I was despairing I’d find anything upbeat to write about this week, when President Trump let a tweet loose to the effect that he’d like us to be able to buy Greenland from Denmark. I immediately became giddy!
My first thought was, “Wuh?” My second thought was, “How can Denmark sell what it doesn’t own?” My third thought was, “I want to bottle this memory and release it up my nose whenever I get depressed.”
One of my favorite regular passengers, back in the 1980s when I drove a cab in Seattle, was a gentleman named Paul. He always called for a cab from the same place, a popular bar known as a hangout of poets. Whenever I was called there, I hoped it was for Paul.
As Paul was my favorite passenger, I was also his favorite cab driver, and he asked the dispatchers for me only. They would say no, we don’t do regulars, and he would annoy them by repeating his demand for me over and over again. Finally, they would call me on the radio and say, “Your BFF awaits in the usual place. Tell him to stop doing this to us.”
Paul was a poet by choice and part-time pot dealer by financial need. He would always apologize that he couldn’t afford to tip me monetarily, but that I could borrow his sister for the evening.
No, he was not pimping his sister. Paul was joking. The joke being: He couldn’t deliver. His sister wasn’t up for grabs.
A fascinating question pops up in the humor of Eastern Europe. Which is worse, to sell your grandmother for a day’s wages, but not hand her over? Or to sell her, and deliver her up, as a matter of honor? It’s an ethical conundrum, isn’t it? To cheat your client, or not to cheat? What if the grandmother packs? Does that change anything?
As it happens, Denmark granted self-rule to Greenland four decades ago, and Greenland’s own foreign secretary announced the very next morning, “Greenland is not for sale.”
I think that’s a crying pity. I want the U.S. to be able to buy Greenland and its 56,000 people. Please reconsider, Greenland. Owning you would be so awesome. Have a heart and sell yourselves to us.
First of all, America has never had Inuits before. Canada gets to have Inuits. We have kayaks, but almost no Inuits, except the occasional transplant. I feel like we’re being left out of the Inuit experience. I’m especially thinking of the exotic cuisine. I’ve never had seal.
Also, the potential for development is astounding.
OK, granted, the country is a bit bigger than Mexico and bigger than the original Louisiana Purchase, but it’s totally a bad place to grow corn. You know though, growing corn isn’t everything. Tortillas aren’t everything. Nachos aren’t everything. Don’t grow corn, grow your mind.
Greenland, best known for being a stand-in for Siberia in the Dr. Strangelove movie, is 80 percent covered with ice, making it really hard to get at the country’s fabulously rich resources. Who needs those resources more? The U.S., or Denmark? The U.S., of course, because we squander so much more. As for the Greenlanders themselves, there are so very few of them that their cumulative needs hardly have any weight, on the cosmic scale of needs. There’s only 56K of them, compared with 327M of us. We count 5,840 times as much, democratically speaking.
But thanks to Trump’s own policies undermining efforts to prevent global warming, we can look forward to a time when much of that pesky ice will be melted and out of our way, and we can pump barrels of oil by the bajillions, and dig up zillions of tons of gold and zinc, diamonds and rare earth elements. There’s so many unobtaniums to be obtained. Greenland could be our Pandora, if we could just keep this lucrative global warming thing going.
Sure, if all the ice is melted off so we can mine the entire country from one end to the other, the ocean’s levels will rise 230 feet. Downtown Seattle would be underwater. The waterfront would move east of Interstate 5 and circle Capitol Island.
But, hey, we’d have Greenland to move to! It’s all good!
Greenland could live up to its name. Although by then it will probably be known as Trumpland, or maybe Orangeland.
My hope now is that so much of Greenland’s ice will melt, their hearts will melt with it and they will leap into our arms.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read the full August 21 - 27 issue.
We have removed the comment section from our website. Here's why.
© 2019 Real Change. All rights reserved.| Real Change is a non-profit organization advocating for economic, social and racial justice. Since 1994 our award-winning weekly newspaper has provided an immediate employment opportunity for people who are homeless and low income. Learn more about Real Change and donate now to support independent, award-winning journalism.