Monday, August 17, 2009

which rogue state are you?

You know all those Facebook applications that figure out things about you: your ghetto name, what theologian you're most like, the historic couple your relationship mirrors, the Bible verse that fits you best, etc. I like to think up Facebook applications that would never make it, such as "Which rogue state are you?"

I was thinking about this application tonight as Martin and I strolled around the college campus after an unsuccessful supper (grilled cheese and watermelon, which should have been easy). Martin has a pattern he follows on visits to the campus. He walks past my building, balancing on the sidewalk edge at a particular point. Then he visits the Abraham Lincoln statue, asking it if it has any pennies. Then he tries to enter the library. When it's open, he's thrilled. He climbs a spiral staircase to the elementary education section, which is full of children's books and classroom resources. He takes off his shoes and gets out a bag of puppets to play. This is all great, unless the library is closed. And it was closed tonight. It's so disappointing for him. He just wants to live his life and so many things get in the way. It's like the childhood version of UN sanctions.

If Martin were a rogue state, he'd be Cuba. He's his own person, self-sufficient in some respects, but clearly underdeveloped in others. His world is sometimes great and sometimes not so great. Kinda like Cuba. I mean, all the kids have shoes in Cuba. People have medical care. But it's got problems, too, or so my friends in Miami tell me. I compare Martin to Cuba because he's got his own way of being in the world that is unlike all his neighbors, kinda like Cuba and the western hemisphere. He's not a rogue like Sudan, which wars against its own people. Or North Korea, which has a deranged person at the wheel. Martin is like Fidel, minus the camo and the beard, living out an alternative to the way the rest of the world is organized.

Which rogue state are you? I think I'm Libya, but mostly because I like Khadafi's sunglasses.


  1. I think I'm North Korea. I lie a lot. And I act like I have all of these amazing weapons of mass destruction, when really my missiles could hardly be relied upon to deliver a pizza. And (secretly, until now) I think I might like to wear a jumpsuit.

  2. Iran: Interally divided between my obsessive religious commitment and a desire to spend all my time reading philosophy, quoting poetry, and watching estoteric films.