Monday, July 14, 2008

Axis: Bold as Hate

A couple of weeks ago, North Korea decided to blow up its big cooling tower to show the world that they aren't trying to build nuclear weapons anymore. Now, we'll set aside the question of whether Kim and the Jong Il's are lying, and assume for the sake of argument that this move is sincere. So where does that leave the Axis of Evil?

With North Korea going anti-Nuke, does that officially take them off the bad guy list? Iraq obviously can't be in the Axis anymore, and that just leaves Iran. So should we promote Cuba or Florida to fill the open spots? Or should we come up with another way to categorize our mortal enemies?

I'm inclined to think we should stick with the Axis concept, as it is easy to remember and sounds really cool. Plus you can apply it to other aspects of our day-to-day life. For example, in professional sports, the Axis of Evil is made up of the New York Yankees, the Oakland Raiders, and the Los Angeles Lakers. In corporate America, you have Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and McDonald's. In the Game Show Host division, you have Regis Philbin, Alex Trebek, and Pat Sajak.

I brought up this whole Axis of Evil question with a couple of my friends, and we ran into a problem. Namely, does every axis always have to have three members? Because in mathematics, an axis only consists of a line between two points. A construct of three points would be a plane, and a construct of 26.9 would constitute the scoring average of Hakeem Olajuwon for the 1995-96 season. But the expression "Plane of Evil" doesn't work, unless you're talking about US Airways Airlines. So wouldn't a true Axis of Evil be just two bad guys? Wouldn't that be more of a "Tandem Bike of Evil"?

Yet there still seems to be some significance to the trio concept. When Christopher Reeve fought the super-villains in "Superman II", there were three of them. Rocky Balboa fought Apollo Creed, Mr. T and Ivan Drago before the series officially entered La-La Land. The Karate Kid fought Johnny, Mike Barnes, and that Howard Cosell guy from "Better Off Dead". I went on three dates in 1999.

The last three movies I rented at RedBox have been super lame, and I returned all three without finishing them. So does that mean that if I rent the Owen Wilson vehicle "Drillbit Taylor", I will automatically enjoy it because I have already passed the three-item threshold, even though the New York Times says it is a, "ploddingly directed...lazily written...diffuse collection of second-hand gags and jokes"? I'd certainly like to think so.

But maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. Maybe I should just be happy that two of the three nations President Bush named to the Axis have gone inactive, and cross my fingers that Iran will decide to be more like Canada, and just do weird stuff like sell decaffinated Mountain Dew. Maybe, in his old age, Fidel Castro will realize that Communism is really not the way, and will tell his brother Raul to open a McDonald's in Havana while retaining the rights to his iconic beard. Maybe the day will come when all nations will join hands, forget our differences, and eliminate modern country music from the public sphere. Maybe, like Rodney King hoped, we can all just get along.


Not as long as Kim Jong Il keeps wearing that leisure suit. And I'm not making peace with nobody till Jordan apologizes for pushing off Russell in the '98 Finals.