Some mornings I wake up, read the news, and experience an intense urge to bolt the doors, board up the windows, go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head.

At this stage, who knows what comes next?

If the world were a car, I'd wonder whether the driver was asleep at the wheel, foot jammed firmly on the accelerator, with a gleeful toddler sitting on their lap careering the thing wildly down a potholed road crying, "broom, broom!"

We are living in a dystopian sci-fi soap opera with a cast of characters as preposterous as if they'd been conjured up during an acid trip.


You can just imagine the descriptions on the casting call:

"Donald Trump, a creepy American real estate tycoon with bad hair and a penchant for pomposity who has inexplicably risen to the rank of President of the United States."

"Kim Jong-Un, the 'supreme leader' of North Korea. A paranoid autocrat with chronic little man syndrome, an obsession with nukes and fratricidal tendencies."

"Vladimir Putin, a KGB agent who has succeeded in his mission to secretly infiltrate and overthrow the Russian Government. Likes riding horses and perfecting his scary face in the mirror."

The most recent character to join our absurdist production?

"Marine Le Pen, an Islamophobic political heiress who expelled her own father to consolidate her power. Stands a frighteningly good chance of becoming the President of France."

Outside of the main cast, there's a roster of interesting recurring guests, like Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bashar al-Assad, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; all contributing to a shitshow of epic proportions.

Viewer discretion is advised.


Yes, this is the depth I have sunk to. Joking about our fractured geopolitical landscape in an attempt to ward off the gnawing rush of fear that threatens to consume me.

I've only had 27 years on this planet, but I've never been so concerned for the precarious state of peace in my life.

I'd quite like a few more years here yet, please, if our world leaders could possibly hold off on blowing us all to smithereens.

What I can't quite ascertain is whether all this swaggering around like puffed up bantams on speed is just for the cameras and the rallies - a theatre technique to beguile the masses - or whether we really have a pack of raving egomaniacs who've somehow ascended to scarily powerful positions in the world order.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm almost starting to long for the good old days of George W. Bush.

History has shown that our world is more than capable of dealing with the odd unhinged leader with dictatorial proclivities, but we appear to have at least six of them (that's without counting Le Pen or sweet souls like Rodrigo Duterte and Robert Mugabe) on the go at the moment.

With so many overgrown toddlers in the sandpit, it seems likely that someone is going to get whacked with a spade. And then what happens?

There will always be a small number of people for whom absolute power wouldn't be enough.

History has shown that our world is more than capable of dealing with the odd unhinged leader with dictatorial proclivities, but we appear to have at least six of them.

Call them despots, psychopaths, tyrants or most of the World Leaders Forum class of 2017, but they all share the same unstable need to be the biggest, toughest bull in the pen.

They'll exploit any grievance to build a following - from Allies-imposed poverty in the Weimar Republic to a disastrously broken economic system in the modern day United States of America - though the end game remains the same: power, power and more power.

And what mechanism do we have to keep them in check?

The United Nations. That well intentioned yet fatally flawed thought experiment that requires enemies to agree in order to get anything done.

The problem with the UN, like the League of Nations before it, is that it relies on the presumption of rationality and a shared goal of peace.

What happens when irrational members decide that it's not peace that they're after?

Will the adults at the table be able to stop the kids from upending the whole thing?

ANZAC Day really got me thinking this week.

I found myself propelled back to high school History, and wondering whether human beings are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over.

Why is it, I wondered, that the times when we fight the most determinedly for peace are when we are at war?

The sad truth is that world peace is nowhere near as macho, nationalistic or lucrative as war.

With another wave of protectionism and patriotism sweeping the world, we seem destined to fall prey to that infuriatingly human categorisation of "us" and "them", encouraged and amplified by leaders who seek to divide and conquer.

In a company full of antagonists, we can only hope that sensible protagonists will emerge from the scrum.

I can't be the only one marvelling at the irony of Germany and China emerging as the most likely protectors of global stability.

What a masterful plot twist.

Who knows what this comedy of horrors will bring us next?

Stay tuned, whānau. We're in for a bumpy ride.