As I peruse my newspaper, it doesn’t take a genius to see that in spite of tightening our collective belts, voting in a new administration, approving various stimulus packages and bail outs, Uncle Sam needs help.
And this is where I have another Bright Idea.
Put writers in charge of the government.
If writers ran the world, speeches would be clear and understandable with no “ly” adverbs. Perhaps we could actually comprehend the bills that our Congress passes daily. And if follows that we wouldn’t need a two-hour newscaster interpreting what our President just told us.
If writers ran the world, publishers and editors would have emails that you could easily find on their website instead of buried under pages of ads for diets and hair extensions. And while I’m dreaming, the editors would accept simultaneous submissions, reprints, and queries whether attached or in the body of the email. Books would be published within six months of acceptance or a double royalty penalty would be paid to the author in cash – sort of like a free pizza if it arrives late.
If writers ran the world, Congress would make the four-day work week the standard except when a holiday falls on Monday in which case the work week would be diminished to three. Citizens 50 or older would qualify for senior citizen discounts, tax free groceries and pharmacy, plus free ice cream at Chic-Fil-a. Writers would also qualify for drastically reduced rates on office supplies including laptops which would be tax deductible.
If writers ran the world, newspaper columnists and correspondents would be at the top of the salary food chain. Editors would value these contributing writers and consequently give them interesting assignments like ‘experience the day spa’ rather than ‘cover the cattle show.’
If writers ran the world, world peace would be a reality and celebrated with readings and free coffee in the local bookshops. Teachers of Language Arts would command larger salaries than five star generals and bestowed the honor they richly deserve. On earning tenure, they would be flown to the city of their choice for a vacation.
If writers ran the world, every student would be required to experience a short term mission trip and work with the poor in the inner city. At the end of their assignment, the student would be required to write of his/her experiences. These manuscripts would be placed in bookstores, libraries, and on the World Wide Web for all to read.
If writers ran the world, we would honor the written, sung, and spoken word and reverence those who contribute to our body of knowledge. Playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, and nonfiction writers would work side by side. Competition would be replaced with mutual respect and partnership.
If writers ran the world, the heads of state would commission accomplished artists and writers to create picture books that teach themes of acceptance, love, and forgiveness. Children would develop respect for ethnic differences and desire friendships with those of different cultures. Crossword enthusiasts, Scrabble winners, and finalists in competitive essay writing would determine the head of the United Nations, the site for the Olympic Games, and what caterer would have charge of the next Peace Conference/Poetry Slam.
Writers are beautiful people no matter their size, shape, skin color, or age. They can be young or old, thin or rotund, bespeckled or not, wear Crocs or Prada, ours is a colorful lot. A writer’s talent is only tempered by wisdom and humor. Authors could easily govern global affairs.
With writers running the world, the younger generation would aspire to greater heights. A writer’s status would be raised to that of supermodels. College credit would be awarded writers for life experiences and noteworthy manuscripts written whether published or not.
If writers ran the world, we would institute creative holidays like Every Third Thursday Idea/Cookie Swap, Odd Wednesday Ice Cream Day, or on the first day of summer, Celebrate the Invention of Flip Flops.
Bosnian and Serbian writers might choose to resolve their country’s differences over high tea while writers in Mexico and the U.S. might visit a cafe in Tijuana. European and Asian writers could exchange manuscripts via the internet and get together once a year to brainstorm shared projects for the common good.
If writers ran the world, our society would sleep easier at night and dream of a Giant Peach or Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Writer-leaders would of course be well read and not repeat the mistakes of the Holocaust, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Viet Nam, or the Persian Gulf. Author-diplomats would free us from war, arrive at satisfactory peace terms, and bring our troops home stat.
If writers ran the world, this reeling frazzled world would begin to mend and eventually recover that it might frolic in fantasy, adventure, mystery, and the myriad joys of literature.
Edward R. Murrow, an American news icon, closed Person-to-Person with “Good Night and Good Luck.” If writers ran the world, what better way to end a meeting than “Good Night and Good Luck?” Perhaps we’d inscribe that phrase on our currency and incorporate that into the President’s State of the Union Address.
If you like my idea of putting writers in charge of the word, will you vote for me in the next presidential election? I’m considering throwing my hat into the ring. I just can’t decide between the white fur one and the straw with flowers.
Sheila Hudson writes for the Opal Writers website as well as being an Expert Writer in the monthly magazine. If you would like to read more from Sheila, subscribe to the Opal Writers’ magazine – it’s free!
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