarchies mixed in, from republics to theocracies, leaders and their followers are angrily wondering why I haven’t published a comic in so long. (Coincidentally, I have received words of thanks from the Dalai Lama and the Nobel committee for NOT having published anything for a while. Something about the reduction in profanity having a beneficial impact on societal health. I say screw those muffin fondlers!)
It’s because I had to buy batteries.
Let me explain with a wildly tangential segue that could well indicate moderate to severe brain damage on my part. Or at least rapidly shrinking parietal lobes.
Dictatorships generally aren’t usually a good thing, what with all the repression and such, yet they tend to get things done somewhat more expeditiously, shall we say. Just look at China and Emperor Xi Jinping and how he and China have made tremendous economic, military and technological strides in the past decade. That is if you can gloss over the re-education camps filled with learning and torture, the big brother state that makes ‘1984’ look like 1929, land confiscations, the environmental damage and crushing dissent with a Made-In-China steel-toed boot.
As they say, sometimes you’ve got to break some eggs (or was that legs?) to make an omelette. A very powerful, paranoid, bloody, oppressive omelette.
Another example of a (near) dictatorship would be the Trump regime and its ability to pass laws and create policy that some would say are good for business, and some would say are bad for democracy, and utterly destructive to the environment (kind of like China, no?).
Sure, he was elected semi-lawfully, if you discount that minor Russia connection and influence campaign to subvert democracy. Yet, he and his demonic and mimetic minions are trying to come to grips with a free press that just refuses to be enamoured with his venal and penile approach to ego and power.
He said he’d cut taxes, and he did, so now you can ignore the reality of spine-crushing economic disparity AND oxygen-crushing climate change with your tax refund and buy a killer home entertainment system including a 200-inch TV with 4K picture quality, surround sound and a pair of VR goggles while Rome burns.
Heck, if you’re rich enough to live in a gated compound with armed guards, preferably not in a state that will be submerged when the sea levels rise, who gives a rat’s patootie? And if the sea levels do rise, you’re probably rich enough to own a yacht!
So how does the aforementioned form of governmental authority relate to my recent effort to purchase batteries as I stated at the top of this column?
I recently spent the better part of 25 minutes in a store trying to figure out which batteries I needed for a device I use for drawing. The sweat-filled frustration I endured rifling through 17 different kinds of batteries in opaque and slippery packaging led to a blood pressure spike coupled with pronounced and audible profanity before giving up and storming out defeated.
In the time it took to find, compare, and lift my glasses to read the fine print about 1 micron away from my failing, tired eyes, I thought to myself, Wouldn’t life be great if I were the Almighty Battery Czar who could single-handedly dictate there be only one singular size of battery for every dang electronic device out there??
No different shapes, or thicknesses or finishes. No stupid packaging and definitely no chance of having to buy a pack of 600 of them to get the best price. One battery size for flashlights, toys, hand-held label makers, smoke alarms, clocks, vibrators, portable juicers, novelty bras that light up, electric pencil sharpeners, smartphones, and of course xylophones (they have a wonderful ring to them).
And One Battery Shall Rule Them All…
As the great battery dictator, I would decree there be a choice between rechargeable and single-use batteries, thus displaying my, uh, magnanimousness or magnanimocity or magnanimity. Whatever.
Furthermore, the packaging would be greatly simplified by just having them in a huge bucket near the checkout lane at any store. You could buy them individually, like steaks, or in handfulls, like, uh, steaks.
Think of all the energy savings in (my) profanity-laced tirades alone! No more hunting through the shelves at stores looking for just the right size only to find you need to buy the 100-pack that of course isn’t on sale. The benefit in reduced blood pressure alone would be worth it for a battery dictator to be hoisted into power.
It turns out in the end that I didn’t need new batteries after all. The device works with a USB connection too. But the idea of becoming a battery potentate was kind of cool.
Love and hugs,
Johann the Oppressor