Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mahd's Guide to the World, Part 1: The continents

This is a multi-part series about the world we live in, written from the perspective of someone who has been to not one, but two different countries than the one he resides in. While this might make you think that anything that might be said is uninformed and stupid, keep in mind the writer is an American, and therefore is a font of knowledge about the world.

I. The Continents - General Facts

A. There are several continents, and eight if you count Santa Claus' fortress as it's own. They are, in order of importance: North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Antarctica and Africa.

B. With the exception of Australia, the further south you go, the worse your continent is. Conversely, your food gets spicier and your salsa music gets salsier. It's common knowledge that penguins at the South Pole have a complex mating dance that involves maracas and drums.

C. Europe and Asia are sometimes lumped together in a big glob called "Eurasia". Africa has lobbied for inclusion, so look for "Afurasia", which, if you're pronouncing it right, sounds like an Englishman saying "half Eurasia". North and South America will be combined into the more simple "Supermerica" or possibly "Ultramerica".

D. It's incorrectly stated that Australia is the only continent that has a single country. North America also fills this condition, with the United States in the center, America Jr. above and America en Espanol below.

II. Antarctica- Free for all; also, fucking cold.

Antarctica is the largest continent- it's also the most empty, with fewer than 3 Starbucks' coffee franchises in a square mile. All of the nations of the world have agreed that Antarctica is off-limits for human expansion, though I bet those sneaky Russian bastards crossed their fingers when they said it and have some kind of creepy underground caverns where the Soviet Empire still thrives. Nonetheless, the official ruler of Antarctica is King Penguin the 1321st, the previous ruler having been killed by a polar bear. Since there's no people here, except for some stupid scientists who somehow believe they're going to learn something in a ice-covered wasteland, there's not much to talk about.

III. Europe- Land of a million goddamned cathedrals.

Europe has a long and boring history, mostly concerned with the land rights of pasty white nobles. The land itself is a beautiful one, rolling plains and hills that conceal the bones of all those people who fought for the pasty nobles. If there's one thing a European loves, it's killing another European. Germans like killing Poles; English like killing the French; Everyone beats up on Albania. All of the innovation that took place in Europe was due to them needing machines to take the place of all the people that died in various wars.

Today, Europe is a very different place. Today, everything is smaller, more expensive and more snobby than ever. To be European is en vogue, which itself is a French word. Rather than killing each other, Europeans are trying to get along, and that means they all use the same money now. The figure on their money is Otto von Bismarck with Queen Victoria's eyebrows photoshopped on, and they are working to combine Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower into a mega-monument that will spout curses in the three hundred languages that Europeans speak. All told, Europe is in a peaceful transition period full of hope, which, if history is any indication, will probably wind up with Germany invading someone.

III. Asia - Voted World's Swarthiest continent

Asia is a large continent, and stretches from the Japanese floating out in the East to former Soviet republics in the west, and from India in the south to a bunch of uninhabitable icy islands where humanity ekes out a miserable existence in the north. Historically, Asia has been conquered and reconquered, giving it's captors the vital 7 armies that they can use until George decides to leave the game because "it's boring" but you think it's cause he rolled lousy on his last turn.

Asia was home of the Soviet Union, a communist nation whose red empire spread like watery ketchup over everything it touched, if 1950's propaganda films are to be believed. Finally, they lost the "evil empire" rights they had won from the Germans after World War II, and they broke up. Some speculate that this was due to the guitarist dating the drummer's ex-girlfriend, but this was never substantiated.

On Asia's east coast are the so-called Asians. These include the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. The Chinese excel at having a lot of people and bicycles. It's a fact that the whole nation was founded in order to investigate human bicycling patterns. The Japanese are a wonderful people who were relatively normal until they were nuked in WWII, and have since gone insane, creating things like vending machines that sell used panties and producing anime. However, they also make a lot of cool things like tiny cell phones, so we're cool with them.

India is also down there, and they have changed the perception of their nation from one that only creates cab drivers and convenience store owners to one that employs low-level IT workers whose name is "Frank" or "John" and secretly seethes in anger when some dumbass from Alabama calls in complaining how their multi-dish satellite TV system isn't working.

IV. South America - Where danger and fruity drinks collide.

South America consists of a number of nations who are entirely made up of steamy jungle and guerillas. In the last presidential election in Brazil, 73% of the voters were anti-government rebels who were dedicated to the downfall of the office of president. South America was once inhabited by interesting empires who didn't have guns or disease resistance, and so now they're all a bunch of Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples. Nonetheless, a booming plastic surgery business has risen in these countries; fully 30% of the people in these nations are made of artificial products. Unsurprisingly, the pornography industry has also boomed in these nations: I know that when I get some random porn now, half the time they're shouting latin-flavored obscenities.

Like the entire world outside of America, soccer is a popular sport. Most youths are forced into compulsory military service at 16. At 17, they are forced into a soccer league. This makes the people of these countries deadly with both guns and screams of "GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL!"

