How 13-Year Olds Can Wipe Out Terrorism
OK. I know this headline seems bold. Even presumptuous. But bear with me. I'm inspired. And even more than that -- on the brink of a breakthrough
But first, some back story...
A year and a half ago, my awesomely cool, smart, and creative daughter, Mimi (in the orange glasses above), turned 13 and invited 12 of her girlfriends to our house for a celebrational sleepover.
The first 30 minutes were great as each girl, gift in hand, was dropped off by a parent, who, upon surveying the room, offered my wife and I a glance of great compassion as if to say "Better you than me."
The girls? Don't ask...
They talked. They texted. They talked. They texted. Ate chocolate. Brushed hair. Played music. Painted fingernails. Laughed. Texted. Called friends. Finished not a single sentence, rolling their eyes every time a parent entered the room.
Mindful of my daughter's need for space and my own weird tendency to be a little too present when her friends were around, I retreated to my bedroom like some kind of mid-western chicken farmer looking for a storm shelter.
I tried reading. I tried napping. I tried meditating.
My attention was completely subsumed -- taken over by an invisible vortex of swirling social networking energy being channeled by a roomful of partying 13-year old girls -- the next generation of, like, whatever.
And then, with absolutely no warning, everything became suddenly clear. In a flash, I understood exactly how to end terrorism once and for all.
For starters, the government flies a squadron of 13 year-old girls to Guantanamo -- or wherever high profile terrorists are being interrogated these days.
The girls, impeccably guarded by the highest qualified soldiers available, are walked into a prison waiting room where the shackled terrorists are already sitting.
Immediately, the girls begin texting, eating chocolate, talking, painting fingernails, and exponentially interrupting each other with a steady stream of "OMG's" and other, esoteric internet acronyms none of their parents have a clue about.
The prisoners, at first, find the whole thing amusing -- a delightful break from their dreadful prison routine. They smile. They wink. They remember their youth.
But the girls, wired to the max (sugar and wi-fi), radically pick up the pace of their texting and talking like some kind of futuristic teenage particle accelerator.
After five minutes, the prisoners stop smiling. After ten, they become silent. After twenty, they start twitching. A lot.
They try covering their ears with their shackled hands, but the chains are too short. They start looking madly around the room, hoping to catch the eyes of their jailers -- but their jailers sit motionless, miming the movements of the twelve texting teenagers.
A few of the terrorists start crying. A few go catatonic. And then, the roughest looking of the bunch -- a tall man with a long, jagged scar on his left cheek -- calls out in his native language.
"STOP! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I'll TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW."
The guards nod and switch on the nearest tape recorder. But it's totally unnecessary.
The girls, totally tuned into the terrorists' confessions as if watching the finals of American Idol, are texting everything they hear to a roomful of Pentagon heavyweights in an undisclosed location.
The information proves vital to our national defense.
Within three days, a record number of terrorist cells are taken down. Word gets out to the global terrorist community and, in only a matter of weeks, it becomes impossible for the Jihadist movement to recruit.
Yes, of course, the ACLU raises a stink about this "new strain of American torture," but a thorough investigation by a bi-partisan task force of international peacekeepers proves to be inconclusive. No long-term damage to the prisoners can be detected.
On a roll, my daughter and her rock-the-world friends create a Facebook Group that teaches other 13-year old girls how to help the cause. A movement is born.
Soon, hundreds of teenage girl "patriots" are dispatched to war zones around the world -- radically decreasing the incidence of terrorism on all seven continents.
Subsequent interviews with former Jihadists reveal that merely the threat of being in a room with 12 texting 13-year old girls was enough to get them to lay down their homemade bombs and return to farming.
Peace comes to the Middle East. Pakistan and India make up. (Make up, girls!) The Golden Age begins.
As you might guess, HBO and Hollywood come calling.
Big time producers want to do a reality show and a major motion picture, but the girls -- newly inspired by the impact they've had on the world -- refuse to become a commodity as they prepare (OMG!) for summer camp and 8th grade and the September launch of that next, cool cell phone with the incredible keyboard.
Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at October 15, 2011 12:37 PM
Wow! Good plan Mitch.
I can see spinoffs too. Drop them into the BP and Shell board meetings as they discuss more tar sands exploitation. They'll be begging for mountain retreats with wind power...
Have them show up at a Wall Street meeting where the next deriviatives markets are being designed (air or something). They'll be heading for the Poconos on their bicycles...
Give them maps and credit cards... and it's done.
Posted by: Gary Ockenden at June 25, 2010 07:05 PM
Vastly superior to all those strategies adopted so far by the powers that be. I think you will start a new empire with this thinking.
I suggest an immediate recruitment drive and full stocking of lipsticks, makeup and daily iTunes allowances.
Never has a special ops division of an army needed so little training yet been so prepared.
And can the reality show, this is too good for that tat!
Posted by: RogerEllman at October 15, 2011 09:19 AM
An absolutely wild and wonderful story, brilliantly told and I feel something along these lines may be truer than we imagine!
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