Dear Mexican Government,
Sorry that things look bleak at present, a little grey… like this grey, unloved, unlovable lump of concrete:
You are probably scared/baffled/angered right now by the foamy-mouthed angry people up north, and concerned at how this seeming crisis plays out domestically; however, thinking of China and their wall just now, it’s worth remembering something:
In the Chinese language, the word for crisis is composed of two characters:
The first means danger; the other represents opportunity*
*or critical point. Whatever. Okay, so it’s not actually true, but come on, it’s not as though truth matters much these days, is it? (What’s true right here is that it’s a nifty soundbite for management seminars and retreats (just like the word ‘retreat’ itself means ‘to move forward as time runs backwards’ in Nchechawk) … besides, who can understand non-white people and their confusing non-English-speak anyway?)
Back to the big idea…
The Big Idea
This is a big opportunity. Yuge. Opportunity with a capital O.
Where is the opportunity, you may ask, in this big bad wall stopping people from
trying to flee south from the impending nuclear war illegally entering the United States of America for menial labour purposes?
Everywhere. All along every inch (cm) of the 1,933 miles (3,110 km) of it.
A Little on the Inspiration
One word for ‘wall’ in Spanish is la pared. Another is la barrera, (likely the meaning they intend on the other side). Yet another word for wall is el muro, from whence the big idea. Muro has the same Latin root as ‘mural’ (essentially meaning ‘wall-ular’ painting).
Here’s a reasonably well-known mural:
Murals abound worldwide, in fact, and they tend to carry socio-political messages. There’s plenty in New York, for example, Philadelphia, Derry, Berlin… oh, that’s right, and Mexico, too. Yes, Mexico is the closest thing to a nation with the monopoly on 20th C Muralism. So, it’s time to take that forward into the 21st Century, where it can be monetised.
- First things first, own it. #ClaimTheName. Trademark everything and anything to do with the Great Wall of Mexico©®™. (After all, if you’re going to be manufacturing the t-shirts anyway, you might as well vertically integrate that business opportunity and claim massive job creation.) The potential is huge. Yuge, as La Naranja Gorda would say. I mean, you don’t think of Mongolians when you think of the Great Wall of China, do you?
- Once you own it, you can sell it… but don’t be a numpty. You don’t sell it outright; you simply split it into parts and franchise the shit out of it, leasing the naming rights to publicity-hungry corporations. The Del Monte Great Wall of Baja California. The Monsanto Chihuahua Great Wall. Think of the returns on investment. Not only do you get these suckers to put their name on it and give you lorryloads of money, you insist they pay for the wall itself upfront.
- Build it right on the border and take ownership of it, so that if US Border Control want a wall for their purposes, they’re going to need to build one a couple of hundred feet further back, on their own turf. That’s right, it’s called land expropriation, and those bastards have been doing it to the Mexican people for centuries. (By the way, it would be a cute idea to build the wall with concealed wheels at the base, so you can shift the wall forward poco a poco; if nothing else, it will get inside their brain.)
- What to do with the unfranchisable, unsellable parts of the wall? Simple. Open it up to the public. What for? Here are some ideas:
- The greatest longest bestest mural on Earth. Whole sections for individual artists to create incredible art like this stuff: This translates into visitor numbers. For real. For those who remain dubious, think: who doesn’t want to see a great big wall? 10 million go to see China’s every year; 10 million to the Western Wall in Jerusalem; about 1 million to see Berlin’s (and that’s hardly even a wall anymore); Over a quarter of a million visit the piles of rocks that were once known as Hadrian’s Wall, and none of those walls even have any art on them: about 1 million go to visit Leo da V’s blotchy paint job in a dingy church in Milan every year. Yes, that teeny tiny little piece of wall! That’s not even to begin considering the hundreds of millions who go annually to look at stuff on walls in museums and art galleries, nor does it include the (probably) billions who spend their weekends looking at shelves on walls in hardware or electrical stores.
- Sections for wall-climbing, skateboard walls like this:
Climbing Wall flickr photo by hapinachu shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
- Vertical gardens like this:
In other words, this can be the beginning of something incredible. Think bigger, Mexican government: let El Muro be Mexican for ‘opportunity’.