That Day I Petitioned the White House


It started on a Saturday afternoon watching college football. I was with a few friends enjoying some adult beverages when we started guffawing at foreign policy. In a Dr. Strangelove-esque turn of events, we started laughing at the thought of the United States putting in the incorrect coordinates for a nuclear attack. The destination of those incorrect coordinates? Antarctica. That’s right. A continent without any countries or human inhabitants that hate us. In the end, the ice caps melt due to this erroneous strike, and whole countries flood. We’ve turned this place into Waterworld, and we are no longer back-to-back any war champs. We are just all fighting for sand. The scenario was hilarious because of the implausibility of everything. Until I realized, in my drunken state, that I could petition the government, and I could get the wheels rolling on this thing with a plea for our government to do something about the one place that does not have a representative government or an established people. Hell, they don’t even have a flag, for crying out loud.

I’ve always had a belief that government had some role to play in our lives, from state and local governments all the way up to our centralized democracy located in wonderful Washington, DC. I even believed this during my phase as the dumbest libertarian you’ve ever met. Sometimes, though, it feels like the people are never in power, and our lives are constantly being run by a hypocritical system that is controlled by Philip Morris and General Electric rather than Mr. Smith. People’s right to live is not supported but rather hampered. So, when I wrote my petition to the Obama administration, I considered it as an attempt to be heard. A chance to take an active role in government no matter how contrived and insincere my petition is. So – I opened up the White House’s website and headed for the petition page.

Now, I’ve been to the annals of the petition page before, and it’s always refreshing to know that people care passionately enough about something that they can write a dumb request for President Obama’s staff consider (after achieving 100,000 signatures, mind you). With petitions like “Please Classify the Cameron Crazies as a domestic terrorist organization” and “Stop the tyranny of the state of Georgia over the city of Atlanta,” this place is democracy in motion. There are more serious ideas here that have a lot more merit than Atlanta carving out its own epic, sovereign city-state of crunk and trap like “Defund the NSA,” but that’s what signatures and support are for. And, at the time, I planned to get support for my attempt to stop a non-belligerent country.

I began my petition with a nonsensical reasoning for why Antarctica needed to be stifled with nuclear reaction:

Antarctica has been waging a war against the United States since the release of their tyrannical propaganda showcased in the movie Happy Feet.

Yes, I cited Happy Feet as grounds for setting the Doomsday clock to zero.

It’s because I hate that movie. My brother is a huge fan of it for reasons unbeknownst to myself. When Robin Williams is playing a Latin emperor penguin, your blood starts to boil. This is no fault of Antarctica, however. This is the fault of Warner Bros. Studios and its imagination, which uses song as well as dance to tell a tale of humans’ destructive relation with the natural environment. This is all well and good until you realize that the movie is, in itself, destructive because it filters a song about the paranoia and struggle of living in the South Bronx through the filter of a fucking penguin. I’m not even entirely sure that Happy Feet is set anywhere near the South Pole, but penguins live in Antarctica, and penguins are associated with the ruination of a classic.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

Second reason for putting an end to Antarctica:

They are a continent filled to the brim with penguins who all consider themselves emperors and try to run each individual nation.

Emperor penguins are, of course, assholes. Their name and stature alone invokes comparisons to history’s all-time dick head, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon had a vision for conquering all of Europe, and later, the world. His plan failed at Waterloo, and his achievements as a military leader have been underscored by the timeless lesson of what happens when you give the village idiot the keys to the city. Because my mind immediately associated emperor penguins with Napoleon, Antarctica has already earned strike two.

Strike three? Environmental terrorism.

We need to stop this aggression with a nuclear strike against this land that is hoarding our greatest resource, clean water, in its solid metaphysical state of ice.

Is the water clean if it’s in a solid state? Who knows – I’m just making a bold assumption here. All of the world needs clean water in order to survive and carry on. With clean water being a scarce resource in places like Africa and South America, Antarctica sure is one hell of a human rights violator. They have more clean water than our country. Why do we have to be expected carry the load when they are presumedly making the world a more thirsty place? This aggression will not stand, man.

In the end, my concise, nonsensical argument for the bombing of Antarctica will probably not receive the signatures necessary for some apathetic intern to write a form letter to my e-mail address. It’s a tough task to get done considering I have thirty days to do it before they pull it from the website. But hey, crazier things have been considered. That’s why I hope you can help my experiment in American politics and please stop a continent so that they can no longer influence Hollywood nor hold back the world’s natural resources.

Author’s note: This is my first time being active in politics since a four-month stint as a congressional intern. If you have learned anything about this post, it should be that 1) you have the freedom to write to your government about issues that you feel are important, and 2) I’m an idiot.

Editor’s note: Again, the link. This thing is for real, as long as the link is live. Otherwise, the screen grab above serves as proof that it once existed and that, for at least some finite amount of time, it was on somebody’s radar in Washington. – R.M.

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