by Kelly Anneken, managing editor
Usually when someone starts talking to me about globalization, I knock them over and steal their weed.
Unfortunately for me, my co-editor and supposed “friend” weighs more than me, doesn’t choof the cheebuh and also just sent me a threatening email that says “Write an article about globalization right now or I will cut out your gizzard and convince the Goblin King to steal your baby brother. DANCE MAGIC DANCE MOTHERFUCKER!”
So. Globalization certainly is a heavily circulated contemporary buzzword. But what is it?
In a word, amazing.
In more words, via Wikipedia, globalization is “an ongoing process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe-spanning network of communication and trade.” There are those who view this process negatively, arguing that as the commerce and politics of powerful (i.e. rich, badass) nations seep into the culture of struggling (i.e. poor, sad) nations, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer and have to work in sweatshops while their national identity is stripped away by Western Hemisphere-based corporations.
I know what you’re thinking. “Um, Kelly, this globalization thing sounds kind of horrible.” Is there some sort of anti-globalization protest organization I can join?” Second thing’s first: Yes, you can totally join a protest organization, but then I will laugh at you and call you all kinds of names, many of which begin with the letter “p,” but are not “pie face.” More importantly, yes, globalization is horrible, but only because we’re not doing it right.
See, here’s the thing. We could all get our panties in a wad because international corporations are bleeding developing nations dry and replacing longstanding national traditions with irregular iPod shuffles. Or we could just go with the flow and push globalization to its natural endpoint, dystopia.
Now you’re thinking, “Kelly! Dystopia is bad and terrible! The word shares a phonetic root with Discordia, the Romanized version of Eris, the Greek goddess of strife!” Yes, yes, I, too have a kindergarten education. But think about it- have you ever read a positive depiction of a dystopia? Nope, me neither. It’s all Winston Smith whining about sex and desire or Offred not wanting to do her part for the Republic of Gilead by just having a frickin’ baby already or Jude Law being a sexy robot. Nobody ever talks about all the people who are just going with the dystopian flow, all glass half-full, like “Well, sometimes this lack of free will thing bums me out, but at least I have steady employment, propping up this puppet dictatorship, plus all the government-issued cable tv I want since I moved into that book crazy fireman’s old house.”
How will we know that dystopia is a soul-draining, rebellion-inciting, nightmarish hell on Earth until we’ve tried it?
Maybe it’s really, really cool! If we eliminate individual countries altogether under the auspices of something I will call “Google Earth” for purposes of this article, the Olympics (and by proxy, the Winter X-Games) will cease to exist! We could create a new language that everyone knows, like Pig Latin, only cooler and with more words for “butt.” Instead of paying money for transfers of goods, services and property, citizens of “Google Earth” will use Lolcats. Instead of our grandmother’s dolmas, we’ll all eat Baconators. Finally, instead of hundreds of national anthems, we will all rise as one to salute a flag made of Japanese training bras to sing “Pants on the Ground.”
This new world will be glorious. World leaders, I leave it to you to make it so.