I love the writing of Jonathan Swift, the father of satire. For those of you not familiar with his work, he wrote Gulliver's Travels (incidentally, the e-book is free right now on Amazon), and also A Modest Proposal, . Although the latter was not as famous as Gulliver's Travels, I think it best exemplifies his biting wit. The full title of the Proposal is: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick. To illustrate just how terribly the poor Irish were regarded at the time (1700s), he suggested that they sell their children to the rich... to be EATEN. He then sarcastically rejected all reasonable measures to take care of the problem, such as focusing the country's wealth on domestic consumption and financially helping out the poor, saying that they were unworkable.
I'm reminded of Swift's work whenever I hear the question, "Well, what can we do?" in regards to any fundamental problem seen as insurmountable. Voicing the absurd is a good place to see where one somewhat reasonable step followed by another and followed by another could eventually lead to said absurdity. Or what doing nothing will accomplish... which is nothing. It calls attention to the extreme result of what might seem like minor transgressions and that, if one thinks about it, aren't so minor.
What does this have to do with my new story at The Airgonaut that came out yesterday? While I don't advise eating children in "God's Pig," it is my attempt at carrying reality to an extreme. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I hope I managed to honor Jonathan Swift's satirical legacy.
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with nearly a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. When not writing, I'm the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Connecticut, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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