Picture Boris Yeltsin staggering around with his fists clenched, bare-chested on a blood-spattered floor while Bill Clinton circles around him, trying to land a good, clean shot. With one eye swollen shut, Yeltsin knows that if he doesn't take this fight to the ground soon, Russia will need to concede to America's wishes to revise the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. No congressional debates about the merits of ABM treaty, just a knock-down drag-out for-my-country brawl until one leader taps out. Does this image shock you? Hey, it even shocks me a bit and I wrote the sentence. But, perhaps it's just the solution that the world needs to settle its disputes.
After pouring over headlines describing chaos, debates and imminent wars in parts of the world, I decided to take a break and head to the movie theater to see "Fight Club." It was here that I did not find a reprieve from my responsibility to report on the troubles of the world, but a simple solution to the problems that typically give me material for my column.
Before you go any further, know that I won't spoil any details of the film with my column. For example, I won't tell you about the end of the film when Edward Norton's character has his mask ripped off by Scooby Doo and gripes, "And I would gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids." But, I will let you know one little secret - the film is, in part at least, about a club that fights.
"Fight Club" tackles a few other issues with an interesting twist, but lacks one thing. All fighting that takes place acts as no more than a catharsis for all characters involved and doesn't resolve any disputes. We could take the Hollywood concept to the next level, create a similar arena but allow the match outcomes to settle our global disputes.
Consider the possibilities.
First, we'd need to have an official name for our organization and create a cool, consonant-based acronym by which we would refer to it.
To avoid copyright infringement, we'd throw one word in front of the film title. We couldn't use a word that began with a 'K' because then people would confuse us with the fast food chain. We'd call our organization, Big Fight Club because our club would involve big, important people and deal with big, important problems. Preliminary studies indicate the commoners would refer to it as BFC for short.
We could designate a country, let's say, Andorra, where our world leaders could gather and just pound each other for on behalf of their country's national interests. It could be so simple. There would be no need for either the United Nations, NATO or even Switzerland (except for pocket knives, cheese and money laundering).
Leaders of the world would step in a ring and represent their ideals, agreeing that whoever lost in their match would make concessions to the victor.
Looking for a way to settle the dispute over Kashmir? Self-appointed Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf could step in against Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We could even create rules for this match; allow General Musharraf tag out and let deposed leader, Nawaz Sharif, now under house arrest, tag in.
When it's all said and done, we wouldn't need nuclear proliferation in this part of the world - we'd have Big Fight Club.
Now at first, you may say to me, "This doesn't relate to me and has no bearing on my life." And I will say to you, "Oh, but it does."
In the Western Hemisphere, we would need to lay down a few ground rules.
Invocation of the Monroe Doctrine would allow the U.S. to send in our Secretary of State in lieu of a South American leader. Don't you think for a second that sending Miss Albright as a competitor could jeopardize our hegemony: that woman can scrap.
Our upcoming presidential election would have a whole new significance.
Imagine Governor George W. Bush appearing today and not discussing health care reform or Social Security, but his favorite choke hold. This could even allow for the Reform Party to gain some ground.
Yes, I know it may be impractical, but it's a whole lot simpler than what we have now. It's a plan just like anything our elected officials come up with. Finally, if you disagree with this plan, don't write a letter to the editor; meet me in Andorra.