Governments as game shows
In many countries of the world the government is the sole producer of all television broadcasting. They decide what will be aired, what will be written, who will star in what and who will be shot for making the wrong joke. What if they simply went a step further and ran the governments just like they were game shows (aren’t they anyway)?
Maybe the results would be something like this:
KING FOR A DAY: A favorite show in African Middle Eastern and South American dictatorships. Contestants fight each other to become the despot of their country for one day. Anything goes when players use coup d’etat, spying, assassination attempts suicide bombings, sniper attacks and car blowups to eliminate each other. Real excitement continues the next day when the new contestants must oust the winner from the previous day. “It’s like a political version of ‘Survivor,'” says avid fan Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
THE BLAME GAME: The game that brought Donald Trump to the top of his game. Government officials vie for who can best direct the public’s attention away from their domestic problems by throwing blame for the countries ills on other countries or on targets within it’s own realms. Judges look for creative scapegoating and clever initiation of what action will be taken against the alleged ‘blamees.’ Last years grand prize — Obama getting the blame for everything from terrorism to hemorrhoids.
JUST A STONE’S THROW: One of the big game shows in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and northern Nigeria. The adulteress of the week is strapped to a spinning wheel divided into sections indicating prizes Contestants each get five stones and try to tally up points. Extra points given for smacking vital organs.
THE PYRAMID GAME: How many social services programs can your stack up before the economy collapses? Each group of contestants starts out with a military and an education budget, then adds on such burdens as a welfare system, subsidized housing, research grants, foreign aid, medical programs and old age pensions. Difficulties are added by constant harassment from special interest political groups.
NAME YOUR POGROM: A big hit in Rwanda, Syria, Russia and would be a top program in ISIS held areas if they allowed TV. Governments search for whipping boys amongst the populace. Minorities, gays, ethnic, religious groups and non-conformists are all targeted out for persecution by government watch-dogs and paramilitary groups. Teams will compete to see who can purge their land of a specific group first.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES: Contestants will don the uniform of their country’s secret police to torment detainees, both legitimate and innocent, for information. The players will be judged on both the quality of the information acquired and the inventiveness of the techniques used to get that information.
LET’S MAKE A SQUEAL: This would have been a hit in the U.S. and Russia during the Cold War ‘James Bond’ years. Double agents and informants try to outdo each other with information both sound and false over their host country. Contestants are all allowed to use hidden cameras and microphones, proffered secret files, incriminating paperwork and kidnapped victims to achieve their ends. Grand prize goes to whoever can bring the infected foreign government down first.
WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE: One of the most popular game shows in all socialist countries. Players are challenged to invent misfortunes, ailments and needs and by spinning the wheel create new governmental bureaucracies to deal with them. The game continues until the country goes bankrupt and the government collapses.
PUT THE COUNTRY IN JEOPARDY: Come up with inane governmental policies to run things, then roar with laughter as they go awry. Come up with dumb undertakings such as paying out farm subsidies so that farmers don’t overproduce, five year plans that actually set things back five years and starting wars that will still be sapping the economy ten years from now. Zimbabwe contributed the idea for the series (and demonstrated it).
THE BUREAUCRACY MAZE: Entrants try to find their way through a maze of rules and regulations covering every facet of their lives right down to tying their shoe laces. Exits are blocked by red tape, governmental goons and dead ends. The first who successfully escapes becomes the government official responsible for keeping the maze going. Later runners must add to the maze’s complexity. Those who do not escape must remain therein and help with upkeep.
GUESS THE ACRONYM: A longtime U.S. favorite. Create new government agencies and keep their identity a mystery by using only their acronyms to identify them. Past winners include BOOBIE (Bureau for Old Bureaucrats Investigative Entity), the SSSSS (Secret Service Surplus Slush Salaries), SPOOOKS (Spy Perpetrators On Our Own Kindergartens) and DOPIEE (Deps Organized for Preying on Intellectuals and Everyone Else).