V. Australia - Laid back, easy going people: They must be up to something

Americans like Australia: perhaps it's respect for people who also descended from British prisoners, or perhaps it's because we rarely are reminded of their existence except during a Crocodile Dundee movie marathon. This is because Australians have more important things to do than cause a problem: drinking and laying in the sun, for example. If movies are to believed, Australians are constantly battling armored vehicles in a desert wasteland, so they have enough problems without starting any themselves.

VI. Africa - Now 11% HorribleDisease free

Africa's history has been a series of ups and downs. It started off well enough with humans originating there, but since then it's had a bad streak, punctuated with some success. Carthage and Egypt, for example, were fantastic empires and Egypt even had the slogan "If our slaves don't create a monument to your greatness in thirty years or less, it's free (and they'll be killed)". The colonial period, in particular, was not a great one for Africans, since they either were enslaved or conquered for the most part. On the other, actually there wasn't any. It sucked.

Things have gotten marginally better lately: The end of the second world war gave everyone their independence and Apartheid ended only 200 years too late, so that eventually worked itself out. Africa also gets lots of aid money- the sad truth is that they spend it all on booze and zebras. Those guys can't get enough zebras, as evidenced by every nature film in which some poor zebra is hunted down. Poor zebra.

VII. North America - The Shining City on the Hill- oh wait, no, it's a Wal-mart.

North America is made of three separate countries: Mexico, Canada and the USA, plus a bunch of smaller ones, so really quite a few more than three. And then there's the Caribbean countries. But let's focus on the big three, since they control the most land and have the highest taco-to-person ratio (Thanks for that, Mexico!). The history of these lands is long and storied; unfortunately, the people who made that history were summarily destroyed and scattered. For all intents and purposes, these countries have been around for around 200 years.

The United States is currently a superpower, which means that each citizen can yell "Zablam!" and instantly change into a crime-fighting hero. This fact is hidden from the rest of the world, who believes us to simply be a nation of mild-mannered newspaper reporters. In the US, it's illegal to not have a structure placed every 10 feet, which explains the success of Ambercrombie and Fitch clothing stores. The psychological makeup of the US is that of the paranoid schitzophrenic: for some reason they believe that they must be the best at everything, even if we haven't tried it yet. Americans are constantly worried what others think of them, and yet do whatever they want anyways. It's a time-honored tradition that has worked well so far.

Canada is the least populated land in the world: there are 17 kilometers between each person, even those in the same household. Canadians are so shocked when they accidentally bump into another Canadian that the only result is a one-on-one hockey match to the death. In order for a Canadian to get to a grocery store, he or she must have two of three of a canoe, car or unicycle. Canada also hates America, and is currently trying to focus this anger into a weapon powerful enough to slightly penetrate Americans' egocentrism: They are doomed to failure.

Mexico is an outlaw land where banditos ride horses with bandoliers streaming behind them, shooting wildly into the air. Their main export is food and Mexicans. For a short time in the early 1990s, there was fear that Mexico would be unable to provide enough cheap labor to fuel the world's needs: fortunately, the crisis was averted and every hotel had a crack cleaning staff on hand for whatever problems arose. Also, there are 31 Mexican states, which is less than America's 50: no Americans are aware of the fact that Mexico has states, or even a government, really.

VIII. Conclusion

Continents are a valid way to lump together entire races of people who don't necessarily have anything in common. It's also a great way to cop out on a test: For example, if they asked where Marco Polo was from, you might be able to get away with "Europe" as an answer. For the rest of us who aren't in school, knowing continents is good in that it lets us know what region is in unrest. Considering these continents span thousands of miles, it narrows things down to half the planet or less.

Stay tuned for the second part of my world guide, in which I critique countries whose ways are different from my own.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Brilliant!!! I knew you were hiding a masterpiece in humour somewhere (and I'm not drinking at the moment)! All these continents sounds like trouble to me. I'm moving to Santa Claus' fortress as soon as central heating is installed!

Waiting in anticipation for the second part!

At 1:09 AM, Blogger chica bonita said...

thank you for your geography and history lesson. i had fun reading it. hehe...i think i would go bankrupt the moment i touched down in japan. they have great packaging for products, to the tinniest detail. and i'm a sucker for pretty stuff.

chickybabe, you sure you're not drinking again dear? ;-)

At 2:31 PM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

Glad you excluded Australia there!!

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are all your fans from the land down under?

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Mahd said...

ChickyBabe, Santa's fortress has, of course, all the amenities of a five-diamond resort, including individual heating units and a person toady to tell you how great you are.

chica bonita, Japan both intrigues and scares me: I wonder what it would be like to go there...

Sheriff of Nothing, I excluded nothing from my blog! All continents are treated fairly. Except South America, I kind of gave them the shaft.

Anonymous, It is a mystery...perhaps I appeal to some aspect of their culture? You'd have to ask them

At 8:20 PM, Blogger chica bonita said...

that's because we just simply love you mahd. we do! ;-)

At 2:50 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Sounds like paradise to me!


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