1.You get to take over the world for a day. Any changes you make during that time will stick after your gone, but you only get to do five things. What are they?
Damn the law of unintended consequences, full arbitrary steam ahead! (Note: this list completely off the top of my head. Ask me again tomorrow and get a different list.)
— Open immigration everywhere. If capital can jump from country to country in order to arbitrage labor costs, it should be perfectly legal for people to pick up and move to wherever the jobs happen to be.
— Tax exemptions for religions? Kiss `em goodbye. If you can afford to build a gilded temple (or, ahem, buy up half the real estate in lower Manhattan), you can kick over 15% to Caesar just like everyone else, and you can be just as audit-able as the next guy.
— Term of copyright: 15 years. Term of patent grant: 10. No patents on business methods, computational algorithms, or mathematical formulae (for the love of god, people).
— 90-year ban on members of the Bush family holding political office anywhere. They’ll just have to be Unspeakably Rich for a while.
— I’d make the official dress uniform of the U.S. armed forces Levis blue jeans, white t-shirts and black bomber jackets.
2. You and occasionally
As much as I love love love NYC, I do sorta suspect that any city of a similar size in a first-world country with reasonably non-xenophobic immigration laws would probably provide me with a similar level of enjoyment. London and Paris, certainly, are in the same rank as far as being culture generators and social particle accelerators. Rome, Amsterdam and Berlin would all be “maybes.”
That said, there are lots of places where I would love to be able to live for, say, a year or two, even though I don’t doubt that they’d drive me bugfuck if I stayed any longer: Tokyo, Rio, Buenes Aires, Saigon, Bangkok, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, Shanghai, Madrid and Jerusalem would all fall into that category.
But I’d have to learn to make my own bagels and smoke my own salmon.
3. In a week-long period, you are able to eat at seven restaurants anywhere in the world. What are they, and why?
Oooh. I’m salivating at the thought… but I’m afraid that other than the French Laundry in California, I’m not sure I can come up with seven names off the top of my head: I’d have to actually sit down and do some research.
Well, okay, I do know what I’d start with:
— Where is Joel Robuchon currently cooking?
— Where is Alain Ducasse currently working?
— What was Tony Bourdain’s favorite restaurant in Vietnam?
That’s four restaurants in three countries already… I’d probably try to throw Moscow and Tokyo onto the list somehow, even though I haven’t the faintest idea of where I’d begin…
…and I’d probably try to track down the little wonton soup stand in Shanghai where Miranda and I had The Best Soup Ever a few years back.
4. Who do you think you are?
Just another bozo on this bus.
…I think we’re all bozos on this bus!
5. (Bonus question) Why don’t you come up and see me sometime? ;)
<Mae_West>You know how to whistle, don’t you?</Mae_West>