Monday, May 30, 2005

International airport lounge as catalyst for whirled peas

The world could be a much better place if all political negotiations were conducted in international departure lounges. All of humanities good traits are on display – families and friends congregate together quietly with the genuine goodwill that only occurs when people know they don’t have to keep it up for too long.

The international departure lounge occupies a unique geographical space – it is not “here,” nor is it there – it is simply a transit point. As such, it is the only place in the world where everyone feels at home, precisely because it is nobody’s home. Lavish costumes get no special attention, mixed race couples get no sidelong glances, local taboos are suspended.

Bringing this to an immediate practical point, where in the world can a western politician enter into a serious dialogue with a turbaned and whiskered counterpart without activating a complex web of prejudices? Likewise, where can a middle-eastern politician regard his western counterpart without conjuring a whole lifetime of oppressing demons?

I say let them meet one another in any international airport lounge, surrounded by family members of all ages. Freed of the politics of place and held in the eyes of familial love and respect, how could the results fail to be a marked improvement on the politics of today?