July 27, 2014


Or, how the DMV has given me hope when recent global events have only served to depress me.

I rarely stray into world politics in this blog but resurgent violence in the Gaza and the despicable downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine gave me a renewed bout of non-enthusiasm about the ways of this world. Then, unexpectedly, I thought about my experience when I renewed my driver’s license, and a flicker of hope emerged in my heart. Howzat?

I grudgingly slogged out to the Licensing Center in Yokohama recently to re-up my license. But the numbingly dehumanizing experience actually gave me hope for world peace!

Namely, wherever I go to get something official from a government organization, I view numerous opaque rules, long lines, and the sight of hordes of stunned-looking people waiting like docile cattle.
We are shepherded from one line to the next. Everyone has a name yet is without individual identity. We are all in the same boat. It doesn’t what the reason is—licenses, passports, immigration lines, currency exchange…name it.
In this case, I was seeking a piece of plastic that gives me the privilege of driving.
But, in retrospect, the universal reaction of the people around me was oddly reassuring. I have realized that the general attitude of folks waiting in line seem the same the world over. This means we share the same human reaction, antipathy, to unavoidable encounters that rob us of our identity and uniqueness as homo sapiens.
Therefore, I believe we should bureaucratize our way to world peace. Bore us into accepting peace and a better world! Are you listening, United Nations? Instead of peacekeeping and peacemaking actions, balance of power realpolitik, or other means, simply have every participant to the world’s conflicts stand in line for a few hours at a large government office building. Then watch as we collectively glide into the new Era of Worldwide Peace.

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