Mabel’s Christmas message for a better world

By Mabel Doge Luhan

I’m fresh out of benzos and my dealer’s not answering the phone — it must be Christmas!

We have a lot to be grateful for this Christmas, don’t we? Politics, for one.

And I’m not joking. We pretend as if politics is a dirty word, or as if we should try to do things “without politics.” But politics is only the process of openly adjudicating between human wants. Politics means debating and sometimes oil-wrestling over who gets what. How much we all want to take will always be greater than how much we all want to give. Absent that inequality, life would be trivial.

One of the most pernicious dangers facing the world today is the false promise of life without politics. That’s what the Trumpists promise us. It’s also the marketing slogan of China, Russia, Venezuela, and a gamut of other national bad deals: public life without “unnecessary debate” and “disunity.” Without all the “dirt” of politics.

“Why have half of the country working against every policy, when we can have everyone united behind every policy?” goes the PRC’s siren call.

What they promise is a lot like the naive promise made by the “anti-politics” campaigners in our own CNMI: a world where the right decision is always plainly obvious to the eye, and advocating anything else is just the distraction of “politics.”

It’s good that those anti-politics campaigners are always vague on the specifics. Because all of us are pretty sure we know what the right decision is in every matter. It’s obvious, in fact. And it is indeed ridiculous that we spend any time debating.

Except when we sit down and dive into specifics like Rafet in Cheetos, we find out that the decisions each of us considers “obviously the right ones” are actually all different. Shocking, isn’t it?

That’s why beautiful, harmonious societies without politics have mass detentions, mass purges, and mass graves. That’s why Putin’s enemies get not a mocking op-ed thrown at them, but a lethal dose of poison. It’s why China is attempting to exterminate its ethnic and religious minorities — because their vision of what’s obviously right may differ from the official one, and there’s no “politics” to adjudicate the matter. If you ever need a reminder of what happens in societies without politics, take a look at some of the two million people who “disappeared” from China’s minority communities:

Remember that, next time the Trumpists or the Bernie Bros promise you a world where we don’t have to worry about politics. Or even when some well-meaning CNMI legislator promises you the same thing, no doubt blissfully unaware of the implications.

Well, it is Christmas, so my gift to you, dear readers, is the promise (or the threat) of many more  of my columns to come! Let’s be grateful, too, because in most countries “without politics,” the shit I write and Troy Torso subsequently publishes would send me to prison and Troy to the firing squad.

As several readers often point out, I am indeed a nasty old wretch. And I certainly will not take a break from that nasty old wretchedness just for some holiday. If it’s good enough for the other 364 days of the year, why should I quit it for this one teeny tiny day?

But to those of you who, in honor of Christmas, pay homage to kindness and love and generosity and all the other values I stand against, why is it good enough for Christmas but not good enough for the other 364 days? Whatever you love about the Christmas spirit, you can do every day, can’t you? Just as I’m a miserable wretch 365 days a year, 366 in leap years!

Even this miserable wretch appreciates a thoughtful gift, however, and it’s still not too late for some thoughtful reader to send me triazolam cookies and a love swing!


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.


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