Wanderings – Time machines and soccer matches

Recently a friend bombarded me with news and opinions – including his own – about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its root causes. His view differs from some of mainstream opinions, and my own. Still I respect my friend, even if I disagree with his opinion.

Well into his comments, news links and such, I became frustrated. I tried to inject some humour into the conversation suggesting that he invent a time machine and fix the problems. Un-amused, he called my suggestion a “ridiculous statement.” Of course it was, as is much of what is going on in the world today.

Pandemics and war, pestilence and rot – what century are we in right now? Not to sound flippant or ridiculous, but it feels like we’ve travelled down this road before. Spanish Flu, two World Wars, the Iron Curtain – been there, done that. There are lots of souvenirs left over from those days. We don’t need to go back for more. Lessons learned and all that jazz.

Even after suggesting a topic change to my friend, he felt the need to impart one more news story to get in the last word.

Most times, I never get the last word. I find that conflicts are never settled by trying that tactic. An argument with a family member or friend never ends well if you keep trying to get the last word. I try to avoid conflict as much as possible, so I don’t mind not getting in that last word in. How many problems would resolve if one or more parties didn’t try to have that last word?
There is a better way to settle conflicts – whether they be local, national, or global, and that is on the soccer pitch.

I’ve been a fan of the game for decades, almost as long as I have been a fan of politics. The two work well together. Two teams duke it out on the field through an agreed upon international set of rules. The players play the game, the game ends in a win, loss, or draw, and after the game is over, everyone gets along. This is a solution that will work for all conflicts.

Two countries disagree, field the national soccer teams in a competition. Call it the World Cup – wait, that’s used already. Settle differences on the soccer pitch and shake hands when the match ends. No need for killing people, destroying cities, or fuelling the global military-industrial complex. Countries could spend that money where the need is greatest – domestic boondoggles (where else?).

This solution is not only for international politics though. National and inter-provincial solutions can occur on the soccer pitch too. Doug Ford and Team Ontario squaring off against Justin Trudeau and Team Canada over day care fees and health care transfers. Imagine the TV ratings.

Local matters in SDG Counties can also find resolution on the soccer pitch. The six councils could hold a tournament to decide whose roads are repaved this year. That competition might be unfair to some municipalities though.

South Glengarry has an advantage with an experienced soccer player on their council. South Dundas would be at a disadvantage as one of their players would be on vacation trying to phone into the game instead.

If SDG was smart, they would stream the games on pay-per-view and generate some extra revenue. They need more money to repave more roads, right?

The above may sound like a ridiculous way of settling conflict. So is using military forces or battling each other for the last word. I like my ridiculous way better.