In view of the proliferation of fools, some decades ago several Spanish columnists elaborated a catalogue in which they were classified. Thus, a fool up to lunch and then all day is a fool consistent in his stupid task, someone who strives to keep the bar of his foolishness high all day; a spherical fool is a fool no matter from which angle you look at him; a solemn fool is one that puts candles around his own simplicity to attract attention and give ceremony to his foolishness; and a fool with balconies onto the street is the kind of idiot who enjoys showing the whole world his own stupidity, both proud and determined to be the object of admiration of respectable folk in the face of their deepest lack of judgment. This is precisely what we find every day at the UN. A bunch of fools with balconies onto the street.
The fools at the UN have blamed just about all of us for the pandemic: first they said that the culprit was capitalism, then that it was climate change, and now it’s the patriarchy.
The UN is a huge fool-magnet. It attracts them, wherever they are, and they get stuck there, some of them for years, doing the doings of the common fool: that is, hammering their own finger, wasting money on nonsense, writing really stupid press notes, always choosing the worst stance in any international conflict, and always allying themselves with the enemies of the nations they pretend to represent. Fools at the UN are not, therefore, any old fools, fools amongst many, or unpretentiously foolish. No, they are not. They are luxury fools, first class fools, fools with electric windows and airbags as standard.
The good thing about this peculiarity of the UN is that it makes things much easier for those of us who engage in the noble trade of analyzing stupidity and then portraying it in the press to prevent unwary readers from falling into its trap. Because the UN is a real pro in stupidity. A special level on the scale of moral and intellectual failure. Thus, they work hard every day to show the world a new and improved kind of foolishness, usually achieved with the help of a bunch of idiots who strive to take their talent for stupidity to the extreme, in exchange, of course, for a succulent salary and all the luxury of compliments and honors. In 2016, Trump made the best definition of the UN ever: “a club for people to get together, talk, and have a good time.”
Throughout its tragic history, there are a lot of stupid declarations and initiatives linked to the UN, a product of its penchant for meeting in some exotic place, toasting, eating seafood, declaring only a couple of absurdities, and returning home. The entire WHO, for example, is the illegitimate child of its own negligence, and its behavior in the pandemic is that of someone with an inexhaustible talent for doing everything wrong and boasting about it. However, my favorite foolishness is this week’s, with which António Guterres, that old-fashioned socialist from Portugal, has managed to outdo all of his predecessors.
The UN Secretary General has published in a tweet his impressive findings on the origin of the pandemic, which we thought was a mystery until Guterres clarified that we all knew it already:
The #COVID19 has exposed what we all knew: millennia of patriarchy have resulted in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture that harms everyone: women, men, girls and boys.
The tweet sows confused suspicions about Mr. Guterres’ domestic habits in his dealings with women. But also, once again, we see that the UN is endowed with divine gifts. One of them is omniscience. It is an organization that knows about everything; it can just as much talk of soccer competitions as it can about a campaign against a disease, or analyze the ways in which the coronavirus is transmitted, among which of course the patriarchy stands out — that, as everybody knows, the coronavirus is a male pathogen, product of the dominant patriarchy of the pangolins, in total collusion with male bats, which for millennia have despised and marginalized female bats, which they often harass calling them “rats with wings” for the mere fact of being rats with wings, something that, by the way, they have in common with several males sitting in armchairs at the UN.
Actually, if I look back, these fools with balconies onto the street at the UN have blamed just about all of us for the pandemic: first they said that the culprit was capitalism, then that it was climate change, and now it’s the patriarchy. Perhaps one day in their delirium they will go a little further and say that the blame lies with the Chinese for nibbling on live pangolins and with the communists for hiding the epidemic. You know that even a stopped clock gets the time right twice a day, although the UN’s clock just might have had its hands snapped off.
For now, that’s the way things are. According to Guterres and the UN, I am to blame for the coronavirus and therefore all those other things they accuse me of, including the domination of women, because I am a man. Although, I confess that domination of women, much to my regret, is something I have never quite mastered. I gave up when I was 15 years old. I was in a tie store. It was when I saw my girlfriend’s bloodshot eyes, after suggesting in a trembling voice in front of the sales clerk that I liked the green tie in the window better than the red one she already had in her hands. I remember her every word: “Green? Green? Really? Are you really such an idiot as to want to wear a green tie? What do you want, to look like a pine tree, a lizard, a damn broccoli? The red one, honey, buy the red one right now, or find yourself someone else to take you to my best friend’s birthday party dressed as Kermit the Frog.”
I remember it as if it were today because back then, making full use of my courage, my bad character, my misogyny, my millennia of dominant, oppressive, patriarchal, and coronavirus-spraying machismo, I kept my mouth shut and bought the red one. Guterres would be proud of me.
Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist and author. He has written nine books on topics as diverse as politics, music, and smart appliances. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, the Daily Caller, National Review, the American Conservative, The American Spectator, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, and is a columnist for several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website www.itxudiaz.com.
Translated by Joel Dalmau
Illustration by Iñigo Navarro Dávila