Sunday, June 28, 2009

A G-20 Idea

I did not have time to go to the G-20 Idea Roundup that was held last week. Sadly, real life intervened; although from the sound of it, no really decent, interesting, or otherwise good ideas were presented. For example:

The city should send journalists a YouTube video showing how Pittsburgh has gone from "rustbelt to sparkling jewel."

Because YouTube (especially the comments section) is a bastion of intelligent public discourse.

We should have signs in multiple languages on the way in from the airport saying welcome to Pittsburgh.

Including signs in "Yinzer" I suppose.

And then there was something about a Wizard of Oz video juxtaposing old steel Pittsburgh with new, munchkin filled, Pittsburgh, which I didn't quite get. I mean, Dorothy still wants to go back to Kansas at the end... which probably subliminally says something about our post-industrial hangups.

No, if the Region wants to do something for the G-20, it needs to do something BIG for the G-20. I mean, we have a chance here to cause a real international scene and we should avail ourselves of that opportunity and try to draw out this publicity as long as possible.

So, here's my little proposal: kidnap all the attending foreign heads of Government and pull some sort of Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashing on them. Once they are released, they go back to their respective countries and start directing business to Pittsburgh.

Now, obviously this type of plan has been floated before by the Allegheny Conference; back in the early 2000s, somebody proposed a visit to a "mystery city" for out of region young folks... or what amounts to a jackbooted, Border Guard Bob. Once in Pittsburgh, the tour guides would show the victims how great Pittsburgh was, and the young people would go back to... um... do something. Anyway, I don't think this plan made it past the "straight face" test, but that's because they weren't thinking BIG enough.

Kidnapping 20 world leaders is a big plan and it has some major benefits.

First, as this would probably take nearly 440+ days to resolve, international media would be staying in the Region long enough to produce a slew of human interest stories, Regional boosterism video, and generally spend money. All of this is a positive benefit to the City & Region. True, the undertone of the reports may be something along the lines of "Pittsburgh is a beautiful place, but the people are genuinely psychopathic", but that's going to have to be a risk we're going to have to take.

Second, the international outrage would be immense. At least 6 of the countries are nuclear armed and the combined military force would crush us like insignificant bugs. Don't worry, the fight will be short and painless, however, the occupation could take years. This is actually a good thing. Chances are, about 5 countries would be involved, occupying different sectors of the Region without regard to municipal boundaries. The result, of course, would be a quick and effective municipal consolidation.

Of course, for this to take, we'll need to be occupied for about forty years and chances are either Luke or Dan would be set up as some sort of puppet Dictator in the interim... but we could always oust them in the future with some sort of coup (bloodless or otherwise).

Third, in the wake of this chaos, a lot of things are going to get blown up, destroyed, or otherwise rendered functionally useless. During the occupation, we're going to have the opportunity to rebuild the Region, meaning that we can create jobs, new manufacturing sections, housing, and basically do whole damned thing right this time. (And frankly, if we burned down bits of the more distressed parts of the City on our own, I doubt anyone would question it.)

Now, I'm sure that there are people out there that would consider this to be "illegal" or "seditious" or "a really, really bad idea," but these people are either small minded or work for any of the dozen or so US security agencies. "Videos" and "signs" quickly slip from the public memory; an international kidnapping conspiracy will be remembered forever.

But, think about it folks: one small band of dedicated nutcases could single handily change the course of Pittsburgh and direct us to a brighter future. I think the Allegheny Conference is just nuts enough to do it.

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