Today’s world is filled with far too much controversy. Hacks of artists and opinionated devil’s advocates run rampant over society, pitting races, sexes and creeds against one another in a cruel battle of wills that leaves nobody unoffended.
What our culture must do to combat this insanity is clear. We must sterilize our media and phase out profane influences. I shall put forth a few suggestions to this effect in this, a Mild Suggestion.
In entertainment, any thematic or topical messages should be stifled, as messages invariably discriminate against existing viewpoints or persons. Characters in plays, movies and books are to have no defined religion, ethnicity, or acknowledged features (beauty, obesity, etc.), and their names and genders are to be obscured. Stories are to take place exclusively in the present in order to avoid historical gaffes such as slavery or apartheid. Furthermore, complaints against entertaining narratives are to be silenced, as they discriminate against the writer’s vocation. Art criticism will be a fortunate casualty, with the common man finally safe from the assaults on his favourite films and taste, and we shall once again be able to fool ourselves into thinking that Donnie Darko is a fantastic film.
Political elections, a form of persecution of personality, should proceed normally by necessity. However, those who vote for a winner should send a letter of commiseration to the loser apologizing for their choice and expressing confidence that the losing candidate’s personality is fantastic, that they have a nice smile, that their children must be very handsome, etc. Most importantly, the voter’s letter must characterize their choice as a mishap, turning the victor’s triumph into the result of a misaddressed ballot rather than of disapproval of someone else’s political opinions.
In the world of public information, news services should be careful to strip crime reportage of commentary that suggests bias and instead couch events in detached, passive terms. A man did not “shoplift” — certain items were carried away from a store and found in someone’s bag. An executive did not “embezzle” — certain funds wandered from their rightful place in one account and were discovered in another. Brutus and his cohorts did not commit “murder” on the steps of the Roman Forum — their knives were merely misplaced in Caesar’s belly. Offences will thus appear accidental and not prejudiced by circumstance. As an extension of this, we will have to disband the courts: they’re too caught up in nasty details like “judgment,” “motive” and “context.” Punishments are instead to be carried out wordlessly and autocratically, so as to appear incidental to the crime. This is a way to dispense with racial, social or political commentary that might slight a disadvantaged group such as dictators.
These notions will sustain us until we are able to cut away our traits, defining features and bodies and evolve into blobs, which will communicate by vibrations and secretions. Eventually, though, the quandary of political correctness will resurface with the self-awareness of inanimate objects. We shall have to ask ourselves whether or not it is the fault of the gun that it was born to shoot, and, by extension, whether guns kill people or people kill people.
Either we take these actions, or maybe, just maybe, we realize that we don’t have to agree with everything we hear, read, say . . . or write.