Pun-itive Damages

A long-standing interest of the Sardine is the nature, purpose, and operation of the nation-state.  The nation-state may be the most consequential structure of our world.  Literally.  The world is a conglomeration of over two hundred nations, many of which are barely functional, and even the most established nations have many, many problems. Ultimately, if you aren’t part of a nation, you barely exist or there are plans to eliminate you.

Much of the magical strength of paper money resides in the nation-state system.  Corporations lend power to the various countries around the world.  The potential economic collapse in the last five years has shaken confidence of dozens of nations.

Logged-In Public: Don’t sound so happy.

The Sardine doesn’t gleefully await for the demise of nation-states.  However, they may not last forever.  And I’d hate to see what happens when this particular system breaks down.  We’ve gotten glimpses.  Somalia in the last twenty years.  Iraq after the Second Persian Gulf War.  Some of the European nations facing bankruptcy.  Iceland has become a shell of a country since the economic bubble burst in 2008.

[Hey Sard, oo Iceland is no longer a Euro-nation.  For its piss poor economic performance.]

Poo on his last pun.  Doesn’t cut the mustard.

[You winnie for pooh-turbing me over that pungent line you just wrote.]

Does my pal pooh-pose, or is it pur-poohse, that I stop repoohnding to your quips?

[I can’t purse-suede you to quip now.  Leather you do or not, the damage has been pun.]

You’re not the kind of purse-son to quip while he’s ahead.

L-I P: Are you two wailing away at each other like this on porpoise? 

[The Logged-in public should let punning dialogues lie and go back to sleep. We shouldn’t let it skate for interposing.]

L-I P: We thought you were discussing something serious.

We’re never more serious when we’re not.

[The public doesn’t feel the same eel-ation we do over this.]

The Sardine doesn’t take the Public’s criticism poissonally.

[Halibut that. You reelly make me laugh.]

L-I P: Save us!

They were once on my “elimination” list.

L-I P: Puns?

Nations.  When that list contained things that affected others beyond my life.  Nations wage wars and sacrifice their citizens for the sake of sustaining themselves.  Nations act only on a level of self-interest without consideration for morality. 

L-I P: Some nations are better than others.

No nation believes that it isn’t worthy of respect or thinks it’s inferior to other nations.


What the Sardine would want is to modify the system.  Most peoples aspire to independence and sovereignty.  But how many peoples can survive with their current resources and economies?  If you can’t cut it, attach to another nation.

L-I P: What if no one wants them?

If the annexation of a territory and people is a losing proposition, a group of countries should absorb the loss.

L-I P: No one wants to give up their freedom.

The Sardine believes the foundation should be laid for the long-term reduction of the size of nations.  The model might be television.  There was once an oligarchy of three networks, which grew and grew, seemingly invincible against smaller competition.  Eventually, people went along with the alternatives. There may be too many alternatives, now, but are we any worse off because the television networks have been diminished?

L-I P: Seems like you want chaos?

It wouldn’t be chaos.  It may be disorienting.  But it doesn’t mean we have to return to the same system to gain a new orientation.

[You say you want a devolution. You know you can count the countries out.]



Bob Castle, a.k.a A Sardine on Vacation has regularly published articles for Bright Lights Film Journal since 2000 and in 2020 his novel, The Hidden Life, was published.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, April 15, 2024 - 10:02