As I watch Trump tweeting threatening outbursts to the North Korean dictator and Kim cocking a snook at him, it does tend to remind me of similar fights in my schooldays: They were strange kind of fights, where two adversaries, faced each other, mouthed wild words at one another, swung their arms emptily in the air, and then strangest of all behaviors I’d seen, rolled their sleeves, pushed elbows back, and hoped like crazy that somebody would hold those elbows and prevent them from fighting further.
In most of those fights, that signalled the end, because the pushing back of elbows was a sign to friends to hold onto their arms and prevent the fight escalating. Trump and Kim Jong-un seem to be doing what I’ve seen time and again in those schoolboy days.
Threats and arm swinging seem to fill newspaper space, editorials scream of what could happen, and the two glare at each other, mouth dare words and threaten to burst bombs. But horror of horrors, nobody is holding them back: Their elbows dangle free of preventive hands!
And that’s a dangerous situation, because the world believes the two are madmen facing each other and making loud empty noises.
Now, and here let me take you back to those fights of yore; you can see both my school opponents creating a huge din, and suddenly find their friends who were always at their side to prevent them from hitting each other, have left the fight with boredom.
“Those two just mouth empty words at each other,” their friends say and move away. And that is when the action happens.
Suddenly there’s a slamming of fist against cheek, foot against stomach and a fight, which everybody thought was a no fight becomes a bloody battle, till one or the other is soundly beaten, or both are dragged off to the headmaster’s office.
Unfortunately, in this Trump-Kim wrestling match, there’s no headmaster, and as the world gets bored with their rhetoric and tunes off and they decide to missile and nuke each other, it’s going to be a catastrophe of a magnitude beyond comprehension! So, let’s not get bored by these two mad men. Even as they swing their fists at each other, even as they hurl abuses and threats, let’s continue holding their sweaty elbows, and prevent them from going to the next stage!
They don’t want to fight, but they love an audience and want to hold on to it. And the sooner that audience gets bored and moves away, a real disastrous fight could begin. So stand around, watch the circus, hold their arms, and pretend you are hugely interested in the mock skirmish you are allowed to witness. Dare you move away, the world you love and know well, may disappear.
Don’t yawn, just clap and cheer and pull back their arms and elbows..!