Monday, June 15, 2009

Second World Countries

Does it bother anyone else that while we still have Third World countries, we don’t have First World, or Second World ones anymore? This is the problem with putting me into an airplane—my mind wanders to subjects like this one.

It really started bothering me, at 30,000 feet too. I’d never even heard of a first or second world country! I assumed, incorrectly, that First World countries were the ones with indoor plumbing, the Third World countries were the ones without and that really bothered me because for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what that meant as to how a Second World country would be defined? Would it be a country with some indoor plumbing but not a lot? Would it be a country where they had indoor plumbing you were still at risk from having wild monkeys fling poo at you for sport?

I had no idea what the hell a second world country might be and more importantly, I didn’t have Google and Wikipedia to tell me for as long as I was in the plane! It was very disturbing. And, of course, when I got home and I was able to GooPedia “Third World Countries” I was shocked to find out that the term had nothing to do with living in huts, pooping into holes you dug into the ground or monkeys doing anything.

Apparently, the whole idea was a Cold War thing. The First World was the good guys (from our point of view), the US and our NATO allies and the countries who were neutral but friendly. The Second World was the USSR and their commie friends. And Third World countries were just countries who didn’t line up on either side.

There are no qualifications in terms of disease, famine, unsanitary conditions or war—and there are no per capita monkey minimums! Canada could wake up tomorrow and decide they want to be a Third World country if they wanted! Can you believe it? Well—perhaps Canada was a poor choice for example, but I digress.

Here’s my problem. After the collapse of communism and the USSR, we all became friends and the Second World was assimilated into the First World which is fine and well, but why didn’t the Third World get a promotion? Why didn’t we call the Third World countries and say, Listen fellas, you’ve all been doing a great job there doing nothing and staying off the radar of those of us who have been drawing lines in the sand, so we’ve decided to promote you to Second World Countries!!!!

I mean, take a look at the list. It’s not what you’d call a group of countries with a lot of notoriety. They could probably use some self-esteem! But no! Instead of giving them a promotion, we decide to just ignore the idea of Second World Countries altogether and let the Third World continue on at the lowest rung of the ladder. Hey Third World! You suck so bad we’re keeping an empty category in between ourselves and you in the hope that we can get some dumbass country to stand between us and buffer us from the stank of you! Seriously, it’s called soap! Try it!

Poor Third World. No money. No friends. Not only do they not have a Facebook page, they don’t even have the internet and even though there isn’t a Second World anymore, they still get the bronze medal in the Olympiad of Life.
Oh well, I’d write more, but my new iPhone just beeped and I have to check my email. Take care!


Sarah Madison Caldwell said...

I've never been able to make the First-Second-Third World distinctions, either, although India is always the first one that pops to my mind when someone says "Third World."

Anonymous said...

Wow! its exciting, the overall question has bling at a glance. For me i would say that "NIGERIA" is among the first world country but the good relies on our leaders and to say this 'we all sucks'