Way back when, in the younger days of my youth (triple repetitiveness – score!), I discovered that despite being innocent and carefree and idealistic, I lacked any true authority. Naturally, as a child, the world centered around me (or at least my parents would probably say so). But there were always those days when the “I told you so” rationale of parenting reared its ugly head. And in school, we were at the mercy of our teachers. In college, we are subject to our professors who, with their tenure, are unquestionable. It does not matter when office hours are supposed to be – if a professor wants to miss them, he can. Of course, as employees, we are or will be subjected to our bosses’ wraths.

In every scenario, when we are told to do something, we must. Or else we get no dessert, or a bad participation grade, or my personal favorite, fired. No matter what organization we might be co-president of, no matter how much control we might have over someone else, someone always has control over us. It is no wonder, then, that dictators are born. When you are king of everyone, no one can deny you. There is no refusal. Everyone can be your friend if you tell them to be (this being the “Michael Scott” theory of authority). I ponder this several times a week as I get told what to do.

“Buy a scarf!”

“Write your article!”

“Do your homework!”

After each of these incidents, we (yes, all of us subjected to another’s authority, or subdued unwillingly by the foolishness of others) say it: “If I ruled the world?” Welcome, friends, to wishful thinking. While only a slim chance exists of me every landing this powerful position, it’s fun to think about.

If I ruled the world, airlines would feed you an actual meal, for free, on a long distance ride. Not peanuts and a little cup of Sprite, not a 5 dollar box of crackers and cheese and two oreos. An actual meal. I remember those days and miss them fondly. Also, airplanes would have a special section for tall people. You wouldn’t have to pay an extra $30 to get the extra foot of room that comes with purchasing an emergency exit row seat. You’d get it for free, for being taller.

If I ruled the world, there would be no Middle East. It would be called “Funland,” there would be casinos and resorts everywhere and everyone would be happily drunk off peach schnapps. That would solve all those pesky problems. Oh, and Iraq would be covered with a giant water slide. Problem solved. Everyone likes water slides.

If I ruled the world, President Bush would not be president. Not because I don’t like him or anything, but because I’m already ruling the world, so that would just be repetitive. But I would set up a robot governor for each country. And they’d all look like Evangeline Lilly. Just because.

If I ruled the world, everyone would get a free iPod with whatever music they wanted on it. Everyone should be allowed the gift of music. The only condition is that “The General” by Dispatch and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” by Fall Out Boy would have to be on every one of them because those are the songs that are currently stuck in my head.

If I ruled the world, babies and infants would not be allowed outside of any house. They’re loud and annoying and ruin movies. But the government would provide complimentary baby sitting service to whoever wanted it because everyone should be able to enjoy a night out.

If I ruled the world, people would all just be nice to each other. But there would also be an official, international Fight Club, for everyone to get rid of their aggression.

If I ruled the world, everyone would get along.

Unfortunately I am not Super Ultimate Supreme Regent of Earth. I know there are and always will be people of higher authority. And I have had my fair share of arguments with all of them. But I know that we’re all in this together. We all want what’s best for everyone, and I’m content with that. Plus, there’s always room for a coup.

Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.



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