Mea Cupa! Not.

Last week, I made an unforced error. I thought I had pasted the entirety of an email chain between a Syrian Air Force officer and myself. It turned out that I had put something rather lewd for my column here in its place.

I will not dignify the rumors that I am a “first class poonhound” and “try to offer my professor dick to every skirt in [my] classes”. Simply put, the lion doesn’t concern himself when the sheep throws stones in a glass ship. Those “emails” were actually a chapter out of my new espionage novel, “The Tiger and the Condom”. The main character Geoff Newsome is engaging in a little “pink espionage” or “wetspot work” as we called it in No Such Agency. It was strictly for fictional purposes. I would never so much as acknowledge an unmarried woman’s ability to ask me questions, much less email them details about my Whirlpool’s adjustable jets.

The haters have scored a minor victory, however. I am on leave for this week. However, my wonderful nephew Keegan Draughstraught of The Genius Questions, the 3rd most read blog in Vermont, is here to take my place. Keegan’s a beautiful boy, with a great mind, and he said he’d do this if I drove him to his acquaintance Kris’ house so he could purchase some substance called “debs”, which I am assured are legal. Enjoy, you ungrateful cretins who didn’t defend me or Cressica ONCE this past week.

The panopticon.

Big brother.

Man’s inhumanity to man.

Other concepts I am familiar with.

It seems that in 2015's version of America, all these ideas changed residence from the pages of my textbooks to the forefront of our lives. Gone are the malt shops of yesteryear. In their place is social strife. Our schools are failing. The bureaucrats won’t listen, even though there are perfectly good iPads that could educate our little ingénues. Social issues are bad. The economy is probably also bad.

Last summer, my uncle Jeff took me to a place where hope isn’t just a marketing slogan: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I consider myself a post-structural Dunhamist with leanings towards the Glicksheimer School, so you can imagine how I felt, seeing this monarchy in the sand. “Who are these people? Why are these people?” I asked thoughtfully during the public guillotining in Riyadh, whilst Unkie Jeff guzzled popcorn. I felt as though I was Camus. Except I didn’t give myself a stanger because I had to share a room with my cousin Josiah and he played his DS the entire time.

Then it hit me. This place is the utopia we used to imagine back at the University of Vermont.

There’s no catcalling in Saudi Arabia. How can you catcall a woman who walks 10 paces behind a man at all times? You can’t even address her without both being detained by the Religious Police, who are 10 paces ahead of the United States in enforcing social rules.

In a clear rebuke of the revolting “New Atheist” movement, everything stops when the call to prayer hits the speakers. The Saud family clearly despises the pissboys who call themselves atheists, because if Richard Dawkins even came here, they’d be able to track his every move on Twitter, legally! Good luck posting your hateful screeds in this progressive kingdom. Go vape your fucking fedora. Sorry, he makes me mad because of how empathetic I am.

You may cry gentrification. Well, you’d be crying wolf. While the Saudi government plans to spend over $200 billion on infrastructure in the next few years, most of it is being spent outside of poorer Shia areas. Ignorant people have accused KSA of discriminating against Shia, but try telling me that when they’re making conscious efforts not to price them out of their own towns with Whole Foods, New Balance stores, and 160 story skyscrapers that no one rents space in.

In fact, the Saudis are making a conscious effort to diversify. Thousands upon thousands of people from other countries come here every year for construction jobs. They must be great, because they just keep coming, and many don’t even even return to their mother nations! When I was there with my uncle, I couldn’t throw a coke bottle without hitting a Malaysian guest worker, and believe me, I tried. The ones I talked to seemed really busy, and couldn’t help me find K2 Spice, but I’m sure they’re pretty happy to live in such a chill place.

I usually skip Daenerys’ scenes in Game of Thrones because she looks exactly like my ex and that’s triggering for me, but I remember her saying once, “they can live in my new world, or die in their old one”. That’s exactly how I feel about this marvelous country. It’s time for us to look to the cradle of civilization for the answers to our uncivilized problems. It’s time to lean forward, buckle up, lock, load, be done with the excuses, and press the shift key on the paradigm. I don’t know about you, but I “Saudi” a lot of real progress over there, and I’m ready to bring it here.

Keegan Draughstraught is a graduate of UVT’s “Unrestrained Minds” Accelerated Learning Program, the editor in chief of The Genius Questions, and needs a ride to Soundset

Jeff will return once he is cleared of all the pernicious accusations and vindicated once again. He is not mad about this, at all.